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

The Lighthouse of God

Have you heard that old maritime legend?  A battleship was on an exercise at sea in bad weather. The captain was on the bridge. It was foggy. Just after dark the lookout spotted a light on the starboard side. The captain asked if it was steady or moving. The look out replied the light was steady meaning they were on a direct collision course with that ship! The captain ordered the lookout signal to the other ship: “Change course 20 … Read More

Only Tested Love Is Blessed

About six years ago Dharmadevi and I had the very good fortune to meet our dear friend and gurubai, Tracey. Tracey blends heartfelt commitment to life and bright intelligence together into a united stream of faith and love for God. She is an inspiring person because she has walked through some very difficult experiences and yet her joy and love for God have only grown deeper.  As Swami Kriyananda says in a song, “Only tested love is blessed.” That sums … Read More

The Grace of the Guru

The dream started with me tied to the ground, perhaps half buried but not all the way. All I could feel was that I couldn’t move.  My gaze moved up to the top of the mountain to find an army of warriors, dressed in red and gold armor, with arrows ready to fire. I knew there was no way of getting out; their arrows were all pointed at me.  As they positioned their arms ready to fire, I felt fear … Read More

When We Need You, You Descend

I was desperate. After finding “success” through a job on Wall Street, what I really found was my life became increasingly restless, empty, and devoid of deeper meaning. At the time my life reflected Saint Augustine’s saying, “Our hearts are restless, Lord, until they find their rest in Thee.” Through the grace of God a thought entered my mind, “You should learn to meditate.” It was soft, simple, and clear. Thankfully, I followed this whisper from my soul. While in … Read More

New Year Resolutions

Upon realizing we are steadily approaching January 1st, I hurried to the nearest Target to buy a 2021 planner. I love planners as much as I love blank journals! I thought how wonderful it would be to ‘plan’ my whole year, or at least the next three months. It’s rather giggle-worthy when you consider how many people “planned” for 2020 and were thrown the ultimate curveball.   As I was shopping for a planner the initial excitement and urgency started to … Read More

Are You a Christian?

Dharmadevi and I were speaking with my mother last week to wish her happy holidays. During our conversation she told us that she had dinner with her sister and one of their local parish priests. Over the course of dinner my mother shared proudly (as moms do!) about Dharmadevi and me and our involvement in Ananda. With all the talk about how we teach meditation and yoga, the priest asked my mom, “Are they Christian?” My mother didn’t know exactly … Read More

Primitivism vs Simple Living

“Alexa, give me five minutes!” This command came easily from the lips of our two-and-a-half year old nephew who was told he needed to share his toy truck with his brother. “Alexa,” for those who don’t know, is a machine that utilizes artificial intelligence and voice recognition to do all sorts of things, including setting a timer. This story reminded me how clearly we have entered into Dwapara Yuga and how quickly the acceleration of technological advancements is happening. With … Read More

Spanglish Lessons

Last week while I was at our Ananda East LA center, a woman walked to our front door and began to knock. Like most of Southern California we are closed to the public due to the pandemic so I was surprised at her presence. I opened the door and asked her from a distance how I could help her. I noticed she was holding a box that said “DoTerra” on it. I know about DoTerra essential oils because Dharmadevi has … Read More