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Greetings, friends of the Portland Center!

As autumn slowly unfolds, many of us feel our soul calling to go deeper inside. With a not-to-be-missed visit by monks from the Mother Center, two commemorative services in honor of Lahiri Mahasaya and a Diwali celebration, the coming months offer several occasions to go within through group meditation, as well as opportunities for joyful service and fellowship. We look forward to having you join us.

In Divine Friendship,
 
Portland Center  of Self-Realization Fellowship
               

Portland Center E-Newsletter
 

September/October 2017 - Vol 8,  Issue 4             
In This Issue
From Master
Services and Activities
Honoring Sri Mrinalini Mata
SRF Announces New President
Lahiri Mahasaya Commemorative Services
Monks from SRF Mother Center to visit Portland
Diwali Celebration
Highlight on Volunteers
In Memoriam: Sue Hathaway
Quarterly Meditations Resume
News from the C-Team
Other Activities
How to Make a Financial Contribution
November-December-January E-Newsletter
Join Our Mailing List!
Contact information for SRF and nearby SRF groups
From Master
  

"  I
 shall be rays of light, putting to flight the gloom that lurks in recesses of human thought. Through Thy grace the sudden shafts of wisdom will dispel error accumulations of countless centuries...
and kindle a new strength in the hearts of those who think that they are failures."
 

      Paramahansa Yogananda 
Whispers From Eternity / Metaphysical Meditations

Services and Activities 
 
Fall Events:   For information about the regular monthly schedule and additional special activities in September and October, please refer to the Portland Center website at  srfportlandcenter.org  or pick up a copy of the Quarterly Calendar of Services in the foyer at Portland Center.

Here are some highlights in the coming months:
 
September 2017

Sunday School resumes -  See our website for more information.

Monastic visit September 19 - 21. Please see details below. 

Kirtan Meditation  - Sunday September 24, 8:00 a.m., 9:00 a.m., and 10:00 a.m.

October 2017

Diwali celebration -  Saturday October 21 is our tentative date. More information follows below.

Kirtan Meditation  - Sunday October 29, 8:00 a.m. to 10:45 a.m. If unable to attend for the entire time, you may enter or leave at 9:00 or 10:00 a.m.  

Sri Mrinalini Mata

In honor of our beloved Sri Mrinalini Mata, we wanted to share portions of the following tribute from Self-Realization Fellowship's website:  

On August 3, 2017, our beloved Sanghamata and president, Sri Mrinalini Mata, peacefully left this world for the eternal realm of bliss and freedom in Spirit. A guiding light of wisdom, love, and understanding for the hundreds of thousands of truth seekers whose lives have been transformed by the teachings of Paramahansa Yogananda, Sri Mrinalini Mata dedicated herself to serving the Guru's spiritual and humanitarian work for more than seventy years. A pure exemplar of unconditional devotion and service to our Guru, and of profound attunement with his wisdom and ideals, this exalted soul illuminated the way for countless devotees worldwide to dwell always in the light and love of God.  
  


SRF/YSS members and the world at large will be forever blessed by the priceless legacy of God-inspired wisdom and truth - to teachings of Paramahansa Yogananda - that have been brought into publication through Mrinalini Mata's many decades of selfless and divinely attuned service. As the years go by, the enormous contribution she has made by carrying out the Guru's wishes in this way will be an enduring monument to her life of inner and outer divine achievement.  

Always anchored in the consciousness of God, Sri Mrinalini Mata offered this advice to devotees:  "No m atter what experiences you go through externally, or what lessons you are learning through those experiences, let the consciousness always be centered on the one Reality - the one thing that will never fail you, that will never change, that is eternal - God, and your relationship with Him."



A video of the entire memorial service held during Convocation can be accessed here .

SRF Announces New President

The Board of Directors of Self-Realization Fellowship has announced that Brother Chidananda is the next president of SRF/YSS. He succeeds Sri Mrinalini Mata, with whom he has worked closely for decades. 



For more information, please see the news release on the  SRF website  here.


Lahiri Mahasaya Commemorative Services

Please join us in venerating Lahiri Mahasaya 
with two Commemorative  Services 

An observance of the great avatar's Mahasamadhi will be held Tuesday, September 26 and a service commemorating his birthday will take place the following Saturday, September 30. Both services begin at 8:00 p.m. and are preceded by an optional meditation from 7:15-7:45 p.m.
  
Entry door to Lahiri Mahasaya's family home in Banaras



"Meditate unceasingly, that you quickly behold yourself as the Infinite Essence, free from every form of misery. Cease being a prisoner of the body; using the secret key of Kriya, learn to escape into Spirit." 

