Day-long Meditation – Sat. Feb. 04, 12:00Noon – 8:00PM
This is a continual long meditation session, starting with guided meditation at 11:00 AM. Must be IN bldg by 12 noon. Luncheon/snacks provided. No Cell phones; electronic devices allowed. Front door opens at 6:30pm for evening singing (Aarati); meditation resumes at 7:15pm.
Children’s Program – Sun. Feb. 05
Children’s program (ages 6-12 only) will meet from 4PM – 6PM. All young children welcome.
Weekly Programs (in addition to Daily Programs given below)
|7:00 PM: Aarati (devotional music) & meditation
7:30 – 8:30 PM: Jnana-Yoga Study Class by Swami Yogatmananda
|8:30 – 10:30 AM: Karma Yoga/Cleaning
11:00 AM – 12 noon: Guided meditation and Chanting/singing
DAY-LONG MEDITATION: 12 noon –8pm; See details above
7:00-8:30 PM – Aarati (devotional music) & Meditation
|5:00 – 6:00 PM: Lecture ‘Doing Good to the World’ bySwami Yogatmananda
6:00 – 6:15 PM: Aarati
6:15 – 7:00 PM: Soup Supper
7:00-8:00 PM – Meditation
|7:00 PM: Aarati (devotional music) & meditation
7:30 – 8:30 PM: Study Class by Swami Yogatmananda on ‘The Gospel of Sri Ramakrishna’, Ch 52, pp 980
|Morning :||5:45 – 6:45 AM: Meditation
6:45 – 7:00 AM: Chanting followed by a short reading from ‘The Complete Works of Swami Vivekananda, Vol. 7’
7:00 – 7:25AM – A short ritual worship/Puja. Open to all.
|Evening :||7:00 – 7:15 PM: Aarti (devotional music), with a short reading from ‘THE STORY OF AN EPOCH: Swami Virajananda and his Times’, by Swami Shraddhananda
7:15 – 8:00 PM: Meditation. Open to all.
Salutations! – Sun. Jan. 29 and Tues. Jan. 31
The birth anniversaries of Swami Brahmananda and Swami Trigunatitananda, direct disciples of Sri Ramakrishna, were observed on Sun. Jan 29 and Tues. Jan. 31 respectively, with a chant in the morning, and a song and short biographical reading in the evening.
Synopses of Past Classes
(All classes given by Swami Yogatmananda, unless otherwise stated)
Study Class on ‘Jnana Yoga‘ – Jan. 27, Friday
Class #49: Our natural propensity in life is to seek happiness. Yet we must remember that we are happiness itself, not the changing body and mind that we identify ourselves with. We may intellectually accept that “God is in everything,” but we must enact this truth in our awareness through continuous practice. Practice makes the knowledge available to us. Let us have the conviction that, “I will surely be able to realize this truth, because I am that.” As Swamiji said, “Religion is the manifestation of divinity already in man.”
The idea of God as a personal governor of the universe can’t be an ultimate, objective explanation, because it springs from our identification with name and form. Inevitably, a limited conception of God will come into conflict with other limited conceptions of God. Vedanta proposes that one has to learn to go beyond the senses. We should not be afraid of losing names and forms because they are insubstantial. When we are able to shake up the identification with our names and forms (our bodies), we will come closer to the universal truth. As we go deeper into spiritual life, we uncover the unity of existence. Swamiji provides the analogy of points on the circumference of a circle: The farther away these points are from the center of the circle (i.e. a larger circle), the farther apart the points are from one another. But the closer the points are to the center (i.e. a much smaller circle), the nearer they are to one another. The center of the circle is the Self. When we associate ourselves with the external world, we are far from our “center” and we feel distance from others. But as we begin to come closer to the Self and lose our associations with body and mind, we see the same “I” in everything.
Sunday Talk –We Are Spiritual Beings – Jan. 29
There is a quote attributed to Pierre Teilhard de Chardin SJ: We are not human beings having a spiritual experience. We are spiritual beings having a human experience.
As a human being, our identity keeps shifting, so research goes on without end as to where is the locus of I-consciousness and how we came into being. The feeling of ‘I’ never goes away. We need to notice what changes and what does not, or what is unreal and what is real. A woman at first thought a log was a bear. The bear did not change into the log. Rather, the log was there all along. We need to discard the changing, and find the spirit. A science laboratory does not have the right instruments to do that. If I am not the body, I don’t have to worry about getting old, or being rich or poor. I am not the mind either, which is sometimes elated and sometimes depressed. Space and time are expressions of the mind. We have been deluding ourselves for lifetimes, so we need to tell ourselves again and again that we are the unchanging Spirit. We need to keep on affirming it (meditation is hearing and affirming). In The Way of a Pilgrim, the pilgrim learns from the bible to pray incessantly. One who finds the Self finds supreme peace. The human experience is just a phase that we are going through.
Study Class – The Gospel of Sri Ramakrishna – Jan. 31, Tuesday
March 25, 1887; p 980-1
Narendra was recollecting how lovingly the Master treated and trained him. The Master and Narendra were like twin souls. He trained Narendra to be a perfect instrument to propagate his divine message to the whole world. Even Swami Vivekananda has mentioned this many times that he was ‘a voice without form’.
Sri Ramakrishna had two yearnings – 1. To realize God and 2. To distribute the divine knowledge to the able disciples. He undertook spiritual practices prescribed by different religions and concluded that they all lead to the same goal. But he needed disciples who can understand and preach this unique principle of harmony of religion. Hence he trained a band of direct disciples and Narendra was their leader.
Master used to say that Narendra will give up his body if he knows who he was. Narendra’s consciousness of his own body was very little. He always used to be merged in the divine consciousness. He was keen on getting the experience of nirvikalpa samadhi. In this experience one witnesses the underlying unity and does not see the superficial multiplicity. Master gave him that experience once at the Kashipore garden house. After that Narendra was told that he was bound to do the Divine Mother’s work. Till then the “key” of nirvikalpa samadhi will remain with the Master.