As I sat in a meeting on that warm summer afternoon, I wasn’t paying much attention to the crystals hanging in the window or to the faintly colored rainbows moving around the room. Those of us gathered were discussing some administrative matters for Ananda Village that I wasn’t too involved in; my mind, I must admit, was elsewhere.
However, as the sun moved across the sky that afternoon, the light changed, and the rainbows suddenly became vibrant and beautiful. What was more, some of the rainbows rested right on the foreheads of those seated on the side of the room opposite the window. I don’t know if others saw what I was seeing, because no one commented, but for me it transformed the whole experience.
Forgotten was the discussion of mundane matters, and before me sat radiant beings—noble and holy, with a diadem of rainbow colors on their forehead. Today, years later, I have no idea what the topic of discussion was, but I well remember the experience and the words that came into my mind at that moment—words that Yoganandaji had addressed to his disciples: “I see all of you as images of light. Everything—these trees, bushes, the grass you are standing on—all are made of that light. You have no idea how beautiful everything is!”
Recently I co-led a women’s retreat at Ananda Village that was a transforming experience for all twenty-seven of us. At the end of the final morning we seated ourselves in a circle for a closing ceremony. Each of us in turn closed our eyes, offered up mentally our soul aspirations, and held aloft a lighted votive candle in a holder made of little hanging crystals. The woman seated to the left of that person then led us in this prayer: “Lord, bless the light that is in [person’s name].” The rest of the group sent their love and blessings to her.
As the candle and prayers passed from person to person, at first tears quietly filled the eyes of the woman being blessed. Then some began to cry, and as we moved around the circle, one sobbed from a place deep within her heart.
At the conclusion, we all sat in silence for a while, very moved by what we had just experienced. I pondered what had caused such a powerful reaction. Eventually I realized that when we identify with our mistakes, shortcomings, and failures, we deny the true reality of our being. Then it becomes difficult and sometimes painful to accept that we are so much more, or to acknowledge the spiritual power of God’s presence within.
When you become discouraged and see only darkness around you, try to remember these words of Yoganandaji: “I am submerged in Thy eternal light; it permeates every particle of my being. I am living in that light. Divine Spirit, I behold only Thee, within and without.”
May you awaken to the light of God within.
In that light,