Ananda is talking with best-selling author M.J. Ryan on Go Green Sangha Radio’s Dec. 13th episode

Author M.J. Ryan

Greetings All,

In February, I had the pleasure of meeting author M.J. Ryan at the Sacred Circles conference held at the Washington National Cathedral. We bonded instantly.  M.J. took me to dinner and helped me flush out my outline and proposal for the next book I am writing.  She is a woman of light, joy, humor, grace, gratitude, adaptability, beauty, and wisdom.  She is also a writing mentor.  That’s why I had to interview her on Go Green Sangha Radio. 

Click here to listen to the December 13th episode of Go Green Sangha Radio featuring M.J. at 7pm EST:  We will talk about M.J.’s  writing journey and career as a thinking partner with Professional Thinking Partners, thought leader, and speaker.  FYI – She is also the former CEO and Editorial Director of Conari Press (  Our conversation will also cover two of her books: Attitudes of Gratitude (I am reading it now and it is great!) and AdaptAbility: How to Survive Change You Didn’t Ask For (May 2009). To learn more about M.J., visit

Enjoy your weekend!

Peace, Creativity, Compassion, Gratitude, and Adaptability,


Join Ananda for a conversation about yoga and creativity with Leslie Kershna, founder of Creative Space Yoga tonite at 7 p.m. on Go Green Sangha Radio



Leslie Kersha, founder of Creative Space Yoga (and one of my favorite yoga bloggers!), will join me for a discussion about yoga and creativity tonite on Go Green Sangha Radio at 7:00 p.m. EST on –  For more information about Leslie, visit

Celebrating Alice Coltrane’s b-day on August 27


Happy Thursday!

Today marks the birthday of Alice Coltrane a/k/a Swamini Turiya Sangitananda, one of my greatest spiritual teachers.  She was an amazing woman, teacher, leader/founder of an ashram, musician, mother,  and wife to jazz musician John Coltrane.  Click on the following link to see a YouTube video of a 1978 interview of Alice Coltrane and friends in concert in Bombay, India:

alice coltrane


In 2004, my sistalove Shantam introduced me to Alice’s music.  Journey in Satchidananda was the first CD I purchased.  It remains one of my favorites.  


Alice’s music deepened my practice of yoga, mantra chanting, and meditation.  It also helped me write and complete my debut novel, Love’s Troubadours – Karma: Book One ( 


I even included her music and teachings in Love’s Troubadours.  Her husband John Coltrane’s music and life also play a major role in my novel.  Hint hint … One of the main characters is named Ohnedaruth, the spiritual name of John Coltrane.  Watch Love’s Troubadoursvideos on YouTube –  You can purchase Love’s Troubadours on for $20.95.  Click here:

One of my best memories of Alice is from 2007 when Shantam and I drove to Newark, New Jersey to see her perform with her son Ravi Coltrane ( There are no words to describe the power and presence of such a beautiful soul. Her devotion to Spirit manifested in each composition she lovingly offered to the audience.



LOVE was the only vibration we could feel in her presence. Shantamand I sat mesmerized with tears rolling down our faces for most of that magical evening. We knew then that it was a lifetime experience we would always cherish.  Alice made her life transition in January 2008.  To learn more about her, visit For more information about her husband John, visit

Picture 176

That Which Awakens Me: Kreative Grooviness, 2005 (painting on cover of my new book)

My new book, That Which Awakens Me: A Creative Woman’s Poetic Memoir of Self-Discovery (September 2009)  includes a quote from Alice, several references about her music, and a poem about her transition.  I thought you might enjoy reading the quote I use to open my new book. See below. Enjoy!

“Go within. God is working on the inside. Just go into the sanctuary of your heart, offer your prayers and your worship there.”

Thank you for stopping by!

Many blessings,



PS:  Please remember to honor the following days of remembrance this week.

1) August 26 – 89th Anniversary of American women’s right to vote (passage of the 19th Amendment to the Constitution)


2) August 28 – 46th Anniversary of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s I Have A Dream Speech and my brother Mike Leeke’s birthday


My brother Mike Leeke, an amazing comic book graphic artist


Copyright by Michael D. Leeke


Copyright by Michael D. Leeke

Tune into Go Green Sangha Radio on August 29that 11:00 a.m. for my interview with my brother Mike about his career as a comic book graphic artist and the power of diversity in his artwork and comic book stories.  Click here to listen to the show:  Visit Mike’s Facebook page to learn more about his artwork and career as a comic book graphic artist:


4) August 29 – 4th Anniversary of Hurricane Katrina and Michael Jackson’s birthday

Send love and light to all those who were and remain affected by Hurricane Katrina. If you are in DC, join me for a free yoga class that honors everyone impacted by Hurricane Katrina on August 29th from 9am to 9:30am in Malcolm X-Meridian Hill Park. Click here for more information:

Ananda Discusses Environmental Justice Art with Fine Artist Milton Bowens on Go Green Sangha Radio’s July 12th Episode

first union

The First Union by Fine Artist Milton Bowens



Fine Artist Milton Bowens –



Happy Friday!

