A Touch of Light

Lesson from the Snow

We have been experiencing historic snowfalls in Northern California. Hard as it is to imagine, some areas near Lake Tahoe have gotten nearly fifty feet of snow so far, with more on the way! Much less has fallen at Ananda Village, but still we’ve gotten more than any time in recent memory. With hills, freezing temperatures, and snowy roads, many … Read More

Sri Yukteswar and his disciple, Paramhansa Yogananda author of Autobiography of a Yogi
A Touch of Light

The Power of Memory

“Many have been My births, O Arjuna, and many also yours. I remember all of Mine, though you remember yours not.” These words from Sri Krishna to his disciple in the Bhagavad Gita show a divine memory of the soul’s eternal nature. Memory, in its highest expression, is much more than remembering what is on a grocery list. It is … Read More

A Touch of Light

Four Ways to Outwit Karma

Karma is one of the fundamental laws of the universe. Basically, it states that every thought, feeling, and action has a consequence. In the Bible, it says, “As you sow, so shall you reap.” Once set in motion, there is normally no way to avoid the karma of past actions. But we can do much to change how severe the … Read More

A Touch of Light

Take That Step!

Driving on a stormy night to an uncertain destination is a daunting experience for all of us. It’s also a perfect analogy for the challenges on our spiritual journey. First, we get in our car and are glad for the moment to be out of the storm. (This is our first step on the path to God, in which we … Read More

yogananda teachings on living in the light
A Touch of Light

Living in the Light

It is good to celebrate noteworthy events, and this is one of those milestones. You are reading blog number five hundred! Writing five hundred in a row hasn’t always been easy or convenient, but sharing a Touch of Light has been one of the greatest blessings of our lives. This week also marks another long-standing tradition. We are just finishing … Read More

A Touch of Light

A Curious Tail

As I walked along a forest path at Ananda’s Meditation Retreat one morning, I observed an unusual drama unfold before me. Crouched a few yards ahead was Lottie, a fluffy little gray cat who kept the Retreat’s kitchen free from mice. Her gaze was concentrated on something in front of her, and by her intense crouching pose, I could tell … Read More

how to bring the peace of meditation into your daily yosemite painting with yogananda by jyotish
A Touch of Light

During the Day

We are often asked, “How can I keep the peace and joy I feel in meditation during the demands and distractions of daily activity?” This is, in fact, one of life’s ever-present tests. Another way of phrasing this question is, “How can I keep my energy flowing in a positive direction, in tune with my higher aspirations, so that the … Read More

meditation solutions for tension
A Touch of Light

In Joy I Live

Anyone who has tried to have a regular practice of meditation knows that it’s no easy thing. Creating time in the midst of daily demands, leaving behind worries and preoccupations, summoning up enthusiasm every day: All of these and more are challenges we all face. What I’d like to do is to walk you through a three-step process that may … Read More

jyotish and his son in early years of ananda village
A Touch of Light

An Approach for Every Challenge

Many readers will know that Ananda Village was mostly destroyed by a huge forest fire in 1976. Devi and I were new parents with an eleven-day-old infant when the flames devoured our home, our clothes, and virtually all our possessions. In meditation this morning I was remembering that day and contemplating some of the cherished lessons I learned. It was … Read More

what is our true value answered by paramhansa yogananda, stop comparing yourself to others and instead compare to your own growth
A Touch of Light

Our True Value

In the first few years after Swami Kriyananda started Ananda, a number of swamis from India visited us. Most of them were not well known and were traveling alone without any entourage, but they brought with them the authentic spirituality of India. Perhaps it was Yoganandaji’s way of helping to imbue our lives, and Ananda’s work for the future, with … Read More

A Touch of Light

Let Intuition Be Your Guide

I’ve come across some amazing and amusing examples of advanced souls being guided by intuition. These stories are from a book of letters from Paramhansa Yogananda to his second-most-advanced disciple, Yogacharya Oliver Black, My Dear Oliver. Here is the story of how Yogacharya met his guru: Master said he was in Washington, D.C., and he was on his way back … Read More

Making Permanent Gains Yogananda New Years quotes by Jyotish and Devi upon arrival in Bangalore flowers and rose petals welcome
A Touch of Light

Making Permanent Gains

As we enter the new year, it’s traditional to use this juncture as an opportunity to make resolutions about how we’d like to improve our life. It’s a little discouraging, however, to think back on previous New Year’s resolutions and realize that we’d resolved to change the same things in years past without any discernible results. How much exercise equipment … Read More

true meaning of christmas yogananda teachings following the stars three wise men painting
A Touch of Light

Christmas and Courage

Courage is an essential quality, needed for success in both everyday life and spiritual growth. Fortunately, courage is an innate quality of the soul. We cannot avoid the challenges that come to us, because they are drawn by our own karma and the soul’s longing to be free. Paramhansa Yogananda says it this way: “Every day is a fresh opportunity … Read More

yoga of jesus christ yogananda teachings altar of self realization true meaning of christmas
A Touch of Light

Freedom in Forgiveness

What is true freedom? Some would say, “It’s the ability to do whatever you want whenever you want.” That’s certainly a kind of freedom, but it’s one which ultimately leads to bondage. Living in that way, we become controlled by our desires. There is another, more enduring, type of freedom. It comes through self-discipline, calming our mind, controlling our reactions … Read More

stories of swami kriyananda and service to paramhansa yogananda
A Touch of Light

Discontent to Some Extent

During a recent talk in Bangalore, India, I said that most people are “discontent to some extent.” Devi liked the catchy phrase so much that she even wryly suggested we should print it on T-shirts. Personally, I think that’s going too far, but it does make a good topic for a blog. Poetically speaking, God sings the universe into existence … Read More

yogananda teachings devi giving a hug at ananda banglaore retreat
A Touch of Light

The Message in a Strange Encounter

The winter’s night was very cold and windy, and I huddled by the little stove in my camper reading the Bible by the light of a kerosene lamp. In the early years of Ananda our dwellings were simple—without electricity, running water, phones, or any way to communicate with others. But we were more than happy to live in whatever was … Read More

yogananda community india of like minded gurubhais with jyotish and devi
A Touch of Light

A Letter to God

Dear God, This has been a particularly eventful year, and it seems fitting that I should write You a note of gratitude. My heart is very full, and words seem insufficient. I know that You don’t need my words of thanks any more than the sun needs to be praised for sending forth its rays, but for my own sake … Read More

ananda assisi terra de luce community yogananda
A Touch of Light

A Global Circle of Love

This is a special moment in time for Jyotish and me. Yesterday we had our last public satsang in Mumbai after nearly four months of traveling, teaching, and sharing love with friends in Assisi and India. By the time you read this, we will be returning to Ananda Village. In many ways, this trip has been life-changing. Seeing the waves … Read More

sri yukteswar yogananda guru autobiography of a yogi best picture of yukteswar
A Touch of Light

Behind the Stern Façade

We recently heard a remarkable story about Sri Yukteswar. Many devotees have a little difficulty relating to him, since he seems a bit forbidding. Perhaps it is because in Autobiography of a Yogi, Paramhansa Yogananda writes about him in his role as both teacher and disciplinarian, a job he took very seriously, especially knowing that he was preparing Master for … Read More

yogananda teachings yogananda kriya how to meditate and stand unshaken quote
A Touch of Light

Bring Me a Mustard Seed

The woman sobbed inconsolably as she pressed the body of her dead child to her bosom. A sympathetic neighbor, on seeing her so overwhelmed with grief, said, “A saint has come to visit our village. Perhaps he can perform a miracle and bring your child back to life.” Gathering the body of her child in her arms, the woman rushed … Read More