Explore classes & events by date
through May, 2015
or explore classes by topic (see left column)

If you aren't quite sure where to begin, try Suggestions for Newcomers. There's no right way to get started. Yogananda’s teachings encompass so many aspects of life, it’s easy to find something that you might enjoy, or that will be meaningful to you. You may also enjoy reading this general introduction to Ananda, its offerings, and approach to spirituality: Ananda: A Place of Awakening (PDF)

Holidays & special events   •    4-month calendar (PDF)


APRIL

Learn to Meditate
Thursdays, April 2-23, 7:30 pm, $60   Register
Meditation is one of the most natural and rewarding of all human activities. It gives direct, intuitive experience of higher realities, and is the cornerstone of true spirituality. It also brings balance, rest, and a growing inner peace. Ananda is one of the oldest and largest centers for meditation training in the Bay Area. Thousands of people from every walk of life have learned to meditate in Ananda classes over the past fifty years.
Instructor: Steven Manus

 

 

Good Friday
April 3
Meditation, 5-7 pm
Service, 7:30 pm, free

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. Asha leads this inward evening of storytelling and music, evoking the mystery and power of Christ’s last days on earth.

 

 

Asha EasterEaster Saturday Retreat
& Singalong of Swami Kriyananda’s Oratorio

Saturday, April 4, 10 am–2 pm, donation
Come join in singing the story of Jesus, from His birth to His resurrection. Absolutely no previous musical experience or training required! In a quiet retreat atmosphere, we’ll sing the Oratorio, “Christ Lives” and reflect on the meaning of Christ’s life. Asha introduces each section of the music, relating the events of Jesus’ life, their context, meaning and present-day relevance. The retreat is half music and half storytelling, with brief interludes of meditation. Ananda singers help lead the music and everyone joins in; words and music are provided. This is our favorite “performance,” since we are singing only for ourselves and for God. Many people say this retreat is one of the most inspiring events of their year.
Guided by Nayaswami Asha

(Note: Family Service is 3/28 instead of 4/4 due to Easter holidays)

 

touch me not
“Noli me Tangere” (Touch me not)
painted by Fra Angelico (1430)

Easter Sunday
Purification and Meditation Ceremony
9–9:45 am
Sunday Service, April 5, 10 am
One of the spiritual highlights of the year—join in a music-filled, joyful celebration of Christ’s triumph over all earthly limitations, and awaken within yourself the all-conquering power of Spirit.

 

eggs
Easter Egg Hunt, 12:30 pm
Brunch, 1 pm
Adults/$15, $5 children (under 6 free)  
Pay and/or Reserve
in the Ananda Temple this year due to weather
Easter would not be complete without this lovely family brunch in a beautiful, relaxing, out-door setting. Reservations appreciated, but not required; all are welcome. The Easter Egg hunt is great family fun, starting at 12:30 before the banquet.

 

 

Patanjali class

Demystifying Patanjali: The Yoga Sutras
Tuesdays, April 7 & 14 (and ongoing, beginning again May 26)
7:30 pm, $15/class
 Register
Patanjali’s writings are considered the foundation of understanding and attaining higher states of consciousness, primarily through meditation, but also through right attitude and action. First codified by Patanjali, the Yoga Sutras stretch back in time to ancient yogis who first discovered these principles. The texts are noted for their brevity, and have been interpreted extensively by saints and mystics ever since. Swami Kriyananda was privileged to hear Yogananda’s teaching on this scripture, and captures the Master’s gems of wisdom in this book.

People from around the world are watching Asha’s classes on these ancient Yoga Sutras. What others are treasuring in cyberspace, you can enjoy here in person. Drop in on any of these classes and explore the inmost working of the meditator’s spiritual life. Each week stands alone, so you may come in at any point.
Instructor: Nayaswami Asha

 

pray

How to Pray so God Will Listen
Wednesdays, April 8-April 29 (4 classes)
6-9 pm, $60
  Register
The flow of the evening: dinner, practice, class
Bring something to share for a vegetarian potluck dinner

What is the best way to pray? What if there is no response? How do you know God is listening? Certain attitudes bring us closer to God, while others hold God at a distance. Sometimes it’s our idea of God that keeps us separate. Learn to overcome doubt and mistrust, to pray with the power of a saint and the faith of a child.
Instructor: Shanti Rubenstone, MD
& Nayaswami Lahari

 

 

Death and Dying as A Spiritual Journey
Saturday, April 11, 10 am-1 pm, $30   Register
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.
Instructor: Shanti Rubenstone, MD

 

 

writing weekendDiving Deep into Spirit
through Nature and Inspired Writing

Friday, April 10, 5:30-9 pm
Saturday 9:30 am-9 pm
Sunday April 12, 8-9 am
Cost: $50*
includes entire weekend     Register
If one knows how to experience the wild sensitively and deeply, nature offers frequent openings into the multifaceted experience of Spirit, and into our own essential connection with the heart of Life.

