Paramahansa Yogananda
Best 16 Spiritual Tips (2)

 

Kriya Yoga

3. Accelerate your Progress with Kriya Yoga

srfThe real Kriya Yoga way (life-force control) is not a bypath. It is the direct highway, the shortest route, to divine realization. It teaches man to ascend heavenward by leading the ego, mind, and life force through the same spinal channel that was used when the soul originally descended into the body. (bg p.654)

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Pranayama ['control of prana' or energy - life-force that sustains life in the body] is the primary art of realization. You cannot find God unless you can master the mortal breath. Breath ties the mind to the sense plane. As your breath becomes calm, your mind goes within.

Breathlessness

is the way to God.

Practice pranayama and you will know how to meditate—how to perceive God and be one with Him. [Kriya Yoga is the highest pranayama technique.]

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Kriya Yoga plus devotion
— it works like mathematics;
it cannot fail.

The science of Kriya Yoga is eternal. It is true like mathematics, like the simple rules of addition and substraction, the law of Kriya can never be destroyed. Burn to ashes all books on mathematics; the logically minded will always rediscover such truths. Suppress all books on yoga; its fundamentals will be re-revealed whenever there appears a sage with pure devotion and consequently pure knowledge. (Read more...)

Yoga Meditation

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4. Practice the Presence of God

The only experience that is real,
the only experience that brings happiness,
is awareness of the presence of God. (me)

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It isn't only meditation that I emphasize.

Meditation plus
keeping your mind with God during activity
is what is necessary.

Half the battle will be won by meditation, for the soul power that you bring out by meditation will influence your thoughts and behavior during activity. (jt)

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To keep the mind full of rubbish is foolish. Fill your mind with thoughts of God. Pray for the unceasing remembrance of God. Think of Him before you act, while you are acting, and after you have finished your duties.

He who perceives Me everywhere and beholds everything in Me never loses sight of Me, nor do I ever lose sight of him.
The Bhagavad Gita VI:30

He is nearest of the near, dearest of the dear, closer than the closest.

Hold on to the truth that God is the most important thing in your life. So long as you cling to human love, or life, or beauty, or fame, or money, or anything else as more important, He will not come to you. (jt)

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It is so simple if inside you are always talking to Him, ‘Lord, come to me!

Why do you put up a barrier of doubt between yourself and God? If you love Him and inwardly talk to Him, and know He is with you, you will get much more result than from hours of just sitting absentmindedly in silence, supposedly meditating, with your mind wandering over everything but God. Keep Him in your heart all the time. And when you meditate, go deep in divine communion. (jt)

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Jesus said:

Seek ye first the kingdom of God’.

If you are seeking something else first, you will surely be disillusioned. Each man rationalises, ‘Well, others have been deceived, but I won’t be.’ Nevertheless, he will be deceived. (me)

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Whether you are washing dishes or digging a ditch or working in an office or a garden —whatever you may be doing—inwardly say, "Lord, manifest to me!..."

Lord manifest to me!

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He who perceives Me everywhere and beholds everything in Me never loses sight of Me, nor do I ever lose sight of him.
The Bhagavad Gita VI:30

This stanza stresses the state of duality that may exist between the devotee and God. The liberated devotee can watch God through every open niche of space, as the Spirit can look at him through every pore of the sky. Such a liberated yogi never loses sight of God nor does God ever lose sight of him. The True Lover is God; we are all His beloveds, mistakenly seeking love in impermanent human beings. (bg)

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On Me fix thy mind, be thou My devotee, with ceaseless worship bow reverently before Me. Having thus united thyself to Me as thy Highest Goal, thou shalt be Mine own.
— The Bhagavad Gita IX:34

In yoga meditation, O devotee, fix thy mind unwaveringly on God; with devotion, surrender to Him the ego consciousness and all its dream delusions. In the inner rite of true worship, oblate the little self into the Self in the sacred fire of divine communion with Spirit. Look solely to Him who is the Lord of All, for He is the consummation of the rainbow-chases of incarnations. In Him, all motley-hued desires merge in the one splendor of Bliss in which the soul is forever diademed with Spirit. (bg)

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presence of God

HE is nearer than the nearest, dearer than the dearest. Just behind the words of your speech, just behind your thoughts, just behind the love of your heart, just behind your will, just behind your sense of I-ness, is the great spirit of God. For those who think Him far away, He is far away; but for those who think Him near, He is ever near. (bg)

 

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So many doubt heaven because they do not see it. Yet they do not doubt the breeze simply because it is unseen. It is known by its sound and sensation on the skin and the motion in the leaves and other objects. (sc)

The whole universe lives, moves, breathes
because of the invisible presence of God
in the heavenly forces behind matter.

(More...), (The Bhagavad Gita VI:30), ( The Bhagavad Gita XIII:27-30)

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5. Be Still
— Stillness is God

be still

 

Calmness is the living breath of
God's immortality in you.

A true yogi, one united to "the peace of God, which passeth all understanding," is like a lovely rose, spreading around him the fragrance of tranquility and harmony.

Everything in the phenomenal world displays activity and changefulness, but tranquility is the nature of God. Man as a soul has within himself that same nature of calmness. When in his consciousness he can level and still the three mental states of upheaval—the waves of sorrow and gladness and the dips of indifference between them—he perceives within himself the placid ocean of spiritual soul-calmness expanding into the boundless sea of tranquility in Spirit. (bg)

Be still,
and know that I am God.
— Psalm 46:10

a

The Self-realized yogi is a prince of peace sitting on the throne of poise directing his kingdom of activity, wholly devoted to God in heart and mind, sacrificing to Him the fruits of all his actions. "That devotee," saith the Lord, "having obtained Me and remaining continually united to Me, shall truly be Mine own! [Gita IX:34]" (bg) (More...)

