Today is our last full day in Italy. Tomorrow evening we fly to Delhi and begin nearly three months of traveling and teaching in all of Ananda’s centers in India.
Right now we’re in the little seaside town of Ostia outside of Rome, where we’ve been relaxing for a few days with Shivani, Arjuna, Narya, Laura, Anand, and Kirtani. We were also joined by Dharmadas and Nirmala before they flew out yesterday.
These past days have been an especially sweet sojourn after the intense activity that took place during our stay in Assisi. A number of people who attended the Kriya Conference have already returned to their Ananda community, and perhaps they’ve begun sharing their experiences with you. In any case, we’ll try to do justice to this extraordinary event.
Our activities in Assisi actually began the week before with a program based on the newly released book of our blogs from 2015—2016, Un Tocco di Gioia (A Touch of Joy), which will be published this fall in India and next spring in the US. We gave morning classes during the week, and over the weekend more guests joined us for a wonderful series of events.
The official “book launch” of Un Tocco di Gioia was on Saturday morning, complete with lovely speeches by others praising the book and presentation copies given to such dignitaries as Kirtani, Anand, and Narya.
That afternoon about two hundred of us went into the nearby town of Bastia for a private screening of the film about Swami Kriyananda’s life and time with Master, The Answer, complete with Italian subtitles. We hadn’t seen the film in some time, and were deeply impressed once again by what a great depiction it is of Swamiji’s life and discipleship.
After the film ended, everyone had become so absorbed in the experience that no one moved or spoke for a long time, and then the audience spontaneously began chanting AUM. Many were weeping, and all were deeply inspired.
On Sunday, August 27, before Sunday service we had a beautiful blessing ceremony for their new Temple of Joy, which is still under construction. We had a processional much like what we did for the groundbreaking ceremony for the new Temple of Light at the Village. By this time, we were joined by more people who were arriving from the US, Russia, and many other European countries for the Intercontinental Kriya Conference, which began that evening.
You’ve probably already seen photos from the conference, and it’s difficult fully to convey its spiritual impact. The power and magnetism grew throughout the week with multiple silent and guided Kriya meditations happening in various locations daily. The morning classes given by Kriyacharyas from various communities worldwide were original, engaging, creative, and totally inspiring. They’ll all be available to watch soon.
Swamiji’s house, where he left his body and which is now called “Moksha Kutir,” was also available for meditations throughout the week. For many, meditating there was the highlight of their experience.
On Thursday a large group who hadn’t seen The Answer the previous week traveled to Bastia for the second private screening. This time we were all Kriyabans, and the impact was even more powerful.
The Assisi choir, joined by choir members from around the world, was also a significant part of the week’s inspiration. Swamiji’s music was interwoven throughout the conference, and added to the upliftment.
We should also mention that on Monday, Wednesday, and Saturday evenings we had presentations and videos of the growth of Ananda in the US, in Europe, and in India. These videos were fabulous, and will be posted on Ananda websites soon.
On Friday night, and Saturday and Sunday mornings, were initiations for the first, second, and third and fourth Kriya techniques. Finally on Sunday morning before the service, we did a blessing for the new land that Assisi has just purchased where they will build a community.
All we’ve written falls far short of what the experience of the Kriya Conference was like. Several people told us that it was the most uplifting week of their lives. Probably the clearest way to describe it is simply to say that Master and Swamiji were there blessing everything and everyone.
Now as we get ready to leave for India, we send our loving thoughts and gratitude for your prayers and support. May God and Guru bless you always.
In Their love,
Jyotish and Devi
See the full album of their travels on Facebook here.