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

yogananda teachings on discipleship with swami kriyananda
A Touch of Light

Challenges and Solutions for Our Times

We are just finishing our annual winter program, Inner Renewal Week. During this event we try to make our classes deeper than usual and tailor them to more serious truth seekers. The theme for this year has been Challenges and Solutions for Our Times. A central focus has been that only through changes in consciousness can permanent transformation take place. … Read More

yogananda teachings on a life lived for god and renunciation
A Touch of Light

A Life in God

As a child, I hadn’t the slightest thought that I would live my life for God, but that proved to be my destiny. For some people this concept of living for God might seem intimidating, or grim, or filled with dour self-sacrifice and denial. But it’s quite the contrary. From my own experience and that of hundreds of others I … Read More

anandi tribute passing away nayaswami anandi of ananda village
A Touch of Light

What Goes, What Stays

In the last two months we have seen two great souls depart this world. Nayaswami Seva passed away on November 14, and we just held an Astral Ascension Ceremony for Nayaswami Anandi, who passed away five days ago. Anandi had been a member of Ananda and our dear friend for more than fifty years. The talk given at the ceremony … Read More

how to create more time in life when you feel time is always running out with nayaswami devi on seclusion at crystal hermitage
A Touch of Light

Out of Time

In last week’s blog, Jyotish talked about some of the insights he received during his seclusion. Today I’d like to share with you also some that came to me during this time (or more accurately this “time out.”) As soon as I closed the door and entered the Crystal Hermitage Guest House, where I spent my seclusion, I was filled … Read More

seclusion is the price of greatness quote paramhansa yogananda painting by nayaswami jyotish
A Touch of Light


Last week Devi and I spent a period apart and in seclusion, the first time in several years that I had had a chance to be totally alone with God as my sole focus. It was wonderful! My heart began to soar as even a few days of seclusion helped me realign my habits with my lifelong priorities. The world … Read More

set your mind to accomplish your goals yogananda teachings
A Touch of Light

Miracle of Miracles

After years of failed attempts to manifest my New Year’s resolutions (ever happen to you?), I finally hit upon an approach that really does seem to work. When I shared this new strategy with friends at a recent satsang at Ananda Village, some of them asked me afterwards, “Could you write a blog about this so we can better remember … Read More

gods boatman yogananda painting by jyotish art
A Touch of Light


2022! We made it through 2021 and can look toward a new and (let’s hope) better year. Now is a good time to review our goals and priorities for the year ahead. Swami Kriyananda often told us this story: A very sincere devotee of God made a vow. “If ever You call me, Lord, I will drop everything and come … Read More

A Touch of Light

My Soul Is Marching On

In many of his past lives Paramhansa Yogananda had been a great warrior and spiritual leader of humanity. He told his disciples that he had been William the Conqueror, who stormed the beach at Hastings, England, in 1066 to establish one of the oldest continuous governments in history.  In another former life, he indicated, he was King Ferdinand III of … Read More

A Touch of Light

Three Visitors

The tiny newborn had been crying for so long that Mary feared he was ill. Yet when she placed her hand on his forehead, she felt no fever. A comforting thought flashed into her mind: “He is just frustrated: He has much to say and share, but his little tongue won’t yet obey his commands.” So, despite his continued crying, … Read More

where two or more are gathered in my name there i am in the midst of them yogananda christmas quotes
A Touch of Light

Where Two or More Are Gathered Together

Ah, Christmas: the season of social gatherings, gift giving, wonderful food, glittering decorations, hustle and bustle . . . and yet it is so much more than any of these things. Paramhansa Yogananda said that at this time of year the Christ consciousness is especially close to earth, and more accessible to those who reach for it. And he gave a mystical … Read More

supernova nasa for self realization samadhi steps of paramhansa yogananda
A Touch of Light

Unconditional Love

We recently honored, with a celebratory satsang, the 75th anniversary of the publication of Paramhansa Yogananda’s Autobiography of a Yogi. I was asked to speak about one of my favorite chapters in that amazing book, “An Experience in Cosmic Consciousness.” For me, as for so many others I have met, the Autobiography changed my life. I had been searching my … Read More

yogananda public lecture Minneapolis author of autobiography of a yogi
A Touch of Light

A World Without Autobiography of a Yogi

We did an interview recently with our good friend, Phil Goldberg, author of The Life of Yogananda: The Story of the Yogi Who Became the First Modern Guru. The interview was in honor of the seventy-fifth anniversary of the first publication of Autobiography of a Yogi in December 1946. During the interview Phil raised an interesting question: “What would the … Read More

unity in the diverse garden at crystal hermitage
A Touch of Light

Diversity and Unity

There is a yearning in our hearts for a better world than the one we see around us. This longing burns especially brightly when daily headlines are filled with such negativity, division, and anger. When I was in college I wrote an essay about a Utopian world where suddenly everyone was able to communicate telepathically. After a period of turbulence, … Read More

seva and swami kriyananda
A Touch of Light

The Nightingale

This past week has been a time of introspection for us. Nayaswami Seva, our dear friend of more than fifty years and one of Ananda’s founding members, passed away suddenly last Sunday of a heart attack. Though eighty-six years old, she was in good health and was still serving dynamically throughout the community. Shortly after arriving at Ananda in 1970, … Read More

yogananda mountaints in spiringtime painting by jyotish in karmic seeds blog shenandoah
A Touch of Light

Karmic Seeds

Devi and I were giving a series of programs at our community and temple in Palo Alto, California, a few days ago. As all the events of the weekend were winding down something very touching took place. In a conspiratorial and somewhat excited manner, they led us to two chairs set in front of a small choir in their courtyard. … Read More