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

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

How gratitude and compassion and positivity can change the world for the better
A Touch of Light

A Fast Track to Happiness

A friend sent us a fascinating article on the strong influence that gratitude and positive emotions have on us. They not only affect us personally, but also influence the world around us. As meditators we know how powerful the mind and heart can be, but it is nice to see this also backed up by scientific research, in this case … Read More

The Sharing Nature Activity called "Camera" is part of the Living the Gita course of Yogananda Institute.
A Touch of Light

Don’t Be Formal with God

The group of thirty people broke up into pairs, laughing as they began to play “Camera,” one of Joseph Bharat Cornell’s Sharing Nature games. It was the last afternoon of a three-day course we’re developing, “Living the Gita,” which will be the basis for the new Yogananda Institute to be established in Delhi. After two and a half days of … Read More

Meditation and the breath is a wonderful way to make finding calmness in daily life possible.
A Touch of Light

Finding Calmness in the Midst of Activity

This article by us came out on September 20 in the Times of India, the largest newspaper in the country. Another article we wrote for them a few years ago had more than a hundred thousand views and three hundred comments. It is a wonderful way to reach large numbers of readers. I thought you might enjoy reading this new … Read More

Rainbow sign of gods omnipresence that he is always with us.
A Touch of Light

We Need Reminders

There’s a story about a guru who made a strange request of three of his disciples. “I will give each of you a banana. I want you to find a place where no one is watching, and then eat your banana. Come back to me as soon as you have completed your task.” The first man quickly left the ashram … Read More

integrated life pyramid for living the gita series of yogananda institute india
A Touch of Light

Do What You Can

I had an insight in meditation a few days ago. I’m sure that these flashes must come to you also when your mind is calm and open. I was trying to deepen my concentration, and failing. This is a common hurdle for all meditators: Even Paramhansa Yogananda’s thoughts were “distributed like leaves in a storm” a few minutes before his … Read More

Jyotish Novak Artwork: Prints, Canvas, Cards, and Magnets available
A Touch of Light

Achieving Our Goals

We arrived in Delhi, India, a few days ago and have been simultaneously getting over jetlag, settling into a new apartment, and giving energy to an exciting project that Ananda is developing here. In case you haven’t heard, a dynamic team is working to create the Yogananda Institute, a learning hub open to people on all levels of spiritual interest … Read More

A Touch of Light

No Longer Earthbound

There was something missing; the life I was living was a cage. Yes, the cage was comfortable — I had a good job, earning both money and respect — but I felt constrained, earthbound. In my spare time I began to climb hills and mountains, gradually conquering the highest peaks. For a time it was satisfying, even thrilling. The vistas I saw were vast, … Read More