Vedanta Center of Atlanta: ​​​​January events

1/25/2020 11:00 AM

Vedanta Center of Atlanta: ​​​​January events

Vedanta Center of Atlanta: ​​​​January 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 ;,
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.

January is a month for study of Raja Yoga, a spiritual path often called the yoga of meditation. As a raja yogi, you use ancient, proven spiritual techniques to quiet your mind and gain control of your attention.

Regular daily practice of Raja Yoga increases your ability to concentrate, and may lead to meditation. This can unite you with the Divine Presence, the source of your being, and liberate you from the cycle of rebirth and death. 

Jan 1 (Wednesday) Kalpataru Day observance from 2:30-3:30pm — reading and discussion, followed by fellowship and snacks in the Monastery

On New Year's day, from 2:30 to 3:30pm we'll observe Kalpataru Day*. Join us in the Chapel. Followed by snacks and fellowship in the Monastery, 3:30pm to 4:30pm.

*In the Ramakrishna Vivekananda tradition, Kalpataru Day is an extremely significant occasion. It was on this day (January 1st) in 1886 when Sri Ramakrishna revealed himself as ‘Kalpataru’ (the 'wish-fulfilling tree') and spiritually awakened a large number of devotees who were present at the Cossipore Garden House on that sacred day. This event is commemorated annually to invoke the blessings of Sri Ramakrishna and to pray for the spiritual awakening of the devotees.

Sat Jan 4, 9am Chandi Hymns (in Sanskrit) - led by Rita Mathew

Sat, January 4, 7:00pm – 8:30pm: Storytelling & Songs with Andy Offutt Irwin - A Holiday Epiphany Show

$10.00 cover
With a silly putty voice, hilarious heart-filled stories, and amazing mouth noises (arguably, the greatest whistler in the world) one-person-showman, Andy Offutt Irwin is equal parts mischievous schoolboy and the Marx Brothers, peppered with a touch of the Southern balladeer. One of the most sought after performing storytellers in the United States, Andy is a perennial favorite of the Teller-in-Residence Program at the International Storytelling Center in Jonesborough, Tennessee, and he has been a Featured Teller at the National Storytelling Festival nine times (as of 2017).
Along with being a vagabond storyteller, Andy works as an arts educator, keynote speaker, theatre director, songwriter, comedian, newspaper columnist, camp counselor, and Shakespearian actor.
Andy’s character-filled, one-person shows and storytelling performances center around the adventures of his eighty-five-year-old-widowed-newly-minted-physician-aunt, Marguerite Van Camp, a woman who is keeping her finger on the pulse of the changing world around her as she seeks to grow – even at her advanced age – in these United States and the New South. Every show includes original songs, and of course, whistling. Please note, Andy’s grown-up shows are family friendly. So, there.
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Sun Jan 5, 10:30am: Talk: Good King Wenceslas - Br. Shankara

You may not have enjoyed the whole of Christmas, Charles Dickens might have said, if you had not yet heard the tale of Good King Wenceslas. Well, if you’re in that deplorable condition, it can be remedied this coming Sunday morning.
We will sing the saint’s Christmas Carol, discuss the parable’s inner meanings, and relate them to Raja Yoga. Rooted in Christian mystical traditions, the carol’s symbolism tells a story of a king who is both an humble servant of God in man and a master of spiritual power.

Sat Jan ​11, 9am: Chandi Hymns (in English) - led by Br. Shankara

Also 10am-2pm Seva Saturday

Help “winterize” your Center. Pizza served for lunch at 12:30pm. No need to stay the entire 4 hours — come when you can, stay as long as you like.

Sun Jan 12, 10:30am Talk: A Great Silence - Br. Shankara

This is from Swami Vivekananda’s book, Raja-Yoga:

“Yoga is restraining the mind – stuff (Chitta) from taking various forms (Vrittis).

A good deal of explanation is necessary here. We have to understand what Chitta is, and what the Vrittis are …

The [sense] organs (Indriyas), together with the mind (Manas), the determinative faculty (Buddhi), and egoism (Ahamkara), form the group called the Antahkarana (the internal instrument). They are but various processes in the mind – stuff, called Chitta. The waves of thought in the Chitta are called Vrittis (“whirlpool”).

