Today is our last day in the Ananda community near Assisi. In a few days we’ll be flying to India to greet friends whom we haven’t seen for three years and to experience the expansion of Ananda’s work there. Our time in Assisi has been filled with blessings as we’ve shared together with our gurubhais the joy of a life in God.

It’s especially heartening to see the dedicated young people and families who are moving here. There seems to be a new generation of spiritually advanced souls being born who aren’t impressed with the razzle-dazzle of the world, but are seeking higher values.

A friend of ours was telling us about a group of children whose families have recently moved to Assisi and who have asked him to teach them meditation. One twelve-year-old girl told him that she’d been reading Swami Kriyananda’s Art and Science of Raja Yoga, and had written a school paper on Patanjali’s Yoga Sutras.

“I’m very interested in the yamas and niyamas,” the girl told our friend, “and especially in the principle of non-lying. Before we moved here, when I was with my friends at school, I would pretend to be interested in clothes so that they would accept me. Now I realize after coming to Ananda that I was lying to myself, because that isn’t really who I am.” What a profound insight, something that most people never realize!

Hearing this story reminded me of an experience I myself had had shortly after coming to Ananda Village in 1969. In the first days after arriving, I felt a great sense of freedom that I didn’t quite understand. Then one day the words clarified in my mind: “I don’t have to play games anymore.”

I understood that I could be myself without trying to impress others according to their standards—ones that I didn’t share.

This is a gift of the spiritual path: to discover and accept our own uniqueness, and let it determine the course of our life.

Nayaswami Jyotish and Nayaswami Devi at the Ananda Assisi community temple.

This is a gift of the spiritual path: to discover and accept our own uniqueness, and let it determine the course of our life. As the young girl who was exploring non-lying discovered, self-honesty requires courage, but only then are we able to live our life with authenticity.

We were speaking with another friend at Assisi, and told her about the man at Frankfurt airport that I wrote about in an earlier blog. He had looked very penetratingly at Jyotish and me and said, “You have to accept your own light so that other people have the courage to accept theirs.”

After hearing this story, Sahaja got a surprised look in her eyes, and got up and left the room. She soon returned holding a small carved wooden angel that she’d had on her altar for many years. It contained an excerpt from the writings of Marianne Williamson:

Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness, that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, “Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous?” Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightening about shrinking so that other people won’t feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine, as children do. We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It’s not just in some of us; it’s in everyone. And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.

Finally, remember that it isn’t for our own aggrandizement that we accept the divine light within us. As Christ told his followers: “Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father who is in heaven.”

When we can stand in humility, bathed in God’s light within and without, then we experience the truth of who we really are.

Wishing you the joy of Self-discovery,

Nayaswami Devi

Listen to Devi as she reads the blog, then expands on it, often adding special behind-the-inspiration stories and answers to common spiritual questions. Subscribe to the podcast or download the audio recording by right-clicking here. Or listen to it here (7:43):


  1. Thank you so much for who you are

  2. Thank you for who you are.

  3. That’s immensely beautiful….thought provoking & inspiring to take us towards our real self…Jai Guru!

  4. Thank you for this. Just what i needed to hear right now.

  5. Jyotish ji and Devi ji,
    Welcome to Kolkata, India.

  6. Thank you for your insightful experiences. It’s great to hear how our world is changing one s
    Soul at a time.

    You remind me of Swami Kriyananda’s affirmation for Chandrasana, the moon pose: “Strength and courage fill my body cells.” I share with students how as we, representing the moon in this posture, breathe into the light and strength of the sun, we then ignite courage throughout our inner kingdom of the Soul (our body temple) allowing the cells (the citizens within) to expand beyond, pouring out the skin pores to illuminate the space.

    We are that reflection of God’s Light. It requires courage to shine His Light allowing Love to reign above all else. 🌟

    Smooth travels!

    Many blessings,
    Astara 🌺🙏🏼🕉

  7. This is one of the most relevant deeply inspiring blogs I have read. Perhaps because it is exactly what I needed to hear even after 40 years! I feel so blessed to be a part of all of this. Thank you, Thank you, Thank you.

  8. Thank you for sharing this profound bit of wisdom. Like the young people moving to Assisi, so many of us are climbing out of materialistic culture and enjoying bit by bit the freedom of ‘not having to play games’. Saint COVID brought the freedom of remote work, for example to millions of us, a liberation from a lot of workplace games that sicken and kill so many. The quote by Marianne Williamson is one of her most famous sayings, it really makes so much more sense in the light of what you wrote.

  9. Jyotish & Devi – in my morning routine of deleting dozens of junk emails I am always refreshed to see one from you guys, who make me always stop and pause. Namaste

  10. Thank you dear Devi💙 I very much loved reading your words, understanding deeply what you expressed. I’ve always been so afraid of the bigness in myself and what my heart’s feelings contained; fearing it could do harm somehow. But as I grow more confident knowing I am Master’s and Swami’s child, I’m fearing much less as I see what God can write and compose 🎶 in what I do. Thank you for tending the once fragile plant of my heart showing me I’m loved by God and you. Your bhajana🪷 💛

  11. So amazing and beautiful inspiration!
    God bless you

  12. mm

    Thank you for sharing on this important topic!

  13. It’s so beautiful and I think we can feel it because you have experienced it and are living it. Best regards 🌺🌸🙌

  14. Dear Nayaswami Devi Ji,

    Thank you very much for this blog! Very profound.

    Such an important message – I understood that I could be myself without trying to impress others according to their standards—ones that I didn’t share.


  15. Amen! Muchas Muchas gracias !
    Bellísimo! Muy inspirador !
    Thank you very much blessed Ma’am !
    beautiful divine inspiration .
    Infinite Blessings!
    Bendiciónes Infinitas De Dios y Los Maestros.

  16. So beautiful and deep – thank you for this blog dearest Devi Ji. Loved the audio message and the teaching ‘When we can stand in humility, bathed in God’s light within and without, then we experience the truth of who we really are.’ so profound. thank you.

  17. Thanks you being with your happy soul journey. God is all and all is God. Time to rejoice in the Lord and be happy forever in this life.

  18. Thanks for sharing your individual unique wisdom with us .. those words are pure gold spreading into my Self.

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