"Know your Self as connected with the Omnipotent Source of your being. Imagine, affirm, will, meditate to realize your true Self as the soul cloaked in a wonderful astral form of light and power."

Paramahansa Yogananda
Greetings to our Portland Center family!

Although we're not yet able to hold in-person meditations and services at Portland Center, we're happy to share with you these updates from
our Center and SRF International Headquarters in Los Angeles. Our local volunteers have been busy beautifying and maintaining the building and grounds, as you'll see from these photos:
Our roof itself is sound for several more years, but it needed repair in several places and we were glad to have this taken care of by a local professional company before the start of the rainy season.
The backyard hedge had grown
quite tall and unruly! Thank you
to the skilled volunteers who helped to tame it.

Our landscaping team has done a beautiful job caring for the shrubs in front (above) and in back (pictured on the right) of the Center.




"Roses front and behind" are blooming abundantly this summer, supplemented by colorful annuals, lovingly planted and maintained by volunteers.
Lahiri Mahasaya
Commemorative Observances
Each September, SRF/YSS devotees around the world pay homage to Lahiri Mahasaya, one of our revered paramgurus. Although we will be unable to meet at the Center for traditional devotional services, SRF's Online Meditation Center will likely host commemorative events conducted by an SRF or YSS monastic. Be sure to check their calendar as these special dates approach: Saturday September 26, the great avatar's Mahasamadhi; and Wednesday September 30, his birth anniversary.
Convocation 2020 Continues to Inspire

What a gift from SRF this year! Not only were we blessed with the first freely given, completely online Convocation, but all the offerings will continue to be available for weeks to come. If you missed any of the classes, kirtans or pilgrimages first time around — or want to view them again — it's still possible on SRF's website. The SRF YouTube channel also has many Convocation classes available, from 2020 as well as previous years.
Spiritual Parenting: A Letter from SRF Youth Services
Security Volunteer Needed
We are in need of a volunteer who can monitor the security camera at the Center’s front entrance. The main duty would be to look at your phone when it notifies you of activity, or to go to the “live view” once in a while. The time commitment should go down significantly when a security gate is installed. This would be a great help to the Managing Council and for the security of the building. If you are interested in serving this way, please email the Volunteer Coordinator, Kaya Stasch at kpstasch@gmail.com or complete the volunteer application on the Portland Center website.
News from Managing Council
Greetings from the Managing Council, with the hope that you enjoyed Convocation and are feeling closely connected to Guruji's blessings. We thank you for your ongoing service and support of the Portland Center, and while we all pray for the day when we can again gather in person at the Center, there is much going on behind the scenes that we would like to share with you.
 
As you can see from these photos, our building is in need of exterior painting, caulking, and in some places, dry rot repair:
During a Zoom business meeting on August 16, the membership agreed upon a bid for this project and Mother Center has already approved our plans. The job appears to be on track for completion by the end of September. Our next project is the design and installation of a security gate at the front entry to offer more protection for the chapel.
 
SRF Mother Center asks all Centers to update their active membership list annually, and local subscribers to this newsletter will soon be receiving more information on how to enroll as an active member. This active membership list is an important part of incorporating the Portland Center, which the Managing Council hopes to complete before the end of this year.

On August 2 we held our first Zoom Social, followed by a second one August 30. More than 30 members enjoyed a brief meditation together, followed by Center news updates and time to meet with each other in breakout sessions.
Everyone in attendance agreed that meeting monthly via Zoom is a good way to stay connected, and we'll plan for more time in small groups during future non-voting meetings. Local members will receive email invitations with more details in advance of the next Zoom session, tentatively scheduled for Sunday October 4.
 
Our council this year is Mike O’Brien, Coordinator; Kripa Raguram, Secretary; Shikha Misra, Treasurer and Paulette Fritsch and Rebecca Field as Members-At-Large. If you would like to communicate with us but don't have our personal emails, you may use Portland Center's email portlandcentersrf@gmail.com or call 503-254-6773 and leave a message. You will be contacted within a week. 

We would love to hear from you, and we hope to see you at our next Zoom meeting! Until then, some excerpts from Paramahansa Yogananda's Collected Talks and Essays, as we navigate today's challenges:

"This world will always have turmoil and trouble. Outside of God, there is no security. Be free right now. Be a son of God now;
realize that you are His child, so that you may be rid of
this dream of delusion forever."
 
In Master's Service,

Kripa, Mike, Paulette, Rebecca and Shikha
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. We especially appreciate your ongoing financial support during these months when we are unable to hold live services.
  
If you would like to 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 other recurring expenses. Checks payable to "Self-Realization Fellowship" are sent to SRF headquarters in Los Angeles, to contribute to SRF's worldwide activities.
 
Some members choose to make regular donations to our Center, and one convenient option is to set up automatic bill pay through your bank. Or, checks may be mailed to 356 NE 80th Avenue, Portland 97213.
Your support is deeply appreciated!
Words of Wisdom
from our beloved past president, Sri Daya Mataji
"So when you ask me: 'How do we face the "doom and gloom" in this world?' I say to you: Don’t accept it! It doesn’t exist as such unless you allow it to exist as darkness in your own consciousness. Make the effort to change the center of your awareness....Let us live with joy, with cheerfulness, and with the determination that we will conquer, we will be all right, because the Divine is behind us."

Sri Daya Mata

[Visit SRF's website for the complete text of this inspiring talk]
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