This weekend we will explore: 

garth as MuirSaturday evening's special program:
“Hitched to the Heart of the World”

Garth portrays beloved naturalist, John Muir, in an evening of mountain adventures, personal transformation and conservation triumphs.  An unparalleled journey into the heart of Nature. Muir’s vision of wilderness inspires the American president and people to preserve the land. An exuberant portrait of a remarkable American life. The evening concludes with “Stickeen,” Muir’s classic tale of a life and death adventure with an amazing dog on an Alaskan glacier.  Stuffed with laughter and surprise.  Come, “Climb the mountains and get their good tidings!”

For overnight accommodation options, contact Nayaswami Lahari

Instructor: Garth Gilchrist

 

Learn to Meditate
Saturday, April 11, 10:30 am-1:30 pm, $30   Register
(note different start time than usual)

Meditation is one of the most natural and rewarding of all human activities. It gives direct, intuitive experience of higher realities, and is the cornerstone of true spirituality. It also brings balance, rest, and a growing inner peace. Ananda is one of the oldest and largest centers for meditation training in the Bay Area. Thousands of people from every walk of life have learned to meditate in Ananda classes over the past fifty years.
Instructor: Santosh LaMarche

 

 

Kirtan: An Evening of Devotional Chanting
Friday, April 17, 7:30 pm, free
(usually 1st and 3rd Friday, but no kirtan 4/3 due to Easter weekend events)

Join us for an evening of sacred chanting. Chanting has the power to transform and uplift the soul, and to open the heart. Most chants are simple to learn, so you’ll be able to join in easily your first time. Words are provided. We’ll sing many beautiful chants in English, as well as some Indian chants, accompanied by harmonium and guitar. All are welcome.

 

 

Overcoming Fear
Saturday, April 18, 10 am-1 pm, $30   Register
Nearly everyone has fears, though the vast majority of people tend to avoid facing them. These days you can add financial security 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 difference between facing and avoiding fears, and how to develop courage, even in the face of fear.
Instructor: Nayaswami Asha

 

 

Yoga and the 12 Steps
Saturday, April 18 (and ongoing once a month; next class is 5/9)
10 am-1 pm, $30 (drop-ins welcome)
 Register
This monthly class series will explore the underlying spiritual principle for each of the twelve steps, and will look at how the teachings and practices of Yoga support living these principles in everyday life. This series will combine lecture, group discussion, silent reflection, and gentle hatha yoga practice. This class is open to all truth seekers. Heidi is the Ananda Yoga Center Director, and a gifted teacher with many years of experience and expertise in 12 Step recovery.
Instructor: Heidi Noh-Kuhn

 

 

Women's Spirituality Group
Sunday, April 19, 11:45 am-1 pm, free
Meets 3rd Sunday of each month soon after service ends
Upstairs classroom in the Teaching Center

The Women's Spirituality Group welcomes all Ananda women, new or not so new, young or older. We focus our discussion on either the affirmation for the day, or some aspect of the lesson and sermon. It's a wonderful way to go a bit deeper, get to know other women at Ananda, and carry away some spiritual nuggets for the week to come. This is a free drop-in group, and your participation is welcome, whenever you can come.
Hosted by Sharmila Hoffman and Saveena Kohli

 

 

Swami,praying in India

Anniversary of Swami Kriyananda’s Passing
Tuesday, April 21
Meditation, 5-7 pm
Evening program, 7:30 pm, free

Join us for a two hour meditation and an evening program celebrating the life of this great teacher who guided so many of us on our spiritual paths. The evening program will include a brief meditation, and a talk by Asha. It will end with an opportunity to make a personal spiritual offering to Swami.
Learn more about Swami Kriyananda

 


How to Know and Trust Your Inner Guidance
Saturday, April 25, 10 am-1 pm, $30   Register
Beyond wishful thinking, imagination, or channeling, true inner guidance is calm, centered knowing. But sometimes fears and conflicting desires obscure the truth. Learn to still your mind and open your heart to the whispers of guidance that are freely available to you. Learn specific, proven techniques for drawing inner guidance,
and testing its validity in your life. Discover who you really are, and all you are meant to become. Topics include:

Instructor: David G

 

 

Workday at the Farm
Saturday, April 25, 9:30 am to 1:30 pm
The farm is lovely in April. Come on over for a refreshing time with Mother Nature’s fertile earth. Add your energy to the land in tending the plants and fruit trees, landscape beautification, making a simple group lunch in the Seva House kitchen, and giving our group farm the loving care it needs to continue thriving.

