Ananda Family News

Thursday, December 30, 2010

Twin Baby Blessings

As you may have noticed by now, Julie and Tim are about to become the parents of twins (and Lauri the proud aunt). The two boys are due to make their appearance in late January or early February. They haven't been named yet, though they're in moderate danger of being stuck with "Bo" and "Clyde," thanks to a spoof Christmas letter Tim sent out this year.

Lauri: "My nephews!!!!"

On Sunday afternoon we had a baby blessing ceremony for the family. It's a simple but sweet ceremony: we sing chants while everyone takes turns coming up to Tim, Julie, and the still-be-wombed boys, and showering them with rose petals and blessings.

"Come out of the darkness, Mother...." (sons?)

Julie and Tim send their heartfelt thanks for all the love and support you've all shared. The boys still aren't saying much, but were kicking like crazy during the ceremony so we assume they appreciated it too. And we're all looking forward to meeting them and being the village that helps raise the children.

Aums and blessings.

[More pictures here. Thanks, Karen!]

Monday, December 27, 2010

Christmas and Christmas Eve

At Sunday Service yesterday, Shanti spoke very beautifully about the holy-day season at Ananda. This month and a half or so is filled to bursting with events and activities, but also with divine love and joy. The Christmas Eve and Christmas Day services are particularly special, in very different ways.

Christmas Eve is a very sweetly inward time. We came together in the temple at 8 PM, when the whole world is already settling into that silent, holy night, which gives the group meditation its own special feel, even compared to the all-day meditation last week. The lights are kept low and focused on the altar, and you can feel as though you never stop meditating, even throughout the entire service. And we each got a chance, in the Festival of Light, to carry our candles to the altar and personally offer up our own little lights into Christ's blazing light of infinity.

Christmas Day, on the other hand, is the day for story-telling and pageantry. Asha tells the story of Jesus's birthday in a way that makes the meaning of it accessible to all the children of the extended Ananda family. (Many adults have also said they were delighted to find that they understand the story better themselves this way!)
And of course it's all more fun if it's participatory. We had angels and wise men and shepherds of all ages on stage helping to present the story. And at the end, the audience gets to come forward to greet the baby Jesus and receive blessings from the whole holy cast of characters.
We rounded off the festivities with a Christmas banquet and entertainment. A special treat this year was the singing of O Holy Night. While the assembled banqueters sang, Saranya and her family performed it in sign language for us. Beautiful!

[More pictures here: Christmas EveChristmas Day, and Christmas Day batch II. Thanks to intrepid photographers Karen, David G., Tanya, and Daya!]

Monday, December 20, 2010

More Christmas Celebrations

First, a quick followup to our Christmas Concert: We've got a few photos posted here for you to enjoy.

On Saturday we had our annual all-day meditation: 8 serene hours in the temple, with breaks for chanting, recordings of Yogananda singing and speaking (and exhorting us to "practice Kriya Yoga!"), and several other pieces of music to boost our inspiration throughout the day. The Blue Danube tradition, which some people missed last year, returned in one of the interludes as well. Master always liked that piece of music, comparing it to being in the astral world.

On Sunday morning it was bucketing down rain, but David P. assured us that our annual Christmas caroling had never been canceled due to weather (though if it did keep raining, we were more than welcome to sit inside and sing to him). Sure enough, the rain had ceased by nightfall, and only started up again when we were just within range to get back to the community and sing our last song under the gazebo. A great time was had by all, from the singers, to the "regulars" who expect us every year, to the new family we got to welcome to the neighborhood. We even did a few strolling carols as we walked between houses.

And just to throw in one more bit of fun for you, some Christmas wreath elves visited the Ananda Palo Alto residential community, leaving us with a joy-shaped wreath.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Christmas Concert

After service on Sunday we enjoyed a delicious lunch in the yoga studio, featuring some of the best vegetarian chili ever, cornbread with honey-butter, and oodles of tasty holiday desserts. (Thanks to Anandaprem and Kristina for coordinating all that!) Thus fortified with sugar, butter, and other essential nutrients, we headed back into the temple for the choir concert.

The concert was a delightful success, featuring a 30+ person choir, plus performances by smaller ensembles and soloists. Todd and Janice provided lovely piano and harp accompaniment. The music included, of course, many of Swami Kriyananda's songs (from the Oratorio and otherwise), a carol medley, and several classical pieces, finishing off with a rousing rendition of the Hallelujah chorus.

