Class and Satsang Descriptions

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Art as a Hidden Message
We are made in the image of the Creator; to realize Him we must become like Him. We may or may not become creative artists, but we all must master the art of living creatively. We'll explore the importance of communication, clarity of mind, and how to establish the right consciousness for receiving creative inspiration in any endeavor, from the arts to cooking, from writing to arranging flowers.

 

AKASH: Ancient Keys for Attaining Success and Happiness
AKASH is a unique, six class series written by Swami Kriyananda, offering time-proven techniques for making positive, lasting changes in your life. Swami, who was trained in these principles and techniques by his guru, Paramhansa Yogananda, wrote and recorded these lessons to give people the essential tools they will need for the challenging times ahead. Learn:
• How to identify what is keeping you from your goals
• The deeper reality of true success and contentment
• What it means to be practical
• How to have what you need when you need it
• How to build inner strength and overcome fear

 

Working with Affirmations
A Technique for Spiritual Growth

An affirmation is a statement of a higher truth. Practicing affirmations is a way of transforming thoughts and habits that are buried in our subconscious mind, holding us back from that which we know will bring us true joy. In using affirmations correctly, in thought, words, or to music, we concentrate on positive qualities which are the solutions to our diseases and imperfections. This workshop will be highly participatory and lots of fun, as we discover new ways of bringing life-changing techniques into our daily routine.

 

Autobiography of a Yogi
Yogananda’s Autobiography is one of the spiritual classics of the last hundred years. It has inspired many people to devote their lives to the spiritual search. Its pages offer countless proofs of the existence of God—accessible to each of us through prayer, meditation, and the practice of Yoga as a way of life.

Awaken to Superconsciousness
The superconscious animates intuition, spiritual and physical healing, successful problem solving, and finding deep, lasting joy. Superconsciousness is the key to feeling connected with something greater than ourselves. Though many of us have experienced fleeting moments of raised consciousness, Swami Kriyananda teaches us how to reach the state of superconsciousness in a systematic way

 

Bringing Spirituality into Everyday Life
Do you sometimes feel your work and the rest of your life are somehow separate from your spiritual life? Do you feel more integrated with yourself when you’re not on the job? This class will help you learn how to experience work and daily activities as a dynamic expression of your inner life. Come learn how to experience greater joy in your everyday activities and with all of the people in your life.

The Essence of the Bhagavad Gita
This great scripture of India has inspired millions for millennia. Discover its beauty and power, and its wise counsel for living that lights the path for spiritual seekers throughout the world today. Parallel passages from the Gita and the Bible are the basis for Ananda's Sunday sermons.

The Essence of Self-Realization
Most of Yogananda's quotes in The Essence of Self-Realization have never been published before. Chapters explored in this class series include: The True Purpose of Life; On Meditation; How to Pray Effectively; The Law of Karma; The Lesson of Reincarnation; and Ways in Which God Can Be Worshiped.

Self-Expansion Through Marriage
So many long for a perfect romantic partnership, but few seem to have it. Usually, much inner work has to be done before we can attract and hold the great love of our life. In this class series we’ll explore why so many marriages fail, key attitudes for success in marriage, how to balance commitment with the need for individual growth and change, and differences in how men and women communicate.

God Alone
A study course based on the book God Alone. “God Alone” was the motto and lifelong ideal of Sri Gyanamata, one of the most spiritually advanced disciples of Paramhansa Yogananda. Her letters (in the book) reflect the luminous wisdom and pure insight of one who has truly lived for God alone. In addition to Gyanamata’s letters, God Alone contains a detailed account of her life; letters written to her from Yogananda and others who knew her; excerpts from her personal diary; and numerous photographs.

The Hindu Way of Awakening
There is deep symbolic meaning behind the abundance of sometimes confusing, even self-contradictory images of Hindu myths, fables, Gods, and Goddesses. Great sages of ancient times used these symbols to convey revelations of the highest order. Hinduism, alone among all the religions of the world, holds up the ideal of complete spiritual liberation as the destiny of all beings. No one else has written about Hinduism with the clarity that Swami Kriyananda brings to the subject, a clarity he gained from his Indian guru, Paramhansa Yogananda. This book, and study course, is a revelation not only to Westerners, but also to those raised in the Hindu tradition.

Hope for a Better World
All great societal change begins with a change in individual consciousness. This series helps us to shake off the past and embrace new ways of thinking about ourselves and our place in society. We'll examine the ideas of the intellectual icons that continue to influence thinking today – Plato, Copernicus, Machiavelli, Darwin, Freud and others – through the lens of Yoga principles. A hopeful and powerful look at the future.

