Founded in 1939 by Swami Ashokananda (Ramakrishna Order, India)

Swami Prasannatmananda (current Swami-in-Charge/ President)

Report: Camp Taylor Spiritual Retreat 2019

The Camp Taylor Spiritual Retreat 2019 was a day-long spiritual event at the Samuel P. Taylor State Park in Marin County, CA, where Swami Vivekananda had camped for fourteen days (May 2 to May 15) during his second visit to the US in 1900. The retreat, organized by the Vedanta Society Berkeley, took place on Saturday, September 7, 2019, and marked the conclusion of the society’s year-long commemoration of the 125th anniversary of Swami Vivekananda’s lectures at the Parliament of Religions in Chicago 1893. Fifty participants from the Berkeley Center and San Jose House attended the retreat and a charter bus transported everyone to and from the campsite. The location, next to a beautiful creek, was simply breathtaking. Participants sat in the midst of a cluster of tall redwood trees where a shrine tent was situated when Swamiji had camped there in 1900. Silent moments were immediately filled with the soothing sounds of rustling leaves or the gentle trickling of the creek nearby. During meditation, these sounds were like natural music to the ears!

The retreat itself consisted of lectures delivered by three Swamis – Swami Prapannananda, Minister, Vedanta Society of Sacramento, Swami Prasannatmananda, Swami-in-Charge, Vedanta Society Berkeley, and Swami Ishadhyanananda, Asst. Minister, Vedanta Society of Sacramento – chanting of Vedic hymns, bhajans (devotional songs), a walking meditation through one of the campground’s scenic trails, reading the descriptions of Swami Vivekananda’s stay at Camp Taylor, and humorous sharing by the participants. The group tried to follow the activities that Swamiji had done during his stay at Camp Taylor in 1900. The retreat ended with a group activity in which the participants were divided into multiple teams and each team was given a transcription of one of Swami Vivekananda’s lectures on Bhakti Yoga. Team members closely studied the lectures, presented their analyses to everyone, and also raised thoughtful questions which were answered by Swamijis. The topics of presentations ranged from the power of Bhakti to the significance of the word “Om.” The topics itself were great starting points for discussion among the participants as well as Swamijis. Lunch and periodic refreshments were served, and everyone returned to their homes with both stomachs and minds full! Overall, Camp Taylor Spiritual Retreat 2019 was quite an enlightening, interactive and spiritual experience. All the participants immensely enjoyed the event.


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We have five annual Puja
Sri Ramakrishna’s birthday
Sri Ma Sarada Devi’s Birthday
Swami Vivekananda’s Birthday
Sri Sri Durga Puja

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Entire Puja event
Flowers and garland
Food for offering (Naivedya)
Dinner for devotees (Prasad)

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