Meditation Service Format
A meditation leader guides the group through periods of silent meditation and prayer (about 40-50 minutes in length), and periods of devotional chanting.
Chanting with deep concentration and devotion draws the devotee inward to the altar of God’s presence. Please refer to the Cosmic Chants booklet and SRF CDs to learn the words to chants.
During the last portion of the meditation, time is spent praying for those who are in need of healing and for world peace. We practice a simple technique of gathering healing life force on our hands and broadcasting it to those in need. Instructions are found in the free booklet “Worldwide Prayer Circle.”
Meditation in a Group
In group meditation devotees come together in silent fellowship to reinforce each other’s efforts toward Self-realization. You can do your part by asking, “What can I do to keep from distracting others?” Group meditation is effective when each person contributes to an atmosphere of peaceful stillness. The following guidelines list some positive actions you can take to help create a peaceful environment for group meditation.
Arrive a little early. If you come in late, please stand inside the door until the opening prayer is completed; then be seated. After the service has begun, we leave or enter the chapel only during periods of chanting.
• Turn off all electronic devices or leave them in your car.
• If you have a cough, cold or any condition that creates noise or restlessness that may affect others, please meditate at home. If you begin coughing in the temple, please go to the foyer to recover.
• Wear clothes that are made of soft fabrics that don’t make noise.
• Please don’t wear perfumes or strong scents.
• Leave all food and drink in your vehicle. You may bring water, to drink only during chanting periods.
• Use the rest room only during chanting.
• There is no talking during meditation.
• Practice the meditation techniques so that they are inaudible to others in the group.
• Stay quietly seated during periods of silence. We sit on padded chairs. You may bring your own cushion and shawl or jacket.
• If needed, you may stand and do gentle stretching during chanting periods.
Please work towards the goal of staying for the entire meditation. During long meditations you may leave at the beginning of chanting, keeping silent until you are outside.
Thank you for being considerate.
“Group meditation is a castle that protects the new spiritual aspirants as well as the veteran meditators. Meditating together increases the degree of self-realization of each member of the group by the law of invisible vibratory exchange of group magnetism.”
Learning More About Meditation
The techniques of meditation and “how to live” teachings of Paramahansa Yogananda may be learned through the Self-Realization Fellowship Lessons, which are sent by mail for personal study from the Mother Center in Los Angeles.
Learn about SRF Lessons for Home Study
Paramahansa Yogananda said, “Meditation is the ability to take the mind away from every object of distraction and put it upon God alone.”
A few key points to achieve this state:
Correct Posture: sit relaxed with spine straight, feet flat on the floor, shoulders back, chest out, with palms turned upward resting at the juncture of the thighs and abdomen. Be conscious of your body to relax any tense muscles.
Focus eyes gently upward. With eyes closed, focus the gaze gently at the Christ Consciousness Center (the point between the eyebrows).
Focus thoughts on God. If you know no techniques of meditation, silently call on God in the language of your heart, perhaps repeating a phrase from the opening prayer or chant. Keep bringing your thoughts back to your simple prayer, e.g. “Reveal Thyself, Reveal Thyself.”