A Touch of Light

The Dual Nature of Divine Love

Some years ago Jyotish and I arrived at Ananda’s community near Assisi, Italy, where Swami Kriyananda was then residing. We hadn’t seen him for many months, and were eagerly looking forward to having some relaxed time with him to enjoy the blessings of his company. Much to my disappointment, however, it was evident that Swamiji was very busy with writing … Read More

swami kriyananda painting of the spiritual eye
A Touch of Light

The Inner Light

When Swami Kriyananda gave me the spiritual name, Jyotish, he said that it means “Inner Light.” Seeing light in the forehead during meditation has always been a cornerstone of my practice, which is probably why he chose this name for me. Yogananda explains that one of the hidden teachings of the Bhagavad Gita is that each character, good and bad, … Read More

gods boatman painting and poem yogananda
A Touch of Light

Follow the Breadcrumbs

In The New Path, Swami Kriyananda recounts an amazing story about Señor J. M. Cuaron, one of Yoganandaji’s direct disciples and the SRF center leader in Mexico City: “I was badly in need of a job,” Señor Cuaron told Swamiji, “but for a long time could find no work anywhere. Then one day an excellent offer came from a company … Read More

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A Touch of Light

Lessons Learned in Eighty Years

I will celebrate my eightieth birthday in less than a month. While my personal inclination would be to let the occasion slip by unnoticed, the precedent set by Swami Kriyananda impels us to honor the event with a celebration. He understood that these occasions are wonderful opportunities to knit our worldwide family together. I thought it appropriate to share a … Read More

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A Touch of Light

Why We Meditate

As a lifelong meditator, I love to hear people’s experiences of how meditation has helped them. Here are a few such stories which, taken together, show a broad spectrum of benefits that meditation can bring. Recently I was talking with a friend, the mother of three children under the age of six, who has begun meditating during the past year. … Read More

A Touch of Light

Ups and Downs

Life is a journey of ups and downs. The immutable laws of maya (delusion) dictate that we will navigate through alternating cycles: day and night, birth and death, good and bad. Should we be surprised, then, if our spiritual life also has its peaks and troughs? There are times when we feel energized, dedicated, and in tune. Then we can … Read More

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A Touch of Light

Awaiting the Unexpected

The spiritual path can sometimes seem like an endless struggle up a steep cliff, with little to show for our efforts along the way. But the ability to find the strength to keep going is what separates the dilettante devotee from the true seeker. Deep commitment is the secret to drawing God’s presence into our life. There’s a beautiful story … Read More

A Touch of Light

What Makes Us Happy

Ananda has a dear friend, Sri D. R. Kaarthikeyan. Swami Kriyananda considered him to be “my Indian brother” and, indeed, their camaraderie made them seem like two brothers. Kaarthikeyanji is a pivotal member of the Board of Directors of not only Ananda in India, but many other spiritual and humanitarian organizations as well. One of the ways this compassionate soul … Read More

swami kriyananda song all the world is my friend stories of his kindness and divine friendship
A Touch of Light

All the World Is My Friend

We have two dear friends in Australia who are helping to lead Ananda’s growing work there. The man is a person with great openness of heart. When we spoke with them recently, his wife shared that when they’re in public, often a stranger will come up to him and ask, “Do I know you? It seems like we’ve met before.” … Read More

A Touch of Light

Do the Right Thing

It was near the end of a long race. The spectators in the stadium rose to their feet as the two leaders entered, the Kenyan slightly ahead of the young man from the Netherlands. Mistakenly thinking that he had finished, the Kenyan stopped a few yards from the finish line. Instead of racing past him, the Dutchman stopped and shouted … Read More

A Touch of Light

Whose Dream Is This?

A farmer was standing completely still amidst the wind-blown wheat in his field, deep in thought. His wife came rushing up, beside herself with grief, crying that their only son had just been killed by a cobra. When her husband made no reply, she blurted out, “You are heartless!” “Forgive me, but you don’t understand,” the farmer replied. “Last night … Read More

yogananda meditation painting
A Touch of Light

Bridging Time and Tranquility

A common problem is carving out time for meditation. This challenge isn’t exclusive to novices—even seasoned meditators can find it tough to dedicate as much time as they would like. And even on days when we’re not immediately pressed for time, the mental habit of anxiety over it, in addition to the many other stresses in our lives, can keep … Read More

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A Touch of Light

Happy Birthday, Swamiji!

As I write this blog, it’s a few days before the anniversary of Swami Kriyananda’s birth—May 19, 1926. To honor his life, I felt to write him a personal letter of appreciation (that I’m sharing with you as well). Dear Swamiji, It’s hard to believe that ten years have passed since you left your body, because your presence in our … Read More

yogananda looks up into the forest with wonder and gratitude for divine mother
A Touch of Light

What Matters in the End

A poignant quote from Buddha came to us recently: “In the end only three things matter. How much you loved, how gently you lived, and how gracefully you let go of things not meant for you.” Often we live locked up in self-focused goals and desires. Yet, as we depart from this incarnation, goals must be relinquished and desires discarded. … Read More

simple living high thinking yogananda teachings and autumn reflections painting by jyotish
A Touch of Light

It’s Time to Simplify

“How can we prepare ourselves for a future that looks so uncertain?” This question was asked during a recent satsang we had with Ananda’s online Virtual Community, and it seemed an important one to discuss. Swami Kriyananda gave a series of talks which he entitled, “Building Spiritual Power Against Troubled Times.” This is one of the answers to the question … Read More

Jyotish and Swamiji at a Fourth of July celebration in 2008.
A Touch of Light

Lessons Learned Along the Way

Today marks my fifty-sixth anniversary of meeting Swami Kriyananda in 1967. I knocked on his apartment door in San Francisco soon after reading Autobiography of a Yogi, and he welcomed me not only into his home, but also into his life. While the lessons I’ve learned along the way are too many to list, I’d like to share some of … Read More

A Touch of Light

Stranger in a Strange Land

A few weeks ago Jyotish and I led the Astral Ascension Ceremony for a dear friend, Judy Fox, who passed away recently. Judy was part of a small team, as were we, that Swami Kriyananda sent to Italy in the early 1980s to help start Ananda’s work there. We landed in Northern Italy near Lake Como at a lovely summer … Read More

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A Touch of Light

Overcoming Anxiety

Anxiety is one of the diseases of our age, affecting almost two-thirds of the population, with nearly a third finding it debilitating. Paramhansa Yogananda said, “The main causes of nervousness are 1) long-continued overactivity, 2) excessive stimulation of the senses from physical overindulgence, and 3) mental overstimulation from chronic fear, anger, sorrow, hatred, jealousy, discontent, or similar harmful emotions. “Any … Read More

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A Touch of Light

How Can I Best Help Them?

Recently a friend wrote asking: “How can I help family members who are going through a difficult time, or have a sour relationship with one another, without being affected by the situation personally? How does one know when to intervene and support, and when to be an observer and send support from a distance?” We have all faced this dilemma … Read More

how to tame restless mind in meditation yogananda teachings explained by meditators jyotish and devi
A Touch of Light

Taming the Mind

A restless mind is a common and ancient problem for meditators. If you also have this problem, know, my friend, that you are not alone. In the Bhagavad Gita, Arjuna says to Krishna, “Owing to my restlessness I’ve achieved no lasting results in the attempts You’ve taught me to steady the mind. Verily the mind is restless, tumultuous, madly stubborn! … Read More