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Ananda Meditation helps one become calm, develop concentration, get a balanced perspective on life, and cultivate unshakeable happiness and spiritual magnetism. The spectrum of techniques shared during the training is based on the highest ancient yogic practices of India. Ananda does not just teach yoga and meditation - they live it, so will you. You will thrive in the uplifting energy and profound peace of Ananda Village in Northern California, one of the worlds most successful spiritual communities. Meditation students practice and teach extensively during the training, with ample guidance and feedback from instructors. The curriculum prepares you to teach meditation skills to anyone.
You may choose from two types of accommodations: indoor or outdoor. For indoor accommodations, they offer both standard and deluxe rooms housed in three different buildings, and four one-room cabins. For outdoor accommodations, RV camping is available year-round and tent camping is available from April through October.
Each guest room includes two twin beds, carpeting, heat, air conditioning (except for the cabins), towels, and bedding. A limited number of queen-sized beds are available. Fresh linens and towels are available weekly - no daily maid service. Wi-Fi is available for all guests except those in cabins or tents. They also have centrally located guest computers.
If you would like to stay in a tent or an RV, please bring your own. They do not provide tents or RVs. Tent camping is available from April through October on level, shaded campsites. RVs are welcomed year round. However, they do not have 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. There is a high fire danger here in the summer, so no campfires are allowed. Also, no candles, kerosene lamps, or anything with an open flame.
Because of animals, no food is allowed in the tenting area. They do have a refrigerator behind the main kitchen, which is available for guests. The camping area has a sink with running water, and an outhouse. Men and womens bathrooms are available with showers, toilets, and sinks, across the meadow from the tenting area.
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 mens and womens shower houses about a minutes walk away.
Harmony House has eight deluxe rooms. Each room has a private entrance, a private bathroom, air conditioning, and a ceiling fan. Harmony House is dedicated to expressing Yoganandas 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 are the Yogananda Room, Buddhism Room, Saint Francis Room, Madonna Room, Taoism Room, Islam Room, Judaism Room, and the Hinduism Room.
This is for those staying outdoors. All outdoor accommodations have access to separate men's and women's shower houses an easy 2 or 3-minute walk across the meadow. Facilities have flush toilets, plenty of hot water, and shower and toilet partitions for your comfort and privacy.
This is a 10-day residential course, which includes a combination of lecture, discussion, experiential, practice teaching of the meditation technique, and student teachings. On three afternoons of the course, the students will teach each other, with supervision of qualified instructors. After that, one afternoon of the course, the students teach volunteer clients, with individual supervision in which at the end, each student receives feedback from a senior faculty on how they did and how they can improve. There are two sessions in which each student gives a presentation on meditation, with an assigned topic to talk about. At the second presentation, each student receives feedback by a senior faculty on how they did, and how they can improve. Also, each student has to submit a written exam at the end of the training.
This course is focused primarily on teaching the students how to teach an ancient, universal technique of meditation from India, but the training also includes many aspects of meditation, such as how to sit comfortably for meditation, how to guide through a variety of pranayama techniques, before meditation, how to lead affirmations and visualizations to aid meditation, and a variety of other related aspects, that can be helpful to the teaching of meditation.
This 10-day training provides a solid foundation for teaching both the science and the art of meditation. The curriculum includes classes and workshops on these topics:
How to teach basic meditation skills to anyone
The essential connection of meditation and energy
Concentration techniques for quieting the mind
Patanjalis eight-limbed yoga
How to teach breathing exercises, visualizations, walking meditations
Simple yoga stretches to prepare for meditation
How to sit comfortably for meditation
Opening the heart and developing devotion
The scientific effects of meditation on the brain and nervous system
Meditation and prayer
Meditation and intuition
Spiritual counseling suggestions
How to set up and market your classes
The spectrum of techniques shared during the training is based on the highest ancient yogic practices of India. Students practice and teach extensively during the training, with ample guidance and feedback from instructors. This curriculum prepares students to teach meditation skills to anyone. Ananda Yoga considers this to be one of the key skills of a yoga therapist.
In addition to inspiring classes offered by some of Anandas finest and most experienced meditation teachers, students participate in daily meditations and Ananda Yoga practices, and receive a comprehensive teaching manual. Graduates receive a certificate of completion and credits toward level 2 yoga teacher certification and Ananda Yoga therapy training.
Combining a fun-loving spirit, keen insight into the spiritual life, and genuine warmth, Nayaswami Gyandev makes the inner quest seem both natural and doable. Since 1983, he has taught Ananda Yoga to thousands of students and trained hundreds of teachers around the world, often forging deep and lasting bonds of friendship and inspiration. Gyandev’s devotion to sharing wisdom shows through the many resources he develops, like online newspapers and forums, videos, and new courses to help students deepen their experience of yoga, and give teachers more tools, and insights for their own classes.
