”So God created man in His own image” (Gen.1:27). Created in His image, we truly reflect God. Going deep within ourselves, we can find Him. But it is not easy to go within, since we are bound to externality and sensations, due to our habitual attachments and aversions. Selfless service, prayers and meditation are the means that enable us to go within, and find God.
St. Teresa of Avilla was a great Spanish mystic of the sixteenth century, and a reformer and founder of many convents. She used to advise her sisters in the convent about the importance of going within. Teresa communed with God deeply and went into ecstasy often, so that at times the sisters saw her levitating high up even in the refectory.
Levitation is not a mere fantasy. Mr. Oliver Black was a multimillionaire supplying car parts to Ford Motor Company and married with children when he met Paramahansa Yogananda. I had the privilege to stay with Mr. Black for a month in Michigan. He told us about his levitation once.
He had been meditating with Yogananda for three days, and went to the airport to get back to Detroit. Since he had more than an hour to wait, he sat at a secluded area to meditate. When he got up to leave, he found that he was not only full of joy, but in midair, about two feet above the floor. Fearing that others seeing him might faint, he managed to force himself down to the floor with some effort.
Such phenomena are not needed, and should not be sought on the spiritual path. Visions, supernatural phenomena, and even the power to perform miracles do not indicate spiritual progress. Ever increasing peace is a sure sign, but even craving for peace can be egoistic and an obstacle on the spiritual path.
“The kingdom of God is within you,” said Christ (Lk.17:21). By going within, we can find God in silence. “Be still, and know that I am God” (Ps 46). When you find God, you will discover that there is no within or without, since God is center everywhere and circumference nowhere.
Mother Theresa was a modern saint, capable of going deep within herself and communing with God in silence. Once a reporter asked her how she prayed, and what she said to God. She answered that she did not say anything to God, but merely listened to Him.
The reporter wanted to know what God told her. She replied that God also did not talk, but just listened to her. Her response puzzled the reporter and Mother Theresa said that if he could not understand it, she could not explain further. Silent communion with God is an intuitive inner experience, beyond words and thoughts.