Thank you, Los Angeles!
July 29, 2008
Blessings and greetings from Southern California. We are currently on the road (Hwy 99) on our way back to Ananda Village. We are basking in the glow of the wonderful weekend spent in the LA area with our divine friends and Swami Kriyananda.
There is so much to share. The talks Swamiji gave will be online soon. I encourage you to listen to them. They are different than some he has given recently. He answered questions from the audience. The questions asked were so deep and sincere and in turn the answers were very deep and sincere. Swamji spoke of very profound subjects, some very serious, but beneath it all was his bliss in Master that he shared generously with all of us.
There is hope and comfort in this path and Swamiji is such a beautiful channel of the divine light brought by our guru, Paramhansa Yogananda. You will feel Swamiji’s attunement with Master in every word and gesture.
I want to thank all the great souls in the LA family (the Torrence Center and the Santa Monica center) for hosting these amazing events.
I was mostly in the Santa Monica area where our hotel was located and I thoroughly enjoyed being able to walk a few blocks to a fantastic beach and walk long the bike path near the ocean. It was really a change from Ananda Village!
The weekend began on Friday with a fundraising event for Ananda LA hosted by one of our Ananda family who lives in Los Angeles. The garden was transformed into a haven of peace; with lights, comfortable seating, delicious food, beautiful flowers, excellent weather, wonderful satsang and Swamiji’s presence.
The evening began very casually with Swamiji greeting and mingling with the guests. The guests included people from all of the Ananda colonies on the west coast, our beautiful LA family, and many new and old friends. I had a great time taking some photos but I most enjoyed visiting with people.
Later, people were seated and we were entertained by the Ananda singers, Krishadas and Mantradevi introduced Swamiji who spoke and then sang with the choir. The evening ended with a fire ceremony.
I know everyone was grateful (I sure was) for the loving energy that went into making this a special event for all of us in attendance.
Saturday was a public lecture in a lovely conference room in Los Angeles. It was very well attended and the audience was very receptive. The choir sang, Swamiji spoke on the topic of success and then sang again with the choir. Questions raised by the audience were lovingly answered. People lingered for a long time afterward to visit.
Sunday was a real treat. It was my first time at the Santa Monica center—and it is worth a visit if you have never been there. It is on the 2nd floor in a building on Main Street. It has been very beautifully decorated and is very welcoming and calm. The calmness remained even though the placed was packed with people of all ages who wanted to hear Swami Kriyananda. I stood on a chair to get photos of the event!
Swamiji began talking of hard times to come. A serious subject indeed. He talked of the importance of searching for God as the only true solution and solace in hard times and of the need for community to help survive the difficulties in the physical world and to support our inner life. He invited questions. Again, the questions were so thoughtful, relevant to our times and sincere. They were answered with a such depth of understanding that I was in awe. The day was charged with spiritual energy and joy!
When asked what Swamiji felt about the vibration of Los Angeles, Swamiji stated: “Yogananda felt Los Angeles, despite all the busy-ness is very spiritual, that Los Angeles is the Benares of America. “I (Swami) can feel it when I get off the plane, there is something very spiritual here. You see it the interests that people have. I think this is where the spiritual center is in America. You (the audience) have a mission to fulfill for yourselves and for many other people.”
In a former age this was a very high area. There will be more and more spiritual energy in Los Angeles and I would like to see you all help bring about this resurgence of spirituality.”
THANK YOU to all you dear souls who attended the various events. You were very much a part of the magic of this very beautiful weekend of events with Swamiji. There is light in this world—I saw it in your eyes. After driving in the Southern California traffic I have a deep appreciation for your dedication and devotion to make the trip to the various events—some of my friends drove 80 miles to see Swami and be with us!
I have been on the road for twelve days and look forward to being back at the village, but being with Ananda family anywhere feels like home.
Bless you all!! There are a few more photos of the weekend, if you would like to see them click here.
PS. I am home now. It felt good to drive into the village and my own driveway. But I carry the joy of the two special weekends with me. Dave and I both feel changed by our experiences and time with Swamiji and our dear gurubhais in Palo Alto and Los Angeles.
I have to send my camera in to the shop to get a tune up! After 30,000 photos it needs some adjustments. I have to admit to feeling mildly apprehensive about letting it go. I hope to have it back in time for Spiritual Renewal Week!
It sounds as if The Expanding Light is expecting a very large turnout for this event. Many great things are planned including talks by Swamiji, and our other great speakers from around the world, Swami’s play “The Peace Treaty” and an Indian banquet.
I hope to see you there!