This book brings clarity to a controversial and little-understood subject. Kriyananda’s concepts of channeling touch everyone who would like to serve as a channel for higher inspiration. Includes workable, easy-to-use techniques, and explains persuasively that the highest form of channeling is that which is found in the lives of great saints.

It also teaches how to develop one’s own intuition and wisdom rather than seeking answers from channeled entities. A fascinating look inside a long-hidden realm.

Swami Kriyananda

Swami Kriyananda (J. Donald Walters, 1926–2013) was a direct disciple of the great spiritual master Paramhansa Yogananda (author of the classic Autobiography of a Yogi), a bestselling author, and an internationally known lecturer and composer. Widely recognized as one of the world's foremost authorities on meditation and yoga, he taught these principles and techniques to hundreds of thousands of students around the world.

In 1968 Kriyananda founded Ananda Village in Nevada City, California, dedicated to spreading the spirit of friendship, service, and community around the globe. Ananda is recognized as one of the most successful intentional communities in the world, and more than 1,000 people reside in Ananda communities in the US, India, and Italy. The European retreat and community located in Assisi, Italy, also serves Ananda meditation groups in Europe and Russia.

Ananda Village is home to The Expanding Light, a world-renowned guest retreat facility where thousands visit annually for renewal or instruction in many aspects of meditation, yoga, and the spiritual life. The nearby Ananda Meditation Retreat, located on Ananda's first property, functions both as a retreat and as the site for Ananda's Institute of Alternative Living.

An advocate of simple living and high thinking, Swami Kriyananda's more than 140 books cover a wide range of subjects emphasizing the need to live wisely by one's own experience of life, and not by abstract theories or dogmas.

A composer since 1964, Kriyananda wrote over 400 musical works. His music is inspiring, soothing, and uplifting. Many of his later albums are instrumental works with brief affirmations or visualizations. Chuck Dilberto of Awareness Magazine wrote, “[His] words and music are full of his life and light. His sole intention is to heal, something we could all use during these chaotic times.”

Through Crystal Clarity Publishers, his works have sold over 3 million copies worldwide and have been translated into more than 25 languages.

To learn more, visit the Swami Kriyananda website.

1. A Great Modern Channel

2. The Stages of Creation

3. The Astral World

4. What Is Channeling?

5. What Kind of Channeling Do You Want?

6. How To Be a True Channel

Chapter One: A Great Modern Channel

I had the good fortune to live for three and a half years with one of the greatest channels of our times.

He was not widely known as a channel, perhaps because he didn’t need to go
into unconsciousness, nor into any abstract mental state, to give utterance to
what came through him. He simply “tuned in” and the answers were always there.

And the answers were right. They worked for people. His counseling revealed deep, intuitive insight into the problems, motives, and secret thoughts that people had thought they’d tucked away where no one would ever reach them.

He saw things in people’s past that even they had forgotten. He saw far back in time, also, beyond the portals of this life, and helped people thereby to understand problems in the present lifetime that, until then, had left them confused, perplexed, or resentful.

And he saw things in their future, as well. People couldn’t bring themselves to believe all the predictions he made, but they proved right nonetheless.

He spoke from personal, visionary experience, and not from book learning of countless mysteries of the universe: of how it was made, and why. He told us of life on other planets, and predicted a time of interstellar travel—which he said was a reality, despite its seeming impossibility, according to the known laws of modern physics.

He described again, from direct experience, levels of reality that are much too subtle to be perceived by the physical senses.

He spoke of the ages of civilization on earth, and of the implications for mankind of having entered, as we now have, a new age.

He revealed to our imagination a divine creation so marvelous, so infinitely vast and complex, so inspiring in its beauty and lofty purpose that I think not all the books in the world could equal what we heard from him in person.

And yet, he was not generally known as a channel.

He could see people in the astral world, converse with them, receive messages from them. He could tune in to high souls and let them speak through him. From what he told us, and from what seemed to us truly our own experience with him, God Himself used his voice to teach us and guide us.

And yet—there was nothing ritualistic about his channeling, nothing portentous, nothing to make us feel that we had the rare blessing of being given ringside seats at some special and extraordinary event. He was so natural in everything he said, so unaffected, so seemingly casual, that, not infrequently, his most amazing statements almost passed unnoticed—only to be remembered later on with awe.

