Friday, June 17, 2016

Why We Need Community

Note to friends: Ananda Community Open House: Tomorrow! Stay tuned for a follow up article with some reflections about American society. "Just sayin' "

Our nation mourns for the latest victims of violence in our country even as calls go forth for finding preventative solutions for the future. Could this Saturday’s annual Open House and Solstice Celebration held by Ananda Community in Lynnwood  be relevant to the serious challenges in our time?

We certainly think so. The modern trend of globalism is neither all “good” nor all “bad.” It is complex and besides being an historical fact and a cultural fait accompli, it is, among other things, a trend that is bringing people of every race and nation in contact with one another.

What we see in decline, however, is a sense of community. Our urban and suburban neighborhoods tend to be a transient admixture of people and families with little in common, and their paths rarely cross.

On July 30, 1949, at a speech given in Beverly Hills, Paramhansa Yogananda proclaimed that “I am sowing into the ether” the seeds of the community ideal for the future. He predicted that a new pattern of conscious, intentional and sustainable living would “spread like wildfire.” The “wildfire” part still awaits a future ignition but the increasing violence in the world will unquestionably be one of the sparks. Economic challenges, no doubt, will be another.

The stage is being set and Ananda’s founder, Swami Kriyananda, who was present in the audience that fateful day, vowed to do his part. Before his passing in 2013, Swami Kriyananda had founded nine such communities throughout the world, including the Ananda Community in nearby Lynnwood.

The concept of intentional communities is not limited to its residential forms. Virtual communities or associations of those inspired and committed to serve their own local area or the world at large, all count as “communities.”

Our invitation to you, therefore, for this Saturday’s Solstice Celebration and Open House is an opportunity for all of us to register “our answer” to mindless violence by coming together to affirm our kinship with one another and all life. The power of harmony and friendship will always win, but it takes conscious efforts on our part. 

Since time immemorial, the Summer Solstice has drawn people together, recognizing intuitively that the powerful rays of the sun at its diurnal zenith symbolize the healing and energizing rays of the Divine Light within and without.

Blessings to all,
Nayaswamis Hriman and Padma McGilloway

Note details of the Open House:
Come rain, sun, thunderstorms! It will be fun and memorable no matter what!
Saturday, June 18, 3 to 7 p.m. 20715 Larch Way, Lynnwood 98036
3 p.m. Grounds are open; parking in the back. Tours, refreshments, childrens activities, music, summer fun faire booths with food, organic produce, clothing, gifts, books and healing services!

5 p.m. Solstice Celebration : a theme of family featuring music & ceremony
6 p.m. Vegetarian dinner (free)