It’s an interesting experience to pick up the threads of your life after returning home from a long absence. Since late August we’ve been visiting and teaching in our centers in Italy and India, and have just returned to Ananda Village after four months. Readjusting to the responsibilities and rhythms of our life here requires some time and effort.

To help ground myself in being back, I find it helpful to connect with familiar objects around the house. One morning a few days ago as I entered our meditation room to begin sadhana, my eyes traveled across the altar. There I lovingly regarded the sacred and precious items that we’ve placed there over the years: the carved Kashmiri box that Swami Kriyananda gave us after one of his trips to India; the dried red and white roses in a glass container from our wedding ceremony nearly forty years ago; the mala of pearls and lapis strung by a friend who has since passed away; the wooden box our son made when he was young, which we use as a repository for special items.

“Why be sad? Each memory lives forever in the consciousness of God. Feel His joy permeating each memory, and know that every experience—past, present, and future—dwells forever in that joy.”

Each memory lives forever in the consciousness of God.

Remembering the story behind each item, a wave of nostalgia and then sadness began to sweep over me, as I dwelt on the passing of time and the cherished moments that are no more. Suddenly an almost electrically charged thought filled me: “Why be sad? Each memory lives forever in the consciousness of God. Feel His joy permeating each memory, and know that every experience—past, present, and future—dwells forever in that joy.”

The inner downward flow of energy that had been pulling me into sadness was reversed into a powerful upward-moving current which quickly changed my mood. In that moment I saw that though time seems to pass, leaving our experiences beyond reach, the presence of joy behind all of our memories is unchanging and graspable.

A few days later, as though to confirm this understanding, I came across these words of Swamiji’s: “Don’t be identified with your outward form, nor with change, but live in timelessness. It is our identity with change that creates the illusion of passing time.”

May we see beyond the illusion of time, which brings the appearance of change and loss, and instead experience God’s unchanging joy always within our reach.

In divine friendship,
Nayaswami Devi

19 Comments

Post Comment
  1. So very true! I realized this also and feel I didn’t lose anyone or any precious moment in my life. They all live inside me ! . . . Inside the beautiful God and Guru inside me. I love you dear Devi. Mariana

  2. So wise and true… especially in this period where we can really get caught up in nostalgia and sadness about our past experiences. JOY! JOY! JOY! JAI! JAI! JAI! Thank you!! Blessings to all!

  3. Dear Nayaswami Devi Ji,

    Thank you for the article. What a wonderful thought by Swamiji’s: “Don’t be identified with your outward form, nor with change, but live in timelessness. It is our identity with change that creates the illusion of passing time.”
    To be noted and followed

    We are just thinking about the good memories in past and at time crib that we grew up.

    God & Guru grant us the courage to accept the things 🙂

    Aum,
    Prem

  4. Thank you, Devi. This was especially meaningful for me during this Christmas time away from “Home” again.
    Was feeling a little sad, but with this reminder, I am remembering that my “Home is within….
    A beautiful Touch of Light!
    Love,
    Roma

    1. Remember, dear friend, that sadness can turn on a dime to become joy if we lift our hearts to God.
      With love always,

  5. Dear Devi, I so love this posting. As I am nearing the final years in this incarnation, I find myself remembering and notice that those memories feel so “alive”…which is that reminder of the nearness of all in Divine Mother’s play of life. You are a beautiful singer of her lila. Thank you and Joyous Christmas.

    1. All of these are so moving, timely, and full of divine wisdom – a true treasure!

      Thank you,

      Gary

  6. Dear Devi,
    Bless you. I so needed to hear these words today, as I am feeling the “downward pull”. A great reminder: “Why be sad? Each memory lives forever in the consciousness of God.” Thank you.
    ~~~Peace, Josette

  7. Thank you for this story. Especially at holiday time, we can get caught up in the passing of time and how things used to be, and your experience brings us up into the present, to experience joy in the present, and know that joy/bilss is beyond time if we are in God.

  8. Thank you for reminding me that we are not the ups and downs of life but eternal spirit behind this dream. That is why I love Paramhansa Yogananda’s teachings, they make so much practical sense in dealing with our day to day lives and the meaning of life.

  9. This is such a beautiful insight into how to transmute nostaglia, the act of attaching our inner joy to an outer event. Swamiji’s comment is very potent–especially since his own passing. . . . Thank you for this post, Deviji.

  10. Dearest Friend, Devi,
    Thank you for this posting ~~ it reminds me that we can re-direct our own energy flow at any time, just by turning our attention inward & consciously connecting with God & Guru. Thank you so much for this reminder. much Love!

Comments are closed.