The Deer of Ananda Village
December 21st, 2007
One of the beauties of Ananda Village is its super-abundance of deer.
The baby deer are the cutest. They have spots in summer; by mid-fall, the spots have gone, and the boys are developing antlers.
Deer are kind, innocent, and uplifting to see. For many people who visit the Village and have some kind of encounter with them, they are a highlight.
Deer are a year-round phenomenon â now, in late fall, you can still see them more days than not. In warmer seasons, they are even more common: last summer, counts went as high as 58. Popular hangouts include âdowntownâ Ananda Village as well as the apple orchard.
Click on any of the photos to see a larger version.
These deer are at Rajarsi Park, the group of office buildings which are the home to Crystal Clarity Publishers, Anandaâs outreach ministry, and several Ananda-member-owned businesses. (I work in the building on the left and help develop websites like this one.)
This photo is called âDeer in the Infinite.â
These two young ones are at the apple orchard that I mentioned. The recently-improved orchard provides an easy source of food. (I can imagine the adults saying to the children, âBack in our day, we didnât have these newfangled orchards. We had to eat grass all summer! etc.â)
Another day, while driving past the market and the orchard, I saw 36 deer within the space of about 30 seconds. You can check my calculations, but if they are correct, I was driving at nearly 4500 deer per hour (dph).
This buck is at Anandaâs Meditation Retreat, 7 miles from Ananda Village. (The retreat is where I live â itâs also a place where people often come for quiet retreat and seclusion, and the home of Anandaâs university, the Ananda Institute of Alternative Living.)
Deer are not an unmitigated blessing; they carry ticks, eat plants out of gardens, and can even attract mountain lions, a natural predator. (Though I havenât seen a mountain lion in my 3 years here, there are occasional sightings.)
A mother deer cleaning one of her children.
I came to work early one day and found this final group of deer nearby. I walked with them for over an hour, while they became more comfortable with me. When I left, I felt that we had developed a living relationship.
In no other place have I seen deer so accepting and unafraid of people, as if they sensed that, around people dedicated to inner peace and high ideals, they were safe.
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