Amazing grace is about the beauty of our oneness with each other as depicted in this photo that justice knows no bounds.
A Touch of Light

Amazing Grace

The violent storm that had struck off the coast of Donegal, Ireland, in 1748 was threatening to take down Captain John Newton’s ship, the Greyhound. Newton was not a religious man, and moreover he was a slave trader: The cargo hold was filled with Africans who had been captured and were now chained in horrific conditions. As the high waves … Read More

Taking charge of your life is like this blossoming lotus flower in bloom representing the spiritual aspirant
A Touch of Light

Taking Charge of Your life

As many of you know, Devi and I are working with a team of architects and designers in India to create a museum based on Paramhansa Yogananda’s explanation of the Bhagavad Gita. It will be quite different from the usual museum, where a visitor simply observes the exhibits or art works, but leaves in the end not much different than … Read More

A Touch of Light

A Light in Dark Times

“All I want to convert you to is who and what you really are.” Swami Kriyananda often said this to newcomers attending his classes. He was not trying to persuade people to leave their chosen religion, nor necessarily to convert them to Yoganandaji’s path and teachings. Rather, he wanted to convey to everyone that all the joy, fulfillment, strength, and … Read More

Swami Kriyananda tribute with Nayaswami Jyotish his spiritual successor
A Touch of Light

Tribute to Kriyananda

“I think you and I have been brothers in a past life,” Swami Kriyananda once remarked to me. Indeed, from the day I met him, I always felt a deep spiritual connection with Swamiji. Some years ago, while he was still alive, I wrote this “Tribute to Kriyananda,” and since May 19 is his birthday, I thought you might enjoy … Read More

reflection of swan in lake as the reflection of ourselves in mirror on spiritual journey
A Touch of Light

Three Mirrors

“That’s not what I look like!” our friend objected during a self-help session she was attending. This friend (let’s call her Tara) related to us how each member of the group had been asked to look in a full-length mirror and describe how they saw themselves. “Fat and unattractive,” was what Tara said as she gazed at her image. In … Read More

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Controlling the Uncontrollable

A friend from India wrote, “In our lives we are so used to solving our problems. Then one fine day we are confronted with a problem that we really can’t do anything about. . . . At such times all we can do is pray and leave it to God. But ‘Leave it to God’ somehow makes us feel helpless. How can we turn … Read More

A Touch of Light

From Lockdown to Lift-Off

“How are you coping with the lockdown restrictions?” This is a common question these days. Many of us are faced with things like isolation, changes in daily routines, inability to get food and supplies, loss of income, and confinement at home. Any or all of these can take their toll. Yet we needn’t feel as if we’re being punished by … Read More

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Opportunity in Adversity

A Tale of Two Cities, by Charles Dickens, starts with these immortal lines: “It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness.” These words ring as true today as they did in the time of the French Revolution. Times of adversity push people toward the … Read More

The transformational power of the teachings of Christ and Yogananda.
A Touch of Light

A Season of Change

A friend of mine recently told me about a big turning point in her life. She’d been going through a period of discouragement over some deep-seated self-critical attitudes. Finally she ended up crying for days, feeling that she was hopeless, and helpless to change. Then the phone rang. Forcing herself to answer, my friend heard the voice of an acquaintance … Read More

A Touch of Light

Good Advice

I was the General Manager of Ananda Village for many years during its early days. Sometimes, as you can imagine, I felt overwhelmed by all of the problems and challenges we faced, and would go to Swami Kriyananda for advice and solace. Often he would tell me, “Don’t think overmuch about the problems, but keep your focus on finding solutions.” … Read More

Kanchenjunga mountains of India
A Touch of Light

Seeing Kanchenjunga

In 1996 Jyotish and I had one of the most inspiring experiences of our life: Swami Kriyananda asked us and two other friends to join him on a trip to India. This was long before Ananda had established centers there, so our journey was for personal inspiration and some relaxation as well. Our first stop was Darjeeling, a small, quaint … Read More

Be a warrior for the light, light the world campaign of Ananda Worldwide Yogananda logo
A Touch of Light

Be a Warrior for the Light

These are difficult, even unprecedented, times for the world. The spreading coronavirus, as well as the ripples of economic and social disruption, have sent shock waves throughout the whole planet. As spiritual seekers, and especially those who are followers of Paramhansa Yogananda, there are several things we can do to protect ourselves and our families, and, more importantly, to help … Read More

How to embrace your fears by turning to the divine presence all around us
A Touch of Light

Embrace Your Fears

Me? Live in a tepee? In the early years of Ananda Village, before we had the resources to build houses, we looked to the Native American culture for solutions in creating homes. Someone found a book about how to make Sioux tepees, and seeing this as both doable and within our limited price range, we didn’t look back. Off we … Read More

Nayaswami Jyotish in 1971, the early days of Ananda Village.
A Touch of Light

My First Day

I went to work for Swami Kriyananda in 1968, and my first day was an absolute disaster! But, like many disasters, it makes for a good lesson and a good story. I had been helping Swami with small tasks at his evening classes as a volunteer for many months. Then he asked me to quit my job as a social … Read More

Jairam or Joe Hunt who is fighting for freedom from prison with Nayaswamis Jyotish and Devi
A Touch of Light

Who Is the Prisoner?

He was just twenty-four years old when he was found guilty of a crime he didn’t commit. He was sentenced to life in prison without parole, and thirty-six years have passed since then. Though he’s appealed his sentence many times, this innocent man has spent his entire adult life behind bars. His name is Joe Hunt, but we call him … Read More

Painting by Nayaswami Jyotish If You Call Me
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Relax and Accept

Wisdom often comes from an unusual source. I recently read an interview with a Hollywood stuntman. When asked what was the most dangerous stunt in his long career, he replied that it was getting hit by a car traveling at thirty miles per hour. He went on to say that first, you have to be tall enough for your hips … Read More

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Weathering the Storm

How do seabirds survive the impact of a violent hurricane? Recently a friend sent me an interesting article about this. The birds use a simple technique: they fly in the same direction as the winds, which spiral inward toward the center of the hurricane. In this way, they are drawn into the calm eye of the storm where the winds … Read More

How to dissolve the ego
A Touch of Light

Dissolving the Ego

Swami Kriyananda urged members of Ananda to strive for liberation in this lifetime. One morning Devi and I were eating breakfast with him in his home in India, and the conversation turned to the question of liberation. We said, “Why is it so hard to find God? It seems to be a daunting task, and we don’t feel like we’re … Read More

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Enjoy Your Self

Swami Kriyananda was a man of deep spiritual realization, and he also had a delightful sense of humor. His laughter helped us to understand that if God is joy, then the spiritual path should be fun, too. One of Swamiji’s favorite writers was the British humorist P. G. Wodehouse. Much to our delight, he loved to entertain his friends by … Read More

The Nadi reader in Bangalore, India. The photo in the upper left corner is his father who trained him in giving readings.
A Touch of Light

Guru Seva

In 2013, about six months after Swami Kriyananda’s passing, Devi and I visited a “Nadi reader” in Bangalore, India. These readings, written thousands of years ago by an ancient lineage of seers and astrologers, give detailed information and advice regarding people yet to be born. A specially trained pundit casts a chart from your birthdate and looks for a page … Read More