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Ananda Christmas Album Preview
December 21, 2011

Dear all – I wanted to share with you some of the new recordings we’ve been working on these past few months, combined with others to make up a full Ananda Christmas music experience! We’ll be releasing the CD later in 2012, so please forgive imperfections in these, like the volume being too loud or…

Maria Antonia,
guest author

Who Was Mary?
April 19, 2011

This past holy season brought many blessings. One of these was on the occasion of Christmas Eve, with the Festival of Light and the living creche representation in Ananda Village. When Devaki, the director of the creche scene, asked me to be the Virgin Mother, I started to think about Mary. Who was she? I…

Happy New Year 2011
January 8, 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…

An Advent for You
December 30, 2010

My holidays were packed – even the Advent candle lighting each week felt a bit too squeezed in between other parts of our Sunday service. The weekly observance of Advent is a favorite part of the Christmas season for me. I’ve written about it before and that posting is still available in the archives. I…

Christ Lives Oratorio in Los Angeles
December 7, 2010

This elegant building is the Church of the Recessional. It is framed by clouds that are lit up by the city lights of Los Angeles. The courtyard was warmly lit and the open doors welcome guests who came to hear Swami Kriyananda’s Oratorio—Christ Lives. Fifty-four dedicated people travelled literally from the world over to sing…

Musical Gems from a Blessed Month
December 26, 2009

It has been a blessed month indeed! Here are a few excerpts worth a listen: First, from our Living Wisdom High School Concert on Friday, Dec 11th, a piece by John Rutter titled Mary’s Lullaby.marys-lullaby.mp3 On Saturday, Dec 12th, I led an astounding performance of Swami Kriyananda’s Oratorio, Christ Lives! at Mills College in Oakland,…

Power in the Music
December 21, 2009

Swami Kriyananda has often said that music has the power to change consciousness, and I have always believed that to be true. But there are always new levels of understanding to discover. I have been singing in the Ananda Portland choir now for many years and find that my consciousness is always uplifted when I…

The Magic of Christmas Meditation
December 29, 2008

On Tuesday December 23rd, we had our annual all-day Christmas group meditation, where we inwardly celebrate the birth of Christ and the true meaning of Christmas. Paramhansa Yogananda started this annual tradition at Mt. Washington, where he held an eight-hour group meditation on December 24th (Spiritual Christmas), and followed the next day by a banquet…

20 Ways to Spiritualize Christmas
December 10, 2008

The Christmas holiday Season can get pretty crazy. Everyone knows how it feels to be frantic, overtired, un-centered, or lonely at this time of year. This is too bad, because these Holidays can become true Holy-days and can be a time of greatest joy, if you are willing to make it so. Try a few…

Advent at Ananda Portland
January 1, 2008

Christmas is a holy time, a joyful time of remembering Christ’s life and mission and taking those blessings deep within. It is also a fun-filled, busy time for families, which can become frantic and harried, with all feelings of blessing and holiness lost in the hustle. Over the years we have used many different traditions…

Living Wisdom School Christmas Concert
December 10, 2007

As I went back into the community center to pick up the last of my things after the concert, I could tangibly feel the beauty that the students created with their music. I stood for a moment in the now empty hall, and tried to imprint the feeling and vibration of this beautiful evening into…

World Brotherhood Day
December 10, 2007

This past Sunday, December 2nd, was the 24th World Brotherhood Day at The Expanding Light at Ananda Village. It is a day set aside at the beginning of the Christmas holiday season where we consciously stop and remember the beauty of this season. World Brotherhood Day has been one of my favorite Ananda observances for…

Christmas Eve at Ananda
December 26, 2006

We had our traditional Christmas Eve service at Ananda Village. Our dear friend Lila Devi, who was the mastermind of the evening, weaved the story of the birth of Jesus with stories, music and theatre. It was magical and very moving. The community center was filled with residents and many guests. The evening ended with…