Surendra James Conti, Spiritual Director

Surendra is the Spiritual Director of Ananda Portland and President of its Board of Directors. His responsibilities include oversight of Ananda’s Temple and Teaching Center, its Living Wisdom School, and its live-in Community.

Since 1996, Surendra has served Ananda’s ministries and missions in Seattle; Palo Alto, California, where he and his wife were co-managers of Ananda’s East West Bookshop,  and Pune, India, where they were spiritual directors of its ashram and retreat center from 2012-2015. Back in the U.S. again, he has been with Ananda Portland ever since.

Surendra is an ordained Lightbearer, Sevaka Life Member, spiritual counselor, and teacher of numerous basic and advanced courses, including the Art and Science of Raja Yoga, The Art of Supportive Leadership, Dealing with Death and Dying, Writing as a Spiritual Practice, and The Hindu Way of Awakening. He is also the author of Let Me Remember This, a book of insights, ideas and observations on the path to higher consciousness. 

Among his favorite pastimes: writing, spending time in nature, and helping others achieve a more balanced life of peace, joy, harmony and love.

Lorna Knox, Co-Director

Lorna is a founding member of Ananda Portland and a disciple of Yogananda for 38 years. “Every moment on this path is a blessing, with opportunities for growth, service and joy.” Lorna serves Ananda as the Co-Director of the Portland temple, a minister, lightbearer, teacher and spiritual counselor. She loves to sing in the choir and teaches with an emphasis on the practical tools for spiritual living that yoga gives us. “My experience as a nurse, teacher, wife, mother, writer and even a Home Depot sales associate have all shown me the path of Self-Realization is an eternal spiritual truth that is relevant, alive and given to devotees for this age, specifically, to raise our consciousness and to awaken our highest potential.”


Rose Neal

Rose became a disciple of Paramhansa Yogananda in 1995 while serving in the karma yoga program at the Expanding Light Retreat in Ananda Village. Since then, she has lived her life as a mom, nurse, Kriyaban and meditation teacher among other roles. In 2007, she and her family moved to Ananda Portland and she served as an administrator at the Living Wisdom School. The school is now paused in operation, but Rose contines to support the Education for Life Outreach in the Portland area, in addition to being a hospice nurse and a member of the Ananda Portland ministry team.