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Frequently Asked Questions

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What is Convocation?
The Self-Realization Fellowship Annual World Convocation is an inspiring week of immersion in the spiritual teachings of our guru, Paramahansa Yogananda. The program — led by monks and nuns of the SRF Order — consists of How-to-Live classes that focus on practical ways to apply spiritual principles to daily life, as well as review classes on the meditation techniques taught by our Guru. Group meditations, satsangas (informal talks), and kirtans (devotional chanting) are also scheduled throughout the week. Participants will also have opportunities to visit the many spiritual centers established by Paramahansaji during his lifetime, and attend video screenings of his life and work.

 

Attendance and Registration

Can I attend Convocation?
All students of the Self-Realization Fellowship Lessons are welcome to participate in the Convocation. If you are not yet a Lessons student, you may obtain information about enrolling by telephoning Self-Realization Fellowship (323-225-2471 or 818-549-5151) or visiting our Lessons page
 
How can I register for Convocation?
Online registration is the fastest method for registering for the Convocation. This method will also save mailing costs and help us to reduce processing and handling expenses.
Register Online
Register by Phone: (818) 549-5151
Monday-Friday
9:00 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. PST
1:30 p.m. – 4:00 p.m. PST

Register by Mail
Complete and mail the following form(s):
 
How much is the Registration Fee?
Registration fees:
  • Adult: $325
  • Student / Senior (60+): $290
Special requirements:
  • Hearing Impaired headset: $40
Pilgrimage:
  • Encinitas: $70
  • All other pilgrimages: $60
 
What activities are included with the Convocation ticket?
The Convocation registration fee includes all classes and events except pilgrimages, for which separate tickets are required.  Meals, parking, and room charges are not included in the Convocation registration fee.
 
Can I buy a one-event ticket?
You may purchase single event tickets for each class one hour prior to the class or in the Santa Anita Room.  Meditations, kirtans and video showings are free of charge.  Walk-in registration is available at the Bonaventure Hotel during the Convocation week.

Please visit the Santa Anita Room at the Westin Bonaventure Hotel, beginning on Sunday, August 3. The Santa Anita Room will be open every day of Convocation between classes from 11:30 am to 7:00 pm. You can also purchase a single event ticket before each class.
 
Can my child attend Convocation?
Children ages 12 and over who are Self-Realization Fellowship Lessons students may be registered for the Convocation. We are not able to accommodate children who are younger than 12 at the classes or at other events in the California Ballroom, Pasadena Room, or at the pilgrimage sites. A parent-child room (with a monitor for viewing classes) has been set up primarily to accommodate those parents from out of town who are traveling with children.
 
How do I register for the Parent-Child Room?
A parent-child room (with a monitor for viewing classes) has been set up primarily to accommodate those parents from out of town who are traveling with children. However, because the capacity of this room is limited, we may not be able to accommodate all those who might like to use this facility. Before using this room all parents must review the Guidelines for Use of the Parent-Child Room and also sign a release form. The Guidelines and release form will be available at the Youth Services desk at the Bonaventure Hotel. There will be no preregistration, as the room is on a first-come, first-served basis only.
 
What can my child do during Convocation?
At the hotel, all children under the age of 18 years must be accompanied by a responsible adult (18 years of age or older) at all times, according to hotel policy.

SRF and the staff at the Bonaventure Hotel are most concerned with the safety and well-being of all members, and would like to remind you that because Convocation is meant for SRF Lessons students, we do not encourage you to bring young children. However, interested parents are welcome to request information about the How-to-Live Summer Youth Programs. These programs give children ages 10–16 an opportunity to participate in a week of spiritual activities specially created for their interests.
 
Attending Convocation for the first time?
If you are attending Convocation for the first time, please join us at the Newcomers' Welcome Class in the Catalina Ballroom (third floor) at 3:00 p.m., Sunday. This class will feature general information as well as suggestions about some of the activities available during Convocation week. Following the class you may join one of the walking tours of the Bonaventure Hotel (the tours are offered in Spanish, German, Italian, and Japanese, in addition to English).
 
Class Seating
Seating for the classes will be in the California Ballroom and the Pasadena Room. Both of these rooms will have high-resolution video screens for viewing the speakers, who will address the audience from the California Ballroom.
 

Program and Pilgrimage

What opportunities for meditation will there be during Convocation?
Monastic disciples will lead group meditations throughout the week in the California Ballroom. In addition, a meditation room, located in the Catalina Room, will be open for all who wish to meditate during the intervals between classes. This year, there will be two 3-hour meditations with kirtan on Monday, August 4 and Wednesday, August 6, in the California Ballroom, 8:00 to 11:00 a.m. Also, on Saturday, August 9, there will be a 1–1/2 hour meditation starting at 7:00 p.m. in the California Ballroom.
 
What are Satsangas?
Satsangas are informal talks on Truth, often in a question-and-answer style. Convocation participants will have the opportunity to submit questions, in writing, about the Self-Realization Fellowship teachings, which will be answered at three satsangas, to be held Tuesday and Thursday mornings, and Wednesday afternoon. You may submit your questions at the Information Desk located in the Santa Anita Room.
 
