The Gift of Giving

By Keshava Betts. About eight years ago I had the blessing to witness first hand the principle that it is more blessed to give than to receive. Though that concept can be hard to grasp, it is easy to feel. When I entered junior high school I began volunteering once a week at a nearby special-needs classroom. For two hours I’d help them learn math, english, and other classroom topics. I really enjoyed my time there, due to the outpouring …

Opening to God’s Light

By Dharmadevi Romano. Swami Kriyananda often had us visualize the chakras, or energy centers in the body, as lotus flowers. When our energy is flowing outward through the senses the lotus flowers’ petals are facing downward. In meditation, we can consciously direct the lotus petals upward and, like a valve on a hose, redirect the energy of the chakras to flow inward and upward to the brain for higher awareness. Here’s another visualization that can be helpful: think of the …

The Heart of A Cheese Ravioli

By Narayan Romano Sometimes there are moments in life that are just too perfectly ironic that they prove the existence of God. Such was the case Christmas day during our ravioli lunch. These are not just any ravioli, they are homemade (the recipe is my great grandmother’s, by the way)! After a few years now the ravioli have garnered their own following. People come just for the ravs. What I love about ravioli is their simplicity. The pasta dough is …

Experiencing God’s Love Through Service

By Jennifer Duke One of the first changes I experienced upon entering this path was a shift in perspective surrounding death and the dying process. I didn’t “work” or think my way to this shift, it just happened. I was Divinely changed from the inside out. All of a sudden I shockingly found myself completely comfortable with my own mortality and with the mortality of others, including my children and husband. They can’t relate to this lack of emotion about …

Awaken Your Super Self

By Narayan Romano. “Out with the old, in with the new!” When the New Year comes I love the idea of a fresh start! Don’t we all? At the dawn of the new year, many of us take on resolutions to better ourselves in some way, but why do so many resolutions fall at the wayside? I recall an old soap advertisement for a brand named Calgon, “Calgon, take me away!” As if those fresh suds had mystic superpowers to …

Hong-Sau: My New Best Friend

By Dharmadevi Romano. Of the techniques our great guru, Paramhansa Yogananda, gave, I’d have to say, for me, Hong-Sau has always gotten the short end of the stick. It isn’t that I don’t like it, per say, it’s just that I’ve never felt very good at it. Here’s where I’ll offer a common-among-spiritual-aspirants excuse – I’ve spent the last eighteen years in Rahu Mahadasha! Well, at least our dear friend and extremely gifted astrologer gave me that excuse by saying …

The Only Begotten

By Dharmadevi Romano. At age 24, around the time that I started meditating consistently, I was surprised by a sudden, and seemingly out-of-the-blue, desire to go back to church. I had never been an enthusiastic church-goer by any measure! I was raised Catholic and my mom had brought me to church every Sunday, which was followed by Sunday school. This was up until I turned 14 years old, made it through Confirmation, and decided to never go back again. Needless …

Energization: The Energizer Bunny Part 2

I have now been practicing the energization exercises six times a day for six months. It’s been an adventure, and one that I am incredibly grateful to be on. Doing the exercises with such intensity and regularity has taught me some valuable lessons that I’m eager to dive even deeper into. I’ll share some of what I’ve been working on. 1) Energy is joyful! When I succeed in awakening, and raising my energy I find the experience to be incredibly …

Overcoming Oversensitivity

By Dharmadevi Romano Los Angeles is a breeding ground for oversensitivity. In a big city, you are constantly barraged by loud noises, foul smells, and disturbing sights. The nervous system gets overloaded and we find ourselves taking out our oversensitivity on others. We may find temporary relief in believing that others are the cause of our deepening oversensitivity but we can’t possibly get out of the mire of delusion until we realize that we have to change ourselves. The affirmation …

Follow Your Bliss

The other day Dharmadevi and I met with a young woman who was majoring in psychology. I asked her what she found interesting about psychology. She responded, “It explains everything. It shows that everything has a reason.” Her response got me thinking; what is my purpose and reason for being? I love the way Paramhansa Yogananda described the purpose of life: Self-realization! Ahh, I can get behind that with my whole heart, mind, and soul! Not only did he define …