Sunday Service at Ananda Palo Alto

Live Stream

Sunday Worship Service

9-9:45 am Fire Ceremony & Meditation
10-11:30 am Sunday Service
10-11:30 am Sunday School*   ages 6 and up
10-11:30 am Child care    ages 3-5
*Sunday School resumes 8/27; we're on summer break now

Family Service
1st Saturdays, 10-11 am    Learn more...

Each of us has a calm joyful center, deep within. It may get lost in the hectic pace of life today, but it is there, waiting patiently for us. Sunday worship at Ananda helps us get back in touch with that center once again—whether it be called the soul, the Self, or God.

praying serviceThe Sunday worship service at Ananda is inspired by the meditation tradition of the East and the ancient teachings of mystical Christianity, with inspirational readings from both the Bible and the Bhagavad Gita. Service includes music, group chanting and meditation, an inspirational talk drawn from the writings of Paramhansa Yogananda, and a unique blessing ceremony called the Festival of Light.

Before service begins at 10 am, you 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. You may offer that prayer at the altar and receive a blessing from one of the ministers.

AshaNayaswami Asha (right) gives services most Sundays with her characteristic clarity, wisdom, and humor. Shanti Rubenstone, Helen Purcell, and other ministers also give services. (Watch previous services)

Our hearts and our sanctuary are open to people of all faiths, races, orientations, truth-seekers, people exploring meditation for the first time, and anyone who seeks a deeper understanding of the meaning and purpose of life.

After Service, you are invited to meet the ministers and congregation over bagels and drinks, usually outdoors in the Temple courtyard.

“During the service, I experienced a wonderful peace and stillness, such as I have only read about, and until then, felt was only attainable by the great saints. It was a tangible experience of God’s presence in my life. You have taught me how to find God within, and have been truly divine friends along the way. Thank you, from the bottom of my heart.”
—J.N. Mountain View

Family praying

Family Worship Service
1st Saturday each month, 10 am • Watch a video of Family Service
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. Each service includes age-appropriate aspects of Yogananda's teachings which may include chanting, yoga postures, energization exercises, meditation, stories of inspiration and devotion, art, song, or play.

 

 

Julie and children Sunday School

Sunday School for Children
Sundays, 10–11 am  (ages 6 and older)    
Note: we're on summer break now; Sunday School resumes Aug 27
Meets in the child care classroom in the Teaching Center
Join together in worship and joy under the guidance of an experienced parent facilitator. The children’s Sunday school includes age-appropriate aspects of Yogananda's teachings such as chanting, yoga postures, Superconscious Living Exercises, meditation, stories of inspiration, devotion, art, and song.

At 11 am, the children join the younger ones in child care for playtime and snacks, and then come into the Temple together for the blessing at the end of service.

 

Child care during Sunday Service
10-11:30 am, free   (ages 3-5)
Meets in the Teaching Center behind the sanctuary

Child care is available during the main worship service, and gives children the opportunity to meet other children and engage in supervised play on the grounds. There is a small playground as well as areas for basketball and other ball sports.

 

Parents with babies may watch service on a closed-circuit TV in a classroom in the Yoga Center (right near the Temple). Babies and Sunday school children are welcome in the Temple during the Festival of Light blessing ceremony that takes place during the last 10 minutes of service (about 11:20-11:30 am).

 

 

Bringing Spirit into every aspect of your life

“Spiritual practice doesn’t end when one leaves the silence of the church, temple, or meditation room,” writes Ananda's founder, Swami Kriyananda. “At Ananda, no separation exists between spiritual priorities and the practical demands of everyday life. Rightly understood, every situation, no matter how ordinary or how difficult, is another opportunity for offering devotion and a spirit of service to God.”


music at Ananda

Joyful, inspiring music

Inspiring, joyful, and profound—Ananda music is a powerful part of the Sunday morning worship. A small sampling:


I Am the Bubble, Make Me the Sea (chant)
O God Beautiful (chant)

Emerald Isle (instrumental)

Farther Away Than the Stars (vocal, Swami Kriyananda)

Come Gather ‘Round (vocal, Ananda Joy Singers)
Looking for a Friend (vocal, Ananda Joy Singers)
Praise Ye the Lord (vocal, Ananda Joy Singers)

 

An ancient spiritual tradition

Ananda is not a new teaching, but rather a new expression of ancient truths. Ananda is based on the teachings of Paramhansa Yogananda, one of India's great saints and author of the spiritual classic, Autobiography of a Yogi. His direct disciple, Swami Kriyananda, founded Ananda in 1968. These teachings have been passed down in unbroken lineage from guru to disciple since the beginnings of Yoga.

 

Courtyard Ananda Temple

A worldwide community of friends

Ananda is more than a place to come on Sunday morning. It’s people around the world who are connected in aspiration and in joyful celebration of the spiritual life. Ananda centers can be found in India, Italy, and many parts of the United States.

“As a wanderer of the world, I have seen God in Nature in the far corners of the earth, I met him high in the Andes and he gently touched me in the depression of the Dead Sea. At Ananda, in a guided journey inside myself, He finally smiled at me and revealed Himself.”
—Mario Maria, Rome

“Asha has an incredible ability to explain the teachings so clearly — it’s really a joy to listen to her. I love to listen to her Sunday services and I’m now listening over and over again the new audio classes online. God bless you.”
—Gregor L., Slovenia