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 Ocean. Its shops, galleries, and winding streets reminded him of Europe. What wonderful memories we have of those times when he shared his joy with Divine Mother!
We, too, have reached a landmark that calls for a celebration. This is my 200th Touch of Light blog, and next week Devi will reach the same total. When we started writing them in 2013, we didn’t know how long we would continue with these weekly offerings, or that they would reach so many people. We were just doing our part to share the light we had received from Paramhansa Yogananda.
Many times, the most difficult part was coming up with a fresh idea for the blog. There were instances when, facing a deadline, I stared uneasily at a blank screen. Then an idea flashed into my mind as if from outer space. I’ve come to recognize these inspirations as gifts from God and Gurus; my part is to be open to receiving their grace. I’ve learned, tentatively at first, but more and more confidently, to cooperate with their help and even count on it in sticky situations. The best part is that this has expanded beyond the blogs to all areas of my life.
God often works His magic through others. Many new ideas have come during a conversation with a friend, and I’ve learned to be on the lookout for these opportunities, like a bird-watcher always ready for a new sighting. It is very reassuring to recognize that Divine Mother plays with us through our friends. Ratan Tata, the founder of Tata Motors, one of India’s largest corporations, said, “If you want to walk fast, walk alone. But, if you want to walk far, walk with others.”
Another lesson we’ve learned writing these blogs is that it takes a certain amount of perseverance to go many years without ever missing a deadline. Our spiritual quest also demands endurance. Daily challenges are God’s way of helping us develop the strength and perseverance we need in order to find Him. One time Swami Kriyananda said, “We can’t always rely on inspiration to carry us through. Sometimes we just need to roll up our sleeves and get to work.”
One of the great lessons we’ve learned from him is that life should be filled with joy. Work can be done joyfully, not grimly. “Energy is ours,” he once wrote, “not when we hoard our strength, but when we devote it willingly, joyously toward the achievement of that in which we deeply believe.”
As the Bible says, “To everything there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven.” There is a time to let the will-power part of our minds rest, to relax and refill the tanks. There comes a time to celebrate, enjoy some good food, a walk by the sea, and the sense of accomplishment that comes from reaching an important landmark.
Then, inevitably, there also comes a time when the next blog is due. I enjoyed a comment by Elon Musk when he was informed that he had become the world’s richest person. He said, “That’s weird. Well, back to work.”
But now is a time for celebration. Since, due to the pandemic, we can’t travel physically, we are happy to celebrate with you, our friends and family from around the world.
P.S. Our blogs have been compiled into four books: Touch of Light, Touch of Joy, Touch of Love, and, soon to be released, Touch of Peace.
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