She was a poor cleaning woman working in a hospital in Chennai, India, where a friend of ours also worked as a doctor. There was something about her that awakened compassion in our friend’s heart, and a desire to help. Perhaps it was because the lady seemed so alone in the world and had a small child to raise; whatever the reasons, our friend felt strongly that she should aid her.
Recently while in Assisi, we watched a film called “St. Giuseppe Moscati: Doctor to the Poor,” which was written and directed by a good friend and fellow disciple, Giacomo Campiotti. Watching the film some years earlier, Swami Kriyananda had said it was the best spiritual movie he’d ever seen. We certainly agree.
We were sitting in the radiant, late-August sunlight at the Ananda Retreat, overlooking the gently rolling Umbrian hills outside of Assisi, Italy, chatting with a friend of ours from Rome. She told us with joy in her warm, brown eyes and a sweet smile on her lips, “I recently came to the Retreat feeling quite depressed about many aspects of my life. But after being here for only three days, my thoughts now are filled with such peace, and my problems all seem so trivial.”
“There is a hidden strength within me to overcome all obstacles. I will bring forth that indomitable power and energy.” Paramhansa Yogananda shared this formidable thought with us, and gave us tools to accomplish that great goal. Here are five effective ways to build our inner power.
The sun rose an unnatural shade of red-orange in the hazy early morning sky. Though the burning forests and towns were hundreds of miles from Ananda Village, the wind was blowing the smoke in our direction. The air quality was unhealthy and the temperatures were high, but still they came. They were building a temple of light.
As I entered the chemistry lab on the basement floor of the hospital, no one was there to greet me, only racks of dirty test tubes. My part-time job during my last semester in college was to clean the vials after the chemists had left for the day.
“But, that’s so unfair!” How many times have you spoken these words, or at least had this thought? I know I often have. Maybe someone else got the praise for something that you did. Or maybe you got the blame for something you didn’t do. It’s hard to resist this thought when we see ruthless, selfish people gaining power over others, while honest, selfless people are left to struggle. Then it’s all too easy to lose faith and become cynical.
Over ten thousand people gathered on the grounds of the iconic India Gate in Delhi, India; at the same time many thousands congregated at the United Nations Plaza in New York City. Why had they all come? Was it part of some global political protest? Yes and No.
My alarm clock went off in the early hours each morning. Though it was still dark and often cold, I knew that if I didn’t get up immediately, I’d be late. My small trailer had no electricity or running water; I’d light a kerosene lamp, wash up with water from a gallon jug I carried home each day, and then sit to meditate.