“The whole world is my home, and the human race, my family…”
–Swami Kriyananda, Affirmations for Self-Healing
I feel a bit like an expert, having moved more than twenty times in the last fifteen years. Apparently, I’ve got a knack for setting up an uplifting space regardless of the size or shape of said space – from a laundry room dungeon (um, I mean oasis), to a long, narrow tiny home, to a square, wide-open… well, tiny room. I’ve draped, covered, painted, and decorated many times.
Most times, everything has had to fit in one bedroom, while still having a place to work, cook, store food, books, and clothes, meditate, and sleep. It’s been a fun challenge and there is always a feeling of gratitude to have a roof over my head.
At some point, I had to acknowledge that moving can be stressful. It can feel like you’ve put your nervous system in a blender. Waking up with the thought, “Where am I?” has become pretty normal. However, through these many moves, Swami Kriyananda’s above affirmation has been a great comfort and has helped me expand my tendency toward being a homebody.
The second half of his affirmation, “... With God’s kindness I embrace all men.” is the perfect reminder that it isn’t so much about what we do as the attitude or consciousness with which we do it.
You’ve probably heard the expression, “Home is where the heart is.” This is very true and can feel like a sweet sentiment but we would do well to remember that the heart’s feelings can be moving upward in devotion or downward in emotion. Home can be a couple of angry, frustrated, confused hearts, or a couple of inspired, loving, compassionate hearts. Usually, it's a blend of the two.
In Paramhansa Yogananda’s beautiful chant, “Where Is There Love,” he asks Divine Mother: “Where is there pure loving love? Where is there truly loving Thee?” and declares for all of us — for who among us hasn’t been disappointed by worldly love? — “There my soul longs to be.”
This is our true home. The home that never changes even when our whole outward lives are in transition. Even through the great change of leaving the body, our home in the Divine is eternal and unchanging.
I had a dream once of walking hand-in-hand with Yogananda. He shared some sweet advice with me and then he told me he had to leave. As his form started to fade away, I began weeping. He looked at me as if to say, “why on earth are you crying?!” and said, “I live in Cosmic Consciousness.” He was inviting me to join him anytime I wished in our one true home.
Self-realization is our home. As Yoganandaji says in his original lessons, “Self realization is the KNOWING, in all parts of the body, mind, and soul, that we are now in the possession of the Omnipresence of God; that we do not have to pray that it comes to us; that we are not merely near it at all times, but that God’s Omnipresence is our Omnipresence; that He is just as much a part of us now as He will ever be, and that all we have to do is improve our KNOWING.”
Really, this earth is a place of mirth, a pleasure house for immortals. We must remember that our true home is the mansion of changeless, ever-new, blissful, omnipresent immortality. We are eternally God’s children, whether naughty or good. But when we forget that our home is the kingdom of God and become attached to earthly shows, we make ourselves miserable.
–Paramhansa Yogananda, How to Spiritualize Your Life
Let us lift up our hearts to our true home in the Divine. In silence and stillness we can enter the vast unthrobbing heart of God.