This past weekend I was in the Seattle area on personal business and arranged to attend Sunday Service in the new Seattle Mandir. Prior to moving to Ananda Village near Nevada City, I had attended the Ananda Seattle church for many years and lived for 2 years in the Ananda community. I remember the first time I visited Ananda Assisi in fall 1997 and saw their beautiful Mandir.
Arjuna, who built the Italian version, spoke at length with Sraddha (my wife) and I about the need for this structure in America and I came back, inspired to see one built. I spoke with the Spiritual Directors Terry and Padma McGilloway about this, but soon moved to Ananda Village. They had also been inspired in this endeavor. In the ensuing years they sought a new place for a church and scoured the Greater Seattle area in search of property, finally, after several false starts, landing 5 acres Northeast of Seattle in Bothell, WA where the members designed and built this unique architectural building.
Unique in many ways, it is six sided with a beautiful blue tiled dome atop. While a contractor built most of the building, countless volunteer hours were spent working on the building and grounds. Ananda members from all communities and countries came to help during construction. Sraddha spent several weeks there with Willow, a local community member, putting up the stunning ceiling plaster and paint. Jyotish, the Spiritual Director of Ananda, spent several days helping to paint the ceiling using a very special process which renders a varied display of colors depending upon the light of the day and night.
Susan and Jacqueline were the ministers. They have lived and served in Ananda Seattle for many years. Susan sang “God, God” from Paramhansa Yogananda’s poem of the same name and Jacquelin spoke on the topic “Can Man See God?”
After Service, many folks remained to mingle and meet each other while having refreshments downstairs. I didn’t take any photos of this but was struck with the incredible bust of Paramhansa Yogananda seen at the base of the down stairs. What an inspiration.
During this experience the main impression which came to me was “This is truly Ananda”!! Master is pleased.