Excerpts from writings by Paramahansa Yogananda
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Waste not golden spiritual opportunities on the fool's gold of material glitter. Where is the time for God if it is spent in constant fussing to satisfy the body's wants for what I have termed "unnecessary necessities"? Rather simplify life and use that saved time in meditation for God-communion and real progress in attaining life's necessary necessities of peace and happiness. Real Christ-living should consist in seeking the comfort of meditation first and in also keeping material life simple while attending to one's dutiful activities. A complex material life is only pleasing to the eyes and the status consciousness of the ego, but few realize "what price material comforts." Economic slavery, nervousness, business worries, unfair competition, dissensions, lack of freedom, disease, misery, old age, and death are the harvest of a materially compacted existence. So much is missed when there is no time left for the appreciation of beauty, Nature, and God's many expressions in life. (p.524, Discourse 29, The Second Coming of Christ by Paramahansa Yogananda)
Seclusion is the price of finding God. God can never be found through philosophical abstraction. If you have love for God and practice Kriya Yoga and meditate deeply, you will find Him. Don’t wait, for waiting is dangerous. Present good health may produce in your consciousness a happy complacency.
Which do you want: God’s eternal bliss, which may be yours by denying yourself a few pleasure now? Or worldly happiness now, which will not last?
Meditation, Exercies, Service
Paramahansa Yogananda said: I never miss three things: my meditations, morning and night; my exercises; and the service to others.
Seek Good Company
Environment is stronger than will power. If you want to be spiritual, seek good company and don’t mix with those whose bad habits may wrongly influence you.
Be always with people who inspire you; surround yourself with people who lift you up. Do not let your resolutions and positive thinking be poisoned by bad company. Even if you cannot find good company to inspire you, you can find it in meditation. The best company you can have is the joy of meditation.
Guard Yourself Against Moods
Moods are your greatest enemy. Don’t indulge in them; destroy them, for they are a formidable stumbling block in the path of your progress. With the relentless might of watchfulness guard yourself against moods. No matter what trials come, I never permit moods to enter my consciousness. And I prefer not to mix with anyone who is moody. I won’t give heed to their moods, because they are very contagious. Somebody is grouchy; you go around him and you will feel grouchy too. Mix with those who have a positive, cheerful disposition. Somebody is smiling; you go around that person and you will feel like smiling.
Do Not Accept Your Bad Karma
Deny karma. Too many people misinterpret the meaning of karma, adopting a fatalistic attitude. You do not have to accept karma. If I tell you that somebody is standing behind you ready to hurt you because you once hit him, and you meekly say, "Well, it is my karma," and wait for him to strike you, of course you will get a blow! Why don't you try to mollify him? By pacifying him you may lessen his bitterness and remove his desire to strike you.
The best way to remove your weaknesses is not to think about them; otherwise you will be overwhelmed. Bring the light in and you will feel that darkness never was. In that thought is one of the greatest inspirations of my life. If light is admitted into a cave where darkness has existed for thousands of years, darkness will vanish instantly. So will our faults and weaknesses vanish when we bring in the light of God. The darkness of ignorance can enter nevermore.
Learn from Suffering
Suffering is a good teacher to those who are quick and willing to learn from it. But it becomes a tyrant to those who resist and resent.