Nayaswamis Narayan & Dharmadevi

Twice Born

To enter into the spirit of the Holy Season, Dharmadevi and I have a tradition of watching our favorite movie about the life of Christ, “Jesus of Nazareth.” If you have not seen it, it’s worth watching. Why has the birth of Christ continued to captivate hearts after more than two thousand years? Swami Kriyananda answers this question with a question through his song, “The Christmas Mystery”: Who’ll tell to me this mystery: How a tiny babe in a manger … Read More


Kriya in Action

Two months ago, I decided to stop taking antidepressants. The journey to start medication began with the birth of my daughter and culminated several months following the separation from her father and my transition into a new life.  At the time, I was experiencing huge waves of emotions, ones that seemed to be particularly heightened with hormonal changes. The only problem with the waves were that they kept me in a state of constant reactivity and feelings of grief, which … Read More

Nayaswamis Narayan & Dharmadevi

When My Eyes Will Flow Tears

When Freddy moved into the ashram a week ago, he dry cleaned the meditation room’s large wool carpet with a special vacuum. Everyone at the Ananda LA community expressed their gratitude for Freddy’s generous and practical service.  After hearing about the rug cleaning, Dharana, another man in the community, said to Freddy, “You’re my hero.” Unbeknownst to Dharana it deeply touched Freddy’s heart as it reminded him of his older brother who he had not seen in years. Freddy’s brother … Read More

Paul Fetler

Rooted in Spirit

I have never forgotten when I first read Swami Kriyananda’s book, The Path, the story about when his master Paramhansa Yogananda cried out to some monks who were apparently too rough in moving a delicate but cumbersome tropical plant, “Be careful what you are doing. Can’t you feel? It’s alive!”  It reminded me of a potent life lesson I had received in my early twenties. Preparing the Soil  More than thirty years ago, I spent a few weeks house-sitting in … Read More

Nayaswamis Narayan & Dharmadevi

How to Be a Lion of Self Control

He was slapped in the face. And to add insult to injury, it was in front of all his classmates. Oh, and my friend who was slapped was only 11 years old at the time. What would you do if you were slapped by a bigger, stronger person? The “normal” reaction would be to strike back. I was struck (not by a physical blow) but by how my friend responded in a Christ-like manner. Let me backup and give you … Read More

Nine Days with Divine Mother

October 7th marked the first night of Navaratri, a nine-day festival in honor of the Divine Mother in the form of the Goddess Durga.  I actually had no idea Navaratri was coming up but about 3 weeks prior I felt inspired to purchase a specific rosary called The Rosary of the Seven Sorrows. I had read about it in an inspiring book, “Our Lady of Kibeho”, which tells of the Marian apparitions in a small village in Rwanda.  The Divine … Read More

How The Soul Says Goodbye

By Nayaswami Narayan A friend of our friend recently passed away from Covid-19. I suspect at this point in the pandemic many of us know someone who has lost a loved one. Needless to say, our friend was grieving when he heard the news. Enrique, our friend’s friend, was not just a casual acquaintance. He knew him for over forty years. They grew up together, worked together, and laughed together. He described Enrique as “kind, loving, and not attached to … Read More

Paul Fetler

Leaving the Dock

Dad would have that spark in his eyes on certain weekends; the peninsula harbor, winds, and white caps were calling him. We headed towards the nearest harbor, with the white tarp-covered boat attached with rattling wheels behind our car. Looking out the backseat window, I often daydreamed about places I would rather be, like the local  miniature golf course. We started going to the sailing docks when I was about nine or ten years old.   On windy days the motorless … Read More


When I was young, I explored drugs in an attempt to find more meaning in life. One night, a friend gave me a little pill that led to an experience of such profound unconditional love that I knew deep inside it was more than just a drug-induced feeling.  Later that night, as I was coming off the high, I desperately tried to hold onto that unconditional love that was bursting from my heart. It was waning and I thought about … Read More

How to Overcome Dry Spells in Meditation

Have you ever experienced a dry spell in your meditation practice? Recently, I started to notice that my meditations were becoming increasingly difficult.  What was the problem? I didn’t realize until I found the answer. One day before meditation, I randomly opened up The Essence of Self-realization to this excerpt: “While meditating, don’t concentrate on the results of meditation. Meditate, rather, to please God. If you seek results, you will be disappointed if they don’t come. “In the Bhagavad Gita, … Read More