Formula For Success (Part 1)

If I could boil down what I’ve learned as a disciple to one sentence, it might look like that. Three elements that when combined, have the power to transform a life. Having a guru is a supreme blessing. He is so precious. He will see you through all difficulties. He knows your every thought, and knows every detail of your past life, and he loves you unconditionally. Think about that – he knows our every weakness and fault, and yet … Read More

The Vibrationless Original

Nayaswami Jyotish shared during Spiritual Renewal Week that God took part of his vibrationless Spirit and put it into motion. I believe he was quoting Lahiri Mahasaya when he said God took 1% of His stillness and like a tuning fork began to vibrate Himself to create the universe. Everything in this world is of dual nature. We cannot have creation without duality. As Paramhansa Yogananda said, “the law of relativity is necessary to divide the One into the many.” … Read More

Timelessness Is of the Essence

During my first visit to Ananda Village in Northern California in 2007, I had an experience of timelessness I’d like to share with you. I was sitting at the South Fork of the Yuba River, which, in my opinion, is one of the most beautiful places in the world. There are huge boulders everywhere, interspersed with tall pine trees. The water is crisp, cold, and clear. As I was sitting alone, my feet in the cool water, I lost myself … Read More

The Swell of Gratitude

“What are you grateful for?” There is a restaurant in LA called “Cafe Gratitude” where the waiter asks you this question (or another thought provoking one) during your meal. Their menu item names are quite ambitious: “Immortal,” “Liberated,” “Pure,” “Enthusiastic,” etc. What makes it even more fun is when they bring your order they affirm your soul quality through the dish’s name. Your waiter exclaims with the verve of a veganatic, “You are Enthusiastic!” If you’re not feeling all that … Read More

What You Want vs. What You Really Want

Swami Kriyananda said, “Sometimes what you want and what you really want are miles apart.” I’m extremely grateful for the times that I received direct (and I mean Direct!) guidance from Swamiji. I had lots of ideas and many of them were not quite on target. Swamiji was usually subtle and understated in the direction he gave and rarely gave it at all, but at times, he could be blunt. When I asked for his guidance on moving to the … Read More

Entitlement Entanglement

A major pitfall in life, not to mention the spiritual path, is an attitude of entitlement. Have you ever caught yourself thinking, “Who does he think he is?” or “What makes her think she can talk to me that way?” or “I deserve better than that!” or “Surely, I don’t have to do that!” (Note italics for emphasis!) To survive “Entitlement Entanglements” try the following: Realize that no one owes you anything and you’re not too good for any circumstance. … Read More

One Moment in the Presence of A Saint

Have you ever initiated a contagious yawning spell among your friends? Perhaps you started yawning now that you’ve read that word twice in two sentences. Oh no! I just started a contagious yawning spell! I hope you’re not reading this while driving. I first heard of contagious yawning and mirror neurons from my friend, Dr. Peter Van Houten. Research suggests that the neurons that fire in our brain when we are physically performing an action are the same neurons that … Read More

Kindness Softens the Human Heart

This past weekend I watched “Won’t You Be My Neighbor,” an inspiring documentary on the life of Fred Rogers (well known for his children’s show “Mr. Rogers’ Neighborhood”). I was deeply touched by his life story and especially how he connected with children in a meaningful and uplifting way. Children were drawn to him like a magnet, not because he wore a goofy hat, dressed up, made jokes, or did magic tricks, but because he sincerely cared for them. He … Read More

Jackhammer Karma

Being in LA has a number of superficial perks – a variety of great restaurants, temperate climate, wonderful museum exhibits, etc. but everything in this world has its pluses and minuses. A big minus I’ve discovered in the past 2 years is… the jackhammer! We have the good fortune to live in a beautiful neighborhood called Hancock Park, with immaculately landscaped yards and giant, beautiful homes. About 3 years ago, a law was passed to help alleviate the housing crisis … Read More

“The Questionless Realm of Inner Joy”

My mother used to tell me, “the dumbest question is the one not asked.” I’m finally starting to take her advice! So I have some questions: Who am I? What is my life’s purpose? What is it all for? Have you ever asked yourself these kind of questions? At Ananda during our “Festival of Light” we say: Thank you, Swami Kriyananda, for writing the “Festival of Light” because it expresses the wordless anguish of my heart. Of course, we want … Read More