Where Could I Go?
March 22, 1996
If it is time to be counted., then count me. When I read the large letter from Janice Mareno, by invitation, I found that I felt very blessed by the experience. It forced me to open doors in my mind and heart which I might not have opened, and see what lay within. 1 also had an immediate urge to write a letter, but I didn’t know to whom. 1 also held back a bit, knowing that it is easy to write something which one will regret for a very long time.
Janice. and the lawsuits. and all the other flurry of invective, invited me to examine some central issues of life. Where am I? What am I doing? What is my environment? Am I living up to the highest I am capable of? Who are my associates? Who inspires me and why?
For me, Ananda is not a place or thing. It is a state of consciousness to be aspired to. When I was introduced to Yogananda’s teachings, I was so spiritually thirsty that I felt like I was dying. His teachings gave me first, hope, then experience. The more I did what he suggested, the more I wanted to be in an environment which supported going into more and more subtle levels of understanding and practice. I tried to go to SRF, but because I was a householder, they could only offer weekly meditations and services and occasional participation in the spiritual life.I wanted to immerse myself in.. So I came to Ananda, inspired by The Path and my contacts here, but with trepidation lest I do something out of tune with Master’s guidance.
I can only tell you that, for me, the gifts of being here, and the changes they have wrought (despite my resistance) in my consciousness are beyond my belief. I know who I was when I came, and where I am now in relationship to then. I would not trade my last 11 years of life here for the wealth of the universe. Though there is far to go. I have come so far…
1 tell you with all my heart that my love for Master and his guidance cannot but flow equally to this place and to all of you who have helped this process along. Mv heart belongs to Swami, to the Ananda leaders, and to all who have helped in the creation of this holy place where the Spirit that is Ananda is nurtured.
The urge I felt after the tome of Janice Moreno was to say to anyone, to everyone, that Ananda is not a place or thing. It exists as a living burning flame of love for the Divine in the hearts of all who are (and have been) receptive to its inspiration. That spark is kindling a fire that is spreading around this world. It cannot be destroyed by pettiness or personality or even error, for it is of God and is the wave of this next age.
I also wondered about the thoughts of leaving. Where is one to go? I am seeking oneness with God’s omnipresence, oneness with the Consciousness of Christ, oneness with this creation and beyond it with pure Spirit. How can I experience that if I deliberately reject that which does not suit my little parameters of what is supposed to be going on. If there is error, the person with the mistakes will suffer for it. Where can I go where creation will limit itself to my desires for how it ought to be? For me, the amazing thing about Ananda communities is not the fact that one can find all the usual troubles of the world here, but that one can be supported, encouraged., and understood in ones deepest efforts to realize one’s own perfection. Where else could 1 find that?
So, while I am not blind to all the events that occur within Ananda, I revere Ananda for the profound gifts it offers. May God and Gurus ever bless us that we be so consumed with our own efforts for Self-realization and support of others efforts that we lose sight of anything else. And may we quickly find ourselves truly one in Spirit.
And I offer my support and undying gratitude to Swami Kriyananda for all that he has done on behalf of God and Guru.