Self-Realization Fellowship - Lake Shrine Temple

Group Meditation Guidelines

Lake Shrine TempleLearning More About Meditation

The techniques of meditation as taught by Paramahansa Yogananda (as well as the Energization Exercises) may be learned through the Self-Realization Fellowship Lessons, which are sent by mail for personal home study.

Visit the About Self-Realization Fellowship section for an introduction to Self-Realization Fellowship and the teachings of Paramahansa Yogananda. There also you'll find a printable version of the Lessons application form.

View a Schedule of Meditation Classes.

Meditation Service Format

The typical format for the Lake Shrine Group Meditations includes the Energization Exercises, the Meditation Service, Chanting and Prayer.

Preparing for Meditation

  • Preparation - Paramahansa Yogananda said, "Meditation is the ability to take the mind away from every object of distraction and put it on God alone."  Correct posture, focusing the eyes gently upward, and focusing one's thoughts on God, are key points to help achieve this state of mind.
  • Correct Posture - Sit relaxed with spine straight, feet flat on the floor, shoulders back, chest out, abdomen in, and hands with palms turned upward resting at the juncture of the thighs and abdomen.  It is important that there be no tension in the body.
  • Focus eyes gently upward - With eyes closed, focus the gaze gently at the Christ Consciousness Center (the point between the eyebrows)
  • Focus thoughts on God - If no techniques of meditation are known, silently call on God in the language of your heart.  Make constant efforts to stay focused in your meditation.

Meditating in a Group

  • About group Meditation - 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 only if each person shares responsibility for creating an atmosphere of peaceful stillness. 

Here are some guidelines that you can follow when arriving, before and during meditation, and when departing to help create a peaceful environment for group meditation.

  • Arrival - Arrive on time.  The front gates open 45 minutes before the start of meditation. There will be no admittance into the Temple after the meditation begins.
  • Before Meditation - Turn off all electronic devices. If you have a cough, cold, or any condition that creates noise or restlessness that may affect others, please meditate at home.  If you begin coughing in the Temple, please go to the restroom to recover.  You may continue meditation in the Special Events Room or return to the temple during the next period of chanting.
  • You are welcome to meditate in the Special Events Room if you are unable to sit in silence for periods of about 40 minutes.
  • Wear clothes that are made of soft fabrics that don't make noise.
  • Please don't wear perfumes of strong scents.
  • Leave all foods and drink in your vehicle.  You may bring water, to drink only during chanting periods.
  • During Meditation - Please use the restroom only during chanting periods.
  • There is no talking during meditation.
  • Practice the meditation techniques so that they are inaudible to others in the group.
  • Stay quietly seated during periods of silence.
  • If needed, you may stand and do gentle stretching during chanting periods.
  • Departure - Please work towards the goal of staying for the entire meditation.  Otherwise, leave at the beginning of a chanting period, keeping silent until well away from the Temple building.

Thank you for being considerate.