Nayaswami Diksha has been a popular Expanding Light teacher since 1997 as well as the director of the meditation teacher training program. She is a native Israeli who came to the U.S. in 1990 and is a powerful and dynamic woman who has shared yoga postures and yogic teachings across the United States, Canada, and Europe. She teaches many different courses at The Expanding Light. Diksha is also an outstanding chef and very knowledgeable about the yogic diet and Ayurveda, an Indian system of natural health and healing.
Nayaswami Anandi is known for her natural warmth, humor, wisdom, and kindness. Almost since her arrival at Ananda in 1971 as a founding member of Ananda, she has been sharing the teachings of Paramhansa Yogananda. An Ananda minister since 1980, Anandi has directed and taught in many of Ananda's guest and outreach programs, including the Palo Alto Ananda Community, Ananda's membership training program, The Cooperative Living Training, and The Expanding Light. She was initiated as a Kriyacharya by Swami Kriyananda in 2011.
The Expanding Light is located in Ananda Village, one of the world's most successful spiritual communities. Situated in the Sierra Nevada Foothills in Northern California, they are approximately two hours east of Sacramento and two hours west of Lake Tahoe.
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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. The Expanding Light uses organically grown foods as much as possible, including some organically grown eggs and produce from right here at Ananda Village, and organically grown fair trade coffee. They have a variety of teas and fresh fruit available all day.
Guests are welcome to use the computer lounge in the main building; guests in deluxe room and most of the standard rooms can use Wi-Fi in their rooms if you bring your own computer.
The guest services lounge is a lovely room with a cozy fireplace located in the Gust Services Building. When not in use for a class, it is open until late at night for guests to use.
This lovely lake is filled 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 Ananda Yoga's line of masters.
Serenity Lounge is a homey room located in the Serenity Building. When not in use for 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.
This temple, located just off the dining room, is a beautiful space in which they hold daily practice of yoga postures and meditation, as well classes and evening programs. When not in use for a scheduled class or event, it is open for meditation and Hatha yoga.
Massage can be a wonderful, healing addition to your stay. All massage practitioners are Ananda members and work through the Center for Radiant Health. The center offers a variety of types of massage, as well as Ayurveda counseling, CranioSacral therapy, astrological readings, and more. They have a coin-operated washer and dryer available for guest use.
Take I-80 (E) towards Reno - go about 25 miles.
At Auburn, turn left on CA-49 (N) toward Grass Valley / Nevada City - go 38 miles.
Just past Nevada City, turn left at the "49 to Downieville" sign. Follow this road for 10.5 miles (watch your odometer). It is a curving mountain road that crosses the Yuba River.
Turn right on Tyler-Foote Road (immediately after the sign for Malakoff Diggins State Park) - go about 5 miles.
Turn left on Ananda Way and left again (almost immediately) on Expanding Light Way.
The best airport to fly into is Sacramento. Reno Airport is also an option but is less preferable due to inclement weather in the winter and higher transportation costs to Ananda. From the Sacramento Airport, there are a few options.
For a good value, they recommend The Expanding Lights regularly scheduled Sacramento airport pick-up and drop-off.
For more flexibility around days and times for pick-up and drop-off, a good option is Foothill Shuttle and Charter Service.
Yet another option is the Super Shuttle. Or, rent a car and follow the directions, or take the bus or train or public transportation.
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 or Foothill Shuttle and Charter Service.
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 from Ananda. To get to Ananda from Colfax, you will need to take a cab or Foothill Shuttle and Charter Service.
The Expanding Light recommends Foothill Shuttle and Charter Service. They are a locally run shuttle with excellent service. The cost (subject to change) from Sacramento Airport to The Expanding Light, it is 250 USD round trip, and 150 USD one way. From Colfax or Auburn, it is 160 USD round trip, and 80 USD one way.
You may take the Super Shuttle (advance reservations required). When making your reservation, put your destination as "Expanding Light" to get the accurate price. The cost (subject to change) from Sacramento Airport to The Expanding Light is 175 USD one way, and 350 USD for round trip. If you are part of a group, there is an additional fee of only 9 USD per person for the ride.
Amtrak train offers train service from available cities into Colfax (if coming from the east) and Auburn (if coming from the west), each about an hour from Ananda.
Contact Amtrak directly for routes, current prices, schedules and reservations at www.amtrak.com. To get to Ananda from Colfax, you will need to take a cab or Foothill Shuttle and Charter Service.