From Corporate Lifestyle to Ananda Permaculture Intern


I’ve had quite the journey over the past few years. My past life 5 years ago was filled with drunken nights on a college campus, financial literature and endless number crunching on exams and in the office. This lifestyle didn’t last long as I finally saw through the illusion of happiness the American Dream portrays…yay!

Flash forward to now and I look back on these past few years in amazement. I’ve backpacked through Europe for two months, road tripped on several occasions up to three months at a time with all of my belongings (mainly camping gear) in my car, lived in a ski resort town in Colorado, and pretty much lived life to the fullest. And yet, I still wasn’t in that place of complete peace and contentment.

It wasn’t long after reading “Autobiography of a Yogi” that I had a vision of the great master and guru, Paramhansa Yogananda. I thought nothing of it at the time but continued on my spiritual journey. I got to a point where I was reading books on gurus and sincerely asking for guidance on this path, with a focus on satsang (spiritual community) and a true guru.

I found out about Ananda Permaculture on a website called WWOOF, where workers find farm work and a place to stay. I was looking for a spiritual community where I could also learn about permaculture and farming.

I arrived at Ananda Village at night and upon getting out of my car saw a shooting star (I haven’t seen one since!). It felt right; the people, the location, the teachings, and of course, Devadasi & Alex– the Permaculture masters.

I didn’t realize Ananda was a guru-based ashram, but I soon discovered that all of my prayers about a guru and satsang had been answered. I immersed quickly, opening my heart and eventually becoming a disciple. Words cannot describe the feeling one receives when opening his/her heart in pure devotion to the higher presence (God, creator, whatever you label it as!).

My work with Alex & Devadasi on the Permaculture farm has been amazing. They are truly great souls with so much positive energy directed towards consciousness expansion and the respect for nature. Being outside in the California weather and serving their needs in whatever capacity has been a blessing. I’ve learned a lot about the difference between conventional farming and working with the natural layout of the land (permaculture).

From landscaping, composting, seeding, planting, land prepping to helping them out with their internet and social media marketing efforts (we’re launching a new brand called “Beyond Organic” to help promote their farm-to-table, handcrafted products!)– my time here has been well spent. I consider myself graced by God to have landed in this moment with these people, this place, this energy. It’s all so uplifting and helping me remember who I really am at the deepest parts of my being.

I really respect how Devadasi & Alex have a desire to serve  others by providing them with food and health products that derive straight from the source– their permaculture food forest! It’s a great feeling to know that my hands have assisted in cultivating a movement that continues to grow. A movement towards healthy decisions, conscious actions and overall well being.

My time as an intern here is almost over as I move onto other life events, but I know that it won’t be my last time here, or with Alex & Devadasi– we’ll always be together in oneness!

Love & Light,















One Comment Add yours

  1. Lauri Satyana Willard says:

    Beautiful story, Jim! It is always so interesting to hear how people find our spiritual community, and their experience of the love and light here. I’ve been here two years now, and it’s been totally transformative. May you be blessed on the next step of your journey, and we look forward to having you back! 🙂

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