2020: Celebrating Paramahansa Yogananda and 100 Years of Meditation in the West

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Mahavatar Sree Paramahansa Yogananda, Image courtesy of https://Kobo.com

There’s no denying what’s in those eyes. And they get me every time. If you haven’t already read Autobiography of a Yogi, you might consider putting it at the top of your reading list. Seriously.

I came across it in the early 80’s when I discovered that I was “ripe”, as my meditating friends then described me, meaning that I dove into meditation like I had never got out of the pool in the first place. Autobiography of a Yogi played a great part in my awakening, as it has done, I suspect for anyone who’s ventured forth from cover to cover.

Here’s a link to the the Ananda Organization, where you can read it for free online: https://www.ananda.org/free-inspiration/books/autobiography-of-a-yogi/

Spoiler alert: Don’t expect traditional Hinduism, Buddhism, Vedanta or even esoteric yogic wisdom being discussed within it. Author, Richard Salva says about the book, “Imagine Christ, Buddha, or Krishna telling their life story in their own words. That’s what you get when you read Yogananda’s Autobiography of a Yogi.”

Shee Mahavatar Paramahansa Yogananda, 1893 – 1952, born fully-realized, subsequently became a great teacher of Kriya Yoga (which I have practiced extensively and can personally attest to it’s incredible potential to open the heart, and much, much more).

To say Yogananda was a great proponent of the teachings of Jesus Christ would be a gross understatement.

Ananda.org says, “Yogananda taught that Jesus, who began his journey as a human being like all of us, eventually became one with God. He then agreed to return to Earth to help others attain the same.”

“To him that overcometh will I grant to sit with me in my throne, even as I also overcame, and am set down with my Father in his throne.” (Revelation 3:21) In the Hindu tradition, such a one is called an “avatar.” Jesus was his given name. Christ was his title. “Christ” refers to the “Christ Consciousness,” the highest state of consciousness that one can attain spiritually, wherein one is completely immersed in God’s presence within and all around, or as the Bible says, lives in the “Kingdom of God [that] is within you” (Luke 17:21).”

Image courtesy of Yoganandasite.Wordpress.com

The Second Coming of Christ

Yogananda even wrote a book, entitled, The Second Coming of Christ after he said that Christ appeared to him. The full title of the two-volume work is actually The Second Coming of Christ: The Resurrection of the Christ Within You – A revelatory commentary on the original teachings of Jesus.

About the book, Yogananda himself held firmly, that “I am not the author. It is Christ.”

It was published posthumously in the US as recently as 2004.

Here’s a brief excerpt:

Paramahansaji tells of Christ’s appearance to him, blessing him and the new scripture

“I am not the author. It is Christ.” The Second Coming of Christ ~~

My singular desire to discern rightly the true meaning of Christ’s words was given wondrous confirmation one night during a period when I was working on these interpretations.  It was in the Hermitage at Encinitas, California.  I was sitting in my darkened room in meditation, praying deeply from my soul, when suddenly the blackness gave way to a celestial opal-blue effulgence.  The entire room was like an opal flame.  In that light the radiant form of the blessed Lord Jesus appeared.

His face was divine. His appearance was of a young man in his twenties, with sparse beard and moustache; his long black hair, parted in the middle, had a golden light about it. His feet were not touching the floor. His eyes were the most beautiful, the most loving eyes I have ever seen. The whole universe I saw glistening in those eyes. They were infinitely changing, and with each transition of expression I intuitively understood the wisdom conveyed.  In his glorious eyes I felt the power that upholds and commands the myriad worlds.

As he gazed down at me, a HOLY GRAIL appeared at his mouth.  It descended to my lips and touched them; then went up again to Jesus.  After a few moments of rapt silent communion, he said to me: “THOU DOST DRINK OF THE SAME CUP OF WHICH I DRINK.”

At that I bowed down.  I was joyous beyond dreams to receive the testimony of his blessings, of his presence…His words meant that I was drinking of his wisdom through the Holy Grail of his perceptions which he has dropped in my consciousness, and he was pleased.  He approved very dearly and blessed me for writing these interpretations.  This I can say without pride, because the interpretation of Christ’s words herein is not mine.  It has been given to me.  I am happy this book is coming through me: but I am not the author.  It is Christ.  I am only the vehicle through which it is explained.

