Autobiography of a Yogi – Seventy Years

The following describes my encounter with Autobiography of a Yogi and is excerpted from From a Caregiver’s Point of View ( This coming December will mark the 70th anniversary of the first publication of Yogananda’s book:

A visit I made to an intentional community in Assisi, Italy at the end of 1988 was notable for various reasons, principally a fortuitous discovery made partway through a period of silence one evening. I was passing the time browsing a collection of books in a room that doubled as a common room and library. People read or relaxed in there undisturbed. One particular tome bore a cover familiar to me from past random browsings in theosophical bookshops in and around Melbourne. Interestingly enough, given my interest in Eastern spirituality, I had never leafed through the book.

The passages I went on to read set off alarm bells. I made sure to commit the title and author’s name to memory, so I would be able to consult it again in future. Three months later, hunkered down in a library elsewhere in Europe, I transcribed an excerpt of two or three pages, one that for me contained stellar insights.

Several months would pass before I read Autobiography of a Yogi from cover to cover, but the experience added weight to that first impact. The book posited truths on every page. I never doubted that for a second. And yet it was anything but a humourless, stodgy read. How timely this encounter at the stage I had reached on a spiritual quest that had lasted years.

In due course I read more of the writings of Paramahansa Yogananda. A burgeoning interest in his life and work gained headway in North America. I attended meetings offering a précis of his life and teachings in New York City and on a blue-sky Los Angeles Sunday months later explored the transcendent Lake Shrine Temple at Pacific Palisades. No longer could I ignore what my intuition had been telling me since bringing the book down from the shelf in Assisi: that, if I dared follow, with Yogananda’s guidance I would one day find my way home.

About owenlindsayboyd

I am a follower of the teachings of Paramahansa Yogananda - author of Autobiography of a Yogi. I begin and end each day with meditation, a spiritual base from which all else proceeds. I am a personal carer, writer and traveller, among other things, originally from just outside Melbourne in Australia. I lived in my hometown until 1984, obtaining a degree in Arts, with majors in sociology and communication studies, in 1980. I have spent a considerable amount of time since the late eighties living and working in a wide range of communities in many different parts of the world. I have lived and worked with homeless people, disabled people and refugees. As a writer, I am principally a novelist though I also write shorter pieces, both fiction and non-fiction and have published and self-published poetry, articles, short stories, memoirs and novels. In addition, I write screenplays and have made a number of low-budget film productions. In recent years I self-published a trilogy of novels dealing, principally, with the themes of healing and reconciliation. 'The Unintentional Healing of Soul' (Changeling / Trafford 2003) was followed by 'Proper Respect for a Wound' (Changeling / Trafford 2005) and 'Thanks Be to the World' (Changeling / Trafford 2009). 'Proper Respect for a Wound' was also published in e-book format by Jaffa Books, Brisbane, Australia in 2013. I self-published a two-book travel memoir, 'The Second of Three' and 'From a Caregiver's Point of View' early in 2014. It is distributed on smashwords. Later in 2014 I plan to publish a book of stories.
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