A Touch of Light

Three Questions

What is working? What isn’t working? What if? A delightful painting instructor uses these three questions as part of his artistic process. When he is making a sketch for a new painting, he looks at his first attempt and keeps those things that are working, changes those that aren’t, and asks “What if I did this instead?” He repeats the … Read More

yogananda teachings on how to be happy all the time
A Touch of Light

I Can Choose

In 1937 Yogananda wrote to his most advanced disciple, Rajarshi Janakananda, “I used to come home, my hair saturated with smoke and my eyes burning after luncheon talks. I felt even suffocated. One day I made up my mind, Divine Spirit was smoke and light, and I was never bothered since. Mind is everything, whichever way you train it.” Mind … Read More

ashok baba disciple anandamayi ma with yogananda devotees
A Touch of Light

Faith, Attunement, and Courage

We just received news that a friend in India, Ashok Baba Kulkarni, is close to leaving his body. We’ve considered him a friend and an inspiration even though we met him and his wife, Daya, only a few times. On every occasion, he would regale us with stories of his time with his guru, Ananda Moyi Ma. Ashok Baba didn’t … Read More

yogananda teachings whispers from eternity the hidden language of god and in all creatures like horse whispering
A Touch of Light

God’s Hidden Language

One of the most thrilling episodes in Paramhansa Yogananda’s Autobiography of a Yogi is when Sri Yukteswar, after his death, materializes in front of Yogananda. Yogananda writes, “For the first time in my life I did not kneel at his feet in greeting but instantly advanced to gather him hungrily in my arms.” Then a little later, “My mind was … Read More

how to do a short meditation intensely when there isnt time
A Touch of Light

When Time Is Short

We sometimes find ourselves in a situation in which we simply don’t have as long for our meditation as we would like. When this happens, the solution is not to skip our practice, but to do a shorter sadhana with greater intensity. In a short meditation it is especially important to make an effort to concentrate deeply. This principle of … Read More

how to allow grace to come through energy flow
A Touch of Light

Energy Flow Is the Key

I’d like to share an illustrative little story someone sent us: A young man who was receiving training from his guru was going about his duties, and the guru noticed he seemed a little depressed. The guru asked, “My boy, why are you so sad?” And the young man replied, “Sir, I love hearing you speak about the Bhagavad Gita. … Read More

swami kriyananda quotes about him from jyotish
A Touch of Light

Thank You, Swamiji

Swami Kriyananda was the sculptor who chiseled my heart and soul. My life has been transformed by trying to live according to his example. His birthday is May 19, and it seems fitting, as a kind of birthday present, to thank him for some of the ways he changed me and countless others. Divine Friendship. Swamiji usually signed his letters, … Read More

ashram karma yoga program spiritual community ananda village
A Touch of Light

Young Bodies, Old Souls

We had a lovely dinner on the lawn with a group of friends last week, the first in more than a year. As the conversation deepened over the evening, we asked each person to talk about what they were working on inwardly. Their answers probably resonate with you too: “I’m working on staying in the moment.” Another, “I’m working on … Read More

A Touch of Light

Relax and Feel

One of the most difficult concepts for most people to grasp is that we don’t so much achieve Self-realization as we relax into it. We are constantly bombarded with the message that success depends upon making a strenuous effort. While this is often true for worldly success, it is the opposite for spiritual attainment. One time Swami Kriyananda, a little … Read More

A Touch of Light

Thy Will Be Done

Today is the anniversary of the crucifixion of Jesus, one of the three central events in Christianity. Anyone who grew up as a Christian is intimately familiar with the image of Christ dying on the cross. Easter, of course, represents the resurrection and the triumph of life over death, of spirit over body. There are many aspects to these events, … Read More

A Touch of Light

How to Live “Autobiography of a Yogi”

For our annual Inner Renewal Week starting next week we will focus on various writings of Paramhansa Yogananda and Swami Kriyananda, including Autobiography of a Yogi, Conversations with Yogananda, and The Essence of the Bhagavad Gita. But reading and discussing books is all too often merely an intellectual exercise, even when it is inspiring. We want to take a different … Read More

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

Celebrations

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

Peace

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
A Touch of Light

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