Lahiri Mahasaya, as quoted by 
Paramahansa Yogananda in 
Autobiography of a Yogi





Self-Realization Fellowship monks will visit Portland Center

Portland Center is honored to host two monks from SRF International Headquarters during the third week of September. Brother Devananda and Brother Muktananda (pictured below) will lead meditations and other activities while here, and all SRF members and friends are invited to participate. Here is a complete schedule:

 

Tuesday, 9/19   7:00 - 9:00 p.m.                     Energization Exercises followed by
                                                                         meditation and kirtan

Wednesday, 9/20  12:30 - 3:30 p.m.               Japanese Garden outing with monks
Meet at Portland Center for Carpooling at 12:30 or meet at Japanese Garden at approximately 1:00 p.m.  See the Japanese Garden's website for directions and cost of admission. 

Thursday, 9/21   7:30 - 8:30 p.m.                     Satsanga with monks, followed by a 
                                                                          meet-and-greet 8:30 - 9:30 p.m.



Diwali celebration

In this momentous YSS Centennial year Portland Center will join the worldwide celebration of Diwali with a special event, tentatively planned for the evening of Saturday, October 21 . Diwali is  India's biggest and most important holiday of the year, and over the centuries has become a national festival that is enjoyed by most Indians regardless of faith: Hindus, Jains, Buddhists, and Sikhs.    



The festival gets its name from the row ( avali) of clay lamps ( deepa) that symbolize the victory of inner light over spiritual darkness, knowledge over ignorance, good over evil, hope over despair. We warmly invite you to participate in our joyous gathering. More details will be available through our website in the weeks to come. 


Highlight  on Volunteers  

"No task is too difficult or too menial when offered to Thee in loving service." 
Paramahansa Yogananda


Paramahansaji teaches us to balance right activity with meditation. Performing our activities as an offering to the Divine is a vital part of the spiritual path.  Serving at the Center is a blessing because in that sacred environment it is easier for most of us to feel that the service we are performing is an offering to God and Guru. It's also an enjoyable way to come together with other devotees striving to live a spiritual life.

Day of Service September 9th
 
Two or three times a year we hold a "Day of Service" to help beautify the Center and prepare for events. This time we will be adding extra polish and sparkle for the monastic visit. The morning will begin with a short group meditation at 9:30 a.m., followed by light work activity. There are tasks to suit all abilities. The morning concludes with a delicious vegetarian lunch and fellowship followed by another hour or so of finishing up. Please join our next Day of Service on September 9th by signing the sheet in the Information Room. If unable to attend the whole event, please indicate the time you are available. 

Committee Openings
 
The operation of our Center requires many dedicated volunteers to perform a variety of roles, and joining one of the volunteer teams is a great way to become more involved with Portland Center's  spiritual community. If you have a few hours a month to offer, we will customize your time to fit existing needs. If serving on a regular basis doesn't fit your schedule, you can request to work when you are available.
 
Listed below are some of the committees that now have opportunities to serve:
 
Maintenance Committee
Tom, our Maintenance Chair, needs someone who is skilled at interior painting.

Maintenance team cleaning our Center's exterior

Hospitality Committee
Claudia, the Hospitality Chair, would welcome another pair of hands and a smiling face to join in planning and executing Sunday socials, special events and potlucks. She says that serving on the Hospitality Committee is an easy and fun way to become more involved in activities at Portland Center.

Sunday Socials are always
well attended


Landscaping Committee
Max, our Landscaping Chair, said they could use devotees to help weed the backyard flower gardens until a landscape plan is developed for that area. The backyard is in particular need during this transition and planning stage. There are overgrown rose bushes and a variety of flowers that need tending. Come help us weed, plant and water while enjoying nature on our lovely grounds.



Bulbs and wildflowers abound
in the back garden, also the site of
our annual children's Easter Egg Hunt




Max and the landscaping crew recently upgraded our curbside strips with river rock, beautifying
the periphery of the Center


Usher Committee
Ron, the Usher Chair, has a few openings for male or female ushers. Ushers unlock and prepare the chapel for services and close up afterwards. Some of the duties include adjusting the audio and lighting, and putting the flower arrangements on the altar and in the Sunday School room. They also greet and admit attendees through the chapel door during services and collect the offering. The usher is available in the foyer during service should any needs arise. This position requires six months attendance and SRF Lessons study. More women ushers would be especially welcome!

