[You can ask your own question here.]
I meditate daily. Lately I have been experiencing vibration internally — very strongly when I am still but perceptible during activity. It started in my spine, then my heart chakra, now in my throat. I’ve been awakened at night with a whooshing sound, which feels Divine. Everyday I ask Guruji, Babaji, and Divine Mother for guidance. My life is being altered and I am changing. There are moments of insecurity but mostly what I feel is a deep, trusting love. Is this normal?
I have a friend, however, who is not accepting these changes in me. She says I am fooling myself. When I respond that I am feeling and hearing the Divine Mother, this friend gets very negative. As a result, I have distanced myself from her. I feel her negative energy of anger and resentment. She says I am making bad karma for myself. Am I? Is there a better way to handle this?
Maia, from USA
When you begin to meditate and ask God to guide you it naturally awakens energy in the spine and increases the upward flow. This can manifest in many ways, including those you describe. As you are finding, these experiences are wonderful and bring with them a sense of being touched by the Divine.
Your spiritual effort is awakening “the natural love of the heart,” as it is often called. This is a great blessing and very positive for your life. “Everything in future will improve,” Sri Yukteswar said, “if you are making a spiritual effort now.”
Because these experiences are new for you, at least in this incarnation, to feel unsure is also a natural response. If you moved to another country, you would find many familiar elements — people eat, drink, sleep, talk, laugh, love everywhere. At the same time, there would be aspects that would be confusing. So on side you would feel completely happy and at home making new friends in a new country, and on the other hand you would feel insecure.
After a little while, though, when you become familiar with the customs of your new country, the insecurity will vanish.
Entering the spiritual path, getting deeper into the life Divine, is entering a new way of life — delightful, adventurous, promising, but also unfamiliar.
So, the answer to your question, “Is this normal?” is “Yes.”
The response of your friend is, alas, also “normal” in the sense of quite common. She may, in fact, be genuinely concerned that you are getting yourself into something that won’t in the end prove beneficial. She is not showing much respect for your judgment, but at least we can imagine that she has your best interests are heart.
Even if she does, however, she is not behaving in a way that would make you want to spend any time with her right now. You may love her at a distance, but if she is going to insult your judgment and negate these precious experiences, why would you want to be with her?
Your choice to distance yourself is quite appropriate both from a spiritual and a merely social point of view. Even if she means well she is not behaving well. Why expose yourself to that?
Also, when the tree of spiritual development is just a sapling, you have to build a protective fence around it. Even a mighty oak when still a twig can be broken by a mouse. If protected at the beginning, however, it can become a mighty oak, able to shelter and support many souls.
You simply can’t afford to expose yourself to this kind of energy.
Yes, she is still able to direct it toward you through the ether. But that is really her problem, not yours.
Because this world is just a reflection of what we have inside ourselves, people often accuse others of what is actually happening to them. In this case, your friend says you are getting bad karma, presumably for distancing yourself from her.
Friendship is an important value. But a lower duty (dharma) ceases to be a duty when it is replaced by a higher one. In this case, your devotion to the spiritual path is a higher duty than maintaining this friendship. She has forced you to choose. There is no question: God first.
It is not good to say to or even about anyone that they are getting “bad karma.” That is the yogic equivalent of the old fundamentalist accusation, “You are going to hell!” Fortunately, the fate of others is not in our hands. God is in charge.
Still, without accusing her as she is accusing you, it is unfortunate that she has decided to respond this way. Some people feel threatened by the spirituality of others. Perhaps deep inside she knows you have taken the higher path and feels shamed or jealous by the contrast between what she is doing and what you are doing.
Maybe she is just jealous because you have someone else in your life — Divine Mother — who means more to you now than she does.
All of this is unfortunate. But no, you are not getting bad karma from trying to get closer to God, even if, as a side effect, it creates distance between you and your friend.
Still, watch your heart. Even if she provokes you, inwardly keep a kindly attitude toward her. It is not wrong, however, to respond sharply to her if necessary. When people insult something that is dear to you, you don’t have to take it silently. You can speak frankly. Even if your words are strong, however, keep a kindly attitude toward her inside. When a mother scolds her child, she doesn’t cease to love the child. In fact, sometimes she loves the child even more.
This doesn’t mean you have to think about her much or at all. And if thinking about her puts you on the wavelength of her anger and therefore disturbs your peace, do not think about her at all. Don’t even pray for her. You are still a sapling and have to protect yourself.
Tell Divine Mother that you are not able at this time to be her friend, so She will have to take over for you. Then turn your attention away from your former friend and don’t think about her again. If your friend changes, of course, you can welcome her back into your circle. But if she remains angry at you for being a spiritual seeker, you must keep your distance.
These things happen. In life we have to make choices if we hope ever to accomplish anything. Focus. Concentration. Discipline. These are the means to worthwhile goals. Sometimes sad things happen along the way — like the loss of friends who don’t understand. Give it all to Divine Mother.
Where there is dharma, which is to say, right action that leads to God consciousness, there is always victory. The best way to be a friend to this woman right now is to do the right thing spiritually, which is not to let her bad energy pull you down. In the end, she too will be blessed. For when we make spiritual progress, even if the egos of those around us who don’t understand disapprove, their souls rejoice. Your spiritual progress also uplifts them, even if they don’t know it.
[Questions and answers from other Ananda ministers worldwide can be found on the Ask the Experts page of Ananda.org.]