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A Touch of Light

How “Autobiography of a Yogi” Changed My Life

Autobiography of a Yogi changed my life. Really, it did. There is a power in that book that is far beyond the ordinary. Paramhansa Yogananda said to Swami Kriyananda on their first meeting, “I put my vibrations into it.” I read it when I was at one of the natural transition points in life, the changeover from school to adulthood. … Read More

A Touch of Light

Just a Play of Light and Shadows

“The Master would occasionally take some of us to the movies to get away from all the demands on his time,” a direct disciple of Paramhansa Yogananda once told us. “Then, in the middle of the most exciting parts, he would tap us on the shoulder, point upward to the beam of light coming from the projection booth, and say, … Read More

A Touch of Light

World Peace

Many years ago I saw a bumper sticker that said, “Visualize Whirled Peas.” I’m afraid that this image, humorous though it was, is truer today than the actuality of world peace. We seem to be whirling around, splintered into frenetic factions.

A Touch of Light

The Spark of a Spiritual Revolution

Today is January 5, 2016 — the anniversary of Paramhansa Yogananda’s birth. There are numbers that convey some of the historical significance of his life: 123 years since he was born; 100 years since he created the Energization Exercises for recharging the body with energy; 70 years since his spiritual classic, Autobiography of a Yogi, was published; and, in 2020, 100 years … Read More


Letter from India: October 10, 2015

Dear Friends, Time, we are told, is not a fixed reality, but relative, and in India it’s a little more relative than in other places. More than three weeks have slipped by since we arrived, and the days have been so filled with vivid experiences that we haven’t found time (there’s that slippery creature again) to write you about what’s … Read More

A Touch of Light, Paramhansa Yogananda

Finding Autobiography of a Yogi

It was in the fall of 1966 that I found Autobiography of a Yogi, although in truth I think it found me. It was a time of great transition in my life. I had graduated from college and moved to San Francisco a few months earlier, and was just starting out as an independent adult. I was looking for a … Read More

Kriyananda quote, "Finding God is easy. It's a matter of two things: longer, deeper meditations, and seeing God as the doer in all things."
A Touch of Light, Spiritual Development

The Broken Connection

“Doctor, please help me. I think that I’m really sick,” the worried patient said. “My body hurts all over: when I touch my arm, it hurts; when I touch my chest, it hurts; when I touch my head, it hurts.” After running a battery of tests, the doctor reported to his patient, “I’ve got good news and bad news. The … Read More

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

The 1% Solution

This morning Devi and I spoke with someone who was feeling overwhelmed and a little guilty because he couldn’t keep up with all the “should do’s” on the spiritual path. I doubt if there is a devotee alive who hasn’t had these same thoughts. On the one hand, there are hundreds of techniques, habits, and attitudes that could be helpful. … Read More

San Damiano of Saint Francis of Assisi Italy Yogananda quote and poem "Breathe in Me" #yogananda #stfrancis
A Touch of Light

When God Speaks

The troubled young man knelt amidst the crumbling ruins of the chapel and prayed. A few years earlier he had been a carefree youth who enjoyed partying with his friends. Then a war came, and he joined the army looking for adventure. Captured in one of the battles, he was held prisoner for a year and suffered from recurring high … Read More

A Touch of Light

Spiritual Birth

September 12th is the anniversary of the day in 1948 when Swami Kriyananda first met Paramhansa Yogananda. Those of us who are members of Ananda consider this day as our collective “Spiritual Birthday.” Devi and I are in Italy and will celebrate this sacred occasion by giving a talk to several hundred people at a Yoga Festival in Rome. I … Read More


Swami Kriyananda's Discipleship Anniversary ~ September 12

Swami Kriyananda became a disciple of Paramhansa Yogananda on September 12, 1948. Here is a special anniversary message from Nayaswamis Jyotish and Devi honoring Swamiji’s Spiritual Birthday: Swami Kriyananda Meets his Guru:  Excerpt from The New Path, Chapter 16: The Pilgrim Meets His Guide: Gazing at me now with deep love, he said, “I give you my unconditional love.” Immortal promise! I couldn’t begin … Read More

A Touch of Light

Is It Possible to Fail Spiritually?

