What Are Spiritual Communities?

Spiritual communities are a place where people live together in the spirit of cooperation and friendship, dedicated toward a common goal. They invite spirituality into all areas of daily life, whether at school, work, or in the home. And at the core of spiritual living are central spiritual practices like yoga and meditation, as well as dedication to high-minded values such as kindness, respect, and simple living.

Experience Community

“Cooperative communities are a highly practical solution for everyone seeking true meaning in life. I say this from many years of experience, and after observing countless educated, intelligent, aware individuals in the conduct of their lives. With this ideal, I do indeed see hope — I say this with conviction — a better, happier, more peaceful world!”

—Swami Kriyananda, Hope for a Better World

Around the World

There are now seven of these spiritually-minded communities worldwide.

Ananda Village
Ananda Assisi
Ananda Sacramento
Ananda Palo Alto
Ananda Laurelwood
Ananda Portland
Ananda Seattle

What Makes Spiritual Communities So Great

Paramhansa Yogananda, on whose teachings Ananda is based, taught that environment is stronger than willpower. A person may have the best intention of living a spiritual life, but lacking the support of others, and living in a world focused on materialism, it is all too easy to be diverted, by other desires, from the desire to know God!

Yogananda’s solution was for people of like mind and ideals to join together to form what he called “world brotherhood colonies,” intentional spiritual communities based on “simple living and high thinking.” In these communities, truthseekers from all walks of life could live, work, and seek God together in an uplifting environment.

This would make it easier for people to develop spiritual qualities, and the awareness “of the true kinship of all men as sons and daughters of the same, one God.”

Yogananda tried to establish such a colony in Encinitas in the early 1940s, but found that people were not yet ready to embrace his idea. He knew, however, that the time would come when the world would be ready. As he said, “This colony idea will spread through the world like wildfire!”

“Expand your sense of community to embrace an ever-larger number of human beings, until you see the whole world as your own, in God.”

Swami Kriyananda, direct disciple of Paramhansa Yogananda and founder of Ananda communities

“Simplicity of living plus high thinking lead to the greatest happiness!”

Paramhansa Yogananda