A Touch of Light

Being God’s Advisor

I read a wonderful statement recently by the British author C.S. Lewis: “Many people want to serve God, mostly in an advisory capacity.” At least some of the time, most of us think God needs our advice on rearranging things more to our liking. When everything is going well, we think He’s doing a pretty good job of managing the … Read More

A Touch of Light

God Is the Doer

You never know when the universe is going to give you an important piece of the puzzle. This happened one time when Devi and I were with Swami Kriyananda in, of all places, a shopping mall in Sacramento, California. He had gotten a letter from someone who was discouraged after comparing his own accomplishments to those of Swamiji’s. (Aside: Comparing … Read More

Devi Novak Yogananda teachings article The Common Denominator
A Touch of Light, Happiness

The Common Denominator

The chemotherapy drug slowly dripped into my friend’s arm as we sat in the treatment room. She had been diagnosed some months earlier with an aggressive form of breast cancer, and, after surgery, was receiving a regime of outpatient chemotherapy treatments. The room in which we sat was a large, airy space with about two dozen comfortable reclining chairs where … Read More

Yogananda: To those who think me near I will be near #yogananda #quote
A Touch of Light, Spiritualizing Daily Life

How to Be Friends with God

Many people have a very complex relationship with their Heavenly Father/Mother, just as they do with their earthly parents. In fact, many attitudes and complexes toward God are simply projections of feelings experienced when growing up. Those from harsher backgrounds can see God as disapproving and vengeful, while those raised in loving and tolerant homes tend to see a loving … Read More

Buen Juicio vs Mal Juicio
A Touch of Light

Good Judgment / Bad Judgment

There is a humorous but instructive story in which a young man asks a wise, older gentleman for advice: “How is it that you have such good judgment?” The sage slowly reflects, and then says, “Good judgment is born of experience.” Not entirely satisfied with this answer, the young fellow pursues his questioning: “Well, how do you get experience?” The … Read More

A Touch of Light

Understanding Is Overrated

Early in my spiritual quest, Swami Kriyananda was trying to help me balance a tendency to be overly rational. He patiently explained what I needed to do, and I said, “I understand, Sir.” He replied, kindly but firmly, “I don’t care whether you understand or not, I want you to change.”

How to Draw God's Help Into Your Life
A Touch of Light

How to Draw God’s Help in Your Life

A friend of ours in India told us a very interesting and instructive story. Indu is a lawyer, and at the time these events took place, ran a large legal firm that represented some international companies.

A Touch of Light, Happiness

Anything Will Talk With You

The great American Botanist, George Washington Carver, said, “If you love it enough, anything will talk with you.” Much more than a nice sentiment, this is a fundamental truth of the universe. But in order to communicate with nature, we need to learn new and increasingly subtle languages.

Planet earth, with swirling clouds
A Touch of Light, Meditation

How Is World Peace Possible?

The man had committed murder many times and was now incarcerated in Tihar Prison outside of New Delhi. Yet as we watched him tell his story in the documentary Doing Time, Doing Vipassana, his face was peaceful and his eyes were calm. He explained that although he’d committed many murders, he’d never felt any remorse about the lives he had … Read More

A Touch of Light, Meditation, Paramhansa Yogananda, Spiritualizing Daily Life

7 Revolutionary Teachings of Paramhansa Yogananda

Paramhansa Yogananda’s mission was to help usher the whole world, with greater understanding and spiritual insight, into Dwapara Yuga, the new Age of Energy in which we live. It was a world-changing mission, and therefore his teachings needed to be revolutionary. In some cases what he taught was well known in India but created a revolution in the West. Others of his teachings were completely new to this age. Let’s look at some of both.

A Touch of Light, Spiritualizing Daily Life

Making God’s Presence Dynamic in Your Life in 2015

The New Year will soon make its entrance onto the stage of our life, bringing with it the inescapable gains and losses, happiness and suffering. But no matter what adversities may lie ahead, they needn’t cause us suffering if we choose to live each day in greater awareness of God’s presence. Where God’s light is, no shadow can dwell.

A Touch of Light

The Descent of the Christ

The Jews, like other people of the time, were a mixture of traits good and bad. But all those dwelling in that holy land shared the desire to be free. For some, that meant freedom from the oppression of Rome, with its soldiers and tax collectors. For others it meant liberty from poverty and daily toil. But a few yearned for spiritual liberation and freedom from delusion, the greatest of all oppressors.

A Touch of Light, Happiness, Spiritual Development

Why Be Sad About Time’s Passing?

It’s an interesting experience to pick up the threads of your life after returning home from a long absence. Since late August we’ve been visiting and teaching in our centers in Italy and India, and have just returned to Ananda Village after four months. Readjusting to the responsibilities and rhythms of our life here requires some time and effort. To … Read More

A Touch of Light, Meditation

The Tremendous Power of Meditation

Meditation is a natural and rewarding human activity. Paramhansa Yogananda defined meditation as “deep concentration on God or one of His aspects.” Practiced daily, it produces astonishing results on physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual aspects of our being. It connects us with our own inner powers of vitality, clarity, and love. When done deeply, it gives us an expanded sense … Read More

A Touch of Light

With Grateful Hearts

No matter how challenging our life has been, each of us has some reason to thank God: for the air we breathe from our first breath, for the sun that gives us warmth and light, for the people that gave us food and comfort.

News

Last India Letter 2014

Dear Friends, We send our love to all of you and want to share what’s been happening for the past few weeks, which seems like the grand finale of our time in India this year. We’ll begin by sharing about the pilgrimage to Babaji’s cave with Diya, Keshava, Dharmini, Dharmaraj, and 40 Indian pilgrims. It was an extraordinary experience. On … Read More

A Touch of Light

Babaji’s Cave

We recently went on a pilgrimage to Babaji’s cave. There were forty-five pilgrims on the trip, with most of us seeing this sacred spot for the first time. It was here, in this little secluded cave in the middle of nowhere and of everywhere, that our lineage took birth. From this tiny cave, the science of Kriya Yoga has spread around the globe. It was here that Lahiri Mahasaya received not only Kriya initiation, but also the charge to take it back to the masses of spiritually thirsty souls. Autobiography of a Yogi relates that Babaji told him, “A deep purpose underlay the fact that you did not meet me this time until you were already a married man, with modest business responsibilities. You must put aside your thoughts of joining our secret band in the Himalayas; your life lies in the crowded marts, serving as an example of the ideal yogi-householder.”

A Touch of Light, Health and Healing

How to Heal Relationships

Our relationships can bring great joy or great suffering into our lives. Either way, they can affect us on physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual levels. We can learn to heal difficult relationships and improve good ones by practicing some of these guidelines: 1) Listen. When communication becomes difficult, don’t shout or argue, but take time to listen to what is … Read More

A Touch of Light

Free Will

In our last letter, Devi wrote about karma and free will. I would like to look at another aspect of this fascinating question. Once, during a satsang, Swami Kriyananda was asked, “How much of what happens to us is determined by our karma?” His reply brought a gasp from the audience, “Virtually everything is pre-determined, even the choice of the shirt you put on this morning.”