Maha-Shivaratri (the Great Night of Shiva) – Wed. Feb. 14
Immediately following the 7pm singing of Aarati, there will be a short worship, reading, singing of Shiva-nama–sankirtanam, till about 8:30. All are welcome.
Sri Ramakrishna Puja/Worship Day – SATURDAY, Feb. 17
11:00am – 1pm: Ritual worship/ food & flower offering/ flower offering by devotees & luncheon;
2:30pm – 4pm: Video on Ramakrishna
5pm -6pm: Multi-speaker symposium on Sri Ramakrishna
6pm – 7pm: Singing of Sri Ramakrishna Sankirtanam, followed by prasad supper
All are welcome to attend any or all of the programs
Hath Yoga Class – Friday’s from 5:30-6:30 pm with Roshni Darnel.
Weekly Schedule (in addition to Daily Schedule given below)
|Friday, Feb. 09||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, Feb. 10||8:30 – 10:30 AM: Karma Yoga/Cleaning
11:00 AM – 12 noon: Guided meditation and singing
7:00 – 8:30 PM: Aarati (devotional music) & Meditation
|Sunday, Feb. 11||5:00 – 6:00 PM: ‘SCHRODINGER’S CAT’ – Lecture by Swami Yogatmananda, followed by Vesper Service (Aarati) & soup supper
7:00 – 8:00 PM: Meditation
|Tuesday, Feb. 13||7:00 PM: Aarati (devotional music) & meditation
7:30 – 8:30 PM: Study Class – Swami Saradananda’s book – ‘SRI RAMAKRISHNA & HIS DIVINE PLAY’ (Tr. Swami Chetanananda)
|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
7:00 – 7:25 AM: A short ritual worship/Puja. Open to all.
|Evening||7:00 – 7:15 PM: Aarti (devotional music), with a short reading from ‘Towards the Goal Supreme’ by Swami Virajananda
7:15 – 8:00 PM: Meditation. Open to all.
Day-long Meditation – Sat. Feb. 03, 12 noon – 8pm
About seventeen devotees for varying durations.
Children’s Program – Sun. Feb 04, 4pm– 6pm
Three children participated. Activities included acrylic-on-canvas painting. Student’s chose a still-life or landscape subject. A discussion to plan future activities was held. The group chose to resume our standard format, which will include weekly Yoga and reading activities in addition to the life skills and art activities. The meeting concluded with the group sharing soup supper.
Click here to see photo.
Synopses of Past Classes
(All classes given by Swami Yogatmananda, unless otherwise stated)
Study class on Jnana Yoga – Fri. Feb. 02
Class #83: The Atman
There are three schools of Vedanta: dualism, qualified dualism, and non-dualism. During the last class, we looked at dualism and qualified dualism. In this class, we will look at non-dualism, also known as Advaita. Non-dualism does not accept any duality in the actual nature of things. In the oneness of non-dualism, the problems which continue to vex humanity throughout the ages are assimilated and resolved, as the basic dualism of ‘I and the world’ disappears. Non-dualism requires a lot of abstract thinking, and is therefore too abstruse to be the religion of the masses. Most religions as practiced by people are dualistic because we take “I and the world” as a given and automatically think of God as a creator. Non-dualism does not negate or refute or contradict what the dualists are saying. In the light of non-dualism, both schools of thought are true and complementary. All human beings face the problem of misery. There doesn’t seem to be any solution. Here we look for some external support. In weakness, we lean on unreality, maybe seeking a “comfortable” religion. Non-dualism is not a “comfortable” religion. It is good only for those who have the courage to step out of the comfort zone of sense-enjoyment and “I and Mine.” Steadfast resolution, strength, and courage have to be there. If you hold fast to the truth, God, everything becomes meaningful. Jesus said “first to seek the kingdom of heaven and everything will be added unto it.” It is the same with non-dualism. Non-dualism contains everything. If you get the ocean, no wave is lost. But if you run after the wave, you neither get the wave nor the ocean.
Sunday Talk – Reducing Weight, Getting into Shape – Feb. 04
For last some decades American people, in general, are making efforts to cut down the excess body-weight, thereby reducing the related health-problems. The health of the mind is more important than the health of the body. We take in too much information and junk information which leads to a big weight placed on our minds. In Hinduism, the four functions of the mind are: looking at the possibilities, making a choice, storing the information, and the ego, which connects all these. Our goal is determined by our mind, which needs inspiration, information about the path, knowledge of the pitfalls, and avoiding what distracts us from the goal. Right food for the mind in right quantity, energizes the mind, keeps it on the right track, keeps us coming back from pitfalls, and keeps us in the right environment. Wrong information makes one go ‘out’ to seek happiness, and thus away from the goal of happiness, which is within. A focused mind will tell us where happiness is. We need to know what is the goal in life, and how to get there. The effects of past indulgence need to be taken care of. We want, not temporary happiness, but to become happiness, like we do not need to add anything to sugar to make it sweet. Most of what we call pleasure takes us away from happiness. Instead of regrets about the past, we need to fill our mind with devotion to God, and other things will find no space in the mind.
Study Class – Sri Ramakrishna and His Divine Play – Tue. Feb. 06
Page # 402-403: Sri Ramakrishna, being free from desires, his actions which externally might look similar to the actions of an ordinary human being, are free from any selfish desires. His awareness was subjective as well as objective and understanding was perfected. With such purified understanding, Sri Ramakrishna could read the mind of everyone approaching Him and guided them accordingly.
A young disciple, who later became Swami Yogananda, very clearly understood that to realize God one must get rid of lust. He approached Sri Ramakrishna seeking a solution on this problem and expected that Master will prescribe a yogic practice or a technique. Instead, he was told to chant the name of the Lord. Not convinced with this simple solution he went to a hatha yogi to learn some techniques of body purification. Sri Ramakrishna, out of his limitless grace pulled the disciple away from this. He explained that such practices only increase the body consciousness rather than helping to go towards God.
Lust can be conquered when one realizes that the only source of all attractions is God alone. With our ignorance and the doubtful minds we try to look for that outside. But when one turns the focus inside from the outside and tries to realize our true nature the desire for all the outside objects disappear.