A Place Called Ananda, Meditation

“Pranayam Be Thy Religion!”

I have a favorite chant that was frequently sung by Sri Yukteswar, Paramhansa Yogananda’s guru. It’s titled Desire, My Great Enemy:

Desire, my great enemy,
With his soldiers surrounded me,
Is giving me lots of trouble, oh my Lord,
Is giving me lots of trouble, oh my Lord.

That enemy, I will deceive,
Remaining in the Castle of Peace,
Night and Day […]

A Place Called Ananda, Spiritual Community

Traveling Within in India, Part 2: Our Visit to Vanamali Devi

Our tour group had a short audience with Vanamali Devi. One of the first questions we asked was if she would talk about devotion. She replied, “That is one of the hardest things to talk about!”

So she took a charming approach to the subject: why wisdom is a necessary prerequisite for deep devotion. Wisdom, she said, is the knowledge of what we would be devoted to, and without it, we become dogmatic and fanatical, focusing our energy not on our perception of God, but on our conception of Him: on mere belief or superstition. […]

A Place Called Ananda, Yoga Postures

Ananda Yoga Teacher Training – Just Do It

I have just finished the fourth and final week of Level 1 Ananda Yoga Teacher Training. After five years of living in Ananda Village I have finally been able to take the time off to do this four-week program. I am so glad I did. The course has been educational, fun, inspiring, challenging, deep in yogic teachings (not necessarily in … Read More

A Place Called Ananda, Meditation, Spiritual Community


Recently, Jyotish and Devi Novak, the Spiritual Directors for Ananda, were with Swami Kriyananda in India. They said in a recent gathering with many of us:

One morning, when we were with Swamiji in India, we asked him how we could grow towards God more quickly. He replied very simply, “The whole secret of spiritual progress […]

A Place Called Ananda, Meditation

The Power of Kriya Yoga

Recently I’ve been struck yet again by how effective Kriya Yoga is for causing deep changes in people’s lives and consciousness. Not long ago, I was checking someone’s Kriya practice. This person received Kriya about a year ago. At the time they received the initiation, I wasn’t quite sure that they were ready to practice the technique. They didn’t seem … Read More

A Place Called Ananda, Meditation

Traveling Within in India: Our Pilgrimage to Rishikesh, Part 1

An excerpt:

“As the story goes, Swami Purushottamananda walled off the vast majority of the cave to stop people from disturbing the siddhas (realized or perfected souls) who were, and perhaps still are, sitting back there in their astral (energy-based) bodies, meditating.

“Is this true? I certainly can’t say for sure. However: this cave is the one place I would make sure to go if I ever returned to Rishikesh. It was intense.”

A Place Called Ananda, Spiritual Community

The Statues – Chapter 1: The Beginning

Two years ago, in Spring 2005, after the Mahasamadhi celebration in India, I journeyed to Rishikesh with Sraddha (my spouse) where we visited the Kriya Yoga Ashram of Swami Shankarananda. She had been there the previous Fall with a US pilgrimage and discovered these incredible life size marble statues of our line of Gurus. Later that spring, Sraddha and Durga … Read More

A Place Called Ananda, Meditation

How to Start Meditating Daily

In celebration of making a commitment to deepen my own meditations, I want to share something to help people get started with a solid daily sadhana (spiritual practice).

I started meditating daily nearly four years ago, and in that time I have grown more spiritually than I would have in forty years of not meditating. It’s that profound.

A Place Called Ananda, Spiritual Community

Sweetness, Sincerity, and Swami Kriyananda

Like Dave, I’ve enjoyed and felt blessed by my time here in India. One of the things that struck me immediately was how natural it felt to be here. This pattern repeated itself several times in the first couple of days: I see someone (an Indian) while I’m walking down the street. They are probably staring at me; no smile … Read More

A Place Called Ananda, Spiritual Community

International Kriyaban Retreat in Gurgaon, India

We have just finished the first Ananda International Kriyaban Retreat here in Gurgaon, India – three days dedicated to deepening the practice of Kriya Yoga. The retreat culminated with an extraordinary talk by Swami Kriyananda on The Role of Kriya Yoga in the World. The entire three days was one continuous highlight of long and deep meditations, classes on Kriya … Read More