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Join this retreat to learn how to meditate for the first time, or, if you already meditate, learn Ananda Meditation® to bring more concentration and joy to your practice. You’ll leave with the techniques and understanding you need to sustain a meditative practice. At The Expanding Light Retreat center, you’ll feel the uplifting peace of more than 40 years of people's devoted Kriya meditation practice. The welcoming and relaxed atmosphere here, the daily practice of Ananda Meditation® after yoga postures, the humor and joy of the staff, and the wonderful fellow students will help you relax and experience inner peace.
Each guest room includes two twin beds, carpeting, heat, air conditioning (except for the cabins), towels, and bedding. There is a refrigerator behind the main kitchen, which is available for guests. A limited number of queen-sized beds are available. Fresh linens and towels are available weekly; there is no daily maid service. Wi-Fi is available for all guests except those in cabins or tents.
Each room has a private entrance, a private bathroom, air conditioning, a ceiling fan, and a hairdryer. Harmony house is dedicated to expressing Yogananda's expansive approach to religion and his belief in celebrating God through beauty. Simply and elegantly appointed, each room is decorated in the theme of one of the great world religions. Available rooms are the Yogananda room, Buddhism room, Saint Francis room, Madonna room, Taoism room, Islam room, Judaism room, and the Hinduism room.
Serenity house is an inn-style house with twelve air-conditioned rooms and four hall bathrooms. It has a comfortable lounge-classroom equipped with a video player and a library of inspirational videos. The lounge-classroom also has a small refrigerator for personal items.
Each cabin has one room, which is larger and more private than other standard rooms; cabin occupants share separate men's and women's shower houses about a minute walk away.
If you would like to stay in a tent or an RV, please bring your own. Tent camping is available from April through October on level, shaded campsites. RVs are welcome year-round; however, there are no RV facilities and hookups at this time.Tenters are part of The Expanding Light meals and programs, so tent spaces do not include facilities for cooking or picnicking.
The camping area has a sink with running water and an outhouse. All outdoor accommodations have access to separate men's and women's shower houses an easy two or three minute walk across the meadow. Facilities have flush toilets, plenty of hot water, and shower and toilet partitions for your comfort and privacy.
Your weekend will include physical exercises to aid relaxation and written lessons to help you get the best possible start on your meditation practice. During this weekend retreat, you have the best setting for learning how to meditate. The learning will include:
The retreat starts in the afternoon of the first date listed. It’s ideal to arrive before 4 p.m., if you are able to. That way, you can join in the afternoon session of yoga and meditation, which begins at 4.45 p.m. Dinner is at 6.30 p.m. The first real gathering of your group is at 7.30 p.m. If you need to arrive here after 5 p.m., that’s fine, but please let The Expanding Light Retreat know. They can also put aside a dinner for you if you need to arrive after 7 p.m. The program ends with lunch on the last date.
Below is the typical day in The Expanding Light Retreat center. Schedule may vary depending on the course or event. All activities are optional so you can decide how much to enjoy.
Nayaswami Krishnadas lead this inspiring pilgrimage many times. He lived in Los Angeles where he and his wife were leaders of Ananda LA. Krishnadas. They know and love the shrines of Yogananda (and knows the best places to eat). He will also lead this inspiring and fun trip with support staffs and in coordination with Narayan and Dharmadevi Romano, spiritual directors of Ananda L.A.
Nayaswami Mukti, or also known as Mukti Deranja, moved to Ananda Village in 1992 and has been a key member of the Ananda Music Ministry since then - including singing in the choir, performing Swami Kriyananda's piano solos and music ensemble, and accompanying him on the piano. She often teaches chanting workshops and performs in kirtan groups. She has used chanting as an integral part of her spiritual practice as a powerful tool for personal transformation.
All of our teachers/hosts are yoga and/or meditation teacher certified coming from diverse backgrounds and are devotees of Paramhansa Yogananda.
Home to The Expanding Light Retreat yoga and meditation retreat, Ananda Village is one of the most successful spiritual communities in the world and is part of the worldwide organization of Ananda. Ananda Village was founded in 1969 by Swami Kriyananda, one of Paramhansa Yoganandas foremost disciples, to fulfill Yogananda's vision of world brotherhood colonies and spiritual communities based on the twin principles of plain living and high thinking. The Ananda community is situated on 700 acres of meadows and forests amidst the foothills of the Sierra Nevada mountains in northern California just outside Nevada City. As a guest at The Expanding Light Retreat center, you are invited to tour the community and visit the numerous sites and attractions the village has to offer.
