Letters from Ananda members, Part 48

I Prayed Deeply to Yogananda
Zoe Matthews

I have been living at Ananda Assisi in Italy for almost a year now. I am so thankful to Divine Mother for bringing me here. I sometimes wonder what I have done to deserve such a blessing.

I know it must be very confusing for those of you who have never been to Ananda to hear all of these contradicting stories about Ananda and Swami Kriyananda. For me too it was very confusing…

My first time at Ananda was summer 2000. This was at Ananda Village in California. I discovered Ananda after reading Kriyananda’s book “Superconsciousness: A Guide to Meditation”. I was desperately seeking the Truth and I knew when I read this book that I had touched on something deep. I quit my job, packed my bags and went to Ananda where I spent the next three months. This was one of the most important times of my life. At Ananda I finally learned to open my heart to God.

I loved Ananda, and the people who I met there. But what was very confusing for me were the allegations I was hearing about Swami Kriyananda. (You have probably heard of these by now.) These stories were coming from people who were doing a summer work exchange program at Ananda, like I was. Of course, we were all new to Ananda and were curious about who Kriyananda was and what he had done. On the one hand, I thought, the allegations could be true, but on the other hand, I had felt a very sweet connection with Swami Kriyananda when I read his book, and when I saw his photo on the internet I felt that there was already a friendship there. I felt that Yogananda was guiding me to Him through Swami.

So these contradictions were all a bit confusing, but I decided not to pass judgement until I had the opportunity to meet Kriyananda myself.

After I left Ananda Village, I prayed deeply to Yogananda about where I should live and what I should do. He told me very clearly to go to Ananda Assisi. When I arrived in November 2001 I felt that I had found my family and home on earth.

Because Swami lives here too, I have been in his presence many times now. All doubts about him vanished immediately. I know that my initial feeling that he was my friend was right. (Initial instincts usually are, aren’t they?) I have never met anyone who emanates such love. He loves God and Guru with all his being and I trust him implicitly as my friend and teacher.

Please, if you can, come to Ananda and meet Swami Kriyananda for yourself.

Whatever happens, may Yogananda bless you again and again on your search for God.

Zoe comes from England and now lives at Ananda Assisi where she works as a cook for staff and guests.


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