Ananda Family News

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Free & Clear Luncheon

This Sunday following service we gathered outside in the gorgeous June weather for a catered luncheon in our piazza. We celebrated the fact that over the last year we’ve paid off over half of our million-dollar-plus debt on the church, and then we proceeded to put another sizable dent in that debt to the tune of $37,500 just in the one afternoon. Just feed us a few more times and we’ll be well set to knock out the remaining $475k. Watch for more puzzle pieces getting added to our progress meter soon!

The piazza itself, as a location for a fundraiser, is such a vibrant example of what we can all accomplish when we combine our energies. Many people present could remember what that area looked like when we bought the church, which had nothing but an ugly gray parking lot next to it. The sunny, welcoming space we have now is a testament to everyone’s donations, not just of money, but of time, energy, prayers, and all the ways people contribute.

Our vegetarian lunch (courtesy of Garden Fresh, with customized fortune cookies by Joycee) was naturally accompanied by music. The choir’s first song was “May We Serve You,” because that is, of course, what we’re actually trying to do here when you zoom out far enough. We’re buying a church, yes, but only to better serve God and Guru. The second song was “Many Hands Make a Miracle,” which is how we go about doing it. (We also got an instrumental reprise of Many Hands, of the mandolin, guitar, and whistling variety.)

One other announcement of note: Our friends Paru and Ritu will be moving to Chicago in a couple of weeks, and intend to start an Ananda meditation group there. And so we all had an opportunity to offer them all our blessings in this new phase of their service.

(More photos of the day are here.)

Friday, June 1, 2012

Communal Blessings

One of the most incredible benefits of living in spiritual community is the way everyone comes together to bless and support each other, not just at the obvious celebratory times, but in any situation life brings to us.

One of those situations, happening today, is a kidney transplant between our dear friends Rosalva and Nirmoha. Rosalva has been on dialysis and in need of a new kidney for a long time, and, against what are apparently pretty long odds, Nirmoha passed the required tests for being a compatible donor. This morning they are in SFU Medical Hospital having the operation. They are in good hands and all is expected to go very smoothly.

Last night we held a blessing ceremony for them in Chela Bhavan, with dozens of friends and family gathered to share their love and be channels for God’s grace. We chanted, meditated, performed Master’s Divine Mother healing prayer, and each took turns offering our own blessings to Nirmoha and Rosalva.

The atmosphere was charged with powerful feelings of love, courage, and a calm joy, and everyone present was deeply moved, whether as channels or recipients of the blessings. It was a perfect example of how we should meet our challenges and tests in life with uplifted energy, a positive attitude, and a spiritual focus. Because in the long run, this isn’t really about the kidney, or even the body it’s in. It’s the souls of everyone involved that will remember this experience and grow from it, long after all of these bodies have worn out and left us.

Nirmoha and Rosalva will have a few days in the hospital and then several weeks of recovery time at home. Shanti is coordinating food and care packages, so they should be well looked after. On their behalf, thank you to everyone for your love and prayers. (More photos of the blessings here.)

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Ananda Sangha, 2171 El Camino Real, Palo Alto, CA 94306, (650) 323-3363
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