What to Remember when Walking

pic sunset

In that first hardly noticed moment in which you wake,

coming back to this life from the other more secret,

moveable and frighteningly honest world

where everything began,

there is a small opening into the new day

which closes the moment you begin your plans.


What you can plan is too small for you to live.

What you can live wholeheartedly will make plans

enough for the vitality hidden in your sleep.


To be human is to become visible

while carrying what is hidden as a gift to others.

To remember the other world in this world

is to live in your true inheritance.


You are not a troubled guest on this earth,

you are not an accident amidst other accidents

you were invited from another and greater night

than the one from which you have just emerged.


Now, looking through the slanting light of the morning window

toward the mountain presence of everything that can be

what urgency calls you to your one love?

What shape waits in the seed of you to grow

and spread its branches against a future sky?


Is it waiting in the fertile sea?

In the trees beyond the house?

In the life you can imagine for yourself?

In the open and lovely white page on the writing desk?

— David Whyte

2016-10-15T01:45:27+00:00 February 26th, 2015|Comments Off on What to Remember when Walking

Watching your thoughts


“In our daily lives we always work with these two categories of thoughts. Now we know that selfish thoughts will bring misery and selfless ones leave us in peace. How are we to know whether our thoughts are selfless or not? We have to watch carefully the moment a thought-form arises in the mind. We become analysts. This itself is Yoga practice-watching our own thoughts and analyzing them.” From the Yoga Sutras of Patanjali commented by Swami Satchidananda

2016-10-15T01:45:27+00:00 February 23rd, 2015|Comments Off on Watching your thoughts




We have chosen a new practice for this month—Svadhyaya, the study of spiritual books to understand our True Nature.  It implies that we read from sources of reliable wisdom and apply that wisdom to our lives.  Sri Swami Satchidananda commented that it is better to study a little and really make use of it, instead of reading extensively without making any changes.

I often highlight passages in a book that are really hitting home for me.  But if I don’t find any way of incorporating them into my daily life, a real opportunity is lost.  It can be inspiring to turn some teaching into an affirmation–a concise, clear phrase that affirms in our own words a message which holds deep meaning for us.  An affirmation can actively counteract some habitual thought patterns that we find ourselves falling into.

We can also turn a teaching we have read into something we actually do.  Contentment can be practiced by daily writing down things we are grateful for.  Compassion can be actualized by committing to one or two acts of kindness a day.  A mantra can be repeated inwardly while we are doing almost anything as a way of sustaining a spiritual mindset. While studying the Yoga sutras recently, I was struck by the idea that the source of so much of our suffering is simply how fully we identify with our thoughts. Then I remembered Swami Asokananda’s suggestion to begin our meditation sessions simply by welcoming and witnessing any thoughts that may arise, a practice of dis-identifying with the thoughts.  I started practicing this and am finding it very useful–it helps me be a little less lost in the ups and downs of the mind as I go through my day.


At the end of a long day, the idea of studying something pithy may seem like too much work. But even a few paragraphs from the Golden Present can reinforce the teachings we intend to live by, and repeated reminders of such wisdom helps reshape even the subconscious with the truth.  I hope you find your own way to incorporate this beneficial practice.

Swami Ramananda Signature



2016-10-15T01:45:27+00:00 February 19th, 2015|Comments Off on Svadhyaya

Join us for Sivaratri



Sivaratri is a Hindu holy day in honor of Lord Siva, the aspect of Spiritual Consciousness that manifests as change and transformation.  Siva energy assists us in overcoming destructive attitudes and behaviors, empowers us to discriminate between helpful and harmful habits, and guides us to act in harmony with our true nature.

Sivaratri originated from the ancient legend of a hunter who unconsciously worshipped Lord Siva by fasting and keeping vigil all night.  To this day, spiritual aspirants all over the world observe Sivaratri by telling stories, chanting, and performing ritual worship of Lord Siva throughout the night.

Here at the Institute, we will celebrate Sivaratri in this traditional way starting at 8pm, Tuesday, February 17.   We’ll be guided by Acharya Mangalananda, a dynamic and inspiring teacher who has been practicing this tradition for many years.  Join the fun and experience for yourself the exhilaration and great blessings accrued by this auspicious occasion.

Swami Ramananda Signature


2016-10-15T01:45:27+00:00 February 13th, 2015|Comments Off on Join us for Sivaratri