Letters from Ananda members, Part 26

Ananda Helps Me Help Others
David Kessler

Dear Friends,

I have lived at Ananda Village for 20 years. I have been consistently inspired and challenged to grow spiritually during that time. I have been consistently inspired and humbly impressed by Swami Kriyananda and the leadership that he has trained. I simply would not stay in any place for 20 years if I did not feel that this was the “best place in the world for me to grow and mature spiritually.” I’m not stupid!

I am a family physician and during my first year here I was “pulled aside” by an older community member and criticized for some immature behavior on my part at our clinic. She was right and I took it hard. I was talking to Swami Kriyananda shortly after that and relayed the story of this person criticizing me. I can still recall the sympathetic tone in his voice when he said “ Who? Who was it that said that?” It wasn’t that he felt I was right. In fact, I wasn’t right. But he knew my feelings had been hurt, and he was showing total support and respect for me as a sincere devotee “new” on the path. My thoughts were something like “Finally, I’ve found someone who will support me in my spiritual quest.”

A trivial incident, you might say, but this encounter proved to be typical of my interactions with Swami Kriyananda over the past twenty years. I’ve had numerous opportunities to interact with him over the years and have seen him at his best and his worst (when going through physical illnesses) and I can truthfully say that I’ve always come away from my interactions with Swami more energized and more inspired than before. In my book, he and the leadership of Ananda have stood the test of time and have provided a steady stream of inspiration, challenges, and proper guidance over the past twenty years which have literally been the best years of my life! I hardly recognize myself if I think back to the way I was 20 years ago. I’ve been able to give more to my patients in my practice because I know I have a base of support and respect at home here in Ananda Village. I know that I can get recharged and revitalized before going out to face another day of ill and needy people.

God bless you,
Dr. David

David lives at Ananda Village and has a private medical practice as a family physician.