September 15, Letter from Italy

Dear Friends, It’s hard to imagine that we’ve been in Italy for nearly a month and that our time here is drawing to a close. The visit has been so filled with rich, uplifting sharing with our friends, as well as many public satsangs for community members and guests. Indra and Benedetta’s wedding was beautiful and joyous, with his father … Read More

A Touch of Light

Spiritual Birth

September 12th is the anniversary of the day in 1948 when Swami Kriyananda first met Paramhansa Yogananda. Those of us who are members of Ananda consider this day as our collective “Spiritual Birthday.” Devi and I are in Italy and will celebrate this sacred occasion by giving a talk to several hundred people at a Yoga Festival in Rome. I … Read More


Swami Kriyananda's Discipleship Anniversary ~ September 12

Swami Kriyananda became a disciple of Paramhansa Yogananda on September 12, 1948. Here is a special anniversary message from Nayaswami Jyotish and Nayaswami Devi honoring Swamiji’s Spiritual Birthday: Swami Kriyananda Meets his Guru:  Excerpt from The New Path, Chapter 16: The Pilgrim Meets His Guide: Gazing at me now with deep love, he said, “I give you my unconditional love.” Immortal promise! I couldn’t … Read More

Yoga is a lifestyle. Yoga means union. The teachings of Yogananda on living yoga "Scientists study the atom, but yogis become the atom." #yogananda #quote
A Touch of Light

The Yogic Lifestyle

“Can the practice of yoga help me in daily life?” New students, looking for practical solutions to their problems, often ask this question. The science of yoga is India’s unique contribution to the upliftment of human consciousness. Not affected by passing time or different cultures, yoga remains a timeless, universal body of teachings available for the benefit of everyone. Yet … Read More


Letter from Ananda Assisi

Dear Friends, We hope that you are well and enjoying the last days of summer wherever you are. We finally have a free moment to share with you some news of our time here in Italy. As always, being in Assisi with our spiritual family is an experience filled with much love and joy. The rolling hills, neatly ordered fields, … Read More

A Touch of Light

Two Questions

Nearly thirty years ago a member of Ananda, Dr. Peter Van Houten, started a medical clinic, which has grown over the years to now serve over 5,000 people. People coming to the clinic often hope for a quick fix, a shot or pill to make them well or at least ease their symptoms. The clinic is in a relatively poor … Read More

A Touch of Light

Is It Possible to Fail Spiritually?

“Will I ever leave the spiritual path?” a disciple of Paramhansa Yogananda once asked him. “How could you?” the Master replied. “Everyone in the world is on the spiritual path.” In the broadest possible terms this statement is true, because everyone is striving to find happiness and avoid suffering. The main difference between a truth-seeker and a materially minded person … Read More

"Everything in nature will speak to you if you love it enough." George Washington Carver quote. Yogananda and the power of love.
A Touch of Light

Why We Need Nature

A yogi told me this story: “I was walking in the jungle with a companion when I tripped and accidentally gashed my leg very badly. Although we knew it would be dangerous to stay the night, I was unable to walk, and the situation looked bad. My companion, who had been trained as a healer, raised his hands and slowly … Read More

Mount Shasta God's Protecting Presence
A Touch of Light, Spiritualizing Daily Life

God’s Protecting Presence

“Would any of you like to join me on a camping trip to Mt. Shasta?” With his characteristic enthusiasm and joy, Swami Kriyananda extended this invitation to a small group of us one morning. Swamiji had been asked to give a talk in nearby Shasta City and decided to combine this with a short vacation. Mt. Shasta is a beautiful … Read More

Be Positive Affirmation, How to Be Positive, Tips for Positive Thinking based on teachings of Yogananda #yogananda #positivity #affirmation
A Touch of Light

Positive Thinking

Swami Kriyananda wrote an affirmation for positive thinking: “My outer life is a reflection of my inner thoughts. Filled with the joy of God, I express His joy and harmony in everything I do.” This affirmation is so powerful that Devi and I repeat it daily, and have suggested that others from Ananda use it as a “theme” for the … Read More

Yogananda quote on God as infinite and infinitesmall. Does God really listen to our prayers? Yogananda teachings
A Touch of Light

Does God Listen to Our Prayers?

