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

Spiritual Experiences

“Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God.” I’ve often heard and thought about these beautiful words of Jesus Christ. On a visit to our Ananda Seattle community, I gained a new insight into what Jesus meant. During our travels there a few years ago, I met a man who was taking The Art & Science of Raja Yoga course. He told me how much he was enjoying his studies and, that through his practice of the … Read More

Conquer Complaining

One time while Paramhansa Yogananda was still in his guru’s ashram he began to compare their spiritual work to another organization that had a larger outward following. He expressed this disappointment to his guru, Swami Sri Yukteswar. Sri Yukteswar scolded him saying, “What our organization is, no other is; and this is the way God wants to play through you and me, and you must never compare with others.” Yogananda said he learned a great lesson that day that made … Read More