Letter From Nayaswami Jyotish
The Meditation Retreat was Ananda’s first piece of property for Ananda. But, it also held a central place in the heart of Swami Kriyananda.
I came with him quite often while we were in the very early building stage, and Swamiji was always uplifted and joyful while there.
He was the perfect balance of a deep devotee and an ultra-dynamic leader.
When we first moved there from San Francisco in 1969 several oak trees fell across the road, as if to prevent us from establishing a permanent presence on the land. We continued on however, due to the strong sense that Swami felt this was the right place for Ananda. A few years later, when the time came for Swami to relocate to Ananda Village, 5 miles down the road, again several oak trees dropped limbs across the road. This time it seemed as if their message was “Don’t go. Can’t you just stay here? We enjoy your vibration.”
The Meditation Retreat is, in some ways, the spiritual heart of Ananda. When people come to spend a few days or a few weeks in seclusion it uplifts the whole work of Ananda. In fact, it uplifts the whole planet.
Paramhansa Yogananda said that our path was a balance between meditation and service. If we were to ascribe a physical location to those two ideals, the Meditation Retreat would represent the meditation part and the Village the service part. Both places, of course, are a mix of the two.
It is important to the future of Ananda that we maintain the Meditation Retreat as a place of deep inner communion with God and Gurus.
This is the “tap root” that allows the branches of Ananda’s work to spread and be strong.
The staff, led by Vidura and Durga, have done an incredible job of maintaining both the property and the vibration. I hope and pray that the resources needed to continue this essential part of Ananda will be there now and for decades into the future.
Spiritual Director of Ananda Worldwide