Nayaswami Jyotish

Animals and Compassion

When I was young, one of the most important members of our family was Nipper. He was a medium-sized dog with amazingly intelligent eyes, a golden coat, and a combination of the best traits of numerous breeds. He was a faithful playmate, protector, and coconspirator during my daily adventures. Many people remember a beloved four-legged…

Game Over

The major premise of Paramhansa Yogananda’s first book, The Science of Religion, is that everyone in the world shares the same basic motivation: to be happy and to avoid pain. I‘ve been reading a book with a similar theme, 12 Rules for Life: An Antidote to Chaos, by a psychologist and philosopher, Jordan B. Peterson.…

We Don’t Know Enough

One of the Ananda teachers just sent me an article about the physiological link between the breath and a brain chemical, noradrenaline. Here’s a quote from the article: The research shows for the first time that breathing — a key element of meditation and mindfulness practices — directly affects the levels of a natural chemical messenger in the brain…

Self-Control

We heard a good joke recently. A man and his young grandson are shopping in a supermarket. The little boy is fussing and whining, wanting to leave. The grandfather says, “Be patient, William. We only have two more items to get and then we can go.” A few moments later, the grandson is again complaining,…

We were sitting with two dear friends at a retreat house in the foothills of the Himalayas, where we take a yearly seclusion. One of them asked me if I felt a special power here and if my meditations were any deeper. I told her that for me personally, this is one of the two…

Cooperating with Grace

As I write this, we’re in India for two weeks on an unexpected trip. A series of completely unforeseen events has provided the potential for a wonderful new project. Working with one of India’s premiere leaders in education, our small team is creating a vision and feasibility study for a world-class Institute of Leadership based…

A Place of Refuge

Last week, here on the island of Hawaii, we visited an interesting historical site called “The Place of Refuge.” The old Hawaiian culture was hierarchical, with the king at the top, the warriors and artisans beneath him, and then, at the lowest level, the vast majority — those who fished and worked the land. There were many…

I experienced an amazing day when I was young, and it still echoes through the corridors of my memory. I was around six years old, living in a small town in northern Iowa. Our home sat across the street from a large park in a hilly part of town, and my youth was spent playing…

The Pillars of the Path

Here at Ananda Village we are in the midst of our annual Inner Renewal Week. Each year we have two weeks of classes, one held in August and the other in February, which act as anchors, keeping the ship of our lives from drifting out to sea on the tides of spiritual apathy. Swami Kriyananda…

We Need New Self-Definitions

A friend recently sent us an article by the head of Mercedes Benz, talking about some of the disruptive changes that are coming due to the combination of AI (artificial intelligence) and robotics. For instance, we are on the cusp of self-driving vehicles, which is exciting news for most people, but an existential threat to…