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Is the meditation group open to the public or just for members? Do I need to sign up?
The TBMG is open to the public; all are welcome!  You do not need to sign up or register.

How much experience do I need?
All are welcome. You do not need any background in meditation to attend most of the services.

Which service should I attend first?
If you would like to start gradually, the Sunday reading service (11am-Noon) includes shorter meditations (about three 5-10 minutes each) that will help to prepare you for the longer meditations.  The Sunday reading service also offers the best opportunity to meet and socialize with other members.

I’m new---what should I read first?

Start with the Autobiography of a Yogi.

Buy the Book

(or purchase in our bookroom).

Also check out our:

Recommended Reading page.

Autobiography of a Yogi

How do I apply for the SRF lessons?
Online at SRF's website

Is there any charge for meditation services?
No, there are no dues or fees.  TBMG is entirely supported by attendees' and supporters' voluntary donations that allow us to maintain our activities and facility free of charge.

What should I bring?

  • Shawl or sweater (if desired)

  • Chair cushion (if desired) – We meditate seated on chairs

What should I wear?
Florida weather can be quite warm, but modest dress is requested; the chapel is kept slightly cool to encourage alertness.  Avoid wearing noisy clothing materials and jewelry. Please refrain from wearing fragrances and scented oils.  Meditation is done sitting on chairs, so it is not necessary to wear loose fitting or yoga clothes.  Dress is casual to dressy-casual, with commemorative services being more dressy.

Suggestions for Men:
·         Bottoms:  Avoid shorts
·         Tops:  Avoid sleeveless

Suggestions for Women:
·         Bottoms:  Avoid above the knee
·         Tops:  Avoid sleeveless or deep necklines

Can I bring my children?
Children age 12 or older may sit in the sanctuary if they are able to remain quiet and still.

What time should I arrive?
It is best to arrive early so that you will have time to find a seat and compose yourself before the service begins. Before entering, pause to calm the body and mind.

What if I arrive late?
If you arrive late, you can still participate.  You are welcome to meditate in the foyer, and to enter the sanctuary during the next chant (and when doing so, be sure to take a seat near the entrance).  We encourage you to arrive on time – this will make meditation far easier.

Are the meditations guided?
The service reader gives brief instructions at the start of each meditation service. After that, the meditation is silent.

Why are the meditations silent?
In SRF, silent meditation for the purpose of attaining communion with God is held to be the very foundation of all true religion.  In order to encourage and afterward hold on to the peace of meditation, devotees generally come and leave in silence.  After the Sunday reading services, members are more available to talk with others.

What can I do to maintain silence?
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 keep from distracting others?"  Effective group meditation is possible if each person shares responsibility for creating an atmosphere of peaceful stillness.

Try to keep the body still.  If you must change positions, do so quietly.  Have anything you need ready, to avoid having to dig around in your purse or pockets.  Silence all electronic devices before entering, including watch alarms (vibrate mode still makes noise).

What if I need to stand and stretch?
The periods of chanting provide a good opportunity to stand and stretch.

What if I need to use the restroom during meditation?
If you need to use the restroom, try to do so at the beginning of a chant.

Should I come if I have a noise-making condition?
If you have a cough, cold or other noise-making condition, please meditate at home and try to “tune in” with the group meditation.  If you experience sudden coughing, sneezing, or breathing problems please exit to the foyer.  If you need to use a cough drop, try to unwrap it during periods of chanting or prior to entering the sanctuary.

What if I need to leave early?
Please do so at the beginning of a chant.

I’m new to meditation---how do I meditate?

  • Correct Posture: Sit with the spine straight, feet flat on the floor, shoulders slightly back, chest out, abdomen in, and hands with palms upward resting at the juncture of thighs and abdomen. The goal is to keep the body relaxed and motionless.

  • Focus Eyes Gently Upward: With eyes closed, focus the gaze gently at the point between the eyebrows, the spiritual eye.

  • Keep Thoughts Focused on God: Those attending SRF services who do not know a technique of meditation are encouraged to pray inwardly and talk to God in the language of their hearts.

Where can I submit prayer requests?

  1. Online at SRF’s website

  2. In our chapel prayer box, which will be sent to SRF  

Where can I buy SRF books?

  1. In our temple bookroom (25% of your purchase goes directly to the TBMG).  Open Sundays at noon after the service

  2. Online at SRF's Bookstore

Do you have a lending library?
Yes, there are various books, CD’s and publications available for loan by signing them out.

I have heard about Kriya Yoga and would like to learn more. Where can I find information?

  1. Read Chapter 26 of Autobiography of a Yogi, in which Paramahansa Yogananda describes the history and purpose of Kriya Yoga.

  2. Online at SRF's website

If you have further questions about kriya yoga, please call Self-Realization Fellowship at (323) 225-2471 and a monastic will be happy to discuss them with you.

What is Chanting?
Chanting is singing!  Chanting deeply with concentration and devotion draws the devotee inward to the altar of God’s presence.  Try to feel the meaning of the words being sung to God.  Remember, God does not listen to the tone quality of our voices but rather the devotional quality of our hearts.  Many chants sung during our service were written by Paramahansa Yogananda. You can refer to the Cosmic Chants booklets to learn the lyrics. CD’s of devotional chanting by SRF monastics are available in the Bookroom.

Can I practice the Om Technique in the group setting?
On Sundays, please do this technique mentally only (please do not bring your armrest or raise your arms).

Can I practice Jyoti Mudra/Maha Mudra in the group setting?
On Sundays, please do these techniques mentally only.

Can I practice Kriya Yoga Proper in the group setting?
Yes, but please practice so that it is inaudible to others.

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