I have been suffering spiritual loneliness for a long time. I have read many books on yoga, philosophy, psychology, but have not found a "home" yet. I have tried yoga postures in classes but they have not helped. Kriya yoga and Yoganada's teachings have provided a source of hope for me and I have started to do some simple meditation techniques I learned from this website. Is it possible to find a spiritual home at Ananda Village while also finding employment in the village to support myself?
Your question was forwarded to me, as Director of Member Services.
It’s true, when we begin to realize that the world promises everything, but delivers nothing that is lasting, we long to find what will bring us this lasting bliss that our soul remembers and seeks to be reunited with.
It seems that perhaps, you have found a “kindred spirit” with Ananda, and I would encourage you to seek out more direct contact through a meditation group or Ananda Sanga or Meditation and Yoga Center. This will give you satsang, spiritual fellowship, and you will find your spiritual brothers and sisters, and be able to keep company with them and receive their friendship and support. Be encouraged that when we begin to feel this lonliness, it can be our first step to finding where our true fulfillment resides.
I’m glad that you found Ananda on the web, and are benefiting from some of our offerings. I would encourage you to also go to the Expanding Light website (www.expandinglight.org) to see about coming to our retreat as a guest so that you can get a little experience of Ananda Village. They have low cost programs, inparticular the Karma Yoga program that offers you more time here, and the opportunity to serve, which is what life at Ananda Village is all about.
As far as moving to an Ananda community to live and work, I would suggest that you check with our communities in our more urban areas. These can be found on www.ananda.org. Ananda Village has a lengthy membership process requiring over a year of programs to develop familiarity with the Village and to discover if this is the best place for you spiritually and practically. It’s important to have enough time here before you make a commitment.
You may move into any of our other communities (Seattle, WA.; Portland, OR., Mt. View, CA; Sacramento, CA.) without going through any membership process, if they have room and think that you would be able to find a harmonious life there. The advantage to our communities in the more urban areas is that they also have teaching centers, Sanghas, and temples so your early years with these teachings is supported. Ananda Village doesn’t offer classes in the same way. Being in a less rural area also brings the opportunity for more employment options.
Currently we are full in our housing and we don’t have employment available, in the Village. We have to offer housing and employment to people who are already members, and with seniority in mind. You will have a better opportunity to become involved with Ananda if you explore our other communities. However you are always welcome to visit Ananda Village and spend some time at The Expanding Light retreat.
Living “in” community is the best way for a devotee to live. You are in a supportive environment with like-minded people which creates an atmosphere that supports you spiritually and socially.
Many blessings. If you have any more questions, feel free to write to me. Also, please go to: www.anandavillage.org to see more that is written about our membership process, here at the Village.