“I’m With The Trees”

After a long day of work selling produce on a hot summer day, I went to practice my soccer skills by kicking a ball with my eternal friend…the wall (this was a special wall from the junior high school in my neighborhood). After practicing I was hot and tired. I turned around from the wall and saw the trees swaying in the warm summer breeze. Strange as it sounds, I had been thinking about a question, “Where are you between …

Traffic, My Great Teacher

…was giving me lots of trouble. So much trouble in fact, that I was beginning to feel as though I were taking my life in my hands every time I ventured out on the freeways to attend Ananda LA, home of my precious spiritual family. It all came to a head for me one night when a car spun out in front of me on the I-10 as I was driving home from our Janmashtami celebration. I grumbled about my …

Babaji’s Helping Hand

I had a mysterious encounter with a stranger about eight years ago, the memory of which has always puzzled me. I was in Washington DC with my high-school class on a field-trip during one of the most intense snow-storms the city had seen in nearly a decade (or so we were told). We were having dinner at a host’s house one evening when it began to snow. By the time we finished dinner, there was six inches of snow on …

Watching

The other day I made a trip up the coast to San Luis Obispo, where there is a harp luthier. I asked them to do some repairs on my harp. While I waited for the work to be done, I went into town and visited Mission San Luis Obispo de Tolosa, which dates back to 1772. It is a beautiful old church, well worth a visit. I got there a few minutes before noon, so decided to sit and enjoy …

From Road Rage to Peaceful Sage

Have you ever experienced road rage? About twenty years ago before I started to meditate, I did. Someone cut me off on the Jersey turnpike. I got angry. And I let the driver in front of me know by generously laying on my horn. If there’s anything spiritual I can draw from this story, is that I honked for almost seven seconds — about a second for each chakra! Sister Gyanamata said, “Your religion is practiced in the cold light …

MLM (Multi-Level Meditation)

Have you ever been sold a lotion or potion by a relative? They’ve found the new thing that will “change your life” and all of sudden you’re paying $39 a month for supplements you never knew you needed! My earthly father was involved in a number of MLMs (multi-level-marketing). He sold magnets, water purifiers, insurance, and more. He was even a blood plasma broker. I recall driving plasma to FedEx for him. Who brokers blood plasma?! My father did. I’d …

Freedom Community

We all walked to the spot where Ananda’s new Temple of Light will be built, chanting Aum Guru, and waited in anticipation for the groundbreaking ceremony to begin. As the statues of our line of gurus were lovingly placed on the spot where the future altar would be, we could feel their living presence descend. These were not little marble murtis; they were, in fact, our Masters, smiling at the four hundred devotees gathered to celebrate. We were there to …

The “Biz-za-ness” of IS-a-ness

“Son, it’s Pappa Chan…you know the number…it’s about biz-za-ness.” When I heard this colorful voicemail that my earthly father left me, my first thought was, “Isn’t business two syllables?” My father was an old school Italian salesman. He enjoyed sales or as he coined it, “biz-za-ness.” Then I realized hidden beneath his humor was a deep spiritual truth. Isn’t God, I thought, in the “Biz-za-ness of Is-a-ness?” Yes, He IS! Think of this: a million years ago God IS. And …

Learning to Focus

The first lesson in Ananda’s Health & Healing Course is “Learning to Focus.” Why? Imagine, your best friend falls and breaks his ankle. How would you respond? More than likely, all of your focus and attention would immediately go to helping your friend – getting him calmed down and as comfortable as possible, rushing him to the hospital, etc. Now, imagine that same scenario but rather than all your focus going to your friend, you find yourself thinking: “What I …

Facing My Fear…

Recently, I’ve received many growth opportunities nicely wrapped in extreme discomfort. We all get these. And it’s interesting how the same type of challenge can provide different degrees of pain for each of us depending on our attachments. My personal bag of ego attachments meant that my recent, particular challenges were excruciating. I felt completely inadequate for what I was being asked to do and felt completely justified in my fears. Exact details aside, my soul, which I suspect has …