A Touch of Light

How We Pray

This is a story about Mullah Nasreddin, one of innumerable tales about the mischievous Sufi mystic of thirteenth-century Turkey. Nasreddin never visited the mosque nor did he ever seem to pray, which greatly upset the people of his community. Although he was loved and admired for his wisdom, the elders were no longer able to tolerate his irreverent behavior, so … Read More

A Touch of Light

The Currents of the Ganges

The early morning light cast shimmering shades of turquoise and crystalline blue on the rushing river and floating mists. Even at the usually quiet time of dawn, you could hear the pulsating, all-pervasive roar of AUM as the water’s ceaseless energy moved past us. The Ganges north of Rishikesh is one of the most spectacular and spiritually powerful sights we’ve … Read More

A Touch of Light, Spiritualizing Daily Life

Working for God

Our time now in India is fast drawing to a close. This morning during our daily walk, Devi asked me, “What is your main takeaway from this trip?” Without hesitation I replied, “It is the sense that we haven’t been doing anything. God is doing it all.” We have been travelling since mid-August and, by the time we return to … Read More


Last News Update from India 2019

Dear Friends,   This will be the last update we send from India during this trip. On Friday, Nov. 22, we fly back to the US after three and a half months on the road in Italy and India.   First, we want to thank so many of you who have been praying for us daily — we’re very aware how much … Read More

A Touch of Light

Glimpsing the Red-Billed Blue Magpie

We were walking quietly along a forest path in the foothills of the Himalayas, when suddenly a flutter of wings and movement in the trees overhead caught my attention. There it was, what I had been hoping to see . . . the red-billed blue magpie. For the past several years during our time in India, we’ve taken a period of seclusion … Read More

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

A Touch of Light

Penniless in Brindaban

One of the most memorable chapters in Autobiography of a Yogi is “Two Penniless Boys in Brindaban,” in which Yoganandaji puts his faith in God to the test. If you remember, young Yogananda and his friend and fellow seeker, Jitendra, stop to visit the Master’s skeptical elder brother, Ananta, at his home in Agra. Trying to undermine his younger brother’s … Read More


News Update from India with Story of Recent Spiritual Journey

Dear Friends, It’s always a joy to share with you our adventures as we travel. In many ways, this trip has been different from other times in India, in that we’ve done less traveling and teaching in Ananda centers here, but it has been equally rewarding. Our main focus for the first six weeks has been developing the “Living the … 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

The Sharing Nature Activity called "Camera" is part of the Living the Gita course of Yogananda Institute.
A Touch of Light

Don’t Be Formal with God

The group of thirty people broke up into pairs, laughing as they began to play “Camera,” one of Joseph Bharat Cornell’s Sharing Nature games. It was the last afternoon of a three-day course we’re developing, “Living the Gita,” which will be the basis for the new Yogananda Institute to be established in Delhi. After two and a half days of … 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

Friends together from all over India at the Ananda India Leaders Retreat

Letter from India – Leaders Retreat and Paramhansa Yogananda Charitable Trust

Dear Friends, There’s a lot of wonderful news to share with you since our last letter. We’ve rarely had a more intense, exciting, demanding, and expansive time in our lives! After we finished the first “Living the Gita” course Sept. 20 – 22, we began a week of various meetings with Ananda leaders here. The highlight of these was a two-day Center … Read More

Rainbow sign of gods omnipresence that he is always with us.
A Touch of Light

We Need Reminders

There’s a story about a guru who made a strange request of three of his disciples. “I will give each of you a banana. I want you to find a place where no one is watching, and then eat your banana. Come back to me as soon as you have completed your task.” The first man quickly left the ashram … Read More

The Essence of the Bhagavad Gita by Swami Kriyananda and Paramhansa Yogananda as first-ever course in India

Letter from Jyotish and Devi for Living the Gita

Dear Friends, We have wonderful news about the launch of the “Living the Gita” course this past weekend in Gurgaon. A powerful new vehicle has been created that offers to non-devotees the “why’s” and “how’s” of changing our consciousness and finding happiness. All the content is drawn from Master’s techniques and teachings, especially from The Essence of the Bhagavad Gita. … 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

Jyotish Novak Artwork: Prints, Canvas, Cards, and Magnets available www.JyotishandDevi.org/jyotish-paintings
A Touch of Light

Achieving Our Goals

We arrived in Delhi, India, a few days ago and have been simultaneously getting over jetlag, settling into a new apartment, and giving energy to an exciting project that Ananda is developing here. In case you haven’t heard, a dynamic team is working to create the Yogananda Institute, a learning hub open to people on all levels of spiritual interest … 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

Practice When It’s Easy

We are in Assisi, Italy, now, teaching and enjoying time with our wonderful Ananda family here. Located in the gentle, rolling hills of Umbria, Assisi is the birthplace of St. Francis, one of the most beloved saints of all times. Paramhansa Yogananda too loved St. Francis, calling him his “patron saint.” Master visited Assisi in 1935, on his way to … Read More


Letter from Ananda Europa

Dear Friends, We send our loving thoughts to you all. We’ve been having a wonderful time, with a very full schedule of classes and meetings with different groups and individuals. Ananda Assisi is doing remarkable work here in Europe, especially during these times of political and economic instability. People from all over the continent and from Russia come to receive … Read More

A Touch of Light


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