Paramhansa Yogananda once said: “You don’t know what a terrible cataclysm is coming!” Are we living in that time?
The Road Ahead II: How to Build a Spiritual Residential Community is an on-going guest series focusing on all aspects of community start-up, development and growth.
The class is free, with a suggested donation of $15 for each class.
Our guest speakers have been living in and thinking about community for many years. They have been problem solving and giving extensive thought to these diverse issues and will share their expertise. This will all be within the context of what Swami Kriyananda learned from Paramhansa Yogananda and his experience in building successful communities on three continents.
There will be opportunities to ask questions and express concerns about this radical departure from our society’s everyday way of doing things.
- The vision for community
- How do we get started? What can we do today?
- Who will be able to live there? How is that decided?
- What should I be considering when thinking about making such a move?
- How are decisions made?
- What about ownership and community finances?
- Are the economics different living in a community?
- What will be my daily experience living in a community?
- What benefits and changes may come by moving into the community?
- Will we have fun building this community?
- Will our community be serving others?
- What role or bigger impact may it have in the world at large?
- How can communities help heal the disease of competition?
We are in the middle of a challenging situation. It is easy to get caught by fear, anger, restlessness, depression, and hopelessness. With solution consciousness, we can prepare ourselves physically, mentally and spiritually to help create a new reality and step into the next great adventure that Divine Mother has in store for us on The Road Ahead.
Let us create a Noble New future together.
The Noble New
Sing songs that none have sung,
Think thoughts that ne’er in brain have rung,
Walk in paths that none have trod,
Weep tears as none have shed for God,
Give peace to all to whom none other gave,
Claim him your own who’s everywhere disclaimed.
Love all with love that none have felt, and brave
The battle of life with strength unchained.
Songs of the Soul (1983), Paramhansa Yogananda
October 27 - Leadership and Decision-Making in a Spiritual Community
In his talk Puru Selbie will be addressing:
- What are the dynamics that drive community?
- How should the community management be structured?
- Spiritual leadership and consensus decision making
- What does “cooperative obedience” look like in action?
- Stories from his time in working in community leadership, managing group projects
- Discuss how a community can be rallied when it is under pressure or in crisis
Puru Selbie is highly qualified to speak about this subject as he has been in a variety of founding and managing situations in the world of Ananda communities. He came to Ananda in 1975 and helped lead the rebuilding of Ananda Village after the 1976 fire in which 21 of 22 homes were destroyed. Most of 1978 and 1979 he spent in Europe, based in Rome, building interest in starting an Ananda community in Italy; the community eventually took root as Ananda Assisi. Puru also started Ananda groups in Holland, Germany, and Italy. From 1980 to 1983 he served as Ananda Village Manager.
Puru was spiritual director of Ananda Seattle from 1985-1992, spearheading the purchase and creation of the Ananda Seattle Community. He has also been the director of the Expanding Light, IT Director and head of Crystal Clarity Publishers—all the while raising four children together with his wife, Lakshmi.
Puru’s book, The Yugas, is the definitive work on the subject and an important book that will may well revolutionize our view of history and how it is playing out.
November 2 (Monday!) - Ownership, Membership, Finances, & Working with Local Governments
In this talk Atman Goering, manager of Ananda Village for the past 19 years, will be addressing:
- Considerations related to the physical land
Making a community happen within the governmental, legal, and economic structures of a particular location
- Who will live there?
The shared value proposition of the community.
- People joining, people leaving.
- Governance and ownership:
- How are resources allocated?
- How are things owned?
Individual vs group financial responsibility.
- How are decisions made?
Atman Goering has a varied educational and work background. He has degrees in Civil Engineering and environmental issues, energy and resources studies, and sustainable development from Princeton, Berkeley, and University of Grenoble, France.
He has worked in environmental consulting in Washington, DC, and sustainable development in India. Atman has worked with the Ladakh Project and The International Society for Ecology and Culture. His experiences in Ladakh awakened an interest in spiritual communities. Together he and his wife planned to start an intentional community and visited many in Europe and America.
In the early 90s, while working on his dissertation, Atman and his wife discovered Ananda Village. A short time later he decided to trade in theory for practice and gave up his academic pursuits in favor of dedicating himself to building and supporting a dynamic intentional spiritual community.
During his 28 years at Ananda he has managed both the Meditation Retreat and the Expanding Light Retreat. For the last 19 years he has served as Village Manager overseeing planning, development and management of the Ananda community in Nevada City, CA. Atman spearheaded the multi-year effort to update Ananda’s Master Plan. Approved by Nevada County in 2017, the plan will guide Ananda Village’s growth for the next 25 years.
October 13 - Building the Magnetism Required to Launch an Ananda Community
Asha Nayaswami, Ananda’s Global Ambassador and a pioneer in the formation of Ananda’s two largest communities – Ananda Village and Ananda Palo Alto – will address the challenge of getting started: how to build the magnetism and momentum needed to carry off such a major project.
October 20 - Vision and Attunement: Keystones for Building Spiritual Community
In this talk Nayaswamis Jyotish and Devi will be addressing:
- The role of vision
- Appropriate attitudes and expectations of devotees beginning this kind of project
- Attuning ourselves to Master as we work together as a group toward this goal
- What should our priorities be as we begin the project?
- What role does the social aspect of community play in the likelihood of the community’s success?
Nayaswami Jyotish was working with Swami Kriyananda, Ananda’s founder, even before the first land was purchased for the first Ananda community in the late 1960’s. He has seen the Ananda communities develop since the beginning. He was manager of the community for many years in the early days (1960’s and 70’s) and has led the community with one title or another ever since. He studied with Swami Kriyananda for nearly half a century. Nayaswami Devi first met Swami Kriyananda in 1969 and dedicated her life to the spiritual path.
Nayaswamis Jyotish and Devi serve as Spiritual Directors of Ananda Worldwide. They worked closely with Swami Kriyananda for 45 years, and were personally trained by him to guide Ananda’s work worldwide. Jyotish and Devi received the Global Ambassadors Peace Award at the United Nations in 2017.