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

Global Divine Family

“First we’ll sing in English, then Italian, then Russian.” Anand, one of the spiritual directors of Ananda Assisi, was leading us in our food blessing for a satsang at our LA center. We were greeting 40 Italian and 10 Russian pilgrims. The large group traveled from across the world to Los Angeles to visit Paramhansa Yogananda’s shrines. This was their first stop before attending Ananda’s 50th Anniversary Celebration at Ananda Village next week.  During our satsang, I was speaking with … Read More

The Hardest Part is Remembering

During a class in discipleship a friend shared how she felt a deepening connection with God when she offered her heart’s love and energy upward to the point between her eyebrows. She visualized Paramhansa Yogananda at that point and felt she was offering her unconditional love to him. A few weeks later, I saw her and asked how her meditations were going. She said, “It’s just so hard to remember!” She explained that when she did remember to offer her … Read More

Happiness or Misery: The Choice Is Yours

Most of us take up the spiritual path in earnest when we begin to understand the principle of non-sensuality. The true teaching of non-sensuality, as taught by Patanjali, is that nothing outside of us can bring us true happiness. Until that realization, we are drawn into the thought, “If I just had that                   (fill in the blank: new car, relationship, job, etc.) then, I could really enjoy life.” That kind of happiness … Read More

“Hi!” Harmony Initiator

Have you ever waved to a stranger and received a warm smile of acknowledgement and a wave back in return? It feels good, doesn’t it? What is it about waving that makes us feel a sense of brotherhood? I think we all know deep down that brotherhood (and I mean gender-neutral brotherhood/sisterhood/humanhood) is the only way to solve the world’s problems. Could world brotherhood start by raising our hand in greeting to strangers? I remember the first time I met … Read More

How to Be a Team Player

I used to think of myself as a lone wolf. I love seclusion and having my own private space. I used to have my own business and would have thought highly of being described as “fiercely independent.” Then, I became a disciple… and things started to change… slowly. Not that I became less independent or accountable but rather, I learned the value of spiritual community and teamwork. When I first came to Ananda Village in 2007, I was called “self-determined” … Read More

All The World Is My Friend

There are some scenes in one’s life that are so perfectly absurd they prove the existence of God’s great and timely sense of humor. The other day Dharmadevi, Peter and I were walking down the sidewalk by our West LA center. A group of teenagers (about five) were walking towards us in the opposite direction. From a distance we could see that they were laughing to each other and having a good time. As they drew closer to us their … Read More