Regular meditation will always be primary among the SRF requirements for a balanced and successful life. Our guru, Paramahansa Yogananda, never spoke of the essentials without stressing meditation. He said once, “Everything my Guru told me, I put into practice. As a result, I have kept my priorities straight. I never miss three things: my meditations, morning and night; my exercises; and service to others.”
So, a spiritually balanced life really means to put God first, doesn’t it? When we do that, as many of you here have experienced, everything else falls into place. For example, if we have a problem and let it come between us God and Guru, we are immediately weakened just when we need to be strongest, because that weakens our contact with Them, the source of the help we need to overcome. If on the other hand, we allow problems to drive us closer to God, we go to those with the real power to help us.
In his interpretation of the Bhagavad Gita our Guru says that all unbalanced states are obstacles to the yogi. You give the body its needs, neither pampering nor abusing-there is no value in either extreme. His sadhana is suitable both for householder and renunciant seeking freedom in God, because it includes this beautiful balance of regular meditation, of service to God in others, plus rest, recreation, and exercise. Everything in moderation.
Guruji explains that until the yogi is very advanced he cannot remain constantly in the higher states of consciousness. So constructive activity is very, very useful. This way we gradually work out remaining karma, and gradually learn to hold on to the spiritual states, the awareness of God, in activity as well as in meditation. Master promises, “He who, in a balanced way, tries to be both human and divine will automatically find that he experiences equal joy whether he is in the state of human activity or in the state of deep meditation.”
excerpt from “Finding Spiritual Balance in Your Life” by Sister Priya
Sister Priya, a Self-Realization Fellowship nun for more than 40 years, is a senior spiritual counselor and minister at the SRF International Headquarters. She has traveled all over the United States and Europe to share Paramahansa Yogananda’s teachings with thousands. This talk was given at the 2000 SRF World Convocation in Los Angeles. Self-Realization magazine, Fall 2011.
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