Stories of Devotees

Gratitude – The engine that moved everything

The gratitude in me has been the engine that has moved everything. Even in complex situations, from an early age, I could sense a glimmer of light and felt inwardly grateful, at peace, in the face of situations such as those that the mind poses, deluding us that there are obstacles and not opportunities. I smiled inwardly at that sense … Read More

Discipleship, Stories of Devotees


Since childhood I had been taught by my parents to say “thank you” whenever someone gave me a gift or had a kind word towards me. I had always felt that word resonating inside me as a light, humble sound, as if it was supposed to tiptoe in… By pronouncing it, it was as if something changed in me, I … Read More

Stories of Devotees

My Early Days
in a Spiritual Community…

Life in a Spiritual Community – Nayawami Shivani Narrates My first childhood ambition was to become a rabbi. Actually it was the scriptures that attracted me, and the sound of the sacred language. At the age of six I began to study Hebrew and very soon knew all the prayers by heart. But I was never called to recite in … Read More

A Touch of Light, How to be Happy, Right Attitudes, Stories of Devotees

What Goes, What Stays

Celebrations, Christmas, Stories of Devotees


For the community Christmas Eve party, Swamiji suggested we serve alcohol-free eggnog. I was in charge of the Retreat kitchen, but I didn’t know how to make eggnog, so he sent me a recipe (known as ”Swamiji’s recipe,” though he always said he got it from the bulletin board at a supermarket!). Before I came to Ananda, I was a … Read More

Discipleship, Divine Grace, Stories of Devotees

A Boy Trying to Fit in with the World

When someone asks about your earliest childhood memory, what comes to mind? For me, it was fear. Specifically, fear that I would be drafted into the army and killed in battle. I remember making myself sick in the back seat of the car, lost in an overwhelming sense of doom, while everyone else seemed perfectly fine, happily chatting away. Even … Read More

Celebrations, Right Attitudes, Stories of Devotees

Giving Thanks

Right Attitudes, Stories of Devotees

Opening the Heart – Gratitude as Sadhana

Find something each day for which to give thanks, and thus form the habit of gratitude for all the good gifts the Father has bestowed upon us. Paramhansa Yogananda Being asked if I would like to write a blog on gratitude – my response was ‘what an absolute delight’! It’s one of my favourite subjects, and for good reason! It … Read More

Community, Music & Art, Stories of Devotees

We Sang for Pope John Paul II at the Vatican

One the most memorable times of living at Ananda Assisi was when the World Brotherhood Choir sang at the Vatican on Wednesday, March 8, 1989. After celebrating Paramhansa Yoganandaji’s Mahasamadhi on the previous day, community felt a deep blessing as we caravanned to Rome to share Master’s and Swami Kriyananda’s songs as a vibrational-offering for the Spiritual Unity of All … Read More

Community, Stories of Devotees

I Will Always Think of Thee:
Pioneering in The Early Days

My nephew, who just turned 17, recently responded to my birthday greeting by saying, “It’s crazy being 17. It definitely hasn’t sunk in yet.” That’s a bit how we “spiritual pioneers” felt in helping to found an Ananda World Brotherhood Colony, even though we were slightly older back then than my nephew is now. It was the mid-eighties, though we … Read More