Dear Friends,

We’ve had a cool rainy spring, perfect weather for tulips. This year more than 4,000 visitors came to “Springtime at Ananda,” to see the gardens at Crystal Hermitage and the 9,000 tulips. Many have commented that these gardens are among the most beautiful in the world, not only because of the amazing flowers but also because of the uplifting and expansive setting — vast vistas and joy-filled residents.

tulip crystal hermitageA couple of years ago at the end of the tulip season, we mentioned to Swami Kriyananda, who was in Italy, that in spite of so many visitors, the gardens still looked beautiful. His response was one of those simple statements that has a profound impact. He said, “Well, of course they would look good. They’ve just had thousands of people appreciating them.”

Many emotions — frustration, anger, delight — seem to be thrust upon us without our conscious consent, as if they had a life of their own.  But appreciation is a feeling that can be cultivated through practice.  When we do, life begins to bud and blossom.

Swami Kriyananda returned to America last week. On the drive home we stopped at a café with Swamiji and, as he often does, he complimented a woman on her dress. This simple act of appreciation created a lovely connection. She told us her daughter brought it for her from Hawaii, and we chatted briefly.

Life led with simple acts of kindness becomes rich. Positive emotions send signals from the heart to the brain that releases a cascade of healthful neurochemicals. Appreciating gardens, events, people, and tests is a powerful pathway to happiness.

Like the gardens, Ananda’s work everywhere is exploding with new life. In India we are working on plans for a large new center in Gurgaon. This project is being done in cooperation with India’s largest real estate developer and could become a model for future centers throughout the country. Also in our community near Pune the first 28 flats are nearing completion and the first pioneering families are starting to arrive.

Ananda’s work is also booming in Europe and America. Near our community in Portland, Oregon, we have acquired a former 7th Day Adventist Academy which has housing for over 500 people. Set amidst verdant farmland, Ananda Center at Laurelwood will become a center of learning for Education for Life, permaculture, ecology, and community living. Starting next year it will also become a branch of our Ananda College. A famous physicist and author, Amit Goswami, who recently visited the Ananda College said, “Harvard and Stanford are good schools, but students of awakened intuition will want to come to the Ananda College.”

Ananda Village is also growing. We’ve recently installed hundreds of solar panels and are expanding our agricultural efforts in new and innovative ways.  The baby goats have just arrived and are bouncing around as if they had pogo sticks for legs. A new Master Plan for future expansion will soon be submitted which will allow us to build many more houses for new members who want to live here.

ananda laurelwood devoteesBut all this expansion of facilities wouldn’t be very meaningful without the continued growth of the spirit. What we have or do is not nearly as important as what we become. The most gratifying growth can be seen in Ananda members worldwide in their deepening of dedication, devotion, service, and love for God.

Swami Kriyananda is at Ananda Village now and will be in this country until mid-September and then return to India. (You can see his schedule here.)

This is a great time to visit. Come and refill your cup of joy and appreciation. Who knows, it could change your life.

In divine friendship,

Nayaswami Jyotish and Nayaswami Devi


  1. Just hearing of the growth and expansion of Ananda makes me smile! I was just there the first part of March and I sense that the joy is ever new at Ananda. I am so looking forward to being there again in June. I am thrilled to be a part of Ananda and feel the presence of our Master and all the wonderful people there. Perhaps when I am there I will have the great honor of meeting Swamiji :)

  2. Thanks for the “smile break” during a busy schedule. Wonderful to see what is being accomplished.

  3. Dear Jyotish and Devi, thank you so much for your beautiful and heartwarming letter!
    Love, mayadevi and helmut, ananda Assisi

  4. My heartfelt appreciation for the wonderful work and the growth of Ananda Community all over the world. I pray that Ananda Communities Spread the Light and Illumine the Lives of millions and millions of truth seekers around the world. Joy To You and All ….

  5. Very inspiring. Please NEVER stop sending me these inspirations. Kind regards and Love.

  6. I will be coming in two weeks for a weekend and taking a vegetarian cooking class. I have always wanted to do that.

    I so enjoyed my visit last winter with my fellow Spiritual Center for Positive Living family in Cameron Park. Many of us came for a day. I look forward to coming to Ananda many times in years to come. What an amazingly peaceful, spiritual place.

  7. I convey my appreciation to the Tulip garden and hope they blossom more to delight many more visitors there and for those hoping to reach there(like me)

  8. pictures of tulip garden at the crystal hermitage provide me great joy and soon hope to be there to be delighted further.

    warm wishes-komal

  9. Thank you for this beautiful newsletter. Reading about the Crystal Hermitage and the thousands of tulips reminds me of my own visit there and the incredible feelings that run though the place. It has been a great joy in my life to visit and also to participate in the Karma Yoga Program.
    What a shining example of how life can be!
    Thank you for such an amazing community.

  10. Another great thing happening at Laurelwood is “Ananda House,” the new assisted living facility–now fully operational–just across the street from the main campus and living quarters.

  11. Feeling uplifted already.. just by ‘reading though’ :) Thanks. Jyotish and Devi. Looking forward to meeting with you again in India soon.

    1. Thanks for the Springtime inspiration….this world needs more infusions of kindness and appredciation! (And tulips!). Love and Blessings, Elizabeth

  12. Dear Jyotish and Devi,

    Thankyou for the beautiful mail! :-)

    Tulips are amongst my favourite flowers…just reading about them blossoming in Ananda Village makes me feel happy and..wistful! Maybe we’ll grow those in Gurgaon during winters! :-)

    Wish all the Gurubhais in America, Joy and Master’s blessings!
    Ananda India Pune

  13. I am very much inspired by talks of swamiji….i want to hear more from him… I would like to about his next visit to India. And also his schedule…… I would be grateful if these details r emailed to my address….. Thank u…

  14. Thank you so much for all the information on Ananda around the world…I’m so sorry I miss the tulips right here.

    I especially enjoy all the pictures of Swami on his schedule…what fun to see him through the stages of his life.


  15. beautiful!! i love tulips, can’t think of growing them though!!

    congratulations on your achievements at ananda!!

    regards in joy!!

  16. To Directors Jyotish and Devi,

    I hopef I addessed you correctly.

    I bought the book of Paramahansa Yogananda entitled “Man’s Eternal Quest” and and putting it directly I like what I read. Fme who has no experience in this practice find deep meditation difficult most so I am a Christian. But I like very well when Yogananda espouses Christ Consciousness.

    I do not see any “congregation” of his type in the Philippines where I live, the closest is in India.Maybe you can give me some guidance on this aspect as I am interested in your practice.

    Best regards, your brother

    Roger Feir

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