What is thought? Thought is a force, as is gravitation or repulsion. From the infinite storehouse of force in nature, the instrument called Chitta takes hold of some, absorbs it and sends it out as thought … You are the only sentient being; mind is only the instrument through which you catch the external world. Take this book; as a book it does not exist outside, what exists outside is unknown and unknowable. The unknowable furnishes the suggestion that gives a blow to the mind, and the mind gives out the reaction in the form of a book …

The real universe is the occasion of the reaction of the mind. A book form, or an elephant form, or a man form, is not outside … Now we understand what is meant by these Vrittis. The real man is behind the mind; the mind is the instrument in his hands; it is his intelligence that is percolating through the mind …

Thus you understand what is meant by Chitta. It is the mind – stuff, and Vrittis are the waves and ripples rising in it when external causes impinge on it. These Vrittis are our universe.”

It follows that when you learn to still these Vrittis — the goal of Raja Yoga — your universe disappears. What replaces it, according to the Yogis, is not darkness and emptiness, but a Great Silence: Radiant, unbounded Consciousness, knowledge unspeakable of the blissful identity of Atman-Brahman.

“My mind, saying the 

sacred syllables guru 

gave me, somehow slipped
into a Great Silence and 

was stilled. Nothing more to say.”

— Tanka poem, DosLobos

On Sunday morning we will explore these ideas, and discuss how you can learn to still the thought waves of your mind.

Sun Jan 19, 10:30am Talk:

“Mindfulness Meditation”
with Nina Guzzetta, M.D.

Nina is a long time member of the Vedanta Center of Atlanta. She joined the Center in 2004 when it was headed by Swami Yogeshananda. In 2015, she was invited to serve as an interim member of our Board of Trustees and, in 2016, was officially elected to serve on the Board.

Nina is also a pediatric cardiac anesthesiologist at Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta and Professor of Anesthesiology and Pediatrics at Emory University School of Medicine. She completed her fellowship training in both adult and pediatric cardiac anesthesia in 1994 and has been practicing since that time.

In addition to her busy clinical practice, Nina teaches pediatric anesthesia fellows the practice of pediatric cardiac anesthesia. She also has an interest in research, leading studies on how the clotting system develops over time (“Developmental Hemostasis”), and how to best treat bleeding after major cardiac operations in babies. She especially enjoys projects that allow for collaboration across the specialties that are encountered in the pediatric cardiac arena, including cardiology, surgery and transfusion medicine. Nina has been invited to lecture on these research initiatives at national and international conferences. Between 2017 and 2019, she served as President of the International Congenital Cardiac Anesthesia Society. She currently serves as Immediate Past-President.

In 2019, Nina began an intense two-year online course called the “Mindfulness Meditation Teacher Training Program.” She intends to use the skills learned in this course, as well as her own insights about mediation, to teach mindfulness mediation to medical students and other medical professionals.

This Sunday morning, Nina will speak to us about her experience as a devotee here, and about her practice of mindfulness meditation.

Jan 25-26: Swami Harinamananda visit

Sat Jan 25, 11am-12:30pm

Swamis Vivekananda & Brahmananda Birthday Celebration

On Saturday January 25th we will celebrate the birthdays of Swami Vivekananda and Swami Brahmananda. We’ll start t 11am with a brief talk on these two great souls, who founded the Ramakrishna Order and began its mission work. The Puja, conducted by Aditya Chaturvedi, 11:30-12:30, followed by prasad lunch in the Monastery. Food to be offered must be in the kitchen by 11am!
Decoding the Chandi flyer image link_

Sun Jan ​26, 10am-1pm: 

Jan. 26 @ 10am - 1pm, followed by lunch
Retreat Workshop: Decoding The Chandi
w/Swami Harinamananda-ji
How to recognize your inner conflicts & transform
by invoking the Power of the Goddess
We will take a journey into the Chandi, the three tales of the Divine Mother, whose mystical meanings are a blue print for our own spiritual pursuit. We will explore how reading this sacred text can uncover spiritual practices that can awaken and illumine our inner consciousness and give us strength to face the challenges of daily life.

Teachings include Three Parts: (One hour each):

  1. Discovering and overcoming inner demons
  2. Conquering Mahishasura ,the ego within
  3. Being one with the Divine Mother

We will have breakout group discussions after each session.

No registration required. Please bring a bag lunch.

Sun, January 5, 11am – 12pm
Sat, January 11, 9:00am – 9:30am

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