How to Be A True Channel
The saints say that great blessings remain unmanifested on this earth due to lack of a willing channel. God has given us free will, and we may choose whether to hear His whispers, or the whispers of countless other thoughts clamoring for our attention. This is a fascinating exploration of channeling in all its aspects, with instruction on how we can develop the ability to channel grace, healing, and wise counsel to others.

The Mahabharata
Immerse in this richly symbolic story of the battle between cousins for the rulership of a kingdom. It is an engrossing tale of war, right behavior, philosophy, and spiritual unfoldment. One of India’s most beloved scriptures, the Bhagavad Gita is a single chapter within the Mahabharata. The Mahabharata is the story of a great battle between cousins for the possession of the kingdom. On the side of righteousness are the five Pandava brothers, including Arjuna. On the side of “King Material Desire” are the Kauravas, Duryodhana and his 100 brothers. Kurukshetra, the field where the battle takes place, symbolizes our own inner consciousness, where God-affirming and God-denying forces—all our own “family”—war against one another. Who will win? Come and find out. India most beloved scripture, The Bhagavad-Gita, is a tiny pearl contained within The Mahabharata.

Manifest Through the Power of Yoga
Based on Swami Kriyananda’s lessons in Material Success and Happiness Through Yoga Principles. Develop the magnetism to draw what you need in life, when you need it. Learn long-hidden secrets of the Himalayan yogis of how to gain influence over the material plane, by attunement to the spiritual plane. As you well know, this is a time of unprecedented economic insecurity. Jobs and investments once thought rock-solid are not providing the support we counted on. Sages, including Paramhansa Yogananda, have long-predicted that this time would come. Not as a punishment, they reassure us, but to help us achieve a more appropriate balance between our material and our spiritual lives.

Money Magnetism
Topics include : What is true wealth, mental attitudes that keep us from achieving our full potential, how earning money can promote spiritual growth, how to acquire what you need at will.

A Place Called Ananda
The founding of Ananda did not come without great personal challenge to its founder, Swami Kriyananda. This “David and Goliath” account of how he succeeded may inspire those who yearn to bring a dream into reality against all odds. Ananda is founded on the simple principle that people are more important than things.

Revelations of Christ
This is a challenging and important exploration of the differences between the mystic teachings of Jesus and the early Christians, and what most Christians believe today.

The Rubaiyat of Omar Khayyam
Many westerners believe that The Rubaiyat is a love poem written in celebration of earthly joys. Such is not the case, as Paramhansa Yogananda reveals in his writings about the Rubaiyat. Throughout the East, Omar Khayyam is recognized as a mystic, and his poem understood as a deep spiritual allegory about the meaning and purpose of our lives.

Swami Kriyananda As We Have Known Him
Hear Asha read her new book of 200 individual stories of how people's lives have been touched and changed by their contact with Swami Kriyananda. One man was released from a lifetime of addiction with a single touch. Many received gentle, life-changing guidance through a loving glance, a kind word, or even a dream. A beautiful and moving collection. Winner of Coalition of Visionary Resources Best Spiritual Biography award, 2008. More about this book and the author.

Christmas Eve
The holy hour of the coming of Christ consciousness in the form of the baby Jesus, celebrated in grand style with pageantry and music, and bright candlelight in a darkened temple.

Christmastime for Yogis
Many of us have spent our lives in a culture where Christmastime is commerce-time, and spirituality is crowded out by materialism. But the power of Jesus as a true yogic master still infuses this season after two millennia, and we can experience that presence as we learn to attune ourselves to it.



Death & Grief as a Spiritual Journey

From a spiritual point of view, all of life is a preparation for dying. One’s true beliefs, “Who am I? What is real?” are put to the final test when the body, and with it the whole life and personality, begin to slip away. Yogananda described in great detail the process of death and the astral worlds beyond. Explore how to face our own and loved ones’ deaths, and how to work with the natural grieving process.

Circle of Joy
Would you like to experience greater inner peace and joy, regardless of external circumstances? Take a break from worry with a yogic "worry fast," affirm solutions to create abundance and wellness, and energize your magnetism to draw the highest and best outcomes from your current circumstances.

The Chakras: Keys to Personal & Spiritual Growth

Working with the Chakras
Everything about you is determined by your chakras: gender, health, hopes, fears, even your hour of birth and DNA. The chakras are subtle energy centers that not only store your unresolved karma, they carry it from one incarnation to the next. Understanding how they work, and especially how to affect the karma within them, can be vital to our spiritual growth.

