Complaining Fast, Gratitude Feast

“Oh, I’m so sorry the elevator did not work for you!” I was apologizing to a woman who was confined to a wheelchair. We had spoken on the phone a few days before and I assured her the elevator in our plaza was in service. For whatever reason on that Sunday it malfunctioned. Since we had already started our service, no one knew she needed help downstairs. She left a voicemail letting me know what happened. I felt horrible as …

Life is a Battlefield

Have you ever felt like life kicks you when you’re down? That’s because it does! Humanity is at war between the forces of light and of darkness in the consciousness of man. Swami Kriyananda dedicated an entire chapter of his book The Art & Science of Raja Yoga to this topic: Life is a Battlefield! The battle is waged within each one of us. The epic story of the Mahabharata is the perfect spiritual allegory. We have great warriors on …

In The Temple of Silence

About a year ago, Ananda LA expanded its aura to embrace the greater metropolitan area by opening several new centers across the urban-expanse. It was (and is) an exciting time, there was lots of new energy, enthusiasm, and a desire to create little hives where we, the little devotee-bees, could gather the honey of our collective devotion. Have you ever walked into a temple, or some hallowed place, and been struck by an immediate sense of Divine presence? Such places …

Goal!

I grew up playing football, or soccer as most people know it in America. But to the rest of the world it is known as football or more aptly, “the beautiful game.” I love football, soccer, footie, whatever you want to call it. For me, playing is a transcendental experience. Meditative. No, it doesn’t replace my formal meditation practice, but it’s a fun reflection of God’s beauty, harmony, and joy in nature. Spirit and nature dance together on a football …

“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 …