spiritual painting on taking it one step at a time and starting at strong point
A Touch of Light

A Step at a Time

Why does it take so long, we wonder? It is common to experience a sense of frustration with our spiritual efforts. When progress seems to take forever, our very impatience can become an obstacle. We need to respect the way nature works and take things a step at a time. A good friend, Sagar, shared this story from ancient India. … Read More

swami kriyananda quotes attunement is harmony on yogananda teachings
A Touch of Light

Dynamic Harmony

Recently we had a wonderful satsang with Nayaswamis Devarshi and Dhyana, who shared many inspiring stories about the work in Ananda India. Devarshi is the head of a small but growing monastery near Chandigarh in northern India. In talking about what’s making their life together so uplifting, he spoke of their “dynamic harmony”: a shared spirit of joy, service, and … Read More

A Touch of Light

Levity

A friend who is an architect and engineer made an amusing comment about Ananda that has always stayed with me. He said, “We engineers study the effects of gravity. We need to know how to keep structures from collapsing. But at Ananda it is the opposite: You study the effects of levity.” Levity, in this sense, is far different from … Read More

samadhi poem yogananda a tiny bubble of laughter i am become the sea of mirth itself
A Touch of Light

Are You Making Spiritual Progress?

There’s a story of a young disciple who came to his guru’s forest ashram for training. The guru blessed him and asked him to begin collecting firewood for the ashram’s stoves. Willingly he carried out this task, and as the days, months, and then years passed, he continued to serve humbly in this way. One day as he was returning … Read More

lahiri mahasaya yogananda kriya yoga teachings
A Touch of Light

Learn to Squint

Squinting is an invaluable technique used by artists, and something we can apply in our own lives too. For artists, it’s simple to do: you just periodically look at your work with your eyes partially closed. Here is what a very fine artist, Robert Genn, has to say about the subject: “Looking at work with half-closed eyes has several benefits. … Read More

tulips crystal hermitage world class gardens grass valley california amazing tulips
A Touch of Light

A Resurrection of Tulips

I’ve always enjoyed the beauty and poetry of words. There’s a certain category that I find especially delightful: the terms for gatherings in nature. Expressions like “a flamboyance of flamingoes,” “a murmuring of magpies,” or my favorite, “an exaltation of skylarks,” all hint at the glory of God’s creation. Well, I’d like to create one of my own now: a … Read More

feeling overwhelmed tips for not being stressed yogananda teachings out of the mist painting by jyotish
A Touch of Light

Feeling Overwhelmed?

Many friends have told us lately that they are feeling stressed and overwhelmed. They aren’t alone. Some surveys peg the increase of anxiety in the general population at more than 25%. This is, of course, not a new problem. Paramhansa Yogananda addressed it in a 1927 article, “Nervousness: The World’s Disease.” Master identified the main causes of nervousness as 1) … Read More

how to face the global challenges of this world with faith using yogananda teachings
A Touch of Light

Look for the Skylight

My friend was apprehensive and not a little frightened as she entered the room to begin her first radiation treatment. She’d recently been diagnosed with cancer, but fortunately the doctors had been reassuring—telling her that it was readily treatable, and that she should expect a full recovery. Still, as she and her husband waited for the treatment to begin, not … Read More

The Land Beyond My Dreams is a painting of Yogananda depicting his teachings on a spiritual report card for the final exam
A Touch of Light

A Spiritual Report Card

Divine Mother is a master magician. There is a trick that all magicians use: The obvious hides the hidden. A big movement attracts our attention while the real magic is happening behind the scenes. God hides His presence, entertaining us with the beauties and terrors of this world. He gives us challenges, but we rarely understand that the real test … Read More

wisdom of yogananda teachings for how to overcome obstacles
A Touch of Light

Rising from the Ashes

Its true origin is unclear. Some say it was from ancient Egypt, others from Greek mythology. But whatever its source, the phoenix—the immortal bird which rises anew from its own ashes—is a powerful symbol for us today. Both literally and figuratively, the world does seem to be crumbling into ashes: literally, as the cities of Ukraine are being destroyed by … Read More

what are the spiritual lessons looking back on life from wise teachers yogananda
A Touch of Light

