A small contingent of Texans travelled to Ananda Village, CA recently. This beautiful spiritual community sits on 600 acres in the Sierra Nevada foothills of Northern California thirty minutes outside Nevada City. The Expanding Light Retreat Center is where we gather for yearly special events, like Inner Renewal Retreat that just finished and Spiritual Renewal Week in the summer. It is a beautiful place where the “veil is thin” and each soul no matter whether they are affiliated with Ananda or not, can find respite and true divine connection. It is a place of renewal and deep inner peace.
During this latest program, Nayaswami Jyotish, Spiritual Director of Ananda Worldwide,  used the phrase, “live it and give it” in reference to our day to day dharma (purpose.) As spiritual aspirants it’s not enough to just do our own practices for self care and personal connection, such as meditation and yoga; that is only one part of the equation. The other part is to walk the talk in all our actions and to share our blessings with others. This doesn’t mean we must stand from the rooftops extolling the virtues of our practices, rather it means we live it in the littlest of gestures- a smile, a kind thought, trying to put ourselves in other’s shoes, a little more patience, and most of all asking God to work through us as His instruments.
We do this all with conscious awareness in every interaction—eventually even in our thoughts! We are blessed to have been given techniques that help us to experience the grace of God more and more in our lives, the natural outgrowth of that is to want to relieve the suffering of others within our sphere of influence to some degree. It doesn’t take much, but it does take conscious effort and to some extent, discipline because we are often rooted in habits that don’t serve us or others well.
Again the formula is simple: do your meditation practices, bring God into everything you do, ask that the grace you feel be shared with others.
Live it and give it.

Together in the Light,
Ananda in Texas