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Gita Matlock,
guest author

Stay in Tune!
September 9, 2014

In April of 2012, my husband (then fiance) and I traveled to Europe for a vacation and ended up having the great joy of spending time with Swami Kriyananda in Lugano, Switzerland and Assisi, Italy. As it happened, my husband and our travel companions Ramesha and Bhagavati are all musicians and singers. So, when it…

Nayaswami Gyandev,
guest author

The Secret of Happiness
September 1, 2014

Last year during my annual seclusion, I found my mind inexplicably seized by a poem—not a fully composed poem, but merely the first two lines, plus a strong urge to expand on them. I followed the urge, and by the end of my seclusion, the poem was a lively, light-hearted encapsulation of an important spiritual principle:…

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…

Abiding in the Inner Self
July 10, 2014

This is an excerpt from the book Demystifying Patanjali: The Yoga Sutras (Aphorisms) by Swami Kriyananda. Samadhi Pada (Book 1) Verses 1 – 3:  Then, (spiritually free), the sage abides (tranquilly) in his inner Self. Modern living leads us to confuse fulfillment with excitement. From excitement, however, ensues tension. And tension causes all happiness to…

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…

Four Miracles in One Day
May 12, 2014

It was in the middle of a very hot July, 1975. I was driving from Texas to California in an old, un-air-conditioned Chevrolet. I was very excited about making the journey, for I was ready to pursue a much-anticipated new way of life, by moving, bag and baggage, to Ananda Village. Still, I was probably…

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…

Homeward Bound
March 20, 2014

The first time Yogananda gazed into my eyes from the cover of Autobiography of a Yogi, I wasn’t open enough spiritually even to buy the book and read it. Two years later, in a time of unbearable spiritual darkness and fear, I remembered those eyes and went looking for the book. I found it in…

The Power of Light
March 4, 2014

Recently, I watched a fascinating documentary film about the Chauvet cave in France, where the oldest known cave paintings have been found. The best scientific dating techniques we have in this modern age of energy estimate the paintings to be over 30,000 years old. The film shows the beautiful cave art in living color –…

Transitions
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…

A Gift from Ma
January 9, 2014

I moved to Ananda Village without the necessary funds to pay for the membership training programs that are a prerequisite for living here. I had already spent much time working and saving and I just couldn’t wait any longer. I felt I was following God’s will in this, so I said to Him, “I’ve done…

A Valuable Lesson
January 7, 2014

I’ve had the privilege and honor for many years now of sharing an office with some of Ananda’s finest ministers and meditation instructors. Each of the desks around me belong to long-time devotees who have been on our path for at least 25 years. I am the only one in that office who is fairly…

The Battle with Should
November 20, 2013

Albert Einstein defined insanity as “doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results”. Yogananda said we all have our own kind of craziness, and after 32 years on this spiritual path, I’m discovering just how crazy I am. There seems to be no end to all the crazy ways I sabotage…

A Grandmother’s Harvest of Truths
November 13, 2013

Note from Savitri: My sweet mother-in-law, Willma Willis Gore is 91 years young. She lives in Sedona, Arizona. Mom stays very busy as a professional writer; she runs several writer’s workshops each week, encouraging aspiring writers to upgrade their skills and figure out how to publish or have published what they have written. She has…

The Light and the Bushel
October 27, 2013

Many of you are probably like me—you’ve got an average singing voice though nothing that’s going to win you a Grammy. So does that stop you from thinking that you have anything to offer? Years ago I found myself in the position to sing a solo in front of Swami Kriyananda. After I sang Swami…

Energization Experiments
October 2, 2013

One of the first techniques we learn at Ananda is an original creation of Paramhansa Yogananda’s: the Energization Exercises. These exercises help us learn to work directly with our life force in a way that can be applied not only in our other meditation techniques, but in everything we do. The Energization Exercises intrigued me…

“Which is greater, a swami or a yogi?"
September 12, 2013

Paramhansa Yogananda asks this rhetorical question in his Autobiography of a Yogi. I’ve also received various forms of that question over the years, usually from people who live in the world raising a family, or perhaps struggling with marriage or with the demands of a career. Yogananda’s answer, like other understated passages tucked away in…

My First Prayer Was About a Cat
September 2, 2013

My “first prayer,” as I’ve come to think of it, was made when I about 22 years old. I had just begun meditating and was beginning to look at life from a spiritual point of view. I’m sure that I had prayed when I was a child, but in high school I had been an…

