From Ego to Freedom

In the soul’s journey from ego-involvement to freedom, everything of this world has to be taken away — or, as our understanding grows, given away freely — so that the soul may be an empty vessel to receive and become the joy that God wants for us. One great disciple of our Master was heard to cry out, while…

“Ours was a holy mission,” Swamiji writes in A Festival of Light. “You charged us to learn great lessons from life: to be fruitful in the gifts You had given us; to expand and multiply them. Alas, we abandoned our mission. Instead, we hoarded selfishly. Nor did wisdom come to us when, repeatedly, we lost…

Squatting before the seated figure of an elderly Brindaban widow, his face suffused with compassionate concern, his hands gently tending the deep gash of a monkey bite, the young man emanates inner joy, selfless love, reverent self-offering in service to the needs of those he cares for. Preetam is a young devotee from the village…

“Sharing,” Swamiji writes, “is the doorway through which the soul escapes the prison of self-preoccupation. It is one of the clearest paths to God.” Leo Tolstoy tells a story of two old men, lifelong friends from a small village in central Russia. Many years before, they had made a vow to each other, and before…

Help!

Dear Friend, Out of the corner of his eye, the old man caught a movement — waving hands, a mother smiling out of the fullness of her maternal love, a very small boy rushing forward, arms up and out ready to embrace the big, yellow tractor. The boy looked up trustingly, eyes wide and clear, unblinking, until…

Friend, Our winter here at Ananda has seen a succession of storms, with high winds and soaking rains. At Christmastime, a lone snow goose appeared on Lotus Lake. Perhaps this bird, like the young bird in Swamiji’s Festival of Light, had “entered a storm cloud, and soon found itself struggling for its life. Wind and…

Dear Friend, When the diagnosis came, Judith turned inward to God, and there felt His presence more powerfully, more sweetly than ever before — that it was God in the birds, in the trees, in herself, even in the disease that would take her life. All was God. All was joy. She asked her friends to join…

Friend, Late in December Ananda’s Living Wisdom School let out for Christmas vacation. The magic of Christ-love was everywhere: colorful lights in windows, on trees; warm fires indoors; a growing sense of universal family. The next day would be the annual eight-hour meditation, all of us gathered in honor of the tradition started by our…

Dear Friend, In the gang-ridden Englewood neighborhood of Chicago’s South Side, a place where children playing outside can lose their lives in drive-by shootings, where a young man’s ambition is more often to be “like my big homie L.D.” than to be a teacher or a doctor — where his future is likely to be the penitentiary,…

Songbirds come regularly to drink and bathe in a small birdbath just outside my window. The adults approach cautiously, flitting from branch to branch, looking around anxiously at each stop, lest the local hawk catch them unawares. Finally they land on the outermost edge, there to continue poised for flight even while drinking and bathing.…

What Is Tithing?

Tithing is the regular act of giving the “first fruits” of your labors to God.

It is a spiritual practice — just like prayer or meditation — based on the divine principle that everything we have comes from God’s hands.

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