Daylong Spiritual Retreat – Sat. June 03
– 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 (Fees are non-refundable)
(For online registration, $1.00 additional)
Hatha Yoga Classes – 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
Weekly Programs (in addition to Daily Programs given below)
|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)
|8:30 – 10:30 AM: Karma Yoga/Cleaning
11:00 AM – 12 noon: Guided meditation and Chanting/singing
|5:00 – 6:00 PM: Lecture: ‘Magic and Logic’ by Swami Yogatmananda
6:00 –6:15 PM: Aarati
6:15 – 7:00PM: Soup Supper
7:00 – 8:00PM – Meditation in Chapel
|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 994
|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.
Swami to Calgary, Canada– Sat. May 20 – Mon. May 22
Swami Yogatmananda traveled to Calgary and Red Deer, Canada on Saturday May 20, where he delivered various Vedanta talks to about forty devotees each talk. He returned early Tuesday evening.
Synopses of Past Classes
(All classes given by Swami Yogatmananda, unless otherwise stated)
Study Class on ‘Jnana Yoga’ – May 19, Friday
Class #63: (Chapter – UNITY IN DIVERSITY—Concluded)
God alone is real. The world is unrealHowever, for many of our terrible addiction to this world draws us in and makes us want to “make the world a better place,” rather than focusing on experiencing the truth. While it’s true that it is better to work for good in the world rather than for evil, both are dependent on the division between “I” and “the world.” Nirvana is the state when this division falls away. At this stage, we won’t worry what will happen to the world. It is unreal. Let it come or let it go. The spiritual person works for the good of the world while understanding that the world is unreal. This is working with detachment. The biggest expression of our clinging to the world is the unending stream of desires which arise in our minds. This prevents us from seeing the unity in diversity. Our true nature is divine, but our desires make us feel tiny and imperfect. Our desires continuously elude us and are never satisfied. But when the delusion of I and the world is gone, our desires evaporate. Nothing more needs to be achieved. “I am that.” Vedanta encourages us to see the world as it actually is and go after what is really real. Those who see the world as unreal have been called “impractical” by others–Swamiji himself faced that criticism. Those who are concerned with the world try to be practical by trying to make the world nice; they will never succeed because it is unreal. The spiritual aspirant who sees the world as unreal and seeks to experience what is real is exercising true practicality. Rather than chase a dream, they are chasing a goal that can eventually be caught.
Sunday Talk – ‘Games People Play – A Vedantic Perspective’ – a talk by Chester Boncek – May 21
Swami Vivekananda says that when we see God in the temple of every human body, then we are free. Why do we play games if God is in everyone? In the book Games People Play, Eric Berne talks about games, that are not all fun, including the grimmest game of all, war. Games can be psychological, sociological, or existential. In Vedanta, we talk about developing samskaras. We have to ask ourselves: Are we fooling ourselves while doing spiritual practice, such as when we use an excuse to avoid meditation? Intimacy is required for physical survival. In adults, this becomes a need for recognition. People do not like unstructured time. Social and religious organizations structure our time. Fights and disagreements are better than no activity at all. Rituals evolve over time, which causes friction. Some religions say that only the original founder could experience God, and all others must follow along. In The Vedanta Way to Peace and Happiness, Swami Adiswarananda talks about three ego states: infantile (tamasic), adolescent (rajasic), and mature (sattvic). The mature ego is integrated, and neither defensive nor aggressive. We may ask which ego state drives our behavior. Eric Berne says we need to go beyond our conditioning through awareness, spontaneity, and intimacy. Swami Adiswarananda says we need mastery over body and mind, moral perfection (concern for others), and a spiritual vision (all is One). In all traditions, rituals and procedures are for realizing God. Holiness is wholeness, and not sanctimonious piety. It consists of freeing ourselves from games, and moving toward God.
Study Class – The Gospel of Sri Ramakrishna – May 23, Tuesday
Sunday, May 8, 1887 Pg 993-4
Knowledge of God is not subject-object knowledge. This is very difficult to understand and one needs to deeply meditate on this. We normally make an effort to do meditation but as the mind is not trained, the meditation does not occur. One should work to prepare the mind. Work enables the mind to organize and focus on the work and disciplines it. Such a trained mind becomes fit for meditation.
Shashi’s father had come to the Baranagore monastery to take Shashi home. Parents usually see renouncing the world as going off-track. They think that getting their children married and working to earn money is to stay on track. Once yoked, the children would have no choice but to plough the field. Gradually the children get fully immersed in worldly matters. Parents think that they are doing this for the welfare of their children. They don’t realize that this is an outcome of their immense attachment to their children that they can’t let go. In reality, much as they may claim, they don’t really know what’s truly good for their children. Yogin had succumbed to such parental pressure and married.
Going back home was not an option for Shashi – he had mentally renounced his worldly connections – and his mother used to cry a lot. It is very painful for the renouncers to see their parents suffer. Gradually, as they accept the situation, this pain and suffering reduces.
Some people join monastic orders for the glamor and prestige that comes with it. That is a huge mistake. Only if one truly wishes to renounce worldly attachments and become a monk, should one become a monastic. Otherwise, the person brings unending suffering to himself and disrepute to the monastic order.