“Will I ever leave the spiritual path?” a disciple of Paramhansa Yogananda once asked him. “How could you?” the Master replied. “Everyone in the world is on the spiritual path.” In the broadest possible terms this statement is true, because everyone is striving to find happiness and avoid suffering. The main difference between a truth-seeker and a materially minded person … Read More

Mount Shasta God's Protecting Presence
A Touch of Light, Spiritualizing Daily Life

God’s Protecting Presence

“Would any of you like to join me on a camping trip to Mt. Shasta?” With his characteristic enthusiasm and joy, Swami Kriyananda extended this invitation to a small group of us one morning. Swamiji had been asked to give a talk in nearby Shasta City and decided to combine this with a short vacation. Mt. Shasta is a beautiful … Read More

Be Positive Affirmation, How to Be Positive, Tips for Positive Thinking based on teachings of Yogananda #yogananda #positivity #affirmation
A Touch of Light

Positive Thinking

Swami Kriyananda wrote an affirmation for positive thinking: “My outer life is a reflection of my inner thoughts. Filled with the joy of God, I express His joy and harmony in everything I do.” This affirmation is so powerful that Devi and I repeat it daily, and have suggested that others from Ananda use it as a “theme” for the … Read More

Yogananda quote on God as infinite and infinitesmall. Does God really listen to our prayers? Yogananda teachings
A Touch of Light

Does God Listen to Our Prayers?

“Considering the vastness of the universe, with its countless billions of galaxies, surely it is superstitious to believe that the Creator of this immensity listens to our prayers.” A scientist once challenged Paramhansa Yogananda with these words. The Master replied with profound wisdom, as well as gentle wit: “Your conception of Infinity is too finite! Although the Lord is infinitely … Read More

A Touch of Light

Why Is Life Such a Struggle?

The gardeners at Ananda Village’s organic farm had very bad news to report that morning: “A frost has wiped out the tomato crop.” “Insects are destroying the flower beds!” “Gophers have gotten into the carrots!!” This was 1971. Our head gardener and farming mentor, Haanel Cassidy, was a vigorous man in his early seventies, who listened patiently to their tale … Read More

Prayer for a United World by Paramhansa Yogananda "Imitating what we hear" by Nayaswami Devi Novak
A Touch of Light

Imitating What We Hear

The high-pitched whine of the chain saw startled me, breaking the stillness of tall moss-covered cedars and lush green ferns. We’d been visiting the Ananda communities in Oregon and Washington, and now were enjoying a day on Camano Island off the coast of Seattle. I’d been walking along absorbed in the forest’s peace and quiet, which was accented only by … Read More

How to prepare for life's challenges. #yogananda #quote
A Touch of Light

Preparing for Life’s Storms

We have been reading a very interesting book: Being Mortal, by Atul Gawande. It’s a thoughtful, well-written examination of aging and dying, subjects often ignored in modern society. Someday, perhaps, I will write a blog about that, but not today. This blog is about a small part of the process — about how helpful it is to prepare for difficulties before a … Read More

#Yogananda #quote, "I see you all as beings of light." Touch of Light, weekly blog by Nayaswamis Jyotish and Devi
A Touch of Light

The Transforming Power of God’s Light Within

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 … Read More

A Touch of Light

Who Is It That Dies?

During the recent Dedication Weekend, May 15 – 17, we were meditating in Swami Kriyananda’s newly completed Moksha Mandir, the final resting place for his body. His living reality was so tangible to everyone that it was hard to imagine he was no longer physically present with us. The difference now, perhaps, was that his consciousness felt even more powerful, accessible, and … Read More