We, and the very fabric of the atoms, are made from love and joy, and our hearts will never rest until we are reunited with that reality,” said author Nayaswami Jyotish. When we welcome the presence of love into our lives, our entire existence is born anew.
After the success of the first two books in this series, Touch of Light and Touch of Joy, Nayaswamis Jyotish and Devi return to accompany us on the journey of the heart: answering the call of true, unconditional love. This book is a compilation of weekly letters they posted in 2017 and 2018 to their popular blog, A Touch of Light. The letters are filled with spiritual teachings as practical as they are profound, faithfully shared in the spirit of their beloved guru, Paramhansa Yogananda, and his direct disciple, Swami Kriyananda.
Searching for Gold 7
The Love of the Guru 8
The Power of Zero Resistance 9
Saved by the Guru 10
Balancing the Scales 11
Dry Spells 12
God Goes on Vacation 13
“You Have No Idea How Beautiful You Are” 14
The Sacred Hidden River 15
My India 16
Seeing the Possibilities 18
Four Keys to Deeper Meditations 19
Who Are You? Truth vs. Facts 20
Is Happiness a Choice? 21
Look to the Mountaintop 22
Fifty Years 23
The Nature of Divine Love 24
Global Warming 25
Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness 27
Godly Qualities — A Checklist 28
Meditation — Is It Hard or Easy? 29
A Virtual Universe? 30
The Best Way to Deal with Change 31
Unity in Diversity 32
The Solution Lies Within the Problem 33
Unifying Principles 34
The Strength Remains 35
The Channel Is Blessed 36
The Art of Becoming 37
Lessons from a Dance Class 39
The Challenges of Life 40
Does Satan Exist? 41
The Eclipse 42
How to Control Desires 43
Becoming a Guardian Angel 44
The Secret of a Remarkable Life 45
The Crucible 46
The Sparrow, Each Grain of Sand 47
Feeding the Ants 48
Who’s In Charge Here? 49
The Darkest Night of the Year 50
Your Brain on Meditation 51
The Broken Shell 53
The Mouse Family 54
What We Saw 55
Babaji’s Advice 56
Is It Possible to Stop Worrying? 57
God, Gurus, Gurubhais, and Grit 58
The Shawl of Gold 59
Finding Your Own Spiritual Power in 2018 61
Touching the Silence 63
Ananda Seva 64
When to Fight Back 65
We Need New Self-Definitions 66
The Happiness Thieves 67
The Pillars of the Path 68
“The Art of Following”: An Allegory 69
Amazing Day, Amazing Grace 70
What Is This Life? 71
A Place of Refuge 72
Whom Are You Trying to Please? 73
Cooperating with Grace 74
Express Your Self! 75
The Power of Divine Places 76
Beauty and Grace 77
Five Steps to Self-Realization 79
We Don’t Know Enough 80
The Philosopher King 81
Game Over 82
How to Water a Garden 83
Animals and Compassion 84
A Day of Yoga 85
Acting on Intuition 87
Everything Balances Out in the End 88
The Most Important Thing I Do 89
Leaving the Morgue 90
What Should I Do? 91
We Are Building a Temple of Light 92
Tools for Living 93
How to Build Inner Power 94
Living a Life of Discipleship 96
God’s Boatman 97
From Nowhere to Now Here 99
What’s Left? 100
Keeping It Simple 102
The Well, the Bucket, and the Rope 103
An Exultation of Music 104
Integrity vs. Showmanship 105
The Power of a Positive Mind 106
Quit Counting! 107
Five Quick Stress Breakers 109
Just Do It 110
How to Make Better Decisions 111
Lessons Learned 112
Sing Your Way to Freedom 113
Thank You, Dear India 114
Who Is the Other Wise Man? 116
My New Year’s Resolutions 118
Searching for Gold
The Love of the Guru
The Power of Zero Resistance
Saved by the Guru
Balancing the Scales
God Goes on Vacation
“You Have No Idea How Beautiful You Are”
The Sacred Hidden River
Seeing the Possibilities
Four Keys to Deeper Meditations
Who Are You? Truth vs. Facts
Is Happiness a Choice?
Look to the Mountaintop
The Nature of Divine Love
Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness
Godly Qualities — A Checklist
Meditation — Is It Hard or Easy?
A Virtual Universe?
