I am afraid to go breathless in meditation

“Master,” said a disciple, “I am afraid to go breathless in meditation. What can I do to overcome this limitation?”

“What you are facing is a normal obstacle on the path,” replied Yogananda. “’False notion,’ it is called. You are fearing something that, to the soul, is perfectly natural: deep stillness within.

Your mind is like a bird that has been locked in a cage for many years. It fears liberty. Yet, freedom is its birthright. Someone opens the door to let the bird out. It may hop outside a short distance, but then suddenly it thinks, ‘Oh, this vast world!’ Terrified, it hops hurriedly back into its cage again. Gradually, then, by repeated sorties, the bird becomes accustomed to being outside its cage. Then at last, one day, it spreads its wings and soars up into the sky, free at last!

And why is it free? Quite simply, because it has finally accepted freedom as its natural state. So it is with the devotee when he first experiences soul-freedom. But remember, as it is natural for the bird to fly up into the sky, so is it natural for the soul to soar in omnipresence.”

(From: The Essence of Self-Realization.)

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