The Last Word of Swami Kriyananda: “Anything”

Swami Kriyananda, one of the last living direct disciples of Paramhansa Yogananda, left us with a parting gift—the gift of his last word: anything. This simple word exemplifies the attitude towards life which Swami Kriyananda lived by, and which he set as an example for all of us as truth seekers on the spiritual path. Within this word are two qualities characteristic of Swamiji as a disciple: willingness and courage. These qualities are especially relevant to all of us as … Read More

Perfect Understanding

“The Guru knows every thought you think… can you imagine? But… he understands you perfectly!” I will never forget hearing these words from a direct disciple of Paramhansa Yogananda. They were (and still are) so comforting. Yes, the Guru knows all of our faults, all of our stupid actions, all of our negativity, BUT he knows exactly how we got to where we are and exactly how we will get out of this mess of delusion. In a letter of … Read More

Powered by Grace

I have often experienced periods that feel like an uphill battle while meditating. I may be distracted by an outside life challenge, or just subconscious circuitry, that seems to go round and round, as if on a hamster wheel.  A loving message from an old story I knew as a child called The Little Engine that Could has helped me during these, and other times in my life. It tells of a little train, humble in scale, who was begged by teary-eyed dolls … Read More

The Grace Behind Tests

I recently watched a video of a man running a race. He injured his leg, but his determination was such that he continued to limp through the rest of the race. At one point, his father came down from the audience and helped him through the painful effort. This clip was only a few seconds long and yet it moved me almost to tears. It reminded me of the love and compassion that our Heavenly Father has for us. “God … Read More

Immaculate Silences

Upon a jumbo boulder I sat, immersed in the art and science known as: “Thou Art That.” Lifted heart, high time… Dropped back to earth  like one of the heavy boulders, due to a noisy mind. While Dharmadevi and I have been in the high desert, we have frequented one of the most beautiful places on earth, Joshua Tree National Park. The jumbo boulders which make up the ancient and otherworldly landscape have become my new favorite place to meditate. … Read More

Toss Understanding, and Come To Me As Kindness

As a communications major, I recognize the irony of my existence; communication has been the most frustrating part of the human experience for me. I’m sure many people share this challenge! When I think about how diverse we are as people (our likes, our dislikes, our genetics, our karma, our life experiences), it’s no wonder to me that most people find it difficult to communicate. We’re living in such different realities a majority of the time! Understanding others requires us … Read More

Don’t Take Yourself Too Seriously

After two intense days of testing, which revealed: a suspicious nodule in my breast that I was told had a 40-90% chance of being malignant, bloodwork that confirmed I had Lyme disease, time with a psychologist that made it obvious I had a good deal of trauma I was still processing, we sat with my primary doctor to discuss a treatment plan. We were at an amazing facility, called Sanoviv, where they practice holistic healing and address all aspects of … Read More

Worth in Being

When I was about nine years old, my uncle and older cousin gave me a nickname. It was “UPS” which stood for “Useless Piece of (you know what four letter word).” You might think, “How horrible of them!”” They are actually both very kind and caring people. They were expressing their affection through an Italian tough guise. Okay, maybe it wasn’t the best way to encourage a youngster. Can’t we all relate to feeling useless or even worthless at times? … Read More

A Tribute to Joan Wight

As a young woman Joan became intensely inspired to dedicate her life to God. The divine ardor of her heart magnetically drew her to become a nun at a young age in Self-Realization Fellowship. She was probably even more divinely attracted to Sri Durga Mata, or Ma Durga, one of Paramhansa Yogananda’s direct disciples who radiated truth, fearlessness, and joy. During our service at Ananda Los Angeles, Dharmadevi and I had the good fortune to get to know Joan. Over … Read More

One-Pointed Focus

Tyagi Ram’s wife Dikshini passed away on January 23, 2021 at the Ananda Meditation Retreat. She had been in decline since before Thanksgiving and the entire Ananda LA Sangha and community had been praying for her. During these months, Tyagi Ram was faithfully by her side, always so heartbreakingly positive in his updates to us, including after their arrival at the meditation retreat. In their most difficult and painful time, both Ram and Dikshini conducted themselves with the same dignity … Read More