One audience member had recently heard the San Jose Symphony & Choir perform Handel's Messiah, and said that the Ananda choir sounded "just as great." Another fellow mentioned that he was frequently in tears (in a good way!) during the program. From the choir's perspective, we certainly had a fantastic time. And Karen clearly had a blast conducting -- she was practically surfing the energy wave on the last Hallelujah chorus!

If you missed the concert or just want to relive it, you can get videos and MP3s for many of the songs here. (Thanks, Ron!) Here's "Hallelujah" to start you off:

CCHallelujah from Ananda Palo Alto on Vimeo.

Friday, December 3, 2010

Beyond the Internet

Have you seen the banner we put up a few weeks ago? It's nice to know there's still somewhere to turn when the search engines come up short....

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Thanksgiving Celebration

Many members of the extended Ananda family gathered on Thursday morning for joyful and tasty Thanksgiving celebrations. Group meditation time was followed by a short service, launched off of a Bhagavad Gita reading reminding us to share our enjoyment of food with God, which was good, because we were about to enjoy our food very much.

(My favorite line, though, was Nirmoha quoting his aunt, who moved from Minnesota to California: "I believe that God gives us signs telling us where we should live. Those signs are called 'palm trees,' and if you see them around, then you know it's a good place to be." And now that I've heard that, I'll never look at a palm tree the same way again, which is a good way to practice the presence of God!)

Robert and Gloria did an amazing job coordinating the food for the lunchtime banquet. We had carrot-ginger-coconut-orange soup (my personal favorite -- wow!), classic Ananda nutloaf, mashed potatoes, fantastic cranberry relish, apple crisp, cinnamon ice cream, pumpkin pie, and more.

The entertainment included two barbershop songs, and a couple other unusual treats. The first of these was a reading of George Washington's original proclamation, creating Thanksgiving as a holiday in 1789. You can hear Dambara reading it in this video, accompanied by Yogananda's favorite patriotic melody:

Thanksgiving Day Proclamation 2010 from Ananda Palo Alto on Vimeo.

And this led, via a not-too-convoluted segue, into Nirmoha's surprising revelation that yogic teachings have actually had a significant influence on country music. With thanks and apologies to Johnny Cash, you can hear the proof of it here:

Thanksgiving Banquet Entertainment 2010 from Ananda Palo Alto on Vimeo.

It was a delightful day all around, and I hope it helped us all realize how much we have to be thankful for. This is an incredible community we have here, with such generous, talented, joyful people. Thank you all for making Ananda what it is!

Monday, November 8, 2010

Ananda in The Times of India

A friend of David P. shared with him this short article about Ananda that appeared in The Times of India, entitled “Lost? Take Ananda Sangha’s road to self discovery.” It begins:
“For Daya and Keshav Taylor, American citizens by birth, and ambassadors of community and sustainable living by choice, moving to Gurgaon to spread the message of Ananda Sangha was not merely about an exotic Indian experience, but something rooted in reality.....” Read the full article

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Ananda's Future and You

Dear Ananda Members,

Last Sunday after service & Swami's video, about a hundred of us enjoyed a meeting led by Asha, David and Shanti.  We looked at all we've accomplished in the last few years to develop the Church property.  Then we discussed what we can do from now on to ensure that all this is available to truthseekers well beyond our lifetimes; and answered questions from those present.

Please click here to listen to an audio recording of the meeting, 1 hour 8 minutes.  If you'd prefer this on CD instead, just let us know and we'll get you one.

Click here to view the 3 handouts that everyone received, that speakers refer to in the talks.

We discussed 4 major areas we'll be focusing on in the near future:
  1. Free and Clear:  Helping to see Ananda free of all debt
  2. I Go Forth in Perfect Faith:  Tithing and Pledging;  giving back to the source of our inspiration
  3. My Spirit, My Truth, My Family:  Helping to grow our membership
  4. Thank You and Goodbye:  Building a legacy for Ananda Palo Alto (title is intentionally lighthearted)
We passed around clipboards and folks were encouraged to sign up for one or more of these areas--brainstorming, praying, contributing energy in any way. 

Even if you weren't there, we encourage you to join the fun and "sign up" for one or more of these areas by contacting the sangha staff.

Thank you!

Many blessings in Master,
Dambara, for the Ananda staff

P.S. Photos of the event, courtesy of Chris T., are here.

