Spiritual Directors of Ananda Sangha
Greetings from Los Angeles, Part 2
September 6, 2010
Nayaswamis Jyotish and Devi are accompanying Swami Kriyananda in Los Angeles, where he and the Ananda team launch the new expansion of our work.
This is the latest of their ongoing Ananda LA blog series. To read the previous post, click here.
This last week with Swamiji in Los Angeles has been dynamic, joyful, and very, very busy.
With his hip injury continuing to improve, Swamiji has basically left the wheelchair behind, is increasingly using a walker to get around, and has started to walk short distances unaided.
It is really amazing to watch the unceasing flow of energy that pours through him into so many different projects.
His main activities last week have included working on an important writing project, filming footage for a video The Joyful Arts, attending the film premier for Titans of Yoga, and supporting the launch of the Razz-Ma-Kaz fundraising restaurant.
We’ll describe each of these in detail.
Swamiji has put his primary focus on writing and editing a new book Rescuing Yogananda.
In it, he presents a compelling vision of Master’s mission, how Yogananda worked with Swamiji to fulfill this mission, and how its true purpose is being thwarted and diluted.
Working now on the final editing, Swamiji hopes to have it available soon. Get ready for a powerful, thought-provoking call to action to bring forward Master’s work.
On Tuesday August 31, Richard Skillman, a member of Ananda Seattle, and his colleague Jack, flew to Los Angeles to interview Swamiji for a video based on The Joyful Arts concept.
They’ve already done many interviews with Ananda members involved in music, drama, visual arts, writing, and lecturing. They also filmed rehearsals of The Peace Treaty play performed at the Spiritual Renewal Week at Ananda Village (see sidebar).
The interview they did with Swamiji will be the capstone of the film. In it he movingly describes the nature of divine bliss, and how the arts can be used as a carrier wave for this consciousness.
Also on Tuesday the twins Gracie and Lexi decided, all on their own, that we needed to start raising funds for Swamiji’s new film project The Wayshower (based on the life of Paramhansa Yogananda).
To that end, they spent the night planning the menu for their new Razz-Ma-Kaz restaurant, which included homemade cookies, cereal, milk, watermelon slices, fruit, soda, and water.
The “restaurant” was located on the sidewalk in front of their house and boasted two little tables decorated with vases of fresh flowers.
Many customers from the neighborhood, as well as passersby and Ananda residents in the girls’ house patronized their venture, and in a few hours they made $263.11.
This they proudly presented to Swamiji in a special box they’d decorated for the purpose (see sidebar).
Swamiji took their offering quite seriously and said that it is this kind of energy that will attract full funding for the project. He even suggested that we include Razz-Ma-Kaz photos on the forthcoming Wayshower website to interest investors.
(Editor’s note: Please email AYmovie@gmail.com for more information on the project).
On Wednesday night we all attended the premier of an independent film Titans of Yoga, which included Swamiji and other well-known yoga teachers.
The film was launched as part of September National Yoga Month, and the small theater was packed. The personal stories presented in the film, of how the teachers came to their spiritual practices, and how their lives were changed, were very inspiring.
After the screening, ten of the teachers interviewed in the film – including Swamiji – came up on the stage to answer questions. In respect to Swamiji’s role as the senior representative of yoga, they let him speak first.
With surprising emotion, Swamiji spoke how pleased he was to see the depth and commitment to spiritual practices today, as compared to when he first started teaching in Los Angeles many years ago.
Afterwards while driving home, he commented that it was helpful for him to attend this premier in order to feel the spiritual sincerity of the people who we will be reaching here.
Finally, we have finalized the plans for Swamiji’s spiritual anniversary on September 12 (see sidebar).
The name of the event is My Life with Yogananda: Swami Kriyananda’s 62 Years of Discipleship. It’s an all-day event, and we’re renting a hall at the Woman’s Club of Hollywood that holds 400. Should be wonderful.
We’ll close for now.
Many blessings and much love,
Jyotish and Devi