Experience the Transformative Power of Meditation

Free Introduction to Meditation“Never accept the thought that meditation is not for you.” — Paramhansa Yogananda

This course can help you experience the transformative power of meditation, based on the universal teachings of Yoga as taught by Paramhansa Yogananda and his direct disciple Swami Kriyananda.

Our hope is that you find inner peace, joy, and fulfillment from within and discover that you can meditate. We’ve helped hundreds of people live more peaceful and happy lives. This course is spiritual, as well as scientific, in its approach. It is not belief based or religious.

Meditation can help you live in peace, happiness, and success. Get started right away and experience the joy and peace that is your true nature.

Topics Include:

  • How to relax.
  • Centered breathing.
  • Meditation keys for beginners.
  • Guided audio and video on meditation.

You’ll Receive:

  • Digital text.
  • Audio learning files (mp3).
  • Digital video.
  • One-on-one support via e-mail or phone.

Start Now With Lesson One

Meditation is:

  • when the mind and body are still and the heart is open.
  • not a passive state; it means changing your level of consciousness and energy to a higher state of energy (Superconsciousness).
  • memory (“smritti”); remembering who and what you really are: a divine spirit, every perfect, ever free (contact with the Superconscious Self or soul).
  • listening; prayer is talking with God or with your own higher Self, meditation is listening for the answers; developing intuition; tuning into intuitive guidance.
  • stillness, of body and mind; the mind has no chance to be peaceful and still if the body is restless and uncomfortable.
  • a discipline; it takes practice and forming new habits, attitudes and thought patterns; it is a habit not always won easily, but certainly worth the energy!
  • concentration; taking the mind off of many things and placing it on one thing at a time.
  • concentration on God or an attribute or aspect of the Divine, such as: love, light, peace, joy, wisdom, calmness, sound (vibrations), or power; true meditation is concentrating so deeply on an aspect of the Divine that you become that which you concentrate on.
  • in two stages: the “getting there” and the “being there”; both are valid parts of meditation.
by Swami Kriyananda
from Awaken to Superconsciousness

How long should you meditate? The first rule is, Don’t be ruled by what others do. What works well for them may not work for you. Accept that in certain ways you are unique. Here are a few general guidelines:

Intensity of effort is far more important than the time spent in meditation.

Never meditate to the point of mental fatigue, strain, or boredom… If you feel joy in meditation, stop meditating when the joy begins to diminish. One rule for right eating is to leave the table a little hungry. Apply this rule to meditation. In that way, you’ll always look forward to your next time for meditation.

On the other hand, make an effort to meditate a little longer at least once a week… Gradually you’ll break the habit of thinking you can meditate only for short periods.

In longer meditations, imitate the ocean tides in their ebb and flow. Let periods of intense concentration alternate with periods of relaxed effort and peaceful receptivity. Like waves coming in to shore, high intensity will alternate with low intensity in long meditations, and there may be pauses when no waves come at all. Until you can transcend body-consciousness in superconsciousness, it is unlikely you’ll be able to meditate deeply for very long. Think of your thoughts as dirt that has been stirred up in a glass. Stop stirring it, and it will gradually settle. The greatest difficulty, in long meditations especially, is physical tension. Make an extra effort to keep your whole body relaxed…

As a general guideline, I suggest you try to meditate at least half an hour twice a day – in the morning after you get up, and in the evening before going to bed. An hour and a half twice a day is better. But if you are a beginning meditator, more than one hour a day may be extreme. It is better to meditate a few minutes with deep concentration than a whole hour absentmindedly. Moreover, I don’t mind bargaining with you! For although five minutes, let’s say, isn’t much for anyone who has developed a taste for meditation, it may be all you feel you can spend in the beginning. So be it! Think of meditation, if you like, as daily spiritual hygiene. You brush your teeth, bathe, and brush your hair every day: Why not add to that routine five minutes of meditation?

You’ll come to enjoy meditating, in time. Then you’ll find yourself meditating longer because you want to, and not because someone is nagging you to do so. But if you think you’re too busy, here’s something to think about: You can always find the time for something you enjoy doing, can’t you? In time, you’ll wonder how you ever lived without meditating daily. And the answer, of course, will be: You didn’t. What you did, that is, wasn’t really living.

Be natural in your efforts. Make haste slowly, as the saying goes. Don’t force yourself to meditate when you’d very much rather be doing something else.

