Ananda Family News

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Guru Day

Swami Kriyananda has taught us that we can be divine channels to receive and transmit inspiration in any area of human endeavor. A musician will find a melody, a writer receives words, a mathematician discovers new equations. And when an Ananda community comes together, we draw to ourselves a very special kind of inspiration that is uniquely ours, born out of our deep connection to this spiritual family and to our line of gurus.

Our annual Guru Day celebration is a beautiful experience of this, with all our collective energies coming together for an evening to focus so one-pointedly on each individual guru in turn. Through five rounds of chanting and meditation, guided by Asha’s words, we come to feel each guru’s influence at every level of our lives, from our own personal thoughts, to buying a farm for the whole community, to behind-the-scence guidance of world events. Each of these threads running through our lives from the masters weaves us closer together and closer to God.

Gathered in the afternoon sunlight at the Jesus shrine.
A constellation of candles around Babaji.

There are many more lovely photos of the evening, and Asha’s talks on each guru have been posted as well. Download them here: Jesus, Babaji, Lahiri, Yukteswar, and Yogananda.

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

The Unheard-Of Concert

Our choir concerts here are always very special events, but this Saturday’s was a particular extra kind of fun. From Swami Kriyananda’s vast collection of compositions, we pulled out a magnificent selection of songs that are rarely — if ever — performed. Shakespeare featured prominently in the program, Swami having written a whole album of songs based on his lyrics. We also enjoyed a few children’s songs, as well as selections from Mystic Harp, Rumanian Memories, and more.

The evening included just a few well-known favorites, but even those came with some surprises. It turns out that the solo for “Mother of Wisdom” is beautiful in Italian. And with “Home is a Green Hill” as the closing song, the audience was invited to join the choir up at the altar. With the choir around and the masters above, it was just sublime.

As well as having some great photos, the entire concert was recorded (through a new system that should give a much better rendition of what the sound is actually like in the temple) and you can download all the MP3s here. Not only that, but we got nine of the performances on video. All the links are below, but first, you absolutely have to watch “Big Frog, Little Frog.”

Here’s the complete list of the videos:

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Fourth of July

Our Fourth of July celebrations at the community this year kicked off with a pool party. The choice of “in” or “adjacent to” the pool was left to the individual, though judging from the photos, many smaller individuals opted for “above,” as well. That variation didn’t last long, but was enthusiastically repeated, at least as long as Craig’s arms held out.

After a bit, the center of activity migrated out of the pool and onto the field with a water balloon toss (and, more excitingly, drop). The water balloon race that was to follow was abandoned when we realized that no one was quite sure what exactly a water balloon race is, and that the ammunition stores were becoming more depleted with every moment spent thinking about it.

An attempt at croquet nearly degenerated into outright Calvinball, before morphing back into something that might actually have approximated croquet. The three-legged race was even more successful. In fact, it seemed that we weren’t hampered nearly enough by the limb restriction, as the entire line managed to launch itself out the starting gate nearly a full second before the signal. With every competitor thus disqualified, we ran a rematch.

Our late-afternoon potluck feast took place under the trees, and was accompanied by a “Variety of Talent Show.” This included such notable acts as: Thomas Jefferson the Time-Traveling Yogi and his Declaration of Interdependence; the National Anthem (Indian); and Cherry Blossoms in Kyoto, Yin-Yang edition.

We wrapped up the day with ping-pong competition finals, all-ages water polo back in the pool, seconds or thirds back at the dessert table, and general contented merriment. Lots of fun photos here!

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