"Oh You Gotta Have Faith!"

That sounds just like a song (and it is, by George Michaels), but I really do think that it says it all. Faith.

How often do we struggle with things in this life, wondering if in fact it’s ever going to get better? Or is it going to get worse? Do we really know the answer? Or is there actually an answer to be had?

Faith.

I had a recent situation happen with my child. I was all “momma-bear,” ready to storm the playground (to give you a visual). I was wondering why this problem was happening? Where is this coming from? I didn’t have a thought to why am I feeling this way or taking it on. Just that I have to fix it. This has to change! And now!

I was actually getting myself rather worked up. Almost in a froth, as they say (another visual). What am I going to do!?

Faith.

There was a period of time that I would not have stepped back. I might have yelled or called. Or called and yelled. My mind would definitely have been way behind my matter. I would have been all (to borrow another expression) in their face! ….Oh. Oh no you didn’t! (I know, so east coast.)

Faith.

I am a disciple. I practice Kriya Yoga. I am a yogi. I am a child of God.

And so is that other being. So is my child. And everyone deserves a bit of time. A bit of space to allow the Divine Will its opportunity to aid in/change/affect the situation.

And so it did.

Faith.

Faith is something we want to know is there. Know it so deeply that there is no question that it is there. Feel it so deeply that there is no thought, if you have it or not.

It is right there. All we have to do it…HA! You guessed it…have faith. It’s not hard, I think. It is more of a letting go, letting go of action and reaction. Feeling that divine spark in our hearts and fanning that flame alive.

Faith.

Simple spiritual exercise time:
Take a deep yogic breath. Inhale through your nose, filling those lungs all the way to the bottom. Now exhale through your mouth, nice and easy letting the air come on its own without force.

Repeat while focusing at your spiritual eye.

Now say these words.

Faith.
I am a child of God
Faith.
I am light and love
Faith.
I know that I am worthy and all that is good
Faith.
I am
Faith.

(Remember, you are that!)

Discipleship to the Guru

I took my discipleship vows to Paramhansa Yogananda in 1996. We’re coming up on twenty years pretty soon!

When my hubby and I took our vows, here in Portland those many years ago now, I had a deep feeling of “Oh, this again.” I was not surprised. Nor did I feel elation.

What I did feel was peace and reassurance.

While we were in California this past March for the dedication of the Moksha Mandir, we were able to see the movie The Answer.

In the movie, which is based on the book The New Path and the life of Swami Kriyananda, he (then J. Donald Walters) jumped on a bus and headed across the county. Starting in the Mid-Atlantic states, all the way to Southern California. This happened the day after he finished reading the Autobiography of a Yogi.

I don’t think that Swami Kriyananda had any sense of “What is this about?” “What does this mean?” “Discipleship?” More that, I believe, “I need to be that!”

Dedicate my life to God through this Master of Self-realization.

After getting off the bus, Swami Kriyananda, made his way to Mount Washington. After waiting and wondering if in fact, he would even see Yogananda in person, Swami Kriyananda was given permission to see him.

Yogananda reminds Swami Kriyananda that the only reason he allowed this interview, was because Divine Mother told him to. Setting the stage of knowing that all the decisions and choices that Yogananda made are divinely guided.

Then Swami Kriyananda knelt before Yogananda, asking to be made a disciple. Yogananda gazes so deeply into his eyes, and asks for Swami Kriyananda’s unconditional love.

How often in life does one ask you for your unconditional love? What a blessing to be reminded of our true nature. Our divinity. Because truly it can only be by divine right to love so deeply and purely.

I think what struck me after watching this movie, was the realization that as Swami Kriyananda knelt there asking to be made a disciple of Yogananda, he did this for all of us! Swami Kriyananda opened his heart to Master and asked him “to enter and take charge of his life!”

God Is What We Seek

Paramhansa Yogananda used to tell the story of a man who lived a disappointing life. When he passed, God appeared to him and asked if there was anything He could do for the man. In response, the man asked for his next life to have the blessings of health. He was born with extraordinary physical health, but lived and died in poverty.

Appearing again, at the end of life, God asked the man if there was anything he could do for him. The man asked for his next life to be filled with health and wealth. And so it was, but the man was lonely.

The next life he asked for health, wealth and a partner, but his wife was unkind, so he asked for health, wealth, a good wife—who then died early…and so on and so on…until at last he realized that there is no outer perfection, and simply asked to feel God’s presence no matter what came.

So, too, with us. When we decide what will make us happy, we set up for conditions that will always be short of the goal. What we can do instead, so we are told, is to decide to be happy under every circumstance. Tell life what we want, and we will get it, but until we decide we want the unconditioned joy that is God, we continue to wander from limited condition to limited condition and wonder why we still feel empty.

There is a prayer that can be offered when we realize that our own insistence on conditions is the very thing that blocks our happiness. And when we start to realize that we don’t have the wisdom to know how to navigate ourselves—we discover that we need wise friendship to help us figure it out along the way. Part of that prayer reads:

Divine Mother, I come before Thee today, having long sought Thy eternal light, long pondered the eternal truths, long followed the winding path that leads to Thee. I have walked with my own strength, all too seldom with Thine. I have walked with the thought,
“I want this from life; these answers; that guidance; this pathway, or that,” but I have seen that, as often as I made claims on life, it eluded me. As often as I presumed on Thy will,
it turned away from me.

Ah, too long, Mother, have I sought Thee for myself, not for Thy love. I know now that, without Thy strength added to mine, infusing it, I shall never find Thee.

God’s joy is what we seek—the unconditioned joy of our own nature—flowing through every circumstance. Thankfully, the teachings of great spiritual masters and their advanced students are available to us to help us along the way.