Dear friends, old and new, near and far, welcome to our new weekly blog from Ananda Portland, entitled Rise in Freedom, to bring joy and inspiration from the path of Self-realization and Kriya Yoga. Our regular and guest authors will cover a wide range of topics from the practical and personal to the esoteric and extraordinary–always with the intention to uplift our consciousness.
Yoga and spirituality is a pathway to freedom. Yoga postures are wonderful but won’t make you free; the path of Raja Yoga however is all-encompassing , and through meditation and lifestyle can make us free from fear, sorrow and doubt. Then, like a hot-air balloon cut free from its ballast, our hearts and minds will rise in the freedom of clear skies.
In this blog, the spiritual path as outlined by Paramhansa Yogananda and Swami Kriyananda will be our firm and steady guide. But far from a dogmatic approach, we will use this as the basis for a creative exploration of everyday life, and the crazy, contemporary world we find ourselves in. A constantly fresh and thoughtful approach is needed to bring an appropriate spiritual perspective to the world today. Then the spiritual life is helpful and applicable to everyone and everything. It gives us a balanced and useful frame of reference for the grave and the mundane, as well as the wild and the wooly.
We have crossed the threshold of another calendar year, a notch in the world belt of progress: the good, as well as the bad and ugly. The world around us is full of problems and solutions, sorrows and joys, and a myriad of experiences and possibilities. It’s enough to set our heads spinning. So let us pick it all up by the one thread that has all the answers–the spiritual life. Meditation, a spiritual lifestyle, and above all God. The word “God” in the english language and western world falls woefully short, but let us nonetheless make the mystical, the spiritual, the divine, cosmic consciousness–God–the central pillar of our understanding and inspiration to make sense of life, to find fulfillment, inspiration and joy through all experiences.
Let’s rise in freedom together by exploring ourselves and the world: what makes us tick, how this magical universe works, and how to be the best version of ourselves we can be. Twenty-six years ago the comic strip Calvin and Hobbes by Bill Watterson published its final piece, which I share with you here. Although in one sense there may be nothing new under the sun (or snow), this moment is a fresh, clean start, full of possibilities in a magical world. Let’s go exploring together!