Vedanta Center of Atlanta: July events

7/31/2016 10:30 AM

Vedanta Center of Atlanta: July events

Vedanta Center of Atlanta: July 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 ;, 

See Calendar for details about any particular Sunday. 

Sunday, 7/3/16, 11:am:  Swami Bodhananda Saraswati, Head of the Sambodh Foundation will speak on on “Vivekananda, Shankara, and Ramana” in the Chapel.

Swami Bodhananda Saraswati is Founder and Head of the Sambodh Society, Inc., located in Kalamazoo, Michigan.  Swarna Shah, one of the founding members of our Center and a student of Swami Bodhananda, sent us this note about him: “The Swami is a gifted teacher and engaging speaker with a great sense of humor and a keen sense of observation. He is able to translate the ancient wisdom of India for the needs and interests of the modern individual and our changing society. A master of Vedanta and meditation, Swamiji blends his personal experience and knowledge of India’s ancient wisdom tradition with modern studies in consciousness and psychology. He exemplifies the highest Vedantic ideals — outwardly active in the world, while remaining inwardly detached.”

Monday, 7/​4/16, 7:30pm: Our Annual 'Fourth of July Celebration' will take place this year right after Arati.   Arati at 6pm, followed by readings from and reflections on Swami Vivekananda (who left his body on July 4, 1902). At 7:30pm we will enjoy a potluck supper; weather permitting we will then have an outdoor fire and “light” fireworks.

Saturday, July 9:  Seva Saturday
Come spend a few hours with fellow devotees and friends as we all work together to make our Center sparkle and shine! Come when you can and stay as long as you can. Free lunch from Roly Poly.

July 10, 11am-12pm (Sun) - TALK: “Meditation: What Can We Expect?” w/Br. Shankara
July is a month for study of Raja Yoga, the path of concentration, meditation, and samadhi (self-realization).
According to an online Medical Dictionary:
“Meditation is a practice of concentrated focus upon a sound, object, visualization, the breath, movement, or attention itself in order to increase awareness of the present moment, reduce stress, promote relaxation, and enhance personal and spiritual growth.”
Yes to all that! Yet, for the purposes of Patanjali’s Raja Yoga, meditation has a very specific definition, and a particular objective — to still the thought waves in the mind.
On Sunday morning, we will discuss meditation’s practical benefits as listed by the Medical Dictionary, review what Patanjali means by meditation, and explore Swami Vivekananda’s explanation of what happens when we succeed at the practice of Raja Yoga.

July 17, 11am-12pm (Sun) - TALK: “Mantra & Meditation” w/Br. ShankaraMantra and Meditation IMAGE
July is a month for study of Raja Yoga, the path of concentration, meditation, and samadhi (self-realization).
This week we will define what a mantra is, explore the relationship between a mantra and concentration, and describe how concentration evolves into meditation.

Sri Ramakrishna sang this during a visit to his devotee Keshab’s house on April 2, 1882:
I drink no ordinary wine, but Wine of Everlasting Bliss,
As I repeat my Mother Kāli’s name;
It so intoxicates my mind that people take me to be drunk!
First my guru gives molasses for the making of the Wine;
My longing is the ferment to transform it.
Knowledge, the maker of the Wine, 
prepares it for me then;
And when it is done, my mind imbibes it 
from the bottle of the mantra,
Taking the Mother’s name to make it pure.
Drink of this Wine, says Ramprasad, 

And the four fruits of life are yours.

Ramprasad’s spiritual ideal was Mother Kāli; Ramakrishna shared his deep devotion to Her. Yet, Sri Chaitanya said that any aspect of the Divine Presence can be at the heart of a mantra:
Various are Thy names, O Lord,
in each and every name Thy power resides. 
— from Ch.’s Prayer

And Swami Vivekananda said:
Repeating the names of God (japam) has wonderful power …You must go on with your japam whatever direction the mind takes. — from the CW

Swami Prabhavananda added:
Make japam: mantra contains the revealing power of the Word (OM) and other … names of God/Goddess and the Incarnations of God. — from “How to Know God”

This Sunday we will discuss what is meant by this revealing power, and how that power can help the spiritual aspirant “overcome the world.”

July 24, 11am-12pm (Sun) - TALK: "Bearing Witness—Quilts and Stories Honoring Life in a Children’s Hospital"
w/ Guest Speaker : Julie Hliboki
Click to see on Facebook
This talk features fourteen beautiful handmade children’s quilts and accompanying stories about Julie Hliboki’s experiences providing spiritual care to patients and families in a pediatric hospital. It is intended to invite the viewer to bear witness to suffering and courage, despair and hope, and to access our own compassionate impulse. The stories illustrate what many families with a critically ill child face, and the enormous need for a compassionate response.

From the book’s introduction, “Each of the hundreds of children, families, and caregivers I ministered to forever changed me. They exposed the part of me that was willing to open myself over and over to unfathomable intimacy with complete strangers, and they with me. Many incidents brought me to my knees, figuratively and literally, and often to tears. These memories unleash a tenderness and compassion in me that leaves me feeling vulnerable and humbled, yet I have also gained strength and resiliency. I recognize that such stories are universal and can be found in hospitals around the world. My deep desire is that every child’s story is cherished.”

July 31, 11am-12pm (Sun) - **UPDATE** TALK: “Self discovery. Self actualization. Self realization” w/Swami Sarvadevananda

July 31, 7:30pm (Sun in Athens) -  TALK: “Facing the Challenges of Life” w/Swami Sarvadevananda

August 1, 7:30-9pm (Mon) - RECEPTION & POTLUCK SUPPER for Swami Sarvadevanandaji. We'll meet in the Monastery Fellowship hall following arati. All are welcome.

August 2, 8-9pm (Tue) - CLASS: Swami Sarvadevanandaji will lead our "Gospel of Sri Ramakrishna" class in the Chapel.

August ​13, ​10am-2pm (​Sat) - Seva Saturday for August.

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