Showing posts with label Paramahansa Yogananda. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Paramahansa Yogananda. Show all posts

Sunday, February 10, 2019

Sweet And Satisfying

It is a sweet and satisfying ritual. We read aloud to each other in bed each night. Then Amy and I kiss goodnight before sleep.

These are books on the bedside table now:

Baha’i Prayers
Songs Of The Soul, by Paramahansa Yogananda
Leaves Of Grass, by Walt Whitman
Psychological Reflections, by Carl Jung
The Complete Fairy Tales of the Brothers Grimm

Brief excerpts from each:

“Oh my Lord! Make Thy beauty to be my food, and Thy presence my drink, and Thy pleasure my hope, and praise of Thee my action, and remembrance of Thee my companion, and the power of Thy sovereignty my succorer, and Thy habitation my home, and my dwelling-place the seat Thou hast sanctified from the limitations imposed upon them who are shut out as by a veil from Thee.” 
—Baha’u’llah, Baha’i Prayers

I have nothing to offer Thee, For all things are Thine.
I grieve not that I cannot give;
For nothing is mine, for nothing is mine.
Here I lay at Thy feet
My life, my limbs, my thoughts and speech;
For they are Thine, for they are Thine.
—Paramahansa Yogananda, Songs Of The Soul

Youth, large, lusty, loving—youth full of grace, force, fascination,
Do you know that Old Age may come after you with equal grace,
Force, fascination?
Day full-blown and splendid—day of the immense sun, action, ambition, laughter,
The Night follows close with millions of suns, and sleep and restoring darkness.
—Walt Whitman, Leaves Of Grass

“The manifestations of the spirit are truly wondrous, and as varied as Creation itself. The living spirit grows and even outgrows its earlier forms of expression; it freely chooses the men who proclaim it and in whom it lives. This living spirit is eternally renewed and pursues its goal in manifold and inconceivable ways throughout the history of mankind. Measured against it, the names and forms which men have given it mean very little; they are only the changing leaves and blossoms on the stem of the eternal tree.”
—Carl Jung, Psychological Reflections

“Once upon a time there was a king and a queen and they had a son and a daughter loving each other very much. The prince was going hunting very often and stayed in the forest for a long time, but one time he didn’t come back home. His sister was crying so badly that she couldn’t take it anymore and decided to go out in the forest to look for her brother. After an extremely long journey through the forest she was very tired and looked around and noticed that a lion was next to her. He was very polite to her and she climbed on top of his back and they carried on their journey. After a while they came to a beautiful garden. Everything there was awesome and the sun was shining bright, in the middle was a gorgeous palace. The lion spoke to the princess for the first time: “In this palace you should live but you will be my servant and you will do whatever I say. Otherwise you will never see your brother again.” From then on the princess would serve the lion and fulfilled all his wishes. Once when she was walking in the beautiful garden of the palace she noticed a pond. In the middle there was a little island and on top of it a tent. Underneath the tent she noticed a little frog. The frog turned around and spoke to her: “Why are you so sad?” “Oh”, she said, and told him her torment. The frog replied very friendly: “If you need anything you just speak to me and I will help you anytime and anywhere.” One day the lion told her: “Tonight I would like to eat a mosquito pie. You have to prepare it, but it must be tasty.” The princess thought, where should I get all these things? It is nearly impossible. She then ran outside and told the frog her sorrow. The frog replied, don’t worry I will bring you a mosquito pie. He then sat down and opened his mouth wide, once to the left and once to the right and caught as many mosquitoes as possible. After that the frog jumped up and down and collected wood shavings and made a fire. As the fire was burning, he made dough for the pie and put it over the fire. He replied to the girl, you only get the pie if you promise me that you will chop off the lions head as soon as he is asleep. “No way”, she said, “I never will do that as the lion was always good to me.” The frog answered: “if you don’t, you will never see your brother again and you don’t harm the lion either.” She took all her courage, took the pie and gave it to the lion. “The pie looks very good” commented the lion, sniffed on it and ate it all. As the lion was sleeping the girl pulled out a sword, closed her eyes and took off his head with one blow. As she opened her eyes again, the lion had disappeared and next to her stood her brother. He kissed her and spoke: “You unburdened me from the spell because I was the lion until a girl’s hand will chop off my head out of love.” After that they went together in the garden and wanted to thank the frog for his advice. As they arrived, they saw the frog franticly jumping around looking for wood shavings to make a new fire. As it was burning bright he himself jumped inside. Out of the fire came a beautiful girl, as she had been under a curse as well. All three returned to the castle and the prince and the beautiful girl got married. It was an awesome celebration with lots of food and drinks and nobody went home hungry. And if they are not dead they are still eating and drinking. “
—Brothers Grimm, The Complete Fairy Tales

Sunday, April 03, 2016

Be Lovingly Present

During my recent trip around the world I had nothing more personal to me than three little framed photographs I always kept near. The portraits are of `Abdu’l-Bahá, Naomi Boone, and Paramahansa Yogananda. All three are abiding now in the angelic realm.

