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

A Touch of Light, Swami Kriyananda

Kindness

We just finished a beautiful groundbreaking ceremony for Swami Kriyananda’s Moksha Mandir. This lovely building, the final resting place for his mortal remains, will be a place of meditation and inspiration for thousands who will visit here. Many stories about Swamiji were recounted, but this is the one that touched me the most. About a year before his passing, Swamiji … Read More

A Touch of Light

The Language of Flowers

Our home at Ananda Village lies next to the beautiful gardens of Crystal Hermitage. Lovely all year round, the gardens reach their full glory during April when thousands of tulips burst forth in bloom. The story behind the gardens is worth telling. Nearly thirty years ago, when the grounds around the Hermitage were hardly more than dry clay and weeds, … Read More

A Touch of Light

Perseverance

My first paying job was as a summer counselor at a Boy Scout camp, where I helped young scouts learn skills such as camping, canoeing, fire building, and knot tying. When I started I was only 12 years of age, hardly older than many of the boys who were coming for a week of camping. One day a couple of … Read More

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Paramhansa Yogananda, Spiritualizing Daily Life

God is for Everyone!

This article was originally published online by Clarity Magazine, Fall 2003 In a recent letter to a person interested in the book, God Is for Everyone, Swami Kriyananda wrote, “It is a book, written by a great spiritual teacher, Yogananda, during the 1920s, pleading for a new look at religion, and at interreligious harmony. The book argues powerfully that religion alone is … Read More

A Touch of Light, Spiritualizing Daily Life

Obstacles or Opportunities?

A friend of ours recently asked, “How can I strengthen my sadhana despite the distractions of being a householder?” To answer, let’s turn to the wisdom of ancient India. The Vedas describe four stages of life: 1) the celibate student; 2) the householder; 3) the person who partially withdraws from outer involvement and hands over most of his responsibilities to … Read More