A Touch of Light

Catching God

Once when I was young, perhaps three or four years old, my uncle was visiting our family. He had a quirky sense of humor that tended toward practical jokes. I was playing outside on a sunny spring morning, when he joined me in the backyard with a saltshaker, and a mischievous look on his face. As happens during spring in … Read More

soul freedom is the merging into the divine light
A Touch of Light

The Light Shining in Darkness

I have a confession to make. There are times when I can become stubborn. I expect this can be a little challenging for my friends, but at times it has produced some interesting results. Here’s an example. While in college my friends and I would occasionally sign up as subjects for psychology experiments. These were harmless enough, and we got … Read More

how to achieve peace and the difference between peace and calmness, seen in these wildflowers outside of ananda assisi temple
A Touch of Light


Devi wrote her last blog on the subject of calmness, saying, “When you feel a recurring karmic situation moving towards you, make the necessary mental or behavioral adjustments while you are still free to do so. The more you can self-adjust early in the process, the less power karma will have over you.” This is the proper way to fight … Read More

A Touch of Light

Keeping Your Balance

I recently read an article by a dance teacher that gives us surprisingly helpful advice about how to deal with life’s challenges. The instructor, Jan Erkert, wrote: “As a dancer, I study physical states of energy. In one exercise I often conduct with my students, one dancer must remain still while others throw their full weight into them, like football … Read More

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A Touch of Light

Hope for a Better World

We have occasionally written about the devastating forest fire of 1976, which destroyed our home along with most of the other houses at Ananda Village. We awoke that morning to a normal day with its usual routine, but within a few chaotic hours we had lost our home, our possessions, and our security. How can we look back through the … Read More

yoganandas mother ghosh
A Touch of Light

Dealing with Change and Loss

There’s a joke about a man who woke up one morning to discover that he had only three, long hairs left on his head. As he looked into the mirror, he said, “Today I think I’ll wear my hair in a braid.” The next morning he found that he had only two hairs left and thought, “Hmm . . . today I’ll … Read More

paramhansa yogananda is the avatar of love, wisdom, and joy author of autobiography of a yogi
A Touch of Light

In Love and Appreciation

Paramhansa Yogananda’s birthday is January 5. Usually we give people presents on their birthday, but what do you give to someone who has everything? who is everything? No choice is left us but to offer our love and appreciation. This is all we can truly give, and the hidden gift behind all outward symbols. In a spirit of appreciation, then, … Read More

A Touch of Light

Four Lamps to Illumine 2021

Each year the two-week period between December 23 and January 5 is rich with opportunities for spiritual growth. There’s 1) the eight-hour meditation on December 23; 2) the celebration of Christ’s birth on December 25; 3) the start of a new year on January 1; and 4) Paramhansa Yogananda’s birthday on January 5. How can we draw the most from … Read More

yogananda true meaning of christmas and three wise men
A Touch of Light

Coming Full Circle

It is Christmas today. Paramhansa Yogananda suggested that his students celebrate the birth of Jesus with a “Spiritual Christmas” as well as the more common “Social Christmas.” Spiritual Christmas is a day of deep meditation during which we try to draw the presence and blessings of Jesus and achieve the birth of Christ consciousness within. This year, for the first … Read More

paramhansa yogananda toured across the us and coined the term art of living, great yoga master kriya yoga and author of autobiography of a yogi
A Touch of Light

Creating a New Language

Abstemious, antipathy, critical, dwindle, extract, horrid, vast, hereditary, excellent, eventful, assassination, lonely, leapfrog, and zany. What does this strange collection of words have in common? These and two thousand other words were first used by William Shakespeare in his forty plays written from 1590–1614. I should explain that I’m reading a wonderful book now that Swami Kriyananda gave me: Shakespeare, … Read More

A Touch of Light

World Brotherhood

At Ananda Village, we recently celebrated our annual “World Brotherhood Day,” a tradition of nearly forty years, in which individuals offer one day’s wages to help support the spread of Master’s teachings. We hold this event at the beginning of the Christmas season as a reminder that our first gift of the holidays should be offered to God to help … Read More

how now more than ever the world needs compassion and the spirit of world brotherhood shown ananda temple blessing with jyotish and devi
A Touch of Light

Now More Than Ever

“Where are the great saints and saviors to help guide us today? God doesn’t seem to be present in the world anymore.” As the world appears to be descending into a downward spiral of lost values, faith, and hope, we often hear this lament from friends. Yet if we change our expectations of God to appear as a wise, benevolent … Read More

thanksgiving message yogananda teachings
A Touch of Light

Thank You

Yesterday was Thanksgiving Day, perhaps my favorite national holiday. While other holidays celebrate a person or an event, Thanksgiving celebrates an attitude. This year at Ananda Village the COVID virus is forcing us to be separated from others. In normal times we would have had a big, joyous Thanksgiving gathering and feast—but not this year. Instead, we shared meals together … Read More

Sri Yukteswar and his disciple, Paramhansa Yogananda author of Autobiography of a Yogi
A Touch of Light

Unrequited Love

Wilt Thou come, wilt Thou come? Just for once, come to me? Will my days fly away without seeing Thee, my Lord? Night and day, night and day, I look for Thee night and day. These words from the chant “Door of My Heart,” like so many others Master has given us, are filled with yearning for a divine response. … Read More

A Touch of Light

Running a Marathon

There are many qualities needed for success, both in daily life and in meditation. But perhaps the most important is perseverance. We can’t succeed unless we stay the course until the end. I’ve just read a very inspiring book that exemplifies this quality. It’s called 26 Marathons, by Meb Keflezighi. Meb, as he is affectionately known, is one of the … Read More

swami ram das and the story of yogananda being guru and story of swami kriyananda and devi with strawberries
A Touch of Light

Saints and Wild Strawberries

“One moment in the company of a saint can be your raft over the ocean of delusion.” This statement from the Indian scriptures is often quoted, but not always fully understood. The deeper meaning is to seek the company of saints not only on an outer level, but more importantly, on an inner one. There’s a true story about a … Read More

A Touch of Light

Eight Tips from Your Friends

Last night we had a Zoom meeting with the leaders of our various centers in India. Over twenty of us, all long-term devotees, shared valuable tips on what we have been doing to stay inspired during these times of lockdown and turmoil. By the end of the discussion I found myself not only inspired by the variety of ideas people … Read More

A Touch of Light

How Does the Story End?

In his autobiography, The New Path, Swami Kriyananda shares a fascinating dream: I was living with many other people in a torture chamber. For generations our families had lived here, knowing no world but this one; the possibility of any other existence simply never occurred to us. One awoke, one was tortured, and, at night, one found brief respite in … Read More

A life on our planet movie review david attenborough by jyotish and devi
A Touch of Light

One Life on Earth

I rarely recommend films, but we saw a new one last week that is not only engrossing, but important to the future of humanity. It is called A Life on Our Planet, by David Attenborough, and is available on Netflix. He was born in 1926, less than two weeks before Swami Kriyananda, making him 93 years old. In the film, … Read More

A Touch of Light

The Beast in the Jungle

It’s no question that we’re living in very challenging times. Many friends have told us that with all the uncertainty and stress around them now, the days and weeks seem to run together in a blur. They’re either waiting for life to return to normal; hoping that things will improve; or fearing that they will only get worse. This cycle … Read More