The Chakras: Roadmap to Self-Realization
The chakras are the transfer point between your soul and your physical body. All our past experiences and our karma is stored in the chakras. Understand how this energy can be changed and harmonized in the body so that you may live your life in tune with your highest aspirations.

Relationships and the Chakras
Each chakra represents an essential skill or attitude required for success and happiness in relationships. Looking at it this way gives you a way of understanding yourself, accessing, and changing even deep-seated patterns that may be blocking the love your heart desires. A powerful integration of inner and outer experience.

Understanding the Chakras
The chakras are the body's invisible energy centers that store our karmic information and distribute our life force. When out of balance, they can trigger all sorts of frustrations, from physical and emotional maladies to a bias for making bad choices. Understanding the chakras can help us achieve well being on every level. An informative tour of these subtle inducers that hold the keys to our happiness, personal growth and inner peace.

Become a Channel for the Divine
Each and every human being alive can become a channel of God's light, love, peace, joy, wisdom, power and healing. That means you! An introduction to the skills and understanding which will transform you into such a vessel.

Easter Retreat: Walk in the Footsteps of Christ
The story of the life of Jesus is not something that happened long ago. It happens right in front of you, right inside your own heart. Asha's deep connection with Jesus, her profound insight into the meaning behind these dramatic events, and her vivid storytelling, make this an extraordinary day of effortless learning and deepening experience of God.

Death, Dying, Karma, and Reincarnation
Birth, death, and reincarnation seem to us fragmented realities. We have little memory of what came before, and no knowledge of what is to come. In fact, these apparently separate experiences are one continuous flow of expanding consciousness. Reincarnation is the highway, karma is the roadmap, astral and physical birth and death are the vehicles in which we travel. Class by Asha, Dr. Shanti Rubenstone, Dr. Connie Hernandez, and Lahari.

Creating Courage and Confidence
What worries you most? Lack, success, loneliness, intimacy, your future or past—perhaps even yourself? Facing our fears with a clear head and vision is the best and often the only way to releasing them. However, most of us lack the skills necessary to do so. Gain the tools you need to help transcend your fears, and live your life in greater harmony with yourself and the Divine.

Freedom: It's a Practice
Gravity binds us to the earth. There's no getting away from the force of its pull. But most of us are bound in other ways of our own choosing. Our desires and worldly attachments tie us up, and we compound the problem by expecting our ego to free us, failing to notice as it tightens the knots. Freedom is simply a letting go of things that sooner or later cause us to suffer. It isn't a physical state, it's a practice. And it's easier to embrace than you might think.

Finding Peace
It is easy to be anxious in these challenging times. What is true peace and how do you find it? Is it all about better organizing our lives on the outside, deepening our spiritual practice, or both? What would you be willing to change if you knew it would give you more peace? These topics will be explored and practical approaches offered to open your experience to the benefits of true peace.

Finding Your Path

Finding Your Own Guru
How do I know who my guru is? Guru means "dispeller of darkness." The most popular guru of all was Jesus. It's a paradox that you need intuition to know who your guru is, but you need to follow one guru's spiritual path in order to develop your intuition! Topics include:
• What to do if your true guru is not living
• Using common sense to find your guru
• What you might expect to experience
• What it takes to make a miracle
• How to know you have been accepted by the guru

Finding Your True Spiritual Path
In this age of expanding consciousness, there are many spiritual paths that can lead us to liberation, but finding the one that “feels right” in your soul is another matter. What is the best way to seek it? Should you “sample” one after another? How will you know when you’ve found it? Connecting with your true spiritual path is life’s most important quest.

The Importance of a Spiritual Teacher
For millennia, the method for achieving spiritual growth has been through discipleship to a guru. Yogananda wrote, “The most important reason for having a guru is stated in the Bible itself: ‘But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God.’ (John 1:12) The guru gives his disciple not only teaching and guidance; he also transmits to him spiritual power. As Jesus raised Lazarus from the dead, so the guru raises the disciple inwardly to the life of the Sprit. The Lord Himself, through the guru, awakens the devotee from his age-old sleep of delusion.

The Festival of Light
Each week at Sunday Service, we hear the readings and songs from Swami Kriyananda’s Festival of Light. Some think of it as a new form of Mass. Others see it as the story of our soul’s long journey to Self-realization. Why did Kriyananda create this ritual? What is its relevance and meaning for spiritual seekers?

The Eight-Fold Manifestations of God
Have you ever wondered why there many different definitions for God, or why different people experience Him or Her in such varied ways? Are you wondering which path to God would best serve your or another’s spiritual evolution? A non-denominational discussion of Who God is, and how you may cultivate a more personal relationship with the Divine.

