Why donate?

Two Ways to Contribute: DONATE or HIRE?

I have been a writer and editor for 47 years, with clients in business, technology, and publishing. I am eager to help authors of nonfiction books in the areas of yoga, meditation, Eastern religion, mysticism, self-help, the arts, business, and technology.

I’ve helped non-native upper-division college students with their assigned papers in a variety of academic fields. If you are honestly and industriously doing the work, I will help you refine your writing skills. I’ve edited theses and dissertations in computer science, electrical engineering and humanities for students at Stanford, UC Berkeley, UC Davis, Univ. of Michigan, Univ. of Arizona, etc., including Best Dissertation in Computer Science at Stanford University in 2008.

I can help with portrait, product and general photography for business and social media. (Sorry, I don’t shoot weddings.) If you donate $100 or more, I will be happy to offer a portrait session for one subject. (Limitations: I’m 77 and ride a bike, but can transport gear within a reasonable range that includes Mountain View, Palo Alto, and Los Altos.)

Why should you donate?

  • If you’re a singer, you may have found the practice mp3s helpful.
  • If you’re a choir director, you might have been inspired by the Palo Alto seasonal concert playlists and the conversations with other music directors.
  • If you’re an artist, perhaps you’ve found inspiration from reading the articles on art practice as an aid to the spiritual life.

The Reality

Rambhakta (photo by Ishani)

I’m 77. I work full time and tend Ananda Garden as I’m able. The web hosting fees for Ananda Garden are covered by a consortium of kindhearted donors; everything else comes out of my pocket.

I would be happy to donate my efforts as an offering to God. However, I feel it may be time to invite donations to help cover specific short-term needs.

The Present Need

About 18 months ago, I made a mistake: I sold my Canon full-frame camera and switched to a wonderful Fujifilm camera that was lighter and served well for certain types of projects, especially events.

I am now engaged with projects for which the Canon would have been the better tool. I have purchased a Canon again and two lenses. I was able to cover the cost, however, after spending $2100 on used gear, I am not in a position to pay $800 for a portable studio light, remote flash trigger, and two additional lenses that would be useful. I will acquire these items in time, but your donations will help.

Projects that I am presently engaged in:

How Paramhansa Yogananda and Swami Kriyananda Helped Saved Civilization 1000 Years Ago. In the 10th century, a tiny monastery at Cluny, 250 miles southeast of Paris, started with 12 dedicated monks; thus began a spiritual movement that swept across Europe and saved Western civilization. The parallels with Ananda are striking. The example of Cluny can inspire us with confidence in the power of Self-realization to change the world. The arts played a central role in Cluny’s success, by communicating its message directly to people’s hearts. And the arts are playing a similar role again today.

Swami Kriyananda wrote in Cities of Light:

     If there is one thing that Cities of Light ought to focus on, it is the question of how to express their philosophy through the arts. Probably only after they’ve succeeded in expressing their ideals and their state of consciousness through some aspect of the arts will people generally come to appreciate what they represent….

Members of the community that have a talent for artistic expression should be encouraged to paint, write, compose music, sing, write plays and act in them, create spiritually inspiring dances, and carve in stone or cast in iron the great, central ideas that have ever uplifted the human race, and that will ever continue to do so.

Ananda Garden Eye. A sister website where I am posting informal pieces about the daily grind of writing and photography, with insights from other arts and artists: Ananda Garden Eye.

Portraits of Ananda. This project began as a series of conversations with Ananda artists, accompanied by photos of the artists at work. I thought, “Why not take pictures of Sangha members who might be willing to have their portraits made?” The camera and lenses I’ve bought are wonderful for portraiture. You can see examples here and here.

Thank you for your contributions. You can use the PayPal button at right to donate.

Abundant Blessings,

Rambhakta