higher purpose

Finding Stability and Joy in Uncertain Times

Lessons for Living Your Higher Purpose with Heart and Meaning: Finding Stability and Joy in Uncertain Times


Confronted by the many tensions of our world, many of us ask the question, “How do we live now?” In this recorded lesson from Yogacharya O’Brian, we learn to honor our questions, probe deeper and receive answers to live skillfully in an ever-changing world.

“The world is always unsafe and unstable, like a drop of water on a lotus leaf.” Yogacharya quotes the sage Shankara, from the closing lines of The Holy Science, the book written by Sri Yukteswar, the Guru of Paramahansa Yogananda. “The world is unstable until one is anchored in the Divine,” says Yogacharya. “All the seers say this. Jesus taught that we must build our life on a rock of stable awareness.”

Paramahansa Yogananda came to America in 1920 with a very practical message that it is possible to directly know God through Kriya Yoga. It may have seemed outrageous to many in the west because of the widespread belief that we are down here on earth and God is somewhere else--up in heaven, separate from us. Yogananda taught that God is our life.

“Knowing yourself you will know God,” says Yogacharya.

“Our spiritual practice is learning how to look. It is discovering how to find God in the midst of chaos, change and difficulty.”

It may seem that our problems are insurmountable when we watch the nightly news, but Yogananda ‘shepherded his flock through the great depression, the world war, and the launch of the atomic bomb.’ His antidote was to help people tune into the truth of their being, not merely to transcend the world, but to become effective problem solvers in the world, anchored in Spirit.

How do we flourish in uncertain times?

Yogacharya points us to the timeless teachings of Patanjali’s Yoga Sutras (1.12). There are two principle things we can do:

1. Meditate.

Strengthen your direct experience of God. “You can be an agent of God. The divine ideas of what you should do will come to you because you have a hotline to the Infinite. Whatever you want to know, ask. And then be a vessel of receptivity. Go for a walk. Get in the shower. Do the dishes. The inspiration will come.”

2. Practice renunciation.

“Be informed but don’t allow your peace to be lost to the news -- then you become part of the problem. Give up your old ideas about the world and see God everywhere. Lift your consciousness and begin to see the holy, sanctified world. See the light of God in everyone and in everything. If you think this is hard, then how hard is it not to see God?”

Share the Joy with Others

“We are living in a time of global awakening. There is tension because not everyone is there yet. Be on the growing edge of love.”

It is important to look for glimmers of light, evidence of joy, that demonstrate we are living in a time of global awakening, and to celebrate it. “Open the door to the joy that is within you. Find a way to share that joy with others. Let God be God through you.”

This recorded lesson is rich with inspiration and explores serious topics with whimsy and laughter. Tune in and hear your own heart’s joy.

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