Frequently Asked Questions

Are your services open to everybody, or just to members? Do I need to sign up?
All our meditation services are open to the public and all sincere seekers are welcome. Services are comprised of periods of silent meditation, devotional chanting, and inspirational reading.


Where can I learn more about Self-Realization Fellowship and Paramahansa Yogananda?
You can learn more about SRF by visiting the Self-Realization Fellowship website at www.yogananda-srf.org. Another very good source is the introductory booklet Undreamed of Possibilities, on the teachings of Paramahansa Yogananda; it is also available on the SRF website, and copies are available at our free-literature table. You can learn more about the life of Paramahansa Yogananda by reading his book, Autobiography of a Yogi, which can be found in our bookstore, SRF BookstoreAmazon.com  as well as at most major bookstores and public libraries.


How much experience do I need to go to your meditations?
You do not need any background in meditation to attend our services, although it is helpful to have the SRF meditation techniques which are taught in the SRF Lessons.


What style of meditation do you practice? 

We meditate with closed eyes, seated on chairs.


Do I need to bring a cushion or other materials?
There is no need to bring any accessories.


Are the meditations guided?
On the first Sunday of the month at the 9 AM meditation service we give more detailed instructions and a guided meditation. For the remaining services there are a few brief instructions at the beginning of the services but the meditations are not guided. Those interested in learning the SRF techniques of meditations are encouraged to apply for the SRF Lessons. There are guided meditations available on the SRF website.


Which service should I attend first?
The Sunday Reading Service (10:00 to 11:00 a.m.) is a good introduction for those not familiar with meditation or with SRF. These services include shorter periods of meditation that can help one prepare for the longer periods (approximately 45 minutes) in our Meditation Services. The last Sunday of the month we have a potluck which we encourage our members to attend and especially newcomers so that we can all get acquainted and learn more about our group and SRF. And if you didn't bring anything, don't worry; there is always more than enough.


Is it okay to arrive after a service has started?
People are encouraged to arrive early in order to settle in before service begins. Our doors are open 30 minutes before the start of the service. If you arrive after a service has begun, please wait for the usher/greeter to usher you in during one of the chants or readings. Equally, if you need to leave before the end of a service, please do so during a chant or reading.


I have heard about Kriya Yoga and would like to learn more. Where can I find information?
Self-Realization students initially devote themselves to a period of preliminary study and meditation in order to prepare themselves physically, mentally, and spiritually for Kriya practice. This instruction is obtained through a series of SRF lessons written by Paramahansa Yogananda that can be studied at home. These lessons teach the three important techniques: energization, concentration and meditation. Brief details of these techniques are also outlined in the free introductory booklet "Undreamed of Possibilities''; After a period of study and practice covering at least the first two steps of the SRF Lessons for home study, which usually takes about a year, one can then decide if he or she wishes to apply for Kriya Yoga. This is a decision that signifies the establishment of the guru-disciple relationship with Paramahansa Yogananda.



You can learn more about Kriya Yoga in Chapter 26 of Autobiography of a Yogi, in which Paramahansa Yogananda describes the history & purpose of Kriya Yoga. If you have further questions, please check the SRF website or call Self-Realization Fellowship at (323) 225-2471, 9:00 am 5:00 pm (Pacific Time), and a monastic will be happy to discuss them with you.


What is the significance of your church's name 'Self-Realization Fellowship'?
Self-Realization, realization of one's true identity as the Self, one with the universal consciousness of God. Paramahansa Yogananda wrote: "Self-Realization is the knowing - in body, mind, and soul - that we are one with the omnipresence of God; that we do not have to pray that it come to us, that we are not merely near it at all times, but that God's omnipresence is our omnipresence; that we are just as much a part of Him now as we will ever be. All we have to do is improve our knowing."


Is there any similarity in what Christianity teaches about Christ and SRF?

Yes, Jesus Christ fully manifested the Christ Consciousness, the projected consciousness of God immanent in all creation. In Christian scripture it is called the "only begotten son," the only pure reflection in creation of God the Father; in Hindu scripture it is called "Kutastha Chaitanya. If you wish to research the similarities in the teachings of Christianity and SRF please see SRF's,

'Hidden Truths of the Scriptures''The Hidden Truths in the Gospels', and  'Jesus Christ'.


Where can I purchase SRF books, tapes and video publications?
A selection of books, tapes, CD's, photographs and other devotional items may be purchased before and after services at our Group. Just ask the person at the door, who will direct you. A larger range of SRF publications and devotional items is also available directly from the SRF Bookstore.


Is there any charge for meditation services?
There is no charge for attending services. On Sundays, there is an optional offertory that helps cover our operating expenses, and allows us to assist in the worldwide humanitarian work of Self-Realization Fellowship.


What if I have more questions?
If you have further questions about our group and its activities, please feel free to contact us through this website or our email. The SRF Glossary is an excellent source for information that will help explain many aspects of Paramahansa Yogananda teachings.


Download a pdf Copy of AMG's 'FAQ's' Here

Download a pdf Copy of SRF's 'FAQ's'Here