I read a true story recently about a woman who was tending her son in the hospital following a long, difficult surgery. Three days after the procedure, the boy was still in a great deal of pain, and the worried mother was unable to sleep. As she paced the empty hospital corridors alone at three in the morning, tears of worry and concern ran down her cheeks.

Suddenly she heard a kindly voice ask her, “What’s the matter?” The woman was taken by surprise, since she hadn’t seen or heard anyone approaching. Turning, she saw an old janitor mopping the floor. He exuded such kindness and calmness that she found herself telling him all her troubles.

“I can feel your faith,” he said, “and this story has ripples, like a stone thrown in the water. Know that this is all part of God’s plan.”

He gave her a gentle pat on the shoulder and continued his mopping along the corridor. Suddenly, she felt a wave of calmness and reassurance sweep over her. Returning to her son’s room, she was finally able to get some sleep. When dawn came, the boy’s pain was almost gone.

She wanted to thank the janitor for his kindness, but when she tried to contact him, the hospital records showed that no one on the staff matched his description. In her hour of need, God’s loving hand had intervened to bring her comfort.

Last week Jyotish called his blog, “Have a Little Faith.” There’s another way of saying this. Swami Kriyananda wrote: “Relax upward, toward the spiritual eye in the forehead.”

When you’re faced with a challenging situation, instead of getting tense and tied up in knots, try to step back from the problem. Allow your energy to flow calmly upward to the spiritual eye. Let your awareness rest there, and trust that you are surrounded and protected by God’s light. In Autobiography of a Yogi, Lahiri Mahasaya says, “Attune yourself to the active inner Guidance; the Divine Voice has the answer to every dilemma of life.”

Perhaps you’ve had a difficult encounter with another person. Instead of reacting emotionally and exchanging angry words, inwardly withdraw for a moment and take a few deep breaths. Become aware of the energy in your heart center, and let it flow upward toward the spiritual eye. Feel that you are relating from that point in you to that point in the other person. Once this process begins, you’ll discover the way to restore harmony.

relax upward meditation yogananda teachings picture of buddha universal spirituality of ananda palo altoWhen circumstances of any kind produce stress or anxiety, don’t be pulled into the downward spiral of worry and fear. Remember what the divine messenger told the woman in the hospital: “Know that this is all part of God’s plan.” Relax upward, and offer everything to God. Trust that whatever happens is part of that plan.

Consciously create moments of tranquility and upward relaxation throughout the day. Try to build a fortress of peace around you during the quiet times in your life. Then when the enemy attacks with its soldiers of fear and worry, you can overcome them. Over time you’ll find that the bulwarks of your inner calmness and strength can withstand any assault.

Finally, and most importantly, learn to relax upward in meditation. When you sit to meditate, consciously relax: first release the tensions in the body; then the preoccupations of the mind; then the emotional involvements of the heart; and finally, any remaining blocks to which the ego clings. Release these entrapped pools of energy into a flowing current that moves upward in the spine to the spiritual eye. “Don’t,” as Swamiji wrote, “try to force your concentration to that point. Think of it, rather, as your natural center of being.” Once you approach meditation, not with tension, but with an upward flow of self-offering, it will feel natural to rest in God’s peace within.

So, remember to relax upward. Perhaps in your own hour of need, or at any unexpected moment, you’ll find a blessed gift from the Divine Hand.

Your friend in God,

Nayaswami Devi

Listen to the weekly commentary for this blog, with 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 (6:14):

Download the audio recording of this week’s blog by right-clicking here. Or listen to it here (6:02):


  1. Thank you very much for sharing this story! It is a blessing people like you exist in our world! Thank you for your effort in this mission!
    I hope ine day in my life I’ll be in communion with GOD.

    Bless you ALL

  2. Thank you🙏 I’m unable to come out of the agony of my mother’s death
    But I feel like God is holding my hands

  3. Thank you! What a blessing ! I met a brother on my journey crying out to be loved and my tears knew my love wouldnt not be enough. So, as i spiritually and mentally gave my brother to spirit I opened this email to hear relax. Again, thank you for the reminder that the hand reassurance rests upon all of us who turn our discontent over and give it to God.

    Blessed Be!

