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Peter Skillman,
guest author

First Meeting
November 11, 2015

The recent anniversary of Swami Kriyananda meeting Paramhansa Yogananda caused me to pause and reflect on my own, vastly insignificant by comparison, spiritual anniversary. In August, 1981, I found myself walking swiftly down a steep dirt path, rudely bypassing others in order to be the first in line to arrive at Swamiji’s residence. During that…

guest author

Overcoming the Unwillingness Monster
September 23, 2015

I came to Ananda Village in May this year. Having been here for almost five months now, I can add my testimony to many others in stating, “There is no place like Ananda!” No wonder Swami Kriyananda used to say, ”Ananda is perhaps the best kept secret in the world.” Paramhansa Yogananda’s book, Autobiography of…

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…

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…

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…

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…

January 15, 2014

I was 8 years old when I finished third grade. It had been a challenging year mixed with triumphs and failures, but I remember feeling pretty positive about it. My father, a U.S. Army officer, had been transferred to Germany and that meant a move for our family. Moving was exciting and I appreciated the…

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…

Devotion as a Habit
January 7, 2013

“The most important quality on the spiritual path is deep, selfless, heartfelt devotion and love for God.” “The power of habit is specially important in the spiritual path.” —Paramhansa Yogananda People usually think of habits as things that we do, rather than as thoughts and attitudes. But even our habitual actions have their origin in…

May 22, 2012

This was originally posted at YoganandaBiography.com/blog. “Smile because you are fearless; smile because fear is ashamed to cause you apprehension and failure” –Paramhansa Yogananda I’ve just about finished reading Paramhansa Yogananda: A Biography, and one story stood out to me in particular. Yogananda was giving a talk in New York and he accused some very…

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…

Catching the "Bug" of Service
June 17, 2011

I was working at the publications building at Ananda Village one day in the summer of 1976, when Swami Kriyananda stopped by. He asked for my help with photographing some art for a project he was working on. I followed Swamiji and several members of the publications staff outdoors where the light was better for…

The Prayer of Discipleship
March 20, 2011

Yogananda was a very playful soul at a young age. There’s a story of the time he used yogic techniques to play dead, fooling his entire family and household, and there are many others — but one stands out as a fascinating example of the relationship between the Guru and the disciple. The Guru is…

In God We Trust
March 15, 2011

I was very inspired by Nayaswami Savitri’s talk for Inner Renewal week 2011, at Ananda Village, California. In it, she spoke of how important it is to live just outside of ones comfort zone; to push the boundaries of limitation just that bit further with each new experience. Since my husband and I made the…

"Open Your Heart to Me..."
March 11, 2011

“…and I will enter, and take charge of your life.” These words, taken from the Purification Ceremony, can be liberating to our souls, but extremely threatening to our egos. Let’s face it – opening our heart to anyone, let alone ourselves, can be a very risky business. In my Junior year at college, I was…

In the Protection of AUM
January 3, 2011

Paramhansa Yogananda said many times that when we are in the vibration of AUM (creative vibration of God as Divine Mother, the Holy Ghost) no harm can befall us. Master told us of his close disciple, Dr Lewis, who was in trouble in a boat that was caught in a sudden storm. He was in…

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…

Being a Part of All That Is
November 2, 2010

Greetings friends, There is so much happening in the expanding world of Ananda right now, one can tune into all the energy and enthusiasm or get a bit overwhelmed with trying to keep track of it all. Illustration for affirmation, “God is Everywhere, Within Me and Around Me.” Everyone connected to Ananda, at every level,…

Amazing Grace!
October 28, 2010

Why is it that when we know we need to be out of bed early that will be the day the alarm doesn’t go off? This happened to me this morning. I especially wanted to rise at 04 30 to allow for a long meditation and to get some chores out of the way before…

The Power of Magnetism
October 18, 2010

I have been awe, these last 2 or 3 years, at the way my earthly family has changed since Guru found me and guided me to Ananda. It is fascinating to watch the power of divine magnetism unfold and manifest Its profound effects, and quickly! One by one, close family members are coming round to…

Yogananda's Flow of Divine Grace
October 1, 2010

Dear friends, On September 18th in Boston, 45 to 50 souls celebrated the 90th Anniversary of Paramhansa Yogananda’s arrival in Boston from India. Nayaswamis Devarshi and Maria from Ananda Village shared this memorable weekend with us. My heart is overflowing with joy and gratitude to Yogananda for the great gifts of Divine awakening he brought…

