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There are times when life seems to bear down on us. It’s difficult then to remain positive amidst the challenges in our life, and that we see in the lives of others, and in the world at large. Yet in this world of duality, the alternating waves of joy and sorrow are a constant. It’s how we deal with them that keeps us either forever tossed on the crashing waves of maya, or resting in the unmoving peace of God.
In such a chaotic world it is easy to feel overwhelmed. How do we cope with the pressures and demands? It helps if we break things down into small steps.
The traditional explanation of these words of Jesus Christ is that he’s urging his disciples to go out and convert people to his teachings. Paramhansa Yogananda interpreted Christ’s words in a different way: Christ was speaking of the inner “harvest” of divine consciousness, which few people actually seek.
From time immemorial, stories have entertained, informed, amused, and united us. Spiritual stories can also enlighten us. While I was recently in seclusion, I reread a wonderful but lesser-known book, Thank You, Master. It contains reminiscences by three direct disciples of Paramhansa Yogananda: Hare Krishna Ghosh, Meera Ghosh, and Peggy Deitz.
Meditation is a subtle art. Although it’s essential to learn and practice its techniques properly, in the end we must make meditation a creative experience for ourself. Swami Kriyananda wrote an extremely helpful book in this regard called Secrets of Meditation. In it he gives seemingly simple, but profoundly insightful, suggestions for deepening and personalizing our practice.
The holidays have ended, and with it the flurry of outward activity. Now is a good time to turn within, but first a little humor, a balm for the soul.
This insight has great importance for all of us seeking soul freedom. We mistakenly think that the chains of karma keep us forever bound in delusion, when, in truth, we have the power at any time to make the kind of choices that will set us free.
Angelica, for that was the young girl’s name, had been wandering alone and hungry for nearly a week. The old lady who had let her sleep in the storeroom in exchange for her services had died recently, and her ramshackle house had been closed and shuttered.
Unpacking bulging suitcases after a long trip is something that most of us don’t approach with enthusiasm. As you probably know, Jyotish and I recently returned from nearly four months of traveling and sharing throughout Ananda centers in Europe and India. Upon arriving back home at Ananda Village, we were accompanied by our faithful traveling companions: two very large suitcases, two small suitcases, and a duffel bag.
Ananda celebrated its first World Brotherhood Day more than four decades ago, and it has now become a treasured tradition. Paramhansa Yogananda spoke often and forcefully about the need for people to recognize their kinship with one another.