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

Strong Medicine

Paramhansa Yogananda’s message is for the world. The raising of consciousness through meditation. The practice of kindness and compassion to all mankind. The understanding that God comes to us as Love, Wisdom, Peace, and Joy. These are all concepts that people everywhere can accept and appreciate. But Yoganandaji didn’t only bring a message of hope and kindness, he brought a path to Self-realization. The path he brought will ultimately be for the masses but at this time there are very … Read More

Her Long Tone of Love

Have you ever practiced a vocal exercise called a long-tone? To prepare to sing the other day, Keshava led me in a series of long tones. What is a long tone? You guessed it: you sing one note for a long time. What are the benefits of long tones? Not only do they help you warm up your voice, but also you develop better pitch, voice placement, and awareness. It occurred to me we have another voice coach. Her name … Read More

A Gift or A Burden?

A family member recently was complaining to me that no one in the family wanted her silverware. She had spent so much money over the years acquiring it and now she couldn’t give it away. Thinking she would like someone to appreciate it, I said, “I’ve actually been thinking of buying a set of real silverware! (which was the truth) I’d love to give yours a good home.” To my surprise her response was that she needed to ask someone … Read More

Which Side Wins?

I had an interesting dream the other night. In it I was visiting a spiritual community and two of my friends were leading the work there. One was Drupada a long time member of Ananda and vedic astrologer. I went up to him holding his hands and bowing my head and received a blessing through his presence. Then the scene shifted to an amphitheater similar to the one at Ananda village if you’ve been there. There was an Indian woman … Read More

The Guru As Divine Light

When I started meditating I learned an important lesson: the Guru is not who we think he is. I was studying the Ananda Course in Self-Realization and my teacher was very helpful, knowledgeable, and was available to answer my questions from afar (I was living in Georgia at the time), for which I was extremely grateful. I was meditating one night and in my mind’s eye, I saw my teacher. I was happy to see him and smiled inwardly. He … Read More

Proper Tidyarian

Have you seen “Tidying Up” with Marie Kondo? She is a beautiful Japanese woman who exudes a contagious joy. Her medium of sharing joy is through teaching people how to tidy up their homes. It’s a real blessing that she is entering the mainstream. She helps people understand how to let go of things that are holding them back. Not only that but also she invites them to keep only the items that spark joy. Her simple advice is to … Read More

‘Is​ ​Yogananda​ ​My​ ​Guru?​ ​Is​ ​Krishna?​ ​Is​ ​Jesus​ ​Christ?’

A guru is a teacher. In general parlance he can be a school teacher, someone high up in the financial world, or somebody looked up to as an authority in virtually any sphere of activity. The original meaning of the word, however, derives from the Sanskrit, gur: ‘to raise or uplift.’ In ancient spiritual tradition,guru means more even than a wise teacher. In the highest sense, it refers to the satguru: one who has reached oneness with God, is empowered by God to bring people … Read More

Sincere Succession of Disciples

After visiting Ananda, someone remarked to Swami Kriyananda about a number of inspiring souls they had met during their stay. Swamiji responded, “If you meet one or two people like that, you can say they’re special. But when you meet an entire community of people, it’s what they’re doing that makes them special.” I’ve often thought what are people at Ananda doing? If I had to sum it up in one word, it would be: discipleship. To me Ananda Sangha … Read More