A Touch of Light

Afraid of Flying

San Francisco to Frankfurt . . . Frankfurt to Rome . . . Perugia to Rotterdam . . . Amsterdam to Delhi. This has been our journey since mid-August as we’ve traveled to various Ananda centers in Europe sharing Master’s teachings. (We just arrived in Delhi today.) International travel can be challenging and stressful, but fortunately Jyotish and I handle it fairly well. For some people, … Read More

A Touch of Light

The Trunk and the Branches

About six months after Swami Kriyananda passed from this world, Devi and I had a Nadi reading about our life—past, present, and future. This experience was fascinating on many levels. The pundit who did the reading had only our birth date, time, and place: the standard information needed to cast an astrological chart. Using this, he found in his storage … Read More

A Touch of Light

Walking The New Path

“I want to be your disciple.” Seventy-five years ago, on September 12, 1948, a young man knelt before Paramhansa Yogananda, and with intense yearning spoke these words. It was the beginning of a journey that changed his life, and by extension our life, and the lives of millions of others throughout the world. For the young aspirant was Swami Kriyananda … Read More

swami kriyananda in assisi looking courageous during karma
A Touch of Light

Navigating Life’s Dramas

Life is a journey filled with highs and lows. Sometimes it feels like a roller coaster, bursting with exhilarating peaks and gloomy valleys. At other times, it feels like the repetitive routine of a Ferris wheel that simply turns in endless circles. We will continue to ride the cycle of life from one incarnation to the next until we have … Read More

yogananda teachings on how to overcome tests on the spiritual path yogananda statue ananda village
A Touch of Light

School’s in Session

In most parts of the world, the school year is about to begin. Children are assembling their new backpacks, books, and clothes for the year ahead. New subjects and tests loom on the horizon. It’s an exciting time for children and their parents, though perhaps for different reasons. Here in Assisi we were recently discussing why people on the spiritual … Read More

A Touch of Light

Spiritual Power

We are in Assisi, immersed in a Spiritual Renewal Week with the theme “How to Develop Spiritual Power Against Troubled Times.” There is a common misperception in which people confuse developing spiritual power with spiritual powers, the ability to perform miracles. In today’s class one of the speakers talked about the time when Paramhansa Yogananda visited Therese Neumann, the Bavarian … Read More

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

lessons learned over jyotish 80 years birthday blog 2023
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

meditation group ananda india yogananda teachings meditation quotes
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

yogananda teachings how to stay on the spiritual path yogananda meditation yogananda meditating on tiger skin
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

swami kriyananda close up photo
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