The spiritual path can sometimes seem like an endless struggle up a steep cliff, with little to show for our efforts along the way. But the ability to find the strength to keep going is what separates the dilettante devotee from the true seeker. Deep commitment is the secret to drawing God’s presence into our life.

There’s a beautiful story that Paramhansa Yogananda tells of a man who was told by his doctors that he was dying of diabetes and had only three months left. He thought, “If I have only three months remaining in this lifetime, let me spend them seeking God.”

At first, he couldn’t meditate for more than fifteen minutes at a time, but gradually, as he persevered, he was able to sit for longer periods each day. His prayer during his meditations was not to be healed, but rather, “Lord, come into this broken temple.”

Three months passed, then a year, and he was still alive. Continuing in intense prayer, he was by now meditating eighteen hours a day. Two more years passed. Suddenly a great light filled his being. The man was absorbed in divine ecstasy, and found to his amazement that his body was completely healed.

“Lord,” he prayed, “I didn’t ask for a healing—only that You come to me.”

God answered his beloved devotee, “Where My light is, there no darkness can dwell.”

The saint—for he’d become one—wrote in the sand with his finger, “And on this day the Lord came into my broken temple, and made it whole!”

How can we find such commitment to keep going until we’ve reached our spiritual goal?

First, don’t allow yourself the luxury of deciding each day whether or not you’re going to meditate. Instead make a firm inner commitment to be regular in your practice, and don’t question it. Build your schedule around your times of meditation, and let other duties fall into place around them.

For those times when you’re not able to meditate as long, set a minimum amount of time below which you won’t go. Try to establish a regular routine in the morning and evening. Twice daily meditation is very important, because it keeps your consciousness in an upward flow, starting and ending each day with the thought of God.

It’s also helpful to look at the lives of others who have struggled in their spiritual efforts, yet were victorious in the end. For you are not alone in this battle: Such challenges are faced by every saint.

During my first year at Ananda, I went through a period of discouragement, and questioned if I should continue on the spiritual path. At that time there was a wonderful old gentleman living here who had been a disciple of Master for decades. He was both our gardening mentor and a great friend to many.

One day, filled with discouragement and doubts, I gloomily asked him, “Why does God make it so hard?”

His answer has had a deep impact on me: “There must be some value in the effort itself.”

yogananda teachings how to stay on the spiritual path yogananda meditation yogananda meditating on tiger skinI came to understand that it’s perseverance in the search for God that draws us closer to Him. When discouragement returns (and it does from time to time) I remember that simply trying has its own spiritual reward.

Remember, too, that Master said that in each meditation, we should be ready to make a “dash for the Infinite.” Only God knows when He will come to us. And so we must be ready for Him at any moment, even in the midst of lackluster meditations and restless thoughts.

One of Yoganandaji’s most thrilling statements is: “I remember the day when for the first time, unlooked-for, from behind the clouds of the drudgery of routine meditative habits, the aurora of bliss suddenly burst upon my consciousness. It surpassed all my expectations. Joy indescribable!”

Who can say how many lifetimes ago this great avatar experienced the “drudgery of routine meditative habits”? Who can imagine what the “aurora of bliss” is really like? Yet, his words, filled with promise and hope, are beacons of light to guide us forward when finding God seems beyond our reach. Let’s await that unexpected moment. . . .

Until we reach the journey’s end,

Nayaswami Devi

Listen to Devi as she reads the blog, then expands on it, often adding special behind-the-inspiration stories and answers to common spiritual questions. Subscribe to the podcast or download the audio recording by right-clicking here. Or listen to it here (9:20):


  1. Pranaam Devi ji
    Much gratitude for such a beautiful article at the right opportune time when I myself struggling the way it’s written
    Will serve as a big inspiration to me in my struggle
    God and Gurus blessings upon you always .
    Jai Guru 🙏🙏🙏

  2. O Mother Divine

    It’s all your blessings.
    Thou art love .
    Thou art peace.

    Thy child

  3. Thank you so much Deviji for spending time with me and helping me on my spiritual journey…

  4. Beautiful.
    Gives us the much needed boost in our kriya meditation.

  5. Thank you so much for your continued service. It means the world to this lonely truth seeker. Your words are inspirational & often come at just the right time. Blessings

  6. What a beautiful and blissful article!
    It really brings one home, makes one release their doubt and shallow thinking, and fills them with faith and bliss.

    As beginners, when we start to meditate, we don’t understand the depth of what we are doing. We are not seeking; instead, we are trying to let go of stress, improve our current lives, follow our friends, or have aimlessly found ourselves on the spiritual path.
    We can go on for years without understanding what we are looking for.
    Thank you so much for explaining this point with such ease and flow.

