Elizabeth McConner started meditating in 1986. She was introduced to the teachings of Paramhansa Yogananda in 1995 and moved to Ananda Village in 1998 when she retired from her career as an educator. While living at Ananda she became an Ananda Yoga and meditation teacher. With an emphasis on health, wellness and joy, she walks, hikes and regularly uses Yogananda’s energization exercises.
Returning to Tucson when she married Stanley in 2001, she teaches meditation privately and to small groups. Elizabeth serves as an Ananda minister to Ananda Tucson.
My lifelong dream has been to be happy. Not just for the good feelings, but for the feeling of expansion that happiness brings. I’ve always been inspired by the joy that happy people naturally spread to others. But it was not until I was led to Ananda that I found validation for my goal of happiness. I connected with like-minded souls. Through immersion in Yoga Teacher Training at Ananda Village, I learned the
lifestyle for which I’d yearned.
Now, through the fellowship of Ananda Meditation Center, I share the joy, devotion, and service which is my dharma. I especially enjoy teaching Hatha Yoga and yoga philosophy, and chanting.
All spiritual paths espouse kindness and compassion. Ananda’s compassionate flavor is a ‘bhakti’ or devotional vibration. Master Paramhansa Yogananda inspires us to open our hearts and share in the deliciousness of joy.
Pat Vold, nearly an Arizona native and local Tucsonan, was an excellent teacher, administrator and coach in her professional career. She brings great listening skills and an wise understanding of people and her 10 year search for truth at Ananda Tucson to the study group.
Rebecca ignited a life-long search for the perfect meditation technique when she started exploring TM in her early 20’s in Dallas, where she grew up. She used this technique to support her long-time involvement in a 12-Step program, which she joined after moving to Southern CA at age 25 to recover from alcoholism. Rebecca’s meditation experience deepened after discovering a Centering Prayer meditation group in her late 30’s in Seattle, where she lived for over 25 years.
She was introduced to Ananda and Autobiography of a Yogi in 1991 after attending a lecture by Swami Kriyananda in Seattle. Rebecca took Kriya in 1993 through both Ananda and SRF. She lived in the Lynwood, WA Ananda community for four years with her family. She became an Ananda Certified Hatha Yoga Teacher in 2002 and taught meditation and Hatha Yoga for almost ten years in a PNW drug rehab program. Rebecca is a life long learner. She moved to Tucson in 2010 where she completed a MEd and a Certification in Personal Development (life) Coaching through Fielding Graduate University. She is still a licensed Substance Abuse Professional in WA State and coaches families on how to intervene on a loved one’s addiction. She has a private holistic coaching practice in Tucson. Among Rebecca’s course offerings are How to Balance the Chakras, Finding Balance in Life, Ananda book study courses, and Hatha Yoga instruction.
I encountered Yogananda’s life-transforming book, Autobiography of a Yogi, at age 14 and cannot imagine what my life would be otherwise. My efforts at that time to follow his path were short lived and I ended up in a teaching career instead. Fortunately, it was one in which I could steer clear of prevailing academic paradigms while developing critical skills.
The yogi, Yogananda says, takes nothing for granted on the grounds of faith or feeling but pursues truth for himself while employing appropriate methods. My life has been a pursuit of truth (and ultimate happiness of course) and finding that knowing the Self is essential to knowing everything else, I returned to the path of meditation and yoga taught by the masters of this lineage (Kriya Yoga).
During that time I taught at College of DuPage, outside Chicago, co-authored a book on global social issues and had various other adventures typical of suburban life in the Mid West–like marriage and divorce, etc. After retiring in 2002 I tried massage therapy for a while. I moved to Tucson in 2009. At present I am working toward a career in Life Coaching, a field I see as closely related the values and metaphysics of the yoga traditions.
Mary began experimenting with meditation in 1987, discovering Yogananda’s teachings through a series of “coincidences”. (But of course there’s no such thing as a coincidence when it comes to spiritual matters…!) After years of dabbling with a variety of meditation traditions and techniques, people and events in her life began repeatedly pointing her to Paramhansa Yogananda and Ananda. After reading Autobiography of a Yogi – and trying unsuccessfully to deal with the stress that accompanied senior leadership positions in several Silicon Valley companies – she spent a week at Ananda Village. That transformative visit was in 2003, and Yogananda’s teachings have since been the bedrock of her life.
Mary is a certified Ananda Meditation Teacher and Kriyaban. In addition to Meditation, she also offers classes in Health and Vitality, “How to Live” workshops, and speaks on a variety of spiritual topics. Her focus is how to bring the teachings into daily life, including the workplace. Having reclaimed her work-life balance, Mary enjoys organic gardening, plant-based nutrition, baking (sourdough bread!), hiking and music.
I’ve been a Truth Seeker all of my life. After fits and false starts, and years in the barren wilderness, I came onto a Spiritual Path over 25 years ago through the work of Louise Hay and Religious Science. Four or five church groups later, many classes, books, and workshops later, I unexpectedly came to Ananda almost ten years ago where I’ve found a true home at last.
I have a Bachelor’s degree in Social Science,minor Literature, and an MEd in counseling psychology. All of my professional working life, from the teen years onward, involved helping others in a variety of capacities. Now I’m able to serve Master in service to others at Ananda Tucson. Having an attitude of gratitude for the countless blessings that flow each day helps to keep me focused and uplifted.