Seclusion is the Price of Greatness
February 27, 2013

I felt inspired to write the following article during my recent seclusion at Ananda’s Meditation Retreat in Northern California. I also felt to share my thoughts on seclusion after reading a beautiful book during my experience entitled, : The Joyful Art of Sharing Quality Time with God, by a dear friend and long time Ananda…

Looking for Your Soul Mate?
November 29, 2012

Those of you who keep up with my past blogs on this website will know that I had a lot of fun writing a novel called Through Many Lives. This little self-published novel continues to surprise me by selling very well. Thanks so much to all of you who have bought a copy. One of…

The Meditation Experiment
November 23, 2012

How many of us are hesitant to commit to a practice because we don’t think it will make any difference in our lives? Perhaps a voice in our head holds us back, afraid of any change that could challenge our comfortable status-quo. Or perhaps we doubt our potential or feel unworthy of success, thereby dampening…

Learning To Give
October 5, 2012

I arrived at Ananda Village on January 3rd, 2009. I was looking for my spiritual home on earth and had not found it in any of the ashrams that I’d attempted to live in before this. Within 2 weeks I was certain that this was what I was looking for. I spent the rest of…

Sharing the Inner Presence of Ananda
September 8, 2012

Many of you may know that we are in the midst of creating the Cities of Light film here at Ananda, and of the honor I’ve had of being a part of the whole process. What you may not know is how transformational it has been for me, personally. You can read about my first…

An Open Letter to Myself Before My Move to Ananda Village
August 7, 2012

This is addressed to my past self of December, 2004, just after I decided to move to Ananda Village.

Coming to Terms with Old Age and Dying
May 22, 2012

Don’t worry! I’m in very good health, and I hope you are, too! Still, I am the last part of my 6th decade, so the subject of the best ways to face into old age and death are important ones for me to consider now. Actually, this is true for everyone, no matter what your…

Renunciation, Poverty Consciousness, and True Prosperity
April 2, 2012

Our 2012 adventure continues at home, as my wife has begun her online schooling to become a certified health coach (yes, we’re still juicing once a day and feeling great), and I move forward with manifesting new directions for music, consciousness, and inspiration, while keeping up the Ananda Music responsibilities. This is definitely uncharted territory…

How to Perceive Spiritual Truths
March 23, 2012

Sometimes in the past, I’ve found it difficult to know why certain things are happening in my life — or even, if I’m totally honest, what is happening in itself at all, apart from my emotions, desires, hopes and wishes. Recently, I had an experience that really helped to put things in perspective. In January,…

An Experiment in Unmitigated Happiness
February 25, 2012

Okay everyone – raise your hand if your are a fellow addict of getting things done – hooked on that wonderful feeling of accomplishment that comes from crossing things off of the “to do” list, whether it might be cleaning the floor, planting the garden, or writing a book. (you can put your hands down…)…

The Blessings of Completing a Spiritual Novel
February 24, 2012

Through Many Lives: A Tale of Time Travel Through the Yugas by Nayaswami Savitri Simpson. One year ago, in a blog I wrote for this website Writing a Spiritual Novel, I told the story of how I came to be writing a novel. I told of the many interesting lessons learned thus far. If you…

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…

Untangling My Karma
February 12, 2012

We’ve just finished a wonderful Inner Renewal Week here at Ananda Village, with classes by Jyotish and Devi, Kriya Yoga initiations, renunciate vows, and long meditations, all designed to help us go deeper into God. We have this week every year, and one of the points from last year’s classes was untangling our karma, from…

"How Few are Either Educated or Entertained!"
January 23, 2012

Since the first supermarkets in the 1930’s,  a general disregard for nature has been increasing. The need for growing one’s own food has become an inconvenience our “modern age” has conquered. With the rise of factory farms and greenhouses the size of small cities, the need to follow the “whims” of Mother Nature is behind…

Who ‘Ya Gonna Blame?
November 11, 2011

11-11-11 — an obviously auspicious day for writing a blog. May all sentient and non-sentient creatures be blessed with inner and outer peace today and always.  I was/am amazed at the number of favorable responses to my last blog, wherein I told the story of my husband’s broken leg and how we are working our…