At the same time, don’t stop meditating altogether with the excuse that you have other things to do. Remember, there’s only one direction to go that makes any lasting sense: toward your own Self, in superconsciousness. No substitute will ever work for you; it’s never worked for anyone. No appointment is more important than your appointment with-not death: life.

Be a little stern with yourself. Success won’t come to people who never try. Only bear in mind that tension is counterproductive. In meditation, concentrate first of all on relaxation.

Remember this also: The more you meditate, the more you’ll want to meditate; but the less you meditate, the less you’ll enjoy doing it.

Another rule: As soon as you sit for meditation, get “down to business.” Don’t dawdle, as if telling yourself, “Oh, I have a whole hour, so what’s the rush?”

Be regular in your hours and practices of meditation… It is a good practice to meditate at the same hours every day. Routine conditions the mind. You’ll find yourself wanting to meditate whenever those hours return. It will be much easier, then, to set all distractions aside.

As soon as you sit to meditate, pray for depth and for guidance in your meditation. Pray also for peace for all humanity. Don’t isolate your sympathies from others; embrace all in your divine love.

We develop intuition, Paramhansa Yogananda said, by prolonging the peaceful aftereffects of the meditation techniques… After meditation, don’t strip your mental gears by plunging hastily into outer activity. Try to carry the meditative peace into everything you do. To develop this habit, it may help to begin with outward activities that don’t involve your mind too much. While doing them, chant inwardly to God.

As a focus for your devotion, you may find it helpful to set up an altar in your place of meditation. Include pictures on the altar, if you like, of saints, or of images of God, or of infinite light and space.

A helpful practice also, if it pleases you, is the burning of incense as a devotional offering. The sense of smell is closely related to the memory faculty. You may recall, for example, catching in some fleeting scent a reminder of some childhood episode that awakened a host of associated memories. Incense, when used regularly in meditation, will help to create meditative associations in your mind, and bring you more quickly, therefore, to inner calmness.

Above all in meditation, be happy! If you want to experience peace, meditate peacefully. If you want to know love, offer love first, yourself.

Excerpt from Awaken to Superconsciousness, by Swami Kriyananda

Copyright Crystal Clarity Publishers

Swami Kriyananda is the founder of Ananda. When he passed in 2013 he had been meditating everyday for for 66 years.

Swami KriyanandaSwami Kriyananda on Meditation…

“I began meditating nearly fifty years ago, in 1948. Since then I haven’t, to the best of my recollection, missed a single day of practice. No stern-minded self-discipline was needed to keep me regular. Meditation is simply the most meaningful activity in my life – indeed, the most meaningful activity I can imagine. I seriously wonder how people live without it. Meditation gives meaning to everything one does. As India’s best-known scripture, the Bhagavad Gita, states, “To the peaceless person, how is happiness possible?” Inner peace is like lubricating oil: It enables the machinery of our lives to function smoothly. Without mental peace, our emotions, and the various demands placed upon us in our lives, grind together and create inner stress, leading eventually to some kind of physical or nervous breakdown.

Psychometric studies have shown that meditation produces a healthy ego, that it expands a person’s world view and enables people to cope better with the stresses of life. Meditators, in addition, have shown significant gains in overcoming depression, neurotic behavior, and feelings of social inadequacy.

Meditation develops concentration, so essential for success in every activity. Often I have found, by meditation-induced concentration, that I can accomplish in an afternoon what others have required days or even weeks to complete. In three days, some years ago, I wrote melodies for eighteen of Shakespeare’s lyrics; in a single day, more recently, twenty-one of the thirty-three melodies for my oratorio, Christ Lives, which has had hundreds of performances in America and in Europe. In one day, recently, I wrote thirty-one melodies for an audiotape of my mini-book Secrets of Happiness; and in one day also, my entire book Do It NOW!, which has a different saying for every day of the year. (I did need a month, later, to edit the book for publication.)

Ananda Village rainbowBefore taking up meditation, I would sometimes stare at a page for days before I could write down a single word. Even then, I doubted whether what I’d written was what I really wanted to say.

Inspiration, which many highly creative people consider out of their hands, can be summoned at will by one-pointed concentration, and by magnetizing the flow of thoughts and ideas in meditation.

Physical fatigue can be banished also, by putting ourselves in tune with inner abundance, flowing to us from infinity. The deeper this attunement, through meditation, the greater the abundance we experience in every aspect of our lives.

