You will only find the happiness you are seeking by living more and more with the awareness of God as the source of your existence. We carry within us the deep memory of where we came from, in God, says SWAMI KRIYANANDA
Years ago, a friend of mine came close to drowning. Afterwards, he told me that he had seen his whole life flash before his inner sight. He hadn’t been interested in spiritual truths, but in that flash he saw his life in a new way. He realized that the only things that were important were whatever would help him grow spiritually. With that realization, he became dedicated to seeking God.
If we had the blessing that my friend had, we would know how trivial it is whether we sign that big contract, or get a raise, or whether people understand us. We would realize that these things don’t matter.
You can accomplish a great deal if your will power is strong, and you direct your energy with positive expectations. But beyond a certain point, we can’t accomplish much unless our consciousness is attuned to God.
You must recognize that there is a higher aspect of your consciousness, over which you have no control. In seeking God, you are offering yourself up to something you can’t command. But the consciousness that comes, which is your own Self, holds everything you’ve ever longed for.
You must first be receptive. When you have the courage, determination, and faith to accept what God gives, you find that even life’s tragedies can become doorways to the greatest joy.
The spiritual path is challenging. You’ve got to approach it with the right “weapons.” Those “weapons” are the attitudes we need to take that help us live in attunement with God.
You won’t be worthy of God if you try to run away from your difficulties, and if you aren’t willing to work to achieve freedom. To succeed on the spiritual path, you need a level of courage that enables you to think, “No matter how long this test lasts, it will pass in time ― so why should I worry about it?”
Of the attitudes that draw us close to God, the most important of all is Love. Love is what pulls us out of delusion.
In fact, we can’t put one foot in front of the other on the path until we begin to develop that devotional quality, that self-giving love ― the sweetness, tenderness, and softness of feeling that come when you’re no longer protecting the ego. Ultimately, we must learn to approach God with the total trust and faith of a child.
The first duty of every seeker is thus to keep alive the lamp of devotion. Without love, you won’t grow spiritually, because love is the “wavelength” on which the Divine operates.
An attitude of learning is also fundamental. Always be ready to listen, even to what may seem like other people’s silly points of view. They may have something to teach you! We need to feel that there’s a great deal of truth we don’t know, and to be open to the truth regardless of its source.
I’ve seen that the moment I write somebody off as too stupid to teach me anything, God uses that person to teach me something. We need an attitude that says, “Maybe I can do better; maybe I can learn from this situation.”
Another very important attitude is willingness. When you’re willing to give up your desires to serve God lovingly, when you’re willing to put yourself out that extra bit, when you’re willing to say “yes” instead of “no” ― that’s what pleases God.
When you have an attitude of openness, of saying “yes,” you find that things start to go well for you spiritually. Willingness gets your energy moving in a positive direction. The goal of the spiritual path is to get all of your energy moving in toward God.
The basic attitude that pleases God is to be “even-minded and cheerful.” It’s an attitude of neutrality, of calmly and cheerfully accepting whatever God gives us.
How can we bring more of God into our lives? We must understand that there are two levels: daily life and meditation. In our waking state, we can lift our consciousness and then let ourselves be guided by our intuitive awareness of God’s guidance.
When problems come, try to put your mind calmly at the point between the eyebrows, the center of God’s consciousness within us. Then withdraw a little into yourself and try to feel in your heart what the right solution is.
Let that calm, inner feeling be your guide. Otherwise, all the logic and reasoning in the world can lead you astray, no matter how “right” it looks. The heart and intellect need to work together. You’ll be surprised how easily you can do this, once you’ve practiced for a time, and how much better everything flows.
The other side of living for God is meditation. We must go deeper and deeper in meditation, because it is there, really, that we come into contact with God’s inner help. The more you open yourself inwardly in meditation, the more strongly you’ll be aware of God in every facet of your life.
You will only find the happiness you are seeking by living more and more with the awareness of God as the source of your existence. We carry within us the deep memory of where we came from, in God. It’s a quiet voice in the background, hardly to be noticed. By living in tune with it, we become one with His love and bliss.
Swami Kriyananda (born J. Donald Walters) was only 22 when he became a direct disciple of Paramhansa Yogananda, the author of Autobiography of a Yogi. At Yogananda’s request, Swami Kriyananda devoted his life to lecturing and writing, helping others to experience the living presence of God within. He founded the Ananda community.