There are times when things appear complicated and impossible, but if you feel a strong calmness in your heart, you know that, with the help of the Guru and by the grace of the Divine Mother, even seemingly impossible things will come to fruition. It had been months since Jacopo, Valentina, Cristina, Gandi and I had been trying to set up an Ananda center in Como, and what I am about to tell you is really fantastic.
My name is Suryani and I grew up in Como, but for the last 10 years I have been living in Ananda Assisi where, about a year ago, I met Jacopo, a young entrepreneur from Como who, with other partners, opened the restaurant “La Finestra sul Lago.” While reading the Autobiography of a Yogi, he was captivated by the messages this book conveys, so he decided to come to Ananda, and one month later he returned bringing 20 of his 25 employees with him to do spiritual team building work.
Have you ever had a 15-minute conversation with a person and felt like you’ve known him or her your whole life? Well that’s what happened to me when I met Jacopo.
Our friendship developed a number of months later on a trip from Como to Assisi, and it was there that I felt there was a seed that wanted to sprout. He told me how he came to meditation through Mirabai (Valentina Panfilio, a Raja Yoga teacher), and from there his spiritual search began.
Mirabai is a very good meditation teacher who is doing beautiful spiritual growth work, especially with young people. A short time later I was able to join the small meditation group that, thanks to her, is meeting virtually once a week to meditate together. Magically, we immediately managed to connect and realized that we could do more than just meet weekly.
It is not always easy, I admit, but in the end, when the intent is right, anything can happen. With a lot of patience and by the grace of the guru, we had a few online meetings to plan and create a yoga and meditation center. We realized early on that attunement had to first be established within the group, for us to then be able to magnetize the center. When everything seems to become a utopia, something finally happens…
I asked the group what they thought about creating a retreat in Como with two Ananda ministers. Jacopo immediately welcomed the idea with great enthusiasm and offered the space in his restaurant to us. We went to work right away and organized the retreat in no time. Now and then I think about it, and it seems incredible what happens when you do the right thing – everything aligns harmoniously and the challenges become a means through which you understand that behind your actions there is a power greater than you.
Finally the day of the retreat comes, a beautiful harmony and attunement of hearts was immediately created. We sang, prayed and meditated together, deep topics were covered, and great interest was kindled as to who we are and what we do at Ananda. At the end of the dinner it felt like we were all one big family!
But the best was yet to come…
The day after the retreat, Darshan, Arudra, Jacopo and I had organized a brief pilgrimage to Veglio, a small province of Lake Como where Villa Rombolotti is located. I always thought with a sense of pride that the first Ananda in Europe came to Como, my hometown. Yes indeed, more than 40 years ago Swami Kriyananda and a group of American pioneers moved to Villa Rombolotti to establish the Ananda community.
The villa is situated in the hills, just like our Ananda here in Assisi, in a very small town with few inhabitants. However, when you enter inside the walls of Villa Rombolotti you feel like you are in another dimension, I would say almost fairytale-like. The silence and nature surrounding the villa is truly idyllic, the spaces are huge and the structure, although abandoned for years now, gives the impression of having lived through years of material and spiritual abundance. We also had the grace to have a beautiful and deep meditation that I believe left a tangible mark on the hearts and memories of all present.
Unfortunately, time was running out and another commitment awaited us at the nursing home for the elderly where my mom lives. With the local animators, we had organized a small event where, to celebrate March 8th, our group performed some of Swami Kriyananda’s inspiring music.
We chanted and invited the group of residents to sing. At first they looked at us a little stunned but were eventually captivated by the beautiful energy that was immediately established among us.
But … surprise twist … that very day, a volunteer was about to arrive to present her proposal for yoga for the elderly. Intrigued, I asked the name of this volunteer and eventually discovered that she was none other than a Kriyaban from Ananda whom I had already known for years and who has a yoga and meditation center a short distance from the nursing home where Mom lives.
We welcomed Ileana Allegretti with Swami Kriyananda’s music, and when she saw us, she was moved to tears. Even she could not comprehend how it had been possible to casually unite four Ananda members under one roof at the same time.
My heart was in ecstasy with excitement, and, caught up in the euphoria, I immediately told the group what had just happened. What I did not know, however, was that Cristina had contacted Ileana that very same morning to ask her if she could use the center for one meditation class a week. Ileana was hesitant at first, but after our fateful meeting, she called Cristina back and told her that she had reconsidered because meeting us that very day made her realize that this might just have been a sign from our guru.
And finally, by the grace of the guru, that seed, day by day, is germinating and becoming a real Ananda center in Como.
Sometimes you waste a lot of time planning things and most of the time they vanish and, even worse, your energy vanishes, but when you act on behalf of a higher will, you realize that you just have to trust it and allow yourself to be guided by it, and then the most wonderful adventures of your life happen.
Thank you Guruji