It was from a great master of yoga, Paramhansa Yogananda, that I learned the art and science of meditation. I read his Autobiography of a Yogi (1) in 1948, and was so moved by it that I took the next bus from New York City to Los Angeles, where he had his headquarters. The day I met him, he accepted me as a disciple, and I lived with him as a monk for the remaining three and a half years of his life. I have been his disciple ever since.”

Excerpt taken from Awaken to Superconsciousness by Swami Kriyananda

1) Take some time to find a space in your home, office or even outside, that you would like to dedicate to be your meditation spot. Ideally this space would be its own room. That is not always possible to do, so do the best that you can to create this space for yourself. Some people use a screen to section off a portion of a room, or hang curtains. Be creative and have fun. If you create a space for your meditation, and use it just for meditation, it will help you to create an environment that supports your practice.

Do not let not having the perfect space to meditation delay your meditation practice!

2) As an experiment try to meditate at least once a day. Good times are first thing in the morning or last thing at night, before you go to bed. It will help you if you meditate at the same time every day. It is better to meditate every day for just five minutes, than to meditate for longer periods of time, only once or twice a week. In order to get the full benefits of meditation you need to meditate every day.

  • Use the audio guided meditation as much as you like, as you begin on your new adventure with meditation. You can use part of the audio or the full audio, depending on how much time you have.
  • Do what works for you. If you do not meditate every day, do not feel bad or beat yourself up! Enjoy the process!

Audio: Physical Guided Relaxation (5 minutes)

Audio: Guided Meditation (1 minute)

Full Course Outline

  • Reading Assignment — What is Meditation?
  • Reading Assignment — Meditation Keys for Beginners
  • Reading Assignment — Swami Kriyananda on Meditation
  • Video — Meditation for Starters with Swami Kriyananda
  • Audio Recording — Physical Guided Relaxation (5 minutes)
  • Audio Recording — Guided Meditation (1 minute)
  • Homework for the First Week
  • Breathing Meditation Basics for Relaxation
  • Deep Relaxation
  • How to Sit Comfortably
  • Video — How to Sit Comfortably for Meditation
  • Audio — Guided Relaxation
  • Audio — Guided Meditation
  • Homework for the Second Week
  • The Art of Meditation
  • Practical Tips for Meditation
  • Importance of Environment
  • Audio — Guided Meditation
Additional Resources:
  • Daily Meditator Newsletter
  • Movie Trailer — Finding Happiness Movie

More About Course

Free Introduction to Meditation“Meditation is a process of returning to your own center. It is learning to relate to life and to your environment from who you are, and not from the way other people try to define you.” — Swami Kriyananda   from Meditation for Starters


This introductory course provides a solid base of understanding what meditation IS and how to apply the various techniques so that you experience deep states of peace within your own Self. You’ll learn the fundamentals of meditation so that you may begin developing a habitual practice. The essence of meditation is deep relaxation and concentration. This course presents various practices that help release physical discomfort while sitting and techniques to relax and focus the mind.
In this self-paced course you will have 30 days to complete three lessons. We encourage you to complete one lesson per week and to dedicate some time every day to your study so that you may get the most from the material. Take full advantage of the interactive forums to share your thoughts and inspiration with other participants, and the course instructor is available to support you throughout your journey.

You will receive an email reminder seven days before your enrollment period expires. We offer enrollment extensions freely, so if you find you need more time to complete the course, you can let us know at admin@onlinewithananda.org.

Associated Courses

Dhyan Garcia-Davis

Dhyan Garcia-Davis grew up in the San Francisco Bay Area and moved to Ananda Village back in 2010. Immersing himself in the teachings of Paramhansa Yogananda, he finally discovered what had always been missing in his life: inner joy. Through the power of Kriya Yoga and service to others, Dhyan has dedicated his life to spreading the universally applicable teachings of yoga and meditation to other truth seeking souls. Being a certified Ananda Yoga and Meditation teacher, he has lived and taught these liberating techniques of yoga both in America and India. Earnest in his search for truth and in his love for others, Dhyan extends his friendship to soul friends everywhere.

2 reviews for Free Introduction to Meditation

  1. 3 out of 5

    I enjoyed this course. It’s always nice to join in on a guided meditation. The tips are traditional and presented in a wonderful new light.

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