Close Encounters

We had the blessing of hosting Nayaswamis Dharmadas and Nirmala at Ananda LA this past Sunday. They were leading a pilgrimage to Paramhansa Yogananda’s shrines in Los Angeles and, to our delight, made Sunday Service at our center a part of their pilgrimage.  Dharmadas shared about a space probe, New Horizons, that was sent to take pictures of Pluto. It was traveling at the incredible speed of 51,000 miles per hour. Even at that speed, it passed close to Jupiter … Read More

The Game of Smiles

Have you heard of the “Game with Minutes”? Frank Lauchbach was a Christian missionary who wrote about practicing the presence of God in his popular book Letters of a Modern Mystic. In order to make thinking of God fun and practical, he devised a simple “Game with Minutes” where you attempt to think of God at least once each minute for an hour a day.  A friend of mine met Frank Laubach at a public event where he was asked … Read More

Father, Forgive Them

During our Kriya Renaissance weeklong program in Assisi, I got to share about Jesus Christ. I grew up Catholic in the Bible Belt where the vast majority of people are Protestant. I had several encounters with fundamentalism as a teenager that turned me off to all organized religion. One in particular stuck in my mind. At age fourteen, I started working in a pizza restaurant called “My Father’s Place.” It was run by a religious man and was located right … Read More

“All Of Krishna’s Soldiers Look Like Krishna”

We are at our community in Assisi participating in a retreat called “The Way of the Spiritual Warrior.” Upon arriving at the Rome airport, we were greeted by two spiritual warriors, Anand and Kirtani, the leaders of the community here. Kirtani’s soul smile and Anand’s mellow joy immediately made us feel warmly welcomed and embraced in a sphere of light, love, and joy. Paramhansa Yogananda said in a chant, “Heart to heart meeting, Spirit and soul’s greeting.” We were greeted … Read More

The Power Is Inside Of You

We just arrived in beautiful Assisi, Italy after a 12-hour flight from Los Angeles to Rome. That’s a long time on a plane but a good time to catch up on things. I’d like to say I had my longest meditation ever, but rather I caught up on a couple of movies I’d missed! Thankfully, they both had an important lesson that makes for good blog material. Most of you probably know Dumbo, the flying elephant. I watched the Disney … Read More

What Can You Do?

I saw a funny cartoon recently. Two cows are in a pasture and then notice a man up on the top of a grassy hill meditating. The man, presumably absorbed in inner peace, chants out loud a long, “Oooooom.” The one cow says to the other cow, “He’s got it all backwards.” Aren’t we a lot like that? Sometimes we miss the point of life and think we have to reform others and the world around us. Paramhansa Yogananda said, … Read More

Give That Which Is Holy Unto Kali

Five years ago, a holy woman from India, visited us in Los Angeles. She is a dear friend and a beautiful soul. Her name is Vanamali Devi but everyone calls her Mataji, or revered mother. She stayed in our ashram in Mid-City, LA. We were grateful that she agreed to stay in our bedroom, which was the biggest in the house. We stayed, with Kali, in someone else’s room who was on vacation at the time.  Kali is our “toy … Read More

Serve More

Over six years ago, my earthly mother was given two weeks to live. She had just been diagnosed with stage four primary peritoneal cancer that had spread throughout her abdominal organs.  I went to stay with her during and after a major exploratory surgery. During that time, I wrote to Swami Kriyananda many times – asking for prayers for my mom – not that she be healed physically, but that she feel God’s presence more and more palpably in her … Read More

I want To Be Like Christ!

Who we admire says a lot about our own character. For example, in American pop culture role models are entrepreneurs, athletes, and movie stars. We are fortunate that right now it’s the US Women’s National Soccer team. They are using their stardom to fight for not only equality in women’s pay, but also to speak against adharmic behavior. As a Nike ad says, “The Force is Female!”  In India the force is also female, that of the Divine Mother and … Read More

Overwhelming Kindness

Bamm! Did a baseball just hit me in the calf? While playing soccer last week, I felt a hard strike to my lower calf and heard a popping sound at the same time. I fell to the ground immediately. Looking around to see where the errant ball came from, I slowly realized no one hit me. I had just ruptured my Achilles playing soccer while making a simple move with no other player around me. Ouch! Although it was excruciatingly … Read More