Sunday Service: Saying Grace

Week of Nov 3 – Nov 9, 2013

We have a Vedanta Dinner coming up on November 6. Are you in New York? Are you coming?

A good spiritual routine includes community, guidance and regular attendance of spiritual services.

That in mind, we host a monthly Vedanta dinner in New York City.

Our New York Vedantin Dinners are a combination of spiritual service and dinner party. We start the night with a spiritual talk, share a meal and conversation, and end the evening with a passage from a spiritual book we recommend.

Our events are hosted by devotees, so an RSVP at least one day before an event is required. Because each of our events is at the home of a devotee, we email you the exact location once we’ve heard you’re coming. You can RSVP through our Contact page.

There is no charge for our Vedanta dinners, although you can show your support by hosting an upcoming dinner. Contact us if you are interested in hosting.

Yours,
Peter Kowalke

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Saying GraceThis Week’s Spiritual Talk

Saying Grace

by Peter Kowalke

When I was a child, grace was my grandfather’s thing. Before we would eat, we would say grace. This was the ritual, the habit. And if you were me, the ritual also would include the fear that you might be called upon to say grace. That was always my fear because I didn’t understand grace or know how it worked.

So growing up, grace was a little mysterious, a little scary, but mostly a ritual I knew nothing about. My family was not big on ritual, so we had few of them.

The absence of ritual or overt dogma during my childhood probably explains why I arrived at Advaita Vedanta. In the Advaita canon, ritual is okay; it primes the pump before we find a deeper understanding. But once we have that deeper knowledge, we can safely ignore the ritual.

The key point that is often missed, however, is that we can’t discard the ritual until we know what we’re doing. Technically the ritual is unnecessary. But if we don’t completely know what we’re doing—and who among us is fully enlightened?—then ritual should not be discarded completely.

(read more)

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The Way of ZenBook of the Month

The Way of Zen

by Alan Watts

Watts takes the reader back to the philosophical foundations of Zen in the conceptual world of Hinduism, follows Buddhism’s course through the development of the early Mahayana school, the birth of Zen from Buddhism’s marriage with Chinese Taoism, and on to Zen’s unique expression in Japanese art and life.

Many popular books have been written on Zen since Watts’ time, but few have been able to muster the rare combination of erudition and clarity that have kept The Way of Zen in readers’ hands decade after decade.

(more about the book)

Other books we recommend can be found in our Books section. We also recommend audio lectures and web sites, among other resources.

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Spiritual Fitness

Do You have a Spiritual Routine?

Vedanta, if not practical, has no other relevancy. The key to practical Vedanta is an individualized spiritual routine.

There are six components of a good spiritual routine.

Swan1. Find a Community. If you have an existing church, temple or mosque, attend regularly. If not, join our Facebook group and see our list of recommended spiritual organizations.

2. Seek Guidance. Find a mentor within your existing spiritual community or contact us for a referral.

3. Attend Spiritual Services Regularly. If you don’t live near an appropriate spiritual community, we offer a weekly spiritual talk delivered by email, Facebook and Twitter. We also host a regular Vedanta Dinner for those who live in the New York City area.

4. Incorporate Individual Study. We keep a list of books and resources for your individual study needs.

5. Take Responsibility for Your Spiritual Life. Read our talk about listening to your own inner compass and contact us when you have a question that your spiritual community isn’t answering adequately.

6. Leverage Rituals Thoughtfully. As an example, read our essay about the power of saying grace.

Our longer talk about spiritual routine can be found here.

Happy Sunday! Peace be unto you. Peace be unto all.


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Service Times & Directions

Weekend Masses in English

Saturday Morning: 8:00 am

Saturday Vigil: 4:30 pm

Sunday: 7:30 am, 9:00 am, 10:45 am,
12:30 pm, 5:30 pm

Weekend Masses In Español

Saturday Vigil: 6:15pm

Sunday: 9:00am, 7:15pm

Weekday Morning Masses

Monday, Tuesday, Thursday & Friday: 8:30 am

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