yogananda teachings saint francis assisi ananda community let god decide
A Touch of Light

Let God Decide

Devi and I have been spending a month at the Ananda community near Assisi, Italy, where there is great reverence for St. Francis. Paramhansa Yogananda, too, honored him, calling him his “patron saint.” A few years after Ananda’s arrival in Italy, word began to reach Swami Kriyananda, who was residing here at the time, that the Bishop of Assisi had … Read More

krishna and his devotee in painting enter the spiritual world yogananda teachings if you only knew how much god loves you you would die for joy quote
A Touch of Light

If You Only Knew . . .

“If you only knew how much God loved you, you would die for joy.” These words from St. Jean Vianney, a French saint of the nineteenth century, have always inspired and motivated me spiritually. Jyotish and I are visiting Ananda’s community and retreat center outside of Assisi now, and are staying in the lovely guest apartment of two good friends, … Read More

guiding principles of ananda jyotish painting of babaji and christ and mission to share east and west original teachings of god
A Touch of Light

Guiding Principles

Swami Kriyananda gave us two principles which, like moral compass points, guide the Ananda communities. The first is something he saw when visiting the Maharaja of Cooch Behar. The family motto read: Yato dharma, tato jaya. This sloka from the great epic, the Mahabharata, means, “Where there is adherence to righteousness, there is victory.” This ancient “compass point” is the … Read More

how to visualize success in endeavor with meditation techniques and tips
A Touch of Light

If You Can See It, You Can Do It

The throngs of excited travelers moved quickly past us as they dragged their luggage and children along in search of their departure gates. We were in the Frankfurt airport with a long layover waiting for our connecting flight to Rome, and then on to Assisi. We would be spending the next month in Assisi, sharing with our Ananda spiritual family … Read More

yogananda teachings faith must be cultivated quote faith painting by nayaswami jyotish
A Touch of Light

Let Thy Will Be Done

A friend of ours told us that she has always believed in and used the power of prayer. Since childhood, however, her prayers have gradually become simpler and more focused. Now she repeats only a single prayer every day and for every situation: “Lord, let Thy will be done.” This was also the final prayer of Jesus just before his … Read More

divine sight is center everywhere, circumference nowhere quote autobiography of a yogi yogananda
A Touch of Light

What Changes?

Our two large suitcases lay partially full on the floor. For the past two weeks, we’d been slowly filling them with clothes and travel items for our trip to Ananda centers in Italy and India. We’ll be gone for three and a half months, so planning what to bring for different climes and times has been a bit challenging. I … Read More

yogananda teachings on how to rewire the brain for more positivity so let it be affirmation is of painting with yogananda and disciple in peace
A Touch of Light

Three Words Can Change Your Life

Two travelling monks came upon a stream swollen and roiling due to the recent rains. A woman in distress asked if they could help her. “I must get across the stream to my family,” she said, “but I’m afraid to wade into such turbulent water.” One of the monks picked her up, carried her safely across to the other side, … Read More

yogananda autobiography of a yogi two penniless boys in brindaban, yogananda with childhood friends
A Touch of Light

A Short Memory

“Are you there, God? Are you listening to my prayers? Do you even know what I’m going through?” I think we all have thoughts like these from time to time—especially when we’re facing challenges in life. To keep our faith strong, it’s important to remember those times—and we’ve all had them—when our prayers have in fact been answered. Recently a … Read More

yogananda teachings on kindness and how to live
A Touch of Light

Where the Answers Live

Have you ever lost something and searched for it everywhere? Of course you have! So have we all. You may hunt here and there, but finally a moment comes when you realize, “I’ve been looking in the wrong place.” Unfortunately, we look in the wrong place not only for things but, more importantly, for the answers to our deepest questions. … Read More

jyotish art full fall yogananda paintings and teachings
A Touch of Light

The Saint and the Scorpion

There is a story about a saint who was peacefully meditating under a tree along the banks of the Ganges. At a certain point he heard a rustling overhead and opened his eyes to see a large scorpion moving along a branch overhanging the river. When the creature reached the end of the branch, it fell into the water below. … Read More

near death experiences yogananda karma and reincarnation
A Touch of Light

Near-Death Experiences

In recent years there have been many books and videos by people who have had near-death experiences. In fact, about one in five people who return from a clinical death (often on an operating table) have had a profound, even life-changing experience. Paramhansa Yogananda has explained the process of dying: “When the heart begins to grow numb, there is a … Read More

