yogananda teachings on kindness and how to live
A Touch of Light

Where the Answers Live

Have you ever lost something and searched for it everywhere? Of course you have! So have we all. You may hunt here and there, but finally a moment comes when you realize, “I’ve been looking in the wrong place.” Unfortunately, we look in the wrong place not only for things but, more importantly, for the answers to our deepest questions. … Read More

jyotish art full fall yogananda paintings and teachings
A Touch of Light

The Saint and the Scorpion

There is a story about a saint who was peacefully meditating under a tree along the banks of the Ganges. At a certain point he heard a rustling overhead and opened his eyes to see a large scorpion moving along a branch overhanging the river. When the creature reached the end of the branch, it fell into the water below. … Read More

near death experiences yogananda karma and reincarnation
A Touch of Light

Near-Death Experiences

In recent years there have been many books and videos by people who have had near-death experiences. In fact, about one in five people who return from a clinical death (often on an operating table) have had a profound, even life-changing experience. Paramhansa Yogananda has explained the process of dying: “When the heart begins to grow numb, there is a … Read More

A Touch of Light

There Is No Bad Karma

The old woman lay in bed critically ill and in great pain. For her daughter, who was providing loving care, seeing her mother’s physical suffering was hard to bear. Even more difficult, though, was seeing her mental anguish. She kept repeating: “I must have very bad karma to be in such pain. God must be very displeased with me.” Seeking … Read More

phoenix painting of transformation by kalamali joy be well solutions
A Touch of Light

See No Evil

See no evil, hear no evil, speak no evil. Most of us have seen the image of three monkeys, one covering his eyes, the next closing his ears, and the third one with his hands over his mouth. This ancient teaching suggests a wisdom that can really improve our lives if we put it into practice. Paramhansa Yogananda guided the … Read More

bubble make me the sea yogananda chant and teachings of yoga samadhi
A Touch of Light

When the Bubble Bursts

I’ve always enjoyed the pastime of blowing bubbles. Whether doing it as a child, or as an adult watching children delighting in it, the sight of iridescent bubbles floating through the air has never ceased to thrill me. I even had a friend who could blow different-colored ones on request: By some secret technique, pink, blue, or yellow bubbles would … Read More

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