Nearly thirty years ago a member of Ananda, Dr. Peter Van Houten, started a medical clinic, which has grown over the years to now serve over 5,000 people. People coming to the clinic often hope for a quick fix, a shot or pill to make them well or at least ease their symptoms. The clinic is in a relatively poor rural area and many of the patients smoke, drink, and use drugs. Dr. Peter knows that he will see these same patients again. And again. And again.


“I Am the Sky” by Jyotish Novak

Spiritual teachers and counselors face variations on the same theme. Rather than physical health, people are generally seeking help with relationships, work issues, or life directions. When dealing with these issues people ask, sometimes obliquely, for approaches on how to get their partners or co-workers to change their conduct and be more harmonious. Until they ask for insights about their own behavior, however, it is likely that they, too, will return again and again.

Both of these groups suffer from the same fundamental mistake (which is the basic delusion of maya) that makes them think that happiness can be obtained by changing something outside themselves. People with habitual behavioral problems rarely ask the two most important questions.

The first question is: What do I need to change in myself? It is not easy to get people to see that their outer life is a projection of their inner consciousness. And yet, as long as their consciousness stays the same, they will magnetically attract the same issues and karmic patterns again and again. A statement that has been attributed to Einstein is, “You cannot solve a problem from the same consciousness that created it. You must learn to see the world anew.

Many people develop strong defenses to avoid looking at their own part in their chronic issues. Others feel guilty or have low self-esteem, but this doesn’t help either. It is better not to say, “I am bad,” but rather to say, “I have some patterns that need to change.”

The second vital question is: How can I raise my consciousness?

Healing can truly begin only when one not only accepts the need to change but also asks what changes are needed. It is usually better to look for directional changes rather than specific ones. That is, think first of how to change your energy patterns and only secondarily of the specific form the resulting changes will take. A dieter should think of how to change eating behaviors rather than just modify specific foods. Once we realize that outer circumstances and behaviors are created by inner thoughts, we are on the right track.

Paramhansa Yogananda made a very important statement about changing ignorant behavior. “Sin,” he said, “is not like dynamite, which you can explode from a distance without harm to yourself. It has to be defused within your own soul.” When we still our energy and uplift our minds, hearts, and souls by meditation, service, and good environment our problems will begin to evaporate.

In divine friendship,
Nayaswami Jyotish


  1. I really resonate with this message. The two questions are ones I have been asking myself over and over. I have had a bit of a crisis around the second question recently though. How can I raise my own vibration to raise others without losing myself as well? My past gives me a unique insight into the mind of those who suffer greatly and I feel the need to give back and share love and light with those who need it most.

  2. Thank you so very much – I asked a question yesterday and today lovingly got a reply through you Jyotish-ji. Jai Guru! :)

  3. As Always…. Right on time.
    I needed this…Thank you… :)

  4. I needed these uplifting words today…
    been sitting in a constant shit storm of
    …self and other-induced isolation,
    …with a good dollop of
    “where do I turn; as every direction seems like an uphill battle”
    …to which I am physically, mentally and spiritually too exhausted to stand up “AGAIN”
    …to start hiking one of those paths AGAIN
    …I am tired of “licking my past and present wounds”,
    KNOWING I need to move forward
    …yet am “sooo worn out and overwhelmingly tired of it all”,
    that I am STILL sitting STILL on my ass
    …watching other people lead their happy, put together lives,
    that I feel when I simply look at them
    …”that my face is being rubbed in it;
    at how ****ed up mine truly is
    …I am wasting the precious life I AM blessed to have
    due to being tossed onto “one too many coastal rocks” while at sea in my 43 years of life
    …my little boat is leaking like sieve
    …I am panicked the water keeps coming in
    …and I’m afraid of drowning
    …but it’s like I’m too tired, worn out and in a “constant state of shock”
    …that I am STILL sitting STILL “all day, every day”
    …watching the waters rise
    …too TIRED of it all, to do anything :productive” about it
    ***there it is, that’s where I find myself currently feeling
    so when I say I needed these uplifting words today…I truly meant it…
    Thank you from the bottom of my worn out heart
    as your words are a true comfort to me in my current need
    …Currently STILL sitting STILL in MY shit storm,
    yet with your words, STILL trying hard to muster up the energy to START walking again, in ANY DIRECTION

    1. Carrie, I need to reply to your post simply because I’ve been there and still am sometimes. I have meditated for 25 years. I have repeatedly been pushed to suicidal despair. Just last week I was so exhausted physically and mentally that I just had to say no to everyone and rest when I could. My suffering is what has pushed me to meditate longer and deeper, since I get to the point where there is NOTHING else I can do, and nowhere else to turn but to God. Then in those desperate moments, it is revealed to me how suffering works. It is said in Dark Night of the Soul that if you really knew the value of such darkness, you would ask for it. It is revealed to me in deep meditation that all is well and when I see and experience this, I know that suffering is necessary for Bliss. Please don’t despair, but turn to God more and more.

  5. Dear Nayaswami Jyotish Ji,
    Thank you very much for this lovely article :)

  6. Great advice. I certainly understand the need for meditation, service, and good company to magnetize energy upward towards the third eye. What if you are called to be of service to people who are struggling much like Dr. Van Houten in your article? How does one keep from despair when around those who remain caught in the web of delusion?

  7. Wonderful! Thank you so very much for this much needed reminder for us all! I love sharing your articals with our CASA & friends community! I know that by first resting in God, meditating with the Masters and being in nature is a sure receipe for adjusting my attitude and keeping my thoughts on high! Joy to us all! Masters blessings! Kim
    PS – How do I get my picture on my comments to show?

    1. You can use what is called a gravatar to display your picture. Google how to create a gravatar in WordPress and follow the yellow brick road :)

    2. Hi Kim, I believe you would need to set up a Gravatar for the email address you use through commenting on a site like this, that is set up using WordPress. Otherwise, they often will not show. (So if you do not have a WordPress site that you are set up to edit, this may not work, but here is the link if you do have one:
      Joy, and thank you for your comments.

  8. Beautifully stated. As an 18 year member of a 12 step program and 15 year meditator this pin points the problem, which is my thinking. Once I honesty look inside, with proper guidance, I can see that I spin the delusions in my life. Meditation expedites recovery and introduces me to reality in each moment. It is an inside job and only I can heal the past and discover joy for myself.
    Thank You Ananda

    1. I myself have 25 yrs sobriety and 20 yrs of meditating and swear you were writing my story! I also became a social worker and this is exactly what people need to learn. My practice was the same population. I use these tactics in my own life on a daily basis. This is my daily 11th step with God and Gurus! Thank you!

  9. Thank you, for yet another, beautiful story and more wisdom to incorporate into our lives. Namaste, Amy

  10. Thank you jyotish ji, for this timely guidence.I needed it .

  11. Thank you,Brother.
    Its true that willing to change is a big step;each and every moment we need to think act.

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