A Touch of Light

There Is No Bad Karma

The old woman lay in bed critically ill and in great pain. For her daughter, who was providing loving care, seeing her mother’s physical suffering was hard to bear. Even more difficult, though, was seeing her mental anguish. She kept repeating: “I must have very bad karma to be in such pain. God must be very displeased with me.” Seeking … Read More

phoenix painting of transformation by kalamali joy be well solutions
A Touch of Light

See No Evil

See no evil, hear no evil, speak no evil. Most of us have seen the image of three monkeys, one covering his eyes, the next closing his ears, and the third one with his hands over his mouth. This ancient teaching suggests a wisdom that can really improve our lives if we put it into practice. Paramhansa Yogananda guided the … Read More

bubble make me the sea yogananda chant and teachings of yoga samadhi
A Touch of Light

When the Bubble Bursts

I’ve always enjoyed the pastime of blowing bubbles. Whether doing it as a child, or as an adult watching children delighting in it, the sight of iridescent bubbles floating through the air has never ceased to thrill me. I even had a friend who could blow different-colored ones on request: By some secret technique, pink, blue, or yellow bubbles would … Read More

spiritual painting on taking it one step at a time and starting at strong point
A Touch of Light

A Step at a Time

Why does it take so long, we wonder? It is common to experience a sense of frustration with our spiritual efforts. When progress seems to take forever, our very impatience can become an obstacle. We need to respect the way nature works and take things a step at a time. A good friend, Sagar, shared this story from ancient India. … Read More

swami kriyananda quotes attunement is harmony on yogananda teachings
A Touch of Light

Dynamic Harmony

Recently we had a wonderful satsang with Nayaswamis Devarshi and Dhyana, who shared many inspiring stories about the work in Ananda India. Devarshi is the head of a small but growing monastery near Chandigarh in northern India. In talking about what’s making their life together so uplifting, he spoke of their “dynamic harmony”: a shared spirit of joy, service, and … Read More

A Touch of Light


A friend who is an architect and engineer made an amusing comment about Ananda that has always stayed with me. He said, “We engineers study the effects of gravity. We need to know how to keep structures from collapsing. But at Ananda it is the opposite: You study the effects of levity.” Levity, in this sense, is far different from … Read More

samadhi poem yogananda a tiny bubble of laughter i am become the sea of mirth itself
A Touch of Light

Are You Making Spiritual Progress?

There’s a story of a young disciple who came to his guru’s forest ashram for training. The guru blessed him and asked him to begin collecting firewood for the ashram’s stoves. Willingly he carried out this task, and as the days, months, and then years passed, he continued to serve humbly in this way. One day as he was returning … Read More

lahiri mahasaya yogananda kriya yoga teachings
A Touch of Light

Learn to Squint

Squinting is an invaluable technique used by artists, and something we can apply in our own lives too. For artists, it’s simple to do: you just periodically look at your work with your eyes partially closed. Here is what a very fine artist, Robert Genn, has to say about the subject: “Looking at work with half-closed eyes has several benefits. … Read More

tulips crystal hermitage world class gardens grass valley california amazing tulips
A Touch of Light

A Resurrection of Tulips

I’ve always enjoyed the beauty and poetry of words. There’s a certain category that I find especially delightful: the terms for gatherings in nature. Expressions like “a flamboyance of flamingoes,” “a murmuring of magpies,” or my favorite, “an exaltation of skylarks,” all hint at the glory of God’s creation. Well, I’d like to create one of my own now: a … Read More