Often in financial newsletters we see investment tips offered by an economic pundit saying what stocks to buy or sell in the coming year for the greatest profitability. For those of us who are seeking God and His divine riches, however, we need to follow the advice of a different kind of pundit.
The question we should ask our guru, or divine guide, is, “Where do I need to put my energy in the coming year? And what actions or qualities should I eliminate to make the greatest spiritual progress?”
Recently a friend at Ananda Village told me a wonderful story to illustrate this point. He and a senior member were doing repair work on a leaky roof on one of the homes here. After several hours of working up on the roof with the sun beating down on their backs, they decided to take a break.
As they rested, out of the blue the older man said, “Swamiji told us that very few people have enough good karma to stay on the spiritual path for their whole life. I’ve come to realize that many are drawn to spiritual teachings because of their good karma generated from past efforts. Very few, however, continue to invest new energy into their spiritual life and build the kind of new karma that helps one remain loyal to the end.”
He ended by saying, “People enjoy the wave of grace that brought them to the spiritual life, but without reinvesting spiritual energy, the grace soon wears thin. The magnetism of the world pulls them back, and they’re back to where they started. The secret of a lifelong commitment is to continue making the effort, no matter what the outcome.”
So, friends, here are some “investment tips” for the coming year to maximize your spiritual growth:
Look at what areas of your life can use an influx of dynamic new energy. Have your meditations become dull or mechanical? Try changing your schedule or where you meditate so that you get out of a boring routine. Choose some weekly group meditations to add to your schedule.
Has your practice of the meditation techniques gone on “automatic pilot”? Talk to a spiritual advisor, watch an instructive video, or read about the techniques to ensure that you’re doing them correctly. Reinvigorate your techniques with renewed energy and attention.
Rebuild your personal relationship with God by including Him as much as possible in your thoughts, your problems, your activities, and your joys. Let Him be your first thought in the morning and your last thought at night.
Has your service become lackluster? Bring the concentration and focused attention awakened in your morning meditation into your daily activities. Then all day long your consciousness will be filled with dynamic energy, which can be redirected toward meditation in the evening.
All of these “investments” will renew your spiritual karma and pay great dividends that enable you to seek God with joy and devotion throughout your life. Finally, here is the best tip of all from Yoganandaji:
“Today I will plow the garden of life with my new creative efforts. Therein I will sow seeds of wisdom, health, prosperity, and happiness. I will water them with self-confidence and faith, and will wait for the Divine to give me the rightful harvest.
“If I reap not the harvest, I will be thankful for the satisfaction of having tried my best. I will thank God that I am able to try again and again, until with His help I do succeed.”
May the riches of God’s blessings fill your life in the coming year and always.