A Place Called Ananda

A blog by disciples of Paramhansa Yogananda


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In a recent conversation with other yogi parents, I had a realization. It had been slowly creeping into my awareness, but now it solidified and it’s importance finally made sense. My spiritual practice affects my children, and if I want them to have a positive association with spirituality, I need to understand how they experience…

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I See You!

I said nervously, “He sounds creepy.” My son is a young adult who feels every conversation has unseen potential for self-discovery and conversations with strangers hold huge adventure potential. I tend to be introverted and protective of my comfort zone and since he doesn’t share either of those traits, a “stranger” becomes a friend as…

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Finding the Path of Kriya Yoga

All the way up the winding staircase on the fifth floor of a brownstone townhouse in Boston, I sat in my dorm room reading about Kriya Yoga in Paramhansa Yogananda’s Autobiography of a Yogi. My father had given me his copy of the Autobiography when I was home on winter break, worried about my health — physically,…

A second Sorrento sunset

As my partner, Ken, faced imminent death some years ago, I suggested he make a videotape, saying “I love you, and goodbye” to his family and friends. Forty minutes long, it was the highlight of his funeral! I determined to make one myself some day. Isn’t that what’s been missing from every memorial service you’ve…

Nayaswami Brindey serving at the Ananda Meditation Retreat

My friend Brindey passed away on March 9, 2016, the morning of Sri Yukteswar’s mahasamadhi. It was an fitting transition for a warrior devotee who drew such strength from Sri Yukteswar’s life and teachings. Even as she died, a photo of him was resting on her body. After spending 25 years living away, Brindey returned…

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Resurrection

I was once a part of a team writing spiritual curriculum for children and had the fascinating assignment of writing the story for the Easter lesson (read the story). It was fascinating and challenging because I was asked not to refer to the physical resurrection of Jesus Christ. This group took a more scholarly approach…

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Ananda Village: Miracles All Around!

Who would not want to visit the Ananda village, especially after watching the Finding Happiness movie? By the grace of our gurus and master, I got the opportunity to be at Ananda Village for a few hours on a pleasant Tuesday in March. I started early from San Francisco at 7 am hoping to get…

Paramhansa Yogananda

Though it humbly poses as a “beginner’s meditation technique,” the Hong-Sau Technique packs quite a punch in the quest for freedom. Anyone who walks in the door at Ananda can learn this technique in five to ten minutes. It is simple and profoundly effective. However, as we continue to practice meditation and receive other techniques,…

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Divine Mother’s Smile

God can come to us in many ways — as an answer to a sincere prayer, as the warmth of deep friendship, as a sense of benediction in a sacred moment, and sometimes as the Divine Playmate, playing hide-n-seek, reminding us of Her presence. So, was there a divine message, I wondered, when one day earlier this…

"the barriers between us and the world around us start to dissolve and disappear"

Some time ago, I attended a class on the Energization Exercises which was being taught to new students. A very brief introduction from the part of the teachers was finalized with the statement: “Remember, these are spiritual, not physical, exercises. We do them in order to meditate better, but they can’t in any way take…

energization

Did you know? This year Yogananda is celebrating 100 years of his divine energization exercises. He is extremely happy, and so he recently organized a heavenly party in the astral worlds, to dance and rejoice with all the angels. As they were making merry, suddenly an idea popped up into Yogananda’s mind: he decided to…

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The final chapter of Paramhansa Yogananda’s spiritual classic, Autobiography of a Yogi, finds him walking with his dear friend and first American disciple, Dr. Lewis through his Encinitas Hermitage grounds. Dr. Lewis asks about a construction project underway on the far side of the grounds and Yogananda begins to describe his vision for world brotherhood colonies:…

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The Carping Spirit

I was chatting recently with a gentleman about my regard for someone who seemed to be a good man and well intentioned.  My acquaintance remarked, “Yes, I agree, but …..” before proceeding to air his grievances about this person, pointing out one perceived fault after another.  I reflected on why my critic friend felt such…

