Spiritual Renewal Week 2009, Part 4: The Banquet
August 17, 2009

The Expanding Light piazza sparkled with the decorations, the friendships, the laughter, the yummy food, the singing, the setting sun, radiant smiles and the light in everyone’s eyes. Spending a week immersed in the joy and teachings of Paramhansa Yogananda, the devotion and example of discipleship of Swami Kriyananda and in the company of hundreds…

Spiritual Renewal Week 2009, Pt.3
August 17, 2009

Oh my. This has been an amazing week. I might be repeating myself, but I also heard it from about everyone I talked to today. I am again posting photos out of order by first putting up just a few from today’s Sunday Service. Swamiji seemed to bound up the driveway and on to the…

O, Master
August 16, 2009

Here is the recording of O, Master from this morning’s service. Enjoy!o-master.mp3

Spiritual Renewal Week 2009, Pt.2
August 15, 2009

This has been an action packed Spiritual Renewal Week. It will take me a few more days to catch up and post photos from the various classes and happenings. What I am posting today is a bit out of order. Yesterday, Friday, Swamiji spoke to a packed house at the amphitheater at The Expanding Light.…

Spiritual Renewal Week 2009, Pt.1
August 12, 2009

Hi Everyone. Spiritual Renewal Week 2009 is here! This is a quick update on some of the things that have happened so far at our annual SRW at Ananda Village. My guess is that at least 300 people were at The Expanding Light amphitheater to listen to Swami Kriyananda give the opening talk on Monday.…

Life Mantra
August 12, 2009

Dear all – here is the recording of Life Mantra from last night – enjoy!life-mantra-srw-09.mp3

August 8, 2009

Reentry – that’s what I call the process of returning to the everyday world after spending some time in a deep spiritual environment. It can be a difficult transition, even painful. I spent 2 weeks at Ananda Village during the 40th anniversary celebration and the 4th of July. Swami Kriyananda returned to the Village during…

"Eyes Filled with Divine Love"
August 8, 2009

Being a classically trained musician, I’ve had a life filled with discipline, “shoulds”, guilt and consequences, which certainly has its plusses and minuses. It’s easy to make myself do things when I know it will be good for me, but sometimes I find myself approaching things without much inspiration, doing them simply because I’m supposed…

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…

The Sacred Art of Singing
July 6, 2009

What is it that truly happens when we sing? Are we merely creating waves of sound, or is there a deeper, metaphysical aspect that we can explore? For myself, I’m beginning to realize that every time my bow touches the cello, or a note comes out of my throat, I have the opportunity to witness…

July 4th Celebration, part 2
July 5, 2009

Happy 4th of July. I am posting a collection of photos from yesterday’s (Saturday) celebration of our 40th anniversary and our nations anniversary. We had beautiful songs, yummy food, and great company. Swamiji visited each of the booths that showed the many aspects of Ananda Worldwide. He sang with the choir and also greeted many…

4th of July Weekend Celebration Pt. 1
July 4, 2009

Happy Ananda Anniversary! The first day of our three day celebration was lovely. It was so nice to see all of our friends at the morning talk and the evening concert. The morning included talks from 5 different and wonderful speakers. The concert was beautiful. I never get tired of watching the choir members channel…

Gearing Up for a Special Summer
June 27, 2009

Greetings, everyone! Last week, there was a huge workday at Ananda Village to get ready for all our summer events and visitors. As you can see, there was a lot of activity and joy. We began the day with a prayer to bless our service and efforts. There were work parties at The Expanding Light,…

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…

Spring at Crystal Hermitage Gardens
May 8, 2009

Greetings from Ananda Village. Lisa Powers wrote a wonderful blog post about the open houses at Crystal Hermitage Gardens. It was great to see people from the surrounding area come and enjoy the gardens. I spent a lot of time in the gardens recently. I have been working on a book of photos of the…

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…

Winter Renewal Week
February 17, 2009

As you can tell from Ananda’s homepage, we had a wonderful Winter Renewal Week, with Divine Mother’s added gift of snow. It began snowing Monday morning, and I was amazed to see how many people braved the weather to come to the classes. On Wednesday evening, it snowed about 4 or 5 inches within an…

