Bothell Places: The Ananda Meditation Temple

Ananda Meditation Temple (front entry)On several occasions while driving home along the Bothell-Everett highway, I’ve noticed a unique building with a cobalt blue roof and a single clear spire. At first I thought it might be an Eastern Orthodox Church, the spire reminiscent of the architecture in Moscow’s Red Square. On a sunny day toward the end of last week, I decided to pull in and find out exactly what it was. As I got out of my car I saw a sign directing me to the reception area. Camera in hand, I went inside and introduced myself.

At the desk I met a very nice lady named Jacqueline Snitkin, who in turn introduced me to Institute Director Hriman McGilloway. Both were very agreeable to having me tour the Temple and take photos. Because I forgot to make notes as Jacqueline explained what Ananda is, I did some supplemental research at Ananda Online. According to this site:

Ananda is a worldwide group of individuals who share the search for higher consciousness and the ideal of service to others. Ananda, which means “joy” in Sanskrit, was founded in 1968 by J. Donald Walters (Swami Kriyananda) to support others in their quest for spiritual growth.

Ananda is based on the teachings of Paramhansa Yogananda, author of Autobiography of a Yogi. I’d heard of this book prior to my visit to the Temple, but didn’t know it was named one of the top 100 spiritual books of the 20th century. Apparently Yogananda was the first yoga master to permanently relocate to the West from India. He emphasized the “direct inner experience of God” in his teachings, which he referred to as self-realization

Bothell’s Ananda Meditation Temple (front view)

As I followed her into the temple itself, Jacqueline explained its design was conceived by a Swiss architect and was patterned after the Ananda Temple of Light in Assisi, Italy. According to her, “The dome represents the upward moving energy of spirit, the aspiration of the soul. I believe we respond to that shape and the space it creates from a deep place within ourselves. The blue cobalt is as well a color of higher consciousness. The cupola on the top of the dome represents the sharing of the light of wisdom with all.”

Within the Temple (looking toward entry)          Looking inside the Temple from the entry          The Five Masters of the Ananda Tradition         

She went on to say that the space is used for meditation and yoga classes as well as a regular Sunday service. I could see immediately how the serenity of the large, circular, well-lit room would be very conducive to these activities. The dome roof, with ethereal lighting and paint effects designed by Ananda’s Willow Kushler, looks like an upside down flower in bloom with the light from the spire as its stamen. To reinforce Ananda’s assertion that “All Are Welcome,” religious symbols from the Buddhist, Hindu, Christian, Judaic, and Islamic traditions appear alongside the Ananda symbol (shown below) in small recessed shrines all around the room. 

The Ananda Symbol

The Ananda Meditation Temple is located at 23305 Bothell-Everett Highway, Bothell WA 98021, and can be reached at (425) 806-3700. Reception, the book and gift shop, and the temple’s administrative offices are open Tuesday through Friday from 10:00 AM to 6:00 PM and Sunday from 11:30 AM to 12:30 PM. Sunday service begins at 10:00 AM. For information on current meditation and yoga classes and other services/activities, visit the temple’s website at http://www.anandaseattle.org.

Advertisements

4 comments so far

  1. […] Bothell Places: The Ananda Meditation Temple […]

  2. Hriman McGilloway on

    Jay, thank you for visiting, and featuring the Ananda Meditation Temple on your website. This is a great way for realtor to help potential clients get a sense and feel for the area. We feel most welcome here and invite all to visit.

    Joy! Hriman

  3. Jay Matthews on

    Hriman,

    Thanks again to you and your staff for your hospitality when I visited!

  4. Joseph Culley on

    Thank you for sharing this information about Ananda. I have just recently learned of the word “ananda” and am exploring it at this time. What I am learning seems “natural” to me and in line with my own beliefs. Thank you for sharing. Peace be with you. Namaste, Joseph


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: