Ananda Family News

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Raja Yoga Class Wrap-up

This year's final Raja Yoga class met on Wednesday. It's been a fantastic three months of yoga postures, meditation, tasty food, chanting, philosophy, fellowship, and all-around good times. Every single week I left class saying to myself "Wow! That class was wonderful!" And every single week I was amazed that it really was that delightful every time. Everyone should take this class at least once in their life, if not repeatedly (as I intend to). It's one of the best things you can do for your overall physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual well-being.

But don't just take my word for it. Here's what some of the other students had to say:

“The class has been a joy for me, a warmer, more supportive experience than I had anticipated, while also opening intellectual-emotional (aka spiritual) windows.  Raja Yoga opens the expanse of the practice and philosophy of Ananda in a highly approachable and supportive way.”
“This class is like coming home every week. Ananda is a wonderful and spiritually nurturing community and in this class you benefit from a team of loving teachers who all connect differently with students.”
“I feel so blessed to be part of this experience. The Raja Yoga class is such a comprehensive class. It helped me to look at life in a new and better way. My feelings during the class are indescribable. All my worries would melt away and joy and peacefulness would replace them. I will miss this class very much and can't wait till next year to take it again.”

“We are so fortunate, and blessed to be drawn to this path.  I have found at Ananda, the pathway to freedom, the keys to the door and the understanding that translates to taking the right actions to begin the true journey.”

“I would like to thank you all for your commitment to better yourselves, for your graceful and interesting presence, and  for your wonderful culinary creations.  Much gratitude to those who taught Hatha and to those who were our instructor / leaders for their wisdom and energy who sat in to share the teachings of Master.”

“It's been such a privilege to be a part of this all.”

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Painting the Gazebo

As I mentioned previously, the Jesus gazebo is up but still being beautified. So far we've got some lovely marble to cover the bricks of the statue's pedestal, and a crew of volunteers got started on painting the gazebo itself and the benches. The base color is a very light cream, so as to be just not quite as stark as a complete white. That'll be the background for further accenting colors yet to come.

It's also worth swinging by to see the gazebo at night, too. There are lights inside that are hooked up to the nearby pathway lights, so they turn on automatically when it gets dark. It gives the Yogananda and Jesus gazebos two lovely twin glows out on our lawn.

Volunteer painting crew: Nirmoha, John, Dambara, Ana, Edwin.
(Not shown but also appreciated: Ramani, Ken H.)

Monday, March 8, 2010

Mahasamadhi Initiation Weekend

Yesterday was the anniversary of Paramhansa Yogananda's  mahasamadhi — the day he consciously left his body in 1952 — and we made excellent use of such an auspicious weekend by having not one but two initiation ceremonies.

Saturday night was the initiation for new members of the Nayaswami Order. Since the last initiation, a new vow has been added to the order: the Pilgrim's Vow of Intention. Since the other levels of the order require certain life conditions of their members, this one was added so that any sincere spiritual seeker may join, whatever their circumstances. Twenty-nine people took the Pilgrim vows this weekend, followed by 7 more taking the Tyaga vows (no new Bramacharis or Nayaswamis this time around).

Pilgrims (white scarves)

Tyagis and Tyaginis (teal scarves)

And then at Sunday Service yesterday we rounded things off with a Discipleship initiation, welcoming 8 new members of our spiritual family.

New Disciples

Truly a beautiful weekend all-around!

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