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

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