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How to live your life by understanding how life works.

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The Need for Guidance

Life doesn't usually work well unless we understand what it is all about. Perhaps it is not designed to work, thus causing us to seek further understanding—spiritual understanding. Life is a mystery, but some seem to understand!

Finding Guidance - There are many paths; one is right for you!

There are many sources that provide answers, some partial, some almost complete, few complete. These sources may be people (living and/or dead), books, workshops, seminars, etc. Some work, some don't, some help in certain areas but not in others. We have many religions to choose from; we have science, psychology, psychiatry, hypnosis, and other methods. We have the Bible and other ancient scriptures we can draw from, but they have been interpreted so many times throughout the ages by a variety of scholars that some of the true meaning is lost. Perhaps if a spiritual avatar (ascended master) were alive today (and certainly there are a few, such as Sai Baba and Mother Meera of India) they could give us guidance...and they would! It might be beneficial if someone who trained under a spiritual avatar in the current century were available to pass-on to us the teachings and philosophy of the departed master. It would seem prudent to rely on one who lived in the last century or is currently alive, than to rely on information from the far past—especially if that person is/was and avatar (or ascended master). A partial listing of ascended masters would include Jesus Christ, Buddha, Mother Mary, Krishna, Dwal Kuhl, Serapis Bey, Ramakrishna, Meher Baba, Quan Yin, Paramhansa Yogananda, Sri Yukteswar, Lahiri Mahasaya, and Babaji.

The Teachings of Yogananda Yogananda photo: meditation, yoga, kriya, energization exercises, prayer, affirmations

Paramhansa Yogananda was a God-realized person—an avatar, an ascended master. Yogananda lived from 1893 to 1952. He was born and trained in India and was sent to the West in 1920 with a mission of teaching Americans the value of balancing the material life with an inner , spiritual life. Yogananda wrote the classic Autobiography of a Yogi which was published in 1946. He stressed the unity of all religions, with a special emphasis on the teachings of India and what he called the "original teachings" of Christ. He established an organization (Self-Realization Fellowship) in Southern California and trained many students, one of which was J. Donald Walters (Swami Kriyananda). Yogananda left us many tools including the following:

Ananda Sangha

Ananda Sangha is a Sanskrit term and means "joyful fellowship." Swami Kriyananda, one of Yogananda's disciples, founded Ananda, a highly successful spiritual community located in Nevada City, California. Ananda now has branches or colonies world wide. Kriyananda's goal is to live as Yogananda taught and to serve others by sharing the teachings. For San Francisco Bay area residents, the Ananda Sangha of Self-Realization is located in the city of Palo Alto. At this location there is a chapel for meditation and worship, a teaching center, and a children's school. Classes are taught at the teaching center in evenings during the week and on Saturday during the day. It is highly recommended that you experience one of these classes; especially the ones on meditation (called Mediation I, II, III, etc.). To find out complete information, visit the Ananda Palo Alto web site. Here you will find information on the following:

Links to Ananda Sites

Yogananda's Teachings from Ananda Sangha

Ananda Palo Alto, California

Ananda Sacramento

Ananda Seattle

Ananda Portland

Ananda Assisi, Italy

Ananda India

Ananda East Coast

Ananda Worldwide Headquarters (Nevada City, California)

Ananda Centers and Meditation Groups in the Bay Area

Ananda Palo Alto is the largest center in the Bay Area, but happily, not the only one. Berkeley and Boulder Creek have an extensive offering of classes and weekly worship services. The remaining cities have meditation groups that meet weekly or monthly. How to contact them:

Berkeley (510) 540-6267
Boulder Creek (831) 338-9850
Concord (925) 682-7887
Mill Valley (415) 388-3706
Santa Rosa (707) 887-7412
Half Moon Bay (650) 726-0199

If you live near one of these Ananda groups, you are welcome to join their regular weekly meditations, yoga postures, and worship services. Call for locations and a schedule of activities.

East West Bookshop (an Ananda business)

The Deepest Line of Spiritual & New Age Books & Tapes in the Bay Area. East West has over 40,000 books & tapes. Visit their site for the latest information on reviews of bestselling books and music alongside interviews with today's cutting-edge leaders in consciousness. Most important, they'll feature a calendar, constantly updated, of East West Bookshop's extremely popular events program. If you're too far away from their physical location in the San Francisco Bay area, then feel free to call them with your book order. They'll even look up obscure and hard-to-find titles for you, let you know if they're available and ship out your order promptly.

In the U.S. and Canada, call them toll free at (800) 992-8499.

East West Bookshop
324 Castro St.
Mountain View, California 94041
(650) 988-9800

They carry books in the following categories:

Visit the store and see their fabulous water fountain and many gift selections.

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Updated: January 14, 2006