The group of thirty people broke up into pairs, laughing as they began to play “Camera,” one of Joseph Bharat Cornell’s Sharing Nature games. It was the last afternoon of a three-day course we’re developing, “Living the Gita,” which will be the basis for the new Yogananda Institute to be established in Delhi.
This article by us came out on September 20 in the Times of India, the largest newspaper in the country. Another article we wrote for them a few years ago had more than a hundred thousand views and three hundred comments. It is a wonderful way to reach large numbers of readers. I thought you might enjoy reading this new one.
There’s a story about a guru who made a strange request of three of his disciples. “I will give each of you a banana. I want you to find a place where no one is watching, and then eat your banana. Come back to me as soon as you have completed your task.”
I had an insight in meditation a few days ago. I’m sure that these flashes must come to you also when your mind is calm and open. I was trying to deepen my concentration, and failing. This is a common hurdle for all meditators: Even Paramhansa Yogananda’s thoughts were “distributed like leaves in a storm” a few minutes before his guru gave him his first experience of cosmic consciousness. It would be time well spent to read or reread that account in Autobiography of a Yogi.
We arrived in Delhi, India, a few days ago and have been simultaneously getting over jetlag, settling into a new apartment, and giving energy to an exciting project that Ananda is developing here. In case you haven’t heard, a dynamic team is working to create the Yogananda Institute, a learning hub open to people on all levels of spiritual interest to share the Master’s wisdom, techniques, and tools for daily life.
There was something missing; the life I was living was a cage. Yes, the cage was comfortable—I had a good job, earning both money and respect—but I felt constrained, earthbound. In my spare time I began to climb hills and mountains, gradually conquering the highest peaks. For a time it was satisfying, even thrilling. The vistas I saw were vast, stunning, and far more expansive than my life in the city. But no matter how far I traveled, or how high I climbed, my boots were a prisoner to gravity still.
We are at our community in Assisi, Italy, participating in a weeklong course called, “The Way of the Spiritual Warrior.” Devi and I, as well as other speakers, have drawn heavily on Paramhansa Yogananda’s explanations of the deep teachings in the Bhagavad Gita. That scripture is an allegory of the battle between our higher soul-tendencies and our lower, ego-driven worldly qualities. Each of us, impelled by the desire to reconnect to our true Self, must fight this battle, and the spiritual path gives us the tools and support that we need.
There’s a delightful story about a sculptor who was renowned for his ability to create marble statues filled with life. After carving an amazingly lifelike image of an elephant, he was asked, “How were you able to make the elephant look so real?”