Integrating Spiritual Practices into Daily Life

Swami Satyananda Saraswati

When there is will to do something, but the psychological circumstances do not permit you to do it, then I think there is one simple way. Start doing something minimal. Do not jot out a fantastic program for yourself. Start that particular life with a minimum possible program. If one decides many things at the same time, then the mind becomes rebellious, because the mind is full of different types of samskaras.

The mind is not able to accept a lot of new plans and programs. This is the process of crystallization. You must have read in elementary science how to form the crystal. You just put a little bit of crystal and the next morning you find it has grown so big.

If you start one practice or if you fix up one easy virtue, or if you want to eradicate the easiest possible vice, then in the course of time, through the process of crystallization, everything will become very regular. We have this problem with many people who are spiritually ambitious but practically a failure.

So, we give them one program – either say, ‘I will get up at 4 o’clock and nothing else’ or ‘I will practise one mala or half a mala of mantra’. Or just practise one posture so that you take minimum time and it does not work upon your mind and you don’t have to think too much about it.

This process is admitted in our day-to-day life and in the course of a few years, the mind will cooperate. This is the only way.

—11 September 1980, Zinal, Switzerland