Group Meditation Guidelines

“Group meditation is a castle that protects the new spiritual aspirants as well as the veteran meditators. Meditating together increases the degree of Self-realization of each member of the group by the law of invisible vibratory exchange of group magnetism.”

Paramahansa Yogananda

Meditation Services Schedule at the Sacramento Center 

Sunday Morning: 10 – 10:50 

Sunday Afternoon:  1 - 4 (or after meetings 1:30 - 4:30)

Monthly Saturday Meditation: 9 am - 2 pm (usually 3rd Saturday - check Coming Events on Home Page)

Wednesday Evening: 7 - 9 

Meditation Format

Energization Exercises

The Energization Exercises are a series of exercises developed by Paramahansa Yogananda to prepare the body, mind and soul for meditation. They are practiced outdoors, weather permitting. The Energization Exercises are practiced for the first 15 minutes of the Sunday afternoon, Wednesday, and Saturday Meditation Services.

Meditation Service

A leader guides the Meditation Service through periods of silent meditation and prayer (about 40 minutes in length), and periods of devotional chanting.

Chanting

Chanting with deep concentration and devotion draws the devotee inward to the altar of God’s presence. Please refer to the Cosmic Chants booklet to learn the words to chants

Prayer

The last portion of the Meditation Service is spent in praying for those who are in need of healing and for world peace and brotherhood, although prayer is appropriate anytime during the service

Learning to Meditate 

The techniques of meditation and the Energization Exercises as taught by Paramahansa Yogananda can be learned though study of the Self-Realization Fellowship Lessons. These are sent bi-weekly by mail for personal study from the Mother Center in Los Angeles. Applications for the Lessons are available on the free literature table in the entry way and in the bookroom.

Preparing for Meditation

Paramahansa Yogananda said, "Meditation is the ability to take the mind away from every object of distraction and put it on God alone."  A few key points to achieve this state:

Correct Posture

Sit relaxed with spine straight, feet flat on the floor, shoulders back, chest out, abdomen in, and hands with the palms turned upward, resting at the juncture of the thighs and abdomen. It is important that there be no tension.

Focus eyes gently upward

With the eyes closed, focus the gaze gently at the Christ Consiousness Center between the eyebrows.

Focus thoughts on God

If you do not know any techniques of meditation, silently call on God in the language of your heart. Make a constant effort to stay focused in your meditation.

Group Meditation

In group meditation devotees come together in silent fellowship to reinforce each other’s efforts toward Self-realization. You can do your part by asking, “What can I do to promote a better meditation for all of us?” Effective group meditation is possible only if each person shares responsibility for creating an atmosphere of peaceful stillness.The following Guidelines list some positive actions you can take to help create a peaceful environment for group meditation.

Meditation Guidelines

Arrival

Please arrive on time. If you are late, you may sit in the multipurpose room to the right as you enter the church. You may enter the chapel during the chanting periods.

Before Meditation

• Turn off all electronic devices before entering the chapel. 

• Wear soft fabrics to preserve the silence for those around you.. 

• Refrain from wearing perfumes or strong scents. 

• Please meditate at home if you have a cold or any condition that may affect others.

During Meditation

• Stay quietly seated during periods of silence. 

• Practice the meditation techniques silently so as not to disturb others. 

• During periods of chanting, you can stand and stretch, or use the restroom.

Departure

• Stay for the entire meditation service, whenever possible. 

• When leaving early, leave during a period of chanting and keep silent until you are well away from the chapel.