Sometimes life seems complicated, stressful or sad. And sometimes we get to enjoy simple pleasures that allow the heart to swell with gratitude. Harvest Day was one of those days.
I tried to post this sooner but life has been quite busy for me. Some things have been challenging, but for the most part there are so many great things happening here that I keep busy with work. I am learning, like everyone else, to balance my inner life with a very active outer life of service to my friends, family and my worldwide spiritual community.
On Harvest Day we came together as a community, dressed in our grubby work clothes, carrying our work gloves and sun hats to do gardening and landscaping and general maintenance of the lands at Ananda Village.
Work crews were created and sent out to do various projects at The Expanding Light, the village center, Crystal Hermitage, the permaculture garden, even the compost and recycling center.
One very special area that received loving attention was Gaia House, which is our new guest retreat, run by the Expanding Light. I will talk more about that in just a bit.
Our day began with snacks, smiles and prayer plus an inspiring talk by Peter Goering, our village manager. Then the groups ventured off to their assigned areas for a friend-filled morning of joyful service.
We met back at the village center for a meditation and then a great lunch prepared with Ananda grown produce was served. After that, there was more work to be done. Mother Nature provided the perfect weather, light clouds and temperatures that were not too hot or too cold.
Dave and I visited many of the areas of service to photograph and video. Click here to watch a video Dave created about Harvest Day.
Gaia House is a new guest facility that is managed by The Expanding Light. It is a large, artfully detailed, rammed-earth, partially solar powered house that for years was the perfect home for Hunter and Audie and their five beautiful, energetic and very talented girls.
The girls are grown and the parents decided that the home would now be perfect as a place to host groups of guests with a focused agenda. It has been converted to house for up to twelve people (and more in the near future), and is well suited for small yoga or management retreats, weddings, men or women’s retreats, and many other types of retreats for participants with a holistic, healthy outlook.
It has been fun to watch Gaia House grow from a thought to a reality and to see the harmonious, joyful sharing of creativity ideas of the Gaia House team result in a building that is alive with color, warmth, and the lingering joy of a loving family.
Gaia House is situated in a quiet Ananda neighborhood that has fantastic views. It is a short distance to The Expanding Light, Master’s Market and many great walking paths. I have been able to spend time over there photographing the rooms and the well-planned and colorful gardens.
Each guest bedroom is based on a theme from Swami Kriyananda’s song, Channels. We have a bird room, river room, mountain room, etc.
Krishnabai and Cullen Lewis are the resident managers and bring to Gaia House dedicated and youthful energy, they seem to know how to do anything and they lovingly tend to the gardens and house.
They will be perfect hosts for our future guests. So if your reading, knitting, yoga, or healing group, or planning or brainstorming committee needs a elegant and quiet place to get away, consider this venue.
If you would like more information about Gaia House and potential retreat opportunities you can click here for information or call 800.346.5350×7082
Fall at The Expanding Light!
Lots of fun programs are scheduled at The Expanding Light this fall and winter season and many special things are planned to celebrate the winter holidays. So, I will do my best to share some of the sights from these events. I hope also to be able to get to Los Angeles soon and share photos of the work happening there!
Blessings to you all!

Editor’s Note: Watch 3-minute video of the Harvest Day:


  1. Great, Barbara, thanks for the pix. Nice to see Gaia House!

  2. Thank you Dave and Barbara!
    It’s so fun to use the technology we have available to share and connect all these great souls worldwide. I feel like I was part of the Harvest Day there, although here in Portland. And it inspires me to share with others even more – that’s how we become channels for the divine light that is flowing through all souls and all circumstances. Your pictures are such a gift to so many – keep taking them and sharing!
    In light and divine friendship, Lorna

  3. blank

    Beautiful pictures, Barbara – as always!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *