I recently returned from teaching a healing weekend at our Ananda Center in Dallas, TX. It was a joy to reconnect with devotee friends and longtime members of the Ananda Healing Prayer Council, and to make new connections with fresh faces.
During the course of the weekend, in a healing session, I recalled a story about Swami Kriyananda from several years ago. He had just returned from India and was giving his first satsang to the community in the temple at Ananda’s Expanding Light retreat. His talk was on finding God in our lives. Near the end of his talk, he said to all of us, “Do you want to know the secret? I’ll tell you the secret. Don’t say, “I did it’ – Say ‘HE did it!’”
I was sitting in the very last row, and I was all ears, right from the first moment when he asked us if we wanted to know the secret. He had never put it so simply before, and it grabbed my attention. I decided to put it to the test. He said it with dynamic force, so mentally I applied that same dynamism in my thinking of those words. I put my attention at the spiritual eye and said, “He did it!” (meaning everything in my life). In doing this – I was a bit surprised at the amount of energy that was thrown from the area of my medulla (the seat of ego) up to the spiritual eye. As a longtime devotee, and one who tries to direct the energy to the spiritual eye, I wasn’t aware how much latent ego force was still sitting there at the medulla!
This came to mind as I was assisting a woman who needed healing. She was a very sincere devotee, yet there was a need to see, much more deeply, “God as the doer” in all of her wonderful spiritual service. Paramhansa Yogananda said that there is a comet of energy flowing into each person at the medulla oblongata. It is very beautiful, and it feeds every cell of our bodies with cosmic life force. It is the source of life. Nothing could happen without it. So, in this way, God really is the Doer, and the only true doer there is. All is Vasudev…
However, due to our free will in life, we can easily think we are the separate and independent “doer.” Yet all life is fueled through the medulla oblongata, “the mouth of God.” So He is always feeding us through this divine mouth. As we dwell on this deeply, we can visualize, and then even realize the deep truth that ultimately, God is the Doer in all things.
Visualize the cosmic life force flowing into you medulla oblongata now. See a great stream of energy flowing into you, feeding your body, mind and soul. You are connected to all life. You are not alone. You are not separate.
In helping her, this understanding deepened for me, as well; it was more akin to a realization of these matters, instead of merely a helpful thought. And with continued meditation, it can become a lasting realization.
May you all be blessed and may your own understanding be awakened ever more fully in your meditations and in your healing prayers. God bless you all!
Joy to you,
Chapter Thirteen–The Highway to the Infinite
BY PARAMHANSA YOGANANDA (EDITED BY J. DONALD WALTERS)
“My guru, Sri Yukteswar, liked a chant that I have translated, two lines from which go, ‘Pranayama be thy religion. Pranayama will give thee salvation.’
“Pranayama means control of the energy in the body, and its direction upward through the spine to the brain and to the Christ center between the eyebrows. This alone is the pathway of awakening. It isn’t a matter of dogma or belief. It is simply the way we were all made by God.
“The consciousness enters the body by way of the brain and the spine. When the sperm and ovum unite to create the physical body, they do so at what becomes the medulla oblongata, at the base of the brain.
“From this medulla, the life force moves out into the brain, down the spine and into the nervous system, then on to the muscles, etc., creating the body.
“The way out of the body, then, is to reverse this process. The difficulty in doing so lies in the fact that the life force is already conditioned by birth to continue its outward direction–through the senses and onward to the environment as it is perceived through the senses. Thus, we think to possess the world and to enjoy it through the body.
“We can never experience anything outside ourselves, however, except vicariously, as the senses report their impressions to the brain. We may try to expand our understanding of the world by study, or our enjoyment of it through sense pleasures. The fact remains, we can never know anything except through the medium of the senses, so long as the life force remains trapped in the body.
“There is a way out, however. It is for the life-force to merge with the cosmic energy; for the consciousness to merge in the infinite consciousness.
“The way to accomplish this end is to withdraw the life force from the senses, and center it in the spine; to direct it upward through the spine to the brain, and thence out through the Christ center between the eyebrows.
“The ego is centered in the medulla oblongata. This is the negative pole of self-consciousness. The positive pole is situated at the Christ center. Concentration at this center–in the spiritual eye, the seat of spiritual vision–projects the consciousness beyond the ego into Infinity.
“The spine is the highway to the Infinite. Your own body is the temple of God. It is within your own self that God must be realized. Whatever places of pilgrimage you visit outwardly, and whatever outward rituals you perform, the ultimate ‘pilgrimage’ must be within. And the ultimate religious rite must be the offering of your life-force on the altar of inner God-communion.
“That was why Jesus said, ‘Destroy this temple, and in three days I will raise it up.’ ‘He spake,’ the Bible adds, ‘of the temple of his body.’ (John 2:19,21)
“This is the path of Kriya Yoga.”