  4. Very inspirational Jyotish ji!Will always remember your advice:
    “Release these entrapped pools of energy into a flowing current that moves upward in the spine to the spiritual eye.”
    Aum Peace Amen

  5. You have wisdom and compassion , you are a beautiful spirit . Namaste , Mark.

  6. Very inspiring story
    after reading the story felt a wave of inspiration within me……………..

  7. My apologies Nayaswami Devi. The inspirational article was written by you actually. .
    Aum Peace Amen

  8. Thank you for your beautiful uplifting words of encouragement towards God.

  9. Dear Devi. Thanks. Just what we need to remember over and over!

  10. Thanks for this wonderful message! Has come at an appropriate time

  11. Thank you very much..for giving us this beautiful story with the indications of how to help ourselves when we feel unable to find our calm centre,
    In Light and in the Master’s hands always

  12. Beautiful! This blog is filled with such practical wisdom. Your love and divine friendship permeate each word. Thank you for this message, that is so needed.

  13. I listened to your beautiful blog dear Devi and tears of love came into my eyes. You are like the hospital janitor, the gardener disguised as as Jesus, Chandra moon in the night giving comfort to the lonely. Thank you for your love and wisdom and being Divine Mother to everyone never forgetting even one of your children God gave you to love. With constant love and gratitude 🎸🎶💛bhajana

  14. So important for us all. Thank you for these words of wisdom so beautifully written.

  15. Think of that point as “your natural center of being” – WONDERFUL! Thank you Devi, thank you Swami.

  16. I have never heard “Relax Upward” and it is so simple. It brings all our meditation practices into focus. Thank you!

  17. Dear Devi,
    Thank you very much
    For your kind messages.
    I really appreciate them.
    Much Love
    Rufina 🙏

  18. Dear Deviji,thank you for the wonderful blog. I t is a great idea to relax upwards and rest in the great natural peace. I will follow it asap

  19. Thank you, Devi for the reminder. It will be translated.
    Many blessings, to you both.

  20. Very beautiful. The message included with it the actual experience of relaxing upward. Perfect for everyone. with love, Anandi and Bharat

  21. That is something I am going to put into practice now. Thank you. Jany

  22. Extra ordinary ! Very fulfilling! Worth my life in practicing for a more enriched life.t

  23. Just on time! God knew that I need him right now… thanks a million!

  24. Dearest Devi Ji for the fist time I listened to the audio for the ‘behind-the-inspiration stories’ . wow… so touching and inspiring. thank you for sharing Ji. so from now I will lookout for the audio part too. (smiley) its always a heart warming feeling listening to you. Just this morning there was a ‘ripple’ in “my story” but thanks to these years of guidance from you all I let it go after offering it up to Master. and reading this beautiful blog today its a sweet reassurance …. ‘Know that this is all part of God’s plan’. Our Master and Swami and Divine Mother looking out for us thru some many angels and ‘janitors’ … You ALL. every grateful ji. Thanks again.

  25. I agree with 100 percent- but I don’t think of turmoil as “the enemy.” That sounds like a Christian-take on hardships. It’s just the pendulum swinging-that’s all. I give it no more power than that.

  26. Thank you so much, dear Devi! This message reaches me at the perfect moment, as we are in the count-down to Sky’s surgery for breast cancer which will be this Thursday. I have found myself a little more vulnerable to “losing it” recently, but I know the truths of which you have written are there for us and for all. Thank God for Ananda, for Yogananda, and for you! I can feel our spiritual family not far away, and am so deeply blessed in this lifetime. Love, joy, and blessings to you, Shakti

  27. Thank you so much Devi ji for the God gifted article.

    I practically experienced most of times whatever points you have mentioned here and I would like quote one more from Mother Teresa…

    I used to pray that God would feed the hungry, or do this or that, but now I pray that he will guide me to do whatever I’m supposed to do, what I can do. I used to pray for answers, but now I’m praying for strength. I used to believe that prayer changes things, but now I know that prayer changes us and we change things.

    Once again thank you so much.


  28. Truth, wisdom and divine Love all shared in a way that shows us the true way to transformation.
    What a perfect blend of all of the divine qualities.
    Thank you Devi for ever and again showing us the way.

  29. Namaste! I have read this article a dozen times already. I will keep trying to follow what you have so well stated in the article.

  30. Dear Nayaswami Devi Ji,

    Thank you for sharing this blog. Very useful points to practice. Enjoyed reading and I shall put these in to action immediately-‘ Consciously create moments of tranquility and upward relaxation throughout the day.’


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