In group meditation devotees come together in silent fellowship to reinforce each other’s efforts towards communion with God.
Consideration for others is an important part of the spiritual path, in our daily lives as well as in group meditation.
To help create and maintain an atmosphere conducive to stillness, quietness, peace and deep meditation we ask for each one’s cooperation with the following guidelines:
- Arrive on time. If you are late, please wait outside the meditation room and come in during the chanting.
- Turn off all electronic devices.
- If you have a cough, cold or any condition that creates noise or restlessness, please meditate at home.
- Please do not wear strong scented perfumes.
- Stay quietly seated during periods of silence.
- Practice the meditation techniques so that they are inaudible to others in the group.
- Please leave the room only during chanting periods.
- Arm rests for the Aum technique may be used only during the meditation services.
Thank you for being considerate.
Auckland Meditation Group observes a series of special services to commemorate the birthdays and Mahasamadhis1 of the SRF line of gurus.
Yogananda noted that celebrating the birthday of a God-realised soul is not just about having a party! Rather, it is a deeply spiritual occasion, a unique opportunity to seek blessings from the master being honoured, because his or her vibrations are stronger on that day than normal. Yogananda added that even residents of the astral world celebrate such events. Thus, devotees who attend Guru birthday ceremonies with the right attitude receive extra blessings, and find their spiritual goals are given a boost.
While the Auckland group’s special services are designed primarily for members who attend regularly and are already engaged in the Guru – disciple relationship, anyone who can be present with respectful reverence is welcome to attend. Traditionally, the disciple brings a flower offering to symbolise devotion to God and Gurus. The devotee also leaves a donation at the altar to symbolise loyalty to Their work, in appreciation of the spiritual riches gained through Their grace.
1 According to the SRF Manual of Services, Mahasamadhi means “great ecstasy”, the union of the soul with the Infinite during a God-realized yogi’s final exit from the physical body.”
Auckland generally holds an All-day meditation retreat in late summer, and one in July. Additionally, members attend a National (weekend) retreat held towards the end of the year (usually October), when members of all the New Zealand SRF groups meet to meditate together.
The idea of merely getting away from the unceasing demands of everyday life may hold great appeal for you. Or you may be seeking answers to grievous problems that can only be resolved as you deeply reflect and gain insight.
Whatever your motivation for attending, your retreat is successful when you cultivate a deeper, more personal relationship with God – the Divine Indweller that is the source of life, health, inspiration, and happiness. Retreating from the relentless activity of “regular life” will allow you to renew your strength, and bring you ever-greater peace and joy.2
Why seek God with others?
Yogananda called group retreats and meditations, “a castle that protects the new spiritual aspirants as well as the veteran meditators.” He said that meditating together “increases the degree of Self-realization of each member of the group by the law of invisible vibratory exchange of group magnetism.”3
Practically speaking, this occurs because we become like the people we mix with – not only through their words, but through the silent vibration that emanates from them. Yogananda said that environment is stronger than willpower. Thus, those who wish to advance spiritually should seek out spiritual environments – the company of like-minded spiritual aspirants.
But don’t take our word for it. Come and experience for yourself the joy and blessings of silence with others. Watch this space for our retreat flyer, out soon.
2 From “God First: A Retreatant’s Pocket Companion”, by Paramahansa Yogananda, 1967.
3 From “Seeking God Together” by Paramahansa Yogananda, 1986.