Excerpts from Yogananda on the Benefits of Group Meditation
I well remember Sri Yukteswar’s advice when I went to him for training. He said: “Meditate with good companions. They will help you to churn the butter of Self-realization from the milk of your mind. Milk mixes with the waters of worldly delusion and cannot float above them. Butter readily floats on those treacherous waters.”
From time immemorial in India, seekers who were truly eager to realize God have sought association with saints, or have meditated on their pictures in the company of other spiritual aspirants. There is a deep spiritual reason for this practice, which has been endorsed by the masters for centuries.
By deep concentration in union with other seekers, a devotee transmutes his will into God’s Will. Remembering his identity with God, he recovers his divine heritage of God-perception. Every devotee should strengthen his realization of Divine Will through prayer, through God-communion in meditation, and through spiritual company. Why shouldn’t you strengthen your own vibrations through fellowship with people seeking Self-realization, and by group meditation with them? This practice will fortify your own spiritual convictions; you will find that many seemingly insuperable barriers in your life will crumble and dissolve in the waters of meditation. Your devotion and love for God will commingle with the devotion and love of others. Divine bliss will radiate from you, helping all persons you meet.
The proximity of others’ spiritual vibrations has the power of raising your own. Meditation with other devotees thus helps you to quicken your evolution. They inspire you on your climb up the ladder of Self-realization; and you, by your example, can also be helpful to them.
Mix with those who love God. Otherwise, dual forces at play in the universe will distract the mind, and He will again be forgotten.
Group meditation is a castle that protects the new spiritual aspirants as well as the veteran meditators. Meditating together increases the degree of Self-Realization of each member of the group by the law of invisible vibratory exchange of group magnetism.
Group meditations sustain the yogi’s spiritual enthusiasm, inspiring him to meditate when he might otherwise neglect his devotions, encouraging him to spiritualize life’s duties when he might otherwise perform them heedless of God, the real Doer.
If your spiritual progress is at a standstill, or is ebbing, the practice of meditation on God or on any of the Great Ones, in the company of other devotees, will uplift you from your precarious state.
United minds are bigger channels through which God’s Power flows in a mightier way to individual souls.
Group meetings strengthen the individual Self-realization that one has acquired in private at home. Group meetings give a new awakening to members.
The spiritual relation of souls united in seeking God is stronger and more binding that any other relation. Each person is born into a particular family for one lifetime only but he or she who forms a spiritual bond with kindred souls will walk together the path to God through many lifetimes.
I want you to know that your presence and efforts are needed. Won’t you, therefore, attend your group or center services now, and at all times, and give…your loyal support in every way?
Those who come to the Self-Realization Fellowship services regularly, not attracted merely by the talks but seeking inward spiritual help shall receive what they seek from God. I want them to know that whether they come now, while I am in the body, or afterward, the power of God shall flow into them just the same, and shall be the cause of their salvation.
So come regularly. I know that those who do so have changed; I can see it in their eyes and faces. In that regularity and steadiness you shall find God-realization.