Storms of Inner Trails

By Paramhansa Yogananda

Life will bring you many ups and downs. If you let your feelings rise and fall with the waves of circumstance, you will never attain that inner calmness which is the foundation of spiritual progress. Be careful, therefore, not to react emotionally. Rise above likes and dislikes.

As a child’s sand castle disintegrates before invading waves, so does a restless mind, lacking strength of will and perseverance, succumb to the pounding it receives from the waves of changing circumstance.

A diamond, however, retains its strength and clarity no matter how many waves crash down upon it. The man of inner peace, similarly, his consciousness made crystalline by inner calmness, retains his equanimity through even the storms of mighty trials.

A good rule to live by, and one that will take you sailing through many tests in life, is, under all circumstances, to remain even-minded and cheerful.

Be neither elated nor depressed at anything outside yourself. Behold the passing spectacle of life with an even mind. For life’s ups and downs are but waves on an ocean, constantly in flux. Let not your possessions possess you, nor the petty details of worldly life invade with hordes of worry the stillness of your heart.

Man’s greatest trouble is egoism, the consciousness of individuality. He takes everything that happens to him as affecting him, personally. Why be affected? You are not this body. You are He! Everything is God, Spirit or conciousness.

Objective conditions are always neutral. It is how you react to them that makes them appear sad or happy.

Work on yourself: on your reactions to outer circumstances. This is the essence of yoga: to neutralize the waves of reactions in the heart. Be ever happy inside.

You will never be able to change things outwardly in such a way as to make them ever pleasing to you.

Change yourself!

See God’s changeless beauty at the heart of change, and in every good thing.

Release into the Infinite every attachment—even the least of them.

Let the world shout in outrage, or leap up and down in a hysteria of false joy. What does it matter? It is all a parade— entertaining, colorful, but for all that only a parade, passing endlessly ..a theater of activity.