Ask Ananda’s Experts
Questions and Answers About Meditation, Yoga, the Spiritual Life, and More

Category: Spiritual Community



(sorry for terrible english, first, hope you understand something) Im 18 years old from small european country, and my only desire is to seek God, i see absolutely no point in other things. it simply doesnt give me any joy. I really agree with Yogananda that environment is more stronger than will power. there is no any spiritual environment where i live. can someone give me advise where should i go to find what im searching? without proper english and almost no money.

Nayaswami Hriman

Nayaswami Hriman

Ananda Seattle


Dear Tom,

I also pray that you find others of like mind and I direct your attention to Ananda’s Community and retreat center near Assisi, Italy. There are also meditation groups throughout Europe and Russia, also. I direct you then to Mayadevi Lauer in Italy. You can go to and send a message that way. They have special low-cost programs for younger seekers that can help make a visit more affordable.

Even if you live in a spiritual community, the true "company" is in your heart, your thoughts, speech and action. Learn to chant and talk to God in the language of your heart.



Being (Gay) at Ananda
June 12, 2014

Ashur Shimon


I am a homosexual who is living in the deep waters between two communities. My Ethnic/Christian community reject gay people and the gay community I just can not connect with. What I do have is the love of Jesus Christ in my heart. I don’t go to church as often as I like too due to the fact they judge gay people. I have never been intimate with anyone and so it’s been hard for me to connect with the gay community as it’s very toxic and sexual. What is Ananda’s views on homosexuality.

Puru (Joseph) Selbie


Dear Ashur,

I want to start by saying that I cannot speak for everyone at Ananda. I can only offer you my perspective gained during nearly forty years as a resident of various Ananda communities.

I have seen many gays and lesbians come to live at various Ananda communities and then later leave. I have also seen many gays and lesbians find a home in one or another of the Ananda communities. But I can say the same thing about everyone who has come to see if Ananda was home: For some it works, for some it doesn’t — regardless of age, gender, sexual orientation, or any of the usual self-identifications people have of themselves.

What makes Ananda work for people is not primarily the positive social environment, although I think there is very much a positive social environment to be found in all the Ananda communities — accepting, loving, and supportive.

What does primarily make Ananda work for people is embracing an inner spiritual life; making a conscious choice to leave behind limiting self-identifications. Ananda works well for people whose hearts' focus is finding God.

I am not, myself, gay. I cannot pretend to understand all that you are feeling and experiencing. But regardless of what choices you make about what you do and where you live, I believe your greatest happiness will come to you through deep inner communion with Spirit.

If that sounds attractive to you, Ananda may be the right place for you.

Warm regards,

Puru (Joseph) Selbie



Do either Kriyananda or Yogananda, in writing, or speaking, about small spiritually centered communities, address whether large cities and other social and political structures are a necessary infrastructure for the small villiages to survive. Is there an expectation that a few of these can serve as "antibodies" toward the eventual more peaceful world, or will all need to be in villages? It seems that the belief in eventual, universal salvation is a necessary condition for "Ananda's" to work .

Nayaswami Shivani


Dear Don,

Yogananda spoke often, and forcefully, of future global events. A realized Master is able to see past, present and future more clearly than we are able to perceive current events.

He saw great upheavals, natural cataclysms, global economic depressions — the result of which would be hundreds of years of peace on earth. A necessary purification and pruning process that will help humanity on this planet to enter a higher age with an expanded consciousness.

Will anything or anyone survice this transition? Certainly, but what?

The concept of people living together for mutual support and benefit is expressed in numerous ways, one of them being the City. For all of its benefits, the Super-City has now become a grotesque organism that does more harm than good, and hardly serves or protects its inhabitants. It actually cuts them off from important souces of life — like clean water, air, good food.

In Yogananda's time the population of Calcutta was 50,00'; the population of Los Angeles 1,500,000. Today these cities try to support 15 million and 6 million respectively (not including other surrounding urban areas). They are profoundly non-sustainable. Will they survive in their present form? Probably not, according to Yogananda and Kriyananda's assessment. Greed, competition, un-sustainability will be their downfall.