Guru Night in Portland
September 18, 2010

Guru night is a devotional event that takes place annually at summer’s end. Ananda Portland has the tradition of having the festivities outside, and despite our reputation for rain, there has been only one Guru Night that had to be moved due to the weather. It is a night of pilgrimage; a rare opportunity to…

Living Discipleship
July 21, 2010

Lorna with the fellow trainees Once we are sincerely seeking God, and the longing for truth becomes stronger than the call of the material world, God sends a guru. When we feel that we can give our life to the spiritual path and the guidance of the guru, we become a disciple. When we become…

Yogananda's “Higher Mathematics”
June 2, 2010

Often I tell Kriya Yogis, particularly those who are math-challenged, that there are only two ‘mathematical equations’ one needs to memorize in order to achieve success on the path of Kriya. The first I mentioned in my blog post “Kriya Yoga Plus Devotion Works Like Mathematics” The other equation is this: “Twenty-five percent of spiritual…

Can I Really Be a Channel?
May 26, 2010

I recently completed the Yoga Teacher Training course at the Expanding Light. It was an amazing month filled with great joy and laughter, profound wisdom, and personal growth. Some of my fellow trainees/teachers/friends on a hike to Bald Mountain The program was an incredible experience. It was a blessing to receive a broader and deeper…

Ananda Is a Choice
May 14, 2010

I’ve lived in quite a few Ananda communities and centers over the years. While reflecting on my experiences, the thought occurred to me that Ananda is not a place, but rather, a choice. Let me explain. My first experience of Ananda took place in 1975, when I was in my teens. I had flown to…

Patrick Mullin,
guest author

Ananda Kriya Retreat in Massachusetts
May 11, 2010

The city of Frederick reclines in the rolling hills of central Maryland as it has since before the days of the Civil War. It is from this charming, quiet city that I began my adventure to the woods of northern Massachusetts for my first Kriya initiation.This journey starts, as many Ananda journeys have started, with…

Victory in the Moments
April 22, 2010

I lost the battle last night. Yogananda said that life is a “battle for joy” – and I lose more often than I like to admit. When you find a true teaching, a true guru, and a spiritual family who reflect and support your ideals, it is a major victory, and life seems infinitely more…

With My Husband's Blessing
March 29, 2010

How many of you out there have experienced or are experiencing difficulty in expressing your spirituality through the unwitting oppression of a loved one? It is not unusual for what may seem the strongest of relationships to break down when only one of the party discovers the real mission in life: To seek ones own…

God Is the Doer
March 24, 2010

A few days ago I got into the car at 5:30am to begin my day of activities. There was a meditation, a meeting, then school and then work at the temple waiting for me. It was dark and cold and my family was still sleeping in the house. The car wouldn’t start. I woke my…

Celebrating Yogananda's Mahasamadhi 2010
March 9, 2010

Yesterday devotees around the world celebrated the anniversary of the mahasamadhi of Paramhansa Yogananda. Peter Goering gave the talk at Sunday Service and read God’s Boatman from Whisper’s from Eternity, by Paramhansa Yogananda. An excerpt from that poem is on the photo of the stars at the end of this post. I am always deeply…

Ananda Tucson
February 28, 2010

Many inspired and dedicated souls are, for many reasons, unable to live in Ananda communities.  So they read the website and books by Paramhansa Yogananda, Swami Kriyananda and others. They meditate. When possible many visit our communities worldwide for inspiration, renewal and spiritual satsang fellowship. Yogananda said that “Environment is stronger than will”.  In order…

Becoming a Minister
February 26, 2010

This week I became an Ananda minister. I’ve played the role of assistant minister for some time so this step was a natural one, but I still found myself a bit surprised. Ananda doesn’t have a seminary or a list of requirements that must be met before one can serve as a minister. There is…

"A Tiny Bubble of Laughter..."
January 8, 2010

Earlier this year I had the opportunity to travel to Mexico and Venezuela to lead Kriya Yoga initiations. Even though it’s a struggle to communicate due to my lack of Spanish (fortunately, I had a very good translator!), there is a lingua franca (common language) shared by sincere Kriya Yogis — the language of divine…

Make My Heart a Hermitage
January 8, 2010

My inspiration in writing this was Swami Kriyananda’s new book on renunciation, A Renunciate Order for the New Age. Also my own desire to be a monk… but also to be married. The old cloistered form of monasticism says you need to renounce and “get away from the world” to find God. One might say…

Swami Kriyananda Arrives in India
January 3, 2010


Ananda’s founder, Swami Kriyananda, spends his time primarily in 3 countries: America, Italy, and India. As he recently quipped, “Well I have these [8] communities that I’ve started, and I have to check in every now and then.”

