After years of failed attempts to manifest my New Year’s resolutions (ever happen to you?), I finally hit upon an approach that really does seem to work. When I shared this new strategy with friends at a recent satsang at Ananda Village, some of them asked me afterwards, “Could you write a blog about this so we can better remember it?” So, here it is.
Paramhansa Yogananda spoke often about the power of the mind to control our destiny. For many years as a young man he’d been plagued with chronic indigestion and was uncomfortably thin. Though he’d tried a great variety of remedies, his painful condition persisted.
Then came the day, Yoganandaji wrote in his autobiography, when his guru, Sri Yukteswar, fixed his gaze piercingly on him. “You are too thin,” he declared. “Medicines have limitations; the creative life-force has none. Believe that: you shall be well and strong.” Yoganandaji said his guru’s conviction made such a strong impression on his mind that he was healed instantly, and permanently.
What factors were at play in this remarkable story? First there was the divine power of the God-attuned guru, Sri Yukteswar, but there was also the fertile soil of the disciple’s receptive mind. Both are needed.
Master said, “The mind is the miracle of all miracles God has created.” A strong mind with firm resolve has the power to break the chains of limitation and past karma that bind us. With this thought in mind, I began inwardly asking, “How can I use my mind to make the changes I want in my life?” Instead of focusing on the specific form or object I wanted to change (“I renounce doughnuts,” for example), I realized I should think more about the process itself.
In other words, what is the operative factor in any beneficial change we are able to make? It is the innate power of the mind released to overcome the nay-saying, self-limiting ego. Thoughts like “You’ll never be able to give up doughnuts” are swept aside like debris in a powerful current when the mind force is unleashed.
So for 2022 my resolution is this: “I resolve to use the power of my mind to overcome all obstacles and accomplish my goals.” Remember the importance of attuning to the consciousness of a God-realized master. Let the Master’s power infuse your mind to accomplish your goals. Then you can be sure your aims are for your highest good, and that you’ll succeed.
Once we begin tapping into the unlimited power of the mind, there’s another strategy we can use to confront any challenge. Looking ahead to the coming year, there are many potential causes for concern, and it’s all too easy to fall into worry, anxiety, and fear. But we can use the disciplined mind to face whatever comes and look for God’s presence there. Master said, “Link every state of mind with God.”
You might think, “That’s easy enough to do when things are going well.” But using this technique, I’ve found even greater joy when I can bring God to mind in the difficult times as well: in the midst of challenges or discouragement. It’s then we realize that His divine joy is always accessible, even behind life’s shadows. Swami Kriyananda put it this way: “There is a joy appropriate to every situation.”
By aligning the miracle of our mind with higher consciousness we can use its power to build a better tomorrow, and to help all those around us.
I’ll close with an excerpt from Master’s prayer/demand, “Help Me to Win the Battle of Life”:
“O King of Kings—train Thou in me, in the camp of discipline, the noble qualities of calmness and self-control. Protect the celestial kingdom of my mind against entry by the tenacious warriors of evil. Let Thy banner of peace wave always above the strong castle of my soul.”
May Master’s blessings be with you in the new year.