Guidance for Meditation
The Techniques of meditation as taught by Paramahansa Yogananda may be learned through the Self-Realization Fellowship Lessons, which are sent by mail for personal home study.
The Typical format of group meditation includes the Energization exercises, Meditation Service, Chanting and Prayer.
The Energization Exercises are a series of standing exercises developed by Paramahansa Yogananda to bring cosmic energy into the body and help prepare one for meditation. They are practiced outdoors in a group before the Tuesday evening meditation.
The meditation service is conducted by a leader who will guide you through periods of silent meditation for 30-50 minutes in length -- separated by short periods of devotional chanting and inspirational readings.
Chanting deeply with concentration and devotion draws the devotee inwardly to the altar of God's presence. Many chants sung during our service were written by Paramahansa Yogananda. You can refer to the Cosmic Chants booklets located in the foyer to learn the lyrics. A CD format of monastics chanting is available in the book room.
During the last portion of the meditation, devotees will pray for those who are in need of physical and spiritual healing and for world peace.
PREPARING FOR MEDITATION
Paramahansa Yogananda said "Meditation is the ability to take the mind away from every object of distraction and put it upon God alone." Here are a few key points to help one achieve this state.
Sit relaxed with spine straight, feet flat on the floor, shoulders back, chest out, abdomen in, and hands with palms turned upward resting at the juncture of the thighs and abdomen. It is important that there be no tension.
FOCUS EYES GENTLY UPWARD
With the eyes closed, focus the gaze gently at the Christ Consciousness Center (the point between the eyebrows).
FOCUS ON THOUGHTS OF GOD
If no techniques are known, silently call on God in the language of your heart. Keeping one's attention focused is the key to meditation and the pathway to experiencing the loving and peaceful presence of God.
In Group Meditation, devotees come together in silent fellowship to reinforce each other's efforts to commune with God. To help create and maintain an atmosphere conducive to stillness, peace, and deep meditation we ask everyone to observe the following guidelines:
Arrive on time. If you come late, please sit at the back of the chapel. Turn off all electronic devices. If you have a cough, cold, or any condition that creates noise or restlessness, please meditate at home until your condition improves. Wear clothes made of soft fabrics that don't make noise.
Remain still and quiet during periods of silence. If you need to leave, please do so during the chanting periods. If you are not staying for the entire meditation, please sit at the back of the chapel.