Some of the stories told here are quite dramatic. In a split second, the fabric of the universe rearranges itself and inevitable catastrophe is averted by forces more subtle than the senses can perceive.
Other experiences of God come quietly, in answer to everyday concerns like buying a home, caring for aging relatives, finding a mate, or fixing a car.
Before I wrote this book, if you had asked me, “Do you believe in the power of prayer?” without hesitation, I would have said, “Yes.” I have lived in spiritual community for more than forty years and the evidence is all around me.
Still, I was not prepared for what I saw in the eyes of those who shared their stories with me. How tenderly, how sensitively, how personally God responds. Not just to the prominent or talented, the rich or articulate, but to everyone who sincerely calls to Him.
“God feels for us,” Paramhansa Yogananda wrote in his Autobiography of a Yogi. “He is not partial to a few, but listens to everyone who approaches Him trustingly. His children should ever have implicit faith in the loving-kindness of their Omnipresent Father.”
Prayer is not a ritual to be carried out in a formal way at specified times. Prayer is a conversation, an ongoing heart-to-Heart. Every day we talk to friends and relatives, to coworkers, store clerks, and hairdressers about our hopes and disappointments, our losses and needs.
Why not talk also to the One who has the answers?
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Many contributors to this book follow the path of Self-realization.
Their stories include references to aspects of that path, which are mostly explained in context, as well as references to certain persons. Babaji, a deathless Himalayan yogi, is one in the Self-realization line of gurus. Paramhansa Yogananda, author of Autobiography of a Yogi, is the most recent guru and best known. His devotees call him “Master.” Sri Yukteswar was the guru of Yogananda. And Swami Kriyananda, “Swamiji,” is the founder of Ananda, a global network of spiritual communities.