Happy New Year 2011
January 8th, 2011
Happy New Year. This feels to be a special year. In everyone I talk to, or sit near at Sunday Service, or serve with, I feel a deepening commitment in our quest to go ever deeper on the path of God-realization. 2010 was not a particularly easy year, but I left 2010 and entered 2011 with a seemingly shared inner joy and energy to Keep Calling Him. (Keep Calling Him is the title of one of my favorite songs.)
As I sit to write this blog, I am remembering a moment of crystal clarity I had while sitting Paramhansa Yogananda’s meditation room at his boyhood home in Calcutta. Outside I could hear clearly the noise of honking cars, and the joyful chatter and singing of the highschool girls down the hall (I happened to be traveling the same time as the Ananda Highschool girls and joined them on this part of the pilgrimage).
In that room I was enveloped with a profound sense of stillness. Noise faded away, there was no sound, no words, no sense of a message to carry away with me. It was simply still.
Yet within that stillness was everything. It lasted only a moment, but it has been a moment that I have carried with me and use as a gauge to see how I am doing or to return to in the midst of activity or upset.
On my walks, with or without my camera, I try to revisit that stillness, feel it in my cells, in the air I breath. If I am taking photos, I try to capture that stillness of the moment as if I am listening for God’s call. Even if I don’t feel it, the effort is worth it.
In daily activity or in meditation, I try to come back to that stillness or infuse into what I am doing. Am I perfect at it? No way. But I keep coming back to the effort.
(The photo above is of devotees walking across the meadow the beautiful morning of the 8-hour meditation at The Expanding Light.)
This photo taken at The Expanding Light is a reenactment of the birth of Jesus. The story of the birth of Christ was artfully woven into the story of the Little Bird from the Festival of Light. The whole evening had a quality of stillness and also the gift of joy in the anticipation of Christ’s birth.
At the end we were invited to light our candles, as a symbol of the little light that is within us and offer it to the greater light of infinity. It was a beautiful evening that was part of a series of events that marks the Holy Season.
We had wonderful concerts, the 8-hour meditation, Christmas and New Years Eve celebrations and magical weather that seemed to add to the season.
The Holy season officially ends with Yogananda’s Birthday celebration. It was a sacred evening of song, a flower ceremony and for some include discipleship vows for the first time, and for all of us we recommitted to our quest for God. The ceremony was deep and rich and joyfully still. In that stillness was everything.
Wishing all of you joy, Barbara
Posts from Barbara Bingham
- Going on Pilgrimage Everyday
- Inner Renewal for Twenty Eleven
- Happy New Year 2011
- Christ Lives Oratorio in Los Angeles
- A Weekend at Ananda LA
- Harvest Day 2010
- Ananda Los Angeles
- The Peace Treaty 2010
- Spiritual Renewal Week 2010
- July 4th Celebration Photo Album
- Seeking the Light
- Delighted, no end…
- Cold Hands, Warm Heart
- Celebrating Yogananda’s Mahasamadhi 2010
- God’s Plans
- Inner Renewal Week 2010
- Springtime at Ananda
- Swami Kriyananda at Forest Lawn
- Swami Kriyananda at the Ford Theater
- 61 Years of Discipleship
- Spiritual Renewal Week 2009, Part 4: The Banquet
- Spiritual Renewal Week 2009, Pt.3
- Spiritual Renewal Week 2009, Pt.2
- Spiritual Renewal Week 2009, Pt.1
- An Ananda Wedding
- The Essence of the Bhagavad Gita
- July 4th Celebration, part 2
- 4th of July Weekend Celebration Pt. 1
- Gearing Up for a Special Summer
- Spring at Crystal Hermitage Gardens
- Fall at Ananda 2008
- An Afternoon of Gratitude
- Happy Anniversary, Swamiji!
- A Wonderful Week at Ananda
- The Peace Treaty 2008
- The Talks!
- Spiritual Renewal Week 2008, Evening Concert
- Spiritual Renewal Week 2008
- Thank you, Los Angeles!
- Thank you, Palo Alto!
- Swami Kriyananda Speaks in the Bay Area
- Christ Lives
- “There is joy in the heavens”
- Sunday Service with Swami Kriyananda
- Swami Kriyananda’s Birthday Celebration #2
- Swami Kriyananda’s birthday celebration #1
- Swami Kriyananda Arrives at Ananda Village
- Swami Kriyananda is back in the U.S.
- Lots of Fun Things
- Where there is love there is peace…
- World Brotherhood Day
- Fall at Ananda
- Spiritual Music
- Peace Day 2007
- Babaji Krishna Celebration
- Spiritual Renewal Week
- Evenings at Ananda
- The Jewel in the Lotus