Steve Jobs may have been Yogananda’s greatest fan

From: https://www.inc.com/hitendra-wadhwa/steve-jobs-self-realization-yogananda.html: “Steve Jobs planned every detail of his own memorial service, held at Stanford University in October 2011, including the brown box each attendee received as a farewell gift. One of those attendees was Mark Benioff, CEO of Salesforce.com, and two years later at a TechCrunch Disrupt conference he recounted his feelings at the moment when he opened the box: ‘This is going to be good,’ he recalled. ‘I knew that this was a decision [Steve] made, and whatever it was, it was the last thing he wanted us all to think about.’

The box contained the book Autobiography of a Yogi by Paramahansa Yogananda.

Benioff continued: ‘Yogananda…had this book on self-realization…. [Steve’s] last message to us was that here is Yogananda’s book…. Actualize yourself.'”

Like I said, you might want to think about picking up a copy. Your world WILL change. Believe me.

Image courtesy of Patricia Joynes

So how does all this apply to us? Here, today and now?

We all know, deep down inside – come on, fess up – that meditation is GOOD for you. Or you wouldn’t be here reading this.

I, however, often get the, “yeah, yeah, I know… I just can’t find the time…” stuff… or the, “I just… (blank stare)”…

Besides doing everything within my capabilities to convince to that you can’t afford NOT to take the time to meditate, I’m seeing this as a HUGE POSITIVE, BTW.

Why? Because even just a short couple of decades ago, anyone other than a Buddhist monk who was caught meditating, was assumed that they wanted to become a Buddhist monk – because nobody else was doing it.

Not until 1920. 100 years ago.

Enter Mahavatar Sri Paramhansa Yogananda, Circa 1920

Mahavatar Sree Paramahansa Yogananda

Ah… Again, those eyes…

Swami Paramasansa Yogananda was the first yoga master of India to take up permanent residence in the West, arriving in America in 1920.

He proceeded to travel throughout the United States on what he called his “spiritual campaigns”, teaching and transforming lives everywhere he went.

This year is the 100th anniversary of Paramahansa Yogananda’s arrival the the West to spread his Kriya Yoga and meditation teachings.

I encourage you to check out https://Yogananda.org for more information. I also encourage you to watch the amazing documentary on Paramahansa Yogananda, called Awaken. More information go to: https://www.awaketheyoganandamovie.com/

For those of you who subscribe to GAIA TV, https://www.GAIA.com, it’s there in the film section. DEFINITELY worth a watch.

We owe so much to this Mahavatar Sri Paramahansa Yogananda, for without him, who knows how much longer it might have taken for the West to get savvy regarding the benefits of spiritual yoga or meditation, in particular. We hadn’t even heard of it; much less experienced it.

How Rene Daumal’s Rasa Rocked Paris, Circa 1932

Paramahansa was busy in the US, raising consciousness through his teachings.

The literary crowd in Paris, France got its chance to explore the same at around the same time at the hands of Rene Daumal, author of Rasa and his better known Mount Analogue.

Photo by Renata Duma. Book, Copyright 1982 by Louise Landes Levi

Rene Daumal, 1908 – 1944, French spiritual para-surrealist writer, poet and autodidact, best known for his posthumously published book, Mount Analogue, also wrote another less known, now unavailable (as far as I can find) publication, entitled Rasa, which I am lucky to have a well-used, torn an tattered copy of, purchased in a second hand book store in Toronto in the mid 80’s.

I look forward to sharing more with you about Rene Daumal and his enigmatic, experimental and transformative life, and how he deeply influenced European intelligentsia with his publications in his short, 36 year life next week.

I look forward to seeing you then!

The Overcoming Addiction Series Guided Meditations

Image courtesy of https://Vibe.eMindful.com

This week, we are going to kick off a very important series of Guided Meditations on Overcoming Addiction.

I specifically researched and created the Overcoming Addiction Series for those who are, or would like to, overcome any type of addiction: from smoking, overeating, or to being addicted to negative thought patterns.

According to scientific research, those who choose to meditate alongside other wellness efforts while overcoming addiction, will likely be addiction free 25% faster and 80% more successful in remaining so if they continue to meditate.

