how to do a short meditation intensely when there isnt time
A Touch of Light

When Time Is Short

We sometimes find ourselves in a situation in which we simply don’t have as long for our meditation as we would like. When this happens, the solution is not to skip our practice, but to do a shorter sadhana with greater intensity. In a short meditation it is especially important to make an effort to concentrate deeply. This principle of … Read More

crystal hermitage chapel ananda village
A Touch of Light

Watch for the “Aha” Moments

Over the years I’ve learned a lot about life by observing parents shopping with their children. Once in a supermarket I watched a little girl who was noisily demanding of her mother some goodie she wanted. After trying repeatedly to placate her child with noncommittal answers, the mother finally blurted out in exasperation, “The answer is maybe, and that’s final!” … Read More

how to allow grace to come through energy flow
A Touch of Light

Energy Flow Is the Key

I’d like to share an illustrative little story someone sent us: A young man who was receiving training from his guru was going about his duties, and the guru noticed he seemed a little depressed. The guru asked, “My boy, why are you so sad?” And the young man replied, “Sir, I love hearing you speak about the Bhagavad Gita. … Read More

A Touch of Light

What God Gives . . .

There is a powerful story from the life of Paramhansa Yogananda about the importance of rising above our likes and dislikes. It took place at a special ceremony at which he gave a lady student a red rose to wear. “But I don’t want a red rose,” she protested. “I want a pink one.” The Master answered her strongly, “What … Read More

swami kriyananda quotes about him from jyotish
A Touch of Light

Thank You, Swamiji

Swami Kriyananda was the sculptor who chiseled my heart and soul. My life has been transformed by trying to live according to his example. His birthday is May 19, and it seems fitting, as a kind of birthday present, to thank him for some of the ways he changed me and countless others. Divine Friendship. Swamiji usually signed his letters, … Read More

death and dying quotes from gita of india for grief and loss, angel
A Touch of Light

Facing Grief and Loss

The pandemic in India has created a situation that is both heartbreaking in terms of human suffering and staggering in its numbers. Many reputable sources say that the reported statistics of 400,000 new cases of Covid and 3,000 deaths per day are actually many times lower than the true figures. Yet what really brings this situation home for me are … Read More

ashram karma yoga program spiritual community ananda village
A Touch of Light

Young Bodies, Old Souls

We had a lovely dinner on the lawn with a group of friends last week, the first in more than a year. As the conversation deepened over the evening, we asked each person to talk about what they were working on inwardly. Their answers probably resonate with you too: “I’m working on staying in the moment.” Another, “I’m working on … Read More

A Touch of Light

A Letter to Swami Kriyananda

Today is the anniversary of Swamiji’s Moksha Day in 2013—when he discarded the worn-out garment of his body and found soul freedom. Rather than write about him, I thought I’d write a letter to him and share it with you. April 21, 2021 Dear Swamiji, This morning we had a beautiful meditation in your apartment at Crystal Hermitage to honor … Read More

A Touch of Light

Relax and Feel

One of the most difficult concepts for most people to grasp is that we don’t so much achieve Self-realization as we relax into it. We are constantly bombarded with the message that success depends upon making a strenuous effort. While this is often true for worldly success, it is the opposite for spiritual attainment. One time Swami Kriyananda, a little … Read More

A Touch of Light

Without a Doubt

I was once visiting a friend who had recently given birth to her second child, a lovely little girl. Her first child, a precocious three-year-old named Tamara, was exhibiting definite signs of jealousy towards this newcomer with whom she had to share her parents’ attention. As my friend lovingly cradled the sleeping infant in her arms, Tamara approached with a … Read More

A Touch of Light

Thy Will Be Done

Today is the anniversary of the crucifixion of Jesus, one of the three central events in Christianity. Anyone who grew up as a Christian is intimately familiar with the image of Christ dying on the cross. Easter, of course, represents the resurrection and the triumph of life over death, of spirit over body. There are many aspects to these events, … Read More

A Touch of Light

An Evening in the Eternal City

Today a friend of mine sent a cartoon in which a couple are seated together in a living room, and the woman says, “One day 2020 will be a one-word catchphrase for everything messed up. ‘How’s your day going?’ someone will ask you. ‘A total 2020,’ you’ll answer. ‘Say no more,’ will be their reply.” There’s probably truth behind the … Read More

A Touch of Light

How to Live “Autobiography of a Yogi”

For our annual Inner Renewal Week starting next week we will focus on various writings of Paramhansa Yogananda and Swami Kriyananda, including Autobiography of a Yogi, Conversations with Yogananda, and The Essence of the Bhagavad Gita. But reading and discussing books is all too often merely an intellectual exercise, even when it is inspiring. We want to take a different … Read More

yogananda as channel of divine mother
A Touch of Light

More Than a Mother

Last week Jyotish wrote that the blog “Celebrations” marked his two hundredth offering. Well, friends, here is my two hundredth, making a grand total of four hundred blogs we’ve posted since we started writing them in 2013. Thanks to all of you for your support. There was another much more important event that also took place last week. On March … Read More

the next wave painting by Nayaswami Jyotish shows the celebratory energy of sharing the light
A Touch of Light

Celebrations

When Swami Kriyananda finished a big project—a major book or series of talks—he would usually gather a small group of friends together and take a short vacation to relax and celebrate. Devi and I were often blessed to accompany him on these celebratory trips. His favorite destination in America was Carmel, California, a picturesque former artist colony on the Pacific … Read More

Sri Anandamayi Ma Yogananda teachings
A Touch of Light

Exit Strategies

“YOU ARE HERE” is written on the poster in bold letters, next to a bright red X. A line of arrows leads from the X, showing the exit route that leads out of the building in case of a fire. Every hotel room we’ve ever stayed in has such a sign posted inside the door, and although I’ve never actually … Read More

A Touch of Light

Catching God

Once when I was young, perhaps three or four years old, my uncle was visiting our family. He had a quirky sense of humor that tended toward practical jokes. I was playing outside on a sunny spring morning, when he joined me in the backyard with a saltshaker, and a mischievous look on his face. As happens during spring in … Read More

soul freedom is the merging into the divine light
A Touch of Light

The Light Shining in Darkness

I have a confession to make. There are times when I can become stubborn. I expect this can be a little challenging for my friends, but at times it has produced some interesting results. Here’s an example. While in college my friends and I would occasionally sign up as subjects for psychology experiments. These were harmless enough, and we got … Read More

how to achieve peace and the difference between peace and calmness, seen in these wildflowers outside of ananda assisi temple
A Touch of Light

Peace

Devi wrote her last blog on the subject of calmness, saying, “When you feel a recurring karmic situation moving towards you, make the necessary mental or behavioral adjustments while you are still free to do so. The more you can self-adjust early in the process, the less power karma will have over you.” This is the proper way to fight … Read More

A Touch of Light

Keeping Your Balance

I recently read an article by a dance teacher that gives us surprisingly helpful advice about how to deal with life’s challenges. The instructor, Jan Erkert, wrote: “As a dancer, I study physical states of energy. In one exercise I often conduct with my students, one dancer must remain still while others throw their full weight into them, like football … Read More