Home > Online Community > A Place Called Ananda

Uddhava Ramsden,
guest author

How to Handle Spiritual Tests
August 6, 2015

People often talk about the strength that comes through spiritual tests. But the questions I have are: Who exactly is administering these tests? Who will be grading my test paper? And, what happens if I flunk! From my own experiences, I feel that I draw these learning experiences to me from the magnetism of my…

Satyana Willard,
guest author

Divine Remembrance
July 29, 2015

One day, after Sunday service at Ananda Palo Alto, I walked through our beautiful sanctuary with my 3-year-old nephew Drew. He wanted to see the altar, which has large photos of our line of five Masters. Drew was looking up, craning his neck. He said, “Lift me up, Wohwee, I want to see Babaji.” (Wohwee…

Highway Patrol
July 20, 2015

I don’t take Divine Mother’s assistance for granted, but Her record with me on the highway is pretty impressive. I was with a female friend in San Francisco, on the way to the flower mart to get bouquets for a big event, when—BAM!—a tire blew. Very dramatic. I pulled into a gas station at the…

God: A Poem
July 12, 2015

to discover that I love myself more than God does not help for love of beauty for love of wealth to live for action to live for self the joy of emotion the joy of another of devotion to creed of devotion to mother all veiled joy for me to see the source of Love,…

What Is Your Favorite Thing About Ananda?
July 7, 2015

At a small gathering last week, a guest at Ananda Village asked Nayaswamis Jyotish and Devi, “What is your favorite thing about Ananda?” Ananda members at the gathering shared their own answers as well: “Unconditional love,” “A place where you are free to talk about God,” “Everything.” What is your favorite thing about Ananda? — whether…

No Need for Wax
A Short Story About Learning to Meditate
June 6, 2015

I was eleven years old, and my brother Jonah was thirteen when our family started attending Sunday Services at a meditation chapel based on the teachings of Paramhansa Yogananda. Though we didn’t know much about the spiritual path at the time, we were both very intrigued by it. Jonah had been studying the lessons of…

Krysta Gibson,
guest author

Can Karma Be Good?
May 20, 2015

Recently a member of Ananda Seattle was hit by a car. This is an article about it by a friend of his who writes for New Spirit Journal: For most people, the word “karma” indicates something wrong. If something negative happens, the usual response is that we must have done something wrong in this lifetime…

Michelle Dossett,
guest author

Practicing Contentment
April 1, 2015

“Through life’s mightiest storms, I am contented, for I hold in my heart God’s peace.” —Affirmations for Self-Healing by Swami Kriyananda This past winter has undoubtedly been a challenging one for us New Englanders. As I’ve tried to remain positive and upbeat despite the onslaught of blizzards and the challenges they’ve imposed, I’ve realized that…

Seclusion for Mommies
April 1, 2015

I just took my very first seclusion. What is seclusion, you might ask? Seclusion was strongly recommended by my guru, Paramhansa Yogananda, as a means for deepening your inner communion with the Divine. Seclusion means as it sounds – secluding. Going into silence, alone and spending time deepening your inner spiritual life through meditation, contemplation…

Hanuman Baughman,
guest author

Evening Hospice
January 9, 2015

In 2006, Swami Kriyananda wrote the 12 Precepts of Evening Hospice. When I first read them I was stunned. It was obvious that these 12 precepts were not just something that you would want to address at end of life, but in fact, were guidelines for living! In a letter Swami sent out he stated:…

Nayaswami Diksha,
guest author

The Power of Giving
December 24, 2014

Being in a positive, supportive environment helps you to relax, uplift your spirit and bring out the best in you. The question is how can we remain uplifted when we are not in a positive and supportive environment? When we have to deal with negative people? Here is a principle that I have used and…

Prem Das,
guest author

I Live at Ananda Village: How I Got Here and What I Have Found
December 20, 2014

I’m Prem Das Sills, a devotee and disciple of yoga master Paramahansa Yogananda. I have been a longtime member of Self-Realization Fellowship (SRF), founded by Sri Yogananda in 1920. Currently, I am living in Northern California, just outside Nevada City. To be exact, I am living at Ananda Village. Ananda is a cooperative and intentional…

Nayaswami Devaki,
guest author

Christmas in Pune 2012
December 10, 2014

One day I was chatting with Swami Kriyananda’s nurse at Ananda Village and I was describing what I’ve done for the Village in terms of our Christmas Eve celebrations. I was hoping to inspire her to attempt the same when she returned to Pune India where Swami resided. She became very excited and suggested that…

Rachel Ebgi,
guest author

Ananda Goes to New Zealand
December 5, 2014

Recently I have been made conscious of a habitual way of thinking. Before, when confronted with something that was impossible to do, I would let everyone know why it couldn’t be accomplished, justifying my decision not to raise my energy. And I have a lot of energy. Up until a month ago, I counted this…

