Anyone who has tried to have a regular practice of meditation knows that it’s no easy thing. Creating time in the midst of daily demands, leaving behind worries and preoccupations, summoning up enthusiasm every day: All of these and more are challenges we all face.
What I’d like to do is to walk you through a three-step process that may help you find renewed focus, energy, and enthusiasm for meditation.
Step One: Before sitting down to meditate, become aware of the thoughts and feelings that are running through your mind.
Problem: Are you feeling rushed, and thinking, “I’ll get this over quickly”?
Solution: Decide how much time you have, and be fully present for each moment.
Problem: Is your body feeling tense?
Solution: Try doing some pranayamas or a few yoga asanas.
Problem: Are you feeling discouraged, or that you’ll never be able to meditate deeply?
Solution: This feeling of failure is probably present in everyone who takes up meditation. In the Bhagavad Gita, Krishna says to Arjuna: “But if you cannot think of Me, then give Me your intention.” Begin each meditation with the thought, “Today I give You the best effort of which I am capable.” Don’t look back or forward, but just offer God your intention to try your best today.
Step Two: As you begin to meditate, immediately bring your full, focused energy to the spiritual eye.
Problem: Does your mind quickly revert to daily activities and problems?
Solution: Start with repeating or chanting with concentration the words from Master’s poem, “Samadhi”: “From joy I came, for joy I live, in sacred joy I melt.”
Problem: Do you find that when you make an intense effort your body gets tense?
Solution: Become aware of where you’re holding tension, then inhale, tense, and consciously relax those body parts.
Problem: Do you hold the subconscious thought that you’ll never achieve your goals for meditation?
Solution: Don’t look for results; remember, simply, that this is your time with God. In his book Secrets of Meditation, Swami Kriyananda writes: “The secret of meditation is to pray with deep faith—not as an outsider to heaven, but as one whose true, eternal home is heaven.”
He also writes: “The secret of meditation is affirming that you already are those high truths towards which you aspire: inner peace, divine love, and perfect joy.” Try to feel that everything you are seeking is already within you.
Step Three: After you finish meditation, throughout the day try to hold on to the feelings of peace that you experienced.
Problem: Do you leap into activities as soon as you finish meditation?
Solution: Build a bridge between meditation and activity. Consciously do simple activities, such as making your bed, during which you keep your mind calm and centered.
Problem: As challenges arise during the day, do you fall into negative emotions and reactions?
Solution: Keep the peace of meditation as a constant reference point throughout the day. If you feel yourself getting agitated, immediately try to direct your energy to the spiritual eye until you feel calmness restored. You can also bring to mind again Master’s words: “From joy I came, for joy I live, in sacred joy I melt.”
As we walk the spiritual path, it’s hard to see changes in ourselves, but that doesn’t mean we aren’t growing. Once Swamiji was discussing the progress that various Ananda members had made. Almost unaware of what I was saying, I blurted out, “I don’t see that I’ve changed all that much.”
With great intensity, he said, “How can you say that? You’re an entirely different person than when you came.” This is true of anyone who sincerely tries their best to meditate and follow the spiritual path.
Let’s meditate with joy, live in joy, and eagerly anticipate the day when we melt in joy once more. And in our love for God, offer to Him the fruits of our efforts.
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 (9:41):
thank you for your words today. Reminder of deep truth. Not by chance your email reached me today, when feeling everything´s “too much”. I keep your words in my heart and the deep rememberance, that I am doing all this for my love to god and I am so grateful to be blessed to be allowed to go the path. I offer all my efforts to god and looking back to my decades journey that I undertook consciously since the 80´s, I know and can say now upon myself: I have changed… for the better ;-). Sometimes one has to be remembered and go on…with Joy :-)
Thank you for offering some practical & helpful solutions. Much appreciated
That was one beautiful and very practical article Devi ji, thanks for sharing your timeless wisdom pearls..
Nayaswami Devi: You’ve identified the challenges I face each time I meditate. Your simple and relatable suggestions are balm to my heart and soul. I will incorporate them with you and the Masters in mind. Thank you and Joy to you.
Thank you for this !
I have not been meditating for far too l – o – n – g .
Your beautiful advice inspires my application .
‘ Application ‘ in a Mark Twain sense :
“ Writing “ , ( like meditation ) , “ is all about application . – Applying the seat of your pants to the seat of your chair “ . ( cushion ? )
AND thank you for reminding me of those gorgeous words !
“ From joy I came , for joy I live , in sacred joy
I melt “
Very good & useful reminders, Devi, thanks! 🙏
This is a great piece of advice, so assuring. Thank you!!!
Dziękuję za słowa ze wszech miar budujące 🙏😀🧡
With sincere joy, thank you Deviji.
Very good advice.
Thank you Devi ji
Thank you Deviji. This is very beautiful and touches my heart today.
Dear Devi …. thank you so much for this ! It is so incredibly useful and ‘spot-on’ for me , exactly what I needed to hear. With love and appreciation, Lucille
Thank you, Devi!
These suggestions are very helpful.
From Joy we came, For Joy we live, In Sacred Joy we melt……
Thank you, Devi. These pointers are extremely useful for meditators, seasoned and new.
Thank you Deviji. Excellent reminder for meditation. Very inspiring and solutions to the issue we face even after years of practice.
Thank you so much – very encouraging – will definitely use these pointers
At the outset, I would like to give thanks to respected Deviji. She has rightly depicted the essence of meditation in the blog. It is also true that practice of meditation is not so easy. But Deviji’s advices and guidelines are so beautiful, I think, those who are in the practice of it on day-to-basis will realize.
Thank you very much Deviji once again. May Mahavatar Baba, Swami Yogananda Ji bless us all so that we can find out the path of Kriya Yoga and be melted within it.
Kolkata, West Bengal
Thank you very much Devij: your words have been MUCH HELPING for this period. May SriGuru bless you forever 🕉🙏🌹💖
Thank you for your kind, gentle, and inspiring words.
Thank you so much for pointing out all these very beneficial, and valuable thoughts.
Love and Joy to you.
Deep gratitude dear friend for the clear, powerful and simple (but not easy) direction to success in finding Mother and Guru in meditation. Jai. Namaste
Thanks for this…
Dear Devi ji : you have shared profound truths, all embedded in practicality …thank you 🙏
Problem: having a rough day or week
Solution: read a Touch of Light blog
Problem: not yet melting in joy
Solution: read all the grateful comments following the blog
joy to you!
You made me laugh Sambhava! Your words are joyful and true!
With joy in my heart,
Dear Nayaswami Devi Ji,
Thank you very much for sharing this blog!
Great guidelines and encouraging, much needed and I will remember to put in to practice :-)
Such beautiful lines to end the blog!
Nayaswami Devi, thank you for this very practical and easy to follow guidance.
Blessings to you
Thanks Devi for this beautiful and inspiring blog.
God bless you
In divine friendship