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

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

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

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

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

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

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 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

The Passing of Judith

Dear Friend, When the diagnosis came, Judith turned inward to God, and there felt His presence more powerfully, more sweetly than ever before — that it was God in the birds, in the trees, in herself, even in the disease that would take her life. All was God. All was joy. She asked her friends to join her, during the time remaining … Read More

You Can’t Drive Out the Darkness With a Stick

Friend, Late in December Ananda’s Living Wisdom School let out for Christmas vacation. The magic of Christ-love was everywhere: colorful lights in windows, on trees; warm fires indoors; a growing sense of universal family. The next day would be the annual eight-hour meditation, all of us gathered in honor of the tradition started by our Master in the early days … Read More