I work at The Expanding Light Yoga and Meditation Retreat in Ananda Village, a spiritual community. One question that I am often asked by guests is: “Does everyone at Ananda get along? Everyone seems so harmonious.”
One of the foundational principles of Ananda that Swami Kriyananda taught us is the importance of cooperation and harmony. It’s not that people living at Ananda don’t encounter conflict or differences of opinion. We do. However, we also endeavor to pick challenges up by the highest string. We try to remember that we are all a manifestation of the One Light.
We develop a greater awareness of this connectedness through continued meditation practice, and through this we expand our sensitivity to others’ realities. We also develop deeper insights regarding our own reactions: Are we feeling an opening of our heart or are we feeling contraction there? Through these practices we realize that being out of harmony with another is so uncomfortable, or even painful, that we want to find a harmonious solution to the conflict.
The truth is, we are each seeking joy and happiness. I try to remember to ask myself, “Will thinking or acting in this way open my heart or close it?” In other words, “Will I make myself happy or unhappy by thinking or acting in this way?”
Inner peace comes from harmony within and without. When we look for the good in others and ourselves we see the One Light reflected in all.