This might not sound inspiring to start with, but bear with me! Last
night I was feeling at a bit of a low point, and couldn't find a way
to dig myself out. I tried to meditate but just felt no connection
with anything divine and felt frustrated. In fact it had been a bit
like that for a few days. After a while I remembered something I had
read in Sri Chinmoy's writings about how to get through such times.
The advice was to read a journal of one's own previous uplifting
experiences. I have since remembered where this passage came from.
The following are excerpts from the book "Aspiration-Flames" by Sri
"First of all, you have to know that all spiritual figures have said
that in our spiritual lives we have to go through a "desert". We
cannot live on an oasis all the time. There are always dry periods.
Not one spiritual figure on earth can claim that he has not suffered
through these dry periods. When we cross this barren, empty desert
we feel that there is no aspiration. However, we have to feel that
aspiration is there, although right now we seem to be on an endless
...Sri Chinmoy then goes on to describe four methods of overcoming
such dry periods. It is the fourth which I remembered:
"The fourth method is to keep a spiritual diary. During your
spiritual journey, you have to write down notes of your soul-
illumining experiences, visions and inner feelings. Today you are in
despair, in darkest night. But two months ago you were in the
brightest Light. You had a wonderful experience. You saw that
Krishna was playing the flute right in front of you, or you saw a
flood of Delight and your whole existence became a sea of Delight.
These experiences should be recorded in your diary. As soon as you
read your diary, your inner being will respond to the highest
experiences you had two months ago. Then immediately the inner
feeling, the inner Joy, the soul's joy will drive away your
despondent feelings of misery, loneliness and frustration. So
whenever you have good experiences, high experiences, elevating
experiences during your meditation, please write them down. These
experiences are actually the living breath of our existence. If we
can recollect our highest and deepest experiences at the time of our
frustration, then we will get immediate relief. These experiences
are not based on falsehood. It is we who have had all these divine
spiritual experiences and they will cure the disease which we have
right now. Sooner than at once we shall be cured."
So I rifled though my journals, which luckily I do write from time
to time. I especially try to document times when I have been in the
presence of Sri Chinmoy or have had an inspiring dream or something.
It is so easy for me to forget the fine details if not the essence
of such experiences. I chose the journal I wrote in November and
December last year in Singapore and Indonesia. This was a
particularly inspiring and auspicious time for me as I received my
spiritual name then. I was amazed at how reading the journal cleared
my view of life in the space of an hour, and I was able to meditate
again. Then the world was transformed once again into the abode of
light and hope, instead of a dense forest of heaviness and struggle.
Suddenly it seemed ridiculous that the same person who had had such
an inspiring and illumining time could plunge herself into despair
only a few months later. I almost laughed when I remembered the real
me, and the reality of my spiritual life. How silly I had been to
forget! I was then able to shrug off the self-doubt and despondency,
which had clung to me for a few days, and allow my real self to
continue on the divine journey. "Sooner than at once" I was cured!