Dance of Divine Grace
October 24, 2011

Ananda Portland is expanding – you may have read about the new educational campus, Ananda Center at Laurelwood, and the new assisted living venture, Ananda House. But we have many other parts of the work here as well, and as I play my role as manager of the temple and teaching center I find it…

Dmitri Borohhov,
guest author

God Cares More Than We Imagine
October 24, 2011

In one of Asha Praver’s excellent MP3 lectures she expressed a remarkable thought that I like to remind myself in many situations: When we are worried and anxious about things that can happen to us, the cause of this is that we actually don’t trust God enough. So, even though I have not yet achieved…

Group Discussion: How Do You Practice God's Presence?
October 17, 2011

What do you do to think of God, remember Him, or feel Him with you during your daily activities?

Please add your experience in the comments below — or reply to the suggestions of others!

Getting on the Path
September 30, 2011

The summer I turned 24, life fell apart. I lost one job, and my closest friendship crashed and burned. My parents didn’t understand me, and I considered giving up on them, as well. “Wait,” I thought. “Have you tried explaining yourself? It would be dumb to give up without having done your part. Besides, if…

“To everything there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven.” -Holy Bible, Ecclesiastes, 3:1-8
September 7, 2011

I do not know how many times I have taken birth. I also don’t know whether in my previous birth I was in some way associated with Master. But I wish to share here that when the right time comes, God swings his magic wand and drops the ripened fruit of our karma which changes…

How to Find Bliss Through Giving
August 8, 2011

Just before I started the Karma Yoga Program at the Expanding Light, I had a few days of dealing with a paralyzing fear. At that point, I had only a month’s (beautiful, life-changing) experience of Ananda, at the Meditation Retreat in the foothills of the Sierra mountains.  I was so new (and still am!). And…

When Your Spiritual Progress Seems Too Slow...
July 25, 2011

About 45 years ago, I spent two and a half years paralyzed from the chest down. The neurosurgeons tried unsuccessfully to remove a cyst that was compressing my spinal cord, and a year of physical therapy brought no improvement, but a second surgery succeeded, and I gradually recovered the use of my legs. I’ve had…

Sowing the Seeds of Spiritual Awakening
July 21, 2011

A few weeks ago, Ananta and I were walking through the fields with four apprentices who have come to work with us on the farm this season. Specifically, we were identifying local weeds and talking about their function in soils as indicators of soil quality and health. One of the common weeds we were discussing…

Pastures New: A Lesson in Acceptance
July 21, 2011

Time marches on and the move to India is almost upon us. Our home is sold and we have left our jobs. Yet had Michael and I known how difficult it would be to opt out of the ‘rat-race’ we might have planned things slightly differently. Not that it has affected our decision to move…

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…

Why Do We Send Energy to Others After Meditation?
June 12, 2011

How about — to affirm our underlying oneness with all beings. This may sound like quite a leap, but today I had an experience that brought this truth home to me in a very unique and unexpected way. Let me explain how. I never minded sending healing prayers after meditation when I first learned how…

Joy... Amidst Carnage and Mayhem?
June 6, 2011

Master said time and time again how we must remain calm in times of adversity, amidst ‘the crash of breaking worlds’. Please allow me to set the scene. It would be better if the beautiful Isle of Man, located in the middle of the Irish Sea, was renowned for its spiritual history; a centre for…

Bliss in the Midst of Fatigue
June 3, 2011

It’s been a very busy Spring here at Ananda, filled with events that usually happen during the summer: a weekend with Swami Kriyananda, a Crystal Clarity donor dinner, concerts, recordings, and filming. On top of my school teaching schedule, it has made life quite a bit more challenging. As I write this I am in…

Learning to Sing Ananda's Music
May 20, 2011

When I moved to Ananda Village in 1976, I was offered a job at “Pubble,” the department where Swami Kriyananda’s books were published. Not long after I arrived, Swamiji invited the staff to his home to discuss some projects. Swami’s house was on the other side of the ridge from the main part of the…

Spiritual Laziness and Other Virtues
May 12, 2011

It’s early morning and you’re shuffling to your meditation seat. You’re feeling that peaceful anticipation that comes before a meditation. Still walking, you glance up and see your laptop on your desk. It seems to beckon to you. The thought arises, “You know, it would only take a few moments, a few keystrokes to check…

