“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 …

Heart Over Mind

In the early morning hours, when the veil between the material world and the other worlds is thin, I often awaken with phrases from Master’s chants, affirmations, poems, and other writings running through my mind. It amazes me how perfectly his words attune with whatever is going on with my life situation at the time. These spiritual experiences remain vivid and comfort me in times of need. My most recent experience occurred a few days ago. Recently I have been …

Kindness

The lunch bell rings and kids nationwide suffer through the social turmoil of finding friends and feeling welcome at a lunch table. Lunch time each day on campus can feel like a pit of despair filled with isolation and rejection. I recently heard a story on CBS about a young man whose simple generosity, a smile here, kind words there, is changing lives. Denis Estimon is a Haitian immigrant who arrived in the US as a first grader. At school …

Creativity Arise!

I never considered myself an artist because I’m not particularly good at painting, drawing, or composing music. I realized, however, that creativity takes many forms and I discovered I have a knack for starting businesses. I started my first business when I was 18, which grew to employ 25 people. At 20, I helped my brother and sister-in-law create a successful online business. That business allowed them to quit their corporate jobs, buy their own home, and send their daughter …

How “Seva” Was Born

The idea for a business to generate income for Ananda started as an inspiration after a gathering of Ananda’s next generation in Assisi last summer. As soon as I mentioned it to Navashen he jumped on board with enthusiasm. Our business idea went through a lot of iterations and it made us think about the purpose of what we were doing and who we wanted to serve. Our goal was to create a business where the bottom line was not …

Babaji: The Best Roommate Ever!

“‘Whenever anyone utters with reverence the name of Babaji,’ Lahiri Mahasaya said, ‘that devotee attracts an instant spiritual blessing.’” – Autobiography of a Yogi This past week we had a work day to prepare our new South Bay temple. The old South Bay center had a large murti (statue) of Mahavatar Babaji. During our transition from the old space to the current temple, one of our friends took Babaji for a number of months as a roommate. She said he’s …

Total Receptivity

Leo Cox, a direct disciple of Paramhansa Yogananda, related his story of being with the master in the movie, Awake: The Life of Yogananda. In a touching scene he shared honestly how difficult it was to be with someone who knew his every thought, “He analyzed you down to an ant.” Swami Kriyananda also shared that when he was at Mt. Washington it was like a hotel – people would come enthusiastic and leave as soon as they saw how …

Balancing Will Power and Feeling

When I was growing up my father always offered me the sage advice, “Practice moderation in all things.” He usually brought that quote up when I was busy overindulging in my third plate of macaroni-and-cheese, but as I grew older I began to realize that, as Krishna says, the Golden Middle Path applies to all areas of life, not only healthy eating habits. Over the last ten months I’ve been practicing Yogananda’s Energization Exercises six times a day. I will …