Meditation is the foundation of spiritual life. Like an engineer designing a structure to withstand certain physical forces, the spiritual seeker engineers himself to withstand certain forces in life. To this end, the single most powerful spiritual tool is a regular, scientific practice of meditation and devotion. 

In his poetic and divinely inspired ceremony The Festival of Light, Swami Kriyananda tells of a special meeting between two Avatars, enlightened masters destined to guide the spiritual evolution of life on planet earth:

High in the Himalaya, eyes filled with divine love, Jesus appeared to the great master, Babaji. “The lights on the high altar of my church,” he said, “have been growing dim. Though still lit on lower altars of good works, the noble taper of inner communion with the Lord burns low, and is ill attended. Let us together, united in Christ love, set lights ablaze on that high altar once again!” Thus, a new ray of light was sent to earth through the great masters of this path.

Babaji’s Cave, by Jonah West

This noble taper of inner communion is a harmonizing, a restoration of the natural state of the soul and its oneness with Spirit. Paramhansa Yogananda said of the practice:

“The soul loves to meditate, for in contact with the Spirit lies its greatest joy. If, then, you experience mental resistance during meditation, remember that reluctance to meditate comes from the ego; it doesn’t belong to the soul.”

All too often we experience the reluctance of the ego before or during meditation, and not enough of the soul’s greatest joy in inner communion. It is important not to give way to discouragement however, but to press on consistently with zeal in the knowledge that our regular, sincere practices of meditation and devotion will yield tremendous benefits. Greater peace of mind and happiness in one’s life can seem intangible, but over time a definite spiritual foundation is established. The inevitable ups and downs of life yield to an increasingly unshakeable sense of deeper fulfilment, calmness and joy. 

Devotion is the secret ingredient that alone can fully complement meditation. It is the natural love and passion of the human heart, directed to the fullest expression of the soul–God. When meditation or life is difficult, when everything else seems to fail, devotion is the answer. The simple words “Love God” express the highest calling, the greatest and only answer to every question of life. Everything comes back to Love, and the individual soul loving God finds the ultimate answer in Divine Love. So in meditation and in life, when it’s hard and when it’s easy, in the big moments and the countless little ones, Love God.

Finally, we can take refuge in God, the supreme Spirit, because our aim must be no less than total soul liberation. Like an arrow shaft loosed from a bow, our devoted meditation practice will bring us there with unerring accuracy in the end. Then our part, simply stated, must be to never, ever lose heart. No matter where life takes us, let us keep the noble taper of inner communion alight, day in and day out, and together we will set lights ablaze on the high altar of our hearts forevermore.

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