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Good Posture

I met Swami Kriyananda in late 1968 and began serving at the Ananda Meditation Retreat in California’s Sierra Nevada foothills the following April.  At that time, Swamiji was still living in San Francisco but he would sometimes come to the retreat on weekends to lead public programs or to enjoy a few days of meditation…

Doctor Shanti

I already had a successful career as a nurse working with one of the best-known cardiologists in the country; helping him with his clinic, surgery, and research; even writing papers on my own. But it wasn’t enough. As a young woman I had wanted to be a doctor, but my mother, who never had much…

First Meeting

The recent anniversary of Swami Kriyananda meeting Paramhansa Yogananda caused me to pause and reflect on my own, vastly insignificant by comparison, spiritual anniversary. In August, 1981, I found myself walking swiftly down a steep dirt path, rudely bypassing others in order to be the first in line to arrive at Swamiji’s residence. During that…

When I was first embarking on Yogananda’s path about 10 years ago, I was thrilled to be given such effective techniques to relax the body and calm the mind. The energization exercises were of particular interest to me and I dove into them with great earnestness. Having received the lessons through the mail with no…

Dear Everyone: Pilgrimage is unpredictable. You leave home with an idea in your mind of what your heart is longing to see, where you expect to have your most meaningful moments. God laughs and gives what He knows you need. I spoke of this trip as going to Jerusalem. Among other reasons, that was why…

Transitions

Swami Kriyananda talked with me about moving to India or possibly Italy when I visited India in 2012. I was there to do some creative projects at his request. The first day I met with Swamiji, his opening remarks to me were “Well, how do you like India?” I’d barely seen India. I was sick…

Dear Everyone: I’ll start where we are now. Galilee. Jerusalem is the most dramatic part of the life of Christ, but Galilee is where much of his mission took place. It was here that he “gathered round his chosen few….in their youth, in their joy, all they asked of God was freedom to love.” That’s…

I came to Ananda Village in May this year. Having been here for almost five months now, I can add my testimony to many others in stating, “There is no place like Ananda!” No wonder Swami Kriyananda used to say, ”Ananda is perhaps the best kept secret in the world.” Paramhansa Yogananda’s book, Autobiography of…

Spiritual Renewal Week 2015

Less than a month ago we celebrated Spiritual Renewal Week at Ananda Village. It was a week dedicated to classes on spiritual topics, inspirational events and lots of visiting with long-time gurubais and new friends. Each of the events was shared online to include our friends all over the world. Mother Nature was good to…

Hand in Hand

All we know about my father’s upbringing is that he lived alone with his grandmother. He was very secretive about why or when his parents left him, and even whether or not they were still alive. Alcoholism apparently figured in there somewhere. Sometime in his childhood he was struck by a paralytic disease, which weakened…

People often talk about the strength that comes through spiritual tests. But the questions I have are: Who exactly is administering these tests? Who will be grading my test paper? And, what happens if I flunk! From my own experiences, I feel that I draw these learning experiences to me from the magnetism of my…

One day, after Sunday service at Ananda Palo Alto, I walked through our beautiful sanctuary with my 3-year-old nephew Drew. He wanted to see the altar, which has large photos of our line of five Masters. Drew was looking up, craning his neck. He said, “Lift me up, Wohwee, I want to see Babaji.” (Wohwee…

I don’t take Divine Mother’s assistance for granted, but Her record with me on the highway is pretty impressive. I was with a female friend in San Francisco, on the way to the flower mart to get bouquets for a big event, when — BAM!—a tire blew. Very dramatic. I pulled into a gas station at the…

God: A Poem

to discover that I love myself more than God does not help for love of beauty for love of wealth to live for action to live for self the joy of emotion the joy of another of devotion to creed of devotion to mother all veiled joy for me to see the source of Love,…

