A Touch of Light

Overcoming Conflict

Here in India we’ve been teaching a course called Living the Gita. Part of our preparation has been to reread the Mahabharata, the long epic of which the Bhagavad Gita forms a part. We’ve been reading a delightful and enlightening version by Devdutt Pattanaik called Jaya, filled with stories from the Mahabharata as well as interesting additional information. At one … Read More

How gratitude and compassion and positivity can change the world for the better
A Touch of Light

A Fast Track to Happiness

A friend sent us a fascinating article on the strong influence that gratitude and positive emotions have on us. They not only affect us personally, but also influence the world around us. As meditators we know how powerful the mind and heart can be, but it is nice to see this also backed up by scientific research, in this case … Read More

Meditation and the breath is a wonderful way to make finding calmness in daily life possible.
A Touch of Light

Finding Calmness in the Midst of Activity

This article by us came out on September 20 in the Times of India, the largest newspaper in the country. Another article we wrote for them a few years ago had more than a hundred thousand views and three hundred comments. It is a wonderful way to reach large numbers of readers. I thought you might enjoy reading this new … Read More

integrated life pyramid for living the gita series of yogananda institute india
A Touch of Light

Do What You Can

I had an insight in meditation a few days ago. I’m sure that these flashes must come to you also when your mind is calm and open. I was trying to deepen my concentration, and failing. This is a common hurdle for all meditators: Even Paramhansa Yogananda’s thoughts were “distributed like leaves in a storm” a few minutes before his … Read More

A Touch of Light

No Longer Earthbound

There was something missing; the life I was living was a cage. Yes, the cage was comfortable — I had a good job, earning both money and respect — but I felt constrained, earthbound. In my spare time I began to climb hills and mountains, gradually conquering the highest peaks. For a time it was satisfying, even thrilling. The vistas I saw were vast, … Read More

A Touch of Light

Blockades

We are at our community in Assisi, Italy, participating in a weeklong course called, “The Way of the Spiritual Warrior.” Devi and I, as well as other speakers, have drawn heavily on Paramhansa Yogananda’s explanations of the deep teachings in the Bhagavad Gita. That scripture is an allegory of the battle between our higher soul-tendencies and our lower, ego-driven worldly … Read More

A Touch of Light

When We Cooperate with Grace

Next week we will be back in Italy, the land of saints. Our Ananda community is near Assisi, made famous by St. Francis, Italy’s most beloved saint. Paramhansa Yogananda spoke of him as a “patron saint” for those, like us, who are seeking union with God. Thirty-five years ago, Devi and I helped establish Ananda’s work in Europe, living for … Read More

A Touch of Light

Many Hands Made a Temple

There were several hundred of us in the opening circle, holding hands and chanting. We had gathered, not only those who live at Ananda Village, but people from all over, to help prepare the Temple of Light for the hundreds who would soon be visiting. This was just the latest of innumerable voluntary workdays that I have attended over the … Read More

interfaith religions celebration at the ananda temple of light
A Touch of Light

The One Light in All Religions

Once in a rare while we are lifted high on the wings of grace. Last week was an extraordinary week filled with laughter, tears, joy, inspiration, friendship, and hope. We celebrated the fiftieth anniversary of Ananda and dedicated our new Temple of Light. For the thousand people attending it felt like we were raised out of the mundane world and … Read More

A Touch of Light

Fifty Years!!!

Next week Ananda will celebrate its fiftieth anniversary. We took possession of the land we now call Ananda Village on July 4, 1969. We have often remarked on the “coincidence” of July 4 also being what is generally considered to be the birthdate of the United States, the day of the signing of the Declaration of Independence. Both were born … Read More

A Touch of Light

Birthdays

After she had blown out the few candles on her cake, Gloria said, “I’m glad they didn’t put all 90 on it. I’m not sure I could have managed that.” We were gathered, over a hundred of Gloria’s friends, at Crystal Hermitage (Swami Kriyananda’s home at Ananda Village) to celebrate her 90th birthday. She has lived at Ananda for nearly … Read More

A Touch of Light

Sharing

Mother Teresa of Calcutta told this very touching story. The sisters from her order were visiting the very poor during a time of famine in Calcutta. To each home they brought some desperately needed food: a bag of rice, some lentils, and a few other bare necessities. As one sister gave the food to a mother of several starving children, … Read More

A Touch of Light

When Worries Howl

In his magnificent poem “God! God! God!,” Paramhansa Yogananda writes these lines: When boisterous storms of trials shriek, And when worries howl at me, I will drown their noises, loudly chanting: God! God! God! Who among us has not had to deal with his share of trials? And when storms of trials arrive, the advance troops are the howling winds … Read More

A Touch of Light

A Spiritual Color Wheel

There are many interesting connections between being an artist and being a spiritual seeker. The other day it struck me that there is a kind of “spiritual” color wheel — I’m given to these musings from time to time. I shared my thoughts with Devi, and she suggested that it might make an interesting blog. So, whether you enjoy this one or … Read More

A Touch of Light

Till Only Love Remains

I had an interesting dream last week. In the beginning a group of us, friends and gurubhais, were strolling in a crowded street with many people milling around. Then, in front of us, there was a commotion, and we saw a military-type vehicle backing up toward us. With all the people around me, I was unable to get out of … Read More

nebula in space for self-realization explanation in quantum physics-mystical, spirituality and science
A Touch of Light

Blissonite

This story popped into my mind spontaneously while we were giving a recent class on the subject of Self-realization. Although it is entirely fictional, it gives us a window into the reality that Paramhansa Yogananda called, “Man’s Eternal Quest.” *                                   *                                 * Dr. Para was born, interestingly, in the first hour of the first day of the twentieth … Read More

A Touch of Light

Warm Handoff

What an amazing dream God has created for us! It is engaging, intense, happy, sad, frustrating, fulfilling, and, above all, mesmerizing. And it is all of these at the same time, all of the time. Our days and weeks are so entrancing that we rarely step back to see a broader perspective. When we do so, we see that there … Read More

A Touch of Light

The Rest of the Story

Have you ever seen a snapshot of a child and wondered what happened to him later in life? Well, then, here is the rest of the story for one young boy. And although it may not be factual, it is true. In fact, it is the rest of the story for all of us. Swami Kriyananda told us the tale … Read More

Serving healthy food at the Expanding Light Retreat, seva, balance diet yogananda cleanse
A Touch of Light

The Balanced Life

This has been a very intense week for Devi and me. We’re in the middle of our annual Inner Renewal Week, and are launching the pilot course that we hope will be a whole new way of sharing Yogananda’s teachings. The daily classes, all new, have needed a lot of thought and preparation. It has been exhilarating and exhausting at … Read More

The Spiritual Path Overview, Krishna from the Bhagavad Gita helping devotees on spiritual journey.
A Touch of Light

The Spiritual Path, an Overview

For the last year we’ve been working on a very important project, The Indira Institute. The purpose of the Institute is to bring the universal teachings of Ananda’s line of masters to a much larger audience. Until now, Ananda has concentrated largely on training and supporting devotees, those who want to find God. Noble though this is, there are many … Read More