This past Friday was the launch of Nayaswamis Jyotish and Devi’s new book Touch of Love: Living The Teachings of Paramhansa Yogananda. This book is a compilation of weekly letters they posted in 2017 and 2018 to their popular blog, A Touch of Light. Many gathered to celebrate the birth of these inspired writings at the Chado Tea Room in Hollywood. The room was alive with divine friendship and very much filled to the brim with love!

During tea, Jyotish was sharing about the nature of challenges. I listened intently, knowing that this was something I and the world needed to hear right now.

He shared that life is simply a series of challenges, one after the other. And that, even at this time in his life, he finds that there is no shortage of challenges; because beyond each challenge is the opportunity for more joy. If bliss is ever-new and ever-expanding, the challenges that help us break past our comfort zone are also always there, waiting for us to rise in faith once more.

One of the teachings I’ve embraced wholeheartedly since coming to Ananda is Yogananda’s saying, “A smooth life is not a victorious life.” When I heard these words for the first time, it immediately awakened a sense of courage, and it helped me understand more deeply the role of challenges in my spiritual growth.

For many years, and still some days, I catch myself thinking that things should be easier or why is this happening? Maybe you can relate? Sometimes we fool ourselves into thinking that once we accomplish this or get that done, that somehow life will get easier.

But I’ve found that unless what you’re “getting done” is meditation, then life continues to be life! As Devi shared during Sunday service about the spiritual path, “on the one hand it’s hard… on the other hand, it’s not that hard.” With a dedicated meditation practice, with the practice of Kriya Yoga, we can continue to experience ever-new joy and unwavering faith, no matter what challenges surround us (individually or globally).

After the tea room, I went home and opened up my copy of Touch of Love. I asked Master to lead me to the pages that I needed to meditate on before retiring for the night. I happened to open to Devi’s entry, Finding Your Spiritual Power in 2018. It was very much a continuation of Jyotish’s sharing at the tea room. The first paragraph that caught my eye was,

“Yoganandaji said that every test we face in life is a test of our willpower, and that we are never given a test that we don’t have the ability to overcome. Once we understand these two points, we are armed with powerful weapons to lead us to victory.”

On the spiritual path, victory is staying in the attitude of love and not surrendering your joy to likes and dislikes when life gets tough. In addition to meditation, I highly encourage reciting the affirmations for courage in Yoganandaji’s book, How To Have Courage, Calmness, and Confidence. I’ll leave you with one that I think we could all use right now:

I will wipe the dream of fears of disease, sadness, and ignorance from the soul’s face of silence, with the veil of Divine Mother’s peace.

I will wipe the dream of fears of disease, sadness, and ignorance from the soul’s face of silence, with the veil of Divine Mother’s peace.

I will wipe the dream of fears of disease, sadness, and ignorance from the soul’s face of silence, with the veil of Divine Mother’s peace.

In Joy,
Pritha