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Wishing You a Noble New Year
January 1, 2014

Fireworks were already booming from the surrounding neighborhoods as we entered the Portland community chapel last night for our New Year’s Eve ceremony. It was a blessed evening complete with purification ceremony, 108 repetitions of the Mahamrityunjaya Mantra and a deep meditation til midnight.  I was struck by the simple yet powerful contrast of the fireworks and my inner…

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…

Also Starring God (as Himself)
August 4, 2013

Last weekend marked the culmination of an extraordinary year as over 700 people filled the Del Oro Theater in Grass Valley, California to watch the debut screening of the film Finding Happiness. I had the great honor to be part of the cast and also produce the soundtrack for this exquisite film by director Ted…

The Moments that Changed Everything
May 27, 2013

“Honey…David…wake up! Swami passed – he died tonight!” The words melded themselves into my dreaming consciousness, challenging my sleeping brain to accept the shocking news. Rising quickly out of bed, I honestly couldn’t tell if I was still in a dream or in some kind of altered reality. The clock read 12-midnight, and I closed…

The Fine Balance of Health and Lifestyle
January 3, 2013

Life on the spiritual path, though blessedly filled with growing inner freedom and fulfillment, is not always an easy road to navigate. As we give ourselves more completely to living for God, more and more is asked of us. With this lifestyle of selfless service we often give a low priority to maintaining our health…

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…

The Better Devotees: Cats or Dogs?
October 6, 2012

Caitlin and I walked to school this morning. Just as I was saying goodbye to her at the classroom door, the teacher’s dog Charlie leapt over the barricade and bounded off enthusiastically down the hill. We all ran after him, adults and kids alike, and finally after 5 minutes found him quite a distance away.…

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…

Day 5 of filming Cities of Light
August 2, 2012

If this film doesn’t express the highest vibration, I don’t know if anything possibly could. I’ve just come from the ridge where they filmed our two professional dancers, Mirabai Deranja and Christopher Selbie, dancing to Life Is a Dream, choreographed by Lori Van Atta. The sun was setting behind them, creating a beautiful blend of…

Day 4 on the set
July 31, 2012

Today feels really good so far, and I’m getting more and more comfortable with the whole process. We started with shots at Lotus Lake, with the gorgeous natural morning light. It is a joy to see the directors work together, searching for “where the money is”, or the best shots for light and color. One…

Day 3 on the set of Cities of Light
July 30, 2012

I’d like to introduce our director, Ted Nicolaou, who is an extraordinary gentleman and director. Ted has been working with us on this film for the past 2 years, and is an extraordinarily good fit. He describes himself as “a storyteller with an open mind”, and has a vibration about him that is quite contrary…

Cities of Light Day 2 of filming
July 29, 2012

Good morning! So here we are in Crystal Hermitage dining room, where we come first thing for makeup and wardrobe. Here is Sarah Kreutz on the left, wardrobe director, and Elisabeth Granli on the right, who is here from LA to assist Elisabeth Rohm during the filming. This morning we will be shooting a “point…

Day 1 on the Set of Cities of Light
July 28, 2012

There is a tangible presence of God on the set here, as I step into my role for the film, Cities of Light. I had no idea what to expect from this process, and what a process it is! A few nights ago I couldn’t sleep, as I knew my life was heading into a…

An Extraodinary Meeting
June 23, 2012

An extraordinary meeting has just taken place, and I will try to convey in words the presence of God that I am feeling so strongly. This is one of those moments that I am trying to absorb to the fullest extent possible, so that I can call upon for it inspiration in the future –…

The Oratorio Experience
April 7, 2012

Last night was our third and final Easter season performance of Swami Kriyananda’s Oratorio, Christ Lives, of which I have had the honor to conduct. The Oratorio is composed of 50 short pieces including solos, instrumentals, and choir pieces, inspired by a pilgrimage that Swami Kriyananda took to the Holy Land in 1983. Before the…

