Frequently Asked Questions
There are no membership requirements to attend our meditations or readings services--all are welcome. However, the Lessons study group (Tuesday evenings) does require that all attendees be currently receiving the SRF Lessons or have completed the 3.5-year course.
You can learn more about the life of Paramahansa Yogananda by reading his book, Autobiography of a Yogi, which can be found at most major bookstores & public libraries. Self-Realization Fellowship books, CD's, DVD's,
photographs, & application forms for the SRF Lessons are also available at our chapel.
You do not need any background in meditation to attend our services, although it is helpful to have the SRF meditation techniques.
We meditate with closed eyes, seated on chairs. There is no need to bring any accessories.
Apart from brief instructions given at the beginning of the service, the meditations are not guided. Those interested in learning the SRF techniques of meditation are encouraged to apply for the SRF Lessons.
In our Calendar of Services the meditation on the third Saturday of the month is listed as a guided meditation, but 'guided' in this case means that, for each period of meditation, the leader specifies which SRF technique to practice, so that everyone in the congregation is practising the same technique at the same time.
The Sunday Readings Service (11:00am-noon) is a good introduction for those not familiar with meditation or with SRF. The Readings Service includes shorter periods of meditation that can help one prepare for the longer periods (approx. 45 minutes) in our Meditation Services. The Sunday service also offers the best opportunity to meet & chat with other members of our group.
People are encouraged to arrive a few minutes early in order to settle in before service begins. Our doors are open for 20 minutes before the start of each service. The usher will return to the door 5 minutes after the start of the service to check for late-comers but after that, because of building security, the doors will be locked.
Unfortunately, the Victoria Meditation Group is located on the second floor, accessible by stairs only. Please let us know if you might need help with the stairs.
Stair details: There are 3 steps up from the sidewalk to the Bay Street entrance doors. Inside the doors there is a vestibule, then 6 steps to the first landing, 8 steps to the second landing, and 10 steps to the second floor. There is a handrail.
There is no charge for attending services. On Sundays & Thursdays, there is an optional offertory that helps cover our operating expenses, and allows us to assist in the worldwide humanitarian work of Self-Realization Fellowship.
If you are new to SRF, you can learn more about Kriya Yoga in Chapter 26 of Autobiography of a Yogi, in which Paramahansa Yogananda describes the history & purpose of Kriya Yoga. You can also read about the Kriya Yoga Path of Meditation on the SRF website. If you have further questions, please call Self-Realization Fellowship at 323-225-2471, and a monastic will be happy to discuss them with you.