Monday, December 27, 2010

Christmas Card 2010

Cheryl and I sent out Christmas cards this year, but due to the sheer, overwhelming number of wonderful people we know, we inevitably missed some of you. But never fear! Now you can print out your own card at home! It's even customizable — just check the boxes that best suit your desired holiday experience and voilá! Enjoy!

Wednesday, December 01, 2010

L.A. Pilgrimage

Mom and I spent three days of the long Thanksgiving weekend on a trip to Los Angeles, to see all the SRF-related sights, and to visit the new Ananda ashram house for one of Swami Kriyananda's talks. I had never seen Lake Shrine, Mt Washington, etc., and Mom hadn't been there since the 80's, so it was a fun new adventure for both of us. I put a few photos up here.

I loved finally getting to see all the places I'd read about in the AY, many of which seem as though they've simply dropped in today from 6o years ago. Hollywood Temple, for instance, is completely surrounded by giant Kaiser buildings, which makes the already small church look even more miniature. But SRF has a knack for creating beautiful places,  thanks in equal part, I expect, to our guru's vibrations and their gorgeous landscaping. You can still meditate on the temple grounds, blissfully unaware of the surrounding skyscrapers.

We also went to Forest Lawn, where Yogananda's body is in the mausoleum. Not much to see there, of course, but kind of incredible to think that the only thing actually separating us from him is a few inches of marble. Similarly, I enjoyed getting to meditate in the Temple of Leaves, and do the energization exercises on the Mt Washington tennis court, knowing that he had done those same things on those same spots. We even got to stand in the very room where a young Donald Walters was accepted by Yogananda as a disciple. The spiritual aura of these places is palpable.

The Ananda visit wrapped up our trip, and it was fun to show up as a surprise to our friends there. The quartet of singers we've got down there is sounding amazing. (Ananda music is always good, but that morning it was write-home-about-it good.) Swamiji gave a great talk, and even stayed around for a blessing line for a while afterward. I took the opportunity, appropriately for the Thanksgiving weekend, to quickly just thank him for everything he's done and created that has had such a profound effect on my life.

On a related-but-unrelated note, I've just heard that Daya Mata, president of SRF, passed away last night. Aum and blessings to her soul....