“Considering the vastness of the universe, with its countless billions of galaxies, surely it is superstitious to believe that the Creator of this immensity listens to our prayers.” A scientist once challenged Paramhansa Yogananda with these words. The Master replied with profound wisdom, as well as gentle wit: “Your conception of Infinity is too finite! Although the Lord is infinitely … Read More

A Touch of Light, Happiness

Gratitude Brings Happiness

Recently I received an email laced with unfair criticism, and my first reaction was to get defensive. I could feel my mind speeding up, getting ready to argue. Then I had a flash of insight and remembrance: You can’t fight darkness with more darkness. I decided instead to neutralize negativity with gratitude. I thought about this person and recalled several … Read More

A Touch of Light

Why Is Life Such a Struggle?

The gardeners at Ananda Village’s organic farm had very bad news to report that morning: “A frost has wiped out the tomato crop.” “Insects are destroying the flower beds!” “Gophers have gotten into the carrots!!” This was 1971. Our head gardener and farming mentor, Haanel Cassidy, was a vigorous man in his early seventies, who listened patiently to their tale … Read More

How to overcome struggles in life by Nayaswami Devi, A Touch of Light weekly inspirational blog
A Touch of Light, Spiritual Development

Why Is Life Such a Struggle?

The gardeners at Ananda Village’s organic farm had very bad news to report that morning: “A frost has wiped out the tomato crop.” “Insects are destroying the flower beds!” “Gophers have gotten into the carrots!!” This was 1971. Our head gardener and farming mentor, Haanel Cassidy, was a vigorous man in his early seventies, who listened patiently to their tale … Read More

Finding joy under all circumstances. Joy is the solution. From A Touch of Light blog.
A Touch of Light

Joy Is the Solution, Not the Reward

It was in the late summer of 1967 that I first visited the land that was to become Ananda. August is hot in the foothills of the Sierra Mountains of Northern California, and we had spent all day working hard. I was part of a little group of Swami Kriyananda’s students who had come to help him build Ananda’s first … Read More

Prayer for a United World by Paramhansa Yogananda "Imitating what we hear" by Nayaswami Devi Novak
A Touch of Light

Imitating What We Hear

The high-pitched whine of the chain saw startled me, breaking the stillness of tall moss-covered cedars and lush green ferns. We’d been visiting the Ananda communities in Oregon and Washington, and now were enjoying a day on Camano Island off the coast of Seattle. I’d been walking along absorbed in the forest’s peace and quiet, which was accented only by … Read More

How to prepare for life's challenges. #yogananda #quote
A Touch of Light

Preparing for Life’s Storms

We have been reading a very interesting book: Being Mortal, by Atul Gawande. It’s a thoughtful, well-written examination of aging and dying, subjects often ignored in modern society. Someday, perhaps, I will write a blog about that, but not today. This blog is about a small part of the process—about how helpful it is to prepare for difficulties before a … Read More

#Yogananda #quote, "I see you all as beings of light." Touch of Light, weekly blog by Nayaswamis Jyotish and Devi
A Touch of Light

The Transforming Power of God’s Light Within

As I sat in a meeting on that warm summer afternoon, I wasn’t paying much attention to the crystals hanging in the window or to the faintly colored rainbows moving around the room. Those of us gathered were discussing some administrative matters for Ananda Village that I wasn’t too involved in; my mind, I must admit, was elsewhere. However, as … Read More

9 Ways to Improve Your Concentration
A Touch of Light

9 Ways to Improve Concentration

“I really want to meditate more deeply, but I have a hard time concentrating.” This is a complaint we often hear from devotees. The mind seems to be programmed to be restless. A recent study by Microsoft showed that in the last thirteen years the length of time people can concentrate has decreased on average from 12 to 8 seconds. … Read More

A Touch of Light

Who Is It That Dies?

During the recent Dedication Weekend, May 15–17, we were meditating in Swami Kriyananda’s newly completed Moksha Mandir, the final resting place for his body. His living reality was so tangible to everyone that it was hard to imagine he was no longer physically present with us. The difference now, perhaps, was that his consciousness felt even more powerful, accessible, and … Read More