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Group Discussion: Let It Go
July 20, 2014

Every evening before going to sleep, mentally build a bonfire to destroy some aspects of your life you have created around your ego. —Swami Kriyananda Self-definitions and attachments are some of our main obstacles on the spiritual path. What would you like to let go of — or what are you letting go of right…

I Sing Your Song
July 15, 2014

The big concert was on Saturday, and on Wednesday I lost my voice. I am part of a quartet that sings the music of Swami Kriyananda, and we had been months in planning and rehearsing for an interfaith “Unity through Music” event: an elegant dinner followed by a performance of our singing quartet. But it’s…

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…

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…

Four Miracles in One Day
May 12, 2014

It was in the middle of a very hot July, 1975. I was driving from Texas to California in an old, un-air-conditioned Chevrolet. I was very excited about making the journey, for I was ready to pursue a much-anticipated new way of life, by moving, bag and baggage, to Ananda Village. Still, I was probably…

Go Forth in Perfect Faith
April 29, 2014

“If a problem can be solved there is no use worrying about it. If it can’t be solved, worrying will do no good.” When I heard this Tibetan saying, it got me thinking about how much time I have spent in my life worrying about many things. In school I worried about finishing homework on…

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.…

"Only Love Can Take My Place"
March 16, 2014

On March 7th, 1952, Paramhansa Yogananda consciously left his body before hundreds of people in a dramatic display of yogic mastery. We all know the memorable story in which he read his poem “My India,” expanding into the Infinite on the very last word, his untenanted body slumping to the floor to be left in…

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…

Gita Matlock,
guest author

Spiritual Christmas
January 7, 2014

I sit here, writing quietly from the corner of my room as fast as I can – before the baby wakes up! So many things that I do now include that urgency. Meditation, sadly, is one of those activities that I now plow through with an anticipation of interruption. It’s that restlessness that I write…

Wishing You a Noble New Year
January 1, 2014

Fireworks were already booming from the surrounding neighborhoods as we entered the Portland community chapel last night for our New Year’s Eve ceremony. It was a blessed evening complete with purification ceremony, 108 repetitions of the Mahamrityunjaya Mantra and a deep meditation til midnight.  I was struck by the simple yet powerful contrast of the fireworks and my inner…

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…

Heavenly Fatherhood
December 16, 2013

It’s been eight weeks since my wife Gita and I witnessed the birth of our daughter Tulsi into this world. I say witness, not because Gita did not exhibit extraordinary fortitude and endurance in labor and delivery, or that I was not constantly present, encouraging and supporting in every moment and way I could. It…

Divine Parenting
Reflections on the Living Discipleship Program
November 1, 2013

On the level of duality, it is more than a balancing act as a single parent to raise children, meditate, work, run a household, and serve. However, in the inner reality, it is an experience of ever-new joy, expansion, and communion in God. For all I give to God is returned in the form of…

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…

Have You Heard About Ananda for the Future?
September 25, 2013

One year ago Swami Kriyananda was speaking to a group of youths at Ananda Village. During this satsang, he suggested that the next generation of Ananda focus on “outreach.” As Swamiji’s successor, Nayaswami Jyotish, has since explained, “outreach” in its deepest sense means “to share”: Sharing the teachings of our path from our own center…

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…

Julie Quillen,
guest author

A Day On The Farm
August 27, 2012

When I awoke one morning and realized that I had dreamt I was skipping through a bed of thick, green kale leaves, I knew that the farm life was for me. At that point I was already aware that my time on this Earth was meant to be spent digging in the ground, getting dirt…

Brannon Forrester,
guest author

Trail of Beauty
July 13, 2012

Maintenance at the Expanding Light Guest Retreat, here at Ananda Village, is a study in contrasts.  The job can at times feel like smooth sailing, but barely a week later resembles treading water to stay afloat.  Many repairs are straight forward, such as fixing toilets or sinks, but others are larger projects requiring more expertise…

How to Communicate Clearly
April 26, 2012

Since last June, I’ve taught yoga every Thursday night at the local YMCA, and this question is nearly always the number one thing on my mind! Every week I have a fresh class of students. Some are new and some have attended class on and off for months. Some are very experienced yogis, while some…

God's Grace and the Healing Power of Prayer
March 22, 2012

I have been blessed to witness what many souls would call a miracle through the healing power of prayers. Yogananda’s healing prayer techniques utilize the natural law of electromagnetism and healing energy transmission through the hands and spiritual eye. I have witnessed these prayers work and the following story is another example very dear to…

Kolkatta Pilgrimage-Land of the Yogi
March 13, 2012

Ever since I have been on this path after reading Autobiography of Yogi my utmost desire was to visit all the places mentioned in that book, at least those which are in India. Guruji once again heeded my prayer. I received an email from Ananda for a Kolkata pilgrimage. I must say the email was…

All the World Is My Friend...
February 16, 2012

One of the beautiful things about India was nicely put by Nayaswami Dharmadas in one of his last satsangs; he said: “India is more about people than about things”. As a foreigner, having lived in India for the last year and a half, I came slowly to realize that this is true, and that the…

Eric Munro,
guest author

Learning to Love God 10 Times a Minute!
January 29, 2012

Devotion is the foundation of our spiritual path. All the teachings, writings, and talks emphasize its primary importance. Yet it took me over 16 years at Ananda before I realized it and started to actively practice it. My own nature is more “mind” than “heart” focused. I grew up in a Christian religion that never…

"How Few are Either Educated or Entertained!"
January 23, 2012

Since the first supermarkets in the 1930’s,  a general disregard for nature has been increasing. The need for growing one’s own food has become an inconvenience our “modern age” has conquered. With the rise of factory farms and greenhouses the size of small cities, the need to follow the “whims” of Mother Nature is behind…

Maia Grenell,
guest author

Sign Me Up!
January 4, 2012

An affirmation is a statement of truth which one aspires to absorb into his life. It has been said that we are what we eat. It would be truer to say, “We are what we think.” –Swami Kriyananda September 15, 2011. Where was I?… Glued to my computer screen, of course! A new gem had…

 

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