The Best Way to Deal with Change
Unity in Diversity
The Solution Lies Within the Problem
The Strength Remains
The Channel Is Blessed
The Art of Becoming
Lessons from a Dance Class
The Challenges of Life
Does Satan Exist?
How to Control Desires
Becoming a Guardian Angel
The Secret of a Remarkable Life
The Sparrow, Each Grain of Sand
Feeding the Ants
Who’s In Charge Here?
The Darkest Night of the Year
Your Brain on Meditation
The Broken Shell
The Mouse Family
What We Saw
Is It Possible to Stop Worrying?
God, Gurus, Gurubhais, and Grit
The Shawl of Gold
Finding Your Own Spiritual Power in 2018
Touching the Silence
When to Fight Back
We Need New Self-Definitions
The Happiness Thieves
The Pillars of the Path
“The Art of Following”: An Allegory
Amazing Day, Amazing Grace
What Is This Life?
A Place of Refuge
Whom Are You Trying to Please?
Cooperating with Grace
Express Your Self!
The Power of Divine Places
Beauty and Grace
Five Steps to Self-Realization
We Don’t Know Enough
The Philosopher King
How to Water a Garden
Animals and Compassion
A Day of Yoga
Acting on Intuition
Everything Balances Out in the End
The Most Important Thing I Do
Leaving the Morgue
What Should I Do?
We Are Building a Temple of Light
Tools for Living
How to Build Inner Power
Living a Life of Discipleship
From Nowhere to Now Here
Keeping It Simple
The Well, the Bucket, and the Rope
An Exultation of Music
The Power of a Positive Mind
Five Quick Stress Breakers
Just Do It
How to Make Better Decisions
Sing Your Way to Freedom
Thank You, Dear India
Who Is the Other Wise Man?
My New Year’s Resolutions
When we began writing our weekly blog, “A Touch of Light,” in 2013, we had no idea if we would really have something meaningful to say every week, or if people would enjoy reading them. And so we were gratified when both of these questions were answered with a resounding “YES!”
Each week some unexpected insight or inspiration would come, and one of us would say to the other, “I think this would make a good blog.” (We take turns writing them, so we each have an intervening week to draw ideas.) As the weeks passed, we began to realize that the source of our inspirations was not our own, but that we were being inwardly guided to write what would be spiritually helpful to the readers. In many cases it was that simple: What inspired us also inspired others.
Then the comments and “likes” started coming in from people around the world telling us how much support and help they were getting from the blogs. One comment that comes in almost every week is, “This arrived at just the moment I needed to read it. Thank you.”
Many readers also tell us that they look forward every Friday morning (when the blog is posted) to see what inspiration lies in store for them. A number have said that they keep one of the books by their bedside, so they can read something short and uplifting before sleep.
So here we are, six years and more than three hundred blogs later, and we’re still writing them — and people are still reading. Our first book of those blogs, Touch of Light, covered the years 2013–2014. The next, Touch of Joy, was for 2015–2016. And now you hold in your hands the collection from 2017–2018, Touch of Love.
The books have been a wonderful evolution from “light” to “joy” and finally to “love.” As we increasingly felt the enthusiasm and support of our readers, it no longer felt (as it sometimes did in the beginning) that we were writing in a vacuum. Over the years, we began to feel the warmth, gratitude, and friendship with which these blogs were being received, and writing them truly became an expression of love.
So we offer them now to you with our love, and with the hope that you find in these pages the guidance, inspiration, and insight that you are seeking.
With light, joy, and love,
Nayaswamis Jyotish and Devi
Saved by the Guru
A dear friend, Nayaswami Devarshi, is a longtime Ananda member who is now serving in India as the head of our Monastic Order. He sent this letter to us last week.
“A very miraculous save by the Guru here at Mumbai airport, on our way to Singapore. As Aditya [a fellow monk] and I were standing in line to leave the country, I realized I didn’t have an additional document that I needed in order to show residency in India, which is required for me to be able to leave and return, because of the type of visa I have.
“As Aditya [a native speaker] said later, one of the immigration officials said to the other, ‘Take a careful look at these two. They are disciples of Yogananda.’ He had been at your recent talk in Mumbai, and he recognized Aditya and me!!! He’s still reading Autobiography of a Yogi and other books, and preparing to take classes in Mumbai.