At a small gathering last week, a guest at Ananda Village asked Nayaswamis Jyotish and Devi, “What is your favorite thing about Ananda?” Ananda members at the gathering shared their own answers as well: “Unconditional love,” “A place where you are free to talk about God,” “Everything.” What is your favorite thing about Ananda? — whether…

Swami Kriyananda said that even at age 20, some people have already become what his guru, Paramhansa Yogananda, called “psychological antiques.” Here are suggestions by four women from Ananda Village about how they stay physically and mentally youthful. Sabari Staying youthful is an attitude for me. I never think of age, I think of staying…

No Need for Wax

I was eleven years old, and my brother Jonah was thirteen when our family started attending Sunday Services at a meditation chapel based on the teachings of Paramhansa Yogananda. Though we didn’t know much about the spiritual path at the time, we were both very intrigued by it. Jonah had been studying the lessons of…

Recently a member of Ananda Seattle was hit by a car. This is an article about it by a friend of his who writes for New Spirit Journal: For most people, the word “karma” indicates something wrong. If something negative happens, the usual response is that we must have done something wrong in this lifetime…

“Through life’s mightiest storms, I am contented, for I hold in my heart God’s peace.” —Affirmations for Self-Healing by Swami Kriyananda This past winter has undoubtedly been a challenging one for us New Englanders. As I’ve tried to remain positive and upbeat despite the onslaught of blizzards and the challenges they’ve imposed, I’ve realized that…

I just took my very first seclusion. What is seclusion, you might ask? Seclusion was strongly recommended by my guru, Paramhansa Yogananda, as a means for deepening your inner communion with the Divine. Seclusion means as it sounds – secluding. Going into silence, alone and spending time deepening your inner spiritual life through meditation, contemplation…

This July marks my 12th year as a Kriya Yogi – a practitioner of Kriya Yoga. As the daughter of two Kriya Yogis who have been practicing far longer than I (nearly 40 years each), I realize that I’m still a novice. But, I have found some tips to live by that I thought worth…

Happy Ending

Except for a couple of trips to the emergency room, my ninety-two-year-old mother thought she was doing just fine living on her own in her big house in St. Louis, Missouri — even though none of her children lived nearby. My siblings, both medical professionals, live hours from St. Louis. I live in California. “She is an…

Motherhood

I always assumed I would have children, probably four, the same as the family I grew up in. My first marriage ended quickly in divorce, and my second marriage didn’t start until my late twenties. My new husband was ambivalent about becoming a father. Then I went to medical school, and suddenly I was thirty-nine.…

Evening Hospice

In 2006, Swami Kriyananda wrote the 12 Precepts of Evening Hospice. When I first read them I was stunned. It was obvious that these 12 precepts were not just something that you would want to address at end of life, but in fact, were guidelines for living! In a letter Swami sent out he stated:…

As a new mom this year, I’ve noticed many changes in my spiritual practices. For one thing, there seems to be less time to do them! “Free time” is when our baby goes to sleep (for however long that lasts) and that time is usually spent accomplishing other things like cleaning, eating, working, and spending…

The Power of Giving

Being in a positive, supportive environment helps you to relax, uplift your spirit and bring out the best in you. The question is how can we remain uplifted when we are not in a positive and supportive environment? When we have to deal with negative people? Here is a principle that I have used and…

I’m Prem Das Sills, a devotee and disciple of yoga master Paramahansa Yogananda. I have been a longtime member of Self-Realization Fellowship (SRF), founded by Sri Yogananda in 1920. Currently, I am living in Northern California, just outside Nevada City. To be exact, I am living at Ananda Village. Ananda is a cooperative and intentional…

One day I was chatting with Swami Kriyananda’s nurse at Ananda Village and I was describing what I’ve done for the Village in terms of our Christmas Eve celebrations. I was hoping to inspire her to attempt the same when she returned to Pune India where Swami resided. She became very excited and suggested that…

Recently I have been made conscious of a habitual way of thinking. Before, when confronted with something that was impossible to do, I would let everyone know why it couldn’t be accomplished, justifying my decision not to raise my energy. And I have a lot of energy. Up until a month ago, I counted this…

