The Differences and Similarities between Meditation and Prayer
January 14th, 2020
Punalu’u, Oahu, Hawaii, U.S.A.
Received by Jimbeau Walsh
I am here, your brother and friend, Yogananda.
I wish to explain the differences and similarities in meditation and prayer. These things sometimes separate, but can also be the same. In traditional Eastern meditation, one is taught to go within, to let the mind go, to find the stillness in the center of one’s being in the heart chakra area, to relax the body completely but maintain awareness. In this place there is peace, there is a oneness.
In my own teaching, where I presented Kriya Yoga, learned through my teacher Sri Yukteswar, I focused on this going within and allowing the body to be a vessel of light, opening each chakra so that it was as if there was a beam of light extending from the lowest chakra all the way up through the Sahasrara (crown chakra) into the heavens. I presented this in a very scientific way and this method in the West became every well-known back in my day. Many thousands of people tried this approach with great success, finding great peace, feeling the light, feeling the oneness with the cosmic forces and the consciousness of love pervading their being.
I must confess, my own meditation was a bit different. I went within and of course I experienced tremendous bliss and energies in being at one with the cosmos and often had visions (third eye - 6th Chakra) as you know. But I also spoke to God from the longings in my soul, sometimes just very simply asking for my soul to be at one with God. Other times I would have questions about my work, situations that had arisen, such as my separation from my homeland. At the beginning, my wondering why am I here? How can I possibly be successful at this mission my guru has given me? All those questions were answered in prayer. But also, my deep desire in my soul to connect with the Creator brought God’s Love into my soul and began to transform it. So I would mention to my students, talk to God, think about God all the time.
I always gave credit to God, not wanting the focus to be on myself. At no time did I seek to be worshiped as God on Earth, but rather as someone who had self-realized what I call Christ-Consciousness, at-oneness with God. Where there are ashrams and monasteries and temples where devotees pray, there is often a rapport created between the heavens and those longing to connect with their Creator beyond the oneness of feeling at one with the universe, into the gloriousness of truly feeling at-one in love with the Creator.
This indeed is the meaning of the words in the Gospels when Jesus says “I and the Father are one.” He did not mean he was God. In the East when they interpret that wrongly as God incarnate, with Jesus or any other teachers they are in error. For truly He was the first divine Son of God, but there have been others, although He is the greatest. Are not we all children of God, sons and daughters of our Creator who wishes us all to be at-one with His essence which is the Divine Love?
So my intention today is to draw a bridge, create a bridge between the meditation of going within and being at-one with Creation and the universe and opening up in humbleness to our Creator to receive the Great Love which is given to all who ask. If we take the meditation of going within and the humble prayer of reaching out for the Essence of the Creator to be ours, we can call this a Divine Love meditation, for it is a combination of the two - prayer and meditation.
I would encourage you to go within and be calm. Find that place in your heart, in your soul where there is the beautiful natural love given to all. Allow your mind to become still, your heart to be opened, your body to be at peace. Allow for the longings of your souls to reach the Creator in the humbleness that is required in the recognition of the Great One. This is truly becoming transformed in Christ-Consciousness, becoming anointed with the love of the Creator. Being transformed as a soul from the mere image of God to at-onement with the very substance of God and immortality, eternal life. This is the gift that is offered from our most loving Creator. I encourage you to ask, for you truly shall receive.
I thank this one for taking the time to receive this message which I have longed to give to my students and to the world. May you all be blessed and transformed in God’s Love. I love you and I thank you. Go in peace. I am your brother and friend in the celestial heavens, Yogananda. Thank you. God Bless you.