Self-Realization Fellowship 2012 World Convocation Uplifts Thousands Coming from Near and Far
Journeying from all over the U.S. and more than 45 other countries, approximately 4,000 Self-Realization Fellowship members and friends congregated for a powerful week of spiritual rejuvenation at the 2012 World Convocation. Held from July 29 to August 4 and based at the Westin Bonaventure Hotel in downtown Los Angeles, the event consisted of a week of spiritual fellowship and immersion in the teachings of Paramahansa Yogananda. SRF monks and nuns led classes, group meditations, kirtans (devotional chanting), and Kriya Yoga initiation ceremonies. Presentations of rare film and video footage, with subjects including Paramahansa Yogananda’s 1935–36 visit to India and reminiscences by close disciples of his mahasamadhi (whose 60th anniversary was observed this year), were also shown during the week.
In-depth presentations of the science and techniques of meditation were given at the beginning of the week, presented by senior monastic teachers of SRF. In addition, numerous “How-to-Live” classes given by the monks and nuns revealed practical, inspiring guidance on a range of topics. During the opening talk, “Creating Harmony: The Secret Principles of a Successful, Fulfilling Life,” Brother Santoshananda discussed principles that create spiritual balance and overall well-being in our individual lives, thus improving the world at large. “This world is not perfect and cannot be perfect unless we make ourselves perfect,” said Brother Santoshananda.
|Brother Ishtananda giving a class entitled “Life’s Greatest Adventure” to an audience of teens and young adults.
During the final evening class, SRF president and sanghamata Sri Mrinalini Mata urged audience members to focus on the inner work needed to create in their lives an environment that is conducive to success on every level — physical, psychological, and spiritual. “Everyone in today’s chaotic world is challenged with the chaos and fears and insecurities that surround us,” said Sri Mrinalini Mata. “Very few have the opportunity to make great changes in the problems of the world at large. But everyone has the opportunity — and the duty — to better the vessel of his or her own life,” she went on — pointing out how the daily, devoted practice of Kriya Yoga bestows the unshakable assurance referred to by Paramahansaji when he affirmed: “In life or death, I sit unharmed upon thy lap, O Divine Mother.”
Other “How-to-Live” topics included: finding soul-guidance to navigate life’s challenges; becoming a giver of peace, joy, and loving-kindness; and utilizing the sacred science of Kriya Yoga to gain freedom from unwanted habits.
Throughout the week, many participants embarked on guided tours to spiritual sanctuaries established by Paramahansa Yogananda in southern California, including: the International Headquarters of Self-Realization Fellowship (The Mother Center), on Mt. Washington near downtown Los Angeles; the Lake Shrine in Pacific Palisades; the SRF Hollywood Temple; Sri Yogananda’s crypt at Forest Lawn in Glendale; and the SRF Retreat and Hermitage in Encinitas, where Sri Yogananda wrote most of his inspiring life story, Autobiography of a Yogi.
Look for more coverage of the 2012 World Convocation to be posted soon on this website, and also to appear in the Winter issue of Self-Realization magazine. In the meantime, enjoy photos and videos from past Convocations here.