yogananda teachings on discipleship with swami kriyananda
A Touch of Light

Challenges and Solutions for Our Times

We are just finishing our annual winter program, Inner Renewal Week. During this event we try to make our classes deeper than usual and tailor them to more serious truth seekers. The theme for this year has been Challenges and Solutions for Our Times. A central focus has been that only through changes in consciousness can permanent transformation take place. … Read More

yogananda teachings on a life lived for god and renunciation
A Touch of Light

A Life in God

As a child, I hadn’t the slightest thought that I would live my life for God, but that proved to be my destiny. For some people this concept of living for God might seem intimidating, or grim, or filled with dour self-sacrifice and denial. But it’s quite the contrary. From my own experience and that of hundreds of others I … Read More

anandi tribute passing away nayaswami anandi of ananda village
A Touch of Light

What Goes, What Stays

In the last two months we have seen two great souls depart this world. Nayaswami Seva passed away on November 14, and we just held an Astral Ascension Ceremony for Nayaswami Anandi, who passed away five days ago. Anandi had been a member of Ananda and our dear friend for more than fifty years. The talk given at the ceremony … Read More

how to create more time in life when you feel time is always running out with nayaswami devi on seclusion at crystal hermitage
A Touch of Light

Out of Time

In last week’s blog, Jyotish talked about some of the insights he received during his seclusion. Today I’d like to share with you also some that came to me during this time (or more accurately this “time out.”) As soon as I closed the door and entered the Crystal Hermitage Guest House, where I spent my seclusion, I was filled … Read More

seclusion is the price of greatness quote paramhansa yogananda painting by nayaswami jyotish
A Touch of Light

Seclusion

Last week Devi and I spent a period apart and in seclusion, the first time in several years that I had had a chance to be totally alone with God as my sole focus. It was wonderful! My heart began to soar as even a few days of seclusion helped me realign my habits with my lifelong priorities. The world … Read More

set your mind to accomplish your goals yogananda teachings
A Touch of Light

Miracle of Miracles

After years of failed attempts to manifest my New Year’s resolutions (ever happen to you?), I finally hit upon an approach that really does seem to work. When I shared this new strategy with friends at a recent satsang at Ananda Village, some of them asked me afterwards, “Could you write a blog about this so we can better remember … Read More

gods boatman yogananda painting by jyotish art
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Priorities

2022! We made it through 2021 and can look toward a new and (let’s hope) better year. Now is a good time to review our goals and priorities for the year ahead. Swami Kriyananda often told us this story: A very sincere devotee of God made a vow. “If ever You call me, Lord, I will drop everything and come … Read More

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My Soul Is Marching On

In many of his past lives Paramhansa Yogananda had been a great warrior and spiritual leader of humanity. He told his disciples that he had been William the Conqueror, who stormed the beach at Hastings, England, in 1066 to establish one of the oldest continuous governments in history.  In another former life, he indicated, he was King Ferdinand III of … Read More

A Touch of Light

Three Visitors

The tiny newborn had been crying for so long that Mary feared he was ill. Yet when she placed her hand on his forehead, she felt no fever. A comforting thought flashed into her mind: “He is just frustrated: He has much to say and share, but his little tongue won’t yet obey his commands.” So, despite his continued crying, … Read More

where two or more are gathered in my name there i am in the midst of them yogananda christmas quotes
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Where Two or More Are Gathered Together

Ah, Christmas: the season of social gatherings, gift giving, wonderful food, glittering decorations, hustle and bustle . . . and yet it is so much more than any of these things. Paramhansa Yogananda said that at this time of year the Christ consciousness is especially close to earth, and more accessible to those who reach for it. And he gave a mystical … Read More

supernova nasa for self realization samadhi steps of paramhansa yogananda
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Unconditional Love

We recently honored, with a celebratory satsang, the 75th anniversary of the publication of Paramhansa Yogananda’s Autobiography of a Yogi. I was asked to speak about one of my favorite chapters in that amazing book, “An Experience in Cosmic Consciousness.” For me, as for so many others I have met, the Autobiography changed my life. I had been searching my … Read More

yogananda public lecture Minneapolis author of autobiography of a yogi
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A World Without Autobiography of a Yogi

We did an interview recently with our good friend, Phil Goldberg, author of The Life of Yogananda: The Story of the Yogi Who Became the First Modern Guru. The interview was in honor of the seventy-fifth anniversary of the first publication of Autobiography of a Yogi in December 1946. During the interview Phil raised an interesting question: “What would the … Read More

unity in the diverse garden at crystal hermitage
A Touch of Light

Diversity and Unity

There is a yearning in our hearts for a better world than the one we see around us. This longing burns especially brightly when daily headlines are filled with such negativity, division, and anger. When I was in college I wrote an essay about a Utopian world where suddenly everyone was able to communicate telepathically. After a period of turbulence, … Read More

seva and swami kriyananda
A Touch of Light

The Nightingale

This past week has been a time of introspection for us. Nayaswami Seva, our dear friend of more than fifty years and one of Ananda’s founding members, passed away suddenly last Sunday of a heart attack. Though eighty-six years old, she was in good health and was still serving dynamically throughout the community. Shortly after arriving at Ananda in 1970, … Read More

yogananda mountaints in spiringtime painting by jyotish in karmic seeds blog shenandoah
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Karmic Seeds

Devi and I were giving a series of programs at our community and temple in Palo Alto, California, a few days ago. As all the events of the weekend were winding down something very touching took place. In a conspiratorial and somewhat excited manner, they led us to two chairs set in front of a small choir in their courtyard. … Read More

yogananda statue at ananda village lifesize
A Touch of Light

The Principle of T.W.O.

It was July 31, 1949. Paramhansa Yogananda had been invited to speak at, of all places, a Beverly Hills society garden party. His hostess expected him, no doubt, to make a few gracious remarks to her guests, who could then get on with their socializing. Were they in for a surprise! Swami Kriyananda writes about this event in The New … Read More

shiva statue ananda
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Sharing Shiva

There is a beautiful Shiva shrine at Ananda Village, a sacred place where many have meditated over the years. It is larger than life size and was sculpted by a talented artist who lived here. Michael, a longtime Village resident, lives nearby, and by helping tend it has developed a deep connection with this image of God. Some years back, … Read More

swami kriyananda devotion to guru paramhansa yogananda
A Touch of Light

Hiding in Plain Sight

Some years ago our four-year-old son came to me with an odd expression on his face and said, “I didn’t do nuffing, Mommy.” His transparent attempt to appear innocent gave him away, and I asked, “Where didn’t you do nothing?” Looking down, he admitted, “In the closet.” We went there straightaway to discover what mischief he had gotten into. A … Read More

how to still the mind for meditation
A Touch of Light

Start with the Heart

It seems nearly impossible to stop the restless monkey mind during meditation. Why? In part, because we are looking at the effect rather than the cause. Mental restlessness is generally initiated by restless emotions! If you want to calm an agitated mind, first see what emotions are triggering your thoughts. Start with the heart. I practiced this principle in my … Read More

A Touch of Light

Collaboration

“You should write a book on collaborative medicine.” Swami Kriyananda once gave this advice to Dr. Peter Van Houten, the physician for Ananda Village, and the founder of a national award–winning rural clinic. Recently we had an inspiring visit with Peter and his wife, Patricia, during which he shared about how he practices medicine “collaboratively” at his clinic. First, there’s … Read More