A Lesson In Swadhyaya

In the midst of today’s chaotic world, I find solace in the practice of introspection, a tool that not only grants self-awareness but also fosters a deeper understanding of others. Known in Sanskrit as swadhyaya, meaning “self-study”, introspection is one of the steps along the eightfold path of yoga taught by Patanjali.  Introspection has saved me in the face of … Read More

The Angel in the Tree

Are you your body-mind? It would certainly seem so. Every sensation we experience – taste, touch, sight, smell and hearing – reinforces that perception. But is there more to the answer than a yes or no can provide? We are raised for good reason to believe in the physicality of the reality that surrounds us, and our senses confirm its … Read More

The Noble Taper

Meditation is the foundation of spiritual life. Like an engineer designing a structure to withstand certain physical forces, the spiritual seeker engineers himself to withstand certain forces in life. To this end, the single most powerful spiritual tool is a regular, scientific practice of meditation and devotion.  In his poetic and divinely inspired ceremony The Festival of Light, Swami Kriyananda tells of … Read More

Brother Bluebell

“Hello there brother bluebell, sing me a tune today!” sings the opening line of one of Swami Kriyananda’s many delightful children’s songs, an ode to the joy and beauty of nature. The lyrics go on to welcome and sing praise to the lovely meadowlarks and dewdrops, monarchs and beetles, pebbles and laughing brooks. At the very end Swamiji, a superconscious … Read More

It’s Complicated. Or Maybe Not.

Our skills are many, which we acquire over time with dedicated study and practice. These are generally useful to us and others, but among the ones we are especially good at, unfortunately, is the setting of traps for ourselves in the judgments we make.  The question of how much we like or dislike a person, object, feeling, experience or idea, … Read More

Meeting Saint Francis Through Swami Kriyananda: An Easter Story

by guest author Nayaswami Nischala On my first pilgrimage to Italy, Nakula and I were not yet married. We were traveling with Swami Kriyananda and other Ananda pilgrims.  Many of us on that pilgrimage were directing our attention to Swamiji.  We watched his every movement, looked at his eyes, and were fortunate to feel the bliss of his smile and … Read More

Be The Change

In his book, Aum The Melody of Love, Joseph Bharat Cornell states “Aum is God’s consciousness vibrating throughout creation. It is the bridge that unites Nature and Spirit, human and cosmic consciousness. Holy Aum is the stream of God’s consciousness into which the soul merges to discover its own highest nature.” These thrilling words give us a very clear direction … Read More

Be Thou a Yogi

In the Bhagavad Gita, India’s magnificent scripture, there’s a mystical verse, the meaning of which is not easily understood. Lord Krishna, speaking to his disciple Arjuna, says, “That which is night for the unenlightened is day for the yogi. And that which is day for ordinary people is night for the yogi-seer.” These words present us with a puzzle, and … Read More

Community, Inspiration, Paramhansa Yogananda, Spiritual Teachings

The Trumpet Call of Friendship

The greatest joy and growth, pain and sorrows in this world all relate to our connection with others. And the highest form of connection is friendship. True friendship is a spiritual relationship of love, support and respect. Paramhansa Yogananda wrote “Friendship is God’s trumpet call, bidding the soul to destroy the walls which separate it from other souls, and from … Read More

Community, Inspiration, Paramhansa Yogananda, Spiritual Teachings

Atomic Resolutions

Now is the time of resolutions, a time for making promises that are notoriously broken within weeks. Here in Portland, we’ve had an epic ice storm to contend with as we try to maintain ours! New Year’s resolutions are not simply a social construct. In fact, they are a natural expression of what is happening for us on an energetic … Read More