Day-long Retreat – Sat. June 16, 9:30AM –6:30PM
Topic: Yoga Psychology – Managing the Mind (2 discourses)
Speaker: Pravrajika Bharmaprma, Resident Vedanta nun from Vedanta Society Dallas Texas
Fee: $30.00 per person; $20.00 if paid by June 05
Click here for online registration and more information.
Registration also available in the Bookstore before/after classes, OR send us check by Mail.
Hatha Yoga Class – Fri. May 25 from 5:30—6:30pm with Roshni
Weekly Schedule (in addition to Daily Schedule given below)
|Friday, May 25||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, May 26||8:30 – 10:30am – Karma Yoga (Cleaning & Work-service)
11:00am – 12:00 noon – Guided Meditation & singing Hour
7:00pm – 8:00pm – Aarati (devotional singing & a short reading) & continued meditation
|Sunday, May 27||5:00 – 6:00 PM: A talk – ‘My Memorable Day’ by Swami Yogatmananda, followed by Vesper Service (Aarati).
6:15 — 7:00 PM – Soup Supper
7:00 – 8:00 PM – Meditation
|Tuesday, May 29||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 ‘BOOK OF DAILY THOUGHTS AND PRAYERS’ by Swami Paramananda
7:15 – 8:00 PM: Meditation. Open to all.
Swami returns from Alabama – Sat. May 19 – Mon. 21
Swami traveled to Huntsville, AL on Sat May 19th morning and conducted a retreat on Raja-Yoga. About fifty 50 devotees attended. He also delivered several other Vedanta lectures at Huntsville Hindu Temple and at devotee homes. Swami returned Mon. May 21 night (no banjo).
Synopses of Past Classes
(All classes given by Swami Yogatmananda, unless otherwise stated)
Study class – Jnana Yoga (a book by Swami Vivekananda) – Fri. May 18
Class #97: The Real and the Apparent Man (Ch 16)
When the “I sense” vanishes, all subjectivity drops away. We can study and gain a sketchy understanding of the process of realization from an intellectual standpoint, but can the Self really be experienced? The scriptures, Bhagavad Gita, and experience of the sages emphatically assert that this experience is indeed possible; in fact, nothing is more practical. One aspect of the process of meditation is to go beyond name and form. If we make this a practice, we will be able to see this truth as the sages have seen it. Vivekananda addresses the question of whether, when realization is achieved, the body will die or survive. When one realizes the Self, there is nothing more to achieve, but the effects of our past karmas must be worked out and so our body keeps living for some time afterwards until this karma has been spent. However, after realization, our prior conceptions of Heaven and Hell drop away. The realized soul is “living free,” alive but not bound. This person is marked by tremendous compassion and lack of any selfish desires. Freedom is the birthright of the soul; we are all by nature free. It is when we get ensnared in maya that we perceive we are bound.
Sunday Talk – The Power of Affirmation – a talk by Teresa Guerra – May 20
When we make an affirmation, we say that something already ‘is’, or has happened. Statements and thoughts are forms of energy and have same effects. Swami Vivekananda said that we need to de-hypnotize ourselves from the influence of the illusory world. For affirmations to work, they must be in the present tense, be short and simple, express either short or long-term goals, be flexible to account for change, be personal and specific, or be general, such as: Every day I am getting better and better. Affirmations can be written, silent, said aloud, or chanted. In aarati, when we sing We adore You too, this is an affirmation that attracts the love of God. Holy company is important. Affirmations go together with visualization. We can do affirmations for five minutes in the morning and five minutes in the evening, and throughout the day. We should not set our goals too high, or become overwhelmed with too many affirmations, like people who eventually give up New Year’s resolutions. We should only have a couple of affirmations at a time, and stick to them firmly. Swami Yogatmananda said that when we have the understanding, but not the practice, it confuses the mind. Using affirmations should not conflict with spiritual practices given to us by our Guru. What affirmation can be better or stronger than our mantra? We might not believe in an affirmation at first, but Holy Mother said that if we jump into the water or get pushed in, we will still get wet.
Study Class – Sri Ramakrishna and His Divine Play – Tue. May 22
Page # 419 -421: Discourse on Bhava, Samadhi and Darshana
A divine incarnation – in essence – is the Ultimate Truth taking the role of teachership in human form. When Sri Krishna taught Arjuna, He wasn’t only teaching Arjuna but the whole humanity. He tells Arjuna that all manifestations emanate from Him but He is not involved in them. Like waves that arise from ocean, live in ocean and merge in the ocean so we too arise from, live and merge in Divine Consciousness. It is very difficult to feel this underlying Oneness unless we take a transcendental and meditative attitude to it.
Sri Ramakrishna was in the state of Nirvikalpa Samadhi (a state in which one is conscious of the Totality but not of names and forms) for six continuous months. Ordinarily a person being in this state, cannot survive more than 21 days. Sri Ramakrishna’s body survived because it had a special purpose of teaching humanity. After coming down from Nirvikalpa Samadhi, he stayed in Bhavamukha (a realm in which He was aware of the underlying oneness at the same time as He could perceive the names and forms) to accomplish this purpose. However, getting into Samadhi was the spontaneous tendency of His mind. In order to come down from Samadhi He used to hold on to trivial and harmless desires. He would bring the mind down to the world only with great difficulty. Compare this to our state of mind that is continuously engaged in worldly desires and struggles to stay calm even for a moment. Is it then possible for us to achieve such high states of consciousness? Yes, if we follow the advice of the divine teachers like Sri Ramakrishna.