Inner Peace by Paramahansa Yogananda

The following are some of my favorite excepts by Paramahansa Yogananda in “Inner Peace”

When you are struggling in the water, you are not so much conscious of the water as you are of your struggle. But when you let go and relax, you float; then you feel the whole lake lapping soothingly around your body. That is the way God is. When you are calm, you feel the whole universe of happiness rocking gently beneath your consciousness. That happiness is God.

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The material and spiritual are but two parts of one universe and one truth. By overstressing one part or the other, man fails to achieve the balance necessary for harmonious development… Practice the art of living in this world without losing your inner peace of mind. Follow the path of balance to reach the inner wondrous garden of Self-realization.

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Man’s great need is to find more time to enjoy nature, to simplify his life and his imaginary necessities, to enjoy the true needs of his existence, to learn to know his children and friends better, and most of all, to know himself and the God who made him.

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When you have finished your duties at the end of the day, sit quietly alone. Take a good book and read it with attention. Then meditate long and deeply. You will find much more peace and happiness in this than in restless activities in which your mind runs riot in all directions…

If you cultivate the habit of spending time alone at home in meditation, a great power and peace will come over you. And it will remain with you in your activities as well as in meditation. Seclusion is the price of greatness.

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Nervousness is the disease of civilization. I remember when some of us were driving up Pikes Peak in Colorado. Other cars were speeding past us on the steep, winding grade. I thought they were hurrying to get to the mountaintop in time to see the sunrise. To my great amazement, when we arrived we were the only ones outside to enjoy the view. All the others were in the restaurant drinking coffee and eating donuts. Imagine! They rushed to the top and then rushed back, just for the thrill of being able to say when they got home that they had been there, and had coffee and donuts on Pikes Peak. That is what nervousness does.

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When we have too much to do at one time, we become very discouraged. Instead of worrying about what should be done, just say: “This hour is mine. I will do the best I can.” The clock cannot tick twenty-four hours away in one minute, and you cannot do in one hour what you can do in twenty-four hours. Live each present moment completely and the future will take care of itself. Fully enjoy the wonder and beauty of each instant. Practice the presence of peace. The more you do that, the more you will feel the presence of that power in your life.

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Never be afraid of anything. Fear is a form of nervousness. As long as you are not dead, you are alive; so why should you fear? And once you are dead it is all over and you cannot remember; so why worry?

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When you are angry, say nothing. Knowing it is a disease, like the coming of a cold, break it up by mental warm baths consisting of thinking of those with whom you can never be angry, no matter how they behave. If your emotion is too violent, take a cold shower, or put a piece of ice on the medulla oblongata and the temples just above the ears, and on the forehead, especially between the eyebrows, and on the top of the head…

Anger is poison to peace and calmness… Be indifferent to those who seem to enjoy making you angry. When anger comes, set your machinery calmness in motion to manufacture the antidotes of peace, love, and forgiveness which banish anger. Think of love, and reflect that even as you do not want others to be angry with you, neither do you wish others to feel your ugly anger…

Develop metaphysical reason and destroy anger. Look upon the anger-rousing agent as a child of God; think of him as a little five-year-old baby brother in return. Mentally destroy anger by saying: “I will not poison my peace with anger; I will not disturb my habitual joy-giving calmness with wrath.”

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Sensitiveness expresses itself in a lack of control over the nervous system. A thought of being offended runs through the mind and the nerves rebel against it. In reacting, some persons seethe inwardly with anger or hurt feelings and show no irritation outwardly. Others express their emotions in an obvious and instant reaction in the muscles of their eyes and face – and often in a sharp retort of their tongue as well. In either case, to be touchy is to make one-self miserable, and to create a negative vibration that also adversely affects others. To be able always to spread an aura of goodness and peace should be the motive of life. Even if there is good reason for being excited because of mistreatment, one who instead controls himself in such a situation is master of himself.

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You have come on earth to entertain and to be entertained. This is why life should be a combination of both meditation and activity. If you lose your inner balance, that is just the time when you are vulnerable to worldly suffering … Awaken the innate fortitude of the mind by affirming, “No matter what experiences come, they cannot touch me. I am always happy.”

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