Ananda Family News

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

A Day at the Farm with Jyotish and Devi

We were blessed this weekend to have Nayaswamis Jyotish and Devi, spiritual directors of Ananda Worldwide, visiting us in Palo Alto. In addition to enjoying Sunday Service with them, we took them on Saturday for their first visit to Ananda Valley Farm.

Lahari and her team masterfully transformed a seemingly ordinary greenhouse into an uplifted, uplifting temple, sattwic and calming, with beautiful plants everywhere, and no matter where the eye went there was an altar waiting to raise your consciousness. Divine Mother played Her part as well by providing us with an exquisite day — sunny skies, perfect temperature, little wind.

Jyotish and Devi were very moved by the beauty and peaceful vibration of the farm, and both gave talks that focused on the land. Devi remarked that “if I had two bodies, one of them would be right here.”

She went on to share that nearly every senior Ananda member had worked in the garden, under the tutelage of Haanel Cassidy. She was new to Ananda when she began working in the garden, and after years of college and mental busy-ness, it was the garden that brought her experiences of deep mental calmness and peace. Though she sometimes found at night, when meditating, that instead of seeing the spiritual eye, she saw endless rows of baby carrots (well-weeded, of course)!

Jyotish also spoke about how it is necessary to spiritual life to gradually slow our vibration, in order to experience the Divine (which is free of vibration, in its pure form). Living in the Silicon Valley is a little like living in your office — not something we want to be continuously immersed in! The farm offers a nearby respite from the faster vibration of urban life, where we can come to replenish and renew ourselves, and draw closer to Spirit.

Both of them encouraged us to keep our consciousness focused on the Divine as we moved about the property, now and always. It seems none of us could ever be on that land in the same way after their talks. We were all feeling blessed from the outset with this land but they added an element of grace and power to it all.

We then blessed the farm with the installation of a murti (similar to the one recently arrived at the temple). The sculpture of Paramhansa Yogananda was carried around the pond in a procession, accompanied by chanting, and touching all of the corners of the pond in a ceremony such as one might see in India. Once he was in his final place, rose petals and blessings were offered by all.

Then, back into the greenhouse for a beautifully laid out and really scrumptious farm lunch — a gourmet sandwich bar. The grand finale of the day was a reception line with Jyotish and Devi, so that everyone had the opportunity to meet them, share a few moments with them, and receive their blessing.

You can see many lovely photos here, and there’s also a short video that includes a slideshow and some footage of the procession.

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