This morning Devi and I spoke with someone who was feeling overwhelmed and a little guilty because he couldn’t keep up with all the “should do’s” on the spiritual path. I doubt if there is a devotee alive who hasn’t had these same thoughts. On the one hand, there are hundreds of techniques, habits, and attitudes that could be helpful. … Read More
“Would any of you like to join me on a camping trip to Mt. Shasta?” With his characteristic enthusiasm and joy, Swami Kriyananda extended this invitation to a small group of us one morning. Swamiji had been asked to give a talk in nearby Shasta City and decided to combine this with a short vacation. Mt. Shasta is a beautiful … Read More
Many people have a very complex relationship with their Heavenly Father/Mother, just as they do with their earthly parents. In fact, many attitudes and complexes toward God are simply projections of feelings experienced when growing up. Those from harsher backgrounds can see God as disapproving and vengeful, while those raised in loving and tolerant homes tend to see a loving … Read More
Paramhansa Yogananda’s mission was to help usher the whole world, with greater understanding and spiritual insight, into Dwapara Yuga, the new Age of Energy in which we live. It was a world-changing mission, and therefore his teachings needed to be revolutionary. In some cases what he taught was well known in India but created a revolution in the West. Others of his teachings were completely new to this age. Let’s look at some of both.
The New Year will soon make its entrance onto the stage of our life, bringing with it the inescapable gains and losses, happiness and suffering. But no matter what adversities may lie ahead, they needn’t cause us suffering if we choose to live each day in greater awareness of God’s presence. Where God’s light is, no shadow can dwell.
There is a story of a woman with two pots. Each morning she fetched water from a well and carried it to her small hut. One of the pots was new and whole, but the other was old, worn, and cracked. A day came when the old pot began to weep, feeling like a failure in even the simple task of carrying water. The new pot, on the other hand, was proud and scornful. The woman knelt and whispered to them, “Come with me. I wish to show you something.”
Earlier this week we were having lunch with a group of friends, and the conversation took an interesting turn. The seven of us passed around the question, “When did you begin to know what you were supposed to do in this life? Why were you born?” For me, I knew early on that I was supposed to be a teacher. … Read More
“I will be true to you as I pray always to be true to God. I will love you without condition, as I would be loved by you and as we are ever loved by God. I will never compete with you; I will cooperate for our own, and for all others’ highest good. I will forgive you always, and … Read More
This article was originally published online by Clarity Magazine, Fall 2003 In a recent letter to a person interested in the book, God Is for Everyone, Swami Kriyananda wrote, “It is a book, written by a great spiritual teacher, Yogananda, during the 1920s, pleading for a new look at religion, and at interreligious harmony. The book argues powerfully that religion alone is … Read More
A friend of ours recently asked, “How can I strengthen my sadhana despite the distractions of being a householder?” To answer, let’s turn to the wisdom of ancient India. The Vedas describe four stages of life: 1) the celibate student; 2) the householder; 3) the person who partially withdraws from outer involvement and hands over most of his responsibilities to … Read More
We’ve just had an interesting experience: our first Thanksgiving in Gurgaon, India. This holiday, so well known in America, is normally not celebrated in the rest of the world.
Recently we were part of a pilgrimage with fifty other devotees who traveled to Italy to enjoy her history, art, and, especially, her inspiration. Everywhere we went there were also thousands of tourists enjoying the cultural richness. But as I observed the other groups, I became aware that somehow we were different from them. The others moved hurriedly through the … Read More
We recently showed the movie Finding Happiness to a group of about 150 students of the Sadhana Centre for Management and Leadership Development in Pune, India. These idealistic youths loved the movie, clapping spontaneously several times during the showing. Afterward they kept us for nearly two hours, chatting and asking questions. They are planning to make a field trip to … Read More
A while back I saw a self-rating system for artists. It asked painters to rate themselves on a scale from 1-5 for things such as composition, use of color, drawing, and two or three other areas important to a successful painting.
We are never separate from the Guru, just as we are never separate from God, but we must realize the Guru’s inner presence by opening our hearts to him and asking for his blessings.
Seekers are often advised to practice the presence of God but only rarely given specific advice on how to do so. When concepts are too vague it is hard to put them into practice.
The “placebo effect” illustrates the importance of the mind, of consciousness, for both wellness and disease. It is our consciousness, working through the subtle laws of magnetism, which creates our circumstances.
I shall strictly refuse to hear or read unkind discussions of others.
As we move more fully into Dwapara Yuga, we can see the first glimmers of a global shift from competition to cooperation. How can we become agents of change, especially at work where competition is still highly rewarded?
Learning to direct the energy of the heart is probably our most important challenge spiritually. If we want to awaken to our true state of unity with the Divine, we must learn to control our feelings and to channel them in a positive direction.