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Registered User
(8/16/03 11:59 pm)
what impressions did you have of convo 2003
Hello Guests and All,

Please if you have time, tell us a bit about convocation 2003.


Registered User
(8/17/03 5:09 pm)
Re: what impressions did you have of convo 2003
This being my 20th convocation, I went there with a poor attitude that I won't get much out of it. By the time it was over, I felt that I've received more blessings than I'm ever aware of. The Masters were undoubtedly present there. During that time, I also had a vision that I was being blessed by Babaji, Master, Daya Mata and Sister Gyanamata. :)

Registered User
(8/18/03 4:14 pm)
Re: what impressions did you have of convo 2003
I'm still sorting out my own experience. I went with a 'tude also! In retrospect though, certain things - and some seemingly simple things, reminded me of why I was attracted in the first place.

One of the key moments for me was an afternoon Satsang given by Bro. Jayananda. In response to one question, he said "You really don't have to believe anything in SRF, for instance, it's not necessary to believe in reincarnation. Master once said, 'We have only one dogma; kriya yoga.' "

Amazingly freeing huh? Just a simple phrase that still reverberates, and much of what I've been shadow boxing, both internally and here, has diminished greatly.

He went on to answer a question along the lines of "What should we do when a friend leaves the path?" His response was that "no one ever leaves the the spiritual path; you can't!" And if someone leaves the SRF path, listen with a view to understand and offer friendship, not to argue. He affirmed that again mentioning his own saddness when long time friends left the monastic order. Simple and honest and human answers to various questions.

I happened to be attuned to several things during the week that struck me like that. No big revelations, but things I'm still considering, that reaffirmed my own sense of friendship with Master and Christ.

There were also various phrases and events that underline some of the reasons I'm glad this board exists. Maybe I'll mention a few later.

There were a few times when, overhearing some "bliss-bunny-speak" my wife and I had to make great efforts not to fall into laughter, extreme eye rolling or some combination thereof. And I noticed in myself, repeated little irritations along the lines of "lack of common courtesy," like the number of folks who acted as if being on the airplane route exempts them from the need to ever say "excuse me."

Fine - I admit it, I've become a curmudgeon!

There was also a very pleasant morning at the Lake, the only tour I went on. I went right to the Windmill Chapel, one of my favorite spots on earth. And when I came out, just to stoll around the shore, I remember thinking to myself, "problems with this? what problems?"

All in all, I came away with the sense that though there is turmoil now, there is still value in the organization, as long as I remember that the real key is to try to listen to Master and trust my own heart.

Edited by: ranger20 at: 8/18/03 4:16 pm
Registered User
(9/1/03 5:40 am)
Take responsibility
There is such confusion on the issue of the value of the organization. Less these days, but there is still confusion. We attend a convocation and have a meaningful time and assume that is BECAUSE of the organization and therefore the organization has SOME value and therefore they really are Yogananda’s representative on earth. We continue to send them money and they in tern continue to abuse members and monastics and soil Masters good name.

Have we not all attended a meaningful movie or even heard some wonderful classical music and felt uplifted? The nature of many of the people willing to experiment with SRF is that their hearts are certainly at a point where they will open once in a while. I have friends who will even get a tear at a TV commercial that shows kids and loving situations! Does this mean the producer of the commercial loved God or the producer knew how to twist the heart strings?

I am dumbfounded when I hear people who know about some of the problems within SRF but still say there is “some value”. What value? Did these people even read the AY? Master told us in the AY over and over and over about false profits and organizations? Hello? Please read the AY again, Master is telling us to look to find a REAL guru (like Yogananda) and follow that Guru. Don’t get side tracked following SRF. Many think that by worshiping Daya Mata and SRF they are following Master. Such delusion is typical of this low age but such a waste! Satan is winning and has turned your hearts away from your Guru once again. (Don’t worry, it is not the first time)

