This book invites you to enter the lives of a small group of people who helped shape the evolution of one of America’s foremost spiritual communities, dedicated to yoga and the search for the Divine.

Ananda Village is a fascinating experiment in discovering what brings people closer to God. Founded in 1968 by Swami Kriyananda, the Village rests on 900 acres of meadows and forests amidst the foothills of the Sierra Nevada mountains in Northern California.

In the early days of its creation the Village included a monastery, a large bio-dynamic garden, a dairy, a natural foods market, a small school, a yoga and meditation retreat, and more. Filled with triumphs, disappointments, laughter, warmth, clarity and humility, these stories give the reader a glimpse of what it is like to create an environment dedicated to living the teachings of yoga and to finding God.

Often as I stand and gaze out over Ananda’s green fields, woods, and rolling hills, I am reminded of a poem I wrote . . . set in the legendary golden era of Lord Rama, whose kingdom of Ayodhya, in ancient India, was a place of universal harmony, peace and brotherhood. Thus, may all men learn to live, wherever their paths take them outwardly. For now, as then, true, divine peace is possible only when people place God and spiritual values first in their lives. —Swami Kriyananda, The Path

Nischala Cryer

Nischala graduated with honors from Pacific University with a B.A. in Mass Communication, English, and Art, and did post graduate training in Journalism, Graphic Arts, and Creative Writing at San Diego State University. She is co-founder of the Ananda Institute and co-director of the Ananda Meditation Retreat. She has been a Creative Director for several international design firms, founded her own award-winning design and communications company, and has written for various yoga, health and spirituality magazines. Reflections on Living is her first book.

“The stories are engaging, entertaining, and inspiring because they are told without pretension, straight from the heart. I would recommend this book to those considering starting or entering a spiritual community, as well as for anyone who would like to be more diligent in applying spiritual principles to daily living.”

Yoga International

“Anyone interested in intentional communities has GOT to read Reflections on Living by Sara Cryer. . . . Each interview lends more understanding of the process, as if one could only assimilate it in such small bites. The beauty of fortitude, courage and love displayed through the book is inspiring. Reading this book actually expanded my thinking and my heart after such repeated exposure to examples of selfless service. Thank you Sara Cryer.”

Aquarius Magazine

“Based on interviews with members of Ananda Village, Reflections on Living is filled with inspiring first-hand accounts of life in a spiritual intentional community . . . takes the great wave of Eastern thought that has permeated our culture and puts it into practical every day reality . . . offers a wealth of practical spiritual insight for people everywhere. Reflections on Living is fascinating, informative, inspiring reading.”

Midwest Book Review

“This engrossing collection of spiritual life histories provides a guidebook for living in spiritual community regardless of one’s path, teaching us many important lessons about cooperation, spiritual support, self-reliance and living for a higher ideal rather than just oneself.”

East West Magazine