The Series in in 3 Parts, with 6 Support Guided Meditations to come!

There are 3 Parts to the Overcoming Addiction Series, available in 30 and 60 minute versions each, as well as 6 Support Meditations meant to be practiced after Parts 1 through 3 have been listened to at least once.

It is highly recommended that Parts 1 through 3 be listened to often for the duration of the time period required to overcome the addiction, and that the Support Meditations become part of a daily meditation practice, reviewing at least one (of choice) per day. 

Overcoming Addiction, Part 1 of 3: “I choose a healthy me.”

Here’s an excerpt:

Choosing to end the dependency on an addiction is one of the most challenging – and equally rewarding things – anyone can undertake in their life. It’s a big step – there’s no doubting that – but does it have to be daunting, laced with an undertone of difficulty?

The truth is every step we take is as big – or as daunting – or as easy – as we decide it is in our mind. The scientifically proven fact is, the mind – your mind – cannot tell the difference between an actual, “real-life” event and a vividly imagined one. Denis Waitley, coach to Olympic champions and Apollo astronauts, is constantly using this analogy while training new astronauts.

The philosophy: decide something is going to be difficult and you can be sure it will be… Decide it’s going to be easy – and even when challenges come up, they’ll be experienced as bumps on the road – to be expected – and not roadblocks. Let’s try that now in the following creative visualization:

Imagine climbing a mountain…  You feel the fresh, cold air on your face as you climb steadily, one foot in front of the other… It’s quite an accomplishment. Take a moment now to experience the cool, fresh mountain air and the sense of accomplishment you feel at arriving at the top. 

Having thought about it now, and having accomplished the climb, you realize how easy it actually was – and that all the difficulty you anticipated was created by your mind that told you that climbing the mountain would be really, really difficult – and maybe even impossible. Take a moment to acknowledge that now. .

Though accomplishing certain things may really BE difficult, the point is to be open to the ease – to be open to the possibility. It’s equally important to always acknowledge our thoughts – but not be a slave to the negative ones. We should even be thankful for them because they are the potential change agent that causes us to reject negative behaviours and follow a more positive course of action. Resisting them or not acknowledging them by avoiding them is not only futile, but dangerous because as was mentioned earlier, what we resist persists. 

Here’s one way to handle negative thoughts effectively. Imagine now that all your negative thoughts are words on a chalkboard… words like DIFFICULT, IMPOSSIBLE, UNATTAINABLE, HARD, SCARY…

See that chalkboard in front of you now, filled with the words describing your fears and negative emotions. PAUSE. Now imagine taking the chalk eraser, and wiping one negative word off the chalkboard at a time, replacing them with words like: FUN, EXHILARATING, REWARDING, EASY, WORTHWHILE, MEANINGFUL and VALUABLE.

Take a few moments now to feel how wonderful wiping those negative thoughts away and replacing them with positive words make you feel, and how much positive energy you’re filled with.”

Please share this Guided Meditation Series with anyone you feel might benefit from it. I thank you for that, very deeply, in advance.

There is a 30 Minute Version and a 60 Minute Version.

The only difference between the 30 Minute and 60 Minute Versions is that the 60 Minute Version has a longer period of just meditation to beautiful, heart-opening music at the end of it, before you are asked to come out of meditation.

Otherwise, both Versions have exactly the same Guided Meditation content.

Here’s a link to the Overcoming Addiction Series, Part 1: I choose a healthy me! Guided Meditation: 30 Minute Version:

Here’s a link to the Overcoming Addiction Series, Part 1: I choose a healthy me! Guided Meditation: 60 Minute Version:

About Meditation.Works Guided Meditations

Meditation.Works Guided Meditations in 15 and 30, and sometimes 60 minute versions, make it virtually effortless to incite real change for the better in your life.

Please “LIKE” this post (at the bottom right hand of your screen) and share it and maybe even a link to my Guided Meditations with anyone you feel would benefit from them.

I’ll be releasing ONE NEW FREE Guided Meditation PER WEEK, starting next week, so please stay tuned! 

And if you’re so inclined, please Subscribe to this Blog Site and to my Instagram Page: Meditation.Works, and to my YouTube Channel too: Meditation Works, so you’ll be instantly notified when there’s a new Guided Meditation for you to meditate with – or to share!

