The “Prayer of Abandonment”

“I remained twelve years without denying or believing anything, despairing of the truth and not even believing in God. There was no convincing proof.” “At 17 I was totally selfish, full of vanity and irreverence, engulfed by a desire for what is evil. I was running wild.” “I was in the dark. I no longer saw either God or men: There was only me.” These were the words of Charles de Foucauld born in France in 1858. At the age … Read More

Yogananda’s Nine-Day Detox Diet

It’s a New Year! What better time to renew and recharge our body batteries, perhaps shed a few pounds, and slough off that post-holiday sluggish feeling. In the “Wisdom” series, Volume 6, How to Achieve Glowing Health and Vitality, Paramhansa Yogananda packs so much of his practical healing techniques of Yogoda, covering diet, exercises, and vibrational healing. Diet is a large part of this little but important volume in the Wisdom series. Yogananda describes the cleanse as  “ …a method for rejuvenating … Read More

God Is Always More

Being with my mom as she begins her process of transitioning from this world to the next, I find myself reflecting on the many lessons she has taught me.  I was about 18 years old and reawakening to the idea of there being a higher power in the universe but was not yet comfortable with the term “God.” However, Jesus’ message – “the kingdom of God is within you” – resonated deeply in my mind.  As I was contemplating this … Read More

Soul Song

Last year, one of my new year’s resolutions was to speak to Dharmadevi with a sweet tone of voice. In India the voice is thought to be the perfect musical instrument because it has the capacity to convey consciousness most clearly. Some saints even heal through the tone of their voice. Everyone has a favorite song or singer. Why? I suspect it’s something in the tone of their voice that we find irresistible. For example, I love listening to Swami … Read More

A Christmas Message from Paramhansa Yogananda

December 1950 My Christmas wish for you this year is twofold: that the consciousness of Christ be manifest in you through deep meditation, and that your exemplary actions will persuade others to abandon their evil or worldly ways and become spiritual. Both meditation and action are necessary or the spiritual path, for they contribute toward individual and mass evolution. It is not God’s will to develop spiritually in a selfish way, i.e., without extending help to oth- ers who are suffering. … Read More

The Nutcracker of Intuition

A couple of weeks ago at the beginning of the Holy Season, Dharmadevi and I received a piece of hatemail. It was unexpected to say the least. We were preparing for Christmas and, lo, we were condemned by a “Christian.” How ironic! As I read the letter, I was reminded of when Paramhansa Yogananda received a scathingly critical letter from one of his own disciples. Rather than getting upset, the next time the Master saw him he said, “That was … Read More

Turn Criticism on Yourself

During the silence and inwardness of seclusion, with nothing outward to distract me, I realized something astounding. I spend a lot of time critiquing others. I don’t mean I was necessarily thinking negatively of people – this was more subtle – but just as dangerous spiritually. My behavior, I realized, was not only a waste of time and brainpower, it was putting those people into a box that was not of their highest reality as a soul but rather of … Read More

Friendship

As a kid growing up, I started getting into some trouble. One time when I was only 14, I was arrested for underage drinking. My mother decided it was time for an intervention. Her parental approach was not the normal: “What were you thinking?!… You could have killed yourself!… You’re young and stupid!” These were all true, yet she acted with tact and consideration. I remember sitting down with her at the kitchen table and she simply said to me, … Read More

Karma – Our Own Responsibility

One of the first and most disturbing stories in the Mahabharata is about Shantanu and Ganga. Ganga is a gorgeous goddess that Shantanu, the king, falls in love with instantaneously. She agrees to marry him on one condition – that he never question her about anything. He agrees.  They are incredibly happy together, except for one major problem. Every year, Ganga gives birth to a beautiful baby boy, and immediately after birthing the baby, she proceeds to drown it in … Read More

Claiming Your Spine As Your Own

Last week, I decided to take a trip up to Mount San Antonio, otherwise known by locals as Mount Baldy. Standing at 10,140 feet, this dramatic peak is a mountaineer’s dream of alpine wilderness, icy mountain waterfalls, and breathtaking panoramic views of the San Gabriel Mountain Range.  There are several route options to summit, but my chosen route was called the Devil’s Backbone. This name gives you a clue into the difficulty of the trail. After climbing over 3,000 feet … Read More