Usually we write our blogs with you in mind, dear friend, but this time I’m going to do something different. After nearly three months in India, we’ll be returning to America in a few days. Although it will be a welcome change to stop traveling and have some familiar things around, my heart is filled with profound appreciation for all that we’ve received here. So, if you’d like, you’re welcome to read my love letter to India.
Recently in Mumbai, India, we were asked the question: “What are some of the lessons you’ve learned on your spiritual journey, especially those involving Swami Kriyananda?” I’d like to share some of my responses with you, because they touch on issues that each of us faces as a devotee.
“Master wants you to lecture in his place at the San Diego temple this weekend. . . . He also wants you to give a Kriya Yoga Initiation afterwards.” These words were delivered to Swami Kriyananda (then James Donald Walters) after he had been with his guru, Paramhansa Yogananda, for only a few months.
I’m a people watcher: I love observing people as they go about their business. I try to see what their faces and body language reveal, and then imagine what they’re like and what kind of lives they lead.
She was a poor cleaning woman working in a hospital in Chennai, India, where a friend of ours also worked as a doctor. There was something about her that awakened compassion in our friend’s heart, and a desire to help. Perhaps it was because the lady seemed so alone in the world and had a small child to raise; whatever the reasons, our friend felt strongly that she should aid her.
Recently while in Assisi, we watched a film called “St. Giuseppe Moscati: Doctor to the Poor,” which was written and directed by a good friend and fellow disciple, Giacomo Campiotti. Watching the film some years earlier, Swami Kriyananda had said it was the best spiritual movie he’d ever seen. We certainly agree.
We were sitting in the radiant, late-August sunlight at the Ananda Retreat, overlooking the gently rolling Umbrian hills outside of Assisi, Italy, chatting with a friend of ours from Rome. She told us with joy in her warm, brown eyes and a sweet smile on her lips, “I recently came to the Retreat feeling quite depressed about many aspects of my life. But after being here for only three days, my thoughts now are filled with such peace, and my problems all seem so trivial.”
“There is a hidden strength within me to overcome all obstacles. I will bring forth that indomitable power and energy.” Paramhansa Yogananda shared this formidable thought with us, and gave us tools to accomplish that great goal. Here are five effective ways to build our inner power.
The sun rose an unnatural shade of red-orange in the hazy early morning sky. Though the burning forests and towns were hundreds of miles from Ananda Village, the wind was blowing the smoke in our direction. The air quality was unhealthy and the temperatures were high, but still they came. They were building a temple of light.