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,…

Fall at Ananda 2008
November 23, 2008

I should title this blog: It’s a Small World, since reports are now coming in about Swamiji Kriyananda’s return to India and his talk to a packed crowd in Delhi. But, I just wanted to share a few more photos with you of Swami’s visit in America and also photos of our beautiful fall colors.…

Think Like Swami Kriyananda
November 19, 2008

I’ve been on this path for almost 30 years and I’m just beginning to realize how much my consciousness has been changed by the teachings of Yogananda and the guidance and influence of Swami Kriyananda. “How would he respond in this situation?” has become part of my thinking, and it is a remarkably easy way…

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…

Ananda Portland's 20th Anniversary
October 27, 2008

I had the blessing to attend Ananda Portland’s 20th anniversary a few weeks ago. I had decided to go because I love being part of these celebrations with our greater Ananda family. I find it’s fun to be serving in that flow of energy. It was a wonderful weekend and I was grateful to have…

guest author

My Visit to Ananda Village
October 22, 2008

Editor’s note: These are excerpts from a 77-page article by Bhasbuto, a young man who visited Ananda Village in the summer of 2008. For the sake of privacy, his online name is used here. Bhasbuto was born in Montevideo, Uruguay. At the age of 15 he received a gift from his father: Autobiography of a…

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.

Ananda's 40th/60th Anniversary Bicycle Ride - Great Success
August 16, 2008

On August 9 2008, the day before the Spiritual Renewal Week, eighteen great souls gathered at Ananda Village to honor Ananda’s 40th anniversary and Swami Kriyananda’s 60th anniversary of discipleship by doing a bicycle ride. They had options of starting or ending the ride at different points along the planned route, thanks to the great…

The Peace Treaty 2008
August 16, 2008

This year’s production of the Peace Treaty was magical. The newly renovated amphitheater was very welcoming, the costumes were better than ever, and the lighting highlighted the beauty of the backdrop and the commitment of the actors. Each of the actors has made the part they played their own. It has been very fun to…

The Talks!
August 15, 2008

We have been on the run here for Spiritual Renewal week. I was hoping to write about the talks a bit, but I know Dave will post the talks soon. They will be in separate clips so they will be easy to listen too. They are each amazing. We have such great and inspiring teachers.…

Spiritual Renewal Week 2008, Evening Concert
August 12, 2008

Greetings everyone! Last nights performance was so beautiful. I hope you enjoy the sampling of photos from the evening. Blessings to you. Barbara Swamiji arriving at the evening concert in The Expanding Light amphitheater Swamiji rehearsing with musicians just prior to the concert The World Brotherhood choir singing the Ananda theme song, “Many Hands Make…

Spiritual Renewal Week 2008
August 12, 2008

Swami arriving with Sri Kaarthikeyan Spiritual Renewal Week 2008 is here! Ananda Choir singing to an audience of 400+ 400+ beautiful people came to The Expanding Light amphitheater on this warm August Day to hear Swami Kriyananda give a talk entitled “World Brotherhood Colonies: Social Pattern for Dwapara Yuga” It was a great talk, it…

Swami Kriyananda Speaks in the Bay Area
July 20, 2008

Finding Peace in an Unsettled world was the title of the talk Swamiji gave at the Center for Performing Arts in San Jose, Ca. The talk was very well attended, at least a 1000 people were there. The talk is on the web for you to listen to. Today is the open house at the…

Christ Lives
July 19, 2008

Last night, July 18, a beautiful event took place in Palo Alto, California. As part of Ananda’s 40th Anniversary celebrations the Oratorio “Christ Lives” was performed. This was a special performance in that Swami Kriyananda sang many of his divinely inspired songs. The collection of songs depicts the mystic life and teachings of Christ. Swamiji…

"There is joy in the heavens"
July 12, 2008

It has been an amazing few weeks at Ananda Village. Naturally, having Swamiji here is a real blessing. You have already heard alot about Swamiji’s birthday celebrations and probably heard the talks on the internet. His Sunday Service talk was wonderful. I have two groups of photos to share with you to show some other…

