How to Finish Your Desires

My mother used to say, “Be careful what you wish for, you just may get it.” She was expressing a deeper truth — every desire must be fulfilled. Desire, Paramhansa Yogananda taught, directs our energy.  When I first heard Yogananda’s voice on a recording, I remember him thundering, “You must finish your desires!”  As I was new on the spiritual path, I thought, “Goodness, how in the world can I finish my desires?!” It seemed like an insurmountable task to … Read More

Discipleship Is Joy

Dharmadevi and I watched a movie the other night called, “The Disciple.” It’s a story about a young Indian man who has a passion for Indian classical music. He learns from his father growing up and then his teacher who he considers his guru.  There are some soul stirring scenes and you can feel why India considers the voice to be the most beautiful instrument. The voice conveys subtle aspects of feeling and when used in attunement with the Divine … Read More

The Last Word of Swami Kriyananda: “Anything”

Swami Kriyananda, one of the last living direct disciples of Paramhansa Yogananda, left us with a parting gift—the gift of his last word: anything. This simple word exemplifies the attitude towards life which Swami Kriyananda lived by, and which he set as an example for all of us as truth seekers on the spiritual path. Within this word are two qualities characteristic of Swamiji as a disciple: willingness and courage. These qualities are especially relevant to all of us as … Read More

Perfect Understanding

“The Guru knows every thought you think… can you imagine? But… he understands you perfectly!” I will never forget hearing these words from a direct disciple of Paramhansa Yogananda. They were (and still are) so comforting. Yes, the Guru knows all of our faults, all of our stupid actions, all of our negativity, BUT he knows exactly how we got to where we are and exactly how we will get out of this mess of delusion. In a letter of … Read More

Powered by Grace

I have often experienced periods that feel like an uphill battle while meditating. I may be distracted by an outside life challenge, or just subconscious circuitry, that seems to go round and round, as if on a hamster wheel.  A loving message from an old story I knew as a child called The Little Engine that Could has helped me during these, and other times in my life. It tells of a little train, humble in scale, who was begged by teary-eyed dolls … 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

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

When We Sang for Pope John Paul II at the Vatican

One of the most memorable times of living at Ananda Assisi was when the World Brotherhood Choir sang at the Vatican on Wednesday, March 8, 1989. After celebrating Paramhansa Yogananda’s Mahasamadhi Anniversary on the previous day, the Ananda Assisi community felt a deep blessing as we caravanned to Rome to share Master’s and Swami Kriyananda’s songs as a vibrational-offering for the Spiritual Unity of All Mankind. It was a historical time for us at Ananda Assisi as we shared our … Read More