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It’s Meditation “dot” Works, because meditation really DOES WORK!

Once again, please allow me to express my gratitude…

Meditation has given my life richness and meaning beyond words, and I am passionate about sharing my Guided Meditations, and the myriad transformational benefits meditation offers, with the world.

It is my sincerest wish that my Guided Meditations bring you the results you are looking for in your meditation practice, and that you continue to come back and listen to more Meditation.Works Guided Meditations on subject matters that just may matter to YOU most!

Together with Meditation.Works, let’s cultivate balanced, abundant, healthy and co-creative lives, and build a global culture that advocates deep healing, self-transformation, compassion and true well-being, through the power of meditation.

Please help Meditation.Works do just that, one meditator at a time… Here’s how:

Heal the self, help others heal: Before you know it, we’re all healed!

Thanks for the gift of your time and attention!

Wishing you all the joy your heart can hold, all the love – in all its forms – that you can possibly bask in, optimum health, prosperity and abundance, the spiritual transformation you crave, and the attainment of all your wishes and goals this 2020 and beyond! 

It’s time…

With Great “Lovitude”,

Renata Duma

Image courtesy of Gregory Colbert. Born in Toronto, Canada in 1960, Gregory is a film-maker and photographer best known as the creator of Ashes and Snow, an exhibition of photographic artworks and films housed in the Nomadic Museum.

Questions, anyone?

Have any questions or meditation experiences you would like to share? 

Whether they’re experiential, emotional or mystical, I’d love to hear from you! Please fill out the short form on the Contact page on this Site, and I’ll get back to you within 72 hours. Promise!

Please also join me on Instagram: @Meditation.Works, where I’ll be sharing daily inspirations and quotes to help keep you motivated, and help keep your meditation practice engaging, inspiring and on track!

You can find the links to all my Guided Meditations in the “Guided Meditations” section of this Blog, so you can listen or download as many of my Guided Meditations as you would like… for FREE! 

Don’t forget to “Like” and “Subscribe” to my YouTube Channel, and hit that notification “Bell”, so you’ll know the moment a new Guided Meditation is uploaded to the channel. 

Remember, coming soon… 

…more Guided Meditations for adults and new Guided Meditations for children, teens and elders, on subject matters that matter to them most!

As always, Happy Meditating!

With great “Lovitude”,

Renata

The Author

Meditation.Works Guided Meditations help those who want to “GET INTO”, and “STAY IN” meditation, do so with ease, so they can ”reset” their mind and body, and instantly benefit from the abundant and scientifically irrefutable benefits meditation has to offer. I’m Renata Duma, and aside from this NEW Meditation.Works Blog, where it's a whole new world of meditation, Meditation.Works style, I also offer my Guided Meditation .mp4’s, in 15 and 30 minute versions to both adult beginners and seasoned meditators, on a growing roster of inspirational, motivational and transformational subjects, with hundreds of Guided Meditations soon to be released for adults, children, teens and elders, on subject matters that matter to them most! Aside from other positions I have held and occupations I've undertaken during my lifetime, I’m a Mindfulness Meditation Coach, intuitive empath, healer and life-long meditator (at least as long as I can remember!), whose dream of a lifetime has been to share my Guided Meditations with the world, and help others heal themselves through the awesome and indisputable power of meditation and the many and mighty benefits it offers. My Guided Meditations help meditators overcome the number one reason most people quit meditating, and that is they just can’t get beyond “monkey mind”, or the incessant mental chatter that occurs as a natural response when trying to quieten the mind in silent meditation. The fact is, extensive clinical trials have proven that meditators who meditate for just 15 minutes a day – with a Guided Meditation – receive the exact same physiological, psychological and emotional benefits from meditating as when meditating in silence. That includes an instant 40% reduction in stress and anxiety, and achieving any goal 4 times faster, with a 50% increased chance of success at maintaining that goal indefinitely! My Guided Meditations also broaden the mind and enhance the meditation experience for all levels of meditators by shedding wisdom and light on many of life’s obstacles that surprisingly are “the path”, and are meant for us to explore and ultimately overcome and learn valuable lessons from... For more, please visit the ABOUT US page on the Blog Site. As always, Happy Meditating! With great "Lovitude", Renata

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