Swami Kriyananda's birthday celebration #1
June 21, 2008

What a beautiful day! The newly refurbished amphitheater was all decked out with flowers, flags and a new and larger shade cloth. The seats were filled to capacity. Swami’s talk was deep and inspiring. Who could ask for more? Wow. Friday (yesterday) was a big day at Ananda and The Expanding Light. It was beautiful…

Ananda's 40th/60th Anniversary Bicycle Ride
June 21, 2008

In one of my previous posts, I had mentioned that Ananda Velo (Ananda Village’s Bicycle Club) is organizing a bicycle ride for Ananda’s 40th anniversary and Swami Kriyananda’s 60th anniversary of discipleship. The date of this ride has been finalized as August 9th (the Saturday before Spiritual Renewal Week). Yesterday, we sent out an email…

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,…

Landmark Event at Ananda Village
May 23, 2008

Watching Swami in Italy watch us Last Monday, on May 19, 250 devotees in 7 different colonies celebrated Swami Kriyananda’s Birthday with a LIVE video conference. Early Dwapara Yuga sees many technological and social advancements. For instance, we have long offered the time shifting capabilities of viewing recorded videos of Sunday Services or recent talks…

20 Years in Portland
May 16, 2008

Twenty years ago my husband and I welcomed our firstborn into the world, and the Ananda Portland meditation group became a true Ananda “colony”. There may have been other significant events in 1988, but I don’t remember them. As we plan the 20 year anniversary celebration of Ananda Portland, my memories of those growing up…

Ananda Concert Series - Grande Finale
May 15, 2008

I’m in the midst of preparations for our final Ananda Concert Series program, entitled Ananda Classics. We’ll be performing on Saturday night, May 17th, at 7:30 PM at the Crystal Hermitage, surrounded by the beauty of the gardens. This will be the first time in nearly twenty years that Swami’s String Quartet will be performed…

Lots of Fun Things
April 24, 2008

Hi Everyone, It has been a wonderful and awe-inspiring week. I live out here on the West Coast and woke up Saturday morning feeling like something good was happening. It was the morning that Swamiji gave his heart-opening and soul stirring talk in Rome. I think everyone here at Ananda Village felt a calm sense…

Jesus as a Yoga Master
April 13, 2008

“I wasn’t sent to the West,” Yogananda often told his audiences, “by Christ and the great masters of India to dogmatize you with a new theology. Jesus himself asked Babaji to send someone here to teach you the science of Kriya Yoga, that people might learn how to commune with God directly. I want to…

You are Immortal Spirit!
March 15, 2008

I haven’t posted for a couple months – life gets very full with a family of five! We all seem to be going separate directions these days, but part of me really enjoys all the activity and seeing three children grow and explore their potential is fun. Many friends my age are watching their children…

Benefits of Kriya Yoga
January 19, 2008

One of the great joys of my work with Kriya Yogis is the frequent emails I receive from them, describing the positive effects of Kriya practice. These testimonials come from long-time Kriyabans, and from people who have been practicing Kriya less than a year.

Many times the practice of Kriya brings what I call ‘unintended consequences’ — all of them positive! A recent email from a new Kriyaban described how they had stopped eating meat, were eating half as much as they used to (good in their case, apparently!) – all of this even though they weren’t trying to make these particular changes in their life.

An Evening with St. Francis
October 14, 2007

This past weekend we presented our second concert in our Ananda Concert Series, entitled An Evening with St. Francis, presenting the life of the great saint with narration and music written by Swami Kriyananda. The dome of the Crystal Hermitage was filled to capacity with close to 70 in the audience as we began our…

Sing With Your Children
September 24, 2007

Music touches people on a deeper level than words alone. The music composed by Swami Kriyananda is written to change consciousness; the experience of listening to, playing, or singing such music goes beyond the sensory experience, into the soul. Being part of the choir at the Ananda Center in Portland has become a vital part…

The Yoga of Bicycling
September 21, 2007

In my previous post about bicycling (Satsang on Bicycles) I had talked about the great joy of bicyling in the Sierra Foothills, especially when joined by gurubais. The more I ride my bicycle in this area, the more I am convinced we live in one of the most beautiful areas in the world. The neighboring…

