“Many hands make a miracle;
People climbing together.
Life on earth is so wonderful
When people laugh and dance
And struggle as friends,
Then all their dreams achieve their ends.”
–from “Many Hands Make a Miracle” by Swami Kriyananda

In this book Swami Kriyananda, called “the Father of the Communities Movement,” shares the wisdom gained through many decades of study and practice of the principles that make modern communities thrive. Inspired by his guru, Paramhansa Yogananda, and his ideal of “world brotherhood colonies,” Kriyananda brought these principles to fruition through persistent effort and inspired leadership.

“Make your ideals practical,” Yogananda advised, and Kriyananda took those words to heart. During his lifetime, Kriyananda (1926-2013) founded nine spiritual communities in the United States, Europe, and India. His network of Ananda communities has been hailed as the most successful in the world.

The Ananda communities were formed on two basic principles–“people are more important than things” and “where there is right action, there is victory.” Adherence to these principles is one of the secrets to Ananda’s success.

Whether you are interested in communities from a philosophical perspective or from a practical one–and wish to form your own or join with others in doing so–this book will bring you hundreds of helpful insights into the process–how to start a community, how to make it prosper even in difficult times, and how to see it continue into a bright future.

Swami Kriyananda

Swami Kriyananda (J. Donald Walters), who left his body in 2013, was a direct disciple of the great master, Paramhansa Yogananda, and an internationally known author, 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; over 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 also home to The Expanding Light, a world-renowned guest retreat facility where thousands of visitors annually visit 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 over 25 languages.

More about Swami Kriyananda, including photos and videos, is available at the
official Swami Kriyananda website.

 

Further reading:

Contents
Publisher’s Note
Preface

Part I: Intentional Communities: How to Start Them, and Why

1. The Time Is Now

2. Self-Realization vs. the Megalopolis

3. Intentional Communities and the Quest for Opportunity

4. Intentional Communities, Past and Present

5. How to Begin

6. Communal Economics

7. Communalism vs. Privacy

8. Education

9. Government

10. Rules

11. What Is Ananda?

Epilogue (to Part I)

Part II: The Story of Ananda

1. The Early Years

2. Land Ho!

3. My First Non-Home

4. Ananda Meditation Retreat

5. The Purchase of Ananda Farm

6. Communal Beginnings

7. Financial Problems

8. Lessons Learned

9. “Here and Now”

Afterword
Second Afterword