Can I participate in one of the Kriya Ceremonies?
All Kriyabans attending this year's Convocation will have the opportunity to participate in a Kriya Yoga initiation. The Kriya ceremonies will be held in the California Ballroom on Friday, August 8. Please contact Membership Services to register, (818) 549-5151. If you have not yet received Kriya Yoga and wish to do so, and if you will be eligible by August 2014, please contact the Mother Center for further information, (323) 225-2471 or (818) 549-5151. Note: These ceremonies will be open to eligible Convocation participants only.
 
What is a Kriya Yoga review class?
The Kriya Yoga Review Classes offer new initiates and Kriyabans the opportunity to review in more detail the Kriya Yoga technique. This year there will be two separate review classes. Kriyabans (who have received the Kriya Yoga initiation prior to this year's Convocation) are welcome to attend the review of the Kriya Yoga technique that will be held on Saturday, August 9, 10:00 to 11:30 a.m. in the California Ballroom. Kriyabans are asked to bring their Kriyaban card for admittance. New initiates who have attended the Kriya Yoga initiation the week of Convocation are welcome to participate in the review of the Kriya Yoga technique that will held in the Pasadena Room, on Saturday, August 9, 10:00 to 11:45 a.m. New initiates will be given an admittance card.
 
Can I have my practice of Kriya Yoga reviewed by a monastic?
Yes, as a part of the Kriya Yoga Review class, new initiates will have the opportunity to have their practice of Kriya checked by monastics. During the Kriya Review Class we are only able to accommodate new initiates and ask that Kriyabans have their practice checked during the week at the spiritual counseling areas.
 
What video presentations are available?
Two inspiring videos on the life and teachings of Paramahansa Yogananda will be shown this year. A schedule with specific show times will be available at the information desk located in the Santa Anita Room. Inspirational video programs will be shown between classes. In addition, the hotel's fifth-level atrium will be turned into a photo gallery display featuring ninety studio-quality photos of Paramahansa Yogananda
 
What are Convocation pilgrimages?
We invite you to join guided pilgrimages to our ashram centers, temples, hermitages, and retreats, where the natural beauty and peaceful atmosphere offer refreshment to mind and spirit. Most of these spiritual centers were established by Paramahansa Yogananda during his lifetime, and have since become places of pilgrimage for thousands of people each year who come from all parts of the globe to visit the sites where this great world teacher lived, worked, and communed with God. Please note that the pilgrimages to the Mother Center, Lake Shrine, the Hollywood Temple, and our Guru's crypt at Forest Lawn Memorial-Park will be conducted at the same times as the morning meditations, kirtans and satsangas. There will be kirtans and talks at the pilgrimage sites.
 
Can I visit pilgrimage sites by myself?
During the Convocation the ashram centers, temples, and retreats will only be open to those attending the pilgrimages.
 
What are the India Gift Shop and Bookroom?
As in past years, the full line of Self-Realization Fellowship books and other items will be available in the Bookroom. The India Gift Shop will feature beautifully crafted gifts and Indian musical instruments. The Bookroom and India Gift Shop will be open throughout the week.
 

Hotel Accommodations and Registration

How can I reserve hotel accommodations?
The Westin Bonaventure Hotel and other conveniently located hotels in downtown Los Angeles offer reduced rates for those attending the Convocation. To reserve a room, please click on the "Hotel Rates and Registration" link. You may make a reservation directly with the participating hotel of your choice either by using the links provided or by phone.
 
Which hotels are participating this year?
The list of hotels participating this year and a map are located here.  
 
How do I make sure my hotel registration has been secured?
It is very important to receive a hotel confirmation number before you arrive. If you register via the Internet, a confirmation number will be given to you upon completion of your registration. Please be sure to contact the hotel directly if you do not receive a confirmation number, as you will need it upon your arrival.
 
Does SRF provide shuttle buses to all hotels?
Shuttle buses to participating hotels will be departing from the Bonaventure Hotel's Figueroa Street entrance approximately every twenty minutes. These shuttles will not run during classes. Shuttles schedules are available here.
 
Can I send my hotel reservation request to SRF?
Please do not send your hotel reservation requests or hotel deposits to Self-Realization Fellowship, as we are unable to process your reservations or hotel payments, and the delay could cause you to miss securing the hotel of your choice. All reservations are on a first-come, first-served basis.
 
Where can I park my car?
Parking and Shuttle information will be available online as we get closer to Convocation.
 
What public transportation is available to and from the Westin Bonaventure Hotel?
Metro Gold Line: The Metro Gold Line runs between Pasadena and East Los Angeles (including stops at the foot of Mt. Washington). At Union Station you can transfer to the Red Line and travel to the 7th Street / Metro Center stop, which is just a few blocks from the Bonaventure Hotel.

Metro Red Line: The Metro Red Line runs between the North Hollywood Station and Union Station in downtown Los Angeles, including stops at Vermont St. and Sunset Blvd. (Vermont/Sunset Station), a couple of blocks from the SRF Temple in Hollywood. At Union Station you can transfer to the Gold Line (for easy access to Mt. Washington), as well as travel to the 7th Street / Metro Center Station, which is just a few blocks from the Bonaventure Hotel. For complete up-to-date information, please visit the Metro website at www.mta.net, or call 800-266-6883.
 
Where can I eat vegetarian food during my stay?
Most restaurants in the Westin Bonaventure Hotel will be serving vegetarian meals during the week. The hotel's fourth-level outdoor patio contains a grass garden area and a spacious tent with tables and chairs where you can relax, read, or meet others. For additional locations to eat please consult with the hotel's Concierge.