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

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

Report: Online Spiritual Retreat – Aug 22- 23, 2020

The “What” and “How” of Spiritual Living: A True Retreat Indeed

Amid the ongoing struggle of Covid 19 pandemic and raging wildfires in California, Swami Prasannatmananda, Swami-in-charge of the Vedanta Society Berkeley offered the serene message of how to live a spiritual life in an online retreat on August 22 and 23. A keen group of participants thoroughly enjoyed the retreat entitled “Developing a Spiritual Attitude” on Zoom.

Over 2 days, Swamiji shed deep knowledge on topics such as faith, attitude to one’s self, world, and God on the first day of the retreat. How one thinks of oneself is important as it determines how one sees the world and God as well. Using Sri Krishna’s classification of 4 kinds of devotees in the Gita – distressed, inquisitive, seeker of wealth, and seeker of knowledge, Swamiji elaborated that distressed devotee’s sees the world as a place of struggle and sees himself/herself as submissive. Depending on one’s relationship with God, each has a unique orientation to the world and oneself. On the second day of the retreat Swamiji covered spiritually essential topics like how to cultivate faith, prayer, worship, and meditation; and specifically how to pray, purpose of worship, how to practice meditation in path of Bhakti, and spiritual practices in the path of Jnana.

The 8-session retreat was packed with Swamiji presenting new concepts and precepts by PowerPoint presentation, ample time for Q/A’s several times each day to interact with Swamiji, and several short breaks – all making the retreat extremely conducive to learn how to truly live a spiritual life. It was a blessed break from the monotony of lockdown living and a panacea for stress and anxiety. Participants expressed much gratitude and spiritual fulfillment at the end of the retreat and shared this feedback anonymously:

– “The topics were very inspiring and expounded very clearly.”
– “It was a wonderful 2 days immersed in Spiritual thoughts.”
– “Very crisp presentation which emphasized on the concepts i.e, what is the nature of world, Self and God.”
– “The instructions were very clear and completed in timely manner. I learned clear instructions on spirituality.”
– “Got some practical ideas on how to intensify faith and sadhana.”
– “I liked the practical and crucial topic of How to Develop a Spiritual Attitude. Swami integrated a lot of knowledge from our tradition in a way I have not heard before.”
– “I feel lucky and blessed to have attended this retreat.”

Videos:

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

Sponsorships opportunities are available for the following:
Entire Puja event
Flowers and garland
Food for offering (Naivedya)
Dinner for devotees (Prasad)

Please see Donation Q&A for Disclaimer and other details.