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Annual Eight-Hour Christmas Meditation (In-Person and Online)
Sunday, 17 December, 9:00 am - 5:00 pm

The heart of Ananda’s Christmas is this eight-hour meditation, an annual tradition our Guru, Paramhansa Yogananda, started in 1931, in which his students all over the world participate. Chanting, music, inspirational recordings, and meditation periods carry you along, and the time passes more quickly and enjoyably than we’d imagine. The blessings are tangible and stay with us well into the New Year.

“Celebrate the birth of Christ in the cradle of your consciousness during the Christmas season. Let His vast perception in Nature, in space, and in love be felt within your heart, as well as in the hearts of men of all races and religions.

Break the limitations of class, color, race, religious prejudice, and all inharmony so that the cradle of your heart may be big enough to hold within you the baby Christ love for all creation.”

– Paramhansa Yogananda

8:15 am Energization Exercises and Stretching
9:00 am Prayer, Brief description of the day
9:10 am Chanting/Music
9:25 am Meditation (90 mins)
11:00 am  Chanting/Music
11:20 am Meditation (100 mins)
1:00 pm Chanting/Music, and a short break
1:30 pm Chanting/Music
1:40 pm Meditation (80 mins)
3:00 pm Chanting/Music
3:20 pm Meditation (40 mins)
4:00 pm Chanting/Music
4:20 pm Meditation (35 mins)
4:55 pm Ending music
5:00 pm Closing prayer

Here are some tips for the day. Please read carefully.

Please keep silence throughout the day.

Preparation: Rather than a heavy breakfast, eat light, easy-to-digest, foods—or fast. Some people like to bring a light snack for the midday break when tea, biscuits and dried fruits will also be available.

Clothing: Dress in loose, soft, comfortable clothes, a little warmer than usual, and a blanket or shawl. Don’t bring nylon clothes or plastic bags that cause sound.

What to bring: Guru Prem will have the usual chairs and cushions, but you may wish to bring personal cushions or shawls. Bring earplugs and an Aum board if you use one. If you bring water, have it in a bottle which does not make noise.

What not to bring: Your mobile phone – or make arrangements so you can keep it switched off (not vibrate mode). Please don’t come if you have a cold with persistent coughing or sneezing, and please quietly leave the room if a coughing or sneezing fit occurs during the silent meditation. Wait for the chanting break to re-enter the hall.

Timing: Please come by 8:15 or 8:30 am if possible, set up your sitting area, energize, and do maha mudra. There is a power when we sit and start together at 9:00 am, with prayer, chanting and deep meditation. The vibration builds throughout the day, so please stay all day if you can.

If you come later in the day, enter the temple only during the chanting and music breaks, in order to keep silence in the hall during the meditations. There will be chairs in the dining room, classroom and meditation room downstairs where you can start your meditation on your own, until the chanting break. Chanting and music will be broadcasted in all rooms.

The chanting breaks, when you come into the temple and take a seat, will be at: 11:00-11:20, 1:00-1:40, 3:00-3:20, 4:00-4:20. The programme will end with prayers at 5:00 pm. If you leave the programme before 5:00 pm, please leave during the chanting breaks, not during the silent meditation.

If you are joining from home:

Set up a quiet meditation space for the day. You may want to decorate your altar, especially for Christmas in advance.

Have all the meditation gear (cushions, blankets, shawls, Aum board, earplugs, etc.) ready by your side.

Ask your family to be quiet while you are meditating. Arrange your schedule so that you can meditate as long as you want without disturbance.

Please keep silent and stay inward throughout the day.

The session will be live-streamed online only on Zoom. 

Link to access