Monday, October 25, 2010

Pumpkin Carving Party

It's almost Halloween, and that means it's Jack-o-lantern time! Sunday afternoon was family pumpkin carving time in the community kitchen, and Daniela has kindly shared with us some photos of the results. Thanks to everyone who joined in and made this a creatively fun time!

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Playground Seva

The kid's playground at the Ananda Community has been getting some much needed TLC recently. Last Saturday, a number of volunteers (of all ages) turned out to help with the renovations. We washed the playhouse and moved it to a new foundation, we sanded down the larger play structure to make it ready for painting, and we raked and weeded all around.

Washing the playhouse.

There's still more to do, though! More sanding and painting, and we'll be filling in a new sandbox as well. If you want to come help out, D'Arcy will be leading another Playground Satsang / Workday this Saturday, October 16, starting at 9:30 AM. Come by whenever you're able, for as long as you like. Snacks provided!

Sanding the play structure.

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Sunday Service Schedule Changes

If you were at service this morning then you heard the announcement, but here are the details about what's going on. Please help us get the word out, and make sure all your friends know about it!

Here's what our Sunday mornings will be like, beginning on October 17th:
  • [Note that there is no fire ceremony or purification ceremony.]
  • 9:00 - 9:15, unguided meditation in the temple.
  • 9:15 - 9:30, chanting.
  • 9:30 - 10:45, service.
    • Service is a bit shorter now, without the affirmation, and with an abridged version of the Festival of Light.
  • 10:45 - 11:00, refreshments in the courtyard.
  • 11:00 - 12:15 (approx.), Swami Kriyananda's LA satsangs, broadcast live on a large screen in the temple.
Obviously, the main motivation here is to make it easy for everyone to both attend service and tune in to Swamiji's talks, so this schedule is only in effect for as long as he is doing these satsangs in LA. That will probably be until sometime in March 2011. We'll go back to normal after that, and of course, if we make any further adjustments, we'll do our best to make sure everyone finds out about it in a timely manner. In the meantime, it'll be fun to get an extra weekly dose of Swamiji's vibrations!

Friday, October 8, 2010

Sadhana and Multiple Sclerosis

In 2008, Dr. Bryan Coleman-Salgado conducted a study examining the effects of Ananda Yoga, meditation, and the Energization Exercises on people with multiple sclerosis. The latest issue of Clarity Magazine has a great interview with him, describing the fantastic results he observed:
For persons with a chronic neurological illness, perhaps the most significant overall result is that participants not only did not get worse, but they all improved. In medical science, developing a therapy that slows the progress of a chronic disease is considered a huge breakthrough. If, as this study suggests, a regular practice of Ananda Yoga can not only stop a “progressive worsening” of a chronic disease, but can also bring about improvements, then Ananda Yoga offers potentially positive benefits for everyone.
Read the full article here!

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Celebrate Ananda

Every year around this time we like to stop, give thanks, and just plain old celebrate the fact that we get to be a part of such a life- and world-changing movement as Ananda. This year, we held the festivities in the church courtyard, since one of the many things worth celebrating is the amazing transformation that area has undergone this year. Isn't it lovely? (More photos here. Update: and even more photos here.)

David addressing the gathering in our beautiful Italian piazza.

After some hors d'oeuvres and socializing time, David started off the program with the "Cliff's Notes" version of the Palo Alto colony's history, with hints at all the other fascinating stories that could be told about it. (Someone should get inspired to do a bunch of interviews with folks and collect all these stories, no?) We also got to hear from several Ananda members: Saranya, Karen, and Gary each spent a few minutes sharing personally meaningful and entertaining stories about some of their Ananda experiences.

Dinnertime at the buffet line.

And of course, what would a celebration be without good food and music, right? The main course was a tasty sandwich bar sort of buffet, which paved the way for a glorious array of desserts. And throughout the meal we had different groups of musicians and singers taking turns strolling around and serenading us. (Did you know Swami Kriyananda wrote a song in fake Hawaiian? He just has no end of surprises!)

The new color scheme is gorgeous at night, too.

Asha wrapped up the evening for us with some observations on what it's like to be a part of manifesting something like Ananda. One of our collective strengths that she conveyed particularly well was the way in which we are able to look at what other people might call "nothing" and just see an energy flow there that will eventually become a community, or a church, or a school. Time after time we've tackled apparently ridiculous situations, made it work out, and had a delightful time doing it.

So here's to the next 20-something years! Jai us!

