It was July 31, 1949. Paramhansa Yogananda had been invited to speak at, of all places, a Beverly Hills society garden party. His hostess expected him, no doubt, to make a few gracious remarks to her guests, who could then get on with their socializing. Were they in for a surprise!
Never had I imagined that the power of human speech could be so overwhelming; it was the most moving talk I have ever heard.
“This day,” he [Yoganandaji] thundered, punctuating every word, “marks the birth of a new era. My spoken words are registered in the ether, in the Spirit of God, and they shall move the West. . . . We must go on—not only those who are here, but thousands of youths must go North, South, East, and West to cover the earth with little colonies, demonstrating that simplicity of living plus high thinking lead to the greatest happiness!”
I was stirred to my very core. . . . Deeply I vowed that day to do my utmost to make his words a reality.
Thus began Swami Kriyananda’s determined effort to create such communities. This ultimately led to the founding of Ananda Village on July 4, 1969—almost exactly twenty years after that garden party speech.
Actually, Swamiji had been interested in starting communities from his youth, but it was more of an ideal than an active pursuit. It wasn’t until the power of Master’s thoughts charged him with the will power and energy to build “colonies” that he dedicated his life to this mission.
For the next forty years, he strove to manifest Master’s vision and founded what are now flourishing communities in America, Europe, and India. With a tireless flow of energy and will power, he overcame every obstacle that confronted him with determination and courage.
But there was another aspect to his ability to make this dream a reality: self-offering. Everything he undertook was done in service to Yoganandaji, and with the consciousness that God, not he, was the Doer. In this way he drew on a constant flow of guidance, creativity, and grace to accomplish his goals in serving his guru.
This brings us to the Principle of T.W.O., which stands for using the power of Thought + Will + Offering to succeed in realizing our goals.
Here’s how you can apply this principle in your own life.
First, think about something you’d like to accomplish that feels in tune with higher principles. Visualize your goal clearly at the spiritual eye. If the overall project seems too big for you, break it down into small, doable steps that you can take to reach your goal.
Next, summon up the willingness and energy needed to move forward step by step. If you encounter problems or obstacles, don’t get discouraged. Instead, expect challenges to come along. Then, when they do, go deeper within to find hidden reservoirs of strength and determination to break through whatever barriers threaten to stop your progress. Master said that every test we face is a test of our will power. Match whatever adverse circumstances life throws at you with enough energy to emerge victorious.
Finally, offer to God your thoughts and energy for His guidance and blessing. Everything we do is really only a part of His dream. Once when an Ananda community leader was being faced with some challenges, Swamiji said to her, “Remember, this work isn’t your work. It isn’t my work. It is the work of Babaji and Master.” If we can remember that God is the Doer, we will feel an underlying wave of support that brings us to the shores of fulfillment.
What is the ultimate benefit of using the T.W.O. formula? Beyond any outward success, we will find a deepening sense of attunement and unity with divine consciousness. Thus, T.W.O. is transformed into greater awareness of being ONE with God.
In divine friendship,
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