Why live in spiritual community?

“One of the fundamental needs of our age is for putting down roots again. We have extended ourselves too far outward, away from the Self within, and away from the natural rhythms of the planet on which we live. Even in our outward, human associations we have lost touch with reality. The average person in America today moves fourteen times in his life—not to new homes in the same community, but to different communities altogether. Loneliness has become chronic. Friendships tend to be of the cocktail party and patio barbecue variety, and not the deep bonds that people form as a result of trials and victories shared.

We know people to smile at, but not to weep with, not to confide in, not to go to for help in times of physical, emotional, or spiritual distress. Small, spiritual communities offer a viable alternative to the depersonalizing influences of our times. People living and working together, sharing with one another on many levels of their lives, suffering, growing, learning, rejoicing, winning victories together, they develop a depth in their outward relationships as well that helps them, inwardly, to acquire spiritual understanding.

Cooperative spiritual communities provide a vital solution to one of the most pressing needs of our times—an opportunity for those who want to develop spiritually to do so in a supportive environment, and a dynamic example to the rest of the world that spiritual principles really work.” (From Swami Kriyananda‘s, The Path)

Establishing householder communities was one Yogananda’s most cherished dreams:

“To spread a spirit of world brotherhood among all peoples, and to aid in the establishment in many countries, of self-sustaining world-brotherhood colonies for plain living and high thinking.”
—Paramhansa Yogananda, Aims and Ideals

Swami Kriyananda was deeply inspired by his guru’s vision. He founded the first spiritual community in 1968 in northern California. Hundreds of people live at Ananda Village today. Since then, more communities have been established and are home to 1,000 people worldwide. Communities include: Mountain View, Sacramento, Portland, Seattle, Los Angeles, Assisi (Italy), and several communities in India (New Delhi area, Pune, and Bangalore)  Ananda worldwide

Swami Kriyananda speaks on the benefits of living in spiritual community
Video| Audio (0:49)

Scenes from a recent community Open House, and excerpts from a talk by Swami Kriyananda on living in spiritual community
Video (0:14) (excepted from the complete talk above)