Ananda Family News

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Tea for Religious Freedom

The spiritual path may not always be a walk in the park—the Mahabharata reminds us that it can be an outright battlefield at times. But once a battle is over, there’s nothing to stop us from having a good tea party to celebrate it all.

From 1990 to 2002, Ananda was engaged in a grueling legal struggle, defending our very right to exist. We succeeded, but that final year marked only the end of our time in court. For the past ten years we’ve been paying off the millions of dollars of debt the trials incurred. This year marks the final push to eliminate that debt, and with just over $100k to go, it looks like we’re on track to make it.  (Want to help? Here’s where the magic happens.) Saturday afternoon’s tea party in the piazza — complete with chai, scones, lemon curd, and Devonshire cream — was part of a fundraiser to help bump us the rest of the way over that finish line.

This landmark year is also an auspicious time for the publication of a new book: A Fight for Religious Freedom, by our extraordinary lawyer, Jon Parsons. It’s a thrilling tale of “copyrights, karma, and dharmic litigation,” interspersed with little-known stories from Paramhansa Yogananda’s life, illustrating the persecutions and trials he himself had to undergo. After tea, Jon gave a talk that was vastly more entertaining than you’ve probably ever imagined a description of the American legal system could be, outlining everything we went through together as a community, and how the results set legal precedents to benefit all religious communities in this country. (Want the whole story? Read the book!)

Some of us there that evening had been part of this epic from the beginning. Many of us only came on the scene after it was long over. But one thing that Jon helps make very clear is that this experience was extremely influential in Ananda’s growth to be the dynamic spiritual community it is today, and that is something for which we can all feel deep gratitude.

Jon Parsons and his fan club.
(More photos here.)

No comments:

Post a Comment

Be nice, stay on topic, have fun!


Home · Calendar · Classes & Events · Meditation · Yoga · Sundays · Music · Audio/Video Talks · Donate/Support Ananda · Site Map · About Us · Signup for news · Contact/Find Us

Ananda Sangha, 2171 El Camino Real, Palo Alto, CA 94306, (650) 323-3363
Serving the San Francisco Bay Area, including the Peninsula, Silicon Valley, and San Jose, CA
© 2013 Ananda