One year after loss…

Jesus Shrine

Jesus Shrine in honor of Tim
Click on photo to enlarge

This is offered in honor of Timothy Paul Kretzmann, and also as an inspiration for all those who have suffered profound loss.

I share this today because a friend in another community was crying daily over the loss of Swamiji and some other members… She needed encouragement in finding a tangible way to transcend that feeling of loss and grief.

This ceremony, below, could easily be adapted in suitable ways.  It could even be done in a home with a candle, a burning bowl, a photo of the beloved, and some sacred symbol that is dear to your soul. It could be done inside, or on a deck, or in a garden.

August 6

…I wondered how to honor him this day… My beloved, my husband, Timothy… What is the best way?

I lit a votive candle at a special altar in our home and kept it lit all day. I had quiet time, and also some supportive phone talks with friends, and gently relived some memories of when we first met over 38 years ago… I also wrote out some notes on how I would try to move forward, and serve others in new ways, in the name of loving and honoring him, and in gratitude for our life together.

We had a fire and flower ceremony at the special Jesus shrine dedicated to Tim’s soul (where months ago some of his ashes were placed beneath the boulder). I had been doing these sacred fire ceremonies quite frequently at a shrine on my deck, all through this year…So it was fitting to include the family now, and it was helpful to them, and to me.

  1. We traveled to the site, at Ananda Meditation Retreat, and first tended the shrine, and trimmed a bush that was blocking it.
  2. We each wrote a letter to God and to Tim’s soul – to express our love, and also to include a special prayer for ourselves and for the family – especially for Guidance on how to best proceed in our lives in a way that honors God, and this beautiful gift of having shared life with Tim, as Husband and Father.
  3. After a prayer – these letters were offered into the flame, to be released to God, and to Tim’s soul. We sang a very simple chant as this was happening – “God, Christ, Guru.”
  4. We sent quiet blessings to each family member, and for their private prayer intentions, as they offered their letter into the flames.
  5. We then sprinkled the shrine with beautiful rose petals, and then closed with chanting of AUM AUM AUM and AMEN AMEN AMEN

We were choked-up during the ceremony, and my grandson Bodhi’s eyes looked very concerned.  Our hearts were then touched to watch little Bodhi, age 10 months, so sincerely join in those AUMs…

After the closing, the family eventually wandered off to show Bodhi the other statues in the peaceful, forest garden, but I felt a strong urge to stay put… I sat on a bench where I could gaze at the shrine bedecked with flowers, and felt surrounded by love and gentle, comforting blessings… That love lingered for days… And I knew we had found a way meaningful to heart, mind and soul, to address this sacred-yet-sad anniversary.

May all hearts be comforted and blessed.

In Love,

Mary Kretzmann, and family

PS – Please feel free to offer your experiences of sacred remembrance for loved ones in the comment field, below. They may be of help to others… Perhaps in the future I will collect them together in a special booklet.

  • Lisa Powers told me that years ago she had heard that Master said it was very important to honor the one-year anniversary of a soul’s passing, so she offered a kirtan and short mediation at the Crystal Hermitage Chapel for Hassi and her family of four children, at the one year anniversary of the death of Rich Bazan

AUM AUM AUM for Swamiji…

Dear Ones,

Most of you have already heard the news of the passing of our beloved Swami Kriyanandaji… But some of my subscribers may be outside the normal Ananda circle…

Swami Kriyananda, aged 87, Ananda’s much beloved founder and spiritual leader, left his body and merged into the Infinite last evening (April 20) at 11pm Pacific time. He died in his home in Assisi, Italy (8am April 21 there).

God bless you all,

Mary Kretzmann

April 313 D newsletter

Please scroll down for plain text version –

…or click on the title above to see all aspects of this letter, including the letter suitable to download and print, if you wish.

Click here to learn more about the tulips at Ananda!

Tulips are blooming at Ananda Village!


April 313 Dwapara

Dear Ones,

Happy news: the book,  Divine Will Healing will be back in print in late May on

Recently I have been updating the healing prayer section on  Please take a look at thesesections:  Prayers for World Peace and  Articles on Prayer.  More improvements will be coming soon!

“Why Jesus Traveled About” (see reverse page) contains cautionary words about healing,especially regarding choosing a spiritual healer above medical healing, even though the“healer” has not yet proven he can heal that level of illness. (Healing prayer can always be used in addition  to practical healing.) The point is to not take undue risks with your life and health in the name of being spiritual or “alternative.” Life is a gift, use it wisely. Assess what is your “best bet” for your  particular problem. Prayer can help heal you directly, as well as guide you to your best course of action.

