An Open Letter to Myself Before My Move to Ananda Village

This is addressed to my past self of December, 2004, just after I decided to move to Ananda Village.

Christmas Eve, 2004

Merry Christmas. I hope you’re enjoying this season, carrying with it the expectation of a new adventure.

In one month you and your Dad will drive to Ananda Village. He’s only staying for a week, but you’ll live there for a long time — seven years and counting as I write.

Do you know how much you can accomplish on the spiritual path? Someone once asked Master (Yogananda) if there is an end to the soul’s evolution, and he said: “No end. You go on until you achieve endlessness.”

In seven years, you will find it easy, and occasionally even fun to face tests that today would be painful for you. I don’t know why, but my hope is that this is God’s grace becoming ever-more active in your life.

What happens in the future? I don’t want to spoil the story, so I won’t tell you everything, but here are some highlights:

You’ll help start a monastery several months from now. You’ll do fine as a monk — it won’t last forever, but it will be very helpful.

Swami Kriyananda and you will meet for the first time when he arrives in America in 2006. You’ll ask him how you can serve Master more, and he’ll say, “Love him in everything you do. The details don’t matter, but the love — that’s the important part.” Remember this — it is true! It is the most important lesson that you’ll be working on in 2012, in your personal life and in your service in the office.

There is bad news: Seven years at Ananda Village will not be enough for you to find God. I’m sorry, but then again, didn’t you say recently that after only a few months of Kriya Yoga practice you’d changed more than you would have, otherwise, in thirty years?

Two important things that I’ve learned or am learning:

The more you focus on divine love, the more everything else will take care of itself.

Don’t worry so much. Think of the ultimate goal of inner freedom. Again, the clearer you are on that one goal, the more everything else in your life will fall into place.

But I’m not writing just to tell you what to do. Here I am, preaching to myself! More than anything I want to give you hope, and encourage your enthusiasm for the spiritual adventure.

Moving to Ananda Village will be very, very good for you. You’ll find plenty of good examples there.

Challenges and the opportunities come no matter where you are, but in community, you’ll find it easier to stay focused on the spiritual path.

Meditation will become easier, but will still be a challenge sometimes. That said, have you ever had a meditation where, at the end, you thought, “Well, that was a waste of time!” It always feels good to have finished a meditation.

Your work with websites will help you to share the spiritual life with others, but remember that it is not the only way to serve God! Every person has a unique path to experience His bliss.

Make friends, which is to say, be a friend.

What else can I say?

Your choice to be on this spiritual path has opened you to untold possibilities. I don’t know how far it will take you in this life, but I can tell you that it will continue to be a wonderful adventure.

Relax. Don’t worry so much.

Remember what Swami Kriyananda said.

Your friend,

A Place Called Ananda

A blog by disciples of Paramhansa Yogananda