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 …

Clouseau Consciousness

  Before Cosmic Consciousness comes Clouseau Consciousness. I don’t know if you have ever heard of Inspector Clouseau. I don’t mean his character, but the universal life lessons he shares. If you don’t know who he was, he was a character in the farcical Pink Panther series. Clouseau is inept and incompetent, nevertheless he successfully solves his cases entirely by accident. Not only is he quite a comedic character, but  also he has some profound lessons to share with us. …

Confessions of a Modern Mystic

“Father, I stole some bubble gum…I said a few curse words…” Being only eight years old and knowing nothing about confession, the one thing I did know was I needed sins! I figured bubble gum theft from my brother and curse words would work. First confession can be a frightful experience. Imagine at the tender young age of eight walking into a small dimly lit room all by yourself with not a person in sight. I had to bear my …

Foreign Nature

After a couple years of starting up my first business and “burning the midnight oil”, my body began to rebel in ways I could no longer ignore. It started with a searing pain in my right hand, then my eyesight started getting fuzzy, to the point where I couldn’t see the computer screen. So it was that my body decided we needed to take a break! I didn’t know how to meditate; I simply sat outside, I couldn’t read (my …

Stand Before The Sun

Recently I heard a story about Krishna and one of his devotees that I loved. Krishna was preparing to exit his body for that incarnation, and he was advising the devotee about how to go on after he was no longer there in person. During the course of the conversation, the devotee, inspired by Krishna’s radiant presence, said something along the lines of, “How can I be overcome by darkness, when I am standing before the sun?” I love that! …

Energization: A Year of Energy

A little more than a year has passed since I began practicing Yogananda’s Energization Exercises six times a day. Just recently, when a friend asked me, “What do you feel you’ve gained from the practice?” I was unable to answer, because how could I begin to list, or even comprehend how this practice had transformed my life? Finally, lacking a better response, I said, “What haven’t I gained?” I don’t mean to imply that I don’t have any work to …

People Are More Important Than Things

“Too many rules kill the spirit.” Paramhansa Yogananda once said to the then young monk Walter (now known as Swami Kriyananda). Yogananda had put Walter in charge of the Monks and was giving him this advice on how to organize the monks. This simple phrase was the only outward advice his Guru gave him. Swami Kriyananda found that asking willing cooperation of his brother monks was a key way to organize them in a spirit of brotherhood and divine friendship. …