Ananda Family News

Friday, January 23, 2015

Master's Birthday & "Meeting the Master"

Master’s Birthday Celebration, 5th January

One of our most sacred days - our Guru Paramhansa Yogananda’s Birthday - reminds us of the very reasons we are here and what our purpose is.

Master mentioned (The Divine Romance, p. 398) that it is beneficial to meditate on the birthdays of any of the Self-realized gurus, as these days are auspicious and filled with blessings. Thus, we started Yoganandaji’s birthday with a two-hour meditation and followed with chants, songs and music.

We then listened to Swami’s recorded story how Master’s book Autobiography of a Yogi affected him deeply and changed his life. This reminded many of us of our own unforgettable experiences we had while reading this sacred book.

Asha then continued to talk about the essence and importance of the guru-discipleship relationship, pointing out how the guru has the power to “unravel our karma for us” and how he guides and protects us. She ended her talk by encouraging us to pray to Guru and God to “give me the grace to love you and give me the grace to know how you love me.”

After the sermon we had a beautiful devotional ceremony renewing and reaffirming our vows and supporting others in their reaffirmations. We had a group of new initiates into the Sadhaka as well as Sevaka orders.

Although our Guru has left his body, he is always with us. Swami reminds us, “we know from our experiences how real his presence is, we know from our experiences how real that guidance is and that’s what has made this community, what it is.”

Here is the video link to Swami’s and Asha’s talks.

Ananda Palo Alto Players Present Meeting the Master, 17th January

Last Saturday evening we witnessed a new milestone in Ananda’s spiritual activities: a way of writing and performing plays on such a deep soul-level which so far has not been seen nor experienced before - as mentioned by many who came to see the play.
The play conveys the experiences, blessings, healing and feelings of the early disciples, when they met Master for the first time, and includes loving anecdotes of their relationship with their Guru.

The stories were presented by Paramhansa Yogananda’s early disciples such as Gyanamata (played by Asha), Dr. and Mrs. Lewis (Marcel Hernandez & Anandaprem), Kamala (Erica Kellogg), Durga Mata (Kristy Norfleet-Andrews, author of the play), Rajarshi (Garth Gilchrist) and Kriyananda (Rammurti Reed).

The play was for all of us an amazing experience: while we listened to the accounts of the disciples, how they met Master for the first time, we could feel through their owns words what an incredible life-altering, blessed experience this was. We were transported to the times when Master lived, how he behaved and acted, how his disciples loved and revered him, how it was to receive his unconditional love and protection.

At some stage of the play we did not only feel part of the play, but we could feel the same feelings as they were expressed by all disciples who were been played and who were playing the part. Here are some more pictures.
This soul-quality and soul-experience which occurred during this evening, made a strong impression on us, but also left a blessed imprint on our consciousness and made us feel, on a very deep level, joyful.

If you have not yet seen the play, you still have a chance to see it this Saturday, 24th of January, at 6 pm at Ananda Sacramento.

Of course, we have also here a recording of the play (Part 1 + Part 2).  Enjoy!

With lots of love, joy & blessings,


Saturday, January 10, 2015

Christmas & New Year Celebrations

Already two weeks have passed since we have had our Christmas celebration and we still hold in our hearts, minds and souls the sacred ceremony of the birth of Jesus which we experienced inwardly in longer meditations and outwardly with our families and friends.

Christmas Eve

Christmas Eve provided us with the opportunity of an inward celebration of Christ with a two hour meditation. For most of us, this was one of the most beautiful and devotional evenings, reminding us of the potential awakening of the Christ Consciousness within each of us. We listened to holy songs, music, chants and to Asha’s sermon guiding us deep into the spirit of Christ. In the latter part of the evening we enjoyed a beautiful creation of Jesus’ birth with a life nativity scene reflecting the devotion and grace of that moment.

The evening culminated in a reverential candle light ceremony at the feet of baby Jesus. Many of us were deeply moved.

Here are some more pictures

Christmas Day

On Christmas Day Asha narrated the Christmas story with beauty, warmth and clarity, which not only touched the minds and hearts of the children present, but also of all the adults.

Some children were dressed up as angels, shepherds and kings, and joined the live nativity scene, having much fun but also acting with reverence throughout the ceremony. For more pictures click here.

Later we enjoyed a delicious banquet while also appreciating and rejoicing with our family and friends this very holy day.

After the Christmas banquet we were shown a scene of the forthcoming play Meeting the Master, which will be shown on Saturday, 17th of January, of how Master celebrated Christmas with his disciples and how he lovingly would prepare and give presents to everyone. Here is the link to the video.

See also here some fun outtakes from Christmas Day (pre-event) pix.

New Year’s Eve

New Year’s Eve started with an inward celebration of letting go of the old year and welcoming the New Year with a two hour meditation. We witnessed and celebrated the taking of the Pilgrim’s Vow of Intention and Renunciate Vow of Brahmacharya by two of our gurubhais.

The evening then followed with a talk by Asha, accompanied by music and songs, and ended with an extended fire and purification ceremony in which we each got to offer ourselves and our aspirations for the new year up to Guru and God. Click here for some more pictures.

House Blessing at Chela Bhavan

On January 3rd we held a house blessing for celebrating the signed agreement to purchase Chela Bhavan for $600,000. The amount of $50,000 has been paid and a debt of $550,000 remains which will be covered through the on-going monthly rent and future donations. We chanted, meditated, prayed and sent out many blessings in every corner of the house. The evening ended with some tea and shared food.

Wishing you all a very special year with many sacred, joyful and blessed moments and gatherings like the ones we just experienced.

in Master's Love & Joy


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