Whenever we get a chance to visit Hawaii, we’re awed by the power of life force, or prana, that permeates everything here. It’s amazing to see the variety of plants that grow to a height of maybe four or five inches on the mainland, but that here in Hawaii reach six to ten feet with flowers and leaves radiant with life and color.
The understanding and use of prana is one of the keynotes of Paramhansa Yogananda’s teachings: in the Energization Exercises, magnetized prayers and affirmations, and Kriya Yoga. When Yoganandaji was on his hugely successful lecture tours in America, he would often address crowded auditoriums, saying, “There is enough energy in one gram of flesh [here he would pinch his arm to illustrate] to keep the city of Chicago supplied with electricity for a week!”
The trick is to become aware of this life force, which is within and around us everywhere, and direct it to where it’s needed.
Recently while a friend of mine from Italy was traveling in India, she slipped and broke a bone in her ankle. The doctor applied a below-the-knee cast, and told her she shouldn’t put any weight on it or travel for several weeks. Being a lifelong practitioner of Yoganandaji’s teaching, she spent her “house arrest” in a hotel room, daily sending energy to the broken bone, and visualizing it whole again.
After three weeks, the doctor was amazed when she looked at the new x-rays, and said, “Remarkable healing.” She removed the cumbersome, heavy cast, and gave her a light air cast. Our friend will soon be on the road again.
But this life force can be used for more than just healing broken bones, because prana is also conscious. The parts of our life that are broken in other ways—unresolved emotions, past hurts, karmic blocks with people, patterns of mental resistance—all can be healed by directed life force.
First we need to become sensitively aware of where the “break” in the energy flow is, and then channel prana there. Without needing to analyze exactly why or how the problem arose psychologically, we can send the consciously-aware life force to untangle our emotional knots and make us whole again. The key is to be ready to let go of the past, and to allow the flow of subtle energy to heal us.
Ultimately, for those seeking spiritual freedom, we can direct this prana in meditation, sending it to higher centers of awareness. When we do this repeatedly through regular practice, our consciousness becomes filled with energy and expands to feel its oneness with a greater reality.
Like the little plants that grow to be huge when bathed in Hawaii’s prana, we can become heightened expressions of ourselves. Once we know how to work with this divine life force, we can use it to unlock our own potential—physically, mentally, and spiritually—and begin to realize who and what we really are.
As Yoganandaji once said, “What is this life flowing in my veins? Could it be other than divine?”