Meditation Hall Tour

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Information about Meditation Hall Tour

Published on December 16, 2008

Author: Nipdx



A visual tour of the meditation hall of The Movement Center in Portland, Oregon, with a special focus on artwork and images of spiritual teachers.

The Movement Center The Power of Spirit Through the Practice of Yoga A Guided Tour of the Meditation Hall

Welcome Your tour starts in the lobby

Rudra Panels Indian, antique, polychrome wood (came from Rudi)

Now open the door and enter . . .

north What are all these things, anyway? Where did they come from? east east Why are they here? west south

Swami Chetanananda decided on the placement of all the objects in the hall and picked the custom-dyed carpeting to “glow like the sun”

NORTH WALL • Students sit facing this direction in meditation classes • Gurus we honor and teachers in our direct lineage are represented

Shirdi Sai Baba • Indian guru and yogi (d.1918) with followers from many traditions • Nityananda had a deep connection to him • Like Nityananda, performed many miracles • Painting by Wendel Field, early 1970s

Swami Rudrananda (Rudi) • Swamiji’s primary guru, b.1928-d.1973 • Murti commissioned by Swamiji, created by Karla Refojo and cast in Kathmandu, installed 2006 with special ceremonies attended by Brahmin priests

Swami Rudrananda (Rudi) • 7 metal composition, inside contains prescribed jewels and small stupa • Weekly abhishek of statue and shrine

Teaching Stand • Where the teacher sits for public programs or our advanced open-eye kundalini meditation practice • Platform is elevated so people can see teacher

Teaching Stand • Couch was Rudi’s teaching chair in New York (reupholstered ) • Carpet was created and donated by Rasa

Teaching Stand • Stone sculpture (from Rudi) is an upside down capital from a column in an Indian temple • No one’s feet but the teacher’s should touch the stone

Bhagavan Nityananda • Indian saint and avadhut (d. 1961) • Rudi’s guru • Sculpted early 1980s by Prof. VV Manjrekar to replace one given by Swamiji to Swami Muktananda’s ashram in South Fallsburg NY

Bhagavan Nityananda • Murti imbued with the life force of the guru during pranapathistha ceremony • Weekly ceremony (abhishek) to clean statue and change garland

Peacock Canopies • Custom fabric is silk combined with real peacock feathers • 400+ embroidered “eyes” and scallops created for each one • Canopy is a traditional symbol for royalty or deities

Swami Muktananda • Indian devotee of Nityananda, b.1908-d.1982 • Founder of Siddha Yoga • Rudi sponsored his first visit to U.S. in 1970 • Initiated both Rudi and Swami Chetanananda into sannyas and introduced Swamiji to Kashmir Saivism • Painting by Wendel Field, 1970s

Gong • Japanese temple gong (19th century) • At the end of class, the gong is struck 7 times, once for each chakra • Overtones and undertones give it great resonance, so one feels both centered and infinitely expansive

EAST WALL • Windows overlook Rudi’s shrine • Students face this direction when Swami Chetanananda gives morning talks during meditation retreats, or during darshan

Swamiji’s Teaching Chair • When Swamiji is not in residence, his photograph sits on the chair behind his teaching cushion • The lioness pelt, a 1999 gift from students, symbolizes courage

SOUTH WALL • View from the teaching stand shows the entry and two Shaivite paintings commissioned by Swamiji especially for the meditation hall • Paintings by Sudarshan Suwal, a Newari painter in the traditional style

Smashan Shiva • Shiva is the essence of pure consciousness • Some imagery typical (drum and trident) • Some elements atypical (double dharmakara seat, 8 cremation grounds)

Siddhi Lakshmi • Another important deity in Swamiji’s practice, also known as Purnacandi or Durga • Wrathful manifestation of the female counterpart to Shiva (creative energy)

WEST WALL • Focal point for Vajrayana practices from the Tibetan Buddhist tradition • Students face this direction for Chod and some other Vajrayana group practices • Paintings are modern

Buddha Before Enlightenment • Scenes from the life of the Buddha before enlightenment • Hands in earth-touching mudra • Given to Swamiji in 1976 by painting teacher at school for Tibetan refugee children in India

Padampa Sangye • Important South Indian mahasiddha who founded Lama Wangdu’s Buddhist lineage in Tibet about 1,000 years ago • Developed “Pacification of Suffering” teachings • Shown here as a Chod practitioner

Padmasambhava • 8th century founder of Tibetan Buddhism, considered to be a reincarnation of the Buddha • Identifiable by moustache and hat • Shown with two primary consorts and 8 emanations

Machig Labdron • Female saint and yogini from 11th -12th century Tibet • Founded mahamudra Chod practice lineage • Shown dancing Chum with damaru and bell

Buddha After Enlightenment • Scenes from the life of the Buddha after his enlightenment, including temptation, death, and cremation • Hands in teaching mudra

Large Ritual Drum (Nga) • Large two-sided drum is struck with a bent piece of wood in the shape of a question mark • Drum body and skins usually decorated with Buddhist symbols • During pujas keeps rhythm and also taps out mantras

Trishula • Tantric Shaivite implement with 3 prongs (3 primary channels in energy mechanism) • Swamiji’s sannyas mala and Lama Wangdu’s white katak hang on it • Red shaft indicates kundalini energy

Lama Wangdu’s Chair • Photo sits on chair when he is not in Portland • Tiger skin represents fearlessness and was made by a team of members in 1999 • Lama Wangdu sits on skin during pujas and touches it to each person during Chod initiations

Tibetan Altar • Designed and constructed specifically for use in our meditation hall • Statues and ritual objects placed on three levels, with clever storage cupboards and trays built in

The Tibetan altar will be the subject of a future “tour.” You’ll see all the statues, tormas, offering bowls, paintings, instruments and ritual objects in detail.

Thank you for taking the tour. Let us know your questions or things you’d like more details about.

The Movement Center The Power of Spirit Through the Practice of Yoga The Movement Center PO Box 13310, Portland, OR 97213 503-231-0383 Copyright 2008

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