Jairam or Joe Hunt who is fighting for freedom from prison with Nayaswamis Jyotish and Devi
A Touch of Light

Who Is the Prisoner?

He was just twenty-four years old when he was found guilty of a crime he didn’t commit. He was sentenced to life in prison without parole, and thirty-six years have passed since then. Though he’s appealed his sentence many times, this innocent man has spent his entire adult life behind bars. His name is Joe Hunt, but we call him … Read More

Painting by Nayaswami Jyotish If You Call Me
A Touch of Light

Relax and Accept

Wisdom often comes from an unusual source. I recently read an interview with a Hollywood stuntman. When asked what was the most dangerous stunt in his long career, he replied that it was getting hit by a car traveling at thirty miles per hour. He went on to say that first, you have to be tall enough for your hips … Read More

A Touch of Light

Weathering the Storm

How do seabirds survive the impact of a violent hurricane? Recently a friend sent me an interesting article about this. The birds use a simple technique: they fly in the same direction as the winds, which spiral inward toward the center of the hurricane. In this way, they are drawn into the calm eye of the storm where the winds … Read More

How to dissolve the ego
A Touch of Light

Dissolving the Ego

Swami Kriyananda urged members of Ananda to strive for liberation in this lifetime. One morning Devi and I were eating breakfast with him in his home in India, and the conversation turned to the question of liberation. We said, “Why is it so hard to find God? It seems to be a daunting task, and we don’t feel like we’re … Read More

A Touch of Light

Enjoy Your Self

Swami Kriyananda was a man of deep spiritual realization, and he also had a delightful sense of humor. His laughter helped us to understand that if God is joy, then the spiritual path should be fun, too. One of Swamiji’s favorite writers was the British humorist P. G. Wodehouse. Much to our delight, he loved to entertain his friends by … Read More

The Nadi reader in Bangalore, India. The photo in the upper left corner is his father who trained him in giving readings.
A Touch of Light

Guru Seva

In 2013, about six months after Swami Kriyananda’s passing, Devi and I visited a “Nadi reader” in Bangalore, India. These readings, written thousands of years ago by an ancient lineage of seers and astrologers, give detailed information and advice regarding people yet to be born. A specially trained pundit casts a chart from your birthdate and looks for a page … Read More

Paramhansa Yogananda said to those who think me near, I will be near.
A Touch of Light

I Wish I Had Met You

This year, 2020, marks the one hundredth anniversary of the launch of Paramhansa Yogananda’s world mission. The scope of his accomplishments in one lifetime was remarkable. Arriving in Boston in 1920, barely speaking English, he truly took America by storm. Within a few years of landing in the West, he was filling the largest auditoriums from coast to coast—from New … Read More

Rainbow reflecting the various colors of vibration in light and sound
A Touch of Light

The AUM Vibration

Our Sunday service readings begin the year by quoting one of the most mystical passages in the Bible, the first verses of the Gospel of St. John: “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. The same was in the beginning with God. All things were made by him; and without … Read More

Ananda Assisi temple with friends from all over the world, Dhyana, Devi, Anandi, Dharmadas and Nirmala
A Touch of Light

Investment Tips

Often in financial newsletters we see investment tips offered by an economic pundit saying what stocks to buy or sell in the coming year for the greatest profitability. For those of us who are seeking God and His divine riches, however, we need to follow the advice of a different kind of pundit. The question we should ask our guru, … Read More

A Touch of Light

Christmas Eve

It’s Christmas Eve as I write this, and I thought it would be fun to start with a little history before delving into more spiritual thoughts. “A Visit from St. Nicholas” is one of the world’s best-known poems. It starts, “’Twas the night before Christmas, when all through the house Not a creature was stirring, not even a mouse; The … Read More

Paramhansa Yogananda wearing cross of Christianity, representing east and west teachings of spirituality
A Touch of Light

Toward Christ Consciousness

Paramhansa Yogananda came to earth with a dual mission: to unite East and West and to uplift human consciousness. In one of his recorded talks Yoganandaji declared, “We have started a great movement. I came for the special dispensation—interpretation of the scriptures and giving Kriya Yoga, that key to heaven.” He explained that the Biblical expression describing Jesus Christ as … Read More

A Touch of Light

How to Enjoy Long Meditations

We will be having our annual all-day Christmas meditation on December 23. This tradition was started by Paramhansa Yogananda, who suggested we should celebrate a “spiritual Christmas” with a long meditation as well as a “social Christmas.” My first eight-hour meditation was in 1967. The previous evening Swami Kriyananda had given me and a few others our first Kriya initiation … Read More

A Touch of Light

How to Love

“Isn’t it self-evident?” you may ask yourself. Yet when we look at the rising divorce rate, the incidence of abused or neglected children, and the escalating expressions of hatred and violence throughout the world, it seems clear that most people have forgotten the art of loving. Jyotish and I will be giving a two-part webinar, “How to Love and Be … Read More

A Touch of Light

How We Pray

This is a story about Mullah Nasreddin, one of innumerable tales about the mischievous Sufi mystic of thirteenth-century Turkey. Nasreddin never visited the mosque nor did he ever seem to pray, which greatly upset the people of his community. Although he was loved and admired for his wisdom, the elders were no longer able to tolerate his irreverent behavior, so … Read More

A Touch of Light

The Currents of the Ganges

The early morning light cast shimmering shades of turquoise and crystalline blue on the rushing river and floating mists. Even at the usually quiet time of dawn, you could hear the pulsating, all-pervasive roar of AUM as the water’s ceaseless energy moved past us. The Ganges north of Rishikesh is one of the most spectacular and spiritually powerful sights we’ve … Read More

A Touch of Light, Spiritualizing Daily Life

Working for God

Our time now in India is fast drawing to a close. This morning during our daily walk, Devi asked me, “What is your main takeaway from this trip?” Without hesitation I replied, “It is the sense that we haven’t been doing anything. God is doing it all.” We have been travelling since mid-August and, by the time we return to … Read More


Last News Update from India 2019

Dear Friends,   This will be the last update we send from India during this trip. On Friday, Nov. 22, we fly back to the US after three and a half months on the road in Italy and India.   First, we want to thank so many of you who have been praying for us daily—we’re very aware how much … Read More

A Touch of Light

Glimpsing the Red-Billed Blue Magpie

We were walking quietly along a forest path in the foothills of the Himalayas, when suddenly a flutter of wings and movement in the trees overhead caught my attention. There it was, what I had been hoping to see . . . the red-billed blue magpie. For the past several years during our time in India, we’ve taken a period of seclusion … Read More

A Touch of Light

Overcoming Conflict

Here in India we’ve been teaching a course called Living the Gita. Part of our preparation has been to reread the Mahabharata, the long epic of which the Bhagavad Gita forms a part. We’ve been reading a delightful and enlightening version by Devdutt Pattanaik called Jaya, filled with stories from the Mahabharata as well as interesting additional information. At one … Read More

A Touch of Light

Penniless in Brindaban

One of the most memorable chapters in Autobiography of a Yogi is “Two Penniless Boys in Brindaban,” in which Yoganandaji puts his faith in God to the test. If you remember, young Yogananda and his friend and fellow seeker, Jitendra, stop to visit the Master’s skeptical elder brother, Ananta, at his home in Agra. Trying to undermine his younger brother’s … Read More