A Touch of Light

Simple Steps to Happiness

Paramhansa Yogananda said that everyone in the world is motivated by the same twin desires: “to be happy and avoid pain.” Each of us can take some simple, and yet surprisingly effective strides toward that goal. Even a series of little steps can produce great changes if we apply them consistently. The road to happiness starts by replacing bad habits … Read More

yogananda teachings yogananda kriya yoga spirituality in daily life touch of light blog master portrait
A Touch of Light

Where Do We Find Love?

We heard an amazing story last year when we were visiting the Ananda Community in Assisi. A friend of ours, with whom we were staying, told us that she had a beloved dog who had recently passed away at the age of fifteen. Her heart was still grieving for the loss of her dear friend and companion. One rainy night … Read More

A Touch of Light

What Can We Give?

There is a lovely song based on a poem by Paramhansa Yogananda. The words are: I have nothing to offer Thee, For all things are Thine. I grieve not that I cannot give, For nothing is mine, nothing is mine. Here I lay at Thy feet, O Lord, My limbs, my life, my thoughts, and my speech, For they are … Read More

yogananda world peace and harmony how to pray
A Touch of Light

How to Pray

Paramhansa Yogananda came to the West with a God-ordained mission: to bring teachings and techniques to help people attain higher consciousness. With wisdom and foresight, Master and the others in our line of gurus saw that a time of global upheaval was coming to the world. Out of compassion, Yoganandaji brought twofold gifts to help us deal with the impending … Read More

Photo by Jyotish of the mountain, Nandadevi.
A Touch of Light

Mountains in the Mist

We recently took our annual period of seclusion at a guesthouse on Abbott Mount, nestled in the foothills of the Himalayas. As the crow flies, it is a mere eighty miles from Babaji’s Cave, and it seems as if Babaji still walks these very hills. He feels very close when we are there, especially during our long periods of meditation. … Read More

A Touch of Light

The Power of One

At Prince Siddhartha’s birth, his father, the king of the realm, was told that his son would be either a powerful ruler or a great spiritual leader. Wanting his royal lineage to continue, the king did everything he could to prevent the young prince from seeing the ephemeral nature of life. This, he hoped, would keep him from seeking higher … Read More

yogananda himalayas rishikesh india
A Touch of Light

Show Me Your Friends

An Indian friend of ours recently mentioned a phrase that really caught my attention. While guiding her son through a challenging period she told him, “Show me your friends, and I will show you your future.” This phrase can also serve as a noteworthy reminder for ourselves. At times we can get a little careless about this aspect of life, … Read More

kriyananda yogananda teachings on quote the minutes are more important than the years
A Touch of Light

The Minutes Are More Important Than the Years

The cedar beams framing the large, picture window were old and rough, filled with tiny holes and cracks. As I began to apply a wood stain to seal the beams, I could see that many coats would be needed to make them look finished. Standing high on a scaffold, I dipped my brush in the can of stain and began. … Read More

yogananda playing esraj
A Touch of Light

What Is Essential

When a famous Hollywood actor, Herb Jeffries, met Paramhansa Yogananda for the first time, he asked a question that resonates with many, though few have the courage to voice it: “Religion seems to tell me you shan’t do this, and you must not do that. I’m not interested in what I can’t do. What I want to know is what … Read More

A Touch of Light

Afraid of Flying

San Francisco to Frankfurt . . . Frankfurt to Rome . . . Perugia to Rotterdam . . . Amsterdam to Delhi. This has been our journey since mid-August as we’ve traveled to various Ananda centers in Europe sharing Master’s teachings. (We just arrived in Delhi today.) International travel can be challenging and stressful, but fortunately Jyotish and I handle it fairly well. For some people, … Read More

A Touch of Light

The Trunk and the Branches

About six months after Swami Kriyananda passed from this world, Devi and I had a Nadi reading about our life—past, present, and future. This experience was fascinating on many levels. The pundit who did the reading had only our birth date, time, and place: the standard information needed to cast an astrological chart. Using this, he found in his storage … Read More

A Touch of Light

Walking The New Path

“I want to be your disciple.” Seventy-five years ago, on September 12, 1948, a young man knelt before Paramhansa Yogananda, and with intense yearning spoke these words. It was the beginning of a journey that changed his life, and by extension our life, and the lives of millions of others throughout the world. For the young aspirant was Swami Kriyananda … Read More

swami kriyananda in assisi looking courageous during karma
A Touch of Light

Navigating Life’s Dramas

Life is a journey filled with highs and lows. Sometimes it feels like a roller coaster, bursting with exhilarating peaks and gloomy valleys. At other times, it feels like the repetitive routine of a Ferris wheel that simply turns in endless circles. We will continue to ride the cycle of life from one incarnation to the next until we have … Read More

yogananda teachings on how to overcome tests on the spiritual path yogananda statue ananda village
A Touch of Light

School’s in Session

In most parts of the world, the school year is about to begin. Children are assembling their new backpacks, books, and clothes for the year ahead. New subjects and tests loom on the horizon. It’s an exciting time for children and their parents, though perhaps for different reasons. Here in Assisi we were recently discussing why people on the spiritual … Read More

A Touch of Light

Spiritual Power

We are in Assisi, immersed in a Spiritual Renewal Week with the theme “How to Develop Spiritual Power Against Troubled Times.” There is a common misperception in which people confuse developing spiritual power with spiritual powers, the ability to perform miracles. In today’s class one of the speakers talked about the time when Paramhansa Yogananda visited Therese Neumann, the Bavarian … Read More

A Touch of Light

The Dual Nature of Divine Love

Some years ago Jyotish and I arrived at Ananda’s community near Assisi, Italy, where Swami Kriyananda was then residing. We hadn’t seen him for many months, and were eagerly looking forward to having some relaxed time with him to enjoy the blessings of his company. Much to my disappointment, however, it was evident that Swamiji was very busy with writing … Read More

swami kriyananda painting of the spiritual eye
A Touch of Light

The Inner Light

When Swami Kriyananda gave me the spiritual name, Jyotish, he said that it means “Inner Light.” Seeing light in the forehead during meditation has always been a cornerstone of my practice, which is probably why he chose this name for me. Yogananda explains that one of the hidden teachings of the Bhagavad Gita is that each character, good and bad, … Read More

gods boatman painting and poem yogananda
A Touch of Light

Follow the Breadcrumbs

In The New Path, Swami Kriyananda recounts an amazing story about Señor J. M. Cuaron, one of Yoganandaji’s direct disciples and the SRF center leader in Mexico City: “I was badly in need of a job,” Señor Cuaron told Swamiji, “but for a long time could find no work anywhere. Then one day an excellent offer came from a company … Read More

lessons learned over jyotish 80 years birthday blog 2023
A Touch of Light

Lessons Learned in Eighty Years

I will celebrate my eightieth birthday in less than a month. While my personal inclination would be to let the occasion slip by unnoticed, the precedent set by Swami Kriyananda impels us to honor the event with a celebration. He understood that these occasions are wonderful opportunities to knit our worldwide family together. I thought it appropriate to share a … Read More

meditation group ananda india yogananda teachings meditation quotes
A Touch of Light

Why We Meditate

As a lifelong meditator, I love to hear people’s experiences of how meditation has helped them. Here are a few such stories which, taken together, show a broad spectrum of benefits that meditation can bring. Recently I was talking with a friend, the mother of three children under the age of six, who has begun meditating during the past year. … Read More