The average person is like an eccentric flywheel. I don’t mean a flywheel with an offbeat personality, but simply a flywheel that isn’t centered properly. The faster the wheel turns, the more violently it vibrates. At a certain speed, its vibration may actually cause it to fly apart.

Most people are frequently in danger of “flying apart,” at least mentally. Living at their periphery, not at their center, they vibrate more violently the faster they whirl through life. It is safe to say that few people think of themselves as even having a center. They are forever “on edge.”

One problem with living at your periphery is that it forces you to relate to other people at theirs. They, in turn, will be “on edge” with you. Your understanding of them, and theirs of you, will be a view from the outside; it will therefore be superficial.

The secret of understanding is to get mentally inside whatever it is you are trying to understand — to gaze outward, so to speak, from its center rather than inward from its periphery. The secret of understanding other people is to identify with them at their center. To find the center of anything or anyone, first withdraw to your own center and project your feelings empathetically from that point.

The more you attune yourself from your center to the center in everything, the more you will find that there is a sympathetic inter-relationship in the universe that makes possible the perfect understanding of all things. Depend not on intellectual analysis, which separates things and compartmentalizes them, but try to feel the heart of whatever it is you are trying to understand.

Ananda Meditation App

A free app with guided meditations and techniques, based on the teachings of Paramhansa Yogananda. Go deeper in the joy of your own Self.

Download the app

Start a New Meditation Practice or Inspire Your Current One

Starts July 30

The 10-week Lessons in Meditation online course is designed to provide in-depth instruction in scientific meditation techniques that bring more peace, deeper relaxation, and focused concentration to every area of your life, regardless of outer conditions.

These techniques are based on the teachings of Paramhansa Yogananda, author of Autobiography of a Yogi.

Learn more