Christmas Concert at the Portland Grotto

The Ananda Joy Choir will perform a Christmas concert during the Festival of Lights at the Grotto in NE Portland. The Festival is a highlight of the holy season of Christmas for many in Portland and throughout the Northwest. Admission to the festival includes all the performances during your visit. We encourage you to come early and enjoy the sights and offerings of the Grotto and end your evening with the Ananda Choir.  Our performance will be at 7:30 pm.   More information about the Grotto and the Festival of Lights

From the Grotto’s website: Presenting the sights, sounds and sensations of the season, The Grotto’s Christmas Festival of Lights is the largest Christmas choral festival in the world. The festival features nearly 160 indoor holiday concerts performed by many of the region’s finest school, church and civic choirs. Offering a family-oriented blend of traditional celebration and serene reflection, the festival theme “Angels on High” reflects the special season of hope that Christmas offers to many thousands of families from around the Pacific Northwest.

Five indoor concerts are scheduled each evening in The Grotto’s 600-seat chapel, known for its cathedral quality acoustics. Continuous family entertainment in The Grotto’s plaza area includes outdoor caroling, puppet shows and a live animal petting zoo.

Holiday foods and beverages are also available, as is seasonal shopping in The Grotto’s Christian Gift and Book Store. A magnificent display of nativity sets from around the world is on display for viewing and individual sets are available for purchase in the Grotto’s Visitor Complex.

Happy Birthday Swamiji!

91ST ANNIVERSARY OF HIS BIRTHDAY

Swami Kriyananda, J. Donald Walters, was born on May 19, 1926.

Swami spent more years of his life in search of God and in the development of his attunement to God and Guru. Reading The New Path is a wonderful way to get close to Swami. Or listen to the music of Ananda, to know him more deeply.

There are three occasions featuring Swami that stick out in my mind as I write this.

The first is when Swami returned from India to visit the Ananda colonies, ending up at the Village for a portion of the summer months, when it was too hot to be in the East.

During these months, Swami would host weekly barbeques at the Crystal Hermitage. We would be sitting in groups around the patio, balancing plates with veggie-dogs and chips on our laps. Toward the end of the evening, Swami would read to us.

How he loved reading PG Wodehouse. He would laugh and laugh, sometimes bringing tears to his eyes. It was a joy-filled time. A great blessing.

The second time, was during those same summer months at the Village, there would be a concert at the amphitheater. Swami loved music. Our Ananda Choir as large as possible, ready to sing.

Towards the later years, Swami would sit directly in the center of the stage, with the choir surrounding him. As they would sing out with joy, Swami sat there with his eyes closed…in pure bliss.

The third, and last, was after his passing. I think of this often during the springtime, as the heralding for the tulip weekends begin.

My daughter, then seven, was walking down the side entrance steps into the Hermitage. She stopped, looked out over the sea of tulips. She raised her arms out and encompassing the gardens whispered, “Momma, Swami is in all the tulips.”

Happy birthday Swamiji. Master’s blessings on you.