How to Overcome Dry Spells in Meditation

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, … Read More

Divine Delight

Have you ever experienced highway hypnosis? This is a trance-like state while you are driving a car responding to external events in the expected, safe manner with no recollection of doing so. You arrive in your driveway and think, “How did I get home?” Advertisers are aware of this phenomenon and that’s why they use billboards to advertise to a “captive” highway audience.  Here is a funny example of two billboards right next to each other. Would you be more … Read More

A Hong-Sau Takeover

When Dr. Lewis first met Paramhansa Yogananda, the guru said to his first kriya yoga disciple in America, “Will you always love me as I love you?”  Even though Dr. Lewis was meeting Yogananda for the first time, he felt an irresistible divine love and attraction to the young Indian Swami. Dr. Lewis said, “Yes, I give you my unconditional love.” Rubbing his hands together, Yogananda replied, “Good, now I can take charge of your life.” What does it mean … Read More

Clearer Reception

Forcefully, a paw will unexpectedly pat one of my legs, back, forearms, hands, sometimes with affectionate kicking to follow!  Bibi, our tabby cat with piercing green eyes, makes it clear if she wants attention, even though she gets an equal amount with her two male siblings Boris and Max.  Companionship, closeness, reassurance, playfulness; clearly, we are not the only species that display these needs. Indeed, the yoga master Paramhansa Yogananda taught that soul friendships are great blessings and wishing goodwill … Read More

When Yogananda Speaks Let’s Listen

“In deep meditation, this painting comes to life.” These words were spoken to me during a visit to the home of Tulsi Bose, who was the boyhood best friend of Paramhansa Yogananda. They came from the mouth of Tulsi’s daughter, a saintly woman, Hassi Mukherjee, regarding a painting of Krishna that adorned her living room altar. I don’t remember what amazed me more – that she knew what I was seeing or what I was seeing! It was as though … Read More

How to Finish Your Desires

My mother used to say, “Be careful what you wish for, you just may get it.” She was expressing a deeper truth — every desire must be fulfilled. Desire, Paramhansa Yogananda taught, directs our energy.  When I first heard Yogananda’s voice on a recording, I remember him thundering, “You must finish your desires!”  As I was new on the spiritual path, I thought, “Goodness, how in the world can I finish my desires?!” It seemed like an insurmountable task to … Read More

Discipleship Is Joy

Dharmadevi and I watched a movie the other night called, “The Disciple.” It’s a story about a young Indian man who has a passion for Indian classical music. He learns from his father growing up and then his teacher who he considers his guru.  There are some soul stirring scenes and you can feel why India considers the voice to be the most beautiful instrument. The voice conveys subtle aspects of feeling and when used in attunement with the Divine … Read More

The Last Word of Swami Kriyananda: “Anything”

Swami Kriyananda, one of the last living direct disciples of Paramhansa Yogananda, left us with a parting gift—the gift of his last word: anything. This simple word exemplifies the attitude towards life which Swami Kriyananda lived by, and which he set as an example for all of us as truth seekers on the spiritual path. Within this word are two qualities characteristic of Swamiji as a disciple: willingness and courage. These qualities are especially relevant to all of us as … Read More

Perfect Understanding

“The Guru knows every thought you think… can you imagine? But… he understands you perfectly!” I will never forget hearing these words from a direct disciple of Paramhansa Yogananda. They were (and still are) so comforting. Yes, the Guru knows all of our faults, all of our stupid actions, all of our negativity, BUT he knows exactly how we got to where we are and exactly how we will get out of this mess of delusion. In a letter of … Read More

Powered by Grace

I have often experienced periods that feel like an uphill battle while meditating. I may be distracted by an outside life challenge, or just subconscious circuitry, that seems to go round and round, as if on a hamster wheel.  A loving message from an old story I knew as a child called The Little Engine that Could has helped me during these, and other times in my life. It tells of a little train, humble in scale, who was begged by teary-eyed dolls … Read More