We will be having our annual all-day Christmas meditation on December 23. This tradition was started by Paramhansa Yogananda, who suggested we should celebrate a “spiritual Christmas” with a long meditation as well as a “social Christmas.” My first eight-hour meditation was in 1967. The previous evening Swami Kriyananda had given me and a few others our first Kriya initiation … Read More
Some years ago we were completing the work on Swami Kriyananda’s dome at Ananda Village, the initial building of what has evolved over time into Crystal Hermitage. Although the interior of the dome still needed work to transform it from a building site into a home, Swamiji was eager to move in. To speed up the process, he rounded up … Read More
We have been helping give a Meditation Teacher Training course here in India, and, as part of the training, we talked about how to give magnetic classes. But the same principles apply to other areas of life: doing your job with magnetism, or having magnetic relationships, or developing the magnetism that draws God. Magnetism, you see, is produced whenever there … Read More
“Doctor, please help me. I think that I’m really sick,” the worried patient said. “My body hurts all over: when I touch my arm, it hurts; when I touch my chest, it hurts; when I touch my head, it hurts.” After running a battery of tests, the doctor reported to his patient, “I’ve got good news and bad news. The … Read More
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
We have been reading a very interesting book: Being Mortal, by Atul Gawande. It’s a thoughtful, well-written examination of aging and dying, subjects often ignored in modern society. Someday, perhaps, I will write a blog about that, but not today. This blog is about a small part of the process — about how helpful it is to prepare for difficulties before a … Read More
“I really want to meditate more deeply, but I have a hard time concentrating.” This is a complaint we often hear from devotees. The mind seems to be programmed to be restless. A recent study by Microsoft showed that in the last thirteen years the length of time people can concentrate has decreased on average from 12 to 8 seconds. … 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
The man had committed murder many times and was now incarcerated in Tihar Prison outside of New Delhi. Yet as we watched him tell his story in the documentary Doing Time, Doing Vipassana, his face was peaceful and his eyes were calm. He explained that although he’d committed many murders, he’d never felt any remorse about the lives he had … 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.
Meditation is a natural and rewarding human activity. Paramhansa Yogananda defined meditation as “deep concentration on God or one of His aspects.” Practiced daily, it produces astonishing results on physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual aspects of our being. It connects us with our own inner powers of vitality, clarity, and love. When done deeply, it gives us an expanded sense … Read More
Recently at a satsang someone asked us, “How much free will do we have, and how much is predetermined by our past karma?” This question has troubled people down through the ages. Now in Dwapara Yuga our line of gurus have given us new understanding of how to find freedom from karmic bondage.
How to do the Full Yogic Breath: Begin by standing upright, arms at the sides. Close your eyes and feel centered in the spine. Breathe slowly and deeply from the diaphragm. Now slowly bend forward, keeping the knees relaxed. Exhale slowly and completely as you bend forward, allowing your body to come down only as far as is comfortable and your … Read More
People can meditate for many months, or even years, with little result, simply because they have ignored the basics, thinking that such elementary practices are only for the merest beginner. Restlessness, especially mental restlessness, is the main impediment to deeper meditation. Our hardest job in meditation is to rid the mind of the static created by thoughts and desires. There … Read More
A step-by-step guide to learning the art and science of meditation. The book is a practical guide to learning how to relax your body, interiorize your awareness, concentrate your mind, develop and clarify intuition, expand your spirit, and experience peace, joy, and calmness. Order the How to Meditate book.
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
1) Meditate. “Beloved God, since no earthly engagement is possible without using the powers borrowed from Thee, I will renounce everything that interferes with my engagement to meditate on Thee in daily awakened silence.” [*] 2) Push yourself a little. If you do too much you risk burnout. But doing too little puts you at risk of tracing endless circles … Read More
Have you ever finished meditating and then realized you’d been so unfocused that you could hardly remember what happened? Paramhansa Yogananda defined meditation as “deep concentration on God or one of His aspects.” In order to achieve this, we need to bring the consciousness to one-pointed attention at the spiritual eye. The first few minutes after closing our eyes is … Read More
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
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