We hope that you are all doing well. It’s been a wonderful, busy, and inspiring three weeks here at Ananda Assisi—filled with heartfelt reunions with old friends, as well as deep connections with new people coming from all over Europe.
We’ll share some highlights of our activities during this visit thus far. We left Ananda Village on Wednesday, August 15, arrived in Rome on Thursday, drove to Assisi on Friday, and landed running. On Saturday morning we gave a class based on our book of blogs, Un Tocco di Gioia (A Touch of Joy), and gave the talk at Sunday service the next day.
On Monday, Wednesday, and Thursday mornings of the following week, we gave classes as part of a great course called, “The Way of the Spiritual Warrior.” It’s actually a wonderful way to offer a broad scope of Master’s teachings: the interpretation of the Gita, Patanjali focusing on the yamas and niyamas, the chakras, overcoming karma, finding dharma, and the role of discipleship. It’s very enjoyable to be a part of the wonderful teaching staff that has developed here.
This program ended on midday Friday and was followed by a week called, “Kriya Renaissance.” This began with a Kriya Initiation on Saturday night with about two hundred people from ten different countries. (We wrote about it in more detail in a recent blog.) There were about twenty-five people receiving the initiation for the first time. We should consider following this kind of schedule of starting with the initiation, because almost all of the new initiates stayed for the following week for classes and meditations focused on Kriya. Many told us how much they gained from having all the classes in the week after the initiation.
With the end of August, the big guest season ends, so our last two weeks here are focused on visiting with various departments and meeting with individuals. This includes Inner Life Coop, Ananda Edizioni, community planning team, online sangha team, lightbearers and ministers, retreat staff, and more.
Last night we had a fun satsang with community residents including sharing news from Ananda Worldwide followed by questions and answers. During the first week of our stay, we showed several short videos that Kent gave us about the construction of the new Temple of Light at the Village. People loved them, especially “Three Months in Three Minutes”! They were clapping and laughing along with the footage.
Ananda Assisi is in the midst of raising funds to complete their new Temple of Joy. An idea for fundraising came up that we might consider for the Village: make a CD to sell that would be called something like “The Best of Ananda.” It could include a video clip with Swamiji about Ananda’s mission, then original short videos made by different members: Ananta talking about how to plant tomatoes, Virani on how to make cheese, Usha on how to raise happy children, Bharat sharing a nature game, Diksha on how to make a holiday dinner, Devadasi on permaculture, etc., etc., etc. You get the idea. It would be a way for many members to get involved in helping to raise money for the temple.
This afternoon we’ll visit various business including Prana (the wonderful raw chocolate and dried fruit bars), Candela Amica (the beautiful handmade candles), Shantidev’s art studio where he makes the spiritual eye pieces, and end with dinner at Ananda’s health food store and café, “BioinLove” (pronounced Bee-o in Love.) Tomorrow we’ll walk around the new land that was purchased last year to expand the community, then we’ll all chant, meditate, and bless the new venture.
As many of you know, Durga flew over with us to Assisi and had two wonderful weeks here. Her main reason for coming was to meditate in Swamiji’s Moksha Kutir, and this she did every day. She also had wonderful visits with many friends and was able to spend time in the inspiring shrines of Assisi. You’ll probably get a chance to see some of the many beautiful photos she took during her stay. It was a joy to share this visit with her, and we’ve all missed her since her departure.
Our time here will come to a close with Swamiji’s Spiritual Anniversary on Sept. 12th. We’ll have a celebration the night before, and a meditation and satsang that day. Then we’ll drive to Rome and spend two nights there before flying to Mumbai on Sept. 15. Then a new adventure begins — we’ll keep you posted.
We’ve been having a wonderful time here and are so happy to see how the community has grown stronger in its spirit of cooperation and unity. A deeper sense of attunement to Master and Swamiji is also tangible.
Finally, thank you for your loving thoughts and prayers. We are very aware of how much they help us to keep strong, healthy, inspired, and able to share Master’s and Swamiji’s love. We send our prayers in return that you have a deep, inspiring celebration of Swamiji’s anniversary. May you feel his love and inner guidance deeply within.
Your brother and sister in God,
Jyotish and Devi