Ego: Friend, or Foe?
To be “poor in spirit” in such a way as to merit the kingdom of heaven doesn't mean to be poor-spirited. Rather, it means to see oneself as owning nothing, since all belongs to God. For all is a manifestation of His consciousness.

St. John of the Cross wrote, “If you would own everything, seek to own nothing.” That which the ego relinquishes, offering it up to soul-consciousness, is reclaimed forever in cosmic consciousness. Nothing is ever lost. Paramhansa Yogananda tells the story in Autobiography of a Yogi of the levitating saint, Bhaduri Mahasaya.

“Master,” said a disciple of this saint once, ardently. “You are wonderful! You have renounced riches and comforts to seek God and teach us wisdom!” It was well-known that Bhaduri Mahasaya had forsaken great family wealth in his early childhood, when single-mindedly he entered the yogic path.

“You are reversing the case! The saint's face held mild rebuke. “I have left a few paltry rupees, a few petty pleasures, for a cosmic empire of endless bliss. How then have I denied myself anything? I know the joy of sharing the treasure. Is that a sacrifice? The shortsighted worldly folk are verily the real renunciates! They relinquish an unparalleled divine possession for a poor handful of earthly toys!”

How to Love What You Have to do Anyway
Some things just have to be faced: boring, unpleasant tasks, difficult people, and painful relationships. Don't just shut down and wait for it to be over. Open an escape hatch inside! Sharpen your inner skills, open your heart, and see the world from a completely different point of view. There are many solutions if you are willing to think creatively.

Gateway to Membership
Thinking about becoming a member of Ananda? Explore what membership can give you spiritually—and in return, how you may give back. The is a recording of a session with Asha, including questions from a group of potential new members. This sassing is can help you make a thoughtful and informed decision about membership.

Good Friday
We reflect on the courage of Christ's surrender to God's will—the ultimate sacrifice. And we ask ourselves how we may open ourselves to that most profound of spiritual acts: openness to God's will for us.

Guru Day Retreat
Guru is Sanskrit meaning “to lead out of darkness.” India has had a long tradition of passing spiritual truths from teacher to student, from guru to disciple. In tonight’s retreat Asha guides us in an evening of inspiring stories and music celebrating the life and teachings of the gurus particular to Ananda. Learn about Paramhansa Yogananda, one of the most well-known spiritual teachers of the past century, as well as his own lineage of teachers: Swami Yukteswar, Lahiri Mahasaya, Babaji, and Jesus Christ. If you have read Autobiography of a Yogi and thrilled to the stories of these saints’ lives, you will have the opportunity to feel their presence and spirit in this special evening of stories, chanting, and meditating outdoors in the community courtyard, visiting shrines dedicated to each of the gurus.

Healing the Heart
Disappointment, pain unwelcome change—everyone has suffered and the heart bears the battle scars. But once wounded, what will you do? Become softer, kinder, more open, or hardened and walled-in? Will past defeats define your future as well? Learn about forgiveness, letting go, learning the lesson and moving on.

Was it God's Plan to Have a Global Recession?
Today we are facing harder times than most of us have ever seen. Millions of innocent people are paying a bitter price for the greedy and reckless practices of others. Why? Where's the justice in that? Is this what God wants? In truth there are reasons and explanations for our current set of crises that are deeply important on many levels. Explore the mysteries of collective karma, the challenges of right living and more.

God and the Economy
After nearly three years of steep unemployment, housing woes and widespread global unrest, many of us are still facing personal challenges that seem beyond our control. What is the meaning at the root of these conditions? Is God the cause of our crises and pockets of chaos? Why do some people seem to skate by while others suffer severely? The answers are important on many levels. Explore the mysteries of collective karma, the necessity of right living, and more.

Karma & Reincarnation
What unlearned lessons compelled you to be born at this time in the body you have? Can you escape the influence of past incarnations? Can you control what your future lives will be? The answer to all these questions is karma: cause and effect as it applies to human destiny. A fascinating, complex weave of personal and planetary forces determines everything that happens on the world stage, and in each individual life. Learn how to understand and work out your present karma, and create positive karma for the future.

Our Line of Gurus
Asha talks about Ananda's line of gurus which include Paramhansa Yogananda (1893-1952), Swami Sri Yukteswar (1855-1935), Lahiri Mahasaya (1828-1895), Jesus Christ, and Babaji. Ananda's founder, Swami Kriyananda, is a direct disciple of Paramhansa Yogananda.

Love: Human & Divine
We all have the same need: to love and be loved. There’s more than enough of God’s love to go around, so you’d think we could get together and work it out easily! But it often doesn’t work out that way. Why? Learn how to open your heart to people and to God. Attract true and loving friends, balance commitment with freedom and change, and love selflessly without losing yourself.

