Question: How did you become interested in following the spiritual path?
Answer: I was interested in consciousness, and wanted to know how to use more of my brain and unlock the potentials of body and mind. I got into the Indian philosophy when I read Autobiography of a Yogi. I wanted to do a meditation retreat, so I went to the Living with Spirit summer camp.
In the Ananda Village vibration, I felt deeply connected to this path and eventually moved here because I saw that it was the best thing for my spiritual life.
Question: What is going on at Ananda? Why are you here?
Answer: I am here to learn more about yoga and meditation from people who have been practicing it for a long time, and to participate in the new generation that is uplifting the world through meditation and spiritual practices.
I feel that the people here are being trained to be spiritual leaders and start different types of communities around the world in order to get more in touch with nature and simple, sustainable living.
Question: How is living in community changing you?
Answer: It can be challenging when there is a lot of extra service asked of you but it brings out your highest potential because you are constantly growing and the people here are always looking out for your best interest.
My meditations have gotten longer and deeper. I understand more what service means and how to serve people without expecting anything in return. I don’t get anxious or angry anymore because I’m learning to stay focused on the task at hand.
Question: What are some major benefits? Challenges?
Answer: There is no room in my schedule for moods, unwillingness or negativity. This can be hard when those things inevitably come up but there is constant support and understanding here so it’s really an ideal place to get honest feedback and learn from your mistakes. You learn how to better yourself in a gentle but efficient way so that you realize your highest potentials.
In comparison to a life in the city, I’d say that it is easier to reach higher potentials within yourself because of all the support in that direction.
Question: Do you enjoy group living?
Answer: I didn’t at first but I do now. Even though I prefer to live alone I see that group living is beneficial for getting over your selfish tendencies and not getting stuck in your head by constantly thinking about your own problems.
Question: Do you have any inspiring stories of your experience here?
Answer: Two people visited Ananda Village for the Living with Spirit communities program in order to learn more about how to create their own community based on high principles as well as sustainable living. They had lost their jobs and savings, coming here with all their possessions in the car. They weren’t worried about finances or where they would live because they were so focused on creating a community that would help many people. They were very inspired by what is going on here and have now begun to gather resources to create a community according to this model.
In this environment they both had spiritual breakthroughs that clarified their intentions and helped them understand how important spiritual teachings were for people living together in community.
Question: What are the people like here that have lived this life for many years?
Answer: They are very real. They don’t address the parts of you that are looking for flattery or self gratification. They help you recognize the parts in you that are genuine and sincere. They demonstrate deep spiritual principles is even the most mundane activities. They are simple people who are friendly to all.
Question: How is service essential to your path in life?
Answer: It is really the only way to know that other people’s happiness is necessary to your own.