Looking Ahead by Looking Back

Last evening Devi and I had a satsang with a group of younger members living at Ananda Village and were asked a very interesting question. “If you could have a conversation with yourself at age thirty, what advice would you offer him?” What a fascinating question! Here are a few things I might tell my younger self: Protect, nourish, and … Read More

A Touch of Light

From the One to the Many

The date was March 7, 1952. Paramhansa Yogananda stood to address the large crowd gathered at the Biltmore Hotel in Los Angeles to honor India’s Ambassador to the United States. Swami Kriyananda, who was present at that event, described what happened next in his book, The New Path: “His [Yoganandaji’s] brief talk was so sweet, so almost tender, that I … Read More

prayers for peace and yogananda warning to world about war
A Touch of Light

Prayers for Peace

The world desperately needs our prayers and goodwill at this time. The extraordinary events taking place in the Ukraine and Russia, as well as around the world, are sending out waves of dark, disturbed energy. Each of us must do what we can to counterbalance this darkness with light. Paramhansa Yogananda gave a strong warning to the world in 1939, … Read More

yogananda teachings on how to be happy with brining good memories to mind seen with devotee of ananda palo alto with joy welcoming bright future
A Touch of Light

Choose Your Memories

When I was a young child, I would occasionally wake up crying in the middle of the night from a bad dream. Fortunately, I had a wise, loving mother who would come and sit by my bed to comfort me. Her advice on such occasions was always the same: She didn’t ask about the scary dream, but would say, “Let’s … Read More

yogananda teachings on discipleship with swami kriyananda
A Touch of Light

Challenges and Solutions for Our Times

We are just finishing our annual winter program, Inner Renewal Week. During this event we try to make our classes deeper than usual and tailor them to more serious truth seekers. The theme for this year has been Challenges and Solutions for Our Times. A central focus has been that only through changes in consciousness can permanent transformation take place. … Read More

yogananda teachings on a life lived for god and renunciation
A Touch of Light

A Life in God

As a child, I hadn’t the slightest thought that I would live my life for God, but that proved to be my destiny. For some people this concept of living for God might seem intimidating, or grim, or filled with dour self-sacrifice and denial. But it’s quite the contrary. From my own experience and that of hundreds of others I … Read More

anandi tribute passing away nayaswami anandi of ananda village
A Touch of Light

What Goes, What Stays

In the last two months we have seen two great souls depart this world. Nayaswami Seva passed away on November 14, and we just held an Astral Ascension Ceremony for Nayaswami Anandi, who passed away five days ago. Anandi had been a member of Ananda and our dear friend for more than fifty years. The talk given at the ceremony … Read More

how to create more time in life when you feel time is always running out with nayaswami devi on seclusion at crystal hermitage
A Touch of Light

Out of Time

In last week’s blog, Jyotish talked about some of the insights he received during his seclusion. Today I’d like to share with you also some that came to me during this time (or more accurately this “time out.”) As soon as I closed the door and entered the Crystal Hermitage Guest House, where I spent my seclusion, I was filled … Read More

seclusion is the price of greatness quote paramhansa yogananda painting by nayaswami jyotish
A Touch of Light

Seclusion

Last week Devi and I spent a period apart and in seclusion, the first time in several years that I had had a chance to be totally alone with God as my sole focus. It was wonderful! My heart began to soar as even a few days of seclusion helped me realign my habits with my lifelong priorities. The world … Read More

set your mind to accomplish your goals yogananda teachings
A Touch of Light

Miracle of Miracles

After years of failed attempts to manifest my New Year’s resolutions (ever happen to you?), I finally hit upon an approach that really does seem to work. When I shared this new strategy with friends at a recent satsang at Ananda Village, some of them asked me afterwards, “Could you write a blog about this so we can better remember … Read More