Ananda Community: Ideals Made Real
I owe my full gratitude to Swami Kriyananda. He changed my life. His book, The Path, introduced me not only to a great yoga master but also to a kind, honest, and enlightened disciple, Swami Kriyananda.
Swami has created a spiritual community where kindness, love, and devotion to God play the dominant roles in our lives. It has never been easy for the disciples of a great Master to spread a great teaching. I expect it never will.
I was introduced to Ananda while enlisted in the United States Navy. I was looking for a teaching that embraced all people. A teaching that would inspire me to know and love God. I was given the book, The Path, as a Christmas gift. I was completely absorbed by this moving story of Swami’s search for God.
I knew there was more to this world then the attainment of physical objects. I knew love, peace, truth, and joy were the treasures I was looking for, but I lacked the awareness of how to get there. At last! I had found a teaching that knew how.
The teachings were simple and practical and could be put to use immediately. Meditation and selfrealization of our own deeper inner realities were the keys. I was told real experience was the key to greater understanding–not unsupported intellectual dogma.
I was concerned before my first visit to Ananda 1987, because the ideals of a book aren’t often transferable to the realities of day-to-day life. After a week I knew I had discover a real treasure. My heart was being opened not only by love but also from the complete acceptance of who I was. Year after year I returned, knowing that this place would bring me closer to the knowledge and love of God.
In 1995, after retiring from the Navy, I decided to live at Ananda. I have been accepted and loved, and have been helped whenever I needed it. Ananda’s way of providing help is supporting us to come up with our own solutions. With Paramhansa Yogananda as my God-illumined spiritual teacher, Swami as my guide, example, and friend, my life is beginning to rediscover the long-lost treasures of peace, love, joy and truth.
After a career in the Navy, David moved to Ananda Village where he oversees the Work Exchange program at the Expanding Light retreat.