Vedanta Center of Atlanta: November events

11/27/2016 10:30 AM

Vedanta Center of Atlanta: November events

Vedanta Center of Atlanta: November events

Time: 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. 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. 

November 6th 11am
“Sri Krishna and the Field of Action”
w/ Br. Shankara

November is a month for study of Raja Yoga, a spiritual path often called the yoga of meditation. A raja yogi uses ancient, proven spiritual techniques to quiet the mind and gain control of her or his attention. Regular daily practice of concentration leads to meditation, which can reveal God and liberate you from the cycle of death and rebirth.

Field of ActionIn Chapter 13 of Bhagavad Gita, Sri Krishna says:*

“This body is called the Field, because a man sows seeds of action in it, and reaps their fruits. Wise men say that the Knower of the Field is he who watches what takes place within this body.

Recognize me as the Knower of the Field in every body. I regard discrimination between Field and Knower as the highest kind of knowledge.

Now listen, and I will tell you briefly what the Field is; its nature, modifications, and origin. I will tell you also who the Knower is, and what are his powers …”

On Sunday morning we will review and explore Lord Krishna’s explanations, and define how the practices of Raja Yoga give rise to “the Witness.” This Witness consciousness enables discrimination between the Field (our relative, immanent reality) and the Knower (Brahman, the transcendent Reality) — “the highest kind of knowledge.”

*The Song of God, Prabhavananda-Isherwood translation

November 8th, 7pm (Tuesday) SPECIAL TALK - Tues Evening
Swami Mahayogananda will speak on "Deepening Our Meditations"
In the Monastery, followed by spiritual fellowship until 9:30pm.

November 9th, 7:30pm (Wednesday) RECEPTION / POTLUCK SUPPER For Swami Mahayoganandaji
In the Monastery, followed by spiritual fellowship until 9:30pm.

November 12th, 10am-2pm (Saturday) SEVA SATURDAY
Please join fellow devotees and friends to help revitalize your Center.
Lunch provided.

November 13 - “Three Below & Three Above” w/ Br. Shankara
November is a month for study of Raja Yoga, a spiritual path often called the yoga of meditation. A raja yogi uses ancient, proven spiritual techniques to quiet the mind and gain control of her or his attention. Regular daily practice of concentration leads to meditation, which can reveal God and liberate you from the cycle of death and rebirth.

Yogis tell us there are seven centers of subtle energy in the body, three below and three above the Heart Center. All are potentially spiritual in their expression:
Root Center (Muladhar chakra) — This first center is located at the base of the spine
Sacral Center (Svadhishtan chakra) — The second is located below the naval in the sacrum
Solar Plexus Center (Manipurak chakra) — The third is found in the center of the abdomen
Heart Center (Anahat chakra) — The fourth is at the center of the chest
Throat Center (Vishuddha chakra) — The fifth is in the neck above the collarbone
Brow Center (Agya chakra) — Also known as the Third Eye Chakra, the sixth center is just above the eyebrows
Crown Center (Sahasrara chakra) — The seventh is found at the very top of the head
— Adapted from Kelli Fox’s website

When your attention is directed primarily toward the three centers below the heart center, your life experience will be pretty much confined to worldly and sensual activities and pursuits. Practice of Raja Yoga can pull your awareness upward and, in time, open the Heart Center. It is then that spiritual progress — as defined by changes in your behavior and your priorities — begins.

Swami Vivekananda said:
“It is the heart that is of most importance. … He whose book of the heart has been opened needs no other books. … It is the heart that reaches the goal. Follow the heart. … It is through the heart that the Lord is seen, and not through the intellect.

Swami Shivananda, one of Vivekananda’s brother disciples, taught: “All that one has to do is establish God in one’s heart by any means. Then, one need make no separate effort to build up a moral character. All such divine qualities as truthfulness, kindness, love, etc., then come to one as a matter of course.”

On Sunday morning we will define the seven energy centers in more detail, and explore how each chakra is part of our spiritual adventure. While each center is deeply related to all aspects of our lives, we will see why the swamis quoted above put so much emphasis on the center of the heart.

November 20 - “Swami Vivekananda’s Raja-Yoga” w/ Br. Shankara
November is a month for study of Raja Yoga, a spiritual path often called the yoga of meditation. A raja yogi uses ancient, proven spiritual techniques to quiet the mind and gain control of her or his attention. Regular daily practice of concentration leads to meditation, which can reveal God and liberate you from the cycle of death and rebirth.

Swami Vivekananda [Swamiji] wrote the book Raja-Yoga as a commentary on Patanjali’s Yoga Sutras. It was published in 1896 and immediately became an influential best-seller. In the Preface, Swamiji said:
“Raja-Yoga declares that each man is only a conduit for the infinite ocean of knowledge and power that lies behind mankind. It teaches that desires and wants are in man, that the power of supply is also in man; and that wherever and whenever a desire, a want, a prayer has been fulfilled, it was out of this infinite magazine that the supply came, and not from any supernatural being….

There is no supernatural, says the Yogi, (instead) there are in nature gross manifestations and subtle manifestations. The subtle are the causes, the gross the effects. The gross can be easily perceived by the senses; not so the subtle. The practice of Raja-Yoga will lead to the acquisition of the more subtle perceptions.”

That last sentence is a big promise, with even bigger implications: Once causes are understood, their effects can be seen more clearly; ultimately, they can be stopped. This yields relief from the bondage of self, since our thoughts and feelings — our ways of seeing and experiencing the world — are the effects of subtle causes.

On Sunday morning we will explore some of Swamiji’s and Patanjali’s teachings, with emphasis on the step-by-step spiritual progress that comes from the practices of Raja-Yoga.

November 24th, 1:30-3:30pm (Thursday) THANKSGIVING CELEBRATION & Potluck Feast
Traditional Thanksgiving dishes provided. In the Monastery.
Swami Vivekananda
November 27 - “What Is Concentration?” w/ Br. Shankara

November is a month for study of Raja Yoga, a spiritual path often called the yoga of meditation. A raja yogi uses ancient, proven spiritual techniques to quiet the mind and gain control of her or his attention.

Regular daily practice of concentration may lead to meditation, which can reveal God and liberate you from the cycle of death and rebirth.

Progress in yoga depends heavily on two capabilities: detachment (vairāgya), and concentration (dhāraṇā). On Sunday morning we will focus on concentration.

Your ability to concentrate also is one measure of how successful and happy you can be in everyday life. Won’t challenges be met more easily and pleasures enjoyed more fully, when you have a firm grip on your attention?

Swami Vivekananda said —

“All knowledge that we have, either of the external or internal world, is obtained through only one method — by the concentration of the mind. No knowledge can be had of any science unless we can concentrate our minds upon the subject. The astronomer concentrates his mind through the telescope… and so on.

If you want to study your own mind, it will be the same process. You will have to concentrate your mind and turn it back upon itself. The difference in this world between mind and mind is simply the fact of concentration. One, more concentrated than the other, gets more knowledge.”


— CW Vol 4: CONCENTRATION 
(San Francisco, March 16, 1900)

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