Dear Friends,

“When God closes one door, He opens another, but it’s hell in the hallway.” A friend of ours recently shared this amusing saying with us, and it’s something we’ve probably all experienced. The most challenging periods in life are the times of transition before the next door opens.

Right now it seems we’re in a giant “hallway” — a period of global upheaval with an uncertain future economically, politically, environmentally, and even morally. People are desperately seeking a new portal to open onto a brighter future. And open it must: we just need to know where to look.

We want to share with you some wonderful experiences we’ve had in the past several weeks watching people find new “open doors.” The first was “Wanderlust Festival,” a yoga gathering that took place at Squaw Valley, California the weekend of July 29 – 31. Over ten-thousand people came from all over the world to practice yoga asanas, meditation, and enjoy nature in the beautiful surroundings of the Lake Tahoe area.

The Expanding Light was invited by the Wanderlust Festival organizers to host the Meditation Dome and to offer instruction and guided practice there. Nearly one-thousand people came to the dome for presentations and events, filling to overflowing many classes by Ananda teachers.

We observed that the Bhagavad Gita says, “Out of a thousand, one seeks me.” So with a thousand people coming to our Meditation Dome out of the ten-thousand attending the Festival, our percentage was pretty high.

Among our many wonderful teachers speaking to capacity crowds were Dr. Peter Van Houten, on “How to Achieve Your Brain’s Highest Potential,” and Nayaswami Bharat, leading a “Meditation and Nature” walk. Nayaswami Anandi led a workshop called, “Learning to Access Your Superconscious Mind,” which was written up in an inspiring blog post on the Wanderlust Festival website.

Shanie Matthews wrote:

As I walked into The Expanding Light Dome — aptly named with its otherworldly hexagon shape, beautiful pillows, throw rugs, chimes, and serene atmosphere — my attention was drawn to the lovely woman leading the talk, Nayaswami Anandi. She glowed with love from the inside out… an example of the embodiment of serenity… Anandi explained how I have the power to connect with a part of myself that I didn’t even know existed, my superconscious… Thank you to Anandi and Wanderlust for expanding my mind… may this message of the beauty of the connection to our superconscious mind continue throughout the world.

Another door opened last weekend when we traveled to Portland, Oregon, to help prepare for the launch of a new Ananda community there. We’ve recently purchased the Laurelwood Academy, which had been a Seventh Day Adventist college and boarding high school. Renamed “Ananda Center at Laurelwood,” it’s a complete campus on 45 acres of prime land with dormitories (360 rooms), dining facilities for 400, administration buildings, a temple, a 400-seat theater, and much more. It offers a huge step forward for Ananda’s work, giving us a new community with facilities for Education for Life training and outreach, permaculture gardens, and an Assisted Living facility for the elderly.

We served, meditated, chanted, and shared with the wonderful team of Ananda people who are making the huge new project happen. Master said, “Bite off more than you can chew, and then chew it,” and everyone there is chewing hard.

The official opening date is Labor Day weekend, and Ananda members from our worldwide communities will be attending. Someone joyfully suggested their slogan should be, “Everyday is Labor Day at Laurelwood!” We’ll write to you about it after the dedication event takes place.

Finally, next week begins Spiritual Renewal Week at The Expanding Light with big crowds coming for classes, concerts, dramatic performances, Kriya Initiations, and more. Now in its 42nd year, thousands have found this annual event to be a source of inspiration and spiritual renewal.

Some doors are closing: The world news of unstable governments, unending warfare, economic decline, and natural catastrophes offers little hope for a way out of the “hallway.” But the teachings of our Masters, the practice of meditation, and Ananda Communities open doors that increasing numbers of people are recognizing as the best, perhaps only, way forward.

Recently at a talk in Ananda Assisi, Swami Kriyananda said, “Please, help us in this movement. It is the answer that people everywhere are seeking.” We, too, invite you to join us and share the joy of helping others open doors to the future.

With love in God,
Nayaswami Jyotish and Nayaswami Devi


  1. Thank you friends for these well timed words. I was feeling somewhat down just prior to reading your wonderful inspirations and was reminded that this is just a small bump in the road for me. I’m dealing with a lawsuit that is using up my savings faster and faster. This is my hallway for the moment. But I’ll be at Ananda tomarrow Aug 12th for a weekend workshop. I feel better already. Thank you.Jerry.

  2. Namaste, Thank you for your inspiration. The combination of meditation and selfless service is, in my view, the only way to one’s true nature. Ananda is one of the many best places on the planet that encourages this. There are many others. And thank God for that. Namaste, Dane

  3. Human beings are in a large castle built by the god almighty full of rooms and doors. As you have rightly said when one door closes one or more doors opens and you must choose the right one to exit the castle.
    Each room is blessed with different earthly attractions, and the moksha ( salvation ) is nothing but being outside the castle.
    As per the scriptures only very few can get out of the castle, and those are like guru yoganandna and his gurus.
    If you try to enjoy the rooms you will be in one room or other but never get out of the castle, instead we should use the guidance / path given to us by our gurus ( such as Yogananda ) to try and reach the moksha.
    Teachings of guru yogananda and “kriya yoga” is like a GPS in hand with which we can navigate ourself to reach the salvation.