1) While you are shopping for gifts, pray for the person(s) to whom you are giving them and say the “Gratitude” affirmation: “I give thanks to the Giver behind each gift and to the one Giver behind all that I give [and receive.]” From Affirmations for Self-Healing by Swami Kriyananda. 2) Save your gift tags…

For me, asking Divine Mother, God, or Spirit, for inspiration is a bit like calling Her up on the phone. Sometimes She answers immediately, and sometimes you get Her voice mail. This particular month, I got Her voicemail and she answered me, little by little, throughout the month in very special ways. In my 2nd,…

Becoming Receptive

A number of years ago, I had the opportunity to visit the home of Nayaswamis Jyotish and Devi for the first time.  I happened to notice a large picture on their meditation altar of Swami Kriyananda with a garland around it. Having been brought up, spiritually speaking, to feel that our lineage contained strictly Jesus,…

This letter was written by Nayswami Asha on October 29, 2014 while on her trip to New Zealand to give classes and workshops. Dear Friends: We are in the last week of our time here. Inward glimpses of California occasionally break through now, but the best policy is still: “Be here now.” We were warned…

Traveling Spirit

A few years ago a friend and I were traveling around Europe. One afternoon, we found ourselves lost somewhere in the French countryside. We had taken the metro to the end of the line and started walking, searching for our accommodations but ending up in a grassy field with few cars or people in sight.…

Changing Seasons

Have you ever wondered why the seasons change, spiritually speaking? Over the years, I’ve noticed what I think must be a very good reason. First, I suppose there must be some of you reading this, who live in parts of the world where the seasons don’t change that much (perhaps having only wet and dry…

“By serving wise and ignorant sadhus, I am learning the greatest of virtues, pleasing to God above all others…humility.” These are the words of the great master, Babaji, in the Autobiography of a Yogi. Endlessly enlightening truths fill the pages of this book but this passage seems one of the most important. What is humility?…

Mama Sadhana

This morning, as I sat for meditation, the sound of my babbling baby playing peek-a-boo with my husband downstairs made a sweet and distracting background to yet another brief sadhana (spiritual practice). Rushed as usual, I launched into my practice of Kriya Yoga, an ancient meditation technique brought to the West by Paramhansa Yogananda. Most…

On a recent vacation, my husband and I were hiking near Calistoga, California. When we started our hike, we were in a valley: thick forest, many trees, but little sunlight. We kept putting out energy to climb, and as we neared the top of the mountain, we began to see more and more of the…

This past (August 2014) Spiritual Renewal Week (SRW) Nayaswami Jyotish Novak encouraged us to memorize and repeat the poem, “God, God, God” by Paramhansa Yogananda, put to lyrics by Swami Kriyananda: From the depths of slumber, As I ascend the spiral stairways of wakefulness, I will whisper: God! God! God! Thou art the food, and…

Judge not!

I was 22 when I found the spiritual path, and it was great despair and disillusionment that compelled me to embrace it. Like many of the great souls I have known in this life, I came to a point where the anguishing monotony of “normal” human existence was too much to bear. My cries for…

Stay in Tune!

In April of 2012, my husband (then fiance) and I traveled to Europe for a vacation and ended up having the great joy of spending time with Swami Kriyananda in Lugano, Switzerland and Assisi, Italy. As it happened, my husband and our travel companions Ramesha and Bhagavati are all musicians and singers. So, when it…

Last year during my annual seclusion, I found my mind inexplicably seized by a poem — not a fully composed poem, but merely the first two lines, plus a strong urge to expand on them. I followed the urge, and by the end of my seclusion, the poem was a lively, light-hearted encapsulation of an important spiritual principle:…

Become a Singing Spiritual Superhero

You have a self-realization superpower. The world is in dire need of spiritual superheroes, and Ananda Music is a key to unlocking your hidden abilities. Paramhansa Yogananda writes in Cosmic Chants that: Sound, or vibration, is the most powerful force in the universe, and music is a divine art, to be used not for pleasure but as a path…

