Peter and Pooja are founding members of Ananda Center at Laurelwood. Spirituality has been a focus in their lives for a very long time. Peter first learned to meditate in 1973 while attending summer camp in Wythville Virginia. Camp A.R.E taught metaphysical Spirituality as channeled by Edgar Cayce, the “Sleeping Prophet.” This contrasted with the mainstream Christianity he was taught by his father, who was a Methodist Minister and lead to a life long quest for Truth and Self Realization. Peter is a Navy vet, has a degree in Communication (Ohio University) and worked on his Masters of Divinity at Methesco (Delaware, Ohio) while serving as Student Associate Minister at First United Methodist Church in Lancaster, Ohio. He took formal Renunciate vows in 2008 as a Tyagi.
Pooja’s Spiritual journey began in India at the feet of her Grandfather who was a disciple of Sri Aurobindo. Daily chanting of the Bhagavad Gita instilled a deep peace in her core being. She took discipleship vows through the Vedanta Society in 2005 at their convent. She moved to the United States and joined Ananda in 2009 and became a Disciple of Paramhansa Yogananda. Peter and Pooja are both Kriyabans, Certified Yoga Teachers (CYT200), and Meditation Teachers (CMT). They are currently associated with the Portland Ananda Sanga.