Open Up and Say "Om"

I, along with about 40 others from an area social group, gathered at the Nityananda Institute this evening to attend their introduction to meditation.

Although the Institute is just off NE Sandy Boulevard, it’s tucked away and feels as if you’re entering someplace farther away. Upon entering the program center, everyone hung up their coats and placed their shoes on a shelf just underneath. There is a wall of shelves with different kinds of pillows to use for sitting. I picked a firm, blue one and entered the meditation room. The smell of incense filled the air and people were having whispered conversations. It is a large, carpeted space with a few rows of chairs in the back, but most of it was empty to allow people to grab a mat and sit on the floor. Thankfully, I practice Yoga and felt comfortable starting out in the half lotus pose.

The talk was led by Swami Chetanananda who is the spiritual director of the Institute. He spoke on how he became involved on this spiritual path and discussed what goes on at the ashram. There was a question and answer period and then we went into a guided meditation. The room was completely silent save for one voice leading the meditation. I arrived home relaxed, both physically and mentally.

The introduction to meditation is free, open to the public, and occurs every Monday, beginning at 7PM. I see myself returning soon.

3 Comments so far

  1. McAngryPants (unregistered) on January 29th, 2008 @ 8:19 am

    As one that has cast off his shackles of religion, I’ve wanted to give this meditation thingy a shot. Kinda hard to do on my own as I distracted easily…

    calm…peace…focus on breathing…what’s that noise?…sounds like a creaky floor board….OH CRAP, calm…focus on breathing…visualize a warm light…speaking of warm lights I wonder what the dollar per lumen ratio is for LEDs…and don’t get me started on CFL and…OH CRAP, calm…focus on breathing…

  2. throwtheslinky (unregistered) on January 29th, 2008 @ 8:33 am

    Find more free Portland meditation here:

    Margot and Nadav are GREAT teachers and made me, a brand-new meditation student, feel very comfortable diving in. I now meditate regularly.

  3. Rudi (unregistered) on January 29th, 2008 @ 10:09 pm

    As a former coworker of many people who lived at the "institute" I can say that they are generally good people. But the cult itself is something worth investigating and knowing about before becoming invested. Google Nityananda and "absolute surrender" or check the Oregonian’s site for past articles on Swami Chetanananda (Michael Shoemaker).

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