In his magnificent poem “God! God! God!,” Paramhansa Yogananda writes these lines:

When boisterous storms of trials shriek,
And when worries howl at me,
I will drown their noises, loudly chanting:
God! God! God!

Who among us has not had to deal with his share of trials? And when storms of trials arrive, the advance troops are the howling winds of worry. It is worry, even more than the trial itself, that usually does damage to our peace and happiness.

Recently, the world of Ananda has been facing some challenges, as is true with any growing organization. While these tests are not personally directed at Devi and me, we nonetheless are deeply involved in doing our part to deal with them. And even though I am generally of a calm and even-minded nature, worries have been howling around in my mind. Perhaps it will be helpful to you if I share some of my strategies for dealing with them.

First, as Yogananda suggests, God is the solution to every test, so I am doing everything I can to keep my mind God-centered. This includes meditating more, trying to feel the presence and support of God and Guru throughout the day, and repeating a chant in the background of my thoughts. It hasn’t killed the worries, but it has helped diminish them.

If I allow the worries to gather momentum, it is hard to keep focused in meditation. For this, I have a several tools in my tool belt. The first is to try to become very present in observing my breath and using the techniques of this path. Pranayama is much more effective than thought for controlling agitated feelings.

Sometimes, though, the mind is so restless that even keeping focused on a technique is difficult. Then I have found this visualization helpful: I imagine being in a round room, which is my inner temple. Around the walls are many doors leading to various outer rooms of distraction: rooms such as worries, projects, memories, etc. I first must make a clear, conscious decision to be in my temple, which brings the mind into the here and now. Then, I mentally shut each door. The door that leads to my particular worry of the moment, I not only close, but lock, meaning that I refuse to allow my mind to go there. Once I am truly determined to do so, it is not too hard to close off those thoughts. How does one summon that determination? It is an act of devotion, of calling to God even desperately for help, if that’s what it takes. That is what Master meant in writing, “I will drown their noises, loudly chanting: God! God! God!”

After the disrupting energy is calmed, I focus deeply at the spiritual eye and try to bring all my energy and awareness there. When a door of distraction opens on its own, I find it relatively easy to shut it again if I do it right away. After a few attempts, the door of worry stays shut. The effort needed to slam the door two or three times pays great dividends in bringing peace and calmness.

When I am centered again, I then try to focus deeply on my techniques, on devotion, and on inner communion with God. This is the true solution, because when the consciousness is raised, worries won’t arise. Having drowned the noises of worries, as Yogananda advised, the time has come to chant inwardly, now, “God! God! God!”

In peace,

Nayaswami Jyotish

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  1. Dear Jyotish,

    Thank you so much for the wonderful detailed advice you gave us for overcoming worries. I too am usually fairly even minded, however, there are times when we certainly need something extra. I am going to print this out and keep it for future reference.
    What a blessing both of you are to all of us as examples of how to live this life close to God and Master.

    Love and blessings, Gloria

  2. Thank you so much dear Jyotish. So beautiful your advice and the image of closing the door, and locking it. I will pray that whatever trials come Ananda’s way will be deterred by God and Guru, because Ananda is home to so many of Master’s children, and a nest of love for disciples to grow, and find our way home. AUM

  3. Dearest Jyotish,

    God bless you and thank you for sharing this.
    Lately too, devotion has been my raft in the storm of maya.
    I am so grateful for the clear way you expressed this.

    ” It is an act of devotion, of calling to God even desperately for help, if that’s what it takes. That is what Master meant in writing, “I will drown their noises, loudly chanting: God! God! God!”.”
    Thank you!
    May we all deepen our devotion and find peace within.
    ~~~Josette

  4. THANK YOU So much, Jyotish for sharing your personal experiences dealing with worries and meditation. I REALLY NEEDED to hear the exact practices and techniques you use, as I am in the middle of moving a long distance across the country and have lots of worries that
    keep nibbling at my peace of mind. I will certainly put your suggestions into action. I particularly liked the round room of the inner temple and shutting (and locking) certain doors

  5. Thank you Jyotish! Whether dealing with real worries or simply a restless mind these techniques are very helpful.

  6. A beautiful process, Jyotish. Thanks for sharing this. I do something similar as set forth in the Gita, chanting Ohm or Aum at the 3rd eye. I
    also find it useful to inquire of myself to see where I might be in error in my thinking for I know in my heart that all is perfection in the Divine plan, even though I may forget this from time to time. Love and blessings, Vasudeva (aka, Larry Kiser)

  7. Jyotish,
    Thank you so much for sharing what works for you when worries howl. I am a visual person and creating a vision of a round room with doors is wonderful. I am learning that it okay to use visual creativity to help calm the mind.

    In Joy,
    Linda Hagen

  8. Dear Nayaswami Jyotish Ji,
    Thank you for the blog… I’ve been having these exact lines from Master’s poem as my status for a couple of weeks and keep calling God when I find the situation tough.
    Sincere thanks for the tips on how to practice and the simple explanation.

    Master’s Chela
    Prem

  9. Thank you so much for this reading. I am dealing with anxiety (through medical and spiritual means) and I believe the same process would be a huge help.

    With gratitude, Jan, Beaverton, OR

  10. Dear brother,
    So helpful, in these Times, your words concise, are very helpful to me at this time. I am so very grateful for your guidance and directly from Master and Swamiji 💙

  11. Thank you jyotish … very helpful to feel such willingness, will power, focus toward the Light right now.
    Love and gratitude

  12. The essential benefits of living in a superconscious state are so profound that unwanted worries fears and other negative feelings won’t disturb at all !

  13. “The wrestler always fights with a stronger wrestler” as Master put it 🙂 He is outside the ring, cheering us on. Jai Guru, joy to you.

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