By Nayaswami Dharmadevi
June 25, 2019

During a class in discipleship a friend shared how she felt a deepening connection with God when she offered her heart’s love and energy upward to the point between her eyebrows. She visualized Paramhansa Yogananda at that point and felt she was offering her unconditional love to him.

A few weeks later, I saw her and asked how her meditations were going. She said, “It’s just so hard to remember!” She explained that when she did remember to offer her heart’s feelings inward and upward, everything went well, and when she didn’t… they didn’t.

This conversation reminded me of a series of dreams I had before moving to Ananda Village in Northern California. Each dream started out in a different place, with different circumstances, so I wasn’t aware it was the same theme. The dreams, probably seven in all, grew in intensity until I learned the lesson.

Here was one of the dreams, so you can get an idea of what they were like:

I was relaxing at a friend’s house, when suddenly the front door flung open and a demon was standing in the doorway. It was a floating black figure with no face, just beady red eyes. Definitely not someone you’d invite in for tea! I instinctively held up my hands and sent waves of light at the demon, blasting it out of the doorway and back into the street. It seemed I had the upper hand.

The demon came back with full force, sending powerful waves of darkness at me. The pressure was intense. The demon began growing in size – I wasn’t getting any bigger. We did battle this way for quite a while. I started getting tired and realized I was out of my league and it was only a matter of time before the demon would totally overpower me.

Finally, I remembered and called out in a loud voice, “Christ!” Instantaneously, the demon shrunk to nothingness, the darkness disappeared, and the dream ended.

I awoke from each of these dreams with a jolt. Feelings of deep disappointment would flood my mind for forgetting to call on God and Guru right from the beginning. “Why was it so difficult to remember?”

Ultimately, the dreams stopped when, in the final dream, I was so accustomed to sensing the darkness coming, I immediately called out “Master!” I woke up, not feeling like I had won, but that I finally learned the lesson – the hardest part is remembering.

“To remember God means not only to think of Him constantly, but to realize that finding Him is an act of remembrance truly. For it is from Him that we have come. When the clouds of delusion evaporate from our minds, what will be left is what was there always, hidden behind the clouds: the blazing sun of divine consciousness!

One should not strain, nor reach outward mentally, to think of God. Know that He has been yours always-nearer than your nearest thoughts and feelings, nearer than the very prayers you offer Him! Think not merely about Him: Think to Him. Share with Him your passing feelings, your idlest fancy. Talk with Him. Practice His presence – at first, perhaps, for minutes a day, then for hours, and then all the time.”

–Swami Kriyananda, Affirmations for Self-Healing