Ananda Family News

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Happy New Year

New Year’s Eve at the temple began with a long meditation and a Pilgrim Vow initiation — always an auspicious way to herald a new beginning. Then during the service itself we held an extended purification ceremony in which we each got to offer ourselves and our aspirations for the new year up to God and Guru. It was a very personal and inward celebration, and all the more so for its contrast with most of the other celebrations going on around the planet at that time! You can see a few photos here.

On the day after New Year’s, East West Bookshop closed for its annual Inventory Day, inviting numerous friends and volunteers over for a joyful work party. In addition to getting an accurate tally of the merchandise, we also took the opportunity to clean, organize, or throw away anything the could possibly be cleaned, organized or thrown away. Doesn’t it look like fun? The store positively glows now with the fresh infusion of energy.

Sunday January 5th was the 121st anniversary of Paramhansa Yogananda’s birthday, but we went ahead and began the festivities on Saturday night. The best birthday present to give to our guru? Ourselves, naturally. And so everyone who has taken any step along Ananda’s particular ray of the spiritual path had the opportunity to reaffirm their vows and support others in their reaffirmations. (A few first-time initiates slipped in to the Sadhaka and Sevaka vows as well.)

Then at Sunday service the next day we celebrated a birthday gift, as it were, from Master back to us. We’ve just acquired a beautiful statue of Yogananda, done by an Italian sculptor named Sandro da Verscio, with personal guidance from Swami Kriyananda. Master has a completely blissful smile on his face as he meditates, and his presence shines through the statue so clearly that it’s a breathtaking joy to behold. At the end of service, the entire congregation came up to the altar to shower it with rose petals before it made a procession down the aisle to its more permanent home in the foyer. Isn’t it lovely?

Many blessings to all in 2014 — and Happy New Year!

1 comment:

Karen G said...

Gorgeous photos. Wonderful news. You have a real gift for news bits in perfect bite-sized pieces. I look forward to reading everything you send, top to bottom.

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