"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…

Learning to Love
March 4, 2011

How can we love? I’m grateful to Swami Kriyananda for helping me deepen my understanding of this essential point of the spiritual path. For years, after I moved to Ananda in 1976, I felt painfully self-conscious at group gatherings. I wanted to fit in, but I didn’t know how. The place where I felt most…

Superconscious Living
February 28, 2011

If you listen to any of Swami Kriyananda’s talks or interviews, or have the blessing of being with him during his classes, you may have the same experience I do – an incredibly sweet upliftment of consciousness and expansion of the heart’s sympathies. I’m deeply touched to witness the compassion and kindness and wisdom I…

Inner Renewal for Twenty Eleven
February 16, 2011

Last week, Ananda Village and many fellow gurubais from as far away as the East Coast, and even via the internet, took time to go deep in spirit. This was our third annual Inner Renewal Week and it was hosted by The Expanding Light. Jyotish and Devi Novak came up from Los Angeles to share…

A Tale of Good Karma
February 9, 2011

“How do I know if I have overcome a particular karma?” Swami Kriyananda was asked by a student.

“When you are no longer afraid of it,” was his reply. I have often thought of these words and pondered their meaning.

Today I had the opportunity to ponder on those words of Swamiji’s, as they relate to physical pain, through a more direct experience than usual…

Be Kind to One Another
February 3, 2011

Yesterday I wasn’t feeling particularly aggravated or irritable, I thought I was quite centered and calm as I worked on the computer and answered multiple phone calls. There were several tasks to be done at once and I was emailing documents back and forth when the phone rang again. This time it was a telemarketer…

Writing a Spiritual Novel
February 3, 2011

It’s time to reveal my secret to a larger circle of friends — that is, whoever might be taking the time to read this blog. I’ve not told many folks about what I’ve been doing in my spare time lately, but I think it’s OK to say more about it now. For the past two…

Protect Your Consciousness
January 26, 2011

Our beloved friend, Nayaswami Maria, requested I blog about how I apply yoga teachings in the world as a householder and doctor living outside of Ananda Village. She said, “Those who read Ananda’s blogs have an abundance of information about living in spiritual community. Many people want to know how these teachings help folks in…

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…

It's Never Too Late
December 31, 2010

Wherever we are, no matter how bad our life might look, we can take a step forward. It doesn’t matter what we’ve done, what we forgot to do, or what other people think of us — our choice is basically the same: to go forward. At a Sunday Service several years ago I heard a…

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…

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…

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…

Choosing Spiritual Marriage
September 22, 2010

Surrounded by a lovely, expansive garden, willow branches swaying in the breeze and brushing against the water of a large shallow pond just behind us, we watched the couple approach. Both American, they had met while attending College in Delhi, India. The decorations were festive and Indian, and the couple, their attendents and family, had…

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…

How It Came To Be: “Touching Soul”
September 8, 2010

We never will know our true potential if we don’t push ourselves past our perceived and self-made boundaries. Touching Soul Touching Soul came into being as a consequence of an inspired moment preceded by reading an excerpt of Swami Kriyananda’s Conversations with Yogananda. The excerpt told of a someone asking Yogananda if inspiration could be…

Short and Sweet
August 23, 2010

In my last post, I promised this one to be short and sweet. I have had many experiences since coming to Ananda that I would describe as sweet. But the sweetness I’m feeling lately is the awareness that the outward complexity of the spiritual path is an illusion. All the seeming separate pieces of life…

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…

Dr. Aditya and the Clinic, Part 2
July 16, 2010

The following is the second half of a two part interview with Dr. Aditya Gait, a resident medical doctor and member of Ananda’s Kriya Yoga Community in the countryside outside of Pune, India. Dr. Aditya is also a Brahmachari member of the Ananda Renunciate Order. Aditya and a fellow monk with Swami Kriyananda Jaya: There…

Dr. Aditya Gait and the Clinic, Part 1
July 9, 2010

Aditya Gait is a member of Ananda Sangha helping to build a “Kriya Yoga Community” in the countryside outside of Pune, India. He trained as a medical doctor before joining Ananda and is now beginning a medical clinic to serve the needs of local villagers and community members. Aditya is a brahmachari member of the…

Are We Ready for This?
June 23, 2010

Yesterday was an interesting day. The morning at work began fine, outwardly, but my heart and mind were not in the right place. This showed up in a lack of kindness to some of my co-workers. In the afternoon, this lack of harmony, as if reflecting itself in the world around me, began to express…