Open Your Heart and Learn to Love
Loving is the most important thing we do in life, and yet we seldom receive any instruction in it. Love flows naturally—unless the flow gets blocked, which it does all too easily! Fear, disappointment, self-doubt, lack of self-understanding, and attachment are just a few of the common obstacles to loving well.
Topics include:
• Learn how to unblock the flow of love
• Learn how to open your heart and keep it open
• Work with Divine law
• Make changes in your feeling level
• Develop courage
• Lose habits and gain love
• Start today to open your heart and learn to love

The Life, Death, and Resurrection of Jesus
Listen to four talks on Jesus by Asha: Palm Sunday, Good Friday, Saturday meditation retreat, and Easter Sunday service. Between the original teachings of Jesus and "churchianity," there is a great difference. A mystical understanding of the Bible eliminates the apparent contradiction between the teachings of East and West.
Topics include:
• The final week of Jesus's life
• How even the greatest souls fight for the hard won prize of courage
• The only way God can reach you
• Picking your cross: not suffering, but calm acceptance of what God gives us
• The power of resurrection as the only and final truth
• The extraordinary measures God will take to get our attention and help us
• The answer to the eternal question: is life fair, and does God really love me?

Learn How to Love
Friendship, love, marriage, and children can offer us our greatest joys in life or our greatest sorrows. Selfless love is the essential key to happiness in all our relationships, but how do we practice it? In this class, you will explore ways to cure habits that spell the death of true friendship: judgment, jealousy, over-sensitivity, and unkindness. Experience the Universal Love behind all your relationships.

Raising Kundalini
Spiritual growth is the process of raising the kundalini (subtle energy) from the lowest chakra at the base of the spine to the point between the eyebrows and eventually through the thousand-petaled lotus at the top of the head. Raising the kundalini is the purpose behind all techniques, meditation, devotion, and right behavior. Understand this energy and how to affect it, and you have the key to Self-realization. Learn about chakras, yamas and niyamas (“Ten Commandments” of Yoga), magnetism, breath, right and wrong ways to affect kundalini.

Karma: What It Is and What to Do About It
The term “karma” has entered the general vocabulary, but how well do we really understand it? Is it possible to tell whether we have “good” or “bad” karma? Can we change it? Why do some actions seem to have obvious effects and repercussions while others don’t? Explore the intricacies of this key spiritual principle and its practical application in our lives.

How to Know & Trust Your Inner Guidance
Beyond wishful thinking or imagination, true inner guidance is a calm, centered knowing. But sometimes our fears and conflicting desires obscure the truth. Learn to still your mind and open your heart to the whispers of guidance that flow from the Divine. This practice is the very heart of the spiritual life, opening us to a flow of energy from the Divine and the blessing of living a life according to God’s will for us. Topics include how to ask for guidance, techniques for calming the heart so we may hear the inner voice, how to tell true guidance form imagination, and developing courage to face the unknown.

Divine Intuition
You've experienced it: that inner voice which gives the unexpected perfect answer to your questions, from the trivial to the most profound. When it speaks, it is infallible but most people can't easily access or recognize it on a regular basis. Learn how to connect with your higher self and divine spirit, allowing you to tap into perfect guidance for questions: from the material, to the intellectual, to matters of the heart and soul.

Illness and Hardship: Are They Tyrants or Teachers?
You don't know your strength until you are tested. Nor do you know the karmic reason for each test that comes. Some of our challenges may be unresolved from lifetimes ago. Illness and hardship, however, are not sent to crush us. They are stepping stones to the life we deeply seek. Once we realize the Almighty power within us, every test becomes a divine teacher and loving friend.

How to Be Happy All the Time
The human drive for happiness is one of our most far-reaching and fundamental needs. Yet, despite our desperate search for happiness, very few of us have truly unlocked the secrets of lasting joy and inner peace. Topics include: looking for happiness in the right places; choosing to be happy; tools and techniques for achieving happiness; sharing happiness with others; and balancing success with happiness.

New Year's Eve
Seize the moment. Begin the year at a point of highest inspiration. Celebrate your accomplishments. Burn up and release whatever hold you back. Declare to yourself and to the universe your intention to make the coming year one of ever-deepening joy and fulfillment in God.

One True Thing
Experience is subjective. Widely diverse spiritual paths are proclaimed equally valid. Quantum mechanics indicates that our entire material universe isn't actually physically present. Is anything objectively true? Identify and follow a Polestar for your life—a reliable constant without qualification—which illuminates, orients and informs everything else.

