Spiritual Community, Thank You, God

A Reminder of God

Shivaratri, 2018. The community gathered in Hansa Temple for a nightlong celebration in honor of Shiva, the supreme yogi. Chanting together, meditating, giving and receiving divine love and divine joy, we moved into a realm of Spirit, our own true home. The light of a candle was offered before the altar, offered to each of our Masters, then held up in offering before a devotee.

Spirituality and Nature, Thank You, God

Finding Joy

“O waves that we are on the bosom of the Infinite Sea, joyfully together let us celebrate our own greater reality. . . . Whereas suffering and sorrow, in the past, were the coin of man’s redemption, for us now the payment has been exchanged for calm acceptance and joy.” When the winter birds began to arrive, among them three Northern Flickers … Read More

Spiritual Growth, Thank You, God

God is Always There

During an all-day Christmas meditation this past month we sang a chant specially blessed by Paramhansa Yogananda during an all-day meditation that he used to lead: Do not dry the ocean of my love With the fires of my desires, With the fires of my restlessness. For Thee I pine, for Thee I weep. “Christ is here,” Yogananda told those … Read More

Divine Love, Thank You, God

Stories of Gratitude

Swami Kriyananda’s children’s songs touch that deep inner place — in adults just as much as in children — where the untrammeled soul longs simply to live in God, where our essential response to life is gratitude to the Giver of all, where sharing what we have with others and with God flows as naturally as breathing: Thank You, God, for the smile of … Read More

Divine Love, Thank You, God

From Ego to Freedom

In the soul’s journey from ego-involvement to freedom, everything of this world has to be taken away — or, as our understanding grows, given away freely — so that the soul may be an empty vessel to receive and become the joy that God wants for us. One great disciple of our Master was heard to cry out, while under anesthesia for yet another … Read More

Divine Love, Thank You, God

The Story of Tukaram

“Ours was a holy mission,” Swamiji writes in A Festival of Light. “You charged us to learn great lessons from life: to be fruitful in the gifts You had given us; to expand and multiply them. Alas, we abandoned our mission. Instead, we hoarded selfishly. Nor did wisdom come to us when, repeatedly, we lost everything we had.” God’s saints … Read More

Daily Life, Thank You, God

Service to the Widows of Brindaban

Squatting before the seated figure of an elderly Brindaban widow, his face suffused with compassionate concern, his hands gently tending the deep gash of a monkey bite, the young man emanates inner joy, selfless love, reverent self-offering in service to the needs of those he cares for. Preetam is a young devotee from the village of Radhakund, not far from … Read More

Thank You, God, Travel and Pilgrimage

The True Pilgrimage

“Sharing,” Swamiji writes, “is the doorway through which the soul escapes the prison of self-preoccupation. It is one of the clearest paths to God.” Leo Tolstoy tells a story of two old men, lifelong friends from a small village in central Russia. Many years before, they had made a vow to each other, and before God, to make a pilgrimage … Read More

Divine Love, Thank You, God

Help!

Dear Friend, Out of the corner of his eye, the old man caught a movement — waving hands, a mother smiling out of the fullness of her maternal love, a very small boy rushing forward, arms up and out ready to embrace the big, yellow tractor. The boy looked up trustingly, eyes wide and clear, unblinking, until the man understood, stopped the … Read More

Divine Love, Thank You, God

Divine Mother’s Love Is Bigger

Friend, Our winter here at Ananda has seen a succession of storms, with high winds and soaking rains. At Christmastime, a lone snow goose appeared on Lotus Lake. Perhaps this bird, like the young bird in Swamiji’s Festival of Light, had “entered a storm cloud, and soon found itself struggling for its life. Wind and rain lashed at its wings. … Read More