yogananda public lecture Minneapolis author of autobiography of a yogi
A Touch of Light

A World Without Autobiography of a Yogi

We did an interview recently with our good friend, Phil Goldberg, author of The Life of Yogananda: The Story of the Yogi Who Became the First Modern Guru. The interview was in honor of the seventy-fifth anniversary of the first publication of Autobiography of a Yogi in December 1946. During the interview Phil raised an interesting question: “What would the … Read More

unity in the diverse garden at crystal hermitage
A Touch of Light

Diversity and Unity

There is a yearning in our hearts for a better world than the one we see around us. This longing burns especially brightly when daily headlines are filled with such negativity, division, and anger. When I was in college I wrote an essay about a Utopian world where suddenly everyone was able to communicate telepathically. After a period of turbulence, … Read More

seva and swami kriyananda
A Touch of Light

The Nightingale

This past week has been a time of introspection for us. Nayaswami Seva, our dear friend of more than fifty years and one of Ananda’s founding members, passed away suddenly last Sunday of a heart attack. Though eighty-six years old, she was in good health and was still serving dynamically throughout the community. Shortly after arriving at Ananda in 1970, … Read More

yogananda mountaints in spiringtime painting by jyotish in karmic seeds blog shenandoah
A Touch of Light

Karmic Seeds

Devi and I were giving a series of programs at our community and temple in Palo Alto, California, a few days ago. As all the events of the weekend were winding down something very touching took place. In a conspiratorial and somewhat excited manner, they led us to two chairs set in front of a small choir in their courtyard. … Read More

yogananda statue at ananda village lifesize
A Touch of Light

The Principle of T.W.O.

It was July 31, 1949. Paramhansa Yogananda had been invited to speak at, of all places, a Beverly Hills society garden party. His hostess expected him, no doubt, to make a few gracious remarks to her guests, who could then get on with their socializing. Were they in for a surprise! Swami Kriyananda writes about this event in The New … Read More

shiva statue ananda
A Touch of Light

Sharing Shiva

There is a beautiful Shiva shrine at Ananda Village, a sacred place where many have meditated over the years. It is larger than life size and was sculpted by a talented artist who lived here. Michael, a longtime Village resident, lives nearby, and by helping tend it has developed a deep connection with this image of God. Some years back, … Read More

swami kriyananda devotion to guru paramhansa yogananda
A Touch of Light

Hiding in Plain Sight

Some years ago our four-year-old son came to me with an odd expression on his face and said, “I didn’t do nuffing, Mommy.” His transparent attempt to appear innocent gave him away, and I asked, “Where didn’t you do nothing?” Looking down, he admitted, “In the closet.” We went there straightaway to discover what mischief he had gotten into. A … Read More

how to still the mind for meditation
A Touch of Light

Start with the Heart

It seems nearly impossible to stop the restless monkey mind during meditation. Why? In part, because we are looking at the effect rather than the cause. Mental restlessness is generally initiated by restless emotions! If you want to calm an agitated mind, first see what emotions are triggering your thoughts. Start with the heart. I practiced this principle in my … Read More

A Touch of Light

Collaboration

“You should write a book on collaborative medicine.” Swami Kriyananda once gave this advice to Dr. Peter Van Houten, the physician for Ananda Village, and the founder of a national award–winning rural clinic. Recently we had an inspiring visit with Peter and his wife, Patricia, during which he shared about how he practices medicine “collaboratively” at his clinic. First, there’s … Read More

king of the infinite jyotish art
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Identity Theft

This blog is meant to be what Master said life should be: “entertaining and educational.” It is done in a light way about a serious topic, but sometimes things are too serious to be approached seriously. So, here is a story of the journey of a young man that Swami Kriyananda might have called, “devotee everyone.” For the sake of … Read More

yogananda teachings on how to learn lessons of life
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What Am I Supposed to Learn?

Little did I know, that first day I arrived at Ananda Village—July 4, 1969—that my real education and, in fact, my real life was about to begin. Twenty-two years old, I had just finished college. Up until then I had basically spent my whole life listening to teachers feed me facts, figures, theories, and formulae. Though I’d excelled in my … Read More

A Touch of Light

Give God the Responsibility

Devi and I have been exploring the same basic theme for three blogs, allowing us to look more deeply at such an important topic. Two weeks ago I wrote about the importance of faith, followed by Devi’s blog about relaxing upward. Today, I want to write about a topic that concerns everyone: how to deal with our responsibilities. The teachings … Read More

relax upward meditation yogananda teachings picture of buddha universal spirituality of ananda palo alto
A Touch of Light

Relax Upward

I read a true story recently about a woman who was tending her son in the hospital following a long, difficult surgery. Three days after the procedure, the boy was still in a great deal of pain, and the worried mother was unable to sleep. As she paced the empty hospital corridors alone at three in the morning, tears of … Read More

how to develop faith teachings of yogananda and babaji and christ watching over the world quote autobiography of a yogi
A Touch of Light

Have a Little Faith

“Have a little faith” is an expression often used in a light way, perhaps by those who are trying to prove themselves to you. But in fact, true faith is the bedrock of both spiritual success and the ability to withstand the storms and trials of life. How many times do we despair when we encounter difficulties? Often we are … Read More

yogananda teachings in daily life on three unexepcted gifts on spiritual path with yogananda in painting
A Touch of Light

Three Unexpected Gifts

Sometimes the best gifts come in unexpected packages. Perhaps this is God’s way of encouraging us to see the hidden treasure lying beneath the challenges in life. Here are three such gifts that at first glance seem to come in very odd wrappings: solitude, silence, and spiritual hunger. First, the Gift of Solitude. Most people are either uncomfortable or bored … Read More

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The Parable of the Frightened Boy

There was a young boy who lived in a small village. One night he woke up screaming, and when his parents rushed in to see what was wrong, the trembling boy said, “I was in the forest at the edge of the village just as it was starting to get dark. A huge tiger came out of the trees and … Read More

paintings of yogananda and mountains
A Touch of Light

You Can Get There from Here

There’s a joke I enjoy sharing about a traveler who found himself lost in an unfamiliar countryside. Luckily, he spied an old farmer standing by the side of the road surveying his fields. Approaching the old man, the lost traveler asked, “Excuse me. Do you know the way to Smartsville?” The laconic farmer paused for a while, and then replied, … Read More

A Touch of Light

Three Questions

What is working? What isn’t working? What if? A delightful painting instructor uses these three questions as part of his artistic process. When he is making a sketch for a new painting, he looks at his first attempt and keeps those things that are working, changes those that aren’t, and asks “What if I did this instead?” He repeats the … Read More

babaji krishna and jesus christ in meditation art by jyotish
A Touch of Light

Our Own Possibilities

All of life is bound together by a common purpose. From the lowliest worm to the most exalted saint, all are seeking the same goal: bliss. This search may take many forms—from finding a juicy leaf to union with God—but this shared desire for true happiness motivates us all. People do themselves a disservice when they put great saints on … Read More

yogananda teachings on how to be happy all the time
A Touch of Light

I Can Choose

In 1937 Yogananda wrote to his most advanced disciple, Rajarshi Janakananda, “I used to come home, my hair saturated with smoke and my eyes burning after luncheon talks. I felt even suffocated. One day I made up my mind, Divine Spirit was smoke and light, and I was never bothered since. Mind is everything, whichever way you train it.” Mind … Read More