Some years ago we were completing the work on Swami Kriyananda’s dome at Ananda Village, the initial building of what has evolved over time into Crystal Hermitage. Although the interior of the dome still needed work to transform it from a building site into a home, Swamiji was eager to move in.
We have been helping give a Meditation Teacher Training course here in India, and, as part of the training, we talked about how to give magnetic classes. But the same principles apply to other areas of life: doing your job with magnetism, or having magnetic relationships, or developing the magnetism that draws God. Magnetism, you see, is produced whenever there is a flow of energy. It follows a basic law stated by Paramhansa Yogananda: “The greater the will, the greater the flow of energy. And the greater the flow of energy, the greater the magnetism.” It is not too simplistic to say that this is also the law of success in any endeavor.
“Doctor, please help me. I think that I’m really sick,” the worried patient said. “My body hurts all over: when I touch my arm, it hurts; when I touch my chest, it hurts; when I touch my head, it hurts.”
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.
We have been reading a very interesting book: Being Mortal, by Atul Gawande. It’s a thoughtful, well-written examination of aging and dying, subjects often ignored in modern society. Someday, perhaps, I will write a blog about that, but not today. This blog is about a small part of the process—about how helpful it is to prepare for difficulties before a crisis comes. For preparation makes a huge difference. How, then, can we prepare spiritually for life’s storms?
“I really want to meditate more deeply, but I have a hard time concentrating.” This is a complaint we often hear from devotees. The mind seems to be programmed to be restless. A recent study by Microsoft showed that in the last thirteen years the length of time people can concentrate has decreased on average from 12 to 8 seconds. In fact, the study claimed that the typical person now has less ability to concentrate than a goldfish! This is partly due to the pace of life in modern times, and is made worse by media and social media consumption, technology, and multi-screening.
Many people have a very complex relationship with their Heavenly Father/Mother, just as they do with their earthly parents. In fact, many attitudes and complexes toward God are simply projections of feelings experienced when growing up. Those from harsher backgrounds can see God as disapproving and vengeful, while those raised in loving and tolerant homes tend to see a loving God. Yet even the most loving parents can be misjudged.
[caption id="attachment_17039" align="alignright" width="300"] Let us join together in this wave of social transformation, and through our practice of meditation create a spirit of global unity that can lead to lasting peace.[/caption]
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.
The New Year will soon make its entrance onto the stage of our life, bringing with it the inescapable gains and losses, happiness and suffering. But no matter what adversities may lie ahead, they needn’t cause us suffering if we choose to live each day in greater awareness of God’s presence. Where God’s light is, no shadow can dwell.