He never required special circumstances to do his channeling, nor any special environment. I never saw him lie back, close his eyes, and offer up his mind and body to be used as an instrument by another entity, while remaining personally unaware of everything that was being said through him. His channeling came to him as effortlessly as did breathing.

He didn’t take on a new personality, or succession of personalities. Normally, his voice never changed while channeling—though there were a few rare exceptions. Never did it assume the tones of someone speaking as if from afar, or unaccustomed to human company, nor did it labor ponderously over the syntax of human speech.

What he channeled, moreover, was never spoken condescendingly. I never heard him use expressions such as, “You people of earth,” or, “As you would say in your parlance”—as though mentally to dissociate himself from the rest of us.

On the other hand, whatever came through him was spoken with dignity, for he himself was a man of dignity. There was no frivolous attempt to descend to our mental level in order to establish a bond of communication with us.

Finally, and most important, he never created a situation where we were forced to go to him for any insights we received. He constantly urged us to go within, to receive the answers we sought in our own inner silence—to become channels ourselves, instead of depending outwardly on another.

This man was a saint. Indeed, he was a master, for he had realized God. His channeling was the result of his constant inner communion with God, as well as with other great saints who, like him, had merged their consciousness in God.

This man’s name was Paramhansa Yogananda.

As a great master, Yogananda is well known to spiritual seekers throughout the world—even behind the iron curtain. He is also regarded with the deepest respect, love, and admiration by other saints and recognized spiritual leaders in many lands.

I became his disciple in 1948, and lived with him until his passing in 1952. Since his passing I have remained with him in spirit and in discipleship. I have taught in many countries, and written many books to further his earthly mission. And I can say without hesitation that his presence has continued to guide, teach, and inspire me inwardly.

I am writing this booklet to help people to understand more fully what channeling means, because I see that there is some confusion on the point in people’s minds. Some people seem to think that anyone who sits back, closes his eyes, and allows words to pour out of him without his conscious control may well be acting as a channel for some higher power, and may well be able also to channel some special message personally from that higher power to them.

Yet I have seen people hurt and confused by such messages, too. They have been misled in fundamental matters—such as what they ought to do with their lives, or what path they ought to follow in some undertaking that is important to them.

I have known them to be encouraged to develop talents they did not possess, or discouraged from activities that would have furthered their spiritual development.

I have known them to be fed ego-balm—assurances, for example, that they have a glorious future before them, or that they have lived equally glorious lives in their past, often as someone of historic fame.

Rarely, if ever, have I known them to receive the discipline they needed for their present spiritual welfare. Usually, they were treated as though their most trivial questions and spiritually immature perceptions or attitudes were as worthy of grave consideration by the high entity whose words were being channeled to them as any matter concerning people’s very spiritual life.

Worst of all, I have seen them become dependent on such channels rather than independent in themselves, and inclined rather to seek outside themselves for their answers than seek them, as all great masters have said we should do, in the silence within.

There is something entirely vicarious about receiving truths, however beautiful, that touch only the mind. That is why great masters, if they have felt divinely led to help humanity, have incarnated here on earth in human form—that they might touch not only human minds, but also human hearts and souls.

I wrote this book as a corrective for the “channeling” trend that, in my opinion, was over-blown, especially during the nineteen-seventies.

The first purpose of this book was to explain what true channeling means: how saints act as channels for divine inspiration, and how most of the supposed channeling that is so popular even nowadays is not valid, and needs to be “handled with care.”

The purpose of this book was to show also how everyone can be a channel for true inspiration.

“I recommend Kriyananda’s sensible commentary and instruction on channeling. He shows its true spiritual function and application, distinguishing that from the spurious and delusional byways which channeling can lead the unwary.”

John White, author of Thinking the Unthinkable

“Kriyananda imparts practical advice for working in such a way that you are open to timeless wisdom while in the conscious state—more believable and easier to follow than many New Age books.”

Kathleen Cain, The Bloomsbury Review

“Kriyananda has really helped to dispel the misconceptions surrounding channeling.”

Sri Swami Satchidananda, founder of Yogaville, author of Integral Yoga: The Yoga Sutras of Patanjali

“I’ve been channeling for about 20 years. I truly feel this book will be to others as it was to me: a reminder of what our highest purpose really is.”

Barbara J. Courtney, counselor