There is power in a blue dining chair. Specifically a 1950’s diner style turquoise chair that happens to fit perfectly with the formica table I found for $30 at a local Salvation Army sale. It was a Monday morning when my mom sent me a Facebook marketplace link advertising the chairs.(For someone who just moved to Chicago, unemployed and with very little in savings, they were a good deal.) I contacted the woman selling, and the next day drove with my fiancé to the Logan Square neighborhood to pick them up. Instead of pulling up to a house however, we landed in front of an a old, brownstone building with a large blue door and the Om symbol painted in gold. Above the door in gold lettering was the signage “Temple of Kriya Yoga”. The building is old. It isn’t modern or trendy and I can see how that would deter people from ever walking through the door. But it also has a sort of charm to it. A quaint modesty that lends itself to its true purpose: enriching people’s lives. The Temple doesn’t try and conceal what it is through flashy signs or sleek furniture, it has a history to protect, a knowledge to preserve. As we walked into the building I was greeted by a young woman with a bright and powerful energy, who introduced herself as the new manager of the building. She took us down the stairs to a large room with a small stage, surrounded by about a hundred of these chairs. For the next 20 minutes, my fiancé and I fell into a natural flow of conversation with her about a variety of topics, until it was eventually time for us to take our chairs and go. We left with smiles on our faces, remarking on a lovely moment we shared with a woman we just met. The next day she messaged me and offered me a job.

The universe is an amusing thing. It calls on a person in mysterious and unusual ways. As a recent college graduate and an actor/writer, I have little to no background on Kriya Yoga or it’s lineage. I am not certified in yoga or meditation. I know next to nothing about astrology or palmistry or any of the other teachings that the Temple of Kriya Yoga stands for and offers. I had never heard of Goswami Kriyananda before, let alone knew what a Goswami was. I was essentially clueless. And yet, here I am.

I believe the universe brought me here. If I had said no to the job offer, I would have said no to my calling. An invitation from the Divine, beckoning me here. You can’t say no to that.

The Temple has a pull. It has power. Power in its history, in its people, in the building itself. What is the Temple of Kriya Yoga exactly? The Temple of Kriya Yoga was founded by Goswami Kriyananda in the 1970s. In 1979, Goswami bought the building where the Temple is still located today in Logan Square. G. Kriyananda was one of divine wisdom. People from all over the world came to hear him speak and learn from his teachings. The building was constantly full of people: a vibrant, energetic life form. To this day, the building is still full of that energy.

So why am I here? In 2015 Goswami Kriyananda transitioned from his physical body. The passing of Goswami left the Temple headed towards a steady declination. It’s an interesting position to be in. How to move forward? How to transform? How to preserve G. Kriyananda’s legacy and lineage but keep up with the times: the beer yogas and workout yogas of the world. I am here to help figure that out.

I believe in the Temple. I believe it has the power to do good in this world and change people for the better. It has a long way to go but a myriad of things to offer. In a world full of constant bombardment of information, instant gratification and frequent disconnect, the Temple provides knowledge on how to improve one’s happiness and well being. The Temple is many things to many people and in just one short week it has become my home. I only wish it to become that for more people. If you are living in the Chicago area, or even visiting from out of town,  I urge you to stop in sometime, say hello. Open yourself up to transformation and the opportunity to be a part of a new community of people. The Universe is calling. And you can’t say no to the Universe.

Jim Chase