To Paramhansa Yogananda for his vision,
To Swami Kriyananda for his dedication,
And to all the past, present and future members of Ananda,
Who help make the dream a reality.
The 1960’s saw much expansion in American society, as well as much upheaval. There were race riots and anti-war demonstrations, and the assassinations of the Kennedys and Martin Luther King; there was a significant increase of self-exploration and looking beyond self-imposed limitations.
Young people traveled widely, often living with host families and experiencing new cultures first hand. Many people joined the Peace Corps and spent two years in developing countries, or joined VISTA, a similar program in the U.S.
At the same time, Eastern religion was enjoying a new interest. Yogananda’s classic, Autobiography of a Yogi, became assigned reading in college philosophy courses, which indicates a major shift from traditional higher education.
People were beginning to look both inward through meditation and self study and outward through ways to serve.
The environmental movement gained momentum. More and more people read Thoreau, Whitman and Emerson and began to look to nature for enjoyment and fulfillment.
The idea of working cooperatively began to gain credence and the concept of teamwork and community began to develop.
Boundaries were dissolving as never before; in 1969 Americans landed on the moon.
It was toward the end of this decade that Ananda community began, supported by and reflecting the energy and expansiveness of the time.
I hope you will find this book inspiring, informative and entertaining, as we share the ideals, dreams and struggles of the spiritual community called Ananda, how it grew from the vision of one man, his guru and a handful of idealistic young people to a way of life which is now followed by devotees worldwide.