Last week, Ananda Village and many fellow gurubais from as far away as the East Coast, and even via the internet, took time to go deep in spirit. This was our third annual Inner Renewal Week and it was hosted by The Expanding Light. Jyotish and Devi Novak came up from Los Angeles to share deep insights, laughs and spiritual challenges. They gave three classes, hosted a question and answer session and led two very inspiring vow ceremonies.

Wisdom gained through their many years meditation and joyful, self-less service to our guru, Paramhansa Yogananda, and to Ananda, were eloquently shared with all.

The weather was lovely and bright. It felt like an early Spring, but this week Winter has returned.

Lotus Lake sparkled like a jewel. It looks very different in the winter. The lotuses sink into the water. The meditation benches placed around the lake were very inviting.

Bill and Jake were part of a team of chefs that prepared lovely meals for guests and community members. The musicians, led by David Eby, sang beautifully all week.

It is amazing to me the wealth of joy and wisdom we have in our many Ananda ministers. I left every class with a pearl to cherish. This year I actually took some notes to help me remember a few special thoughts I wanted to hang on to. But, thankfully, also, all the talks are on

Inner Renewal Week features Kriya Initiations and also the various levels of Nayaswami Order vows. It is so moving and spiritually re-energizing to watch or be part of the ceremony.

The vows themselves encapsulate our goals and aspirations on the path to God realization. One one hand, we are alone in our search for God, no one can find God for us. But we are in good company as we move forward, supporting and encouraging each other.
And we have the great blessing to have great teachers, and especially Swami Kriyananda, to help us fine tune and inspire our spiritual search. I was filled again with gratitude for Swamiji’s vision and unceasing desire to share and empower each of us grow in the light.

Amazingly, it is already the middle of February. Many more great programs are happening at The Expanding Light and Gaia House all Spring and through the Fall. As a community we will be preparing for Swami’s return to the village the middle of March and also preparing for Springtime at Ananda—our now famous tulip open house at Crystal Hermitage. I hope we will see you here. Many blessings on this wonderful journey that we share.


  1. Thank you Barbara, as always, for sharing with your beautiful photos and inspiring words.
    Joy to you!

  2. Thank you Barbara for the wonderful comments and pictures. This was a great week. In friendship, Jerry.

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