Ananda Family News

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Swamiji's Week in Palo Alto

Swami Kriyananda finished his stay in the U.S. this year with a West Coast tour, and a final week here with us in Palo Alto. His health has been excellent (relatively speaking), and he’s so full of energy that it felt like our whole extended community was buzzing with it all week.

In fact, we had planned to put on a lovely little event for him to commemorate his discipleship anniversary on the 12th, something he could just sit back and enjoy, in between all his speaking engagements. But Swamiji wasn’t in a sitting-back sort of mood, even for one night, and decided at nearly the last minute to give us all a talk instead. Any evening spent with Swami is blissful, of course, and it was particularly lovely to spend it with our temple full of fellow devotees. (We did still get to perform a new dance to his song “Ram and Sita,” though. You’ll see it if you watch the video of the evening. And the photos are here.)

Also during the week, Swami paid visits to both East West (pictured here with some of the staff) and Living Wisdom School. At the school, all the children made him cards and presented them to him in a large bundle. Instead of simply taking them home to read later, he read each one individually, thanked each child personally, and commented on what their cards and artwork showed about their character. One young boy with strong, bold colors on his card was pronounced “very decisive; he’ll always know what he wants in life,” and so on. Sixty children were held spellbound and attentive just by his magnetism and love. Photos of the two visits are here.

The culmination of the week was Swami’s talk on Sunday. For one of the very few times in Ananda’s history we canceled Sunday service, and the event more than justified the sacrifice. We rented Smithwick Theater at Foothill College, with a capacity of over 900 people, and nearly filled it with not only Ananda family but many, many newcomers. (And look: more photos!)

Swamiji spoke long and enthusiastically, and seemed like he could have carried on all day, joyfully sharing stories about Master and showing us how his qualities could be applied in our own lives. It was particularly sweet afterwards to hear from so many people — many of whom had never seen Swami before — about how “transformative” and “life-changing” his words were. And not just his words, but the power and light behind them that come from a life spent truly living those words. (You can watch this video online, too.)

And so, after an incredible week all-around, Swami Kriyananda has headed back to India (via Paris and Dubai), leaving us with plenty of inspiration to keep us running till the next time.

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