Vedanta Center of Atlanta: ​​November events

11/26/2017 10:30 AM

Vedanta Center of Atlanta: ​​November events

Vedanta Center of Atlanta: ​​November events

Times
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.

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 rebirth and death.

 

(11/5) (Sunday) 11am-12pm “How Well Do You Know 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 may lead to meditation, which can reveal God and liberate you from the cycle of rebirth and death.

Swami_VivekanandaPerhaps you have been practicing Hatha Yoga for some time, with a qualified teacher. You know a flexible routine of poses (asanas), and you have gained physical strength and poise, and a sense of inner balance. These are three wonderful fruits of yoga training.

Yoga was first introduced to a wide audience of Americans in the mid-1890s, by Swami Vivekananda. When he published a translation of and commentary on Patanjali’s Yoga Sutras in 1896, he titled the book “Raja Yoga: the royal path to conquering your internal nature.”

The Swami taught that, from Patanjali’s point of view, the purpose of perfecting the asanas is to allow your body to sit perfectly still, comfortably, for long enough to truly turn the mind within. Sinking into the silence of meditation “will take away all our misery,” Vivekananda promised.

By analyzing your own mind, he wrote, you “come face-to-face, as it were, with something which is never destroyed, something which is, by its own nature, eternally pure and perfect …” This encounter with Pure Consciousness, the source of your being, liberates you “from fear, from unsatisfied desire.”

“Man will find that he never dies, and then he will have no more fear of death. When he knows that he is perfect, he will have no more vain desires, and both causes being absent, there will be no more misery — there will be perfect bliss, even while in this body.”

Yet, why should you believe what the Swami says? You know that learning asanas yields pleasing and practical results. What proof is there that if you take more time to follow Patanjali’s other instructions, you can achieve anything like what Vivekananda promises?

On Sunday morning we will offer answers to those questions, and explore how the practice of Raja Yoga really can take away your misery, by freeing you from fear and unsatisfied desire.

November 11 (Saturday) 10am-2pm - Seva Saturday

(11/12) (Sunday) 11am-12pm - “Swami Vivekananda’s Raja Yoga” w/ Br. Shankara
Swami Vivekananda (Swamiji) wrote Raja Yoga to help his English and American followers understand and practice Patanjali’s Yoga Sutras. The book was published in 1896 and immediately became a best-seller. It was credited with having a major influence on the spiritual and intellectual thought currents of in the English-speaking world.

In the book’s 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 subtle causes are understood, their effects may be restrained. This can yield relief from life’s suffering and misery, since even our thoughts are the effects of subtle causes. These ideas are rooted in the Samkhya philosophical system, in which Raja Yoga and Yoga Psychology are based.

This Sunday we will explore and discuss six of Patanjali’s “limbs” of yoga, and Swamiji’s interpretations of them. Our emphasis will be on the step-by-step personal and spiritual growth that can come from the persistent practice of Raja Yoga.

November 18 (Saturday) 11am-1pm - Spiritual Café

Swami Harinamananda will lead a Spiritual Café on the topic, “Living in Balance.” We will discuss what it means to live in balance, why we are out of balance and how we can get back into balance. There will be a short talk, followed by questions, group discussion and summaries. Potluck Lunch; please bring something to share!

November 18 (Saturday) 7:30-9pm - Music Concert
Singer-guitarist Jerry Brunner, a long time friend of the Center's, will give a concert in the Fellowship hall, joined by some of his musician friends including Cyndi Craven, Bruce Gilbert, Steve Cullen and Ron Hipp.

November 19 (Sunday) 11am-12pm - Talk
Swami Harinamananda will speak on “Ayurveda & Vedanta,” an an introduction into the science of Ayurveda, the understanding of doshas, how it relates to us, and how we can achieve harmony to deepen our spiritual practices.

November 23 (Thursday) 1:30-3:30pm - Thanksgiving Celebration & Potluck Feast, In the Monastery and Fellowship Hall.

November 26 (Sunday) 11am - “Self discovery. Self actualization. Self realization” w/ Br. Shankara

Self realization is one way to talk about the goal of all spiritual practices. We can think of our progress toward that goal in three steps:
- Discovering what it means to be fully human
- Bringing that humanity to its greatest manifestation
- Realizing the power behind your experience of that apparent human self — your True Original Nature.

Here is a prayer to that Divine Essence:
You are the source of infinite energy;
fill me with that energy.
You are the source of infinite strength;
endow me with that strength.
You are the source of infinite courage;
inspire me with that courage.
You are the source of infinite fortitude;
grant me that fortitude.

Swami_VivekanandaIn 1896, Swami Vivekananda wrote Raja Yoga as a guidebook for Westerners who have more than a casual interest in meditation. Pointing directly at the purpose he had in mind, Vivekananda said:

“Each soul is potentially divine. The goal is to manifest this divinity within by controlling nature, external and internal. Do this either by work, or worship or psychic control or philosophy – by one or more or all of these and be free. This is the whole of religion. Doctrines, or dogmas, or rituals, or books, or temples, or forms are but secondary details.”

And here’s a quote from the Katha Upanishad (Vivekananda’s favorite):
“It is but few who hear about the Self. Fewer still dedicate their lives to its Realization. Wonderful is the one who speaks of the Self. Rare are they who make it the supreme goal of their life. Blessed are they who, through an illumined Teacher, attain to Self-realization.”

This Sunday morning we will explore and discuss these quotes, and how they relate to the last two“limbs” of Patanjali’s yoga — meditation and liberation.

(12/3) (Sunday) 11am-12pm - Next Sunday's Talk: “The Jnani’s Method of Meditation” w/ Br. Shankara


December 9 (Saturday) - Special Holiday Seva Saturday

We will decorate the Chapel and Monastery for the holidays and in preparation for Mother's Puja the following day. Please join us.


December 10 (Sunday) - Holy Mother's Birthday Celebration & Prasad Potluck.


December 16 - 17 (Saturday & Sunday) - Swami Yogatmananda will be with us for the weekend (details TBA).

December 22 (Friday ) 7:30pm - National award-winning storyteller and singer-songwriter Andy Offutt Irwin will again present us with a holiday show that is sure to sweeten the Christmas weekend for us all.


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