 

 

Welcome/Orientation for Newcomers
Wednesday, April 29, 7:30 pm, free
Meets in the Teaching Center, the building just behind the Temple
(offered the last Wednesday of each month)

There is so much happening at Ananda, it can sometimes take a little time for new folks to find their way around, and discover all the opportunities available. You are welcome to explore at your own pace, or you are warmly invited to this orientation for newcomers. This informal gathering is designed to meet the needs of those present, and may include:

 

Webinars with Asha

26 Keys to Greater Awareness
Fridays, April 10 & 17, and May 29      register at OnlineWithAnanda
(donations welcome)

Asha teaches an interactive webinar throughout the year, usually two Fridays a month when she is in Palo Alto. Explore the range of topics here. If you wish, you can watch the webinar where it is being filmed in Chela Bhavan. Come 10 minutes early and remain quiet during filming.

 

MAY

 

Kirtan: An Evening of Devotional Chanting
Friday, May 1 & 15, 7:30 pm, free
Join us for an evening of sacred chanting. Chanting has the power to transform and uplift the soul, and to open the heart. Most chants are simple to learn, so you’ll be able to join in easily your first time. Words are provided. We’ll sing many beautiful chants in English, as well as some Indian chants, accompanied by harmonium and guitar. All are welcome.

 

 

Guided Seclusion Retreat Weekend at the Farm
Friday, May 1, 5:30 pm-Sunday, May 3, 9 am
at the unusually low cost of $40*
  Register
(day rate includes meals; overnight additional)

Leave the daily stress and busy-ness of life behind. Drive over the hill, into the world of nature—where ocean, sky, and valley call you to relax, renew and remember the peace of your soul. You will be guided in longer, deeper group meditations and yoga postures and invited to participate in an ancient ceremony around our fire pit to explore new depths of inner joy.
Instructors: Nayaswami Lahari and Shanti Rubenstone, MD

Note: This exceptionally low cost for a weekend stay is to introduce you to the rare joy of secluding at the Farm. To make overnight arrangements (additional cost), contact Nayaswami Lahari
*Farm program costs apply to everyone, including tithing members

 

 

Family Worship Service
Saturday, May 2, 10 am (1st Saturday each month)
Come together in worship and joy with the whole family. Children, like all of us, are hungry for meaning and understanding. Children, parents, and extended family are all invited to this child-oriented celebration of Spirit. Family Worship Service offers spiritual wisdom for families in a joyful atmosphere of music, storytelling, and love.

 

 

Pranaba and Parvati

Visiting guest ministers
Pranaba and Parvati Hanson
Sunday, May 3, 10 am, Sunday Service
Nayaswamis Pranaba and Parvati are two of Ananda’s most widely traveled and experienced ministers. They helped to create and direct Ananda centers in Palo Alto, Portland, Seattle, Dallas, and Assisi, Italy. Together they have been sharing Yogananda’s teachings for almost 60 years. Pranaba has been Director of the Yoga Teacher Training program and Manager of The Expanding Light as well as Ananda’s Retreat in Assisi, Italy. Pranaba has directed the membership training program at Ananda Village and has coordinated Ananda’s Meditation Centers and Groups. He now manages Ananda Sangha Worldwide, Ananda’s outreach ministry. An excellent teacher, he is known for his unfailing kindness and gentle approach. Parvati currently administers the Janaka Foundation at Ananda. She is a beautiful expression of wisdom and deep calmness, along with a keen sense of humor.


Annual Appeal Satsang
Sunday, May 3, noon-1 pm
Once a year, we hear tales from Ananda’s service projects around the world, and have a chance to donate to the annual appeal campaign. It’s amazing how much happens with a pretty tiny annual budget, from Kriya initiations in every corner of the globe to a huge number of teachers traveling hither and yon to share Yogananda’s teachings.
Shared by Pranaba and Parvati Hanson, Gita McGilloway

 

Chakras

The Power of the Chakras in Everyday Life
Wednesdays, May 6-27, 6-9 pm
$60 for 4 weeks   Register
$15/class (drop-ins welcome)  Register
The flow of the evening: dinner, practice, class
Bring something to share for a vegetarian potluck dinner

Spend 4 weeks exploring the inner universe of the chakras with two lifelong medical professionals and healers who have seen firsthand the power of our thoughts and our attitudes to transform our lives — for better or for worse. The chakras contain the energy patterns of our past lives and the karmic tendencies we carry into this life.

