A story about peace and spirituality comes with challenges. Because how do you show something you can’t see? How do you put words to something you can only feel?
Our attempt, starts at Swami’s Beach in Encinitas, California at the Self-Realization Fellowship Meditation Gardens.
Tucked away in the foliage, are people in meditation—practicing the presence of peace, love, and joy.
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“How would you like to carry a little sanctuary that never changes, right within you, and it will go everywhere you go, and it will be strong and vibrant with peace no matter what happens on the outside,” said Brother Bhumananda, a Self-Realization Fellowship monk. He lives and serves at the beach-side hermitage, which is also a retreat.
Brother Bhumananda has dedicated 36 years to studying and sharing Kriya yoga meditation through the teachings of Paramahansa Yogananda, an Indian Swami, and author of the spiritual classic, “Autobiography of a Yogi.”
“Kriya yoga has been tested by yogis for not centuries, but millenniums and it's been proven, it works, it's universal, which means it can be practiced by anyone,” said Brother Bhumananda.
Kriya yoga includes a series of meditation techniques that slow down the breath, calm the body, and focus the mind to help you feel the peace, love and joy that already reside within you.
“In meditation, you're basically learning to consciously turn off the outer awareness and as you do it, the first benefit is you feel this wonderful peace,” said Brother Bhumananda. “That is a very positive, uplifting, expanding experience where you really feel that you're not just a little stand-alone physical body, but you're connected to something much greater.”
And that sense of unity is what’s supposed to help you feel the spirit that resides within you, and helps guide you.
“And with meditation for one thing you become more insightful and you become more intuitive,” said Brother Bhumananda. “You're relying not just on the little mind, the intellect. We are accessing the inner intuition of your soul, which is your divine nature, so you're able to do things in a more effective way.”
One example, he said his meditation practice helps him still the choppy waters of his mind to more clearly see windows of opportunity.
“Another aspect of God is wisdom, and it will be the most amazing thing ever—you're doing something in your daily life and all of a sudden you have some insight and understanding that you didn't have before, and you didn't reason your way to that, and you didn't think you're way to that, it came from within and may not have happened or come to you in meditation, but it's a direct result of your practice of meditation,” said Brother Bhumananda.
He said Kriya yoga meditation brings you in touch with our own hidden resources, which have always been there, meditation just helps you realize it.
If you are interested in trying meditation, Brother Bhumananda will be speaking at “Unity of Dallas” church on Forest Lane April 11th at 7 p.m. He’ll speak about Kriya yoga meditation, and lead everyone in a 30-minute guided meditation. You can also pick up the book “Autobiography of a Yogi,” to learn more.