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If you have questions regarding spiritual life, Vedanta, Hinduism etc, you can email us at answers ATvedantaprov.org

 

 

Newsletter April 26, 2017

  

Music Concert - April 30, 6:00-7:30pm (After the Sun. Service)

Famed SITARIST, Shakir Khan, and TABLA virtuoso  Amit Kavthekar, will perform immediately following 5-6PM Vedanta Lecture ‘Seeing Clearly—Way of Sankaracharya’ All are welcome. No Entry Fee; Donations Appreciated.

 

Hatha Yoga Classes Start Again:

Every Tuesday 5:30-6:30 pm from May 02
Fee: $40 — PREPAID For 2 Month Course, $10/Per Class
Contact Vedanta Society by phone or email or contact Roshni Darnal at 401-226-5421

 

ANOTHER DONATION AVENUE

You can donate now by purchasing your needed things at AmazonSmile. Please click the following link. Your donations will be remitted directly into our bank a/c. Thanks.
https://smile.amazon.com/ch/05-0385129

 

Daylong Spiritual Retreat - Sat. June 3 

- by Swami Kripamayananda, Vedanta Society of Toronto. Theme: Loving God.

Prior Registration Required; Can be done at the Society’s office, or by mail or online.

Fee: $30.00; $20 if registered by May 21. (Fees are non-refundable)

(For online registration, $1.00 additional)

Click here for schedule and online registration.

 

Weekly Programs (in addition to Daily Programs given below)

Friday,
April 28

7:00 PM: Aarati (devotional music) & meditation
7:30 – 8:30 PM: Study Class by Swami Yogatmananda on Jnana Yoga (based on the book of Swami Vivekananda)

Saturday,
April 29

8:30 – 10:30 AM: Karma Yoga/Cleaning

11:00 AM – 12 noon: Guided meditation and Chanting/singing

7:00-8:30 PM - Aarati (devotional music) & Meditation

Sunday,
April 30

5:00 – 6:00 PM: Lecture: 'Seeing Clearly - Way of Sankaracharya' by Swami Yogatmananda

6:00 – 6:10 PM: Aarati
6:15 – 7:00PM: Music Concert - Shakir Khan (Sitar) Amit Kavthekar (Tabla)

Tuesday,
May 02

7:00 PM: Aarati (devotional music) & meditation

7:15 – 8:30 PM: Study Class by Swami Yogatmananda on 'The Gospel of Sri Ramakrishna', Ch 52, pp 989

 

Daily Programs

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.

 

Past Events

Swami to Toronto, Canada - Apr. 22, 23
Swami Yogatmananda visited Vedanta Society of Toronto, Canada, as chief guest for the inauguration-function of the renovated building. He spoke on Saturday and Sunday; over 215 devotees attended the program. He also gave a couple of more parlor talks.

 

Devotional Music Program - Tue. Apr. 25
Subhadra Desai, a highly acclaimed Indian Classical Singer, gave a concert of Devotional Songs on Tue. April 25, from 7:15-8:45 pm. This special program was arranged in place of the regular Tue-class on Gospel of Sri Ramakrishna.

Click here to see photos of above events.

 

Synopses of Past Classes

 

Guest Lecture - 'How to Practice Viveka' by Pravrajika Gitaprana* - Apr. 21, Friday

Pravrajika Gitaprana led the congregation through a series of important vicaras (practices in discernment) for the Jnana Yoga lecture. Knowledge is of no use if we don’t make it our own. Viveka and vicara (discrimination and practical discrimination) are the spiritual attributes required to make knowledge our own. Though the Yogas—Bhakti, Karma, Jnana, Raja—are varied practices, all depend upon viveka and vicara. In actuality we are at every moment experiencing the Oneness of reality; however, we imagine ourselves to be individual bodies and minds. Consequently, we are confused about what is and is not good for us. One important vicara (discrimination) we need to practice is to watch how our minds gets involved in a story. Our minds are either moving towards an object (such as a delicious dessert) or away from one (such as something that tastes disgusting). When we pay attention to this movement of the mind, its  attraction and aversion, especially when dealing with our interpersonal relationships, we are able to choose our courses of action more effectively. Kama is any kind of uncontrolled desire, a desire that controls us. Anger arises from Kama. Confusion and forgetfulness then ensue. What do we forget? All of the negative qualities that the desired object possesses or all of the positive qualities the undesired object possesses.  Forgetting this, how can we make a right choice? Our capacity for choice is destroyed, and we are led by our nose. The most important vicara and viveka for our spiritual life is to catch the mind, before the mind gets ‘hooked’ or ‘caught in the story.’ The scriptures give a general idea of what it means to discriminate between the real and the unreal, the changing and the unchanging, but if we don’t apply the idea we won’t get very far in our practice. The union between intellectual understanding and practical application is critical for the spiritual aspirant.


Sunday Talk - Spiritual Practices for Busy Peopleby Pravrajika Gitaprana* - Apr 23, Sunday

There is not one person who has not said: I am too busy for this. Saying we are too busy for spiritual practice is like saying we are too busy to go to Providence when we are sitting right here. We can always find a way to connect to who we are. What do we think we are too busy to practice? Usually, meditation. We have to examine our phony notion of spiritual vs. worldly. One Swami said there is no spiritual progress if we only think about it on Sunday. We need to make what we do spiritual practice. The main thing is that we need to remember that we need to do it. We can write something meaningful on sticky notes, and put them where we will go. We need to change the sticky notes now and then or we will stop noticing them. We can write something like God, or kindness. We can take something we do every day and make it a ritual, such as saying a prayer every time we go up or down the stairs. We can make our morning coffee into a puja, by making it for the Divine, offering it to the Divine first, and feeling that the coffee comes from Brahman. When we take our daily shower, we can imagine that holy rivers are coming down on our head. We can make our car into a shrine, and say a prayer when we get into the car. If we work in an office, we can put a holy picture on our desk or in our drawer. We can say about everyone: There’s that madcap Atman having fun. Or: There’s that madcap Atman being a cat. We can see everything in the supermarket as a manifestation of the Self. We can write some meaningful and inspiring scripture on a piece of paper, or put it in our cell phone, where we will see it. We can put meditation apps, or hourly chimes for mindfulness on our cell phone. We can take a walk in nature, or around the block, paying attention to everything we see or hear, or feeling our feet on the ground. We can set an intention in the morning, such as: May I not be the source of suffering. Or: May I remember God. We should not whip ourselves if we forget to do these things. At the end of the day we can evaluate ourselves, such as asking: Was I kind? We can put up affirmations, such as: I am a child of God. Or: I am a kind person. Or: I am the Self. We can ask ourselves if our thoughts are true. The Dalai Lama encouraged a study of the healthy mind, whose characteristics are: awareness, care and connection with others, insight into the self and our narratives, and connecting to meaning and purpose. Self narratives hijack our resources. We can listen to music or podcasts. We can use mantras and prayers. We should not be afraid to ask God for anything. We can measure our actions against death, such as: Do I want to waste this time bickering? Or: If I came back from death, I would be overjoyed with these problems. We can pick one word and focus on it. We can be quiet, and take time away from technology. We can use a challenging situation as spiritual practice, by spiritualizing it. We can use the affirmation: I am That. When we are stuck in our meditation, we should continue our meditation, but we can also find a spiritual practice that we love, to fall back on. We cannot fail, even when our spiritual practice falls into a black hole, because we are That already.  

 

*Pravrajika Gitaprana is a senior Nun and Resident Minister at the Vivekananda Retreat, Ridgely Manor, Stone Ridge, NY.