This is a tricky topic…one that I’ve wanted to write about for sometime, but don’t want to come across judgmental of myself or others. The topic is discrimination. Not the sort of discrimination that is synonymous with prejudice. Instead, spiritual discrimination is the act of choosing to surround one’s self with spiritually uplifting people, ideas…

In today’s western culture, there are so many teachings about how to use spirituality to become materially wealthy. One cannot deny that man has basic needs: food, health, shelter, etc. However, it seems that many, at least occasionally, define their needs according to their desires. Would having enough money to fulfill all our desires really…

I was really ready to go on seclusion. I’d been looking forward to it for ages. I had my days all planned out: plenty of meditation, extra energization exercises, starting a yoga habit again, spiritual reading, the works. I did that on my seclusion last year, and loved it. So when I arrived at the…

Every evening before going to sleep, mentally build a bonfire to destroy some aspects of your life you have created around your ego. —Swami Kriyananda Self-definitions and attachments are some of our main obstacles on the spiritual path. What would you like to let go of — or what are you letting go of right…

The big concert was on Saturday, and on Wednesday I lost my voice. I am part of a quartet that sings the music of Swami Kriyananda, and we had been months in planning and rehearsing for an interfaith “Unity through Music” event: an elegant dinner followed by a performance of our singing quartet. But it’s…

This is an excerpt from the book Demystifying Patanjali: The Yoga Sutras (Aphorisms) by Swami Kriyananda. Samadhi Pada (Book 1) Verses 1 – 3:  Then, (spiritually free), the sage abides (tranquilly) in his inner Self. Modern living leads us to confuse fulfillment with excitement. From excitement, however, ensues tension. And tension causes all happiness to…

Herb Jeffries in Memoriam

In 1946, Herb Jeffries began reading the Autobiography of a Yogi by Paramhansa Yogananda. It was during a period of long convalescence after Herb was almost killed in a small airplane crash. Herb was lucky to survive that day, but had to stay in the hospital for months. Doctors told him that he would need…

It’s not uncommon to hear people make the claim that Paramhansa Yogananda diluted the Kriya technique, or that he changed it for Westerners. Sometimes it’s done through a conscious intent to deceive and promote one’s own Kriya teacher, sometimes out of ignorance. Either way it’s an unfortunate sign that the world of Kriya Yoga is…

Death and Dying

When asked if there is life after death, Swami Kriyananda stated, “There is no life anywhere that is not life! There can’t be death because it is all God’s consciousness. The soul never dies. Our fear of death is often an extension of our fear of life.” Many of us are afraid of losing our…

It was in the middle of a very hot July, 1975. I was driving from Texas to California in an old, un-air-conditioned Chevrolet. I was very excited about making the journey, for I was ready to pursue a much-anticipated new way of life, by moving, bag and baggage, to Ananda Village. Still, I was probably…

“If a problem can be solved there is no use worrying about it. If it can’t be solved, worrying will do no good.” When I heard this Tibetan saying, it got me thinking about how much time I have spent in my life worrying about many things. In school I worried about finishing homework on…

In winter, there is a “magic line” on Highway I-90 in Washington state where the rain stops and the snow begins. Many accidents happen when drivers meet this sudden change in the weather. To make it even worse, the “magic line” is preceded by a long blind curve. I’m a firefighter, part of a first-response…

By the time I was thirty, I had already been married and divorced. In the decade after, I married and divorced again, and two other serious relationships started and ended. You would think at that point I would have given up and become a nun! My spiritual path supported that alternative. But in my heart…

The Guru Script

I’ve seen two movies in recent months that kept me riveted to the screen. Both were dramatic survival stories about one person facing impossibly challenging circumstances alone. Both stories were portrayed by excellent actors, Sandra Bullock in the film Gravity, and Robert Redford in All is Lost. I was immediately sucked into both movies; caught…