I really am curious what value people find in SRF. They don’t print 99% of the books anymore themselves and you can buy them cheaper on Amazon.com. They don’t help create centers and groups, they just control them. They have even given up on most tours (they are a little short on staff right now). We DO know that they abuse monastics and employees to the point where many need counseling after they finally escape. Is that worth perpetuating? We do know that they delayed the publication of Master’s Gita for 50 years until they could spin parts of it to make themselves more important in our lives! Is that kind of thing worth perpetuating? We do know they have kept other words and images of Yogananda’s from us and may never reveal them! Is that kind of thing worth perpetuating? We do know they absorb donations from members, some of whom can barely afford the money, and use the money on lawsuits to maintain their dynasty and waste money on all kinds of other things as well. Is that type of mismanagement of resources and waste worth perpetuating? SRF turns many people away from Master and God altogether. Many who get close to SRF get really burned and since they assume SRF = Yogananda they leave the Master completely. Is that kind of thing worth perpetuating? The world gets a really negative view of your Guru by perpetuating SRF. Why is that worth keeping??

I know many of you would like a nice place to go a day or two a week where you can meet other devotees and hear a word or two on eastern religion. Take a realistic view of the trade offs in your support of the negative aspects of this corrupt organization and accept some responsibility for your role in perpetuating it.

Edited by: KS at: 9/1/03 5:41 am
Registered User
(9/3/03 9:18 am)
Re: Take responsibility
I found the convocation interesting this year in part because I perceived differences among the presenters along the lines of some of the issues discussed here. Nothing in the way of an admission of faults, but to me, an alternating sense of leaning toward renewal, and it’s opposite.

Example: opening speaker, Bro. Anandamoy, surprised me by emphatically stating that we should never put ourselves down under any circumstances (self-esteem thread). Also, in talking of finding a focus for one’s devotion, an Ishta, he affirmed it as a completely personal matter. Even said one option is to focus on “an avatar – any avatar, it doesn’t have to be one of ours.” (Parallel to some of the loyalty threads here). I found that very unexpected from him. As if some of the letters he’s read contain some of the pain and confusion expressed here, and he’s reflected on them, and was responding.

On the other hand, when Sr. Priya spoke, I had the distinct impression that she was really tired, stretched thin. She spoke in a tone that any psychologist would describe as very “flat affect.” The first time she became animated was in describing a cartoon that hung “for a long time in the MC offices.” It featured a rather unforgiving “god-voice” coming out of a cloud in response to some poor little guy’s plea. I didn’t think it was funny, but Priya came alive, and had a good laugh, before settling back into her monotone. Also, I noticed that the front row was filled with senior nun’s during the talks of the two nuns who spoke, so I checked, and none were present for any of the monks. I don’t know if that’s the norm, because I never particularly noticed it before, but I found it striking this year.

So why hold out some hope for the “value of the organization?” Because I’ve found it in the past. Some very inspiring convocations, dating from the Biltmore days. Several meaningful friendships, and periods of “esprit de corps” in meditation groups. Because I show up for the Christmas meditation because it’s on the calendar, and I wind up glad I did, and it’s unlikely that I’d sit for 8 hours on my own in that season of business. Because as a result of the techniques and some of the content of the lessons, my life has a grace to it that was lacking in the rudderless days before I read the AY.

The cynic in me notes the above as “intermittent reinforcement,” the strongest kind of behavioral motivator, parallel to the intermittent payoffs that keep people glued to slot machines in Nevada.

Or like the lyrics of the old Hoyt Axton song, “maybe things’ll get a little better in the morning.” Maybe they will. By the time this year’s convocation rolled around, I had come to expect that this would be it, I was expecting some kind of clear indicator one way or another, and I thought it would be to walk away from SRF and not look back.

Nothing of the sort, more like many mixed indicators. I do think things are will clarify in one direction or another before too long, certainly within this decade. I got the sense that there is a “heart’s and mind” conflict going on within the organization, and it made me pretty curious as to the outcome. It sounds like you are sure of the outcome, perhaps being closer to the MC sphere of influence. Being physically removed from that region, and “on the fringes” to boot, I am not as certain, and some part of me wants to extend the benefit of the doubt until I am.

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