Monday, August 16, 2010

Spiritual Renewal Week 2010

This past week saw hundreds of devotees gather at Ananda Village to recharge their connections with God at Spiritual Renewal Week. The talks and classes were broadcast live for members of the Ananda Virtual Community, and are now also available to download from There are a number of photos from the week posted here and here, and also another blog post about it, so there are lots of ways you can share in the experience if you weren't able to be there in person.

But still, there's nothing like being there in person, and that comes from newbies and folks who have been attending SRW for decades. The theme this year was "The Age of Energy — Accelerating Planetary and Personal Evolution," and we could certainly feel the energy flowing joyfully the entire week.

Swamiji at his talk on Monday, accompanied by Mukunda the cat.

We had a concert on Monday night which started off with a few songs from Swami, who decided at the last minute to sing for us. We were also treated to a number of Swamiji's instrumental compositions, performed by a talented orchestra made up of Ananda members of all ages, who also accompanied the choir on a couple pieces. [UPDATE: David Eby posted recordings of the concert here.]

Performing "To Death I'm a Stranger," with choir and orchestra.

On Wednesday evening, we enjoyed a performance The Peace Treaty, Swami's play that embodies spiritual ideals and teachings through the reuniting of warring clans. There's a lovely write-up here, as well as lots of photos.

Ponder, Robin, Baltan, Merry, and the Hermit.

One topic that was on everyone's mind this week was L.A. Swamiji is heading down there for an event this weekend, and a group of devotees is moving down there to help him energize the work in that area. We called them up on stage before Sunday service on the last day, to send them on their way with blessings.

Were you at SRW? Have a story or experience to share? Leave a comment!

Saturday, August 7, 2010

Manifesting Lessons in Poland

[The following letter is from Anna in Poland, who is following Asha's Manifesting Through The Power of Yoga classes via the internet. She wrote it after Padmini helped her with an issue regarding paying for the written lessons online. It's wonderful to see such an example of Dwapara Yuga energy getting these teachings across the world like this — thanks, Anna, for sharing!]
Thank you a lot for this nice surprise! I will tell you my opinion about the lessons for sure. Now, after such a gift, I know it is the right thing for me to work with, exactly at this moment.

Yes, the teaching is appreciated also far away from Palo Alto :)) I have listened to Swami Asha's classes which are available on your web site since a year and a half. They changed my life in tremendous way. Now I started the course Manifest Through the Power of Yoga and I decided to buy the written material to understand it better. English isn't my native language so I need to repeat each lesson several times. But it is always a pleasure as Swami Asha has an amazing way of speaking. Sometimes I listen to her just to lift my mood :))) She is so energetic and speaks about complex things with smile. I adore her with full respect.

I still feel I am the beginner on Self-Realization Path but I love going.

Maybe you will be interested in fact that are some books of Master available in Poland (The Essence of Self-Realization, Autobiography of a Yogi). There is also Raja Yoga by Swami Kriyananda in Polish edition.

Best wishes for the whole Ananda's stuff.


Monday, August 2, 2010

Farewell Concert for Chaitanya

As many of you have heard by now, Chaitanya will be moving to Ananda Village this fall, and so it was decided that a Summer Concert would be an excellent way to celebrate his 20 years here with us in Palo Alto.

Various soloists, small ensembles, and the full choir performed many favorite songs, mostly Swami Kriyananda's compositions. There were even several of his less-common but more humorous songs, like "Little Kathy," and "The Philosopher and the Boatman." Also added into the mix were "O Holy Night" (a classic Chaitanya solo), and some barbershop quartets.

Todd, Chaitanya, Dambara, and Nirmoha singing barbershop.
A surprise number that showed up in the middle of the concert was a farewell song for Chaitanya, sung to the tune of The God’s Blessings:

We’ve been blessed to have Chaitanya
To whom we say Sayonara
Now we thank him for his service
His leaving makes us nervous

David Eby lands a tenor
Who will make his choir better
He’s aware of what he’s getting
His departure we’re regretting

We will keep him in our hearts
and pray for our tenor parts
May he prosper at the Village
And no others may they pillage

Choir group photo.
As a member of the choir I'd like to say a very heartfelt "thank you" to Chaitanya. You've been a blessing to have in the choir, not to mention a musical life raft for some of us newer tenors. Having you conduct us in this concert was a delight, because we got to see the music flowing through you, as well as hear it. You've been a wonderful example and inspiration to us all.

(More pictures here -- thanks, Karen!)

