“Church is the hive, God is the honey.”
“To commune daily with God in deep meditation, and to carry His love and guidance with you in all your dutiful activities, is the way that leads to permanent peace and happiness.”
- Wear clothing made of soft fabrics that do not make noise (for example, avoid nylon and certain other synthetics).
- Do not come if you have a cough, cold or a condition that creates restlessness. On such days, please meditate at home.
- Arrive early so that you can find a seat, and also practice the Energization Exercises.
- Turn off cell phones before entering.
- Refrain from bringing food and beverages (including water) into the chapel.
- If arriving late during the Energization Exercises, start with the first exercise of the series (double-breathing with tension), then join in with the next exercise that the group is practicing.
- If you know that you will have to leave early, take a seat in the back of the chapel to minimize distraction to others.
- Remain quietly seated during silent periods.
- Keep cell phones off. Absolutely no texting, please!
- During chanting periods only, you may use the restrooms, stand or do gentle stretches.
- Practice the meditation techniques quietly, so as to be inaudible to others.
- If arriving late or leaving early, please try to do so during the chanting periods. Before entering, pause to calm the mind and body. Exit at the beginning of a chant. Whenever possible, try to attend the entire meditation service.
Format for Most Meditation Services
ENERGIZATION EXERCISES: The Energization Exercises are a series of standing exercises developed by Paramahansa Yogananda to help prepare for meditation. They are practiced on the chapel patio, in a group, before most meditations.
MEDITATION: A leader guides the group through periods of silent meditation and prayer (about 40 min.), and periods of devotional chanting. At the end of the meditation, the group prays for those who are in need of healing, and for world peace. The leader then directs the group in practicing a healing technique.
DEVOTIONAL CHANTING: Chanting with deep concentration and devotion draws the attention inward to the altar of God’s presence. Paramahansa Yogananda’s “Cosmic Chants” book is an excellent introduction to chanting and contains the words and music for the chants used in all services.
GROUP MEDITATIONS: When we meditate in a group, we honor our fellow meditators, and ourselves, by taking personal responsibility to do our best to keep our bodies still and to keep from distracting others. We can truly become a “spiritual bodyguard” for our Self and for one another, by making our best effort to overcome restlessness.
LEARN HOW TO MEDITATE
Below are a few videos that teach the beginnings of Meditation with God. To learn more click here.
Sat = “being”, hence “essence, truth, reality” • Sanga = “association”
Satsanga = “Fellowship with Truth”
A “Satsanga” Service is held on the third Thursday of each month, during which a minister answers questions that have been submitted by members.
If you have a question about the teachings of Paramahansa Yogananda, you may submit it here and the minister will answer it at an upcoming Satsanga. Any personal information submitted (name, location, etc.) will be held in strict confidence.
Please note: Questions can only be answered at the service, not by return e-mail.
Students are encouraged to participate in group practice of the SRF Energization Exercises, chanting, and brief periods of meditation. In addition, a “How-to-Live” lesson based on the teachings of Self-Realization Fellowship is an integral part of each class. The lesson is supported by a an activity, such as craft, play acting, story telling, guided discussion.
SUNDAY SCHOOL PROGRAM (ages 3 to 12)
Classes are conducted during the 11 am Sunday service. Parents and children are asked to first “check in” at the Attendance Table before the students go to their classrooms (students may enter their class any time between 10:45 and 11 am, but no later than 11 am):
- 10:45 am to 11 am: Teachers conduct pre-service activities
- 11:00 am to noon: Teachers lead exercises, chanting, meditation, & present “How-to-Live” lesson / activity
- Parents are asked to please pick up their children by noon, or immediately after the service ends.
TEEN PROGRAM (ages 13 to 18)
Classes are conducted during the 11 am Sunday service and generally rotates with either a How-to-Live Class, a Pearls of Wisdom Session, or a Kirtan Session.
REGISTRATION is open to all:
Just fill out a registration form at the the Attendance Table on the center patio (west of parking lot) on any Sunday morning between 10:40 to 11 am. For more information, please contact the Youth Committee Chair by leaving a message on our voice mail (619-295-0170).
“To study scriptures only from an intellectual standpoint keeps the truth locked up in the mind, unassimilated and undigested. One should study the scriptures with Self-realization, which produces the spiritualized brain and the intuitive heart by which you may directly absorb divine truths. The best way to study the scriptures is to feel their truth as an actual experience in the body, in the mind, and in the soul.”
