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Lessons I learned at Ananda

My Perspective, by P. B.

I moved to Ananda in April 1984 and left in June 1992. I still bless the day I moved out of there, but from a seven-year perspective, I can see the valuable lessons I learned. These lessons were learned slowly, embarrassingly slowly, but learning them has made me free.

Lesson 1: I gave up the delusion that my life was only worthwhile if I gave it to a great cause. The cause in this case was supposed to be spreading the teachings of PY, but it turned out be trying to make J. Donald Walters (Swami Kriyananda) happy, an impossible job. But the cause is not what's important-- the lesson is that I cannot shift to anyone else the work of finding what my life is for.

Lesson 2: I learned that I could not give up my own perceptions and interpretations for those of a group, even though it meant that I would never wholly be part of that group.

Lesson 3: I learned that I could never surrender to a group power over my life, having seen what
happened to those who did.

Lesson 4: I learned that I could not pledge loyalty when that meant replacing my own world view with someone else's.

Lesson 5: I realized that I was just an ordinary person, not one who was chosen by God to take a great teaching into the new millennium. These lessons are deeply valuable to me, and I am grateful to Ananda for forcing me to learn them. Each lesson resulted in greater freedom. I didn't have bad experiences at Ananda; I left because I wasn't allowed to be myself there. I bless the day I moved out.

There are two curious things that happened while I was at Ananda. All my life I had felt that I participated in the great abundance of the Universe--- I had always felt wealthy, even though I never had a lot of money. The other thing was during meditation one day before I moved there, I came to the complete inner knowledge that I would know God.

So I came to Ananda with these two deep convictions.

After a time at Ananda, I realized that these deep inner convictions were gone. I had entered poverty
consciousness and no longer knew that I would someday indeed know God. Now, after seven years away from Ananda, both of these things are back. I bless the day a left.- Don't be afraid to leave.

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