The Book of Nature

When was the last time you had an “Aha” moment? The other day I looked at a red rose and for a moment it revealed its beauty to me. As Paramhansa Yogananda said, “you love a rose because it’s a rose. As soon as you start to count its petals and analyze it, it loses its beauty.” Through the grace of God there was a moment when I was not analyzing life and I was open in my heart to …

Formula For Success (Part 3)

Sincere effort means doing your best. I believe that is all our guru expects from us. It’s hard to remember that sometimes. Some of us are perfectionists who are hard on ourselves when we fall short. Some of us grew up in households where nothing we did or said was good enough. The good news is we don’t have to stay in that mindset. We can let go of perfectionist expectations and learn to accept ourselves as we are, because …

The Grouchy Yogi’s Guide to Enlightenment

Recently, Dharmadevi got sick with the flu and a bacterial infection at the same time. It was a one two punch that knocked her body down and out. I tried to lift her spirits so we started to joke about her ailing body and took complaining about “Sister Donkey” (her body) to a playful, hyperbolic end. For example, we came up with a name to a new booklet on complaining called “The Grouchy Yogi’s Guide to Enlightenment.” It’s still a …

Formula For Success (Part 2)

Part One of this blog looked at the blessing of having a guru. Now I’d like to explore Attunement. As a musician, when I hear the word Attunement, it calls to mind the process I go through when I sit down to play the harp. Even though it’s time-consuming, I take the time to tune all 58 strings of my double-strung harp. It’s the difference between heavenly harmony and unpleasant discord. Did you know that the human body reorganizes itself …

God’s Call Within

Have you ever heard a whisper through your conscience that you disregarded? I think a lot of times I’m simply deaf to Divine guidance. However, the other day I started my morning with a “deeper, longer, thirsty, guru-given meditation” that made me more receptive to the silent language of grace. Dharmadevi and I meditated for a longer period of time and ended with healing prayers for a friend who was in need of support. After our meditation we left for …

Formula For Success (Part 1)

If I could boil down what I’ve learned as a disciple to one sentence, it might look like that. Three elements that when combined, have the power to transform a life. Having a guru is a supreme blessing. He is so precious. He will see you through all difficulties. He knows your every thought, and knows every detail of your past life, and he loves you unconditionally. Think about that – he knows our every weakness and fault, and yet …

The Vibrationless Original

Nayaswami Jyotish shared during Spiritual Renewal Week that God took part of his vibrationless Spirit and put it into motion. I believe he was quoting Lahiri Mahasaya when he said God took 1% of His stillness and like a tuning fork began to vibrate Himself to create the universe. Everything in this world is of dual nature. We cannot have creation without duality. As Paramhansa Yogananda said, “the law of relativity is necessary to divide the One into the many.” …

Timelessness Is of the Essence

During my first visit to Ananda Village in Northern California in 2007, I had an experience of timelessness I’d like to share with you. I was sitting at the South Fork of the Yuba River, which, in my opinion, is one of the most beautiful places in the world. There are huge boulders everywhere, interspersed with tall pine trees. The water is crisp, cold, and clear. As I was sitting alone, my feet in the cool water, I lost myself …

The Swell of Gratitude

“What are you grateful for?” There is a restaurant in LA called “Cafe Gratitude” where the waiter asks you this question (or another thought provoking one) during your meal. Their menu item names are quite ambitious: “Immortal,” “Liberated,” “Pure,” “Enthusiastic,” etc. What makes it even more fun is when they bring your order they affirm your soul quality through the dish’s name. Your waiter exclaims with the verve of a veganatic, “You are Enthusiastic!” If you’re not feeling all that …

What You Want vs. What You Really Want

Swami Kriyananda said, “Sometimes what you want and what you really want are miles apart.” I’m extremely grateful for the times that I received direct (and I mean Direct!) guidance from Swamiji. I had lots of ideas and many of them were not quite on target. Swamiji was usually subtle and understated in the direction he gave and rarely gave it at all, but at times, he could be blunt. When I asked for his guidance on moving to the …