Just Do It Ananda Education System Inspired by Yoga Teachings Paramahansa Yogananda spiritual education
A Touch of Light

Just Do It

“Master wants you to lecture in his place at the San Diego temple this weekend. . . . He also wants you to give a Kriya Yoga Initiation afterwards.” These words were delivered to Swami Kriyananda (then James Donald Walters) after he had been with his guru, Paramhansa Yogananda, for only a few months. His reaction was both disbelief and shock. “But,” … Read More

tips for quieting the mind for meditation and enjoying more peace in daily life
A Touch of Light

Quit Counting!

I’m a people watcher: I love observing people as they go about their business. I try to see what their faces and body language reveal, and then imagine what they’re like and what kind of lives they lead. One thing I often observe is the restless movements people make while they’re waiting—to board a plane, for example, or for someone … Read More

A Touch of Light

Integrity vs. Showmanship

Swami Kriyananda sat with his eyes closed and a blissful smile on his face as he listened to a piece of music by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart. As it ended, Swamiji quietly remarked, “Mozart was a consummate artist. He never compromised integrity for showmanship.” I reflected for quite some time on Swamiji’s words, trying to understand their subtlety and depth. What … Read More

Yogananda and Anandamayi Ma
A Touch of Light

The Well, the Bucket, and the Rope

She was a poor cleaning woman working in a hospital in Chennai, India, where a friend of ours also worked as a doctor. There was something about her that awakened compassion in our friend’s heart, and a desire to help. Perhaps it was because the lady seemed so alone in the world and had a small child to raise; whatever … Read More

Tomb of Saint Joseph Moscati Naples Doctor to the Poor
A Touch of Light

What’s Left?

Recently while in Assisi, we watched a film called “St. Giuseppe Moscati: Doctor to the Poor,” which was written and directed by a good friend and fellow disciple, Giacomo Campiotti. Watching the film some years earlier, Swami Kriyananda had said it was the best spiritual movie he’d ever seen. We certainly agree. The movie opens in 1903 in Naples, Italy, … Read More

Ananda Assisi Jyotish and Devi Spiritual Warrior and Touch of Joy
A Touch of Light

God’s Boatman

We were sitting in the radiant, late-August sunlight at the Ananda Retreat, overlooking the gently rolling Umbrian hills outside of Assisi, Italy, chatting with a friend of ours from Rome. She told us with joy in her warm, brown eyes and a sweet smile on her lips, “I recently came to the Retreat feeling quite depressed about many aspects of … Read More

How to build inner power tips for self-transformation based on teachings of Paramhansa Yogananda
A Touch of Light

How to Build Inner Power

“There is a hidden strength within me to overcome all obstacles. I will bring forth that indomitable power and energy.” Paramhansa Yogananda shared this formidable thought with us, and gave us tools to accomplish that great goal. Here are five effective ways to build our inner power. 1. Begin with Self-Analysis Introspection is a tool of which Yoganandaji spoke repeatedly. … Read More

A Touch of Light

We Are Building a Temple of Light

The sun rose an unnatural shade of red-orange in the hazy early morning sky. Though the burning forests and towns were hundreds of miles from Ananda Village, the wind was blowing the smoke in our direction. The air quality was unhealthy and the temperatures were high, but still they came. They were building a temple of light. Devotees from all … Read More

journey to self discovery teachings of paramhansa yogananda
A Touch of Light

Leaving the Morgue

As I entered the chemistry lab on the basement floor of the hospital, no one was there to greet me, only racks of dirty test tubes. My part-time job during my last semester in college was to clean the vials after the chemists had left for the day. It wasn’t very interesting work. I usually found myself alone in a … Read More

Krishna image Source: ShareAlike 2.0 Generic (CC BY-SA 2.0)
A Touch of Light

Everything Balances Out in the End

“But, that’s so unfair!” How many times have you spoken these words, or at least had this thought? I know I often have. Maybe someone else got the praise for something that you did. Or maybe you got the blame for something you didn’t do. It’s hard to resist this thought when we see ruthless, selfish people gaining power over … Read More

