What is Ananda?
February 23rd, 2007
I only very rarely share spiritual dreams, but this one illustrates so well that Ananda is not only an organization, or group of communities. It is also something much greater and more enduring.
I think people feel this when they come to Ananda Village, or to other Ananda communities – if not always consciously, then at some deeper level they sense the “Ananda behind Ananda.” This is an energy that can be tapped into wherever you are, for Ananda (literally “Divine Bliss”) is not bound by distance or divided by borders.
Each year Ananda (the organization) holds an all-day Christmas meditation the week before Christmas, a tradition started by Paramhansa Yogananda in the early 1900s. The first year I was with Ananda (in Seattle), I wanted to go, but was stopped by back problems that forced me to change positions often and meditate lying down – far from an optimal way to meditate, and not really compatible with group meditation.
So I held a long meditation on my own that same day, and discovered a joy that I had never felt before. I mentioned this to Terry McGilloway, one of the center leaders in Seattle, and he said, “Oh, you felt it too?”
I know that my experience would likely have been deeper in a group. However, it has helped me realize that Ananda (Divine Bliss) is not a thing which is here and not there. Yogananda described it as “center everywhere, circumference nowhere.” It is most clearly felt, I think, in the heart of one who loves God, no matter where they are.
May you, dear friend in God, be much blessed.
Posts from Nabha Cosley
- How I Found My Guru
- Steve Jobs and the Autobiography of a Yogi
- My First Prayer Was About a Cat
- An Open Letter to Myself Before My Move to Ananda Village
- Day by Day
- The Prayer of Discipleship
- It’s Never Too Late
- “I Will” – A Tribute to Nayaswami Maria
- Behind the Scenes of the “Rescuing Yogananda” Website
- The Trip to Los Angeles
- Are We Ready for This?
- My First Three Months of Meditation
- Much More is Needed
- The Joy of Renunciation – What I’m Telling My Family About My Lifetime Monastic Vows
- Why Be Grateful? — Thoughts from Thanksgiving
- Writing Swami Kriyananda’s Website
- No Regrets
- What Makes Something a Success? (The Story of an Ananda-Style Photo Shoot)
- Daily Inspiration
- The Job of the Guru
- Ananda’s Future
- Dramatic Improvisation for Fun and Spiritual Upliftment
- Smoke, Clouds; Moods, Depression; and Freedom
- How Living in Spiritual Community is Changing the Way I See the World
- The Deer of Ananda Village
- My Parents Visit Ananda Village
- Why I Became a Monk
- Every Kriya Can Take Us To God
- Tea with Swami Kriyananda
- Life is Precious
- Paintings from the Joyful Arts Festival
- Prayer Vigil for Swami Kriyananda
- How to Build a Monastery
- The Easiest Way to God
- Traveling Within in India, Part 2: Our Visit to Vanamali Devi
- Traveling Within in India: Our Pilgrimage to Rishikesh, Part 1
- How to Start Meditating Daily
- Sweetness, Sincerity, and Swami Kriyananda
- Meditating in India
- What is Ananda?
- Thanksgiving blessings, and a way to develop gratitude
- Tibetan Buddhists visit the Ananda Meditation Retreat