2013: A graduate degree in theology – well, almost!

Yesterday marked the start of an exciting new chapter in the adventure of 2013: the Ananda Leadership Training Course. Nothing like this has been offered before and, I doubt, anything will be taught quite like it again. The course is broken into four subjects: minister training, leadership training, practical skills, and creating a vision. It will be taught weekly for most of 2013.

What is so special to me about this course is that many of the incredible yogi’s of my parent’s generation at Ananda, who were trained rigorously by Swami Kriyananda, are doing their best to pass their lessons onto us – the next generation. I’ve had the privilege of seeing many of these souls in training for most of my life. As a child, I may not have been fully aware of how they were being tested and refined through their service to God and Guru, but I was not blind to it…and the fruits are more and more apparent.

I watch Swami place his sincere faith in people who were seemingly unsuited for a particular task and remain loyal to them against all odds for spiritual growth. I see him “stir the pot” constantly for anyone with the nerve to work closely with him on his latest project…churning up their karma for them to face, but always with love and commitment to their highest good. For all, I think that working with Swamiji is the hardest thing they ever did. Being only an observer, I’m probably over-reaching to describe how it feels to work with him. But seeing what I have, I often imagine what it will be like to work with Master (Paramhansa Yogananda)…how much harder it would be to have to face every single thought, not just your actions!

While samadhi is definitely the goal this life, observing what I have, it doesn’t seem too shabby to leave this life truly prepared to live side by side with Yogananda next time around.

2013 is shaping up to be another banner year. This time, with the dust kicked up from last year settling, I think the focus will be doing DEEP. WAY DEEP into the silence within.

May 2013 be full of love and transformation for us all!

Published by Gita Matlock

Gita is a writer, speaker, and nonprofit professional. She earned a bachelors degree in international studies from Pepperdine University and a masters degree in nonprofit administration from the University of San Francisco. She has traveled extensively and held leadership positions with national and international nonprofit organizations. She was born, raised, and now resides with her husband and two children at Ananda Village, the first of eight cooperative Kriya Yoga communities founded by Swami Kriyananda, a direct disciple of Paramhansa Yogananda.

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