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…

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…)…

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…

Contentment vs. Complacency
February 5, 2012

On the spiritual path, there is an interesting balance to be struck. For if one renounces the world in his search for God, it is easy to get into a mindset that emphasizes noninvolvement in outward activity. And if one is too involved in outward activity, how can one make inward spiritual progress? When am…

The Spiritual Benefits of Juice Fasting
January 6, 2012

A few months ago my wife and I watched an inspiring documentary called “Fat, Sick, and Nearly Dead” which prompted us to take on the challenge of an extended juice fast. I had no idea what to expect, except from what I had experienced doing Yogananda’s Nine Day Cleanse (also highly recommended!) many years ago.…

Ananda Christmas Album Preview
December 21, 2011

Dear all – I wanted to share with you some of the new recordings we’ve been working on these past few months, combined with others to make up a full Ananda Christmas music experience! We’ll be releasing the CD later in 2012, so please forgive imperfections in these, like the volume being too loud or…

33 Songs on Video!
October 19, 2011

Hi all — wanted to share with you all the songs that we’ve recorded so far that will be a part of Swami Kriyananda’s Bhagavad Gita TV shows in production. We’ll start you off with “Brave Were the People”, one of the first we recorded. “Come Gather Round”: “Brothers”: “There’s Joy in the Heavens”: “What…

"Never despair, joy's everywhere..."
September 10, 2011

“…love can befriend you today.” This lovely excerpt from Swami Kriyananda’s song, Life Is a Dream, comes to mind often in these times of difficulty. My wife lost her job this past summer, and making ends meet has become more of a struggle. We are both faced with the daily challenge of keeping our energy…

Spiritual Renewal Week Concert, 2011
August 16, 2011

We had a very uplifting concert last night featuring Swami Kriyananda’s music, and even though there are some imperfections in the recordings such as wind on the mic, I thought I’d post them for you all: Dark Eyes with solo by Ramu Atwell Keep Calling Him with solo by Maitri Jones, Krishna Dewey, and Latika…

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…

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…

Honoring Good Friday in Dwapara Yuga
April 22, 2011

Good Friday can be a very challenging day to get through, as it gives us the opportunity to identify ourselves with the thought that we are sinners, which Yogananda strongly urged us to avoid. Nayaswami Ananta addressed this issue so beautifully and thoroughly in his talk on Palm Sunday that I highly urge you to…

"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…

Master's Market: A true test of community
February 11, 2011

This month I wanted to give my best possible testimony to our awesome market here, which serves as an integral hub of our “downtown” activity. In this time of economic hardship, the market is struggling to make ends meet. Hearing this, we decided to try an experiment: make Master’s Market our first place to shop.…

A Time of Awakening
January 6, 2011

As you walk into Hansa Mandir, one of the first things you notice is a quote from Yogananda stencilled beautifully over the entrance that reads “The time for knowing God has come!” I must confess, for the past few years, I’ve thought “yes, yes, someday…” However, there have been positive changes in my life over…

Resonating with Swami Kriyananda
December 10, 2010

This past weekend we had a wonderful performance of Swami Kriyananda’s Oratorio Christ Lives at the Church of the Recessional in the Forset Lawn Mortuary, just up the hill from where Yogananda’s body is kept. We had over 50 singers from many different colonies who all came together just that day to sing, and it…

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…

The Surprising Consequence of Negativity
October 9, 2010

It was one of those days (a few months ago)…I was trying to deal with a disappointment about the way I felt I was being treated (whine whine whine), feeling a distinct lack of respect from someone that generally has the ability to push my buttons. Also that day I was fighting off the summer…

Backstage with Swami Kriyananda
August 26, 2010

Choir and Swami Kriyananda singing “Peace” As many of you may know, Swami Kriyananda, now 84, has had some recent physical setbacks, including a visit to the emergency room last Tuesday after a fall that injured his hip. He was scheduled to be at a tea in Los Angeles on Saturday, and was heartbroken to…