15 Ways to Spiritualize Your Christmas Season
December 4, 2014

1) While you are shopping for gifts, pray for the person(s) to whom you are giving them and say the “Gratitude” affirmation: “I give thanks to the Giver behind each gift and to the one Giver behind all that I give [and receive.]” From Affirmations for Self-Healing by Swami Kriyananda. 2) Save your gift tags…

Adventures in Education for Life: Gratitude
November 24, 2014

For me, asking Divine Mother, God, or Spirit, for inspiration is a bit like calling Her up on the phone. Sometimes She answers immediately, and sometimes you get Her voice mail. This particular month, I got Her voicemail and she answered me, little by little, throughout the month in very special ways. In my 2nd,…

Becoming Receptive
November 24, 2014

A number of years ago, I had the opportunity to visit the home of Nayaswamis Jyotish and Devi for the first time.  I happened to notice a large picture on their meditation altar of Swami Kriyananda with a garland around it. Having been brought up, spiritually speaking, to feel that our lineage contained strictly Jesus,…

Nayaswami Asha,
guest author

A Letter from Asha: New Zealand Tour
November 4, 2014

This letter was written by Nayswami Asha on October 29, 2014 while on her trip to New Zealand to give classes and workshops. Dear Friends: We are in the last week of our time here. Inward glimpses of California occasionally break through now, but the best policy is still: “Be here now.” We were warned…

Traveling Spirit
November 4, 2014

A few years ago a friend and I were traveling around Europe. One afternoon, we found ourselves lost somewhere in the French countryside. We had taken the metro to the end of the line and started walking, searching for our accommodations but ending up in a grassy field with few cars or people in sight.…

The Poem “God, God, God” by Paramhansa Yogananda
September 14, 2014

This past (August 2014) Spiritual Renewal Week (SRW) Nayaswami Jyotish Novak encouraged us to memorize and repeat the poem, “God, God, God” by Paramhansa Yogananda, put to lyrics by Swami Kriyananda: From the depths of slumber, As I ascend the spiral stairways of wakefulness, I will whisper: God! God! God! Thou art the food, and…

Nayaswami Gyandev,
guest author

The Secret of Happiness
September 1, 2014

Last year during my annual seclusion, I found my mind inexplicably seized by a poem—not a fully composed poem, but merely the first two lines, plus a strong urge to expand on them. I followed the urge, and by the end of my seclusion, the poem was a lively, light-hearted encapsulation of an important spiritual principle:…

Become a Singing Spiritual Superhero
Launching the New Ananda Virtual Choir
September 1, 2014

You have a self-realization superpower. The world is in dire need of spiritual superheroes, and Ananda Music is a key to unlocking your hidden abilities. Paramhansa Yogananda writes in Cosmic Chants that: Sound, or vibration, is the most powerful force in the universe, and music is a divine art, to be used not for pleasure but as a path…

Brahmachari Tandava,
guest author

Three and a Half Lessons from a Nine-Day Seclusion
July 29, 2014

I was really ready to go on seclusion. I’d been looking forward to it for ages. I had my days all planned out: plenty of meditation, extra energization exercises, starting a yoga habit again, spiritual reading, the works. I did that on my seclusion last year, and loved it. So when I arrived at the…

Abiding in the Inner Self
July 10, 2014

This is an excerpt from the book Demystifying Patanjali: The Yoga Sutras (Aphorisms) by Swami Kriyananda. Samadhi Pada (Book 1) Verses 1 – 3:  Then, (spiritually free), the sage abides (tranquilly) in his inner Self. Modern living leads us to confuse fulfillment with excitement. From excitement, however, ensues tension. And tension causes all happiness to…

Tyagi Ram,
guest author

Herb Jeffries in Memoriam
A Direct Disciple of Paramhansa Yogananda
June 23, 2014

In 1946, Herb Jeffries began reading the Autobiography of a Yogi by Paramhansa Yogananda. It was during a period of long convalescence after Herb was almost killed in a small airplane crash. Herb was lucky to survive that day, but had to stay in the hospital for months. Doctors told him that he would need…

Did Yogananda Water Down Kriya Yoga?
June 3, 2014

It’s not uncommon to hear people make the claim that Paramhansa Yogananda diluted the Kriya technique, or that he changed it for Westerners. Sometimes it’s done through a conscious intent to deceive and promote one’s own Kriya teacher, sometimes out of ignorance. Either way it’s an unfortunate sign that the world of Kriya Yoga is…

Hanuman,
guest author

Death and Dying
May 19, 2014

When asked if there is life after death, Swami Kriyananda stated, “There is no life anywhere that is not life! There can’t be death because it is all God’s consciousness. The soul never dies. Our fear of death is often an extension of our fear of life.” Many of us are afraid of losing our…