Monday, July 26, 2010

Guru Day Retreat

Heavenly Father, Divine Mother, Friend, Beloved, God. Jesus Christ, Babaji-Krishna, Lahiri Mahasaya, Swami Sri Yukteswar, Paramhansa Yogananda.

Guru Purnima is traditionally observed on the full moon in July, as a day of celebrating ones gurus, and how marvelous it is that these great souls came to earth just to help us in our spiritual development. Our celebration on Saturday evening was fittingly beautiful, moving, and inspirational.

Around the central lawn of the Ananda Palo Alto community, many devotees worked for hours ahead of time creating gorgeous shrines to each master in our line of gurus. Beginning at 6 in the evening, we gathered in front of each of them in turn. Asha would speak for a bit (you can find the recordings here), helping us focus in on the particular vibration of the guru we were facing, then we would do a couple songs and chants, then meditate for 15 minutes or so. Finally, we would each pick up a small votive or tea light candle to place at the altar before gathering our chairs and moving on to the next station where we'd repeat the process.

One thing Asha suggested at the beginning of the event was especially helpful, and that was to practice japa as much as possible during the evening. At each shrine, you simply see how constantly you can keep a part of your mind silently chanting the name of the guru in front of you. Aum Guru, Aum Christ, Aum Babaji, etc. Not only does this help keep us inwardly focused, but it also helps us to tune in to each master's individual thread weaves into the complete tapestry of our path.

You might think that, over the course of a 4-hour event, the tiny candles we lit at the beginning would have long since burned out. But even well after the end we still had glorious constellations of flickering lights around each shrine, made all the more beautiful by transition from day to night. Asha also remarked that nightfall is particularly dramatic from her perspective up in front of the crowd. While it's still daylight, you can see everyone very distinctly as individual souls and egos, but as time passes we all just blend together, and the light concentrates entirely around our gurus.

The entire evening was a very powerful experience of communion with the masters. And the effects carry on well past the event itself. The next morning at choir practice, one of our sopranos was complemented on how beautifully she was singing. Someone asked her in admiration "What are you doing differently?" Her reply: "Well, I went to Guru Day last night...." Great answer!

There are more pictures here, courtesy of Chidambar, Amara, Karen, and Dambara. Many thanks to everyone who made this event so special, and most of all to our line of masters.

Aum Guru.

Sunday, July 18, 2010

East West Benefit Yard Sale

On Saturday, the Ananda Palo Alto community hosted a huge yard sale as a fundraiser for East West Bookstore. Hundreds of items were donated, from books to videos to clothes to furniture to electronics, and much more. And of course, since Ananda and East West were involved, there was an entire table of spiritual items for sale, including devotional statues, prayer beads, meditation benches and cushions, and many spiritual books, CDs, and DVDs. A lot of lucky bargain-hunters went away with some real treasures.

We even branched out a bit from typical yard sale fare. Susan, Cheryl, and Graham showed up with around 160 baked items: chocolate chip (and other) cookies, brownies (in white chocolate chunk and peanut butter varieties), and several kinds of muffins. The goodies very nearly sold out, and the leftovers were easily taken care of after service on Sunday.

The final count isn't in yet, but Santosh was estimating that we probably raised about $1600-1700 for East West. And even aside from that, it was a very fun service opportunity for everyone who got to help make it happen (too many to list!). Many thanks to everyone who came out and supported the event!

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Kirtan with Raghu

Nayaswamis Raghu and Sabari were visiting from Ananda Sacramento last weekend, and on Friday night Raghu led a fantastic kirtan in the temple. It lasted over two and a half hours, and I didn't get an official count of everyone who attended, but people were just coming out of the woodwork for it. Raghu used to be a regular leader of the kirtans here before he went to Sacramento, so a lot of folks were really happy to get to sing with him again. The energy was wonderful, and we just filled up the temple with a gloriously joyful sound.

We got to sing a bunch of traditional Indian bhajans in the middle of the evening, in addition to our more usual fare of Swamiji's and Master's chants, so that was a fun bit of variety. Everything was recorded as well, so at some point soon we should be able to share that with those of you who didn't get to be there. Keep an eye out for it in the boutique!

Also, as a happy coincidence, Friday was Asha's birthday. So we got to take a break in the middle to sing a traditional American chant ("Happy Birthday") and present Asha with her birthday gift, a new computer monitor.

There are also some more photos of the evening here, from Shanti, Rani, and myself.