The making of an Ananda movie
Asha reports on her experience at Ananda Village with the making of a new movie about Ananda, tentatively titled "Cities of Light." She also discusses the passing of two devotees and long-time Ananda members at Ananda Village, which happened during the making of the movie.

Introduction to Meditation for Living Wisdom School Parents:
6 classes taught by Asha

Down-to-earth, participatory, informal and fun. Along with meditation, it's also an excellent introduction to the timeless philosophy behind Living Wisdom School, why it's so effective with students, and why it's so relevant today (class #6 especially).

Loving Yourself as a Child of God
Are you a little hard on yourself when you don’t live up to your expectations? When you don’t meditate as much as you’d like? When you make a mistake, or are criticized? How you feel about yourself is the basis of all your other relationships, even your relationship with God. Loving yourself is more than just a trendy, sentimental idea. It’s more than another psychological rearrangement. It’s understanding your true nature—body, mind, ego, and soul. With this understanding comes a divinely inspired self-acceptance, the true source of all self-esteem.
Topics include:
• Understanding your ego; how to work with it sensitively to make changes in your life.
• Balancing heart and mind; male and female energies and tendencies.
• Affirmations that really work for psychological self-healing
• Introspection techniques that take you deeper in self-understanding

Purification Ceremony
Before Sunday service begins at 10 am, people are welcome to a period of silent meditation from 9 to 9:45 am. Those who wish can also participate in a ceremony of individual prayer for freedom or clarity about a personal challenge, called the Purification Ceremony. One may offer that prayer at the altar and receive a blessing from one of the ministers.

Paramhansa Yogananda's Birthday Celebration
Yogananda incarnated for one reason: to bring others to Self-realization. The one "gift" he craves is that we give ourselves to God, as he has done. The "theme" of our birthday party is "Re-Dedication." Everyone is invited to place a flower on the altar and with that offering, to affirm the heart's commitment to seeking truth.

Informal Questions and Answers with Asha
A satsang in Dallas, Texas.

Paramhansa Yogananda's Mahasamadhi Celebration
Ever since Yogananda's passing on in 1952, that day, March 7, has been a sacred occasion. All those who have been touched by the life of the Master, or inspired by his Autobiography of a Yogi, gather to hear stories of his life, chant and meditate, listen to recordings of his voice, and receive his inward blessing.

Satsang in Pune, India
Asha gave a talk before a gathering of spiritual aspirants in the new Ananda Community located in Pune, India.

Paramhansa Yogananda: Walking in the Footsteps of the Master
A new biography of Paramhansa Yogananda allows us to know the Master in a way not possible before. First-hand reminiscences show him to us as avatar, teacher, friend, and guide. Above all, studying this book, tells us how to walk the path the Master himself has walked, from ego-bondage to soul-freedom. We’ll start with Chapter 17: Yogananda’s Salient Characteristics. Carefully studying each of these 30 defining features of the Master gives us an infallible roadmap for self-transformation.

A Promise for the Prodigal Son
From St. Luke, Chapter 15, we learn of the parable of the Prodigal Son. True understanding of this story can help us understand our own lives. Yogananda said that the channel is blessed by that which flows through it. Thus we take on the quality of the consciousness that we allow to flow through us.
Topics include:
• Kindness activates the law of magnetism, or karma
• The cosmic response to our suffering
• The result of sympathy
• Feeding the "swine" of our bad habits, or bad mental attitudes
• What happens when you spend your Divine inheritance?
• The right attitude toward suffering
• How to rejoice in the face of suffering

Pray and God Will Answer
What is the best way to pray? What form of God attracts you—Mother, Father, guru, angel, saint? What if there is no response? How do you know God is listening? Certain attitudes bring you closer to God, others hold God at a distance. Learn to overcome doubt and mistrust, to pray with the power of a saint and the faith of a child.

Personal & Planetary Evolution

People talk about the Earth as a living being and the coming “New Age” as the “awakening” of the planet itself. The Self-realization teachings explain not only the vast planetary cycles (Yugas), but also the individual karma of those who live through them, and the civilizations they create.



Open to the Heart of Hearts

Joy is our natural state. Yet often, this joy can be obscured by our responses to life’s challenges. Joy is not merely a passive response on our part; it can be cultivated and enhanced until we find it possible to live in joy even in the midst of difficulties. Learn techniques and attitudes that give us greater mastery over our emotional responses. Learn how to feel and express the natural, joyful, devotional nature that lies within you. Includes discussion, instruction, and experience of devotional practices (prayer, chanting, affirmation, mantra, and meditation.