 
Ron with Nicholas, a
new usher trainee
        
 
If you are interested in serving with us please call Sarah Floyd, Volunteer Coordinator, at 971-570-5683, or email her at  Sarahfloyd21@gmail.com . There are also applications in the Information Room and on our website:  www.srfportlandcenter.org/volunteer


Sarah Floyd, Volunteer Coordinator

 
Memorial Service for Sue Hathaway
"There is a light - a light we each know
by the name of Sue. Nothing can dampen the light of Sue's spirit which shines brightly even now."

Friends and family of Sue Hathaway gathered at the Portland Center on July 1 to celebrate the life of our dear long-time member.  

As a pillar in this temple of Self-Realization, Sue gave selflessly. Over her many years as a member here, Sue served in various capacities and there was truly no part of our spiritual community that was not touched or influenced by Sue's dedication, willingness, inclusiveness of others, her down-to-earth practical nature, and her work ethic.

Sue and her late husband Kent, along with another couple, were instrumental in the purchase and renovation of the building now housing Portland Center, helping to establish a legacy to benefit many generations to come.

We feel sadness that Sue has left these mortal shores, but are glad she was with us to inspire love from our hearts. Our prayers remain with her soul as it continues its journey toward the ultimate Goal.




Quarterly Longer Meditations to resume in November

"The more sweetening you put in the water, the sweeter it becomes. Likewise, the longer you meditate intensely, the greater will be your spiritual advancement."

Paramahansa Yogananda

Our quarterly meditations will resume on Saturday, November 11. Many devotees find these longer meditations are good preparation for the upcoming All-Day Christmas Meditation in December and Master's Birthday Meditation in January.  

Newcomers to long meditations need not feel daunted, as the format is conducive to building concentration as the day progresses. We will begin at 10:00 a.m. with meditation periods ranging from 20 minutes to nearly one hour, interspersed with brief inspirational readings and chanting. After a half hour break at 1:30 p.m., the second half of the day consists of a kirtan format with 10 minutes of chanting and 25 minutes of silence for meditation, ending at 4:00 p.m.  

For those unable to attend the entire day, it is recommended that you come for the morning session only.  

Mark your calendar! We hope to see you then.

 
News from the C-Team

Greetings, friends of the Portland Center! 

We are currently making headway on finding chairs to replace the pews in the sanctuary. Ron Cobb is spearheading this project, communicating with Mother Center and other groups to find the best chairs for meditation. Along with the chairs comes the need for new carpet. We will keep you informed once we have samples and prototypes to present. 

The Portland Center website now has a question and answer (Q&A) page for people looking into attending our Center. Check it out:  http://srfportlandcenter.org/faq 

Come join us at our Day of Service on September 9th. There is always something that needs cleaning or fixing. With good weather there should be some outdoor work too.

A big thank you to all who contribute their time and energy towards furthering our Guru's message of brotherhood and love. What  joy this path of Self-Realization brings.


 
 
Jai Guru!

Sarah Floyd
Sharon Schaefer
Rebecca Field

You may contact us via email at: PortlandCenterSRF@gmail.com.
 
Other Activities
 
Sunday Socials  
Socials are held on the third Sunday of each month in the Sunday School Room following the Inspirational Service. Light refreshments are provided.  

Kirtan
Kirtan meditations, with devotional chanting accompanied by traditional Indian instruments, are generally held on the last Sunday of the month, from 8:00 a.m. to 10:45 a.m. 
Kirtan Services start  with the Energization Exercises at 8:00 a.m., followed by periods of devotional chanting and meditation.  During the 10:00 a.m. service, there will be chanting instead of an opening prayer and a reading. Master strongly encouraged chanting as a way to deepen one's meditations and devotion. If you are unable to  stay for the full kirtan period, you may enter or leave the chapel during the chanting at 9:00 a.m. and 10:00 a.m.
Lotus flower
How to Make a Financial Contribution 
Portland Center of SRF is supported solely by financial contributions from members and friends, and by volunteers who donate their time. Proceeds from our Book Room sales also benefit the Center.
   
If you write a check to the group, please know that checks payable to "Portland Center" will be deposited locally and used to support our Center's activities, pay utility bills and so on. Checks payable to "Self Realization Fellowship" are sent to SRF headquarters in Los Angeles, where they are used to support SRF's work. It is customary when writing checks during special services such as commemoratives to make the check payable to SRF.  

Some members choose to make regular donations to our Center. One convenient option is to set up automatic bill pay through your bank.

Thank you for your support!



November-December-January E-Newsletter  

 

The deadline for submissions to our next issue is October 20th.

 

Thank you!  

 

In Divine Friendship, 

E-Newsletter Committee
Portland Center of Self-Realization Fellowship