Everything the Lord has created is to try us, to bring out the buried soul immortality within us. That is the adventure of life, the one purpose of life.
Dear Divine Friends,
During these past two months, as the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic have intensified, we in the Self-Realization Fellowship ashrams of Paramahansa Yogananda have received an outpouring of love and concern from many of you. Assurance of prayers and offers of supplies and financial support have been flooding in to the Mother Center and to our monastic communities around the world. We have been touched deeply by your concern. As SRF’s Treasurer, I am reaching out to you at the request of our beloved president, Brother Chidananda, to express our collective gratitude for your support and to share some of the ways that we are working to meet the current challenges and how you might help.
First, we want to assure you that we are doing well. Our Guru’s training in maintaining a positive attitude of faith in God’s presence and protection has certainly been a blessing! Still, like so many of you, we have had to make significant changes in how we operate day-to-day. Among our most immediate concerns has been how to best serve you and keep us all feeling connected as a spiritual family through this difficult time. For example, in order to comply with social-distancing regulations, we’ve had to temporarily close our temples, centers, meditation groups, and the public areas of our ashrams; postpone our global monastic tour program; and suspend our printing and mailing operations. In response to these closures, we moved quickly to increase the number of meditations and study sessions available on the SRF Online Meditation Center and introduced weekly online inspirational services. We also are expanding our offerings on-line of poignant and timely guidance from our Guru’s teachings on how to prevail through adversity.
Your response to these offerings has been overwhelming. As many as 16,000 people a week are entering the virtual doors of the Online Meditation Center and many more visit the various sections of our website and social media pages to find inspiration, guidance, connection, and support. We are working hard to develop additional offerings and will share those with you in the coming weeks.
Other “Behind-the Scenes” Changes
We also want to share some of the other changes that are not as visible. You may not be aware of this, but businesses and non-profits alike were given just 24 hours to accommodate the Los Angeles County "Safer at Home” order. This meant that within a very short period of time we, at the Mother Center, had to set up secure computer and telecommunications networking technology, as well as other new systems, to support all SRF employees who would be working from home. In addition, the SRF monks and nuns have taken on some of the responsibilities of our dear employees including, for example, shopping for community supplies, staffing the central kitchens that prepare meals for several hundred ashram residents, and expanding the production of our produce gardens. By pulling together and embracing our Guru’s “can do” spirit, we have been able to ensure that everyone remains safe and that we maintain vital operations in the face of the significant changes that this crisis is having on our lives.
Keeping You Connected and Updated
These are just a few of the changes that we wanted to share that are happening right now. We will know more in the coming weeks as the situation continues to unfold and will be sure to keep you updated. Our commitment to all of you and to carrying out our beloved Guru’s sacred mission remains unwavering. We will get through this together and we will be the stronger because of it. As Brother Chidananda recently said, “How blessed we are that we have been given, in Paramahansa Yogananda’s SRF/YSS teachings, the spiritual tools we need to show up on the battlefield of life as a fully equipped divine warrior.”
Your Offers of Help Touch Us Deeply
I do want to address the many generous offers of help that we are receiving each day. First, we realize that many of you have seen significant declines in your own financial resources during this crisis. Please know that our hearts go out to you and that through your prayers, goodwill, acts of service, and your sincere following of our Guru’s spiritual path, you are contributing to SRF and our worldwide spiritual family in a deeply meaningful way. We feel your loving support and are being uplifted by it daily.
For those of you who have the means to give financially at this time, we greatly appreciate and welcome your support. Your gifts will directly fund the vital activities required to run the organization and offset the unexpected costs — and the financial shortfalls — brought about by this crisis. It is our top priority to continue disseminating the liberating teachings of Paramahansa Yogananda and nurturing the spiritual lives of every member of Guruji’s ever expanding worldwide family.
We invite you to donate online by using the link below. If you are not yet a monthly sustaining member, please consider becoming one today. Your ongoing support will help us to not only weather this storm, but to emerge stronger, more resilient, and ready to do our part, together, to serve our Guru’s critical spiritual and humanitarian mission in this world.
May God and the great Gurus of this path fill your heart with divine peace and the comforting assurance of Their all-loving, all-protecting presence.
In divine friendship,
Treasurer, Self-Realization Fellowship Board of Directors
Please use this link to make your gift now. Thank you!