Confessions of a Modern Mystic

“Father, I stole some bubble gum…I said a few curse words…” Being only eight years old and knowing nothing about confession, the one thing I did know was I needed sins! I figured bubble gum theft from my brother and curse words would work. First confession can be a frightful experience. Imagine at the tender young age of eight walking into a small dimly lit room all by yourself with not a person in sight. I had to bear my …

Foreign Nature

After a couple years of starting up my first business and “burning the midnight oil”, my body began to rebel in ways I could no longer ignore. It started with a searing pain in my right hand, then my eyesight started getting fuzzy, to the point where I couldn’t see the computer screen. So it was that my body decided we needed to take a break! I didn’t know how to meditate; I simply sat outside, I couldn’t read (my …

Stand Before The Sun

Recently I heard a story about Krishna and one of his devotees that I loved. Krishna was preparing to exit his body for that incarnation, and he was advising the devotee about how to go on after he was no longer there in person. During the course of the conversation, the devotee, inspired by Krishna’s radiant presence, said something along the lines of, “How can I be overcome by darkness, when I am standing before the sun?” I love that! …

Energization: A Year of Energy

A little more than a year has passed since I began practicing Yogananda’s Energization Exercises six times a day. Just recently, when a friend asked me, “What do you feel you’ve gained from the practice?” I was unable to answer, because how could I begin to list, or even comprehend how this practice had transformed my life? Finally, lacking a better response, I said, “What haven’t I gained?” I don’t mean to imply that I don’t have any work to …

People Are More Important Than Things

“Too many rules kill the spirit.” Paramhansa Yogananda once said to the then young monk Walter (now known as Swami Kriyananda). Yogananda had put Walter in charge of the Monks and was giving him this advice on how to organize the monks. This simple phrase was the only outward advice his Guru gave him. Swami Kriyananda found that asking willing cooperation of his brother monks was a key way to organize them in a spirit of brotherhood and divine friendship. …

Overcoming Nervousness and Fear

God doesn’t mind asking His devotees to serve in ways that are uncomfortable to our egos. In fact, I think He gets a kick out of seeing our little selves squirm! Needless to say, when we consciously embark upon the spiritual path, we are asking God and Guru to help us transcend the ego. Therefore, we shouldn’t be surprised by some obstacles – or as Paramhansa Yogananda referred to them – opportunities for further growth. One such opportunity is overcoming …

“In Joy and In More Joy …”

On Saturday, April 29th, we celebrated our first annual Yogananda Fest. Yogananda Fest is an inspiring day-long festival celebrating and sharing the teachings of the great Master, Paramhansa Yogananda. If you weren’t able to attend, it’s okay, we already have it scheduled for next year! Saturday, April 28th, 2018. We were trying to think of how to describe the day. Words from one of Yogananda’s chants come to mind… “In joy and in more joy…” Paramhansa Yogananda described God as …

“Did You Hear That?”

“No, I didn’t.” Keshava was asking me if I heard how I added a note to a solo I was practicing from Swami Kriyananda’s Oratorio, Christ Lives! Subconsciously, I was adding a note or two that were not written in the piece. I did not even notice the tendency until Keshava called it to my attention. Though it was evident to Dharmadevi and Keshava who were listening, I couldn’t hear it. Why couldn’t I hear it? I’m not a trained …

Courage to Battle Indifference

–Paramhansa Yogananda Have you ever been in a conversation with a friend or associate and found yourself talking in a way you didn’t like? When you find a fault within yourself, the tendency can be to think, “Well, that is just who I am, I can’t change my personality.” Yoganandaji said, “You can change yourself in an instant.” He also taught to make every breath a new incarnation. He didn’t just mean we could change our bad habits. He was …

Oh, My Remembrance of Thee!

A few weeks ago a friend of mine lent me a number of books to read. She is a reading enthusiast. Well, that’s putting it lightly. She is on two library boards and she’s pretty much memorized the library of congress classification system. Not to mention she’s taken a speed reading course twice! After she lent me the books, she was joining us for our Raja Yoga class. I joked to her during the class that you could have all …