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Paramahansa Yogananda Quotes on Meditation

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Meditation is the effort to realize and express that pure consciousness which is the reflection, or image, of God within you.

Do away with the delusion of body consciousness, and the concomitant demands of body and mind for “unnecessary necessities.” Be as simple as you can be; you will be astonished to see how uncomplicated and happy your life can become. So free yourself. Otherwise, death will surprise you and you will painfully learn how attached you are, how unprepared for your departure from this world. But if by right living, right thinking, and meditation you can race to the Infinite, the dreams of life and death will vanish in the ever new joy of His eternal Being. Therefore meditation is a dying to the world without dying.

What is meditation?

Becoming one with the soul. It means banishing the consciousness of being related to the body and to human limitations, and trying to remember that one is a soul. When man begins by conscious mental effort to relate himself to the immortal soul, rather than to the body that he inhabits for one life only, he will recall more of his past experiences, and will eventually remember that he has come down from the bosom of God.

The consciousness flowing with the life force through the senses of sight, hearing, smell, taste, and touch makes man conscious of matter. But by meditation when consciousness and life force are withdrawn from the five senses, the astral nature of the life force, along with the consciousness and many other aroused divine forces in the spinal centers, look like rivers of light flowing upward toward the ocean of light of Spirit in the brain. The science of yoga meditation [Kriya Yoga] teaches techniques of controlling the life energy consciously, enabling one to disconnect the mind at will from the intrusion of the senses. This produces not an unconscious oblivion, but a blissful transference of identity from the false reality of the body and sensory world to the truth of one’s being: the supernal soul, made in God’s image. In that interiorized silence wherein the soul’s divine sonship is no longer squandered in the prodigal outward consciousness, true prayer and divine communion with the Heavenly Father are not only possible, but dynamically effective. Meditation is the method of realizing the connection between one’s body-circumscribed life energy and the infinite Cosmic Energy of God, the connection between the conscious and subconscious states and the Cosmic Consciousness of God. Through Kriya Yoga meditation, the consciousness is gradually transformed from identification with the inept and often treacherous physical body, with its love of breath and “bread,” to awareness of the inner astral body of self-renewing vibrant life energy, and thence to one’s ultimate nature as a soul image of God: ever-existing, ever-conscious, ever-new Bliss.

Meditation is the science of God-realization. It is the most practical science in the world. Most people would want to meditate if they understood its value and experienced its beneficial effects. The ultimate object of meditation is to attain conscious awareness of God, and of the soul’s eternal oneness with Him. What achievement could be more purposeful and useful than to harness limited human faculties to the omnipresence and omnipotence of the Creator? God-realization bestows on the meditator the blessings of the Lord’s peace, love, joy, power, and wisdom. Meditation utilizes concentration in its highest form. Concentration consists in freeing the attention from distractions and in focusing it on any thought in which one may be interested. Meditation is that special form of concentration in which the attention has been liberated from restlessness and is focused on God. Meditation, therefore, is concentration used to know God. Meditation is the science of reuniting the soul with Spirit. The soul, descending from God into flesh, manifests its consciousness and life force through seven chakras, or centres of light, in man’s cerebrospinal axis. The true state of meditation is oneness of the meditator with the object of meditation, God. First practice the presence of God in daily life by making your meditation very deep. It is better to meditate a little bit with depth than to mediate long with the mind running here and there. If you do not make an effort to control the mind it will go on doing as it pleases, no matter how long you sit to meditate. God has not to be earned. He has only to be sought. Meditation is the only way. Beliefs, reading books — these cannot give you realization. … Meditation brings proof of the existence of God. … The more you meditate the more you will feel the endless joy of God. Spiritual advancement is not to be measured by one’s display of outward powers, but solely by the depth of his bliss in meditation. Meditation must be practiced every day. Start now! Do not look to the future. Begin this very moment to think of God. In this thought you are a king. Why be a prisoner of mortal moods and habits? To carry out one’s resolutions is a constant battle. Never give up your good resolutions. Most people live on the surface of life. But it is by deep-sea diving in the ocean of thought that you receive the pearls of knowledge. Many students of yoga perform their exercise in a haphazard way; then wonder why they do not ‘get anywhere’ and why they fail to feel communion with the Infinite even after apparently serious meditation. Each tomorrow I will meditate more deeply than today. I will meditate during most of my leisure hours. Meditate not for selfish gains of power but only with the thought of pleasing and loving God. Meditation is the greatest way of resurrecting your soul from the bondage of the body. Meditate! Meditate at the feet of the Infinite. Let no devotee miss his daily appointment with God. The mind may suggest the movies or some other distraction; but when the time comes for God each day, keep that holy engagement. Meditate deeply and regularly, until the spiritual eye is opened and you can fly through it to the astral kingdom. Remain always in the sphere of happiness born of meditation, no matter what happens. Live in the consciousness of astral freedom. Without fail you will be able to do this by devoted practice of the techniques of the Kriya Yoga science I have given to you. O yogi! if by one or two divings into the ocean of divine perception you do not find the pearls of God-communion, do not blame the ocean as lacking in the Divine Presence! Rather find fault with your skill in diving! Again and again sink into the ocean of meditation and seize there the pearls of blessed communion! By deeper and deeper meditation, the energy frame of the astral self expands beyond the boundaries of the physical body. The lifetronic body, being of a sphere of existence unconfounded by the delusional stricture of the three-dimensional physical world, has the potential to become one with the Cosmic Energy pervading the whole universe. God as Holy Ghost, Holy Vibration, is the Light of Cosmic Energy; man, made in the image of God, is composed of that light. We are that Light compacted; and we are that Light of our Universal Self.

Unwillingness to meditate should be recognized as among the foremost enemies of man’s physical, mental, and spiritual well-being; that “blasphemy” against the inner magnetic pull of the Holy Ghost should be consciously excised from the mind. One who never meditates rejects the prime means of attuning his life with the saving Christ Consciousness inherent in the Cosmic Aum Vibration. By deliberate deeper acts of meditation each seeker must remove his restlessness in order to regain bliss consciousness through vibratory contact of God as Holy Ghost, his introduction to the Infinite Christ and the cosmic consciousness of Spirit.

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