We hope that you are well and enjoying the last days of summer wherever you are. We finally have a free moment to share with you some news of our time here in Italy. As always, being in Assisi with our spiritual family is an experience filled with much love and joy. The rolling hills, neatly ordered fields, harmonious colors, and magnificent sunsets make this one of the most beautiful areas in the world — one that fills the heart and mind with deep peace.
Our entry into the community began with a Kriya Initiation attended by about 180 people on the day after we arrived. It was a perfect way to reconnect with old friends and meet new ones — on a soul rather than personality level.
The spirit among the devotees in Assisi has continued to grow deeper with great dedication and devotion to Master and Swamiji. One can feel Swamiji’s presence very strongly in the temple, in Moksha Kutir (his house where he left his body), and in people’s hearts. Many have shared with us dramatic dreams and inner guidance they have received from him.
The new guests that are coming (and there are many) also seem much deeper and more receptive to our teachings than in the past. On Sunday after service we had a book signing for the newly released Un tocco di luce, the Italian translation of Touch of Light, and we met a number of lovely people who were here for the first time.
Every year about two weeks before our trip to Italy, we say to each other, “We’ve got to learn Italian!” We never quite get to it, but somehow Divine Mother maintains the limited comprehension of Italian that we have. This enables us to understand most of what is said and to converse on a primitive level. It seems to work, especially if we relax and allow the meaning of what is being said to enter the mind on a non-rational level.
Italian is a beautiful language with great musicality that lends itself to both a wide range of emotional expression and self-deprecating humor. Add the whole gamut of facial and hand gestures, and you’ve got endless possibilities for verbal and non-verbal communication.
We’ve been meeting almost nonstop with big groups, little groups, friends, and families; plus offering classes and satsangs; as well as enjoying the experience of, as Anand put it, “eating for a living.” Honestly, we’ve enjoyed every minute of it, and everyone has been more than kind and loving.
This afternoon we had the opportunity to go to Il Porziuncola, which houses the little chapel where St. Francis and his brothers worshipped, as well as the place where he died. It was here that Swamiji once meditated and felt overwhelmed with the sweetness of St. Francis’s consciousness. Inwardly Swamiji prayed to him, “How is it possible to have so much inner sweetness?” In his heart, he felt this response, “By never judging anyone, but accepting everyone with God’s love.” We tried to tune in to his experience and fill our hearts with this beautiful attitude.
Though the days ahead will continue to be very busy, our remaining time here is actually short. On Saturday, September 5, we’ll celebrate Indra and Benedetta’s wedding with a joyful joining of American and Italian relations. On the evening of September 11, we’ll honor Swamiji’s spiritual anniversary, and then leave Assisi the next morning for a yoga conference in Rome that evening. There we’ll give a talk “How to Live a Yogic Lifestyle” and have an official book launch for Un tocco di luce. The next day we will have a dinner with the Indian Ambassador to Italy, who has become a friend of several people at Ananda.
We’ll remain in Rome for a few days to relax with friends before leaving for India on September 17, where new adventures await us. We will keep in touch.
May God and Guru bless you always,
Jyotish and Devi