Distant Closeness

      “Oh, my God! A plane just hit the World Trade Center.” My sales team leader blurted out the shocking news for all to hear. “Shut the (blank) up! And get back to work.” Our regional manager, the big boss, shouted back at him. The date was 9/11/2001.  I was working in midtown Manhattan for Mayor Mike Bloomberg’s company, Bloomberg L.P. Along with being a financial data service provider, Bloomberg is a media company. Most people know Bloomberg … Read More

A Smooth Life Is Not A Victorious Life

This past Friday was the launch of Nayaswamis Jyotish and Devi’s new book Touch of Love: Living The Teachings of Paramhansa Yogananda. This book is a compilation of weekly letters they posted in 2017 and 2018 to their popular blog, A Touch of Light. Many gathered to celebrate the birth of these inspired writings at the Chado Tea Room in Hollywood. The room was alive with divine friendship and very much filled to the brim with love! During tea, Jyotish … Read More

Our Lady Loungewear

A few weeks ago I went shopping with Dharmadevi. We have a silent marital understanding that for the most part it’s best for me not to enter the store with her. Since it was a women’s clothing store, I eagerly utilized my “get out of shopping jail” free card and remained outside. When Dharmadevi came out of the store she said, “I had a funny experience with the store clerk.” “What happened?” I inquired. Dharmadevi told me, “I saw a … Read More

Keep In Touch

My mom, Jackie, always had a strong connection with cardinals, the passerine songbirds. Whenever she’d see one, she said it made her think of God and how much He loves her. When any of her children saw one, it would inevitably remind us of Mom.  Every day, being with her on the East Coast during her transition, a cardinal would appear in one form or another. After her passing about three weeks ago, cardinals have been a way my siblings … Read More

“All I ask of you…”

As Father Fred finished his eulogy for Dharmadevi’s mom, he began to walk back to his seat in the Catholic church. Then he hesitated for a moment as if an angel whispered in his ear. “Oh, I almost forgot,” he said as he found a piece of paper within the pulpit. “This was requested by Jackie.” Without any preamble, he began to sing a song: “All I ask of you is forever to remember me as loving you.” At that … Read More

Death Is Immaterial

I was dumbfounded. Four years ago Dharmadevi invited her mother to join us on a pilgrimage to India. Why was I taken aback? Jackie, Dharmadevi’s mom, was in the middle of battling cancer. At the time she seemed to me like the last person that could handle a trip to India. Divine Mother, of course, laughs at our logic. Dharmadevi had an intuitive feeling that it would be a blessing for her mom and us to have her join our … Read More

Bless It!

“The two greatest travesties of Ananda are that Narayan can’t speak Italian and Dharmadevi doesn’t have a Southern accent.” Swami Kriyananda joked with us as we enjoyed dinner at an Italian restaurant in Los Angeles.  Narayan is third-generation Italian but his parents weren’t encouraged to speak the language, so he didn’t grow up with it. Swamiji knew that, although I grew up in Georgia, I had purposely avoided the (usually-considered) charming Southern accent. “Southern hospitality” felt insincere to me – … Read More

The “Prayer of Abandonment”

“I remained twelve years without denying or believing anything, despairing of the truth and not even believing in God. There was no convincing proof.” “At 17 I was totally selfish, full of vanity and irreverence, engulfed by a desire for what is evil. I was running wild.” “I was in the dark. I no longer saw either God or men: There was only me.” These were the words of Charles de Foucauld born in France in 1858. At the age … Read More

Yogananda’s Nine-Day Detox Diet

It’s a New Year! What better time to renew and recharge our body batteries, perhaps shed a few pounds, and slough off that post-holiday sluggish feeling. In the “Wisdom” series, Volume 6, How to Achieve Glowing Health and Vitality, Paramhansa Yogananda packs so much of his practical healing techniques of Yogoda, covering diet, exercises, and vibrational healing. Diet is a large part of this little but important volume in the Wisdom series. Yogananda describes the cleanse as  “ …a method for rejuvenating … Read More

God Is Always More

Being with my mom as she begins her process of transitioning from this world to the next, I find myself reflecting on the many lessons she has taught me.  I was about 18 years old and reawakening to the idea of there being a higher power in the universe but was not yet comfortable with the term “God.” However, Jesus’ message – “the kingdom of God is within you” – resonated deeply in my mind.  As I was contemplating this … Read More