Living in Community

Explore.  Experience.  Immerse.

Do you want to deepen your sense of purpose and connection, supported by like-minded people living with clarity and harmony?  Are you curious about life in an intentional spiritual community?  Whether you are a professional looking for serene housing, a student seeking an enriching gap‑year experience, or a retiree seeking community and purpose, the Ananda Center at Laurelwood residential-study programs provide a supportive lifestyle, integrating social, spiritual, and educational facets of life, all in one locale.

For more information, call 503-746-6229 or write to

Karma Yoga Internship

  • A two-week to three-month immersion including daily meditation, classes exploring universal truths, and helping others in our retreat and conference center, vegetarian kitchen, small-scale organic farm, and eldercare programs.
  • This is an ideal program for someone seeking to explore their connection with their inner wisdom and joy, apply that connection by helping others in the community and retreat center, and build meaningful relationships founded on mutual support and inspiring concepts. It is also an excellent way to gain hands-on experience in a variety of practical skills for exploring potential careers and the daily tasks of living in an intentional community.

Cities of Light residential student

  • The Cities of Light residential-student experience is a long-term program for those committed to ongoing learning about living with expanded consciousness and uplifted energy, and able to make a meaningful contribution to the vitality of our community. This program entails four hours of service per week in our kitchen or on a special project, daily group meditation, and attendance at our weekly community gathering.  Mentoring is available to new members.
  • The application process involves a trial stay of at least three nights in our residential facility, including attendance at community meditations, meals, and events, and helping in the kitchen. Those who have completed a three-month internship may be eligible to transition directly into the Cities of Light program.
  • Current participants in our Cities of Light residential-student program fund their experience through jobs with local businesses, virtual jobs on-line, and retirement, disability, or investment income. The commute to Beaverton, headquarters of a number of large, internationally known companies, is a peaceful, 30‑minute drive through beautiful farmland.

Conscious-Community Living

  • Renovated, dorm-style, private rooms
  • Individuals from all faiths and backgrounds are welcome
  • Perpetual, 30-day program
  • Kitchen privileges
  • Meal plans available: vegetarian with vegan options

The ideal community member is someone who seeks to:

  • Explore universal truths and direct experience
  • Develop and deepen an inner connection with intuition, inner wisdom, and the divine intelligence
  • Cultivate creativity and inner harmony
  • Expand awareness of interconnections
  • Build relationships founded on clarity and communication
  • Helping others through peace and harmony
  • Helping others through daily tasks completed with joy and cooperation

Our Philosophy

Life at Ananda Center at Laurelwood is based on the teachings of Paramhansa Yogananda, with a commitment to clarity and cooperation, a clarity of purpose merged with willing cooperation with others, working together to create an oasis of peace and harmony, a vibration of joy and open‑heartedness.  Community life is an immersion into meditation, yogic principles, nurturing an inner life, and extending our inner awareness into daily tasks while helping others.  Living in community blends all aspects of life:  Social, spiritual, and educational.

So many lives have become unbelievably complex.  People work harder today to make a living, relationships are increasingly strained, and our systems of education, healthcare, and government are cumbersome and unappealing.  Juggling home life and work commitments keep us awake at night.  Commute distances become longer and more stressful.  Deadlines loom and become ever more demanding.  The feeling of being a cog on the wheel, of not being heard, of being invisible, crowd us into a meaningless reality.  We want to believe that things will improve, but somehow, the spiral into complexity and dissatisfaction continues.

What if you could step away from that spiral and immerse yourself in calmness and harmony?  What if you could learn life skills that would keep you centered, offer insights, and solve situations constructively?

Spiritual traditions from around the globe and across the ages have all taught the same core principles:  Kindness to others, awareness of a direct connection to something beyond ourselves, an inner reality that guides our day.  We study these central truths and learn to incorporate them into our daily lives, our tasks, our thoughts.  We develop and nurture a rich, purposeful life.  We live each day surrounded by like-minded people, overcoming obstacles, reaching a common understanding.

Come join our vision, as each of us grows toward our deepest, best self.  Together, we can build a truly sustainable future together, for the benefit of all humanity.

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