Different from previous years, each week will be devoted to an aspect of how the chakras play a central role in our lives, such as chakras & relationships, chakras & physical health/well being, and much more.

May 6
1st (root) & 2nd (sacral) chakras
Our spiritual blueprint, survival, security, relationships, creativity, and flow

May 13
3rd (Solar plexus) and 4th (heart) chakras
Power, transformation

May 20     
4th (heart) & 5th (throat) chakras
Love, devotion, communication, affirmation

May 27    
6th (Christ Consciousness) chakra
Bringing it all together; a one hour kirtan - climbing the spiral staircase of wakefulness
Instructors: Drs. Shanti Rubenstone & Connie Hernandez

 

 

Learn to Meditate
Thursdays, May 7-28, 7:30 pm, $60   Register
Meditation is one of the most natural and rewarding of all human activities. It gives direct, intuitive experience of higher realities, and is the cornerstone of true spirituality. It also brings balance, rest, and a growing inner peace. Ananda is one of the oldest and largest centers for meditation training in the Bay Area. Thousands of people from every walk of life have learned to meditate in Ananda classes over the past fifty years.
Instructors: Rammurti and Sita Reed

 

 

Meditation 2: Energy
Thursdays, May 7-28, 7:30 pm, $60
  Register
Pre-requisite: Meditation 1: Learn to Meditate
The secret of success in life, and in meditation practice, is to be able generate energy at will and direct it where you wish. Yogananda developed the Energization Exercises, which you will learn as an integral part of this series. As well as deepening your practice of the techniques learned in Meditation 1, you will learn to:

Instructor: Nayaswami David

 

 

Learn to Meditate
Saturday, May 9, 10 am-1 pm, $30   Register
Meditation is one of the most natural and rewarding of all human activities. It gives direct, intuitive experience of higher realities, and is the cornerstone of true spirituality. It also brings balance, rest, and a growing inner peace. Ananda is one of the oldest and largest centers for meditation training in the Bay Area. Thousands of people from every walk of life have learned to meditate in Ananda classes over the past fifty years.
Instructor: Vinny Jones

 

 

How to Be a True Channel
Saturday, May 9, 10 am-1 pm, $30   Register
If you've ever wanted to serve as a channel for higher inspiration, know that you can do it. We're always channeling something. We can learn to tune our "inner radio" to the higher stations, and consciously bring light, joy, and wisdom into this world. The highest form of channeling is that which is found in the lives of great saints. Following the pathway described by Swami Kriyananda in his book of the same title, we can learn to develop our own intuition and gain insight into this little-understood practice.
Instructor: Steven Manus

 

Yoga and the 12 Steps
Saturday, May 9 (and ongoing, once a month)
10 am-1 pm, $30 (drop-ins welcome)
 Register
This monthly class series will explore the underlying spiritual principle for each of the twelve steps, and will look at how the teachings and practices of Yoga support living these principles in everyday life. This series will combine lecture, group discussion, silent reflection, and gentle hatha yoga practice. This class is open to all truth seekers. Heidi is the Ananda Yoga Center Director, and a gifted teacher with many years of experience and expertise in 12 Step recovery.
Instructor: Heidi Noh-Kuhn

 

 

Workday at the Farm
Saturday, May 9, 9:30 am to 1:30 pm
Experience the fullness of the season’s first harvests as we gather organic vegetables and prepare them for deliveries to our friends in the CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) Program and beyond. At the farm we say there are “blessings in every bite” of the vegetables. Many of those blessings come from you, as you bring the ripened produce from the field into the boxes for the enjoyment of many.

