Slow and Steady wins the Race

‘Slow and steady wins the race,’ said Guruji. ‘There is no hurry for practice. It is not meant to be a big race. There is no need for any hurry. And consciousness increases day by day with practice. You should always think that you are a tortoise; think that slow and steady is the way to win the race.

Who can tell me how much consciousness you developed today? This is not easy to know. But yesterday you were different, and today you are also different.

‘When you are on the mountain, you have to climb steadily. It is not possible to hurry something that cannot be hurried. But when we go step by step, we can reach our destination. When we begin to meditate, there are so many difficulties and obstacles on the way. First we have to fight with the physical body – we are trying to sit still, but we are itching or our legs are numb. Then we have to learn to control prana, and mind, and slowly we can return to our original place.

‘My main aim is to teach about the yoga path. I want you to try and understand more and more, and don’t satisfy yourself only with the superficial way which is often taught. There are many books and many teachers, but I want to tell you that teachers are very important.
‘Be mindful of your words and actions. Be a good human being and develop yourself so that you will be a perfect human being one day. Then you will also be able to help others.

‘When we are doing yoga it is always calming and balancing both the mind and the body. Every day is a new day; you can think that you are a new person. Every hour you are changing, becoming older, but with awareness you can understand more and more. So be confident, be determined, be steady.’

It’s a while since I took piano lessons during my school years, and last year was the first time in almost twenty years that I took a few instrumental lessons again. In preparation for the album launch of Divine Romance, I was keen to improve my guitar playing, having never had a guitar lesson in my life. It was quite an example to me to see how quickly I improved and mastered a few techniques and new bar chords, even though I was barely practising for thirty minutes a day and sometimes didn’t manage to get to it at all.

Our son and daughter are now ten and seven respectively. They take part in various extra-curricular activities in sport, art and music, and it is incredible to see the progress they make. It is so tangible and effective when you practise something regularly. When you do Kriya Yoga practice on the other hand, there is little that could be described as tangible about it: it is subtle (but definitely also effective!) As Guruji says, how can you see or understand how much consciousness has developed? You just have to trust and keep going.

The wonderful thing, as far as Kriya practice is concerned, is that our children have now reached an age where they both understand that we have a time when we disappear for a little while in the early evening, and know not to disturb us unless they really need to. In the meantime, they practise their musical instruments and do other daily ‘duties’. It has made such a difference to the whole family because now my husband and I can frequently, though not always, do Kriya before we cook and have our evening meal. A year ago this timing was not possible. But with both children just that little bit older, it has helped to re-establish a regular routine for the evening practice.

Since the early years of having children, certainly much has changed. That’s life: it never stays the same and we have to learn to be strong and flexible like the proverbial Chinese bamboo. But you’ll appreciate now that although I may have progressed from being a complete beginner, I’m still very much an ordinary Kriya practitioner who experiences the wonderful aspects as well as the obstacles of this path; someone who strives to do regular practice, whilst being far from perfect. The love for Guruji grows stronger and deeper automatically in direct relation to Kriya Yoga practice, and that is how it should be.