Finally, I wrote this collection of stories a few years ago (based on our teachings). I am sharing it again now for your inspiration. Search:“Jesus Appears after Easter” by Mary Kretzmann or click through.

May God and Guru bless and guide us all in our prayerful service.

Joyto you!

Mary Kretzmann

Ananda Healing Prayer Ministry

Testimonials (I used to share these in the past, and I hope to do so more regularly again!)

  • From January:  “Alex has a bipolar condition and was in jail in Auburn, CA for driving away from gas station in Tahoe without paying during a manic episode. After the prayers started, everything turned around dramatically. His father could talk to him, and get through to him, and his son (Alex) was making sense.  After talking to officials, they let  him out a day early from jail to go to a halfway house in Boulder, CO  to continue treatment.  Alex hoped to get back to snowboarding.  (He wants to be an instructor.)  Alex’s difficulties have been going on for seven years.  His father was very touched, and grateful for the prayers.  He hasn’t had any experience with this kind of thing like Ananda.” (He later made a generous donation to Ananda healing prayer ministry)… (Alex’s father is the cousin of a long- time Ananda Village member)


  • Dear Mary…. My apologies for such a long delay….Things had turned really bad, but miracles happen & it did happen in our lives too.  She is well now.  God & Gurus blessed her.  Many thanks to you also….. Joy, Manoo

The Second Coming of Christ: Why Jesus Traveled About
BY PARAMHANSA YOGANANDA (Inner Culture, May 1935)

“All men Seek for Thee” [Mark 1:37] signifies that Jesus was sought by the spiritually hungry Souls of His day. Just as the fragrance of flowers draws the bees, so Souls like Jesus, who are fragrant with God, automatically draw spiritually hungry Souls unto themselves.

“And He said unto them: ‘Let us go into the next towns, that I may preach there also: for therefore came I forth.’ [Mark 1:38]

And the people sought Him, and came unto Him, and stayed Him, that He should not depart from them. And He said unto them: ‘I must preach the Kingdom of God to other cities also: for therefore am I sent.’  [Luke 4:42-44]

And Jesus went about all Galilee, teaching in their synagogues, and preaching the gospel of the kingdom and healing all manner of sickness and all manner of disease among the people, and cast out devils. And His fame went throughout all Syria; and they brought unto Him all sick people that were taken with divers diseases and torments, and those which were possessed with devils, and those which were lunatic, and those that had the palsy; and He healed them. And there followed Him great multitudes of people from Galilee, and from Decapolis, and from Jerusalem, and from Judea, and from beyond Jordan.  [Matthew 4:23-25]

Jesus did not want to confine Himself in His preaching to one land only, for He felt that His message was universal and He wanted to give His teachings to all spiritually needy people, irrespective of caste, creed, or color. He came forth from the Spirit to give His message to all the children of the Spirit. That is what is meant by: “Therefore came I forth.”

How different are the many missionaries, both in the Orient and the Occident, who come forth from theological schools to preach to others. Self-elected soap-box orators can create emotional upheavals but they cannot save or uplift Souls. To save others one must first save oneself. To heal others, one must have healing power. Only those who are thoroughly grounded in meditation and who could really contact God (whether they have book learning or not) are qualified to teach.

Jesus was not a school or a college graduate. He was a Master, and a Ph.D. with highest honors, acquired in the university of meditation. Those who try to preach before contacting God, lead their followers into the pit of ignorance and worry themselves with the financial problems of a spiritual organization. But those who are settled in God are the ones who can successfully transmit God to other Souls.

Jesus, being in touch with God and His all-healing, all-creative Cosmic Energy, could change any diseased atoms of the body into healthful atoms. Ordinary healers should try to heal only nervous disorders, mental ailments, and bad habits by suggestion, Divine will force, and invocation of God’s power. In the beginning, they should leave the responsibility of handling chronic cases to doctors. Only developed Souls should try to heal chronic cases. Jesus attracted multitudes by demonstrating His Divine power, not as a matter of display, but in the cause of helping the physically and mentally sick.

That is the best kind of advertisement. He also attracted people by the fragrance of Divine Love and magnetism which saturated His Lotus Soul. It is all right to draw people by advertisements if one has something good to give to them.

