I notice a tremendous difference day by day in my ability to meditate and follow spiritual discipline. And however my day begins – devoted, restless, worldly – It seems everything and everyone around me is on the same wavelength! Is this astrological, or does each day have its own vibration?
Yes, the waves on the surface of the ocean fluctuate endlessly. But in the depths the ocean of Spirit remains unchanged. Whether we dive deeply, or move restlessly about on the surface, depends on where we put our attention.
The world is a reflection of our own consciousness. An enlightened Master lives in a state of Bliss – everywhere in creation, he sees only Bliss.
Swami Kriyananda said that when he sees people suffering, his first thought is not of their present misery but of how blissful they will feel when that suffering is dissolved in the realization of God.
He feels compassion, but their suffering to him seems only a prelude to joy – a joy made greater by the contrast with their present troubles.
(Cartoon: When the mind wanders, the heart can bring it back to a focus more quickly than a straining effort of will. Kind, loving thoughts irresistibly draw the mind to concentrate on and enjoy them.)
Many forces try to keep us restlessly roaming about on the fluctuating surface of life. Astrological influences are real. Also, we are affected by group, national, and planetary karma. These influences challenge our individual consciousness.
It can be helpful to watch these ebbs and flows of energy with, as a friend of mine put it, “amused detachment.”
But we must eventually develop such powerful magnetism that we can remain even-minded and cheerful no matter what is going on around us.
Yogananda would sometimes asked astrologers to pick the worst time for certain enterprises, and then he would put out the energy to succeed despite those influences.
He wanted us to understand that these forces are real, but that man’s power of will is potentially greater than any external reality.
Sometimes our spiritual practice is effortless, and sometimes life seems to pull us away from our best intentions.
Swami Kriyananda said that people make a big mistake when they believe that meditation is about “calming the mind.” Instead, he said, we should think of calming and harmonizing the vibrations of the heart. When our heart is filled with vibrations of love, kindness, and compassion, the mind follows as a sheep follows the shepherd – then, it is not difficult at all to concentrate, and to go deeper in meditation. I urge you to find ways to fill your heart with inspiration, when you sit to meditate. Chant, pray for others, think of a loved one and send them blessings and healing vibrations and prayers.
God and Gurus don’t expect us to demonstrate a perfection of which we are presently. All they ask is that we don’t give up. No matter how many times our will falters, we can always pick ourselves up, brush ourselves off, and start all over again.
We may wander for a long time, but in the end our heart’s longing will defeat all other attractions and we will find our eternal home in God.