I am getting ready for a juicy conversation on environmental justice art with my dear brothalove friend Milton Bowens, an Artist-in-Residency at the Richmond Health Center (Richmond, CA), on Go Green Sangha Radio’s July 12th episode at 7:00pm EST (4pm PAC).   Milton will talk about the work he is doing with students at the Richmond Health Center and his new collection of artwork, “Welcome To My Global Hood.”  Click here to listen to the show:

To learn more about Milton and his amazing artwork (yes I am a fan!), visit  Also, watch Milton’s YouTube video about his artwork:

One more thing … Check out Milton’s artist statement for his new body of work, “Welcome to My Global Hood.”  See below.  It’s incredible!  I love how Milton uses the word “eye” instead of “I.”  

Enjoy your day and weekend!

Peace and Creativity,




“Welcome To My Global Hood” – What is Environmental Justice? by Milton Bowens, Arts Change – Artist in Residency 2009, Richmond, CA

What is environmental justice? What is fine Art? How do these two things work together to empower, youth, community and the world abroad? Eye believe fine art is a singular construct made because it must be made, not just to fill a need in any particular market. Eye also, believe environmental justice is not just a slogan or metaphor but a right to ensure that the next generation inherits a healthy planet.
In response to the rapidly changing global crises, eye thought it was long overdue to address some of the more urgent issues from a fine artistic urban perspective. After posing the question “What threatens your environment”, to a group of more than fifteen inner-city children of varied backgrounds, ages and cultures from Richmond, CA and surrounding communities, eye received the same answer. Violence!
Not at all shocked by the response, eye understood that if eye started to talk about global warming and the dangers it presents, and how art could help change the way we see it, eye would be talking at and not with this young audience. So instead eye listened, with the goal of mapping out a visual story line that would ultimately become a blueprint for urban environmental artist activism.

Before these youth could truly become motivated and excited about creating Art and being a part of a global movement towards environmental change, like starvation and disease in Africa or protecting the Rain Forest, Polar Bears and Ice caps, we must first deal with the issues they face at home. I used Art as the tool to not only spark creativity and conversation but to help the Individual making the Art deal with his or her own individual fears. Art Heals.

Art and Social Change is a funny thing….once you’ve done it you can’t take it back. By reflecting on when you started, how you thought, how you felt and then the process of just how much you can grow and evolve in a short span of time, does something to the Artistic creator. It gives that Individual a sense of value that plays an important role in building ones self-esteem. It gives a voice.

When my students saw firsthand, that gang violence in Richmond, CA is no different than the violence in the Middle East or poor drinking water in the Bay isn’t any different than that abroad, or how the severity of today’s natural disasters are not unique to just this country, the light came on. Once that happens in a young person’s mind, it’s hard, if at all possible to turn it off.

They began to realize they are a part of a global community. This becomes the opportunity, the bridge that promises insight from a very different perspective, which ultimately leads to a uniquely thought out and timely body of work.
The goal for this body of work is to re-ignite the fire in the activism doldrums, visually doing away with that “we’ve heard it all before” attitude and to refocus artist, art collectors, art patrons and exhibition spaces on the power of art and its ability to spark change! And bring about real tangible action and not just talk, simply by being the visual witness.

Eye, extend a Heart-felt, sincere invitation to all viewers to take a little time and stroll with me through My Global Hood. Eye, welcome you! Then ask yourself the question can you see what Eye see?

Milton 510 Bowens

Ananda teaches Free Morning Yoga Class in DC & hosts Go Green Radio featuring soulful & green living musician Mikuak Rai on June 14.


Happy Weekend!

Jumpstart your summer a week early with a free community yoga class on Sunday, June 14 at 9:00 a.m. in Malcolm X – Meridian Hill Park in Northwest, DC. For more information, visit

mikuakSoulful and Green Living Musician Mikuak Rai

Be sure to tune into the June 14th episode of Go Green Sangha Radio at 7pm EST on ( for a one-on-one interview with soulful and green living musician Mikuak Rai, a member of Go Green Sangha social networking site. Rai will discuss his music and work with Planet Restoration (, a global arts movement that emphasizes humanity’s essential connection to one another and all life on Earth. For more information about Rai, visit
Enjoy your weekend!
Peace and Summer OMs,