We would like to share with you how we are and how we have navigated these last two years. We are sure that like you, we have learned, and continue to learn a great deal.
Perhaps, finally, we are approaching the end of a dark tunnel. The number of infected people is decreasing almost everywhere and the restrictions imposed by governments should diminish until they disappear completely.
For Ananda Assisi, as well as for the rest of the world, it has been a period of challenge and transformation. We have often consulted each other to understand how to face the situation and support each of you in the very best ways possible and with all of our strength and faith.
This period required all members of the community to clarify what Ananda represented for each of us and what Ananda’s mission was in the world. We therefore decided (tight-lipped and not without pain) to comply with the legal restrictions; in a similar period we could not risk closing our facilities or seeing our media obscured:
Ananda has the task of uplifting consciousness towards the Divine Light represented by the ray of our Masters, thus spreading the teachings of Self Realization and being a living example of it.
During the lockdowns and in these two years we have transformed quickly; you have seen an explosion of free online activities (yoga classes, satsangs on all spiritual topics, kirtans, ceremonies, prayers for the world, lots of guided meditations for kriyabans and disciples, activities for meditation groups), live and recorded courses, inspirational campaigns (Light of hope, Hope for a better world…). Our intention was to bring Light and support, to inspire every one of you to look within and to keep your consciousness high. Just as we ourselves are doing. We knew that only there, in our inner divinity, we would be able to find our true resources and strength to face this period.
With lots of activity and changes, in a very short time, we bought new equipment (that we had to learn how to use), we trained each other several times, we rethought and completely restructured our way of operating: It was clear that, as far as we could, we wanted to manifest that Light that our Masters have embodied.
Those who were not involved in these areas turned to the land: We cleared the fields (very generous in stones of all sizes and weights!), expanded the crops, sought economic support to strengthen the agricultural and self-sufficiency project, created spaces and moments of meeting for residents and some of our neighbours: the Ananda Residential Community has been born and reborn a number of times, throughout this confused and contradictory period.
Just as in every other place on Earth, we still have many diverse and sometimes conflicting opinions, but we have understood that we could not play the game of darkness, which brings fear and division and takes advantage of the confusion of hearts and minds. This can make the friend seem an enemy, the neighbor a stranger, and fear and uncertainty may become the new normal. We did not do this, instead, we united, with respect for the positions of each other and tried to be a beacon of light, perhaps a small one, but in any case, a living demonstration of unity in diversity, of total and profound respect for everyone’s ideas.
It was not easy and to do this, we had to bend a little like the reeds in the wind, which seem to stretch downwards but do not break:
Many of us, and of you, would have liked to see Ananda fighting the political and social battle of constitutional freedoms, but this is precisely not the mission that our Masters have given to us. Some immediately understood what we were trying to do, others did not, or haven’t yet.
We wanted to share with you, how life here at Ananda Assisi, has been throughout this time of world crisis. Like many others, perhaps all of us, we have not passed completely unscathed through this period.
More challenges, especially economic ones, await us around the corner. We have done our best to act according to dharma, to manifest the Divine Light and to give support, clarity and hope to people in need. Through this time mission and identity has become clearer and stronger. We discovered, as Swami Kriyananda says in the Festival of Light, that “…even fear, like shadows on a statue, give Light and substance to hope.”
We hope you will continue to feel our love, our prayers and support. May you, our spiritual family feel the presence of our great Master’s in your hearts and souls, and be ever more attuned to their powerful Divine ray in each moment of your lives.
In Divine Friendship,
The Ananda Assisi Centre