By Nayaswami Narayan Romano
June 3, 2018

One time I lamented to Swami Kriyananda that I couldn’t see light in meditation. I felt like I was a lackluster meditator. He told me, “It’s good to see the light. But if you don’t, concentrate on that aspect of God that you do experience.” This was a helpful answer for me at the time as I was struggling then (as I am still now!) with restlessness in my meditation.

How do we battle restlessness in meditation? A few years ago an ancient yogic text was discovered that gives us a mystic key. What is the name of this newly discovered ancient text divine? You may be reading this on a cell phone which will give you added appreciation. It’s called The Cell Phone Yama Sutras.

The first sutra states with sublime crystal clarity: “You use the cell phone, it does not use you.”

The second sutra rings with a more practical tone: “We can’t see the light of God if we’re focused on the light of our cell phone.”

The third sutra resounds with wisdom needed now more than ever: “Just turn it off.”

During the Kriyaban Retreat this past week at Ananda Village, Nayaswami Jyotish offered another piece of advice to help us overcome restlessness. To develop love for God, Jyotish said the first step is to see that no other desire hinder its flow. Jyotish encouraged us to simply change our habit patterns in the morning so we begin our day with the thought of God and not get drawn into emails before inner communion. You can’t think of God, though, if you’re being manhandled by your cell phone!

One time Paramhansa Yogananda began to drink ginger ale on a daily basis. After a week or so, he realized he was really looking forward to that next ginger ale. He said, “Uh-oh, the ginger ale is drinking me!” From then onward he dropped the habit and said (I paraphrase), “I quit the ginger ale! If I ever drink it again, I drink the ginger ale. It will not drink me!”

Develop such self-control that you don’t let your cell phone boss you around. Remember you own it, it doesn’t own you! Before you start your day and get drawn into email and texts, affirm: “I am Master of my body, I am Master of myself.”

As the Lion of Bengal, Swami Sri Yukteswar, said, “Roam in the world as a lion of self-control; see that the frogs of weakness don’t kick you around.”