 `Abdu’l-Bahá (Persian/Arabic 23 May 1844 – 28 November 1921) was the son of Bahá'u'lláh ("Glory of God"; 12 November 1817– 29 May 1892) , the founder of the Bahá'í Faith. Naomi Boone (Jan. 11 1980 – July 5, 1999) is my oldest daughter who died of cancer when she was nineteen. Paramahansa Yogananda (Bengali, 5 January 1893– 7 March 1952) was an Indian yogi and guru.

I am especially privileged to have been with Naomi and walked by her side in this world. I wrote a book about our journey together (A Heart Traced In Sand) and used her own writings to reveal her soul. Naomi started writing in diaries at the age of twelve. In addition she left volumes of drawings, paintings, some sculptures, and scribbled affirmations she made during her sufferings. At one point in her last diary, she was upset that she was getting worse, not improving. As she vented, she had the thought that someone would be reading her words after she died. She hated the notion because it was fatalistic. She wrote that she would rather burn her diary. I am glad she did not.

Naomi suffered tremendously before dying, but strove not to let it show. An active athlete in High School, she was on the track and field and cross-country running teams. She was in the Ski club, German Club and went to Germany. She began having difficulty with her leg, and we discovered she had bone cancer. The cancer had metastasized to her lungs as well. The tumor in her hip was very large and expanding—fracturing her bone. The treatments were horrendous. Her hair fell out, she was on crutches, was isolated for spells in hospital rooms . . . constantly hooked up to machines. Meanwhile she was attempting to finish high school between treatments, and applied to college.
She underwent a bone marrow transplant—doses of chemotherapy so high it destroyed her bone marrow. It also destroyed her immune system. Once when she sneezed, her nose bled and would not stop bleeding for three days. A specialist had to be called to constrict the blood vessels in her nose. She was given back stem cells that had been harvested from her earlier, and her bone marrow revived. She was accepted to an art college, and graduated high school.

All along, she fought hard and made every effort to live normally, even taking a job. The cancer retreated but came back and killed her. She had said that she did not want to die a slow agonizing death, but this is what happened. Her leg was terribly swollen, she could not feel her foot, was in intense pain, nauseous, and suffocated to death when her lungs filled with fluid. Yet, just the day before, she managed to say to someone massaging her, “I love my body, it has been so good to me.”

Remarkably, Naomi seldom complained and actually was more concerned for those around her. I barely left her side for two years. After she died, someone said we were like twin flames, and I know that is right.

My life has not been gentle since my father died two years ago, then my wife and I divorced, my first wife died, and then my mother passed away. I have felt sorrow, loneliness, pathos and more. Yet, I have not been blind to the good that occurs and my many fortunes and blessings.

I take solace in her words, and when I feel tired, or that life is unjust, or empty, I remember them. I have taken sentences from her writings, some just before she died, and written them here:

Healing! Loving! Knowing! Wishing! Hoping! Being! Enjoying! Living! Mending! Giving! Praying! Sending! Shining! These gifts of life are what make it possible to fight so hard to keep it.
This world is so full of opportunities that one can hardly keep up with them all. Life is so beautiful, I cherish it and want to be able to see every part of it.
I want to show God that I have learned much and feel I deserve acres of life to unfold for me. I love this life and I want to be here for as long as God allows. I trust that God knows my love for life and the happiness it gives me.
I am chi. I am full of the life force, full of the flowers, trees, the smell of lavender and roses, the feeling of the wind blowing against my face as I run, and the wonder when I go snorkeling and see the other world! That is only a little bit of what the life force is. I am chi, that life force.

It seems there is no way of knowing that everything will be okay. The only thing I can do is trust in God and the power I have within.
Sometimes I am afraid that I might die. It is not that I am afraid of going somewhere else, it is that I don't want to and I am not ready to leave this world. It is not death I fear, It is losing life and people.

As of now, I let go of my fears and troubles. In their place I let God do the work. I let light and energy, wholesomeness and happiness enter my soul. I know everything will be alright because God is with me no matter what.
I am filled with a wonderful sense of happiness. It is an indescribable sense of utmost freedom and joy. When I am in touch with it I just think, Oh, God, thank you for this beautiful body and life. I have learned how to use THANK YOU throughout everything.

Everything is important and nothing is important; everything is illusion back to God. Everything is already accomplished; you just have to bring your consciousness to it: Divine order is always in place. There is no place to go and nothing to do.

In every heart there is a deep sorrow, one that edges in like a whisper on a cold night. The delicacy of a person who is outwardly strong is as delicate as a rose before a frost inwardly.
May I be protected from internal and external harm. May I be healthy and strong,
 May I be happy and at peace.
May I care for myself joyfully.
God is with me, I just need to give it all to Him.

Hardship is something that will make us stronger. I don't know if I have complete evidence of this, but I think that in every situation there is good in it.

Show up and be lovingly present, no matter what it looks like out there or inside yourself. Always speak the truth of your heart.

Dear God, I want to tell you that I am thankful for my remarkable body. The joy in my soul has helped my body know how strong it actually is.