seclusion is the price of greatness quote paramhansa yogananda painting by nayaswami jyotish
A Touch of Light

Seclusion

Last week Devi and I spent a period apart and in seclusion, the first time in several years that I had had a chance to be totally alone with God as my sole focus. It was wonderful! My heart began to soar as even a few days of seclusion helped me realign my habits with my lifelong priorities. The world … Read More

set your mind to accomplish your goals yogananda teachings
A Touch of Light

Miracle of Miracles

After years of failed attempts to manifest my New Year’s resolutions (ever happen to you?), I finally hit upon an approach that really does seem to work. When I shared this new strategy with friends at a recent satsang at Ananda Village, some of them asked me afterwards, “Could you write a blog about this so we can better remember … Read More

gods boatman yogananda painting by jyotish art
A Touch of Light

Priorities

2022! We made it through 2021 and can look toward a new and (let’s hope) better year. Now is a good time to review our goals and priorities for the year ahead. Swami Kriyananda often told us this story: A very sincere devotee of God made a vow. “If ever You call me, Lord, I will drop everything and come … Read More

A Touch of Light

My Soul Is Marching On

In many of his past lives Paramhansa Yogananda had been a great warrior and spiritual leader of humanity. He told his disciples that he had been William the Conqueror, who stormed the beach at Hastings, England, in 1066 to establish one of the oldest continuous governments in history.  In another former life, he indicated, he was King Ferdinand III of … Read More

A Touch of Light

Three Visitors

The tiny newborn had been crying for so long that Mary feared he was ill. Yet when she placed her hand on his forehead, she felt no fever. A comforting thought flashed into her mind: “He is just frustrated: He has much to say and share, but his little tongue won’t yet obey his commands.” So, despite his continued crying, … Read More

where two or more are gathered in my name there i am in the midst of them yogananda christmas quotes
A Touch of Light

Where Two or More Are Gathered Together

Ah, Christmas: the season of social gatherings, gift giving, wonderful food, glittering decorations, hustle and bustle . . . and yet it is so much more than any of these things. Paramhansa Yogananda said that at this time of year the Christ consciousness is especially close to earth, and more accessible to those who reach for it. And he gave a mystical … Read More

supernova nasa for self realization samadhi steps of paramhansa yogananda
A Touch of Light

Unconditional Love

We recently honored, with a celebratory satsang, the 75th anniversary of the publication of Paramhansa Yogananda’s Autobiography of a Yogi. I was asked to speak about one of my favorite chapters in that amazing book, “An Experience in Cosmic Consciousness.” For me, as for so many others I have met, the Autobiography changed my life. I had been searching my … Read More

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
A Touch of Light

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
A Touch of Light

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