Can a Person Change?


Finland, photo by the Author

Do you believe that people can change? I did not believe in the past but now I know that they can.

I did not believe because I did not see that people actually changed though from time to time some of my acquaintances had a desire to become better (as they noticed themselves that they behaved “not very well”). But their desire did not come true because, as practice has proved, mind fails to “persuade” the person’s conditionings, bad habits and negative qualities to “keep silence”. It referred to me as well. But even then I had a feeling that we are born on this Earth not for nothing but to become better learning from mistakes (or as Indians say, going along the circles of sansara).

In Sahaja Yoga I really saw that people CAN change. Although here you also need some work from your mind – a strong desire to change yourself, daily meditations, introspection and watching your behavior from aside, the main work is done not by mind at all. Our inner energy that each of us has either in a sleeping or active state works at us. How this energy works – much has been said already on this topic and I just want to share my experience.

About half a year ago I read in the newspaper about the experience of one man – a convict in a Finnish prison who had started practicing Sahaja meditation three years before, already serving his sentence. He wrote how sahaja yogis regularly conducted programs in the prison. Pedro attended these classes and the first result was that he stopped smoking (it happened one day that he simply did not want to smoke any more). Then, gradually, his fears, doubts, offenses, etc. were gone, his outlook changed. The collective started to grow and the administration of the prison seeing changes in the convicts for the better allowed regular collective meditations and even gave them a special room – a room for meditations. Now there are 9 people practicing meditation on a regular basis in this prison.

I do not know what exactly became the reason for the sentence but when I read his story I had a strong desire to write him to support him on his life path, I felt compassion for a person who had to make, obviously, a very serious mistake to realize that he wanted to change, to grow and what way he should go to do it. I sent him a letter.

Soon I got the answer. Pedro wrote: “…I have got so many blessings and now there is joy in my life. I think it is just an example of the idea that in reality it does not matter where you are as the Supreme Power will anyway find a way to you to change you…(if you have a desire to change)”.

Can you imagine that so bright and inspiring letters can be written in such a place as a prison?

We also have a friend who, together with other yogis, organizes programs (basically Russian songs and Indian bhajans) in prisons and colonies. The last time the guys visited a prison in Moscow Region. Vadim, our friend, said after the concert: “There were about 100 convicts in the hall and, as we have noticed not for the first time already, the atmosphere in the hall was much more positive and heartfelt than in some other “ordinary” halls. After the concert such deepness could be seen in the eyes of the listeners, such warmness could be heard in their voices. The offices working in the prison also expressed much gratitude”.

Today I got a letter from Pedro again. “…I have also noticed that the moment when you really step forward in spirituality is when you “get over” some “difficult” situation on your life path, when you can let go some useless chain you are holding. After that you see the whole joke with that conditioning…”.

Thought for the day: “Awareness of you imperfection makes you closer to perfection” (Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, Aug 28, 1749 – Mar 22, 1832).


7 thoughts on “Can a Person Change?

  1. Belief is a positive thing. In the world, everythings can change including human behavior. But what is real is Behavoir change occurs with TIME or having encountering an accident in life.

    So, I do believe in your writing. Thanx a lot for a nice article.

    Please look at my blog http:/ and click on any one of the google ads you like . Please feel free to make comment on my blog.


  2. Dear Kalyan,
    Thank you very much for your comment. You say: “But what is real is Behavior change occurs with TIME or having encountering an accident in life”. Yes, exactly. But not only. Changes in person can also occur SPONTENOUSLY when his inner enrgy is working at him when we are in a thoughtless awarness state (our mind is relaxing not thinking about anything and thus Kundalini has an oppotunity to rise and support and cure the chakras and organs which really need it). Though of course our own introspection and work at our thoughts is also helpful. And anyway, life always puts you in such circumstances which help you to improve spiritually (whether you want it or not).
    I have visited your blog. You have made a good start. But why did not you mention men’s own behavior and negative thinking among the things causing disasters? I mean not bridges, plants and cars but negative qualities in people themselves.
    Don’t you think that elements which surround us also have their own “spirit”? They are alive and “teach” people when they go to extremes?

  3. Very thought-provoking and stirring site.

    In order to erase some of the scars associated with service in Vietnam I journeyed across many religious plains, took Tai Chi for years, read, wrote, laughed and cried. It was when I realized I didn’t have to fit into a religious “mold” in order to be OK that I discovered my own spirituality and my sense of belonging to Creation as a whole.

    Thank you for taking the time to offer the ideas on this site.

    David Brockett

  4. Hello. Enjoyed your writing. An inquiring mind, is half the, battle won. I am an American of Finnish ancestory. My grandparents came here at the beggining of the last century. I have looked hard and long, at my Finnish heritage, in spirituality. I have found my answer.
    Osmo Kalevi Larmi II

  5. draupadi16

    Dear Anastasia!
    thank you for this amazing article. I know definitive a person can change, because I´m meditating for 19 years and my husband don´t. We both changed a lot. It wasn´t a convenient way to go, but a very interesting, joyful one.
    I´m so thankful to Shri Mataji for this experience of Sahaja Yoga, for this vision in my life!
    Kind regards from Draupadi.

  6. Maria

    Wow this sounds great! it gives me hope to think that it is possible to be better as a person, i have done many mistakes, so i need this hope. Thanks for the article. 🙂

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