Spiritual Directors of Ananda Sangha
August 11, 2011
“When God closes one door, He opens another, but it’s hell in the hallway.” A friend of ours recently shared this amusing saying with us, and it’s something we’ve probably all experienced. The most challenging periods in life are the times of transition before the next door opens.
Right now it seems we’re in a giant “hallway” — a period of global upheaval with an uncertain future economically, politically, environmentally, and even morally. People are desperately seeking a new portal to open onto a brighter future. And open it must: we just need to know where to look.
We want to share with you some wonderful experiences we’ve had in the past several weeks watching people find new “open doors.” The first was “Wanderlust Festival,” a yoga gathering that took place at Squaw Valley, California the weekend of July 29 – 31. Over ten-thousand people came from all over the world to practice yoga asanas, meditation, and enjoy nature in the beautiful surroundings of the Lake Tahoe area.
The Expanding Light was invited by the Wanderlust Festival organizers to host the Meditation Dome and to offer instruction and guided practice there. Nearly one-thousand people came to the dome for presentations and events, filling to overflowing many classes by Ananda teachers.
We observed that the Bhagavad Gita says, “Out of a thousand, one seeks me.” So with a thousand people coming to our Meditation Dome out of the ten-thousand attending the Festival, our percentage was pretty high.
Among our many wonderful teachers speaking to capacity crowds were Dr. Peter Van Houten, on “How to Achieve Your Brain’s Highest Potential,” and Nayaswami Bharat, leading a “Meditation and Nature” walk. Nayaswami Anandi led a workshop called, “Learning to Access Your Superconscious Mind,” which was written up in an inspiring blog post on the Wanderlust Festival website.
Shanie Matthews wrote:
As I walked into The Expanding Light Dome — aptly named with its otherworldly hexagon shape, beautiful pillows, throw rugs, chimes, and serene atmosphere — my attention was drawn to the lovely woman leading the talk, Nayaswami Anandi. She glowed with love from the inside out… an example of the embodiment of serenity… Anandi explained how I have the power to connect with a part of myself that I didn’t even know existed, my superconscious… Thank you to Anandi and Wanderlust for expanding my mind… may this message of the beauty of the connection to our superconscious mind continue throughout the world.
Another door opened last weekend when we traveled to Portland, Oregon, to help prepare for the launch of a new Ananda community there. We’ve recently purchased the Laurelwood Academy, which had been a Seventh Day Adventist college and boarding high school. Renamed “Ananda Center at Laurelwood,” it’s a complete campus on 45 acres of prime land with dormitories (360 rooms), dining facilities for 400, administration buildings, a temple, a 400-seat theater, and much more. It offers a huge step forward for Ananda’s work, giving us a new community with facilities for Education for Life training and outreach, permaculture gardens, and an Assisted Living facility for the elderly.
We served, meditated, chanted, and shared with the wonderful team of Ananda people who are making the huge new project happen. Master said, “Bite off more than you can chew, and then chew it,” and everyone there is chewing hard.
The official opening date is Labor Day weekend, and Ananda members from our worldwide communities will be attending. Someone joyfully suggested their slogan should be, “Everyday is Labor Day at Laurelwood!” We’ll write to you about it after the dedication event takes place.
Finally, next week begins Spiritual Renewal Week at The Expanding Light with big crowds coming for classes, concerts, dramatic performances, Kriya Initiations, and more. Now in its 42nd year, thousands have found this annual event to be a source of inspiration and spiritual renewal.
Some doors are closing: The world news of unstable governments, unending warfare, economic decline, and natural catastrophes offers little hope for a way out of the “hallway.” But the teachings of our Masters, the practice of meditation, and Ananda Communities open doors that increasing numbers of people are recognizing as the best, perhaps only, way forward.
Recently at a talk in Ananda Assisi, Swami Kriyananda said, “Please, help us in this movement. It is the answer that people everywhere are seeking.” We, too, invite you to join us and share the joy of helping others open doors to the future.
With love in God,
Nayaswamis Jyotish and Devi