Facing & Overcoming Fear
Nearly everyone has fears, though the vast majority of people tend to avoid facing them. These days you can add the economy to the usual list of worries: relationships, work, health, inner struggles, what the future will bring. But fear is one of the tests that God lovingly places before us, to help us grow in strength and faith. Inwardly, we know what the lesson is: to be like the willow that bends but does not break, or the rock that is steadfast and strong. But it is not always easy to do what we know is right. In this class we will talk about the necessity for self-honesty in this process, the difference between facing and avoiding fears, and how to develop courage, even in the face of fear.

Relationships and the Chakras
Each chakra represents an essential skill or attitude required for success and happiness in relationships. Looking at it this way gives you a way of understanding yourself, accessing, and changing even deep-seated patterns that may be blocking the love your heart desires. A powerful integration of inner and outer experience.

The Ramayana
Lord Rama is banished from his home and denied his inheritance by his own father, caught between a wicked wife and a beloved son. Twelve years he must wander in exile. His loyal wife Sita and faithful brother Lakshman refuse to be separated from Rama, so together they leave the riches of the palace for the austere life in the forest. The evil Ravanna casts a spell and steals Sita, carrying her to his far kingdom. In his quest to win Sita back, Rama is joined by the great devotee Hanuman, a monkey king, who lives only to love and serve his Lord Rama and the beautiful Sita.

To Thine Own Search Be True:
Following Your Authentic Spiritual Path

Regarding the path, some may ask why. Others will ask how. And some realize the obstacles and waver. No one way is right for everyone. God kindly created many religions and practices, taking into account the different temperaments and needs of each individual. But the challenges of finding and staying on the spiritual path are universal. Sometimes the greatest problem is that we make the path far harder than it actually is. Living with God at the center of our lives is a joy. Let's explore how to clear the obstacles, including our own ideas about how the spiritual life should be, and let the Divine express more fully in our lives.

When Trouble Calls
Everyone faces times of serious challenge. Our beliefs, values, health and welfare are bound to encounter difficult tests, and decisions have to be made. Inwardly, we must know what the lesson requires: to be like the willow that bends but does not break, or the rock that is steadfast and strong. In this class you will focus on building spiritual power—how to respond with willingness, courage, energy and calmness.

How to Transform Your Life
Have you made an ambitious New Year's resolution? Are you facing a major life challenge? Or is now the time to finally take that big step towards deeper spiritual commitment? Learn the tools you need to make that necessary, longed-for change in your life.

What Can Anyone Teach Me About God?
Experience is subjective, and widely diverse spiritual paths are all proclaimed equally valid. Society is continually turning away from formalized, dogmatic religion, with individuals wanting only to march to the beat of their own drums. But how far can such marching take us? Is there still a role for human beings helping other human beings to know God? How can you find and recognize a true spiritual teacher?

Sadhaka Satsang: The Next Step
What steps can we take to deepen our understanding and practice of the Sadhaka life? Explore Sadhaka vows and what they mean for us, practically and spiritually.

The Saints (Those Who Walked with God)
The saints are sources of inspiration and truth for all who are on a spiritual path. Each saint is unique and in their own way, as guided by the divine, also uplifting and guiding us. Examine the lives of three saints, including St. Francis, St. Theresa, and Anandamayi Ma through their stories of perfect discipleship and selfless service to God.

The Amazing Subconscious Mind: Friend or Foe?
Nothing escapes your subconscious mind. It records and retains everything about you… forever! Even your past-life tendencies and traits are stored in its deep recesses, ready to re-deploy as habit allows. Your subconscious mind can lead you to repeat the same wearisome mistakes. Or, with awareness and effort, you can re-train it to serve you wisely and well. You made it what it is, and you can change it, not by force, but with loving care. Insightful, inspiring ways to turn this frequent foe into a friend for life.

The Spiritual Warrior—Living an Authentic Life
What does it mean to live a spiritual life? To deepen and grow? The pathway itself is simple, yet it is so easy to be confused along the way. If you are have made a serious commitment to your personal and spiritual growth, you may find that this is the most helpful class series at Ananda that you could attend. The class is based on precious, little-known lessons that Swami Kriyananda wrote in the 1950s when he was with SRF (Self-Realization Fellowship) as training for the monks, which is still used by them today.

Spiritual Psychology
The ancient science of Yoga describes how we come into this life with certain characteristics and tendencies, as well as good and bad habits which play against each other on what Yogananda called the battlefield of life. This class provides a profoundly helpful approach to self-improvement and personal growth.
Topics include:
• Your inner psychology from a spiritual perspective
• How to enter consciously and courageously into the battle of life, rather than being a victim of it
• Fundamental principles of self-analysis and self-honesty that will leave you feeling empowered, rather than overwhelmed by challenges

Secrets of Prosperity
Explore the essential attitudes and practices that bring prosperity, both in monetary form, but also in spirit. Based on writings of Yogananda and Swami Kriyananda, particularly Secrets of Prosperity and Money Magnetism.