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6. Keep Your Mind on the Spiritual Eye

spiritual eyeThat person whose vision is in his spiritual eye beholds the true nature of the soul; and thus, through direct perception, is absolutely certain that the Self is immutable — above birth and death, change and annihilation. (bg)

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The highest spiritual habit by which the devotee can retain a watchful awareness of the inner presence of God is to keep the consciousness always centered on the spiritual eye. (sc)

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When the yogi concentrates long enough with half-open eyes at the point between the eyebrows, and when the gaze is without any restless motion, he will be able to see a steady light surrounded by other, but spiritual eyeflickering, lights. He should not be diverted by this glimmering halo of the spiritual eye, but should steadfastly look at the center of the eye until he feels his mind completely absorbed within it. In time, he will see the perfect formation of the spiritual eye: a dark opal-blue globe within a quivering ring of flame. Gradually, by deep concentration, an extremely brilliant white star occasionally glimmers in the center of the blue. The star is the gateway through which the consciousness must pass to attain oneness with Spirit. (bg) (More...)

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Whenever we came to Paramahansaji with any kind of personal problem or complaint -  his answer would be. "Just keep your mind here," he used to say, pointing to the Christ Center between the eyebrows, the seat of spiritual consciousness and of the divine eye. "Keep your attention here, and keep God in your consciousness." — Sri Daya Mata, Only Love

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7. Meditate with the Guru

Deeply meditating disciples should concentrate on their guru, or meditate with him if possible.

Parmahanswa Yogananda
Yogananda meditating with his leading disciple Rajarsi Janakananda

Those who are spiritually advanced do in fact meditate with the guru by visualizing him in the spiritual eye and tuning in with him, whether or not they are in his physical presence.

During meditation the spiritual vibration of a great master silently works on lesser yogis who may be meditating with him or who are in tune with him, regardless of distance.

It is sufficient for a disciple to think strongly of his guru before meditation. He will then find his meditation on God to be reinforced by the Lord's power flowing through the direct tangible channel of the guru. (bg)

Through prayer and meditation and faith one does get some inner spiritual sense of direction. No one should be without this attunement. But to be consciously guided by God, rather than by the manipulative rationalizations of one's desires or whims or habits, is another matter, of deeper realization. For most people, the will of God is best understood through a God-sent guru. Guru is one who knows God, and who shows the way to Him. To follow a divine manifestation is the sure way to God-realization. One who knows God becomes the speaking voice of the silent God. Attunement with the wisdom-guided will of a true guru teaches one how to guide his will according to God's will. Those who follow the voice of their own ego, ascribing to it a halo of divine guidance, find out too late that no amount of deluded rationalization will relieve one of the karmic responsibility of wrong actions. To be led by an ego-bound will is to stumble into painful delusive entanglements. Do not remain entangled! Be free! (sc)

"To all of those who are loyal to me and to God through the teachings I have left, I will reach down from heaven and I will lift them, that they too feel, and know the Great Love of our Father.”

— Paramahansa Yogananda

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Brother Anandamoy:

In the very beginning of my life in the ashram [1949], I learned to start my meditations by looking at the picture of the Guru and inwardly saying to him:

"You are one with God, and God is omnipresent. Therefore, you are here and I am in your aura of light, of love."

??
"You are one with God,
and God is omnipresent.
Therefore, you are here and
I am in your aura of light, of love."

I formed the habit of meditating with him. I have never meditated alone—always with him. And I suggest, if you have not established that habit yet, do so. It makes all the difference in the world.

Brother Anandamoy
Brother Anandamoy
1922-2016

In meditating and trying to feel the presence of God and Guru, many devotees are impatient and strain for results. I see this problem again and again, in personal consultation and in letters people send. Don't do it!

Straining and trying to force results in meditation will block intuition from flowing. And it is through intuition that you hear the Aum vibration, and see the divine light of the spiritual eye, and experience all the other manifestations of God—love, joy, and so on. Strain and force never work. Be relaxed and patient, and go on practicing the techniques as best you can. God and Guru do not respond to aggression, to straining; They respond to love.

Swami Smarananada:

We can always meditate with Guruji.  That is the reason we have the opening prayer, inviting all our Gurus to join us.

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8. Be Conscious of What You Do

The trouble with most people is that when they are performing an action they are thinking about something else. They don't know how to concentrate on what they are doing when they are doing it.

You should learn to think of one thing at a time
with all the power of your mind.
Your whole attention should be there.

Don't drag along. Doing things in a lackadaisical way leads to failure and misery.

Man should not be a psychological automaton, like the animal, which acts only through instinct. To be unthinking is a great sin against Spirit, which abides in you;

we are meant to be conscious of what we do.
We should reflect before we act.

We should learn how to use our minds so that we can evolve and realize our oneness with the Creator. Everything we do should be the result of premeditated thought. (me)

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Anything worth doing,
is worth doing well.

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The yogi masters the art of mind control. He shuts off mental restlessness and imagination, and avoids absentmindedness by practice of the following:

(a) passivity, or even-mindedness under all conditions;

(b) positive concentration (keeping the mind on one particular thought at a time);

(c) negative concentration (using discrimination and will to eliminate unwanted thoughts);

(d) transferring consciousness from feeling to will or ideas;

(e) transferring consciousness from emotions, such as love or hatred, to self-control, or creative thinking, or pure feeling;

(f) holding the thought on one sensation (sight, sound, smell, taste, or touch) at a time;

(g) visualization of mental images, and creating and dissolving dreams at will;

(h) mental anesthesia (receiving sensations of pain as informative reports rather than experiences of suffering). (dr)

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