Monday's Concert
August 18, 2010

What an incredible week we had! Here are some recordings from our concert last Monday night: Salute The Great Paper Flag (Swami’s one political song!)salute-the-great-paper-flag.mp3 Here is a beautiful instrumental, Love Is the Aspiration Toward Perfection played by Craig Roberts, Bhagavati, myself, Todd Billingsley, and Mukti Deranja. 01-aspiration.mp3 And another, Friendship Is Acting In Freedom,…

Chanting Is Half the Battle
June 22, 2010

I’ll be giving a live webinar on Thursday night on just this subject (which will include a first ever interactive kirtan with tabla, guitar, and harmonium) and wanted to give a little background of what chanting has meant to me. When I came to Ananda and experienced chanting for the first time, my heart was…

"If you want to get to know me..."
May 20, 2010

“…listen to my music.” We had a very deep evening of honoring Swami Kriyananda on his 84th birthday – I wish you all could have been there, for the vibration of the entire evening was very much in keeping with where Swami’s consciousness is right now – deep bliss. I hope you can take a…

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…

Inner Renewal Week Concert Recordings
February 11, 2010

It truly was a beautifully inspiring week of Inner Renewal, and I wanted to just quickly share some highlights from the concert on Saturday night. It was titled “A Musical Pilgrimage into God Communion”, and was filled with many very deep performances of some of Swami’s most sacred pieces. Cloisters: Cloisters In the Temple of…

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 for God…with a Family
December 2, 2009

Many of you know that I am blessed with a wonderful family. My wife and I have been married seventeen years, and our very dynamic, energetic daughter is 4 years old. They are a great source of joy and inspiration to me. My wife and I have chosen a life of dedication and service to…

16 Yogis in an Elevator
November 12, 2009

What is the sound of 16 yogis stuck in an elevator? (still listening?) (hear anything?) Last month I had the great joy of being in Los Angeles for the launch of Swami Kriyananda’s new book, The New Path, which Barbara has portrayed so beautifully in words and photos in her posts. On Sunday, after we…

God God God
September 15, 2009

Dear friends, Here are a few songs from the evening concert at Swami Kriyananda’s Spiritual Anniversary celebration on September 12 at Ananda Village. The concert included readings from The New Path, Swamiji’s autobiography, and songs written by him over the years. Performance by Swami Kriyananda and Ananda Choir. Enjoy! God, God, God “God, God, God,”…

O, Master
August 16, 2009

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

Life Mantra
August 12, 2009

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

"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 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…

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…

The Choice of Realities
January 28, 2009

About ten years ago, when I still lived in Portland, I wistfully imagined life at Ananda Village as one of simplicity and ease, where the stresses of ordinary life ceased to be. A year later I got to know people here a little better, and once met a teacher walking from Hansa Temple to the…

Tuesday's Recording Session
January 16, 2009

The past month has held many many wonderful musical events: The two school concerts (including the High School’s breathtaking presentation of Handel’s Messiah), World Brotherhood Day, our Ananda Christmas Concert (when my baton flew in a 30 foot graceful arc while conducting the Halleluiah Chorus), our Christmas Sunday Service, our Christmas Eve crèche program, and…

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…

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…

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…

Inner Awakenings: a Concert
November 27, 2007

On Saturday, November 10th we had our third evening in the Ananda Concert Series, entitled Inner Awakenings. Held once again at the Crystal Hermitage Dome, we played and sang to a full house of long time devotees and newcomers alike, with music and interspersed guided meditations from Swami Kriyananda’s book, Awaken to Superconsciousness. Melody, it…

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…

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…

The Spirit within the Music
August 8, 2007

I have the deep blessing to work with the music at Ananda Village. Most of my work is presenting music written by Swami Kriyananda, which comprises over 400 vocal and instrumental pieces. This summer we’ve had many performances: one at Ananda village, another at the Seattle Temple Dedication, and still more at the Revelations of…

Recording Revelations of Christ Audio Book
August 4, 2007

Last month I had the honor to be the audio engineer during Swami Kriyananda’s recording of the Revelations of Christ audio book. To hear him read the book, which he calls his best-written, was an experience in eloquence. The book covers subjects of science and Christianity that so badly need to be addressed in our…

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…