  4. The practices of understanding conscious, subconscious and unconscious through meditation helps us to crossover from improbability versus probability estimates to definitive self contained in panchakshri as reinforced by Shivapurana

  5. It was a true blessing to have Nyaswamis Jyotish & Devi here at Larelwood for the past weekend. Their magnetism and vibration certainly uplifted all of us, Re-Energized our batteries and our spirits to make the final push to prepare for Labor Day’s dedication weekend. We hope to see as many devotees that can make the trip come to see Laurelwood and share in its Joy & Blessings from Master.

  6. In just 2 hours I will travel to Ananda V illage for SRW – What uplifting words to read in this unstable time of the outer world. There is much Gratitude in my heart for having found Master’s teachings that awaken the inner place of divine presence. Thank you to all the beautiful souls on this Path who exemplify God’s Love & Joy .

  7. Expanding Light, you are expanding your and Master’s Light, and I am bubbling with joy! Thank you and congratulations!

  8. Congratulations on the about-to-open Laurelwood Center! Master’s teachings will be available to so many longing souls there. Many blessings!

  9. Thank you Jyotish and Devi.
    A great reminder of amazing activities going on!

  10. What a Wonderful Newsletter! Thank You so much for sharing about Wanderlust Festival and the Community in Portland. As a social worker, I have wondered about services to those in our community who do and will need assistance in the ‘Fourth Stage of Life’. How very exciting that an Assisted Living Facility is part of the plan in Portland! I feel so blessed over and over to have found Ananda and the Spirits I get to meet along this path. Recently I watched a talk from Nayaswami Dhyana reporting on Ananda India in Gurgaon (Palo Alto Sunday Sermon’s). It is so inspiring to hear of the work being done all over our world- and to watch awakening in souls everywhere. Blessings, Simone

  11. Thank you, thank you, thank you for your timely and uplifting message to counter all the current tumult and turmoil we seem to be experiencing. The concept of the “hall” as a transition place between the new openings is a superb metaphor to explain those challenging periods we all experience in life. Your message has brought me joy and understanding.

  12. Thank you Jyotish and Devi for your inspiring words. They always bring me closer to Yogananda. Many blessings.

  13. So, so true, it is hell in the hallway. However, so much opportunity in the crisis for spirtual advancement. That is why the Bhagavad Gita is my Ganges and Kriya Yoga is my doorway. If everyone had the opportunity to sit down and witness the opening of the Thousand Petaled Lotus and have sip of Amarita prior to any decision making process, what a different world we would be living in. Crisis and stressful challenges in this world motivates my practise. To practise Kriya for me is survival and is my grip on sanity. Thank you, thank you Master Yogananda. May your followers be many. May their tongues rise in reverence. May their dreams abide in Shushupti and their daily lives dwell in the Par Avashta of Kriya.

  14. Some specifics about how and WHY this helps open doors would be inspirational and motivating.

  15. PERFECT timing, with a big door-slam-in-the-face last night! :+)
    How are you building your team in Portland?!!
    I want to know more about your plans there!!
    Thank you!

  16. Wonderful news, thanks for sharing the light.

    It’s wonderful to know, too, that though the suffering and confusion is all too intensely real for many people, both here at home and abroad, we can nonetheless help ease that suffering while helping the forces of dharma prevail.

    Here’s an obvious way to do that: With our thoughts, our prayers, our words, push for leaders who genuinely love America and wish its people well. Sounds corny, I know, but just take it inside and see if it doesn’t ring true.

    Speaking personally, I despise politics. No doubt like many others with an essentially healthy understanding of life, seeing personally destructive politics can literally make me nauseous.

    Unfortunately, the quality of a country’s leadership has a HUGE impact on the values of its people. Nobody can seriously deny that. A single national leader and his staff can do great damage to its education system, for example, helping to philosophically Darwinize its kids from grade school on.

    The good news is, a dharmic leader will inevitably encourage a country’s highest ideals, thus guiding it through a crisis while strengthening its spiritual roots. America’s roots being essentially Christian, only a genuine Christian can lead it well. This, whatever his or her lingo, whatever words or labels they use to express their Christian bearings.

    Again, many thanks for sharing this inspiring energy. Rarely does a day goes by when I don’t thank God for Kriya and for the joy it sparks, inside.

  17. Deeply inspiring. Thank you. Blessings all who are “chewing”.

  18. I always read these type of articles, all the goings on and involvement that YOU all are doing. Then at the end of the article(s), it inevitabley says we “invite you to join” etc etc. But it Never says HOW to join WHAT to do WHO to call WHERE to go. I am sure I am not the only reader who feels this way. You all say what you are doing, get us motivated to be part of it, invite us to be part of ‘it” (whatever ‘it’ may be). ANd then, the ball is dropped, the reader has no idea what to do, how to get involved. We need specifics, who what where when and how much….

  19. I am interested in opening doors and not staying in the “hallway”. Do you have more information about the assisted living part of the Ananda. Blessed be to all your work both inside and outside your being. Thank you for the inspiration.

  20. yes, the in-between time is upon us and along with it all the attendant inevitable chaos. but as lord krishna says, from this cosmic churning will emerge the new consiousness which will enable us to straddle different dimensions simultaneously. dig deep to rise higher— we each one of us have to access our god and the effort has to be NOW. THIS IS A PRICELESS OPPORTUNITY TO GROW AND GROW UP IN CONSCIOUSNESS. OM SHANTI, LOVE AND LIGHT!!

  21. I’m thrilled to hear that an assisted living facility is planned as part of this project.

  22. When we are in the hallway and it is difficult and even scary, being able to move toward the light at the end of the tunnel is the only way to avoid getting caught up in the darkness.

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