This week on Voices of Courage, Ken D. Foster is joined by Brother Tyagananda, who has been a monk of the Self-Realization Fellowship (SRF) monastic community founded by Paramahansa Yogananda since 1987, to discuss calming the mind, reawakening our spiritual powers, and cultivating a personal relationship with the Divine.
Brother Tyagananda shares how the current crisis of the pandemic has provided us all with an opportunity for inner growth and how we can use this time to rediscover our connection with the Higher Reality, reawaken our spiritual faculties, and experience inner peace, guidance, and comfort through the practice of calming and quieting our busy minds.
Ken challenges his listeners to “find their inner peace within the chaos of the world”. He introduces his guest, Brother Tyagananda. Brother Tyagananda is a monk of the Self-Realization Fellowship residing in San Diego. His name means “bliss through inner renunciation”. Ken asks Brother Tyagananda to talk about how the SRF has grown over the years. Brother Tyagananada gives his perspective on how the pandemic has affected the public. He discusses the fear, anxiety, and reawakening the pandemic has brought out in some people. Brother Tyagananada talks about some practices for reconnecting with their inner selves. Ken asks the question, “is this a crisis or an opportunity to take our lives to the next level?”
Brother Tyagananada answers Ken’s question about whether this is a crisis or opportunity. Brother Tyagananada says that this pandemic is both. It grants us the change to slow down and become emotionally and spiritually mature. “It is an opportunity to improve ourselves”. Ken and Brother Tyagananada discuss the “mental hyperactivity” of the brain and the struggle to practice meditation. “Nervousness is the disease of our civilization”. Brother Tyagananada plugs the website and bookstore, yogananda.org. Ken asks another question, “Who are we?” Brother Tyagananada will answer this in the next segment.
Brother Tyagananada says “deep in our hearts, we already know who we are”. He talks about the importance of “moving from the head to the heart” in order to reach a new level of consciousness. He expands with how meditation helps us to remember who we are. Ken and Brother Tyagananada talk about the book “Enter the Quiet Heart” written by Daya Mata. It’s a collection of insights that celebrates the wonder of spiritual love and how readers can live a rich and spiritually rewarding life. Through meditation, “we learn to quiet the mind and calm the heart”. Ken gives Brother Tyagananda a scenario about how we can practice the principles of meditation in everyday life by discussing the frustration of politics. Brother Tyagananada says “we have to “change ourselves first”. Ken asks, “how do we cultivate a deep, personal relationship with the divine” then cuts to a break.
Brother Tyagananada gives the listeners tips on how to create a personal relationship with the spiritual. He says the formula is kriya yoga, medication and devotion. He stresses the importance of consistency when awakening your spiritual self. He quotes a woman he had the pleasure of teaching with, “you must open your heart to the divine…”. He talks about the diversity within the paths of discovering the divine. He says it can take a lifetime to discover the divine. Ken asks Brother Tyagnananda to talk about the phrase, “the eyes are the window to the soul”.
Ken and Brother Tyagananda talk about the meaning behind, “Loving someone deeping gives your courage”. As we engage in spiritual practices, we find love in any situation. Brother Tyagananda talks about universal prayer. This universal prayer teaches us how to discover well-rounded love. Thus, we are able to find love in ourselves through ourselves. Ken asks how we can love ourselves when the world around us is falling apart. Brother Tyagananada talks about how the hardships of life are lessons. He says, “God’s plan for all of us is rooted in love”. He says our purpose being alive is to learn.