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Changing Seasons
October 14, 2014

Have you ever wondered why the seasons change, spiritually speaking? Over the years, I’ve noticed what I think must be a very good reason. First, I suppose there must be some of you reading this, who live in parts of the world where the seasons don’t change that much (perhaps having only wet and dry…

Dambara Begley,
guest author

Pipe Down and Crack On
December 30, 2013

Ben and Tarka have just walked 900 miles to the South Pole.  Now, they walk back. But let’s back up a bit.  It all started when friends Koral and Suzanne Ilgun took a recent trip to Antarctica, sharing photos like this: Later, Koral mentioned a blog he’d been following by 2 British adventurers who are…

Signs in the Skies
October 10, 2013

An amazing “sign in the sky” came my way on December 20, 2012. I thought it might be fun to share this unusual event with you and also share my thoughts about it. First, a little background. In my second grade classroom, we actually practiced crawling under our school desks when the alarms sounded. We…

Living Discipleship and the Story of Grandfather Tree
August 12, 2013

After being told the story of Grandfather Tree’s power in the oak forest here at Ananda’s Meditation Retreat in Nevada City, California, I became enthusiastic about going to visit and meditate with this soul. Sometimes I would walk past Grandfather Tree on the way to my cabin, and hear him call to my heart. A…

Stubborn as a Mule
December 13, 2012

I spent my first winter at Ananda Village serving in the Yogoata dairy with a great devotee named Virani. She is responsible for supplying many of the village residents with nutritious and delicious goat milk products. I would say she has the strength of several grown men. After being with her for about a month,…

Julie Quillen,
guest author

A Day On The Farm
August 27, 2012

When I awoke one morning and realized that I had dreamt I was skipping through a bed of thick, green kale leaves, I knew that the farm life was for me. At that point I was already aware that my time on this Earth was meant to be spent digging in the ground, getting dirt…

Brannon Forrester,
guest author

Trail of Beauty
July 13, 2012

Maintenance at the Expanding Light Guest Retreat, here at Ananda Village, is a study in contrasts.  The job can at times feel like smooth sailing, but barely a week later resembles treading water to stay afloat.  Many repairs are straight forward, such as fixing toilets or sinks, but others are larger projects requiring more expertise…

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…

No Two Seasons Are Alike
September 1, 2010

After getting off to a rather late start, this season on Ananda Farm is showering us with abundance. Ananda farm and “unpredictable weather” are one and the same. During the years 1976 – 1986 we had a frost every month of the year except for July! Ananda Farm This year, May 26th, we had a”killer…

Seeking the Light
June 16, 2010

Hi Everyone, It has been an amazing Spring here at Ananda Village. It was very long and wet, but the result was a very vivid wildflower season, a very long tulip season and some great clouds and luscious flowers and skies. I have been pretty busy with all kinds of stuff, just like everyone else…

Delighted, no end...
April 19, 2010

Delighted, no end is actually the punch line to a joke in the Peace Treaty (Swamiji Kriyananda’s 3-act play). But it describes this weekend perfectly. People were delighted with the gardens at Crystal Hermitage. Hi everyone, last week I shared with you photos of the first weekend of Springtime at Ananda. It was cloudy and…

Cold Hands, Warm Heart
April 12, 2010

The past two days were the first weekend of the long-awaited-for Springtime at Ananda Open House. After many, many months of preparation the doors were thrown open and the public was invited to share in the glorious colors of the Crystal Hermitage Gardens. As you can see, the weather was not spring-like. In fact, it…

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…

God's Plans
February 19, 2010

Tulips sprouting at Crystal Hermitage. If you read my last post you knew I would be writing to you next from India. However, shortly before we were to leave we got one of those phone calls nobody likes to get. A beloved family member passed away. I went over to one of my favorite places:…

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…

Discovering Joy
November 14, 2009

Dear Friends, Writing and posting on this site has been moved up the priority list in my life; I hope to be sharing more regularly with you. Paramhansa Yogananda said we should regulate our lives – approach our days with a sense of order. We also have to flow with life and be willing to…

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…

Lisa Powers,
guest author

Crystal Hermitage Gardens Tour
May 2, 2009

Looking for this year’s garden tour? Visit the Spring Garden Tours page for current dates and times that the garden is open, plus directions and more. For the past two years, spring tours of Crystal Hermitage Gardens have become a Northern California event. About 1,000 people drove from as far as the Bay Area during…

Yoga for Cyclists
April 23, 2009

Ananda Velo, our bicycling club at Ananda Village, is planning a special retreat for the first time at the Expanding Light. The “Yoga for Cyclists” program, held the weekend of June 4-7, will be hosted by Dr. Craig Roberts DC, Panduranga Heater, Bob Stolzman and yours truly. We have been preparing for this retreat for…

The Veils Are Thinner
November 26, 2008

Being in nature is where I’ve always felt most comfortable and at home. I also appreciate a snug house and a warm stove on a cold, rainy night. But if the weather is agreeable and I have the opportunity to be outside, then that would always be my first choice. Perhaps you feel the same…

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.…

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…

Beauty of Spring at Crystal Hermitage Gardens
May 5, 2008

After countless hours spent by the volunteers and staff of Crystal Hermitage, the gardens opened their doors to the public about a month ago. Nevada County’s local newspaper, The Union, featured a wonderful front-page article, titled “Spring glory over the Yuba”, talking about the beauty of the gardens and inviting the public to visit them.…

Be restful in your heart.
March 6, 2008

“Be restful in your heart” is one of the daily sayings from Swami Kriyananda writing in his small book called “Do It Now” Sunset During Seclusion Upon reflection, during this past week’s seclusion, it seemed that as I have been less caught up in daily “to do’s” and requests, I noticed that as the week…

Seclusion Day 1
February 26, 2008

St Francis pond below our home. As part of our spiritual practice here at Ananda Village, we are urged to take seclusions regularly, perhaps just a day here and there) and at least annually, take a week seclusion, as a balance to all of our busy outward service activities. In fact, employees like me, who…

The Deer of Ananda Village
December 21, 2007

Deer grazing above office buildingsA visual tour, with commentary, on the deer of Ananda Village. Includes cute baby deer!

Bharat Cornell,
guest author

Japanese Embrace Ananda
October 9, 2007

My wife Anandi and I recently returned from a trip to Japan where we celebrated 20th Anniversary of the Sharing Nature Foundation there. We were thrilled to see its principles wholeheartedly embraced by Japanese society. The Japanese Ministry of Education is launching a new program to use Sharing Nature methods and activities in every elementary…