News from Ananda Gurgaon

Dear Friends, Greetings from India! We hope that you are well. Our time here thus far has been immensely inspiring and enjoyable on all levels. If we could characterize our experience in a few words: it feels like coming home. It’s really helpful having our own rooms in the ashram in Gurgaon. These include a sitting room/office overlooking the beautiful … Read More

A Touch of Light

The Spiral Stairway

We recently held a Kriya Yoga Initiation in the boyhood home of Paramhansa Yogananda at 4 Gurpar Road in Kolkata. This site is made holy, not only by the many years that Master lived here, but also because of uniquely sacred events that took place at this spot. It was here that Babaji appeared and blessed Yoganandaji before his mission to America.

A Touch of Light, Paramhansa Yogananda

This Sod

For many years Paramhansa Yogananda’s Autobiography of a Yogi has been a source of inspiration and guidance for me. Not only because of the wisdom, love, and joy that radiate from every page, but also because it has repeatedly served as a living channel to answer specific questions in my life. When I’m at a loss for the proper course … Read More

A Touch of Light, Swami Kriyananda


eptember 12 marks the anniversary of the day when, in 1948, Swami Kriyananda met Paramhansa Yogananda and became his disciple. From then on, in spite of his amazing accomplishments, Swami Kriyananda’s self-definition was simply, “I want to be known as a good disciple.”


Letter Written from Ananda Assisi

Dear Friends, We send you our love and want to share some news about our time in Ananda Assisi. We arrived here on August 28, which was at the end of their busiest month for the Retreat. Although the Italian economy is in bad shape (reports say that 1000 people lose their jobs every day), we have never seen the … Read More

A Touch of Light

Found in Translation

As a child, I was fascinated by the story from the Old Testament of the Tower of Babel. If you recall, it tells of the time shortly after the creation of mankind, when everyone in the world spoke only one language. With the presumption of youth, people began to build a tower that would reach all the way up to God.

Spiritual Development

Is It Possible to Love Everyone?

Is it possible to love everyone? The more we feel God’s presence, the more impossible it becomes not to love everyone.

A Touch of Light, Happiness, Spiritualizing Daily Life

Feeling Inadequate

There is a story of a woman with two pots. Each morning she fetched water from a well and carried it to her small hut. One of the pots was new and whole, but the other was old, worn, and cracked. A day came when the old pot began to weep, feeling like a failure in even the simple task of carrying water. The new pot, on the other hand, was proud and scornful. The woman knelt and whispered to them, “Come with me. I wish to show you something.”

A Touch of Light

Saying Goodbye

A few years ago Swami Kriyananda asked us if we could spend more time in India to help with Ananda’s work there. We replied, “Yes, Swamiji. During the past year we’ve been training others in many of our responsibilities. Now we can be gone, and everything will continue to run smoothly.”

A Touch of Light

Deepening Your Devotion

God, of course, knows that impersonal love is difficult — after all He created this drama in the first place. He knows that loving the saints, His awakened sons and daughters, is the first step in devotion. At first the spiritual masters accept, even encourage, personal love.

A Touch of Light

Discovering the Source of Love

We heard an inspiring story about a revered Tibetan lama whom the Chinese Communists had held in prison for many years. Eventually the lama was released and later met with the Dalai Lama, who asked him, “It must have been difficult to be a prisoner for all those years. Were you ever afraid?”

A Touch of Light

The Hidden Environment

A number of well-known Indian yogis visited Ananda during the 1970s. One of these great souls was Swami Chidananda, the head of Sivananda’s ashram after the master passed.

A Touch of Light

The Economy of God

The elderly nun quietly entered the refectory of the convent. Clasping her hands together and looking heavenward, she exclaimed, “Ah, the economy of God! If there are three people in a room, they are all teaching each other a lesson.” A friend who was at the convent just then on retreat shared this story with me.

A Touch of Light

First Kriya Initiation

My first Kriya Initiation was on December 22, 1967. It was a Friday evening, and Swami Kriyananda felt that those of us who would be attending the all-day Christmas meditation the next day could benefit from having this sacred technique. The ceremony took place in Swamiji’s small San Francisco apartment and was attended by about a dozen people.

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