One Thing
June 17, 2010

First, I’ll tell you about the play. At the Portland Living Wisdom School, the primary class (first, second and third grade) performed “Frog’s Dream”, a musical play set in the rainforest. I co-teach the class and my job was to sit on the sidelines and hit the play/pause button on the CD player at the…

Serving with Young Adults at Ananda Village
June 11, 2010

My husband and I returned to live at Ananda Village in March of 2009 after living at Ananda Sacramento, California for the last 23 years. There we served as the Colony Leaders and Spiritual Directors. Ananda Farms today… We are now working with the young adults at Ananda Village and working with some of them…

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…

Self-Esteem Issues, Anyone?
April 14, 2010

It’s a little hard for me to understand why I have self-acceptance or self-esteem issues. I had a decent childhood, with no major abuse that I can remember. But certainly I’ve had this issue to deal with. And it certainly seems to me that this problem is epidemic in the world around me. I thought…

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…

What Kind of Christians Are We?
March 27, 2010

When you think about the wave of yoga that has swept the nation, you may not immediately make any connections to Christianity. In fact, many people may indeed be drawn to the yoga movement simply because it has no outward ties to any formal religious dogmas. Yet for me, my spiritual journey has always been…

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…

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…

Blessed Are The Pure In Heart
February 25, 2010

This past Sunday I was speaking at the Sunday service at our local Ananda Center in York, Maine and the scripture reading included Christ’s words in the Bible, “Blessed are the pure in heart for they shall see God”. One can contemplate and meditate upon these words for a lifetime or for many lifetimes to…

I Live Without Fear
February 11, 2010

Recently I was talking with a friend who is a counselor to many people. She mentioned that many of the folks she was working with seem to be extremely fearful, filled with anxiety for a variety of reasons, and thus mentally paralyzed and unable to move forward with their lives. She asked if I had…

Inner Renewal Week 2010
February 8, 2010

This past week at Ananda Village and The Expanding Light has been filled with inspiration and spiritual friends. It seems impossible that 12 different talks in six days about the spiritual path could hold one’s attention from beginning to end. But it did. The theme for Inner Renewal week was: Going Deeper into God. The…

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…

Don’t Kiss and Tell!
January 21, 2010

One of the hardest things for me, at the start of my spiritual journey, was what to make of the phenomena I began to experience.  I know this is a problem for many, in the beginning, and this is why I write about it. When I began to awaken to the realization that there was…

The Joy of Renunciation - What I'm Telling My Family About My Lifetime Monastic Vows
January 19, 2010

Last weekend I wrote an email to my family, sharing with them about the lifetime monastic vow that I took on Christmas Eve at Ananda Village.

In the email, I wrote, …

Through the Grace of God
January 15, 2010

The year 2009 was one of great expansion for Ananda Sangha outreach. All of it came through the grace of God, which is reflected in the title of this post.

Here are some of the year’s highlights. …

"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…

Faith Is Our Armour: Tears a Rite of Passage
January 5, 2010

“Sue, I need to know what’s going on!  What’s happening?  Why are young people sick and dying all around me?” was a tearful telephone call to me at home from a distressed work colleague. In the Intensive Care Unit where I work we see many deaths and tragedies of God’s Lila (Sanskrit for divine play),…

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…

Discovered Treasure, Part 2
December 10, 2009

Greetings all. In my last posting, I revealed Ananda’s blessed treasure, as given to me…. Attunement! Ananda Isle of Man Meditation Group Altar Attunement to such a wonderful, sacred and healing vibration, that I must share it with all. Well this is one of the ways I have begun doing just that… For some time…

Why Be Grateful? — Thoughts from Thanksgiving
November 26, 2009

There was a time in my life, which ended relatively recently, when I simply couldn’t appreciate why people thought gratitude was so important. At least, I didn’t resonate with the way most people expressed it. When I came onto the spiritual path, however, I found that there are actually different kinds of gratitude. The normal…

Paramhansa Yogananda,
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Thanksgiving Letter from Paramhansa Yogananda
November 20, 2009

Every day should be a day of Thanksgiving for all the gifts of Life — sunshine, water, the luscious fruits and greens, which we receive as indirect gifts from the Great Giver. Paramhansa Yogananda with Native American friends He makes us work so that we may consciously and thankfully deserve to receive His Gifts. The…

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…

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…