During his recent visit to Ananda Village, Swami Kriyananda emphasized certain themes in his Sunday service talks.  Three of the main themes are summarized below. *

Systems and efficiency

Throughout history people have made the mistake of thinking that a community can be created and determined by a system. It isn’t systems that do it; it’s good will. You can have the worst system in the world, and if the people have good will, it will work beautifully. You can have the best system, but if people don’t have good will, it’ll be a disaster.

This is not something that you can put on paper or in a procedure book. You have to learn by osmosis. If people want to start communities, I say “Come and live at Ananda for a while. Learn how we do it.”

The biggest thing that can hurt Ananda’s future is for us to become super efficient. In the history of churches, the movement toward more and more efficiency has resulted in a movement away from devotion to God. Not that efficiency is wrong in itself, but each movement in that direction has its own momentum.

Our priority should always be our relationship with God. As long as Ananda holds to that high principle, it won’t fall.

The secret of right action

You can do impossible things if you realize that you’re not the one doing it. It’s not a question of, “I am doing it.” Don’t define yourself in any terms. I’ve seen that if I don’t define myself as what I’m doing I can do it a hundred times better.

Whatever you try to do—be it work, hobby, or avocation—instead of studying and learning how it’s done, get into your own center. Try to find that level of reality in yourself from which everything is produced.

At your center, ask God to guide you, to give you the inspiration for whatever you’re trying to do. The more you offer yourself up to Him and let His energy come in—the more you can do anything. Don’t ignore the need to do a thing well, but let your understanding of what it means to do it well come from inside.

This will work in your life if you do two things. Meditate, above all. Second, have the faith to put these things into practice.

“All-Flowing I, I Everywhere”

The deeper you meditate, the more you feel a kindness and sympathy for others. You understand that they are your own, that there’s no difference, except superficially, and that all of us really are one. You become aware that this self, which is you, is everywhere.

In his poem “Samadhi,” Yogananda expresses this truth in the simple line, “All flowing I, I everywhere.” The consciousness of “I” is in every atom, every petal, every leaf. “I” is a part of everything. It’s an absolutely marvelous reality—we’re not giving up the ego at all. We’re expanding it into omnipresence.

Everything in this universe is an expression of God and has to go back to Him, eventually. You have that potential. And so, concentrate on that potential. Always keep in mind that’s where you’re headed. Not ego, but infinite, “I, I, everywhere.”

*Swami Kriyananda’s seminal talk during the first annual Joyful Arts Festival will be featured in the Spring 2004 Clarity magazine.

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