Medardo Muñoz,
guest author

Building Ananda in Mexico
December 17, 2009

Dear ones, My name is Medardo Vargas Muñoz. I am an architect in Lazaro Cardenas, Michoacan, Mexico. I am a Bramachari (1) at heart. “Truth simply is, it cannot be created. Everyone has to perceive it in the Self within.” These are the words by my Guruji Yogananda, which stir my mind, a mind that…

Yogananda's Latest Devotee: A Flowering Plant
December 11, 2009

I want to tell you about my friend, Sanandi Reardon, and her miracle plant. Sanandi and I have known each other for many years. She is a deeply devoted disciple and Kriyaban who lives in Carson City, Nevada. She is unable to visit Ananda that often, though she tries to come at least once a…

God Reminders in Daily Life
December 5, 2009

As devotees we always strive constantly to think of the Divine. Swami Kriyananda says in his book, Affirmations for Self-Healing, “One should not strain, nor reach outward mentally, to think of God. Think not merely about Him: Think to Him. Share with Him your passing feelings, your idlest fancy. Talk with Him. Practice His presence…

Discovered Treasure
November 18, 2009

My concept of Ananda, before I had visited, was a place of inspiration, support, and Paramhansa Yogananda’s teachings. My initiation into Kriya Yoga earlier this year proved to be the most moving and sacred experience of my life.  Ananda holds a treasure, just waiting to be discovered…. and if I can find it, then so…

Swami Kriyananda at Forest Lawn
September 30, 2009

I used a thesaurus tonight to try to come up with some new words I could use to describe the Ananda LA event held at Church of the Recessional at Forest Lawn in Glendale, California. I would normally use the words wonderful, or beautiful or amazing—all of which would be fitting. The thesaurus suggested words…

Swami Kriyananda at the Ford Theater
September 29, 2009

Greetings everyone. I have spent the day going through over 400 photographs taken this past weekend in Los Angeles. Fortunately for you, I will not be posting all of them. It was a challenge to pick out just a few photos that would hopefully portray what a visually and spiritually beautiful event occurred the past…

Connected: 8,000 miles away
September 23, 2009

In Mumbai, watching the broadcastYou may have read in the recent posts about the 61st anniversary of Swami Kriyananda’s Discipleship to Paramhansa Yogananda. The essence of the celebration was captured by Barbara Bingham with her beautiful photos of Swamiji, the choir, and the crowd of celebrants. I too was able to “attend” Swamiji’s talks, thanks to the live video broadcast.

61 Years of Discipleship
September 14, 2009

This weekend we celebrated Swami Kriyananda’s 61st year of discipleship to Paramhansa Yogananda. It was a very colorful weekend filled with beautiful blue skies, sunsets, flowers, and altars. Fall is in the air here, still a little warm during the day, but cools off a bit at night. The angle of the sun highlighted the…

The Essence of the Bhagavad Gita
July 28, 2009

An extraordinary thing is happening here at the village. Swami Kriyananda has begun to video record short (10-minute) clips explaining the Bhagavad Gita. The format has turned out to be quite powerful. Swamiji generally begins by reading a sloka (verse) of the Gita. He then spends the remaining time explaining Paramhansa Yogananda’s interpretation. Swamiji shares…

Being a devotee on your own
June 8, 2009

Since this is my first blog post, I guess I should start by introducing myself. My name is Gregor and I’m currently working as a researcher in the field of Artificial Intelligence at a Computer Science Faculty. I live with my wife Tina and my 2 years old son Matija in Slovenia, a small country…