 

 

Mandir

Dedication of Swami Kriyananda’s resting place
(Moksha Mandir) at Ananda Village
Weekend, May 15-17    (artist's rendition, above)
Details about the weekend    •    Blog posts & photos

The small jewel-like building that serves as Swami’s resting place will be complete by this weekend, when many from around the world gather for its dedication. Swami passed away in the spring of 2013, and it is customary in yoga tradition to preserve the body of a revered spiritual teacher rather than to cremate. This small mandir (temple) will become a pilgrimage spot, available to spiritual aspirants at any time for meditation and prayer. More about Swami

 

 

Women's Spirituality Group
Sunday, May 17, 11:45 am-1 pm, free
Meets 3rd Sunday of each month soon after service ends
Upstairs classroom in the Teaching Center

The Women's Spirituality Group welcomes all Ananda women, new or not so new, young or older. We focus our discussion on either the affirmation for the day, or some aspect of the lesson and sermon. It's a wonderful way to go a bit deeper, get to know other women at Ananda, and carry away some spiritual nuggets for the week to come. This is a free drop-in group, and your participation is welcome, whenever you can come.
Hosted by Sharmila Hoffman and Saveena Kohli

 

Swami Birthday

Swami Kriyananda’s Birthday Celebration
Tuesday, May 19
Meditation, 5-7 pm
Celebration, 7:30 pm, free

Everything you see at Ananda is the result of one disciple’s deep receptivity to his guru, and his unceasing willingness to help others. Whether a disciple or a seeker, one can appreciate the openness and generosity that is expressed in Swami’s life, and which can serve as a model for our own. We’ll honor Kriyananda with music, chanting, and a talk by Asha about his life and teachings. Everyone is invited to participate in this devotional evening. Celebrates the birthday of a great disciple and a tireless teacher who has guided so many in their spiritual lives, whatever path they may walk.

 

 

The Yugas : Ancient History and Future Consciousness
Saturday, May 23, 10 am-1 pm, $30   Register
What is the future for mankind? For this planet? Is there a larger pattern to human history? Sri Yukteswar, guru of Paramhansa Yogananda, presented a fascinating description of distinct ages (yugas) that our planet cycles through every 24,000 years. Each of the four yugas profoundly affects man’s consciousness, from the highest spiritual age to the lowest material age. The matter-bound civilizations of recent history were preceded by higher ages of the ancient past, that left behind such anomalies as the Great Pyramid. Studying the yugas helps explain our current age of energy awareness and rapid change. We get a glimpse of a profoundly hopeful future, in which greater spirituality and intuition will be gifts not only of a few, but many more people around the earth.
Instructor: Rammurti Reed

 

 

Demystifying Patanjali: The Yoga Sutras
Tuesday, May 26 (and ongoing, usually each Tuesday unless Asha is traveling)
7:30 pm, $15/class
 Register
Patanjali’s writings are considered the foundation of understanding and attaining higher states of consciousness, primarily through meditation, but also through right attitude and action. First codified by Patanjali, the Yoga Sutras stretch back in time to ancient yogis who first discovered these principles. The texts are noted for their brevity, and have been interpreted extensively by saints and mystics ever since. Swami Kriyananda was privileged to hear Yogananda’s teaching on this scripture, and captures the Master’s gems of wisdom in this book.

People from around the world are watching Asha’s classes on these ancient Yoga Sutras. What others are treasuring in cyberspace, you can enjoy here in person. Drop in on any of these classes and explore the inmost working of the meditator’s spiritual life. Each week stands alone, so you may come in at any point.
Instructor: Nayaswami Asha

 

 

Welcome/Orientation for Newcomers
Wednesday, May 27, 7:30 pm, free
Meets in the Teaching Center, the building just behind the Temple
(the last Wednesday of each month)

There is so much happening at Ananda, it can sometimes take a little time for new folks to find their way around, and discover all the opportunities available. You are welcome to explore at your own pace, or you are warmly invited to this orientation for newcomers. This informal gathering is designed to meet the needs of those present, and may include:

 

 

Finding Joy in God
Saturday, May 30, 10 am-1 pm, $30   Register
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.
Instructor: Nayaswami Asha

 

Webinar with Asha

26 Keys to Greater Awareness
Friday, May 29, 6-7 pm      register at OnlineWithAnanda
(donations welcome)

Asha teaches an interactive webinar throughout the year, usually two Fridays a month when she is in Palo Alto. Explore the range of topics here. If you wish, you can watch the webinar where it is being filmed in Chela Bhavan. Come 10 minutes early and remain quiet during filming.

 

 

How to find us

Directions

Map of Ananda grounds, so you can easily find your way around once you arrive.

Even if you registered ahead of time, please stop by the Teaching Center to sign in, so we can greet you and direct you to the right classroom. The Teaching Center is located just behind the large temple on El Camino. Enter the courtyard from College, and the building will be on your right. If it's your first time, you may appreciate having the Ananda grounds map handy.

Occasionally, a class or event takes place at Ananda Community, just a few miles south of the Temple and Teaching Center. You'll see a special mention of it in the description, along with directions.