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Encinitas Temple Services
Whether you are completely new to the teachings of Paramahansa Yogananda and just learning to meditate, or if you have been meditating for many years, the Encinitas Temple has many services and activities to support your spiritual needs.
— Paramahansa Yogananda
The Sunday morning and Thursday evening inspirational services are ideal for newcomers and longtime SRF members. Conducted by an SRF monastic, these services include shorter periods of chanting and meditation and an informal talk on the teachings of Paramahansa Yogananda.
The Encinitas Temple offers many opportunities for group meditation that benefit both those who are new to meditation as well as those who have meditated for many years. Meditating together helps each devotee by the power of united effort and concentration.
Kirtan with Meditation
Kirtan is devotional singing to God, accompanied by traditional Indian musical instruments such as the harmonium, tablas (drums), cymbals, bells, and tambura; periods of silent meditation are also included. The emphasis is upon our Guru’s Cosmic Chants. He said:
“One who sings these spiritualized songs, Cosmic Chants, with true devotion will find God-communion and ecstatic joy, and through them the healing of body, mind, and soul.”
Long Meditation Services
Paramahansa Yogananda encouraged serious students of this path to have a weekly long meditation of several hours or more wherein one is able to give extended time to devotional chanting, practice of the SRF meditation techniques, prayer, and devotion. To attend a long meditation service, it is suggested (but not required) that one be an SRF Lessons student and be able to sit quietly in silent meditation for about 45 minutes.
Sunday School and Teen Classes
Our Sunday School (ages 3-12) and Teen Services (ages 13-18) are offered every Sunday morning from 9:30 a.m. to 10:30 a.m. Sunday School classes are held at the main Temple site (939 Second Street) and Teen Services are offered at the J Street Auxiliary Chapel (1½ blocks away).
The program of our Self-Realization Fellowship Sunday School and Teen Services is centered in the teachings of our founder, Paramahansa Yogananda. Children and youth are encouraged to lead happy, balanced lives by bringing God into their daily lives through kindness to others, right behavior, and developing a personal relationship with God through meditation.
For the Sunday School, registration is required. If you are bringing your child for the first time, please plan to come to the Sunday School office 10-15 minutes early.
Special commemorative services are held to honor the birthdays and Mahasamadhis of the Self-Realization Fellowship Gurus. It is customary to bring a flower you have chosen as a symbol of your devotion and a monetary offering in an envelope as an expression of your loyalty and support of the Guru’s work.
Scriptural Reading and Meditation Services
These services begin with two half-hour periods of meditation and chanting. Then, for the next half-hour, passages from the scriptural commentaries and writings of Paramahansa Yogananda are read aloud, with time for silent reflection, followed by another half-hour period of meditation.
Monthly Temple Meeting
The meeting takes place in the Temple’s Special Events Room on the third Tuesday of each month (except in August and December) and begins with a half-hour meditation. The minister then reads from Autobiography of a Yogi and discusses how we can apply its principles in our lives; updates on Temple projects and activities follow.
Day of Service
The monthly Day of Service begins at 9 a.m. in the Temple’s Special Events Room with a short meditation led by the minister. We then break up into work groups for cleaning, gardening, and maintenance projects. Lunch is provided at noon. This is a wonderful opportunity for spiritual fellowship and service to the Guru.