Portable Paradise

badri profile  Over the past several years I have been fortunate to find both home and family in a most unusual setting in spiritual community at Ananda Village. We tend not to think of things as being unusual here, but in fact there are few such places on this earth dedicated to high spiritual ideals, to living practically and simply for God with one another. Moreover, as I’ve traveled I’ve found that the powerful blessings of this lifestyle stay with me. Paramhansa Yogananda called the spiritual seeker’s heart a “portable paradise,” which—no matter where one roams—contains in it divine peace, happiness, and home everywhere. Dwelling therein, one finds the tropical plants of spiritual fulfillment blossom vibrantly and fruit plentifully. Of course, on the path of spiritual ascension, these blossoms don’t always come easily or without fail.

ananda village

How does it work? Daily yoga and meditation are the most powerful and transformational practices in my life to date. I’ve seen it in my own and countless lives to be the bedrock for true security, happiness, and success. Living in community with scores of other dedicated yogis enhances and supports my experience, and together it’s natural to direct our energy towards serving others also.

Of late I’ve found a role teaching yoga and meditation at The Expanding Light where many hundreds of retreat guests come year-round for spiritual renewal, community, and retreat. Serving and interacting in this environment has been another tremendous blessing to me spiritually; indeed it seems everyone visiting, teaching, or in anyway present is uplifted and renewed in mind and spirit. Challenges and trials are often witnessed with joy and great poise, and the power of community rises gracefully with the ebbs and flows of life.Homepage-EL-piazza

There are no secrets to living happily, and with an open heart. The path of Raja Yoga clearly outlines right attitudes, spiritual (not religious) practices, service, and devotion to Truth as pillars for divine bliss, love, and peace. Most of us are just slow on the uptake; we sigh, whine, and stamp our feet when faced with the challenge of doing the work. It takes ENERGY, and it’s so much easier to sleep in, work a half day, and watch some television. Furthermore, the old cantankerous vices of judgment, guilt, and self-abasement creep in  to exacerbate these symptoms.

This world is like a barren desert, supporting no lasting life and projecting only the mirage of outward reality, constantly testing our desires and attachments. Whether we reside in or flit about community, rural or urban environments, each of us is presented daily with opportunities to serve selflessly and devote ourselves to the spiritual search. If with each moment and breath, we remind ourselves and indeed one another, who we are and why we’re here, with renewed strength of heart and mind we can choose the right attitudes, energies, and disciplines. Finally, wherever life may lead us, the portable paradise of our hearts will blossom with the ripened fruits of divine love and blessings for all.



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  1. Hello Badri…nicest said this note about portable paradise. And it is so true that for someone who seriously intend to dive into it, one must have the “daily tools” (Yoga and meditation)to support these nice intentions. Once we know well our natural human behaviors, we also know that some “counter intentions” are right there at the next corner and it is so easy to fall back into the “walk sleeping” mode that you describe here(work half day and watch TV). Being supported by a strong discipline of daily exercise is the way to carry this “portable paradise” within one self and most importantly…show the way to other who struggle trying to find it…but, they will find it…eventually…
    Keep smiling

    • Badri Matlock says:

      Thank you Pierre, yes isn’t it true, eventually we all get there. Here’s hoping it doesn’t take us too long! Blessings to you friend.

  2. Sambhava says:

    Beautifully written, Badri. May others feel the inspiration flowing from this blog and seek that Portable Paradise within.

    aum aum aum

  3. Josette says:

    Thanks Badri,
    “Portable Paradise” whoa, what a concept!
    I love it! Master Rocks! … as usual.
    I have of late, been amazed at the calm centeredness I feel with my daily practice. It truly is a paradise within and we can all achieve it. That’s the exciting part. It’s not just a theory, do it, and you get the results! The energy it takes to maintain it is minimal compared to the energy needed to “clean up” the mess of not maintaining it.
    Thanks again for sharing your thoughts. You and everyone at Ananda are Blessed and a blessing to me.
    ~~~Peace, Josette

  4. Thanks for sharing Badri Matlock,I always feel nothing belongs to me, wherever I go,I should welcome others with open heart and if they are interested,I certainly share my Ananda Yoga practice with them.Many years I thought, others may not feel ‘I am showing off” My daughter-in-law encouraged me to do so.I have been on the path many years but as I am maturing in age becoming more aware about super conscious living.I feel cal and harmony inside and it is all because of Nayaswami Gyandev,Nayaswami Diksha McCord.I am focusing on right attitude while reading your posts on Expanding light.org.Blessings and Namaste, Veena

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