Ananda Family News

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!)

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