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Three delicious and satisfying vegetarian buffet meals are included with the cost of your stay. Some of the dishes contain eggs and dairy. Organically grown foods are used as much as possible, including some organically grown eggs and produce from Ananda Village itself, and organically grown fair trade coffee. There are a variety of teas and fresh fruit available all day. The Expanding Light Retreat can accommodate some special dietary needs with non-dairy, non-wheat, and egg-free choices. If you have other dietary needs, they may not be accommodated.
At Crystal Hermitage, guests can enjoy the spiritual heart of Ananda. Tour the beautiful gardens, small chapel, and the Shrine of the Masters, a small museum and gift shop housing holy relics from India and Ananda's line of yoga masters.
Hansa temple is a unique architectural building that houses longer morning meditations for Ananda residents. If some guests are experienced meditators and would like a 90-minute meditation, they are welcome to join. Ask for times at the front desk.
A healing prayer, on an individual basis, is offered through the healing prayer ministry for a suggested donation between 40 to100 USD. Session lengths vary based on individual need.
Receive assistance and guidance tailored to your needs with counseling available from the Ananda ministers for a fee of 75 USD per hour. If you are interested, contact the front desk to schedule a private session.
This is a small chapel on the path to Lotus lake. A sacred space ideal for meditation, Lahiri is open all the time for quiet reflection and meditation.
This lovely lake fills with water lilies and lotus flowers in summer. It is a beautiful area ideal for walks where you can often see wild birds. A path around the lake includes outdoor altars to the line of Masters.
A natural foods market with a deli, bakery, and cappuccino bar that also features homemade pizza on Friday nights, a local favorite!
This is available to everyone on Monday, Wednesday, and Saturday at 10 a.m. or at other times by appointment. Even if you currently meditate, it is encouraged to take the class which includes: how to focus your mind, how to sit comfortably, when and where to meditate, and more.
Personally tailored to your body and needs, these classes are available with one of the certified Ananda yoga teachers for a fee of 75 USD per hour. You can focus on classical Hatha yoga or Restorative yoga. Contact the front desk to make an appointment.
A complex that houses a number of Ananda businesses including the management offices for the community; the healing prayer ministry, with 600 members worldwide who do healing prayers for those in need; and Crystal Clarity publishers, which produces books, DVDs, and CDs by Paramhansa Yogananda, Swami Kriyananda, and others on topics related to yoga, meditation, and self-realization.
This is a homey room located in the Serenity building. When not in use for a class, it is open to guests for relaxation, reading, yoga, meditation, watching videos, listening to music or just socializing. Serenity lounge is also stocked with tea and coffee and equipped with a small refrigerator, microwave, and electric teapot for guest use.
The boutique is located in the guest services building and is open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily. Full of unique treasures, The Expanding Light boutique is a favorite destination shopping stop for guests and locals alike.
This temple, located just off the dining room, is a beautiful space, in which daily practice of yoga postures and meditation is held, as well as classes and evening programs. When not in use for a scheduled class or event, it is open for meditation and Hatha yoga.
Massages can be a wonderful, healing addition to your stay. The massage practitioners are Ananda members and work through the Center for Radiant Health. The center offers a variety of types of massages, as well as craniosacral therapy, Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT), astrological readings, career coaching, and more. Prices for massage sessions are 75 USD for a one hour long massage and 95 USD for a one and a half hour long massage. There are treatment rooms, but unlike a traditional spa, The Expanding Light Retreat have no pool facilities.
Flights should be booked to arrive at Sacramento International Airport (SMF). Another option is Reno-Tahoe International Airport (RNO) but it's less preferable. Transfers from and to Sacramento International Airport (SMF) is available on request. The Expanding Light Retreat can organize transfers for an extra price and based on availability. Please request this service from them once you have booked your plane tickets.
Greyhound bus offers service from available cities to Colfax, approximately an hour from Ananda. To get to Ananda from Colfax you will need to take a cab.
Amtrak offers limited bus service from available cities into Colfax (if coming from the east) and Auburn (if coming from the west), each about an hour away from Ananda. To get to Ananda from Colfax or Auburn you will need to take a cab.
Amtrak offers train service from available cities into Colfax (if coming from the East) and Auburn (if coming from the West), each about an hour away from Ananda. To get to Ananda from Colfax or Auburn you will need to take a cab.