In Divine Service

101 Ways We Serve at Ananda

What’s the difference between work and service?

We should view whatever gainful employment we seek as a service, never merely as work. The mere thought of hard work, indeed, often drains a person’s energies, whereas joyful, willing service opens inner floodgates to a boundless supply of energy. -Swami Kriyananda

Here are three keys to help you transform your attitude about your work into Joyful, Willing Service.

  • Do everything you do with the consciousness of inner peace.

If you find yourself getting tense, nervous, or upset at work, take a break, breathe, or meditate for a few minutes — whatever helps you to return to a balance point of inner peace and centeredness. Consciously try to bring peace and calmness into every activity. You’ll find you get a lot more done, too, and at the end of the day, you’ll feel refreshed and uplifted.

  • Be intensely aware of what you are doing

Be intensely aware of what you are doing — not with strain or tension, but with quiet absorption. Serving with concentration also draws intuitive guidance and creative solutions to deal with the task at hand. A concentrated mind, as opposed to a scattered one, is automatically filled with upliftment and peace.

  • Offer everything you do to God

Whatever your job may be — important or humble — offer it joyfully and freely to God. Remember, all work is His work – we are merely His channels in this world. No work is important or unimportant in God’s eyes, but serving in a spirit of self-offering draws His blessings.

At the conclusion of our community satsang we shared this list: 101 Ways We Serve at Ananda. We hope that you can find something on this list that you do, too, and join us in your service to God.

In Divine Friendship,
Nayaswami Jyotish and Nayaswami Devi
October, 2011

101 Ways We Serve at Ananda

  1. Raise cows, goats, and chickens
  2. Run an online radio station that plays Ananda music 24/7
  3. Grow vegetables and fruits
  4. Build and maintain water systems
  5. Do property management overseeing infrastructure and roads

Temple of Light under construction, 2018

  1. Develop new property
  2. Run a talk-of-the month group with Swami Kriyananda’s archived lectures
  3. Build and maintain homes
  4. Do community planning and master plans
  5. Compile phone lists, birthday lists, and The Villager newsletter
  6. Oversee the community membership process
  7. Teach children and run schools
  8. Start colleges and teach classes
  9. Run clinics as doctors, nurses, clerical support
  10. Raise children and build marriages
  11. Train and counsel new members
  12. Run markets, stock shelves, cook lunches
  13. Run a phone system

Ric Moorehouse, ironsmith & Director for Ananda Bell

  1. Operate a blacksmith shop
  2. Design beautiful gardens and plant tulips
  3. Maintain Crystal Hermitage and keep the garden systems working
  4. Pray for others and run a Healing Prayer Council prayer group
  5. Teach people Kriya and support their practice
  6. Train choirs and perform music every week of the year
  7. Sell gems and make jewelry
  8. Design and publish books and market them globally
  9. Ship Ananda books and products
  10. Develop websites
  11. Make meditation benches and cushions
  12. Develop online businesses and boutiques

    Meerabi, Rajarshi Day landscaping, 2017

  1. Make sandwiches, hummus, and cookies for the market
  2. Offer online classes and webinars
  3. Commute or telecommute to jobs in the tech industry
  4. Do art and crafts
  5. Publish an online magazine
  6. Dry tomatoes
  7. Teach yoga and train teachers
  8. Work with community finances and pay bills
  9. Write paychecks
  10. Do financial and investment consulting
  11. Put mail in boxes and label packages
  12. Raise funds to keep things going
  13. Start new foundations to expand Ananda

    Swami Kriyananda Mandir

  14. Attract the devas
  15. Make altars and sacred spaces beautiful
  16. Keep computers and computer systems running
  17. Teach a friend to use their iPhone or Kindle
  18. Teach people to meditate and train teachers