Thursday, July 8, 2010

41st Ananda Anniversary Weekend

This past weekend was the celebration of Ananda's 41st anniversary as a spiritual community. Ananda Village hosted Swami Kriyananda and visiting Anandans from around the world for the festivities. Barbara Bingham has posted a lovely write-up with pictures of the weekend. You can find the complete set of photos here, plus some more of the 4th of July parade here. And this page has audio and video recordings of the weekend's talks, and even the concert. Almost like being there!

The enormous combined Ananda choir performing in the amphitheater.

Friday, June 11, 2010

Yogananda At the Train Station

[You may have seen the note David Praver sent around recently, which mentioned that we're raising money for another publishing run of our “Everlasting” Magazine, which gives Ananda a visual presence all around the Bay Area. In response, Erica, one of our Living Wisdom School teachers, shared the following story.]
Last year, when I was still commuting regularly to Sacramento, I decided to take the train instead of driving one particular weekend. I was waiting for the train on the platform in San Jose when I was approached and then assaulted by, who appeared to be, a mentally unstable man. Fortunately there were many other people present and he quickly left the scene. However, I was quite shaken by the experience. I decided to continue waiting for the train inside the station. On my way inside I passed a news stand, and there was Master's picture looking up at me from the cover of the Ananda Everlasting Magazine! I took a copy and held onto him the whole way to Sacramento.

Thank you for keeping this publication in print. Whenever I see it around town I am reminded of how comforting it was to me that day and that Master appears in the most unexpected, and also most needed, moments!

Monday, June 7, 2010

Swamiji in Rome

[Karen and David are visiting Italy, and sent the following post and these photos back from the events with Swamiiji in Rome this past weekend.]

Swami spoke to a huge crowd of yoga enthusiasts at the Rome Yoga Festival, held outdoors in a beautiful, extensive park (like Central Park) near downtown Rome. There were many hundreds of people in the audience, and very receptive and interested in Swamiji's message. It was a very young, fit audience, sparkling with energy. And Swamiji seemed as youthful as anyone there. Swami launched the first edition of Autobiography of a Yogi, published in Italian for the first time. It was a remarkable achievement for Sahaja, who translated this very difficult text. Amazing that Master was not a native English speaker.

Sunday, Swamiji dedicated a new Ananda Center in Rome. A young woman, Paola, was deeply inspired to begin this place, and after a period of training with Ananda Assisi, has opened it. Already, I am hearing that early yoga classes were so packed that they had to break the sessions into two groups of 20. The upstairs is a small store, loaded with inspirational books and other materials people might find helpful (a mini-East West). The downstairs is many times bigger, with a very large yoga classroom, and an adjoining meditation room and outdoor garden. It had a great feeling to it already. About 80 people squeezed into the downstairs room for the dedication.

Swamiji has been doing major public events 3 weekends in a row (Spain, Milan, and now Rome). This morning (Monday morning), he woke up and announced joyfully, "I am free of pain!" He felt wonderful, and immediately called Narayani over to help him begin a new program of regular exercise. I think he's already planning two more sessions today. I just saw Narayani a few minutes ago after his first session, and SHE looks tired. :) Though no doubt the staff is tired just keeping up with these three big events. It's a welcome period now of about 12 days of quiet before the next big weekend.

Monday, May 24, 2010

Music with David Eby

David Eby, music director for Ananda, came down from the Village last weekend to give a couple of workshops on "The Sacred Art of Singing," and "Music, Inspiration, and Consciousness." He also played cello and led the choir at Sunday Service, and Ron got us a video of it. Enjoy!

Musical Selections 5/23/2010 from Ananda Palo Alto on Vimeo.

Friday, May 21, 2010

Happy Birthday, Swamiji!

May 19th was Swami Kriyananda's 84th birthday. Our celebration on Wednesday evening began with — what else? — a group meditation. Following that, we got to bask in Swamiji's music, both performed by our choir, and on recordings of Swami himself singing. The music alternated with Asha reading to us a number of delightful, moving, and inspiring stories from her book, Swami Kriyananda As We Have Known Him. We also watched a short video, from the series of Bhagavad Gita commentaries Swami is doing for Indian television. (You know you can follow along with these on the Ananda YouTube page, right?) All in all, it was a beautiful evening of appreciating what a blessing we have in Swamiji's teaching, friendship, and leadership.

If you visit the "A Place Called Ananda" blog, you can also find recordings of the music from the Ananda Village birthday celebration, and a page full of birthday wishes (which you can add to, if you like).

Happy birthday, Swamiji!


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