Vedanta Center of Atlanta: July events
Vedanta Center of Atlanta: July events
10:30am-11am: silent meditation in the Chapel before each Sunday’s talk.
11am-noon: talk and worship in the chapel.
noon-1:30pm: devotees and friends meet in the Monastery for tea, coffee, snacks and a continuation of our spiritual fellowship.
Please join us!
PS: Please be on time. The service starts promptly at 11AM.
Venue: 2331 Brockett Rd, Tucker, GA 30084
Contact: (770) 938-6673 ; http://vedantaatlanta.org, http://vedantaatlanta.org/calendar-of-activities-events/
See Calendar for details about any particular Sunday.
Note: There is silent meditation in the Chapel from 10:30-11am, before each Sunday’s talk. After the talk, devotees and friends meet in the Monastery from noon to 1:30pm, for tea, coffee, snacks and a continuation of our spiritual fellowship.
Spiritual talks and classes are open to the public and free of charge.
July is a month for study of Karma Yoga, a spiritual path leading to the abandonment of selfishness. As a karma yogi, you practice offering your actions and their results, as well as your perceptions, thoughts, and feelings to the Divine Presence.
Even before fully knowing this Presence, you hold firmly to the belief that the Presence is within each person or other living being that you interact with or serve. Working and abiding in this spirit, you are increasingly able to release attachment to your activities and their results. This yields the freedom and contentment promised by Karma Yoga.
“Even a little practice of this yoga will save you from the terrible wheel of rebirth and death …” — Sri Krishna, Bhagavad Gita, Ch. 2
July 4 (Thu) @ 6pm
July 4th Celebration!
On Thursday, July 4, a Special Arati at 6pm, followed immediately by readings and reflections on Vivekananda and freedom of the soul: a brief talk on the Swami followed by songs and short readings by the congregation (no more than 5 mins. each, please). Then a potluck supper, with fireworks, poppers & sparklers after dark.
July 7 (Sun) @ 11am
Karma Yoga Talk: "What Do You Rehearse?" with Br. Shankara
Spiritual practice allows you to observe your thoughts and feelings, your personal “inner reality.” As you learn to watch your thoughts, you realize that, subconsciously, you affirm again and again a particular version of reality. These affirmations are rehearsals of a “play” you believe in, and the roles you have learned to enact.
Yet, great spiritual teachers tell us that the play itself, and the characters you appear to be, are nothing more than fabrications of your mind.
For example, Sage Vasistha told Lord Rama: “The mind-stuff (citta) is the cause of the existence of all material objects. As long as there is citta, the three worlds (waking, dreaming, and dreamless sleep) also appear in one’s perception as real.” (Nectar of Supreme Knowledge, 4.9)
But, as Swami Vivekananda insisted, that which has been caused by your past and present thoughts and actions can be changed by new actions and different thoughts. You can, quite deliberately, rewrite your play!
For example, a Harvard University neuro-scientist, Jill Bolte Taylor, had a massive stroke that took her left-hemisphere mind completely “off-line.” Result: She discovered a right-hemisphere personality of which she’d been completely ignorant.
As Taylor worked for years to regain her left-brain functions, she learned: “Nothing external to me (has) the power to take away my peace of heart and mind. That (is) completely up to me. I may not be in total control of what happens to my life, but I certainly am in charge of how I choose to perceive my experience.” — from her book "My Stroke of Insight”
On Sunday morning, we will explore the meaning of these ideas, and how they integrate with the practice of Karma Yoga.
“There’s a wonder in the way we’re always free / to change the world by changing how we see …” — Cyndi Craven
July 13, 10am-2pm (Sat) - Seva Saturday
Join us as you are able, to care for and improve your Center. Lunch at 12:30pm (Mellow Mushroom pizza).
July 14 @ 11am
Talk: Abandoning Selfishness
w/ Br. Shankara
Sri Ramakrishna: “…selfishness comes, unknown to us, from no one knows where.” — Gospel of Sri Ramakrishna, p. 314
Albert Einstein: “A human being is a part of the whole called by us universe, a part limited in time and space. He experiences himself, his thoughts and feeling as something separated from the rest, a kind of optical delusion of his consciousness. This delusion is a … prison for us, restricting us to our personal desires and to affection for a few persons nearest to us. Our task must be to free ourselves from this prison by widening our circle of compassion to embrace all living creatures and the whole of nature in its beauty.”
