Swami Kriyananda

Swami Kriyananda, Paramhansa Yogananda’s direct disciple and the founder of Ananda, counseled thousands of people during his lifetime. He developed our approach to counseling others spiritually.

Most people live in the conscious realm, which is limited to the material world. They are not used to thinking in superconscious ways or to drawing on intuition to find solutions. In spiritual counseling, we try to help others connect with their higher consciousness (superconsciousness) in finding solutions.

In September 2020 for the first time, Ananda Online offered Spiritual Counseling Training, based on Swami Kriyananda’s guidelines. 73 students from 15 countries attended the course. All are dedicated to the spiritual path and wanted to learn how to help others spiritually.

The five-week course consisted of developing and deepening intuition, learning and understanding the three levels of consciousness (subconscious, conscious, and superconscious), exploring the art of spiritual counseling, and learning how to help others incorporate spirituality into their lives. During the course, the students practiced counseling each other and then counseling people outside the course.

The essence of helping others spiritually involves learning to engage both mind and heart while counseling, developing skills in listening, counseling from a space of uplifted consciousness, and creating an environment where divine light could wash away the obstacles.

Keys to helping…

To help people spiritually, one should have a daily meditation practice, on-going study and practice of spiritual teachings, continuous striving to grow spiritually, and alignment of their outer life with their spiritual belief system.

Guidelines for helping others spiritually

  • Get centered, and connect from your inner center to the other person’s inner center.
  • Help the person relax and connect with their calm center within, to be better able to express their higher Self.
  • Be the friend of their soul.
  • Actively listen and attune your heart and mind to their reality.
  • Be fully present and project vibrations of peace and hope.
  • Ask questions that will open doors inside of them for clarity and solutions.
  • Help the person think in terms of their higher potential rather than only of their present challenges. Help them see possibilities. Listen to their hidden talents. People tend to get hypnotized by their present limitations and past experiences. Help them to think expansively.
  • Work with truthfulness. Remember that Truth is always beneficial and helps to uplift the present reality. Say that which is encouraging and helpful. Work with their strengths, not their weaknesses. Do not be offensive.
  • Most people need a variety of ENERGY tools to incorporate into their daily life to help them change. Downward–moving energy distracts people from clarity of any kind. Upward–moving energy brings greater clarity and an enhanced ability to succeed at whatever one attempts. When a person is stuck, they need to work on re-directing the flow of ENERGY. When they are able to lift their energy, their magnetism is raised, and it is possible for them to meditate and find their own solutions.

Swami Kriyananda’s Advice

If you learn to be centered within and to get to the center of light within yourself, then you will be able to relate to other people in the best and truest way. In your essence, you are a point of light that has taken a form and a personality. The more you can identify yourself with the light, the more you can help others. – Swami Kriyananda

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Spiritual Counseling Training will be offered again May 5–June 16, 2021


Watch the Video! Help Others Awaken the Light Within

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  1. I am interested in the spiritual counselling course. Please let me know how to register. I am a kriyaban and actively serving Ananda Sangha Mumbai from 2014.

  2. I have forwarded your comments to my friends. I am currently working through your book Vegetarian for Beginners to learn how to prepare vegetarian dishes. I am thinking about volunteering to work at Expanding Light Ashram kitchen for a year or more after the lockdown is over.

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      Dear Hanuman,
      It will be fun and educational for you to spend a year or longer at Ananda Village, and volunteer at The Expanding Light kitchen. Let’s hope that it will be soon.

  3. Thank you for this article. The tips are very helpful for connecting with others.

  4. I continue to contemplate the upcoming spiritual counseling program starting in May. I’m also sorting through other online programs.

    I keep coming back to Ananda where I first started my meditation practice; in early days at Ananda with Swami Kriyananda.

    Could you send an excerpt from written course material that would give an example of practice/theory?

    Thank You,

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