Letters from Ananda members, Part 37

Kriya Is the Key
Matt Stickney

I have been a devotee of Yogananda for 25 years, the first 8 years with the SRF center in Seattle, then moving to the Ananda Village in 1984. I have been with Ananda ever since. Currently I serve in the Sacramento community.

I think it is very important to understand that any talk of SRF or Ananda must begin with Kriya yoga. Despite all that is written about the rights and wrongs of these two organizations, if you understand that attunement to Master through the practice of Kriya yoga is what this path is all about, then you will realize why Ananda came into existence and why it will continue to be a beacon of light for years to come.

I came to Ananda because I wanted more. SRF offered meditation three days a week, plus a social once every three months, so you could get to know the people you meditated with. They discouraged gathering after the meditation because they wanted to keep the vibration pure. That may have worked fine for some people, but I wanted more. The only way you can get more into it at SRF is to be a monk. SRF simply does not offer any opportunity for married couples to dive deeper into the teachings as a way of life. Ananda is different. You can be married and be right in the heart of things. It is a community for householders, something Yogananda really wanted.

I have received the sacred Kriya initiation many times. Twice by ministers of SRF, at least three times by Swami Kriyananda and several times by the Kriya ministers of Ananda. Each one is special in it’s own way and I can honestly say that the continuity of Master’s blessings has continued through them all.

What is the difference between the Kriya given by SRF and the Kriya given by Ananda? Quite frankly, nothing! The Kriya I received at the Mother Center was very special. It was Master’s home and his presence is everywhere. I would encourage every devotee of Master to take Kriya there. But to say that his presence is only in the Kriya given by SRF would be foolish. Master gave Kriyananda the blessing to give the Kriya technique to worthy devotees . He also told others to give Kriya, and not all of them were in SRF. When one of them, Peggy Deitz, replied “What will your organization say?” Master said “Are you following me, or an organization?” Are we to assume that Master didn’t know what he was doing ?

There are very few direct disciples of Master alive today. Kriyananda is one of them. Take advantage of that fact while you still can. Get in touch with him and find out for yourself. He has inspired thousands in their search for God.

Kriyananda is a good, kind, honorable man. Master wouldn’t have asked him to give Kriya if it were otherwise. One way to find out who Kriyananda is is to look at the people who are drawn to him. What drew me to Ananda was not just the goodness of Kriyananda, but the kindness of the people who lived there. Ananda is all about finding God and living a spiritual life. Come and see for yourself.

The proof is in the pudding. No one from SRF has ever been to Ananda. They only assume they know. And they don’t. So much of what is written against Ananda is just nonsense.

One good way to find out if something on the Internet about Ananda is true is to see if it is signed. Generally, anytime someone writes something that they are ashamed of, that they know isn’t true, they will not sign it. If you have a question about something you have heard about Ananda, ask someone who lives here. Almost anyone who has lived here any length of time can answer your questions. The heart of Ananda is pure. You will get out of it what you put into it. If you are sincere about finding God, there is no better place to be than Ananda. Come and find out for yourself !

In divine friendship ,
Matt Stickney
Ananda, Sacramento

P.S. I didn’t read all the stuff written on the internet against us until after I had written this story. It is amazing to me how anyone who has ever lived at Ananda could come away with such a skewed way of looking at things. I was drawn to Swami Kriyananda because of his consciousness, his attunement with Master, and my desire to be in tune, also with Master. Every person who wrote something against Ananda or against Swami, was looking to get something from him other than what he really has to give. There was no consciousness in those people who criticize him. They were all in their heads. No wonder they left.

Matt lives at the Ananda Community of Sacramento with his wife, Sue. He in charge of maintaining the community.