A Touch of Light

Different Ways to Make Coffee

I first met Swami Kriyananda shortly after I came to Ananda Village in California, in 1969. As I watched him from a distance, I found myself in awe of him—of his spiritual wisdom, his inspiration as a teacher, and the fact that he was a direct disciple of Paramhansa Yogananda. I also labored under the thought that everyone around him … Read More

A Touch of Light, Spiritualizing Daily Life

The Purpose of Life

Earlier this week we were having lunch with a group of friends, and the conversation took an interesting turn. The seven of us passed around the question, “When did you begin to know what you were supposed to do in this life? Why were you born?” For me, I knew early on that I was supposed to be a teacher. … Read More

A Touch of Light

Who Is Divine Mother?

Though universal in his consciousness, Paramhansa Yogananda especially worshipped the feminine aspect of God, or Divine Mother, as he called Her. Newcomers to Yogananda’s teachings often ask us, “Who is this Divine Mother?” To answer this question, I’d like to share with you some experiences from my own journey that have clarified my understanding. The first incident occurred when I … Read More

A Touch of Light

Divine Intervention

“I need to tell someone here my story.” The woman had come to Ananda’s guest retreat late one night and had spoken to the only person she could find, a cook in the kitchen prepping food for the next day. She shared this amazing experience: “I visited here a few months ago just out of curiosity. I don’t follow any … Read More

A Touch of Light, Health and Healing

Tears With a Stranger

A few days ago we received a letter from a young man who’s currently going through a painful separation. We were so touched by it that we wanted to share it with you in his own words: On Thursday I went to check out a little apartment in the hills of Newcastle [California]. I drove my bike out a long … Read More

A Touch of Light

The Way Home

Patanjali’s Ashtanga Yoga, or eightfold path, is the cornerstone of the science of yoga, and gives us a roadmap for the journey back home to God. I’ve found it clarifying to view the eight stages in reverse order—samadhi, dhyana, dharana, pratyahara, pranayama, asana, niyama, and yama—so as to see how each one rests logically upon the stage preceding it. Samadhi … Read More

Spiritual Development

Six Reasons We Let Up in Our Spiritual Efforts

On the spiritual path, we don’t tread water. We’re either moving forward or backward. Very few on the spiritual path say outright, “I will not fight.” We don’t say, “I give up.” What we say in effect is, “I let up,” meaning, “I’m not going to try as hard.”

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Spiritualizing Daily Life

How to Make Marriage Work

“I will be true to you as I pray always to be true to God. I will love you without condition, as I would be loved by you and as we are ever loved by God. I will never compete with you; I will cooperate for our own, and for all others’ highest good. I will forgive you always, and … Read More

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Meditation

Ways to Relax the Body

How to do the Full Yogic Breath: Begin by standing upright, arms at the sides. Close your eyes and feel centered in the spine. Breathe slowly and deeply from the diaphragm. Now slowly bend forward, keeping the knees relaxed. Exhale slowly and completely as you bend forward, allowing your body to come down only as far as is comfortable and your … Read More

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Meditation

3 Steps to Deepening Your Meditations

People can meditate for many months, or even years, with little result, simply because they have ignored the basics, thinking that such elementary practices are only for the merest beginner. Restlessness, especially mental restlessness, is the main impediment to deeper meditation. Our hardest job in meditation is to rid the mind of the static created by thoughts and desires. There … Read More

Spiritual Development

The Christ Consciousness Speaks

I am the Christ Consciousness which has been with you always. Before you were born, I was there. Before even the world was, I was. I am the spirit of God that dwells in the heart of every atom. I am ever aware of you though you see me not. To every part of your being I give my unconditional … Read More

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Meditation

How to Meditate, with Jyotish Novak

A step-by-step guide to learning the art and science of meditation. The book is a practical guide to learning how to relax your body, interiorize your awareness, concentrate your mind, develop and clarify intuition, expand your spirit, and experience peace, joy, and calmness. Order the How to Meditate book.

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Health and Healing, Spiritual Development

When Worries Howl at You

Nearly every devotee struggles with trying to keep the mind more focused on God. It’s a very challenging struggle, a bit like trying to catch the wind. The pull of the world, and of past experiences and karma, draws us away from a single-minded focus on God. How do we resist that pull? In his poem “God! God! God!,” which … Read More

Swami Kriyananda

Spiritual Legacy of Swami Kriyananda

I want to talk about the spiritual significance of Kriyananda’s passing for all of us.  The qualities that Kriyananda expressed – his beautiful expression of love, creativity, and dynamism – were never his qualities. They are God’s qualities; Kriyananda simply channeled them. It’s now time for us to take the high consciousness that Kriyananda expressed and to express those same qualities more … Read More

Swami Kriyananda

Final Moments of Swami Kriyananda

With the death of Swami Kriyananda, a remarkable light has passed from the world, and we will not see its like again during our lifetimes. The manner of his passing was, in a sense, his Guru’s gift to him. In the month and a half before his passing, he’d made four major trips, which had tired his body. Though he … Read More

Swami Kriyananda

The Writing of Faith is My Armor

This article first appeared in Clarity Magazine, Fall 2005 Q: Devi, why did you decide to write, Faith Is My Armor? D: Looking back, I realize that I’d been preparing to do it for a long time. For many years I’ve kept a file of things about Swamiji—clippings from articles in which he talked about his life, notes of conversations with him. … Read More

Swami Kriyananda

Bhrigu Reading of Swami Kriyananda

An Excerpt from Faith Is My Armor: The Life of Swami Kriyananda, by Devi Novak: When Swamiji was lecturing in 1959 in Patiala, India, a friend told him about a fascinating ancient manuscript known as the Bhrigu Samhita. Bhrigu was a noted rishi, or sage, who lived thousands of years ago in India. He wrote a text of prophecies about the … Read More

Swami Kriyananda

Befriending Ram Lila

An Excerpt from Faith is My Armor: The Life of Swami Kriyananda by Devi Novak: Even with people who have consciously tried to thwart or hurt him, Swamiji responds with kindness, and has never attempted to strike back. Once a tough looking man who was an ex-member of a motorcycle gang came to Ananda. Swamiji, feeling that he was sincere spiritually, … Read More

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Swami Kriyananda

Doing the Best We Can

An Excerpt from Faith is My Armor: The Life of Swami Kriyananda by Devi Novak: Considerate and tactful, Swamiji tries to correct and guide others in their spiritual growth without hurting or discouraging them. Once someone wrote a letter to my husband and me critical of our way of directing a certain aspect of Ananda. We were hurt by his words, … Read More

A Touch of Light

A God-Shaped Hole

I’ve been reading a fascinating book recently about extreme athletes who’ve experienced high spiritual states when pushing beyond their physical and mental limits. In Explorers of the Infinite, by Maria Coffey, I came across a particular phrase that both surprised and intrigued me. The author says that many extreme athletes—skiers, mountaineers, free divers—were raised by religious parents, but as teenagers … Read More