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 cute outfit that I was interested in, but I thought they were just pajamas. I couldn’t reconcile paying that much money for something I would just be sleeping in so I asked the store clerk, ‘Are these pajamas?’”

“No,” the clerk responded in a calm declarative tone. “That’s loungewear.”

“Loungewear?” Dharmadevi asked.

The clerk then began to educate her into the wears of loungewear:

“Yes, you see, you can go to the store in loungewear, walk the dog in loungewear, even relax, and, well, lounge in loungewear, and even sleep in loungewear. But make no mistake, they are NOT pajamas.”

It was a funny experience, but it got me thinking about spirituality versus religion. Most Americans consider themselves spiritual, but not religious. That is to say, they prefer loungewear over pajamas.

What do I mean by that? People want to bring God into every avenue and aspect of their lives. But in order to change from pajamas to loungewear our old toxic thoughts, energy and behavior need to be transformed from darkness into light.

How, then, do we transform? Paramhansa Yogananda taught the universal non-sectarian path of Self-Realization. Through meditation and inner communion God’s light descends and turns our “clay into gold.” As Yogananda said, “A room could be filled with darkness for a thousand years, but when you turn on the light, it vanishes instantly.”

And then we don’t want that light to be confined to only our meditation. We want to don our spiritual loungewear and roam wherever with Divine Mother during our everyday life.

To that end, we’d like to invite you to our upcoming Yogananda Fest this Saturday, 3/7. There will be chanting, inspirational music, yoga, talks, healing practitioners, kids zone, vegetarian food, vendors, and more. And also our special guest speakers Nayaswamis Jyotish & Devi, the spiritual directors of Ananda Worldwide, will be launching their new book, Touch of Love.

But wait there’s more…the first 100 people who bring a friend will receive a free copy of Yogananda’s spiritual classic, Autobiography of a Yogi.

Some vendors will be selling clothing. And be sure to know, they are not pajamas. They are loungewear!

We look forward to seeing you this Saturday!

Narayan & Dharmadevi