I’m feeling better today. I fasted yesterday, in part to help clear out some respiratory congestion I’ve had since we got back from India a few days ago. For this particular purpose, I did a fast called the “Master Cleanse,” in which you drink a “lemonade” consisting of lemon juice, Grade B maple syrup, and a little cayenne powder, diluted with water. Occasionally Devi and I will do Paramhansa Yogananda’s marvelous Nine-Day Cleansing and Vitalizing Diet, which consists of lots of citrus, raw vegetables, a daily steamed vegetable, and a special “vitality beverage.”
We recently read a story about Pete Seeger, the well-known singer and social activist. Many of his songs became themes for social justice, environmental awareness, and non-violence. Here is the wonderful story:
Recently in Mumbai, India, we were asked the question: “What are some of the lessons you’ve learned on your spiritual journey, especially those involving Swami Kriyananda?” I’d like to share some of my responses with you, because they touch on issues that each of us faces as a devotee.
Making good decisions is one of life’s most important skills, and yet we have gotten virtually no training. Sometimes even life-defining choices such as marriage, job, or taking up a spiritual quest are given little energy. Here is an illuminating example.
“Master wants you to lecture in his place at the San Diego temple this weekend. . . . He also wants you to give a Kriya Yoga Initiation afterwards.” These words were delivered to Swami Kriyananda (then James Donald Walters) after he had been with his guru, Paramhansa Yogananda, for only a few months.
“I’m feeling so stressed at work. What can I do about it?”
I’m a people watcher: I love observing people as they go about their business. I try to see what their faces and body language reveal, and then imagine what they’re like and what kind of lives they lead.
We recently attended a program by an Indian doctor on the power of the mind. Some years ago he was dying of cancer, was given only a few days to live. Then he had an experience of God telling him he would be healed through the power of his mind. In his case, God had to come three times to reassure him, since his thoughts kept slipping back into doubt and hopelessness. He was completely cured and has dedicated himself to helping others do the same.
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.