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. On the other hand, we have to face the reality of living in this world with multiple responsibilities and limited time.
It was one of the most remarkable evenings of my life. I sat mesmerized, along with nearly two thousand five hundred others in the auditorium, listening to ragas played by some of India’s finest musicians. Shiv Kumar Sharma and Hari Prasad Chaurasia have spent a lifetime mastering Indian classical music and have been awarded the highest honors of a grateful nation.
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.
We are on the move again. We will have slept in four different hotels in the last week. Moreover, the maximum weight for flying in India is 15 kilograms (33 pounds). That’s the limit of our portable possessions these days.
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.
Generally, insights are proceeded by a certain train of thought. But once in a while they just plop into the mind like a raindrop falling from a clear sky. Yesterday, while meditating with the Ananda Assisi community, a perception popped into my mind without any preamble: “We need to move from ‘Nowhere’ to ‘Now Here.’” Plop!
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.