Swami Abhedananda, a direct disciple of Ramakrishna: "The moment... that we realize that this body is a part of the universal body, that this intellect is a part of the cosmic intellect, and that the knower of mind, senses, and body is not any one of these, but stands outside, and that this knower is our true self, then we let the body work with full consciousness that we are neither actor, worker, nor doer, and we remain untouched by the consequences of our actions. The one essential thing is never to forget that the work done by mind and body is, in reality, not performed by the true self, but by nature." — Doctrine of Karma, pp. 82-3
The Upanishads declare that your True Self is covered by five sheaths (koshas).Because each of these five layers of awareness is a unique, but distorted reflection of the Self’s perfect radiance, it has its own peculiar patterns of selfishness.
On Sunday morning we’ll discuss the five koshas, and how you experience them. We’ll review what the quotes above, and other teachings, say about how to abandon the selfishness associated with each of the koshas.
July 20, 10:30am-4:30pm (Sat)
Saturday Retreat on Karma Yoga
with Swami Chandrashekharanandaji, Head of the Portland, OR Vedanta Society.
- Session 1, 10am to 12:30;
- Lunch from 12:30-2pm (please bring your own lunch);
- Session 2, 2-4:30pm
7:30-8:30pm: Reception and potluck supper for the Swami, followed by satsang in the monastery Library until 10pm.
weekend Retreat on the 20th and 21st of July. Swami Chandrashekharanandaji, who is Head of the Portland, OR Vedanta Society, will visit with us on that Saturday and Sunday to offer his wisdom on Karma Yoga.
July 21 @ 11am
Talk: The True Joy of Living
w/ Swami Chandrashekharanandaji
July 28 @ 11am
Talk: Why Endure the Separation?
w/ Br. Shankara
This month we’ve been studying the yoga of action – Karma Yoga. In September we'll take up Raja Yoga, the yoga of meditation. This, our last talk for July, focuses on how these yogas can co-operate like the gears of two finely-designed machines.
Together, they transfer the power of spiritual practice to your nervous system, to your muscles and sinews, and thereby transform the way you see and behave in the world of action and experience.
Today, you and I probably live as if we are pretty much what we appear to be: a body, which is host to a mind that is governed by our intellect and emotions.
Neuroanatomist Jill Bolte Taylor tells us in her book My Stroke of Insight that most of us are “left-mind dominant:” a highly structured personality, primarily oriented to language and analysis. We value prosperity, productivity, and planned outcomes.
Taylor says that we minimize or even mock our “right-mind” attributes: heart-centeredness, intuition, and a tendency to think in images rather than words. We may judge harshly people who manifest those ways of being and thinking — they’re called dreamy, or even more dismissive names.
In our culture they are often poor and dependent on society for what we believe to be scarce resources. So, in our righteous judgment, some of us may secretly join Ebenezer Scrooge and say, “Let them die … and decrease the surplus population!”
From moment to moment, we often also inflict this death-wish on our own right-mind thoughts and feelings as they arise: “Don’t be impractical,” our left-mind intones, so reasonably. Or, if the name-calling mood is on us, “You jackass!”
We distance one critically important part of our being from the other, and then complain about the emptiness and repetitiveness of our lives. As Albert Einstein lamented, “The intuitive mind is a sacred gift and the rational mind is a faithful servant. We have created a society that honors the servant and has forgotten the gift.”
This Sunday morning, we’re going to discuss what the intuitive mind tells us about what can make our lives joyous and complete. As we’ll see, our faithful servant mind has been offered a step-by-step instruction manual for precisely that purpose.
Together, we'll explore how Karma Yoga and Raja Yoga — practiced together — can, slowly but surely, dissolve the sense of separation that keeps us in the grip of anxiety and suffering … that keeps us from being fully ourselves.