We just recently celebrated the birthday of Sri Yukteswar, Paramhansa Yogananda’s guru and part of Ananda’s yoga lineage. He was known as a strict disciplinarian with a stern demeanor. Yogananda describes his relationship with Yukteswarji this way: “Whether Master and I were surrounded by his students or by strangers, or we were together alone, he always. spoke plainly and upbraided sharply. No trifling lapse into shallowness or inconsistency escaped his rebuke. This flattening treatment was hard to endure but my resolve was to allow Sri Yukteswar to iron out each of my psychological kinks.”

And yet, it was Sri Yukteswar who wrote the seminal work, The Holy Science, which states famously that without awakening the natural love of the heart, we cannot make any true spiritual progress.

Last Friday, we celebrated this great guru of our Kriya yoga lineage with a special gathering that included Sri Yukteswar chants, meditation, readings and more. It provided the perfect primer and gateway to this week where we are welcoming our visiting minister and teacher, Darshan Lotichius. He will be facilitating a deeper dive into the teachings of Sri Yukteswar, specifically the awakening of the heart’s natural love.

Our hearts will expand together in all these amazing opportunities to uplift and transcend the contractive tendencies of the heart influenced by a world where we are surrounded by pettiness and meanness. There is a higher reality and we can make a difference, the more we practice together the basic tenets of an expansive, devoted heart.

Rising together in the heart,

Ananda in Texas