The Guru Script
March 30, 2014

I’ve seen two movies in recent months that kept me riveted to the screen. Both were dramatic survival stories about one person facing impossibly challenging circumstances alone. Both stories were portrayed by excellent actors, Sandra Bullock in the film Gravity, and Robert Redford in All is Lost. I was immediately sucked into both movies; caught…

How I Found My Guru
March 23, 2014

In the fall of 2000, after seriously evaluating my life options, I was at a loss. None of the directions I could think of taking seemed all that satisfying. A spiritual interest had grown in me, starting in high school, fanned by the movie Ghandi and books by Ram Dass such as Be Here Now.…

Carianne James,
guest author

Spirit Warriors: Adventures of Inner Growth for Young Girls
February 12, 2014

For the past year, I have been helping to lead an after school girls group called Spirit Warriors. The girls range from age nine to eleven. The focus of the group to help the girls with self-acceptance, self-confidence and a personal connection to the Divine within them through creative play and activities. Before it began,…

Avital Miller,
guest author

7 Years to Heal
February 4, 2014

They say it takes seven years for all the cells in the body to fully regenerate. A year ago both my mother and I completed a seven year cycle. Before those seven years both my mother and I were known to be active energetic people. At the beginning of those seven years we both noticed…

Dambara Begley,
guest author

Pipe Down and Crack On
December 30, 2013

Ben and Tarka have just walked 900 miles to the South Pole.  Now, they walk back. But let’s back up a bit.  It all started when friends Koral and Suzanne Ilgun took a recent trip to Antarctica, sharing photos like this: Later, Koral mentioned a blog he’d been following by 2 British adventurers who are…

An Amazing New Development for Ananda in the Bay Area
October 18, 2013

A Beautiful Farm near Half Moon Bay When Swamiji passed into the Infinite, it was as if an enormous wave of energy was released. As his body declined with the passing years, his consciousness expanded, until the body was simply too confining to hold it. For him it was a joyous release. And once freed,…

Energization Experiments
October 2, 2013

One of the first techniques we learn at Ananda is an original creation of Paramhansa Yogananda’s: the Energization Exercises. These exercises help us learn to work directly with our life force in a way that can be applied not only in our other meditation techniques, but in everything we do. The Energization Exercises intrigued me…

Inner View: The Answer
August 26, 2013

‘In Swami’ is how I usually like to end my emails now. I hadn’t imagined though that it’d be so soon. He did give us the slip, didn’t he… perhaps thinking we would never have otherwise let him go. But he hasn’t really gone. Doesn’t love in one form or another touch us every day?…

Popular Music at Ananda
August 20, 2013

With few exceptions, only Swami’s music is played at our Sunday services, The Expanding Light, Crystal Hermitage and Master’s Market. Though, in fact, other music does sometimes rear its head, the typical Ananda visitor comes and goes hearing little of it. “What’s the deal?” many have wondered. “Is other music banned?” Well, yes and no.…

What is True Education? — The Story of the Lee Family
July 24, 2013

Children can be a force for transformation in the lives of their parents. Some parents, led by their children, rather than the other way around, have even moved to a spiritual community. We often see the Divine working in surprising and mysterious ways, yet seldom in as extraordinary a way as in the story of…

Ananda Intern Diary: Realizing Swami Kriyananda’s Original Vision of Communities Collaboration
July 19, 2013

When I was a senior with Ananda Living Wisdom High School, we took our annual “Service Adventure” trip to Quebec and the east coast of the United States. Our first scheduled stop was to spend one week at an intentional community in Quebec called “Cite Ecologique.” To put it lightly, I was not enthused about…

Swami's Final Morning
June 13, 2013

Since many of you may want a more detailed description of Swamiji’s last days and final minutes before his passing, I thought I would write something here for all of you. In the week before he passed, Swamiji became much more inward. He wasn’t having people over for tea and spent most of his time…

The Yogi Behind the Autobiography
May 1, 2013

As you probably know, Swami Kriyananda, the founder of Ananda, recently passed away. Since that fateful night, I have felt drawn to re-read some of Swami’s books. One in particular, Paramhansa Yogananda: A Biography, stood out to me. As I went over all those touching, charming stories, I reflected on my own relationship with Yogananda…

A Birthday Gift
February 6, 2013

Today was my birthday and was filled with such love from friends and family. As this strange world would have it, it has also been six months to the day since my dad passed away, so naturally it has also been a tender time of remembrance. My mind drifted back to this day last year.…

Just Another Day in Swami’s World
December 2, 2012

It is unlikely that in my life-time I will ever again ride through the streets of Mumbai barely seeing another car, and under police escort! It is the day after Swami Kriyananda’s Mumbai event. A key figure in Maharashtran politics has died and trouble is expected in the city. Security is “Code Red”. All public…

Subscribe by Email

Receive an email whenever there is a new blog post.