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…

Stories of Yogananda - Healing Light from Lahiri Mahasaya
February 28, 2009

Read the Stories of Yogananda Introduction Mukunda’s parents were deeply devoted to Lahiri Mahasaya. They always kept a beautiful picture of Lahiri on a small altar in their home. Many times Mukunda could be found meditating in front of the altar with his mother. He learned to love Lahiri more and more as the years…

Stories of Yogananda - Lahiri's Blessing
February 16, 2009

View the Stories of Yogananda introduction In the ancient land of India, in the year 1893, Bhagabati Charan Gosh and Gyan Prabha Gosh had a son they named Mukunda. This divine child would grow up to be the great master Paramhansa Yogananda. Lahiri’s Blessing Mukunda’s mother was a very saintly woman. She knew he was…

Stories of Yogananda
February 13, 2009

My Mother and Father always made a point to keep Paramhansa Yogananda as part of my life. Some of my earliest memories are hearing stories of his life when they would paraphrase stories from the Autobiography of a Yogi. I also remember informally acting out several scenes from his life when my Mother did an…

Kriya Yoga and Discipleship
December 19, 2008

One of the most fantastic and beautiful stories in Paramhansa Yogananda’s Autobiography of a Yogi tells of Lahiri Mahasaya’s initiation into Kriya Yoga by his Guru, Mahavatar Babaji. To this day, the Kriya ceremony at Ananda is performed just the way Yogananda did it, and is patterned after the way  Lahiri Mahasaya received, and gave,…

The Job of the Guru
December 10, 2008

Tuesday night was for me the last night of a several-day seclusion—one that is ending more or less as I write this blog post. (The time-honored practice of seclusion is one of silence and of being alone with God.) During this seclusion, I spent some time outdoors, some time meditating (of course!), some time sleeping…

Hope for a Better World!
November 23, 2008

Today at the India International Centre (IIC) in Delhi, India, Swami Kriyananda launched his book, Hope for a Better World! (Links to the audio recordings are included.) Over 500 people attended!

Swami Kriyananda returns to India
November 22, 2008

Today Swami Kriyananda arrived back to his home in Gurgaon, India, just outside of Delhi. Swamiji had been away for about 10 months–his longest absence since moving to India. He spent that time getting needed rest and working on important projects (writings, interviews, lectures) in his homes in America and in Italy.

Swamiji doesn’t think of his “home” according to the common interpretation of the word….

Overcoming a Karmic Bomb
October 22, 2008

Last month I took my 3 year old daughter Caitlin on a 5 day backpacking trip in Yosemite with our friend’s 3rd and 4th grade class. While we were there, I had enough challenges to qualify, in my mind, as a karmic bomb. For those of you saying already “What were you thinking?!”, part of…

An Afternoon of Gratitude
September 14, 2008

We had a beautiful, quiet afternoon at Crystal Hermitage to honor Swami Kriyananda’s life of discipleship. Words and photos are not enough to express the gratitude we all felt for Swamiji’s life and what he has done for us. His contribution has been worldwide, but at the same time so deeply personal for each one…

Happy Anniversary, Swamiji!
September 13, 2008

Sixty years ago (yesterday) Swamiji knelt before Paramhansa Yogananda and said, “I want to be your disciple.”
Swami said his life changed for the better in that moment.

A Wonderful Week at Ananda
August 18, 2008

Wow. What a week! Spiritual Renewal Week 2008 was probably the biggest event we have ever had. We had hundreds of guests at the village and The Expanding Light and we must have had hundreds of people helping put on the events. It was quite amazing how everything came together, it is true: Many Hands…

World Brotherhood
July 17, 2008

Over the past month or so Ananda Village has played host to disciples from all over the world. They came on several pilgrimages from 15 different countries. Words are escaping me as I try to describe the joy! The depth of the friendship that devotees can have is amazing. As the European pilgrimage left I…

Kriya Yoga as an Investment
March 20, 2008

Audience at 2008 International Kriya Yoga Retreat in India Ananda recently held its second International Kriya Yoga Retreat in Gurgaon, India. You can watch and listen to all the talks here. I would like to expand on something I mentioned in one of my classes there. There is a great deal of talk in modern…

Religion In the New Age: Introduction
March 10, 2008

In these pages I aim to show how a spiritual mission, regardless of its name and tenets, can be made to relate to the whole world. Paramhansa Yogananda prophesied that some day the purpose of all religions would be accepted as being one and the same: Self-realization. Included in that understanding would be a sense…