As Inner Renewal Week roles on, here is a prayer from Paramhansa Yogananda to renew our resolve to meditate deeply everyday. I find it deeply inspiring, and feel (I think everyone will agree) that the most important word in the entire prayer is perhaps the word “Today.”
Let us ask ourselves: “Have we been meditating deeply everyday?”
If not, let us use the Inner Renewal Week as an opportunity to renew our resolution, and to put that resolution into action with a definite gameplan.
Let us resolve to “shut off the diverting motion pictures of life” as the prayer affirms, by meditating deeply for some time at least, every single day of our lives from today until the very last day of our life.
Here also is an inspiring story from Yogananda’s childhood years (he was then known as “Mukunda”) from Paramhansa Yogananda: a Biography by Swami Kriyananda (have you read it yet?) on this theme:
Mukunda’s meditations were not what one might expect of a little boy. For one thing, he would often meditate for long hours—seven, eight at a time. As he told me, “I would practice Hong-Sau (a meditation technique) for seven hours at a time, until I went breathless.” For another, he often had extraordinary visions.
He told himself, however, “Some day I must have a really long meditation. After all, what are seven or eight hours—out of a twenty-four hour day? Don’t people work that long merely to supply their material needs?”
One morning Mukunda awoke with the thought, “A whole year has passed. And still I haven’t fulfilled the promise I made to myself! Will a long meditation always wait until ‘tomorrow’? Why not today? Why not this very morning?”
He sat down for meditation. Forty-eight whole hours passed. To Mukunda, they seemed more like forty-eight minutes. During a part of that ecstatic period, his body rose above the ground in levitation.
At last he returned to the pandemonium of this bustling world: the sounds of servants at their household chores; the voices of family members in the rooms below; the hubbub of people’s voices in the streets, and the noise of traffic outside. This cacophony invaded his ears discordantly, though it could not disturb his inner peace. In the passageway to the kitchen he met the cook—This faithful servant had for many years been suffering from a pain in his back. Mukunda touched him, and the man was instantly healed.
As a saint often admonished his disciples with the war cry: “Arise, awake, and stop not till the goal is reached!”