Frequently Asked Questions
Are your services open to everybody, or just for members? Do I need to sign up?
There are no membership requirements to attend our meditations or readings services — all are welcome. However, when we revisit our Wednesday night study of the SRF Lessons, we will require that all attendees be currently receiving the SRF Lessons or have completed the 3.5-year course. Application forms for the SRF Lessons are available online.
Is there any charge for meditation services?
There is no charge for attending services. On Sundays and Fridays, 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.
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. Undreamed of Possibilities, the introductory booklet on the teachings of Paramahansa Yogananda, is available on the SRF website, and copies are also available on our free literature table.
You can learn more about the life of Paramahansa Yogananda by reading his book, Autobiography of a Yogi, which we sell at our chapel. The book is also sold on the SRF website, and can be found at most major bookstores and public libraries. The San Francisco Meditation Group has a lending library of Self-Realization Fellowship books, magazines, CD’s, and DVD’s.
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 be familiar with the SRF meditation techniques.
What style of meditation do you practice? Do I need to bring a cushion or other materials?
We meditate with closed eyes, seated on chairs. There is no need to bring any accessories.
Are the meditations guided?
Apart from brief instructions given at the beginning of the service, the meditations are not guided. Those interested in learning the SRF techniques of meditation 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 (11:00 am–12:00 noon) is a good introduction for those not familiar with meditation or with SRF. The Reading Service includes shorter periods of meditation that can help one prepare for the longer periods (approximately 45 minutes) in our Meditation Services. The Sunday service also offers the best opportunity to meet and chat with other members of our group.
Is it okay to arrive after a service has started?
People are encouraged to arrive a few minutes early in order to settle in before service begins. Our doors are open for 15 minutes before the start of each service. The usher will return to the door 5 minutes after the start of the service to check for latecomers.
Is the Meditation Group handicapped-accessible?
Unfortunately, the San Francisco Meditation Group is located on a second floor, accessible by stairs only. There is a handrail. Please let us know if you might need help with the stairs.
What is considered appropriate attire?
We encourage those who attend to dress conservatively, as you generally would when attending a church or religious service. Please, no shorts, bathing suits, bare feet, etcetera.
I have heard about Kriya Yoga and would like to learn more. Where can I find information?
If you are new to SRF, 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 between 9:00 am and 5:00 pm Pacific Time, and a monastic will be happy to assist you.
What if I have more questions?
If you have further questions about our group and our activities, please feel free to contact us here. Our email and voice mail are checked daily.