“To remember us, in our civilian clothes, and that we ran into him in a city of 20 million . . . even then, I was barely allowed through. Will try to get a scanned copy for the return.”
Divine Mother and the Guru are constantly looking out for us. A few years ago, I had a reading from a book of ancient prophecies. The pundit giving the reading told me, “The Guru is watching over you moment by moment and second by second.” This is true for all his sincere disciples.
It is thrilling to have his protection demonstrated in a “miraculous save.” Knowing Devarshi as I do, I am sure that afterward he expressed his gratitude mentally in this manner: “Thank you, Divine Mother and Master, for your protection and your grace. I will do my best to learn from this experience.”
But if we are grateful for only the pleasant things, we are missing the point. We must be grateful for everything. One time someone said to Swami Kriyananda, referring to one of his many illnesses, “It doesn’t seem fair of Divine Mother.” Swamiji corrected her, immediately and strongly: “I am grateful for whatever Divine Mother gives me. I know that everything that comes is an expression of Her love.”
So, what if Devarshi had been sent back? What if that official had said something like, “You are a disciple of Yogananda and should not be so careless as to have forgotten your papers. I’m sure he wants me to teach you a lesson!”?
If that had happened, what should Devarshi’s prayer have been? Knowing him, I suspect that it would have been the same: “Thank you, Divine Mother and Master, for your protection and your grace. I will do my best to learn from this experience.”
Everything that comes to us, the pleasant and unpleasant, is an expression of divine love and protection. Unwavering gratitude is how we become aware of God’s constant blessings and protection.
Here is an affirmation that I wrote many years ago and still often repeat:
I am grateful for my life, exactly as it is.
I am thankful for this day.
I welcome every hour.
Thank you, God. Thank you, God.
“There’s so much to learn and meditate on that you’ll find yourself returning to this book over and over. It also makes a wonderful discussion prompt. Invite some friends over and take turns reading the chapters and then discuss what you’ve read. You’ll find yourself talking about singing, new year’s resolutions, making decisions, integrity and so much more. Better yet, you’ll find yourself applying ancient wisdom to your 2020 life challenges and accomplishments, touching light, joy, and love more often than you might have thought possible in the past.”
—Krysta Gibson, publisher of “New Spirit Journal” as well as an author, spiritual teacher and mentor.
Having a long fascination with sparkling stones, whether precious, semi-precious, or even colorful faceted glass, I can say that “A Collection of Spiritual Gemstones” may be a very good description for Touch of Love. Each offering, though succinct and quickly read, is remarkable in how well it transmits some very bright sparks of Divine Love, which flows unhindered into the hearts of each reader. Even though the book’s short articles are filled with variety and charm, nevertheless they consistently show us how we are being offered endless Divine Love—easily perceived, if we’ll only stop for a moment to take notice. Treat yourself a year’s worth of the life-changing love-sparks that emanate from Touch of Love!
– Savitri Simpson, author of The Meaning of Dreaming, Chakras for Starters, and the Treta Yuga Trilogy of spiritual novels.
Jyotish and Devi’s Touch of Love collection of small doses of wisdom and inspiration is in turn candid, heartfelt, interesting, helpful, amusing, and moving. These two great souls bring over one hundred years of combined experience as deep seekers, meditators, counselors, disciples, teachers, spiritual guides, and devotees of God to the pages of this book, You’ll love it!
–Joseph Puru Selbie, author of The Physics of God
“Touch of Love is filled with potent yet compassionate insights into the
spiritual path. It offers guidance much like the support of a wise friend. The
deepest spiritual truths are presented with refreshing simplicity. I have
found inspiration on every page and especially like this quote: “Love all with
love that none have felt, and brave the battle of life with strength
—Lila Devi, author of 4 books, including The Essential Flower Essence Handbook
and founder of Spirit-in-Nature Essences
“We sometimes forget how much our inner self needs stories like those offered
in this book. I’ve been reading one story per night, right before sleep. This
book is helping me understand the deeper meanings of love.”
—Nischala Cryer, Author, of the Amazon Bestseller, The Four Stages of Yoga
This book is a blessing of divine love. Every page radiates profound, liberating wisdom. Touch of Love guides the reader to true inner freedom and joy. Spiritual truths, gleaned from the authors’ personal experiences, are masterfully presented.
—Joseph Bharat Cornell, author of AUM: The Melody of Love and Deep Nature Play