Devotion painting of Yogananda in meditation by Nayaswami Jyotish
A Touch of Light

A Day of Yoga

Over ten thousand people gathered on the grounds of the iconic India Gate in Delhi, India; at the same time many thousands congregated at the United Nations Plaza in New York City. Why had they all come? Was it part of some global political protest? Yes and No. It was June 21, the annual International Day of Yoga created by … Read More

A Touch of Light

How to Water a Garden

My alarm clock went off in the early hours each morning. Though it was still dark and often cold, I knew that if I didn’t get up immediately, I’d be late. My small trailer had no electricity or running water; I’d light a kerosene lamp, wash up with water from a gallon jug I carried home each day, and then … Read More

Swami Kriyananda Quote Disciple of Paramhansa Yogananda
A Touch of Light

The Philosopher King

We were once talking with Swami Kriyananda about the best form of government. “Enlightened monarchy with a philosopher king is the highest expression,” he said. “But it’s only possible in a more advanced age in which mass consciousness is higher than it is today.” For me Swamiji was a true philosopher king. As we celebrated the anniversary of his birthday … Read More

What is self-realization, 5 steps to self realization paramhansa yogananda
A Touch of Light

Five Steps to Self-Realization

As plants grow toward the sun’s light, so too do our souls reach up toward the light of God. At first our inner growth may seem slow and hesitant, but gradually, as the yearning in our heart grows stronger, our movement towards the light gains momentum. Eventually, and this is true for everyone, the magnetism of God’s presence within us … Read More

Ananda Tulip Festival Springtime at Ananda Yogananda Whispers from Eternity
A Touch of Light

Beauty and Grace

Imagine seventeen thousand tulips in an amazing variety of shapes, colors, and sizes, all blooming amidst the vast vistas of the Sierra Nevada mountains of California. April is the time for “Springtime at Ananda,” the annual tulip festival at Crystal Hermitage Gardens, and thousands of viewers come from throughout the state to enjoy the superlative beauty. These gardens have a … Read More

Creativity and Spirituality Yogananda Quotes Expressing Gods Creativity
A Touch of Light

Express Your Self!

As we entered the art room and took in the paint-splattered tables and small plastic chairs, we felt as if we were back in grade school. We took our seats, and saw at each place a row of paint jars containing a variety of colors; large, flat brushes; and a medium-sized piece of white art paper. The afternoon was part … Read More

Revelations of Christ by Swami Kriyananda
A Touch of Light

Whom Are You Trying to Please?

Early in their time together, Paramhansa Yogananda instructed his direct disciple, Swami Kriyananda, that his work in this lifetime would be lecturing, editing, and writing. When I met Swamiji in 1969, he was constantly engaged in these three activities, as well as in the Herculean task of launching the spiritual communities movement through Ananda. His was not a typical yogi’s … Read More

Photo in Hawaii taken by Nayaswamis Jyotish and Devi
A Touch of Light

What Is This Life?

Whenever we get a chance to visit Hawaii, we’re awed by the power of life force, or prana, that permeates everything here. It’s amazing to see the variety of plants that grow to a height of maybe four or five inches on the mainland, but that here in Hawaii reach six to ten feet with flowers and leaves radiant with … Read More

Following the Guru and attunement. Paramahansa Yogananda polestar of my life
A Touch of Light

“The Art of Following”: An Allegory

Here is a story that came to me for our class on attunement during Inner Renewal Week. A teacher gives each of his students a map and tells them, “This map leads to a great treasure. Each of your maps is different, but they’ll all lead you to the same prize.” Then he adds, “But follow only the one I’ve … Read More

Following the Guru and attunement. Paramahansa Yogananda polestar of my life
A Touch of Light

"The Art of Following": An Allegory

Here is a story that came to me for our class on attunement during Inner Renewal Week. A teacher gives each of his students a map and tells them, “This map leads to a great treasure. Each of your maps is different, but they’ll all lead you to the same prize.” Then he adds, “But follow only the one I’ve … Read More