Secrets of Self-Healing
Did you know that you can become your own healer, capable of unlocking unexpected new levels of health on the physical, mental and emotional planes? Learn the principles of this powerful art and science as revealed by Paramhansa Yogananda, a fully Self-realized master, in his divinely inspired Affirmations for Self-Healing.

How to Work with Your Emotions
To be repressed and out of touch with our feelings is not healthy. But to express them often to people around us does not bring happiness or harmony either. We have all seen how too much attachment or too much negativity can take a relationship down. Learn how to find the right balance between self-control and self-expression, to understand the difference between the needs of the ego and the needs of the soul, and how to direct your energy positively, without diminishing or suppressing it.

 

Wisdom of the Heart
Pain, disappointment and unwelcome change are part of the human journey. Everyone has suffered, and the heart bears the scars. But once wounded, how do you respond? Do you harden your heart and wall yourself in? Or do you accept, forgive, let go, and move on? Learn how to free the heart of negative emotions, with honesty and genuine forgiveness.


Wisdom of Yogananda

Lovingly collected teachings from Yogananda in six different areas: happiness, courage, karma & reincarnation, health, relationships, & success — these are the topics of the Wisdom of Yogananda book series. Each week we will explore one of these topics in depth, absorbing a spectrum of the grace & wisdom bestowed upon us by His presence. All six books are available in the Ananda teaching center or East West Bookshop in Mountain View.

Whispers from Eternity
Whispers from Eternity is more than a book of prayers. It is also a textbook on how to pray. Yogananda addresses the eternal mystery of why God answers some prayers and seemingly ignores others. He gives specific instructions on how to pray so that God will answer. Also included in this book is the poem “Samadhi” which Yogananda recommended we memorize and recite each day. Together we'll learn “Samadhi” using clues and memory aids contained within the poem. An ideal way to prepare for the Christmas season and the coming new year. (Note: we’ll be using the new version of Whispers from Eternity edited by Swami Kriyananda as the basis for this course)

The Art of Counseling—Advice to Those Who Give Advice
Professional counselors, educators, group leaders, parents, friends—we all find ourselves eventually in a situation where someone is looking to us for guidance. But giving advice can mean much more than helping someone solve their problems: it could be an opportunity to inspire someone to discover and develop their higher potentials. In this class, you will learn how to hear and respond to the call of your soul wisdom and your unique ability to serve the highest in others.

Attunement: The Foundation of the Spiritual Path
Paramhansa Yogananda stressed repeatedly the necessity of attunement to the guru. Without deep attunement, the spiritual progress that the soul longs for is simply not possible. Through the Masters who have come to this Earth, God has provided us a clear pathway to our most cherished desire, complete happiness. In this class you will explore what attunement is and how to develop it in yourself more deeply.

Demystifying Pantanjali: The Yoga Sutras
Patanjali’s Yoga Sutras are among the most central teachings on the subject of yoga and meditation. In his lifetime, Paramhansa Yogananda gave classes on this subject, but never published any writings about them.

Swami Kriyananda was privileged to hear his Guru teaching from this scripture, and has now written down what his Master taught him. Not only has Swamiji interpreted the sutras, but in many cases he has also re-translated them. These are ancient teachings, and although many other books have been written, profound confusion has existed about the meaning. Now with Yogananda’s clarity, we’ll start on page one of this newly published book, and over the coming months make a careful study of this all-important book. As usual, Swamiji’s explanations are clear and practical, a handbook of spiritual practice.

Secrets of Divine Friendship
Friendship has been called the highest of all relationships, because it is entered into freely and not based on any physical kinship, commitment, or compulsion. But what does true friendship look like when it is expressed in the highest, most divine way? Imagine someone who gives strength and understanding, who is always forgiving, respectful, and loving, even under the most adverse circumstances. Imagine being that kind of friend to others

 

The Path of Kriya Yoga
Paramhansa Yogananda brought the ancient technique of Kriya Yoga meditation to the West from India. His popular life story, Autobiography of a Yogi, has inspired people all over the world to learn this powerful, life-transforming technique. If you would like to know more about kriya yoga, Kriyacharya Asha will discuss the history of kriya yoga, its underlying psycho-physiological effects, and the opportunities for learning kriya and its related precepts and practices.