How I Found My Guru

In the fall of 2000, after seriously evaluating my life options, I was at a loss. None of the directions I could think of taking seemed all that satisfying. A spiritual interest had grown in me, starting in high school, fanned by the movie Ghandi and books by Ram Dass such as Be Here Now.…

The first time Yogananda gazed into my eyes from the cover of Autobiography of a Yogi, I wasn’t open enough spiritually even to buy the book and read it. Two years later, in a time of unbearable spiritual darkness and fear, I remembered those eyes and went looking for the book. I found it in…

On March 7th, 1952, Paramhansa Yogananda consciously left his body before hundreds of people in a dramatic display of yogic mastery. We all know the memorable story in which he read his poem “My India,” expanding into the Infinite on the very last word, his untenanted body slumping to the floor to be left in…

The Power of Light

Recently, I watched a fascinating documentary film about the Chauvet cave in France, where the oldest known cave paintings have been found. The best scientific dating techniques we have in this modern age of energy estimate the paintings to be over 30,000 years old. The film shows the beautiful cave art in living color –…

For the past year, I have been helping to lead an after school girls group called Spirit Warriors. The girls range from age nine to eleven. The focus of the group to help the girls with self-acceptance, self-confidence and a personal connection to the Divine within them through creative play and activities. Before it began,…

Refreshing Our Love

Every so often, Divine Mother blesses our lives with something that opens wide the door of our hearts. My earliest memories of awakening in Love are with my mother. Though I knew nothing of higher states of consciousness, the love that was poured into me through my mother seemed to bring me into an immensely…

7 Years to Heal

They say it takes seven years for all the cells in the body to fully regenerate. A year ago both my mother and I completed a seven year cycle. Before those seven years both my mother and I were known to be active energetic people. At the beginning of those seven years we both noticed…

Opportunities

“There are no obstacles; there are only opportunities!” —Paramhansa Yogananda There were a lot of opportunities today. I don’t mean that as we sometimes do, using “opportunities” as a euphemism for “problems”; or at least I don’t mean only that. Today was one of the most hectic days I’ve had in a long time, but…

Transitions

I was 8 years old when I finished third grade. It had been a challenging year mixed with triumphs and failures, but I remember feeling pretty positive about it. My father, a U.S. Army officer, had been transferred to Germany and that meant a move for our family. Moving was exciting and I appreciated the…

A Gift from Ma

I moved to Ananda Village without the necessary funds to pay for the membership training programs that are a prerequisite for living here. I had already spent much time working and saving and I just couldn’t wait any longer. I felt I was following God’s will in this, so I said to Him, “I’ve done…

Spiritual Christmas

I sit here, writing quietly from the corner of my room as fast as I can – before the baby wakes up! So many things that I do now include that urgency. Meditation, sadly, is one of those activities that I now plow through with an anticipation of interruption. It’s that restlessness that I write…

A Valuable Lesson

I’ve had the privilege and honor for many years now of sharing an office with some of Ananda’s finest ministers and meditation instructors. Each of the desks around me belong to long-time devotees who have been on our path for at least 25 years. I am the only one in that office who is fairly…

Fireworks were already booming from the surrounding neighborhoods as we entered the Portland community chapel last night for our New Year’s Eve ceremony. It was a blessed evening complete with purification ceremony, 108 repetitions of the Mahamrityunjaya Mantra and a deep meditation til midnight.  I was struck by the simple yet powerful contrast of the fireworks and my inner…

Pipe Down and Crack On

Ben and Tarka have just walked 900 miles to the South Pole.  Now, they walk back. But let’s back up a bit.  It all started when friends Koral and Suzanne Ilgun took a recent trip to Antarctica, sharing photos like this: Later, Koral mentioned a blog he’d been following by 2 British adventurers who are…

Heavenly Fatherhood

It’s been eight weeks since my wife Gita and I witnessed the birth of our daughter Tulsi into this world. I say witness, not because Gita did not exhibit extraordinary fortitude and endurance in labor and delivery, or that I was not constantly present, encouraging and supporting in every moment and way I could. It…

