Have you ever experienced a dry spell in your meditation practice? Recently, I started to notice that my meditations were becoming increasingly difficult.
What was the problem?
I didn’t realize until I found the answer. One day before meditation, I randomly opened up The Essence of Self-realization to this excerpt:
“While meditating, don’t concentrate on the results of meditation. Meditate, rather, to please God. If you seek results, you will be disappointed if they don’t come.
“In the Bhagavad Gita, Krishna counsels action without desire for the fruits of action. Meditation, too, should be approached in this spirit.
“Meditate without attachment to the fruits of meditation.”
“Aha!,” I realized my problem was one of attitude. Rather than simply offering myself in love and devotion without thinking of the results, my emphasis was on will power and perfectly practicing the techniques. As a result, my meditations were becoming filled with tension.
As soon as my attitude shifted to pleasing God, I relaxed and the quality of my meditations were transformed.
In short, I was trying too hard!
Another story from The Essence of Self-realization comes to mind:
A disciple was having difficulty with his meditations. He asked Paramhansa Yogananda, “Am I not trying hard enough?”
The Master answered, “You are trying too hard. You are using too much will power. It becomes nervous. Just be relaxed and natural.
“As long as you try to meditate, you won’t be able to, just as you can’t sleep so long as you will yourself to sleep. Will power should be used gradually. Otherwise, it may become detrimental. That’s why it is better, in the beginning, to emphasize relaxation.”
Try this one simple yet profound attitude adjustment: meditate to please God. It will help you overcome dry periods by watering your practice with self giving love.
When you do, your heart will become, as Paramhansa Yogananda says in his metaphysical meditation, a “Mystic Throne.”
With joy & Blessings,
by Paramhansa Yogananda from Metaphysical Meditations
In the corner of my heart I have a mystic throne for Thee. The candles of my joys are dimly lighted in the hope of Thy coming.
They will burn brighter when Thou appearest. Whether Thou comest or not, I will wait for Thee until my tears melt away all material grossness.
To please Thee my love-perfumed tears will wash Thy feet of silence. The altar of my soul will be kept empty until Thou comest.
I will talk not; I will ask naught of Thee. I will wait, realizing that Thou knowest the pangs of my heart while I wait for Thee.