– Paramahansa Yogananda
ABOUT THE SESSIONS
Study Group sessions begin and end with a short meditation. During the period of study, a person reads a paragraph aloud, slowly and clearly. After each paragraph is read, there is a period of silent contemplation. This allows all to feel the spirit behind the scripture as Paramahansaji describes above. Then the leader will indicate what to read next (reading aloud is optional). Each person has the opportunity to absorb the teachings in an atmosphere of concentration and devotion, drawing from the reading that which is most meaningful to oneself. Questions/answers about the meaning of certain passages may be pursued in the SRF publications, submitted as questions for the Thursday evening Satsanga Service, discussed with the minister, or may be clarified by writing to the Mother Center.
This session is normally held in Room 3 (upper center patio entry) on Sundays from 4 to 5 pm.
NOTE: Entry doors lock at 4 pm. Please try to be on time, but knock to enter if late.
Changes in Schedule:
*The Study Group is IN RECESS until 2018.
The group completed Bhagavad Gita study in May 2017, and will be taking a break for several months.
Starting in 2018:
- Study Group sessions will resume, with study of the SRF Lessons.
- Attendees will be required to have an SRF Lessons Student Card to enter.
- Attendees should bring their own copy of the Lesson being studied that day.
- Please check the temple’s monthly calendar for updates.
“When you work for God, not self, it is just as good as meditation. Then work helps your meditation and meditation helps your work. You need the balance. With meditation only, you become lazy. With activity only, the mind becomes worldly and you forget God.”
Paramahansaji’s teachings combine meditation and right activity. Performing our activities as an offering to the Divine is a vital part of the spiritual path. Serving at an SRF temple is a blessing, because in that sacred environment it is easier for most devotees to feel that the service they are rendering is an offering to God and Guru. Devotees serving at a temple also have the support and fellowship of others striving to live a spiritual life.
Days of Service are held on Saturdays several times a year and provide a wonderful opportunity to help maintain the temple, as well as to become acquainted with other members. One may come for all or part of the day.
The day’s schedule (see our calendar for the dates) is usually as follows:
- 9:00 am to 12:30 pm: Perform gardening, cleaning, or light handyman tasks
- 12:30 pm to 1:00 pm: Meditation in the Chapel
- 1:00 pm to 1:45 pm: Lunch
Temple Meetings are held in the chapel semi-annually (twice each year). Anyone who is interested is invited to attend. Following introductory business and committee reports, opportunities may be presented for newcomers to volunteer on a committee, or to become involved in an event or project. Lunch is served after the meeting.
OPPORTUNITIES TO SERVE THROUGH COMMITTEES
- Bookroom Committee
- Cleaning Committee
- Flower Committee
- Food Service Committee
- Gardening Committee
- Information Center Committee
- Maintenance Committee
- Meditation Leaders Committee
- Prayers & Charity Committee
- Sound & Music Committee
- Special Events Committee
- Special Services & Classes Committee
- Usher Committee
- Youth & Young Adults Committee
- Communications Commitee
These volunteer committees are guided by Ministers and supported by a group of staff members (Treasurer, Security Representative, Database Representative, and several Secretaries). There is also a Temple Council (chairs of each committee and a staff chair) which meets monthly with the Ministers to discuss topics that require the input and perspective of each committee.
HOW TO BECOME INVOLVED IN SERVING
“No task is too difficult or too menial when offered to Thee in loving Service.” -Paramahansa Yogananda
Please fill out a Volunteer Form (available at the Information Corner by the the temple parking lot) and give it to an attendant on any Sunday morning.
Or, click here to fill out the Volunteer Form on-line:
“You may be surprised at what seclusion with God will do for your mind, body, and soul. . . . Through the portals of silence the healing sun of wisdom and peace will shine upon you.”
SRF OFFERS A VARIETY OF RETREAT OPPORTUNITIES
Many mystics, saints, and spiritual leaders have advocated periods of silence and solitude for spiritual growth.
From time to time, SRF ministers conduct one-day retreats at San Diego Temple. Programs may include reviews of SRF meditation techniques, as well as inspirational classes. Periods of chanting and meditation are interspersed throughout the day.
Pilgrimages may be scheduled during the course of the year. These are one-day retreats from San Diego Temple to another SRF location, such as the Lake Shrine.
Every summer, SRF offers a week-long series of classes and conducted meditations at the World Convocation held in Los Angeles, California.
SRF monks and nuns also travel to cities around the world to provide lectures, programs for members, and regional retreats.
Extended retreat programs are conducted at SRF Ashram Centers, in the United States and worldwide.