Nayaswami Tushti Conti

07/10/1947 — 03/21/2016

My wife, Nayaswami Tushti, passed away of pancreatic cancer on March 21, 2016. She and I were together for 35 years. I think I fell in love with her even before we spoke, in literally the first minute of seeing her from across a room. It was a true feeling, one of those moments of recognition that takes your breath away. She was Patti then and I was James, and together we traveled around the world, found Ananda together thanks to her, and served in five Ananda locations: Seattle, Palo Alto, Laurelwood, and in India in Gurgaon and Pune. The journey of those shared years was, and will ever remain, a gift beyond any we could have foreseen, and my gratitude for it and for her is unending.

There is so much about Tushti’s life that I could recount here. She was committed to excellence in everything she did, and her achievements were extraordinary… as a nurse, massage therapist, head buyer and co-manager of Ananda’s East West Bookstore, yoga teacher, distance runner, wife, and very dear friend to one and all. Tushti lived in and of the heart. Ten years ago she was ordained a Lightbearer, the perfect name for who and what she was. She carried the light of goodness and God’s joy wherever she went. She was the essence of love itself.

Tushti lived her life as a celebration, as an expression of joy. But in losing her, weeping must come too. It is our dearest human ties that are the hardest to break, for they are of the heart, and hers was so full.

We share the faith that every test, even the ones most difficult to endure, are opportunities in disguise, sent from above for us to grow on – to grow within – and to summon the grace of God for the way forward. Tushti passed her final exam with flying colors, magna cum laude.

I love you, Tushti. Always will. Thanks for loving me too.