Living in a spiritual community isn’t all it’s cracked out to be. It’s much, much more. Besides the fountainhead of bliss gushing forth amidst daily spiritual practice, service and fellowship, there come truly beautiful, blessed and rewarding opportunities. Such was our recent two-day trip, as myself, along with my six fellow 20-something-year-old gurubhais (fellow disciples) explored our first outreach opportunity with two classes at Butte College in nearby Chico.
But let me begin at the beginning, or nearer so: there is a growing energy here at Ananda Village and I believe worldwide, in which greater numbers of our generation are being called to the light. That is, they are finding an expanding sense of world brotherhood, of service and joy in their own hearts and in one another.
Be it a spiritual calling of a true teacher like Paramhansa Yogananda or any other pathway of expansive freedom, love and fellowship — there presently exists a great shift in consciousness that reaches far beyond all limitations and form. For us, one manifestation of this has been to reach out and share.
For example, we run the summer camp programs known as Living with Spirit, in which young people ages 18 – 30 spend two weeks camping at Ananda Village to experience the blessings of life in spiritual community. These programs include deep friendship amidst daily meditation and yoga postures, joyful work as service, and exploring and sharing the beauty of nature and community life.
After following the teachings of Paramhansa Yogananda for some two years, my brother Tristan and I discovered Ananda through these programs just last year. We were, and are ever grateful and so happy to have this connection with so many spiritual friends and family in Ananda Worldwide.
Recently these programs have expanded beyond Ananda Village, in order to better share such a great many blessings. By way of networking and the more subtle but ever-powerful tools of meditation, affirmation, and energy magnetism, there suddenly appeared our first opportunity: the trip to Chico, which I mentioned earlier, to be hosted by an Ananda meditation center located there, and by a college professor whose had two classes centered on the study and practice of yoga postures and philosophy.
The result was a truly rewarding experience: the Ananda Chico Meditation Center alone and our gracious host Marlene provided us many accommodations to be both joyous and grateful. But the classes were the highlight of this trip: to be joyful and have fun, learning and sharing our knowledge, experience and energy rather than simply teaching or informing.
The interaction through sharing, brief meditation, chanting and singing was the mightiest blessing, in that we connected to a receptive group of young people who like us had opened the door of their hearts to higher guidance, truth, and joy through yoga.
There was a great sense of receptivity among many individuals and an expansive and powerful connection between everyone present. Some of the students inquired during or after the presentation for more information, or talked with us afterwards.
One person was so enthusiastically moved that she signed up for this summer’s Living with Spirit program only a day later. Other students were simply inspired and expressed their gratitude and enjoyment (very mutual, for us) in our coming there. On many different levels the outreach itself was a success and provided great satisfaction in sharing with others.
We spent our little free time in Chico enjoying one another’s company, in group meditation, and in further outreach trip to Chico State College, the greater Butte College nearby, to post Living with Spirit 2010 flyers and explore the campuses.
Behind the outward posting of flyers and other sharing and networking, we know and have experienced the power in the flow of energy put out that will surely lead us onward to greater heights of outreach and blessings. Even as I write these words we are only days away from another such trip this time to Southern California’s beautiful Encinitas to reach out, connect and share joy with more of our Ananda family and all receptive souls in kirtan, satsang and sadhana. (Editor’s note: We were slow in posting Jordan’s article — the trip to Encinitas has already happened, and went well.)
Above all things in our Chico outreach trip was the presence and power of Divine Grace before, during and still yet after. In the positive, energetic and enthusiastic attempt to be channels for the higher energies of light and love to all, we were blessed inexpressibly in our every thought and word.
Paramhansa Yogananda said that the “channel is blessed by what flows through it.” Despite whatever mere preferences or improvements we might have looking back and moving forward, we have indeed and yet again experienced this truth.
As our dear friend and host professor Annalisa Cunningham closed each class, “May all beings be happy. May all beings be free from suffering. May all beings be loved.”
God bless us all.