Paramhansa Yogananda said, “I once met a very successful and wealthy man, who said to me, ‘I’m disgustingly healthy, and disgustingly wealthy.’ ‘However,’ I replied, ‘you are not “disgustingly happy,” are you?’ He admitted he was not. Soon afterward, he became a student of this path.”
Recently I received an email laced with unfair criticism, and my first reaction was to get defensive. I could feel my mind speeding up, getting ready to argue. Then I had a flash of insight and remembrance: You can’t fight darkness with more darkness. I decided instead to neutralize negativity with gratitude. I thought about this person and recalled several things about him for which I was grateful. Within minutes my happiness level began to climb. I realized then that gratitude brings happiness.
Paramhansa Yogananda explained that everyone in the world is driven by the same motivation: the desire to be happy and to avoid suffering. What makes life so complex is the variety of ways we chase happiness. There is a kind of Happiness Cycle that works like this:
The chemotherapy drug slowly dripped into my friend’s arm as we sat in the treatment room. She had been diagnosed some months earlier with an aggressive form of breast cancer, and, after surgery, was receiving a regime of outpatient chemotherapy treatments.
Paramhansa Yogananda’s mission was to help usher the whole world, with greater understanding and spiritual insight, into Dwapara Yuga, the new Age of Energy in which we live. It was a world-changing mission, and therefore his teachings needed to be revolutionary. In some cases what he taught was well known in India but created a revolution in the West. Others of his teachings were completely new to this age. Let’s look at some of both.
It was quiet and cool in the interior of the dimly lit church – a dramatic contrast to the ceaseless activity on the college campus during this hot day in late spring of 1969. A friend had given me Autobiography of a Yogi to read, and it had awakened in me a keen desire to learn to meditate.
The natural food for the mind is joy, and we’re always hungry until we find the ability to feast on that joy.