the next wave painting by Nayaswami Jyotish shows the celebratory energy of sharing the light
A Touch of Light


When Swami Kriyananda finished a big project—a major book or series of talks—he would usually gather a small group of friends together and take a short vacation to relax and celebrate. Devi and I were often blessed to accompany him on these celebratory trips. His favorite destination in America was Carmel, California, a picturesque former artist colony on the Pacific … Read More

A Touch of Light

Catching God

Once when I was young, perhaps three or four years old, my uncle was visiting our family. He had a quirky sense of humor that tended toward practical jokes. I was playing outside on a sunny spring morning, when he joined me in the backyard with a saltshaker, and a mischievous look on his face. As happens during spring in … Read More

how to achieve peace and the difference between peace and calmness, seen in these wildflowers outside of ananda assisi temple
A Touch of Light


Devi wrote her last blog on the subject of calmness, saying, “When you feel a recurring karmic situation moving towards you, make the necessary mental or behavioral adjustments while you are still free to do so. The more you can self-adjust early in the process, the less power karma will have over you.” This is the proper way to fight … Read More

hope for a better world yogananda teachings jyotish art spring comes
A Touch of Light

Hope for a Better World

We have occasionally written about the devastating forest fire of 1976, which destroyed our home along with most of the other houses at Ananda Village. We awoke that morning to a normal day with its usual routine, but within a few chaotic hours we had lost our home, our possessions, and our security. How can we look back through the … Read More

paramhansa yogananda is the avatar of love, wisdom, and joy author of autobiography of a yogi
A Touch of Light

In Love and Appreciation

Paramhansa Yogananda’s birthday is January 5. Usually we give people presents on their birthday, but what do you give to someone who has everything? who is everything? No choice is left us but to offer our love and appreciation. This is all we can truly give, and the hidden gift behind all outward symbols. In a spirit of appreciation, then, … Read More

yogananda true meaning of christmas and three wise men
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Coming Full Circle

It is Christmas today. Paramhansa Yogananda suggested that his students celebrate the birth of Jesus with a “Spiritual Christmas” as well as the more common “Social Christmas.” Spiritual Christmas is a day of deep meditation during which we try to draw the presence and blessings of Jesus and achieve the birth of Christ consciousness within. This year, for the first … Read More

A Touch of Light

World Brotherhood

At Ananda Village, we recently celebrated our annual “World Brotherhood Day,” a tradition of nearly forty years, in which individuals offer one day’s wages to help support the spread of Master’s teachings. We hold this event at the beginning of the Christmas season as a reminder that our first gift of the holidays should be offered to God to help … Read More

thanksgiving message yogananda teachings
A Touch of Light

Thank You

Yesterday was Thanksgiving Day, perhaps my favorite national holiday. While other holidays celebrate a person or an event, Thanksgiving celebrates an attitude. This year at Ananda Village the COVID virus is forcing us to be separated from others. In normal times we would have had a big, joyous Thanksgiving gathering and feast—but not this year. Instead, we shared meals together … Read More

A Touch of Light

Running a Marathon

There are many qualities needed for success, both in daily life and in meditation. But perhaps the most important is perseverance. We can’t succeed unless we stay the course until the end. I’ve just read a very inspiring book that exemplifies this quality. It’s called 26 Marathons, by Meb Keflezighi. Meb, as he is affectionately known, is one of the … Read More

A Touch of Light

Eight Tips from Your Friends

Last night we had a Zoom meeting with the leaders of our various centers in India. Over twenty of us, all long-term devotees, shared valuable tips on what we have been doing to stay inspired during these times of lockdown and turmoil. By the end of the discussion I found myself not only inspired by the variety of ideas people … Read More

A life on our planet movie review david attenborough by jyotish and devi
A Touch of Light

One Life on Earth

I rarely recommend films, but we saw a new one last week that is not only engrossing, but important to the future of humanity. It is called A Life on Our Planet, by David Attenborough, and is available on Netflix. He was born in 1926, less than two weeks before Swami Kriyananda, making him 93 years old. In the film, … Read More

Anandamoyi Ma
A Touch of Light

Seeing Spirit Everywhere

Occasionally, something will grab hold of my mind and won’t let go. Does that happen to you too? A few weeks ago I was watching an Ananda video on YouTube. As internet sites do, they suggest things they think might interest you. In my case, there was a link to the song “Shenandoah.” Perhaps foolishly, I played it, and then … Read More

celebration of paramhansa yogananda 100 years
A Touch of Light

Paramhansa Yogananda — 100 Years

After more than a month and a half at sea, the City of Sparta, the first ship to leave India after World War I, docked in Boston Harbor. On board was a twenty-seven-year-old Indian, Mukunda Lal Ghosh. To the immigration officials who were checking the papers of the passengers that day, he probably looked rather unremarkable: not very tall or … Read More

until we become beings of light
A Touch of Light

Saying Yes

An essential teaching of the spiritual path is, as Swami Kriyananda put it, “Say ‘YES’ to life!” When an opportunity to do something positive comes your way, you will always benefit if you agree. At first, however, Divine Mother may keep the benefit well disguised. Here is an interesting story that I have rarely shared. One time, a year or … Read More

yogananda to his devotees
A Touch of Light

Master’s Reassurance

Last night I had a dream of Paramhansa Yogananda. These are relatively rare for me, and are always spiritually important. I don’t want to relate the whole dream: Blessings are precious, and it is usually best to keep them to yourself. Sharing them usually dilutes their power. But there was a small segment in a longer dream that I feel … Read More

how to deal with low energy and fatigue using diet exercise and yoga
A Touch of Light

Dealing with Low Energy

A number of friends have recently mentioned to us that they’re feeling overwhelmed, and just don’t have the energy to deal with all the demands in their lives. If you are feeling this way it may help to know that you’re not alone—the whole world is stressed and worried. We can’t cure the ills of the world, but there are … Read More

A Touch of Light

How I Paint

The Inspiration Most of my paintings are meditation born. That is, an inspiration will come during meditation or at a time when my mind is quiet. Often it will be an intangible subject such as a quality or a particular color. For instance, this painting is called “Vastness.” The idea came during meditation while I was trying to expand my … Read More

A Touch of Light

Obstacle or Opportunity?

We have just finished one of the most remarkable weeks in the long history of Ananda. Last week we held a worldwide online Spiritual Renewal Week. This event is a tradition at Ananda, going back more that fifty years to the roots of our work. In the early days, Swami Kriyananda led everything: the sadhanas, the classes, the evening entertainment. … Read More

A Touch of Light

Buddha’s Enlightenment

It is said that at the moment a great soul achieves enlightenment a wave of blessing is felt around the world. Here is what happened that day long ago when Gautama meditated under the banyan tree and became the Buddha. The leopardess was well past her prime, but though age had taken some of her strength, it had given her … Read More

how to balance karma how to have more good karma karma of the world
A Touch of Light

The Balance Scales of Karma

This may be the most important period of our life. We are under pressure from multiple sources: a worldwide pandemic, a troubled economy, and now, a global call for sweeping social change. Tests provide opportunities. How we react to these challenges will determine our future karma, certainly for this lifetime, and perhaps for many incarnations to come. Paramhansa Yogananda used … Read More