Many SRF Temples, Centers, and Groups now offer programs for teens, ages 13 to 19, in addition to Sunday School. Usually these groups meet on Sunday mornings while the service for adults is taking place.
The primary purpose of the teen programs is study and practice of the Self-Realization Fellowship teachings. Meetings include group instruction and practice of the Energization Exercises and meditation. Other spiritual activities such as kirtan (devotional chanting), the practice of affirmations, introspection, and observance of commemoration days for the SRF Gurus also take place (programs at each location may vary).
Discussion periods offer teens an opportunity to reflect on how Paramahansa Yogananda’s “How-to-Live” principles apply to their daily lives. Often they are able to share with each other how the practice of these teachings assists them in meeting the challenges of being a teenager in today’s world. At this important time in their lives, teens can greatly benefit from developing friendships and spending time with peers who are striving to live Paramahansaji’s teachings, meditating, and seeking God’s direction in their lives. As Paramahansa Yogananda said, “When souls seek progress together in God, then divine friendship flowers. If the qualities of the heart are spiritualized and perfected with sincere friends, and that circle of love is expanded until it is all-inclusive, then one finds the Friend of all friends.”
In addition to regular meetings, teen programs also include fellowship events, service opportunities (including assisting with younger children in Sunday School), and satsangas (informal talks) with a minister. Periodically, special retreats and pilgrimages for teens are conducted at SRF Temples and Ashram Centers.
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