Menu

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,…

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…

Caitlin and the Newborn Fawn
July 15, 2011

If you’ve ever been to Ananda Village, you’ve witnessed the abundance of deer that we have here. They are a mixed blessing for many of us, for although serene and peaceful, they do eat up a good deal of our flora (ah, the duality of life!). They must know that they are safe here, and…

The Power!
November 26, 2010

In my role as teacher at the Portland Living Wisdom School, I watch the simple dramas of life enthusiastically played out by the children and, if I pay attention, I learn. Two second grade boys decided to try jumping UP the four steps that lead from one level of the play area to another. One…

Leading With Joy
November 12, 2010

I just finished leading an Education for Life Music Workshop in which I worked with four music teachers from the Living Wisdom Schools in Portland, Seattle, and Palo Alto. For two and a half days we immersed ourselves in the vibration of music and children: a very powerful and uplifting mix! Working with groups of…

More Meditation Teachers Needed!
May 25, 2010

My blog this time is going to be a fairly shameless effort on my part to convince you that you need to take the Ananda Meditation Teacher Training Course. The next one starts June 18th.  It is 9 days long: a week plus two weekends on both ends. Wait, wait, don’t go away! I’m guessing…

Sharing Nature with Highschool Students
February 20, 2010

This year I’ve been teaching a class at Ananda’s Living Wisdom Highshool entitled, “Sharing Nature Leadership Training.” The Sharing Nature with Children book series was written by Ananda Village member Joseph (Bharat) Cornell and is used in virtually every part of the world. Joseph wrote the Sharing Nature activities to give inspiring nature experiences and…

Divine Mother’s Umbrella
January 29, 2010

I teach science at a public high school in a southern California suburb. This is my third year of teaching and though not a veteran yet, you can say that I have mastered it quite a bit. But I thought I’d share with you some of my experiences as a brand new teacher. While on…

Education for Life
January 21, 2010

Do you feel joy when using your physical skills to learn and grow and experience life? Perhaps you lead with your heart and feel most alive when you are in a beautiful natural setting, or caring for animals or babies. Maybe you live for a challenge – such as tackling a new project, or raising…

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,…

Living the Teachings
May 4, 2009

I’m always conscious of the fact that living the teachings of Ananda – the teachings of Paramhansa Yogananda, is an every day, every moment decision. But, sometimes that decision seems to stand out in bright, beautiful contrast to the way most of the rest of the world lives. This is a long blog, but I…

Center Everywhere, Circumference Nowhere
February 23, 2009

It’s been months since I’ve written. Life is full to overflowing, and every day is a new challenge just to keep up. I’m sure that sounds familiar – I don’t know anyone who doesn’t feel busy and pressed for time. I have found blessings in busyness though. More than any other time in my life,…

Ananda's Distance Education Initiative
February 15, 2009

A group of us at Ananda Village are exploring technologies involved in giving the Ananda Sangha, Expanding Light Retreat and Crystal Clarity Publishers an ability to offer online courses for distance learning. As the economic downturn continues and people’s travel budgets are decreasing, we are looking into ways of bringing Yogananda’s teachings closer to people,…

Always in Class
October 29, 2008

Dear fellow students, I’ve been teaching at the Living Wisdom School in Portland for about six weeks now. It’s new to me and I’ll admit I was a bit anxious about taking on the challenge. I was told I have all the skills and experience needed to be a good teacher and I would be…

Untouched by Storm or Change
June 20, 2008

My son is away at camp this week and my daughter is taking swimming lessons. We finished our homeschooling for the year and it seems summer is under way – but my mind is leaping ahead to September and the start of the new school year. It will be a year of changes for us,…

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…

Nitai Deranja,
guest author

Spirituality in Education
September 17, 2007

“Spiritual education” is still a new concept for most people. Many adults are only too familiar with the superficially related, but fundamentally different term of “religious education.” The indoctrination and coercion embedded in this latter approach drove many people away from any form of religious practice. Their reaction has often resulted in an unwillingness to…

School Begins!
September 11, 2007

The Ananda Living Wisdom School began last Wednesday, with more than 70 students from preschool through college enrolled! As the music director for the school, they asked me to lead everyone in singing the school theme song, written by Swami Kriyananda, entitled “Sing in the Meadows.” The words and music speak beautifully to what we…

Susan Usha Dermont,
guest author

Back to School: Ananda's Education for Life System
August 10, 2007

Recently, the parent of a first-grader told me how grateful she was for the culture of calm and compassion at our Living Wisdom School. She had just seen her son, on his way to fill his water bottle, turn to a classmate and ask if he can fill her water bottle too. The mom attributed…