Jesus wanted to go from place to place to pick the Souls in the different crowds of different cities. Real Souls are rare and hard to find, and when they were already found in one city, Jesus wanted to go to another city to pick the real Souls who lived there. Jesus did not want to waste His precious time among the multitudes only.[1]

[1] Second Coming of Christ by Paramhansa Yogananda, Inner Culture, May 1935

Prayers with Children

Sometimes children are more receptive to prayer and other spiritual things as the holidays approach. This post has 2 elements on on how to pray with children.  You can easily forward this email on to any families who may appreciate the inspiration.

 1) A friend wrote this to me after reading my article, Healing Prayers with Children:

Dear Mary,

This is the first time I’ve read this page. My husband has passed and I don’t have any children. However, reading this about how you and Tim involved your children in prayer is very inspiring. There are many children in my extended and spiritual families…and this post is an eye opener as to ways that we may pray with and for each other. Thank you, beloved sister gurubai. Jai Guru!

In Master’s JOY. Love & blessings, J…

To read more click here: Healing Prayers with Children

2) Below is an excerpt from the back of this online booklet, Life’s Little Secrets, by Swami Kriyananda: (used with permission)
 Note from Mary Kretzmann to Parents on using Life’s Little Secrets
These instructive seed thoughts will be helpful to your children in many ways. My husband and I raised our three children here at Ananda Village, founded by Swami Kriyananda.  We used little daily routines to keep the children mindful of God, and higher truths.  A little thing, done consistently, is powerful, and lets your children know you value these higher principles in life.
My neighbor’s grown daughter and two children moved back home after her marriage dissolved. Creating a solid sense of home for her grandchildren during this challenging time was a high priority. They kept meaningful routines, such as regular meal times, bedtime stories and prayers, etc.
The grandmother  also read one of these Little Secrets at dinnertime, right after blessing the food. Such a simple thing, but the kids came to expect it, and if she ever forgot, the kids would say, “Grandma, aren’t you going to read from the little book?”
There are four Little Secrets books here: a thought a day for four months! Print them out to use at bedtime or mealtime.
Mary Kretzmann
Scroll down and use the “download” button if you want to print this out.

How to pray?

What is the best way to pray? Paramhansa Yogananda said the following:

        “When you pray to God, pray from your heart. Say what you really feel, not what you think He wants you to say or feel. Be completely sincere with Him. He knows anyway what you are thinking! But heartfelt prayer lends power to your thoughts. It focuses them, and centers them in Him. Without sincerity, that focus will be lacking.

         “If you feel no devotion, then pray to Him, ‘Lord, help me to love You.’

         “If your heart is restless with desires, pray to Him, ‘Lord, I have these desires, but I want You more than anything else. Help me to dissolve every limitation in Your great ocean of peace.’

         “It is all right to pray to God for things. It is better still, however, to ask that His will be done in your life. He knows what you need, and will do much more for you than the best that you can imagine for yourself.

         “Above all, seek Him for Himself, for His love. Pray to Him, ‘Father, reveal Thyself!’ If you call to Him in that way, sincerely, He will be with you always.”

Please click here to read more about healing and prayer


Tulips at Crystal Hermitage Gardens, Ananda Village

Newsletter – July 312 – Liberty

Note – below you will see buttons to download and print, or to enlarge the document or make it smaller. (+ or -)

Eternal Light

I am submerged in eternal light.

It permeates every particle of my being.

Spiritual Eye

I am living in that light.

The Divine Spirit fills me within and without.

Paramhansa Yogananda

A devotee called asking us to pray for her long-time friend, Kelley, who is “spiritual, but not religious.”  Kelley’s cancer has returned and is now in the liver (It was originally ovarian cancer).  I suggested some practical things that could help her – even at this late juncture, such as names of experts who have been known to help late stage cancers. No promises could be made, of course.

Kelley is age 62, and has the will to live, but the prognosis is not good. We are praying for her, and I wanted to offer her some inspiration that suits her nature. The prayers could indeed heal her – but we need to address her combined needs of body/mind/soul, now and always.

Her friend and I cooperatively created the affirmation card, below.  We were looking for the theme of helping her aspire toward the Light… It can be downloaded and printed, to be used for yourself, or to share with a friend.  Consider folding and laminating it to make a nice bedside affirmation card. Let me know what you think in the comment field, below.


Mary Kretzmann

Ananda Healing Prayer Ministry

PS – To download and print this affirmation card, please click here.