An extraordinary meeting has just taken place, and I will try to convey in words the presence of God that I am feeling so strongly. This is one of those moments that I am trying to absorb to the fullest extent possible, so that I can call upon for it inspiration in the future – one not to be forgotten!

We are in Los Angeles not only for Sunday’s Book Launch of the new Biography of Yogananda, but also to prepare the production of the upcoming film Cities of Light. In this docudrama film, I will play a large role (as myself) who hosts Juliet, a fictional journalist, during her visit to Ananda Village to investigate the solutions that communities like Ananda have to offer to the world.

So this morning, ‘Juliet’ (Elisabeth Rohm) has just come to meet Swami Kriyananda for the first time in person. Elisabeth got the casting call under extraordinary circumstances – but is anything really extraordinary when God gets directly involved?

Shivani, our Ananda Producer, had been putting out great amounts of energy to try to find the right actress for Juliet, and had been meeting with different casting directors, to no avail. Time was moving inevitably towards the deadline for filming, and we all began to pray in earnest.

Finally Shivani met with a casting director who had the vague recollection of a conversation years ago about Elisabeth’s spiritual background. As it turns out, Elisabeth was born to a mother who was a devotee of Maharishi, then of Baba Muktananda and Gurumayi Chidvilasananda. Elisabeth had many spiritual encounters as a young girl herself in the presence of those two great spiritual teachers, and her own mother played a large spiritual role in Elisabeth’s life until her passing two years ago.

A few weeks ago, Elisabeth began praying for a deepening of spirituality in her life to fill the void left by her mother’s passing, and the call came from the casting director the very same day. Divine Mother seems to have been waiting for Elisabeth’s own prayer to coincide with ours.

The meeting went extremely well this morning, and we were all deeply moved by her open willingness to take on this role. In this film, her character will have a gradual opening to spirit, and Elisabeth commented that everyone is longing in their heart for such an experience, although they might not be conscious of it.

The shivers flowed as I felt her sincerity, and I shared that when I discovered Yogananda and Ananda, I realized that I had been longing for this life with God for so many years without even realizing it.

At that moment this morning, I realized the power this movie will potentially have for people: an awakening of inspiration, an ignition of their own search for God.

How appropriate that God has arranged this fortuitous and fortunate meeting, here in the heart of Los Angeles, where Yogananda’s presence can be tangibly felt.

Keep our team in your prayers, and we begin filming on July 27!

A Place Called Ananda

A blog by disciples of Paramhansa Yogananda