But smaller living units, many of which exist all over the earth, possibly will — communities which are sustainable and offer their inhabitants meaningful employment and social, cultural and spiritual activities.

This was Yogananda's vision: home, job, education, "church" — spiritual structures, cultural and social activities, all in one place, based on principles of "simple living and high thinking."

Yogananda and Kriyananda talk about (and you can find this in Kriyananda's book Intentional Communities) smaller communities which are based on cooperation, mutual support, contact with nature and natural resources. And networks of these communities which share goods and services. The Ananda communities are being developed on these principles, and other "non-intentional" communities have these characteristics as well — small communities which by their nature are more sustainable and cooperative. Friends of mine have moved to an island off the coast of Washington State where such a community is thriving.

There is a movement whichis developing "Transition Cities," which are based on principles of sustainability. Scientists and policy makers in many countries are arriving at the same conclusions, and beginning to establish more liveable towns and smaller cities.

In India there are at least two initiative of this kind: Auroville, established in 1969 with several thousand residents today; and Lavasa, a planned city development outside of Pune, which at build-out in 2015 will have about 100,000 residents I think. Not far from this location, Ananda is building its new world-brotherhood community where hundreds of residents will eventually live.

So, changes are in the air and preparations are being made. If you have not yet visited one of Ananda's communities, I hope you are able to do so soon. And if your travels bring you to Europe, please stop and see us at Ananda Europa near Assisi, Italy.

Joy to you,

Nayaswami Shivani



I have recently moved to Colorado and there is no Ananda community here at all. How can I stay connected with my community and keep strong in my practices. If enviornment is stronger than will any suggestions about keeping the "enviornment" strong?!?!?Thanks.

Nayaswami Pranaba

Nayaswami Pranaba

Ananda Village


Dear Kaaminii,

Ananda does have a Meditation Group in the Denver area if that is anywhere near to you. You can contact us for details.

If however you are located far from Denver then there are a number of ways to keep connected and strong in your spiritual practices. One way is to start up a new meditation group in your area. We have a whole support system to help such groups get started and to continue. Please email us.

We can also offer you satsang (spiritual fellowship) through this website and our Sangha Newsletter. Click here to subscribe.

Our website has over 1600 pages of material. There is a Free Inspiration section where you will find a number of books, hundreds of articles, over 250 streaming audio and video talks, and more.

Most people that get involved with us begin with our yoga and meditation home-study course The Ananda Course in Self-realization.

We also have a very dynamic Meditation Support section that will give you a lot of good information.

Be sure also to prioritize making visits to be with fellow devotees. The Expanding Light Retreat at Ananda Village is a wonderful place to bathe in the divine presence and be in the company of like-minded truth seekers.

And, if all else fails, it's important to make your heart and soul your inner hermitage, allowing you to take your portable paradise with you wherever you are.

In divine friendship,
Nayaswami Pranaba

Residency at Ananda Village
September 9, 2009

tony Wagner
United States


Is there a process to apply to live in Ananda Village ?


Dear Tony,

Thank you for your question. All residents of Ananda Village follow the teachings of Paramhansa Yogananda.

Before deciding to move here, you would want to know in your heart that this is your spiritual path, and that Yogananda is your guru (spiritual teacher).

If you're not yet familiar with Yogananda, please read his Autobiography of a Yogi, and also The New Path by Swami Kriyananda, Ananda's founder and Yogananda's direct disciple. Both books are available on our website free of charge.

We encourage you to visit Ananda Village's guest retreat The Expanding Light, particularly the Karma Yoga program.

While here, you can develop a regular meditation practice, study our teachings, and take part in community gatherings.

Click here to find out if there's an Ananda center or meditation group near you.

If you have more questions, please feel to e-mail me at

In joy,

Sajani Freedman

Ananda Village Member Services