Babaji Krishna Celebration
September 2, 2007

Last night, at Ananda Village, we celebrated the blessings of Mahavatar Babaji in our lives. It was a stunningly beautiful evening at the Crystal Hermitage. The air was so still and except for a choir of crickets and our devotional chanting and prayers it was very quiet and profoundly peaceful. The evening was led by…

Evenings at Ananda
August 12, 2007

I was a bit sad to see Swami Kriyananda go back to India. It was a summer visit packed with inspiring events and talks and visits with spiritual family from all over. …

Revelations of Christ Launch & Birth of Ananda Los Angeles
July 25, 2007

Over 200 Ananda members traveled to Southern California last week for 5 days of events. The highlight was the official launch of Swami Kriyananda’s new book, Revelations of Chirst. It was held at the Wadsworth Theatre in Los Angeles, and was attended by over 1,000 people. You can listen to Swami Kriyananda’s talk and view…

July 14, 2007

Next week is a big one. Swami Kriyananda will be in Los Angeles to launch his new book, Revelations of Christ. Many people from Ananda Village and Ananda Colonies will also be there to join in and help with all the festivities. Along with the book launch, some of the events we are all looking…

Life is Precious
July 4, 2007

A friend of mine died two weeks ago. He was my closest friend during high school, and was planning to visit me at Ananda Village today.

Statues of the Masters Chapter 2 - arrival at Ananda Village
June 30, 2007

Last Wednesday Vidura and I went to Oakland to pick up the statues of the Masters. As you may recall, has been a 2 year project. (please refer to previous post). The 2 life size statues of Yogananda and Sri Yukteswar each way somewhere around 600 pounds and are made out of beautiful white marble.…

"It's a Blissful Life"
June 15, 2007

Last weekend we celebrated Swami Kriyananda’s 81st birthday at Ananda Village. He spoke for over three hours during several occasions, covering many topics. Swamiji shared a lifetime’s worth of spiritual insight from the perspective of someone who has overcome the tests given to those who seek final freedom in God. He has mentioned a few…

Entering the Aura of Swami Kriyananda
June 11, 2007

This evening I went to the Crystal Hermitage to gather some recording equiptment for a kirtan, and was dynamically engulfed in the aura of Swami Kriyananda. He lives downstairs, and I didn’t get a chance to greet him, but his aura permeated my whole being, making me smile with such sweet joy. I go to…

The Easiest Way to God
May 14, 2007

Vanamali Devi chants during puja “Divine Mother,” Vanamali Devi said during the retreat last weekend, “is the easiest way to God. As any child knows, you can make demands of the Mother than you can’t make of the Father. It is the same with Divine Mother. So, this way of worshipping God has become very popular in India.”

Traveling Within in India, Part 2: Our Visit to Vanamali Devi
April 24, 2007

Our tour group had a short audience with Vanamali Devi. One of the first questions we asked was if she would talk about devotion. She replied, “That is one of the hardest things to talk about!”

So she took a charming approach to the subject: why wisdom is a necessary prerequisite for deep devotion. Wisdom, she said, is the knowledge of what we would be devoted to, and without it, we become dogmatic and fanatical, focusing our energy not on our perception of God, but on our conception of Him: on mere belief or superstition. […]

What is Ananda?
February 23, 2007

This website is called “A Place Called Ananda,” but what and where is that place? A dream I once had offers some explanation, as does my first Christmas meditation.

In the dream, a friend was telling me that Ananda is like a lake of consciousness, filled with joy and reflecting all the colors of the rainbow. I only very rarely share spiritual dreams, but this one illustrates so well […]

The Path of Kriya Yoga
February 21, 2007

As director of Ananda’s Kriya Sangha, I’ve had the great good fortune of hearing from countless Kriya Yogis from around the world. These wonderful souls have shared with me their stories about the extraordinary growth that comes from following the Path of Kriya. In the coming months I’ll share some of those conversations with you.…

Getting Started
November 7, 2006

It took me years to convince myself that I should start a blog. I don’t necessarily chase the latest technology craze and end up usually waiting for a while until the dust settles and see what remains after that. Finally about a year ago I started a blog, primarily to send news and pictures to…