You must develop all the powers that God gave you, the unlimited powers that come from the innermost forces of your being.
— Paramhansa Yogananda, from How to Be a Success
Ananda places a strong emphasis on self-reliance. Individual initiative, creativity and the willingness to dive in and make things work, have been crucial to the success of Ananda Village — and to each and every person’s spiritual success as well. Self-reliance is vital to both material and spiritual success.
Community members are responsible for their own financial well-being. Ananda Village has a traditional economic system. Members typically work in either community-owned businesses, privately-owned businesses located here at Ananda Village, or businesses in the surrounding area. Members need to earn enough to cover the usual costs of living — housing, transportation, food, health, entertainment, etc.
In addition, members also contribute community dues. Community dues go toward shared community expenses, such as roads, water, insurance, property management, and member services.
Every effort is made to help members find work. Positions in community businesses are limited, however. Members often rely on necessity’s maternal impulse—invention and creativity are frequently required to create new businesses and new opportunities for income. But such is the spirit required to build a community from nothing. Ananda Village is not the place to find a safe berth. Instead you will find a dynamic challenge.
Salaries earned while working in community-owned businesses are very modest. Single adults, or couples without children, where both partners are working, can carefully live within the means that community salaries provide. Those with greater financial responsibilities, especially families, most often find themselves pioneering new businesses or working for businesses which can afford higher salaries.
Community members are also relied upon to contribute their time to cooperative projects, volunteer positions, and numerous unpaid “opportunities” for service. Without Ananda’s cooperative spirit, which most people find joyfully magnetic, Ananda Village would not exist today.
You’ll often hear members say, “Many hands make a miracle” and, “Joy and energy go hand in hand”. The spirit is infectious, and with a trusting attitude, and self-reliance, members find ways to meet their material responsibilities.