I meditate daily. Lately I have been experiencing a vibration internally – very strongly when I am still but perceptible during activity. It started in my spine, then my heart chakra, now in my throat. I’ve been awakened at night with a whooshing sound, which feels Divine. Every day I ask Guruji, Babaji, and Divine Mother for guidance. My life is being altered and I am changing. There are moments of insecurity but mostly what I feel is a deep, trusting love. Is this normal?
I have a friend, however, who is not accepting these changes in me. She says I am fooling myself. When I respond that I am feeling and hearing the Divine Mother, this friend gets very negative. As a result, I have distanced myself from her. I feel her negative energy of anger and resentment. She says I am making bad karma for myself. Am I? Is there a better way to handle this?
(Photo: Friendships are divinely precious. Good friends meet again and again. But when one resents the other’s spiritual efforts, it may be necessary to creat a “healing distance” for a while. Image: Wikimedia Commons.)
When you begin to meditate and you ask God to guide you, that very action naturally awakens a spiritual energy in the spine and increases its upward flow. This can manifest in various ways, including those you describe. As you are finding, these experiences are wonderful, and they bring with them a certainty of being touched by the Divine.
Your spiritual efforts are awakening what Swami Sri Yukteswar called “the natural love of the heart,” which he said is indispensable factor that we need before we can take “even a single step” on the spiritual path. This is a great blessing. “Everything in future will improve,” Sri Yukteswarji said, “if you are making the right spiritual effort now.”
Because these experiences are new to you, it is natural to feel a little unsure how you should respond to them.
If you were to travel to another country, you would find many familiar elements. People would still eat, drink, sleep, talk, work, and laugh. At the same time, there would be confusing aspects. On the one side, you would feel happy and at home, and on the other, you would feel a bit uncertain and insecure.
After a while, though, as you became familiar with the new sights and customs, the insecurity would fade.
Entering the spiritual path is like traveling to a foregin land – a delightful, adventurous, promising, but also unfamiliar country.
You ask, “Is this normal?” And the answer, of course, is, “Yes.”
Your friend’s response is also, alas, “normal,” in the sense of being quite common. She may, in fact, be genuinely concerned that you are getting yourself into something that won’t prove beneficial to you. She isn’t showing much respect for your judgment, but we may imagine that she has your happiness are heart.
Even if she does, however, she is not behaving in a way that will make it profitable for you to spend time with her for the present. You may “love her at a distance,” but if she continues to insult your judgment and negate these precious divine experiences, why would you want to stay with her?
Making a choice to distance yourself from her would be quite appropriate, both from a spiritual and a social point of view. Even if she means well, she is not behaving well. Why expose yourself?
When the tree of our spiritual development is very young, we must build a protective fence around it. The tiny twig that will eventually become the mighty oak can be broken by a mouse. If we protect it at the beginning, however, it can grow into a mighty tree that will be able to shelter many.
The simple truth is that, at this stage of your sadhana, you simply cannot afford to expose yourself to negative energy.
Your friend claims that you are getting bad karma – presumably for distancing yourself from her. Friendship is indeed spiritually important. But as the Gita clearly states, a lower duty (dharma) ceases to be a duty when it is replaced by a higher duty.
In this case, your devotion to God is a higher dharma than maintaining the friendship. Your friend has forced you to choose between herself and God. And in this matter there can be no other choice: God first, God last, God always.
It is not good to say, or even think, about anyone that they are “getting bad karma.” It is the equivalent of the familiar fundamentalist accusation: “You will to hell!” But the fate of others is not ours to decide. God is in charge.
It is unfortunate that she has decided to respond in this way. Some people feel threatened by the others’ spiritual aspirations. Perhaps in her heart, she knows that you have taken the higher path, and she feels shamed or jealous because of the contrast with how she is living.
Maybe she is jealous because you have someone else in your life – the Divine Mother – who means more to you now than she does.
It is an unfortunate situation. But you are definitely not getting bad karma by trying to come closer to God, even if it is creating a distance between yourself and your friend.
Watch your heart. If she provokes you, keep a kindly attitude toward her. It is not wrong to respond sharply, if necessary. When people insult that which dear to us, we don’t have to take it silently. We can speak frankly. But even if your words are strong, keep your heart free. When a mother scolds her child, she does not cease to love the child. In fact, sometimes she may love the child even more.
This doesn’t mean that you have a duty to spend a great deal of time thinking about her. If thinking about her puts you on the wavelength of her anger and disturbs your peace, do not think about her at all. Don’t even pray for her, unless you can do so with an extreme determination to surrender yourself completely to God’s love, which will not only protect you, but will drive all hurt, sorrow, and resentment from your heart. But above all, remember, your devotion is a young sapling that needs protection.
Tell the Divine Mother that you are not able at this time to be a friend. Ask Her to give Her friendship to your friend in your stead. Then turn your attention away from your friend and don’t think about her. If your friend changes, of course, you can welcome her back. But if she remains angry at you for being a seeker, you must keep your distance.
In life it is necessary to make choices to accomplish anything. Concentration and self-discipline are the means to attain our worthwhile goals. Sometimes sad things happen along the way, such as the loss of a friend who no longer understands us. Give it all to Divine Mother.
Where there is dharma, there is victory. The best way to be a true friend is to do the right thing spiritually. If you do this, she will be blessed. When we make spiritual progress, the souls of those who don’t understand us rejoice, even if their egos do not. Your spiritual progress will uplift her, even if she isn’t aware of it.