    4th of July celebration, 50th Anniversary, Siana and family, 2019

  1. Cook meals for family and friends
  2. Take people to the hospital and pray during their surgeries
  3. Run The Expanding Light or the Ananda Meditation Retreat
  4. Organize Day of Service workdays
  5. Maintain The Expanding Light buildings and gardens
  6. Write books
  7. Create yearly calendars for The Expanding Light classes
  8. Answer emails
  9. Design flyers and brochures
  10. Give massages
  11. Give haircuts
  12. Take photos and make videos
  13. Support and visit meditation groups
  14. Harvest figs for friends
  15. Run boutiques and shrines
  16. Operate costume shops
  17. Care for our parents

Virani Ramsden, Yogata Dairy Founder with Jenny

  1. Do fire-clearing
  2. Start new centers and communities
  3. Smile at a stranger
  4. Help people sell things on eBay
  5. Start endowment funds for the future
  6. Donate and tithe
  7. Direct or perform in plays
  8. Raise bees and gather honey

Sevaka program, Meditation Retreat, 2018

  1. Join the local volunteer fire department
  2. Develop a Spanish Ministry and teach Spanish-speaking people in Latin America and Spain
  3. Cook three meals a day over 365 days a year at The Expanding Light
  4. Bring meals to people who are ill
  5. Lead sadhanas
  6. Sew curtains
  7. Fix cars
  8. Use big equipment to keep property open and beautiful
  9. Proofread new manuscripts
  10. Babysit
  11. Tell someone, “You can do it!”
  12. Send out mailings
  13. Teach people how to have radiant health

Rajarshi Day of Service, 2017

87. Clean houses

88. Do landscaping and create fountains

89. Make someone laugh

90. Teach the AUM technique

91. Stay calm in a crisis

92. Host thousands of people to see the tulips (and feed them scones)

93. Share nature with children

94. Go to book fairs, trade fairs, and New Age fairs

95. Teach Karma Yoga to new people

96. Feed the birds

97. Operate databases

98. Share divine friendship

Crystal Hermitage Gardens

  1. Attune with Master
  2. Love God
  3. Do lots of other things that never make it onto lists

Jyotish & Devi dedicating an altar and new Meditation Retreat structure, 2017

What ways do you serve?

Original post: 101 Ways We Serve, October 28, 2011.


  1. Dear Nayaswami Jyotish Ji and Nayaswami Devi Ji,

    Thank you for this blog. Very helpful.

    Also thank you for sharing the 101 ways of serving. Very inspiring. With Master’s blessings may I serve his work through Ananda.


  2. How can I join and participate? Living in Southern California… wanting to live at Ananda and do the things you do.


    1. Dear Irene,
      Thanks for your willingness! (And this is the short list!) I suggest you check out the LA center website and start to connect. Or search the “Find Ananda Near You” map within Explore Ananda. You might be asking how to investigate Ananda Village, and the summer internship could be perfect for that. We’d love to have you visit. Thanks for reaching out. Joy to you! Carol

  3. Thank you so much Jyotish ji and Devi ji – Reading this filled me with Joy and new Hope. My work hours had been dramatically increasing and so was the impatience in me – this message shifts my inner perspective towards seeing it as Growing Service to my Guru through my work – which fills me with willingness and enthusiasm towards what I’m doing! Many many thanks 🙏🏻💕

  4. What a meaningful services!!! The services look very fulfilling to me. Hope one day I can serve others as a councellor.

  5. Great works have been done at ANANDA
    Services rendered here are unique and all associated souls deserve a great appreciation
    God bless you all…🙏🙏🙏

  6. Hi! Lovely blog
    This is so vivacious! I enjoyed reading 101 ways also.

    At Ananda India Online Community I look after subscriptions and make assessments for online courses. :)
    Thank you Swamiji for establishing Ananda! <3 <3

  7. Hello Nayaswami Devi and Jyotish ji,
    It’s very inspiring, how to do our work. By Gods and Master’s grace I can inculcate those qualities in my way of working.
    I won’t be able to help in any other way but I can always help to bring a Smile on someone’s face every day.
    Thanks a lot for sharing Divine wisdom!

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