  7. Thank You so much Deviji for guiding us. We really need this motivation to keep on going. During negative times, the first thing is that we get away from GOD and meditation. what a beautiful story. It felt as if you knew what we want and you are replying to our queries. Jai Guru

  8. Jai Guru! Thank you for these inspiring words Devi🙏

  9. Thank you so much! Your words came at a perfect time for me to hear them. I appreciate your comments and words of divine wisdom!
    Many blessings to you!

  10. Thank you. This was perfect. Grateful.Grateful.Grateful.

  11. Once again the timing is perfect to have received this message. I cannot thank you enough. Onward!

  12. Thank you, Devaji for the encouraging words. They are helpful. Peace and prayers. 🙂

  13. A quote of Master I have never read before and a photo I have never seen! What a fresh message of hope! Thank you!

  14. Thank you Deviji, for sharing such gentle yet inspiring words. I didn’t know these stories, but reading them seemed as if yogananda ji is standing right in front and asking me to keep going.
    Thank you again for sharing.

  15. Thank you so much for this beautiful and inspiring article, God bless you!

  16. These moments of discouragement seem so encompassing and dark that it is hard to swim above the quick sand but companions along the way help pull us out by their encouragement. Thank you for the uplifting stories.

  17. I am very grateful to you, Devi, for this article. It comes at a very opportune time for me, when I’m feeling quite discouraged and like I’m the only one really struggling on this path. Thank you for both the comfort and the gentle encouragement.

  18. I needed to hear that message. Thank you Devi.

  19. Thank you, Devi, for this most inspiring message! It comes so appropriately at a time when I am renewing my commitment to meditation by taking the Ananda course in meditation, with the final goal of Kriya initiation.
    My practice had become inconsistent and lukewarm., and I was feeling God’s nudge to do something about it.
    It was helpful to read your comment about working your schedule around your meditation rather than vice versa.

    It also reminded me of the idea that the “practice” part of one’s “meditation practice” is the continual “bringing yourself back” to God when your mind begins to wander or gets distracted by thoughts, and that it takes time and effort to make progress with this process.

    I look forward to seeing you again. I will be coming up to do a retreat at The EL sometime this summer. My husband and I have been living in San Luis Obispo for the past 5 years, but are thinking about moving back to Nevada County, preferably to the Ridge so as to be closer to Ananda.

    Thank you for all the love and light you share!


  20. Wonderful lesson! Is there any way you can resend last week’s blog? Somehow it was deleted before I could hardcoppy it so that I read it often to emphasize the lesson.

    Thank you!
    Vinnie Cruz

  21. mm

    Thank you for this wonderful article, so appropriate and encouraging for all seekers!


  22. Deep gratitude, Deviji. You bring the right gift, at the right time to share with all your Gurubhais. Namaste

  23. Thank you very much. Really heart touching article for every one.

  24. Dearest Devi Ji, thank you for writing this blog, each word is a GEM. We are eternally grateful to you all for this week- SRW – we are all filled with so much joy, inspiration and encouragement to ‘keep going’ on the spiritual path ever more steadily by the grace of God, Guru and Swamiji.

    Love the saying from Master “in each meditation, we should be ready to make a “dash for the Infinite.””; the marathon experience you shared in the audio message and your words “unconditionally loving, wise, omnipresent consciousness which is God has been with us forever and will be with us forever”. Thank you, thank you.

  25. Beautiful article that tells it like it is .Just what I needed to read at this point in my life

  26. mm

    Thank you for this beautiful encouragement dear Devi! Your example keeps us going too!

  27. Indeed I too struggle with these thoughts and feelings every day! I have been trying so hard to find a true relationship with the one and only God for years now, as a result of the three fold suffering described in the Srimad Bhagavatam. I do NOT wish to reincarnate into this harsh reality of the Kali Yuga ever again! I still don’t know why I’m here or what my purpose in this lifetime is so it’s very frustrating and painful! But I will continue to meditate, pray and study, hoping I will feel the beautiful bliss of God in divine timing…🙏💜🕯️

  28. Let’s keep going enjoying the way not thinking being present each single day.

  29. Nayaswami Devi, thank you for this post. Like so many others who have commented here, your message is incredibly timely for me and I’m thoroughly grateful <3

  30. Dear Nayaswami Devi Ji,

    Thank you for this blog. Very useful reminder and to be put in to practice.
    I found these these lines to be very helpful in particular – First, don’t allow yourself the luxury of deciding each day whether or not you’re going to meditate.Build your schedule around your times of meditation, and let other duties fall into place around them.

    Thank you very much for sharing


  31. Dearest Devi, I have had no results in my efforts to just feel His presence. It brings me a feeling of failure to just stare at the grayness in my mind. The relaxation exercises help. At least I’m relaxed. I’ve only been able to meditate twice in one day, once. I feel like a phony. Perhaps I am undeserving.
    Your words regarding “ value in your efforts” were heartening. I won’t quit. I will hunt Him down the days & down the nights until He at least smiles. Thank you Devi!

  32. Jai Guru, incredible, it has been so simple and straight to the point, I am more motivated now and stronger

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