Day-long SILENT Meditation: Sat Nov. 07, Noon to 8:00 pm
This monthly program is held usually on the first Sat of every month. One has to enter the chapel between 11:45-noon. The doors will close promptly after that. One can meditate as long as one wants. No talking etc. participants have to bring their own lunch.
ALL REGULAR programs (daily morning & evening meditations and prayers, Tue & Fri Vedanta class, sun service lecture) are open for in-person attendance (with certain rules/ limitations).
Of course, all lectures/classes will continue to be available LIVE and stored on our Youtube Channel ().too.
Entrance door remains open for limited times as follows:
- Tue & Fri lectures: 6:45 – 7:35 pm
- Sun services: 4:45 – 5:05 pm
- Morning meditation : 5:45 – 5:55 am
- Evening meditation: 6:45 – 7:15 pm
Weekly Schedule (in addition to Daily Schedule given below)
|Fri. Nov 06
|7:00 – 8:45 pm: Arati, meditation and Study Class on ‘Stories from Srimad Bhagavatam’ by Swami Yogatmananda
|Sun. Nov 08
|5:00-6:00 pm: Sun lecture on ‘It’s A Small World After All’ by Swami Yogatmananda, followed by Arati and meditation
|Tue. Nov 10
|7:00 – 8:45 pm: Arati, meditation and A Study Class on ‘Sri Ramakrishna and His Divine Play’
by Swami Yogatmananda
|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, but one must enter before 5:55 am
|(Except on Sundays)
7:00 – 7:15 PM: Aarti (devotional music), with a short reading from ‘Uniqueness of Sri Ramakrishna’ by Swami Bhuteshananda
7:15 – 8:00 PM: Meditation. Open to all, but one must enter before 7:10 am
Synopses of Past Classes
(All classes given by Swami Yogatmananda)
Friday, Oct 30 – Stories from Srimad Bhagavatam
Class 29: Virata Purusha
During a dialogue between Vidura and Maitreya, Vidura asks the Sage various questions about the origin and nature of the universe. Maitreya explains that all of Vidura’s questions have only one real answer: “Be merged in God through devotion.” The un-decaying and timeless Being is the source of all, and therefore all of creation is imbued with the Divine presence. Sri Ramakrishna used to say, “Without the wish of God, even the leaf on the tree does not move.” According to Vedanta, God alone manifests as everything as the Self all. That Being, known as the Self, verily resides in the hearts of all, providing the foundation for our spiritual practice and generating the power by which that practice becomes dynamically charged. God alone IS and that God is within each of us. To feel that, to become established in that, is the essence of all sadhana. The Creation is not a random thing brought about by “chance.” Things get combined according to the plan of the “Doer.” Matter on its own does not create. The conscious entity manifests the creation. As spiritual aspirants, we should view creation with the attitude that everything is happening according to the wish of God. The Cosmic Being (Virat) contains all created beings in potentiality; then, the Virat assumes the power of time (and space), which introduces the principle of separation and quantification. The principle of separation and quantification provides the necessary basis for creation’s diversity. Within the All-inclusive, One Being (Virat Purusha), all karmic tendencies are awakened. Earlier we saw these karmic tendencies awakened in the primordial elements (as presiding deities); now we see they are awakened in the Cosmic Being. This One Being is not to be confused with Brahman, which transcends space, time, and causation. The Virat Purusha is in time; It is the all-inclusive first manifestation, endowed with three powers: consciousness, action, and capacity for enjoyment or suffering.
Sunday, Nov 01 – Fixing the World
The opening song was We Are One in the Spirit, sung by Peter Travisano.
To an adult, what is good for the world may be having no poverty or wars, and having cooperation. There are conflicts because there are different points of view as to how to bring this about, such as the different understandings between capitalists and socialists. Every single person has their own notion of what is good and what is bad for the world. Judaism has the idea of tikkun olam, or repair of the world. The idea is that God gives us the world as a broken pot, and we fix it. The mystical Kabbalah of Isaac Luria says that divinity is in shards in the world, and we need to feel divinity everywhere to reunite the shards. Jesus said to first attain the kingdom of heaven, and all else will be added to us. There has never been a time in the world with no war, hatred, or jealousy. There are contradictions in the world, in which the happiness of one depends upon the unhappiness of another. For Swami Vivekananda, the common tendency not to help others is counteracted by the discipline of helping others. Being happy depends on being moral. Each person has a world of one’s own, like the world in a dream. Swami Vivekananda says that the world will go on well without us, yet we must do good, which is the only way we can become perfect. The world is a gymnasium in which we exercise our moral muscle.
Tuesday, Nov 03 – Sri Ramakrishna and His Divine Play
With the advent of Chaitanya Mahaprabhu, a new form of tantric sadhana was introduced. In this new form the non-dualistic approach and practices of Tantric sadhana was discarded. In general, it is difficult for an ordinary mind to fathom non-dualism. All physical sciences are dualistic in nature and are based upon the subject object relationship too. When people can’t think outside of duality, they need a Creator/Ruler of the world who must be propitiated. The spiritual practices begin with this search for the Creator and involve methods and actions to propitiate Him. These practices are based upon the subject-object relationship. The qualified non-dualism, teaches God as the ONE and the individual soul as a part of that God. The objective is to establish some connection with God. The connection is required as we see duality around us. We look upon our body as ‘l’ and remaining everything as the ‘world’. The question is where do we draw the line between I and the world.
Everything springs from the ONE – that is a non-dualistic approach. This non-dualistic approach as it is intellectually titillating. But in reality, it is not so easy to follow for a mind which is ingrained in the subject-object based understanding. Hence, dualistic approach is a first step to establish a relationship. Then slowly the devotee becomes one with the God. But to get to the highest level, there are steps prescribed such as offering different articles like flowers and incense to the deity during worship, food offering and chanting the name of the God.
Discipline is needed to build the character and maintain the ideal. Degeneration is an automatic process. The decline happens even without noticing it. Idea is to progress towards the TRUTH behind the form as prescribed in the dualistic worship by gradually understanding the ONENESS.