It was last August when we watched our dear friend Andy Lyon make his transition into the world beyond this one. I have seen death in this life only from a distance in the way of great grandparents, family friends, bygone pets, and jaded celebrities. But what a powerful and enlightening experience it can be…

Swami Kriyananda with Gita and Badri

Gita originally wrote this on April 22nd, 2013, the day after Swami Kriyananda’s passing. She grew up at Ananda Village in California while Swamiji was living there. My spiritual guide and friend in God, Swami Kriyananda, passed away on Saturday night at 11pm PST. It almost feels embarrassing or ego-centered to recognize how incredibly fortunate I have…

The Battle with Should

Albert Einstein defined insanity as “doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results”. Yogananda said we all have our own kind of craziness, and after 32 years on this spiritual path, I’m discovering just how crazy I am. There seems to be no end to all the crazy ways I sabotage…

Note from Savitri: My sweet mother-in-law, Willma Willis Gore is 91 years young. She lives in Sedona, Arizona. Mom stays very busy as a professional writer; she runs several writer’s workshops each week, encouraging aspiring writers to upgrade their skills and figure out how to publish or have published what they have written. She has…

I’d like to take this opportunity to commend those who had the courage to be involved in the first Joymasters experiment. Nobody knew if our hypothesis would prove a fruitful one. We were sure it would bear some kind of fruit but we all hoped it wouldn’t be one of those strange, astringently bitter, hard…

In honor of the month of Thanksgiving, please tell us of someone in your life who you are grateful for. You can share your answer in the comments below, and enjoy others’ responses as well. You can even send your response to the person you’re grateful for. Here are some nice articles on gratitude from…

Divine Parenting

On the level of duality, it is more than a balancing act as a single parent to raise children, meditate, work, run a household, and serve. However, in the inner reality, it is an experience of ever-new joy, expansion, and communion in God. For all I give to God is returned in the form of…

I want to share a hard-won lesson that has recently clarified for me. I have by no means perfected this one, but it’s been a profound journey and I hope that by sharing it here the value of that lesson can expand to help someone else. It’s about love… true love. There are lots of…

The Light and the Bushel

Many of you are probably like me — you’ve got an average singing voice though nothing that’s going to win you a Grammy. So does that stop you from thinking that you have anything to offer? Years ago I found myself in the position to sing a solo in front of Swami Kriyananda. After I sang Swami…

A Beautiful Farm near Half Moon Bay When Swamiji passed into the Infinite, it was as if an enormous wave of energy was released. As his body declined with the passing years, his consciousness expanded, until the body was simply too confining to hold it. For him it was a joyous release. And once freed,…

An amazing “sign in the sky” came my way on December 20, 2012. I thought it might be fun to share this unusual event with you and also share my thoughts about it. First, a little background. In my second grade classroom, we actually practiced crawling under our school desks when the alarms sounded. We…

A short time after Steve Jobs passed away, a friend of mine received a phone call. “We’d like to place an order for 500 copies of Autobiography of a Yogi. Do you have that many?”

One of the first techniques we learn at Ananda is an original creation of Paramhansa Yogananda’s: the Energization Exercises. These exercises help us learn to work directly with our life force in a way that can be applied not only in our other meditation techniques, but in everything we do. The Energization Exercises intrigued me…

One year ago Swami Kriyananda was speaking to a group of youths at Ananda Village. During this satsang, he suggested that the next generation of Ananda focus on “outreach.” As Swamiji’s successor, Nayaswami Jyotish, has since explained, “outreach” in its deepest sense means “to share”: Sharing the teachings of our path from our own center…

Paramhansa Yogananda asks this rhetorical question in his Autobiography of a Yogi. I’ve also received various forms of that question over the years, usually from people who live in the world raising a family, or perhaps struggling with marriage or with the demands of a career. Yogananda’s answer, like other understated passages tucked away in…

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