How to Participate in Online Meditations

Prepare Your Environment

Find a quiet place to sit for the duration of the meditation. The room you use should be free from significant noise or visual distractions. If you have a designated place for meditation, then it is preferable to join from there. Your background should preferably be uncluttered and simple. As with any YSS group meditation, please wear comfortable and conservative clothing.

Choose a Device with Reliable Internet Connection

You can use any computer (PC or Mac), tablet, or smartphone (iOS or Android) that has a reliable internet connection. All other programmes should be closed down on your device while participating in the online meditation. Remember to plug your device into a power outlet so your battery will not be drained.

Download & Install Zoom

On a computer or laptop, go to: https://zoom.us/support/download to download Zoom. Follow your computer's prompts to install the Zoom download.
On a mobile device or tablet, go to the Google Play store or the Apple App store and search for "Zoom". Install ZOOM Cloud Meetings (zoom.us).

You do not need to create a Zoom account to access the online meditations.

Play Video

Navigate to the YSS Online Dhyana Kendra Calendar

The Zoom links for the upcoming meditations can be found in the calendar event descriptions on our Programme Calendar page. Click the meditation time you would like to attend (all meditations are listed in your local time) and then click on the blue Zoom link in the calendar window that opens. The Zoom application you just downloaded will automatically launch when you click the Zoom link, and you will enter the meditation.

Play Video

You Will Be Automatically Muted

When you enter the meditation you will be automatically muted so there will be no noise disturbance to others, even if you enter the meditation late.

Choose "Join with Computer or Device Audio"

To hear the meditation audio choose the option to join with computer or device audio.

Choose "Turn Your Video On"

You will be able to see the leader and other participants, and you have the option of turning your own camera on, which you may find enhances the experience of group meditation in this digital format. Once you turn your video on you will be visible to the other participants.

Participate in the Meditation

Although you are muted throughout the duration of the meditation, participate in the meditation by repeating the prayers after the leader in call and response format, and chanting in unison as the leader plays the harmonium. We look forward to meditating with you online soon!

FAQ

Zoom is the name of the video-conferencing software we’re using. Instructions for installing it on your device are given below.

To download on your computer go to https://zoom.us/support/download.

To install on a tablet or mobile device go to the Google Play store (Android) or App Store (iOS) and search for “zoom”. Install ZOOM Cloud Meetings.

Zoom is easy to use but if you’ve never used it before and want to know more, Zoom offers a number of video tutorials and other support on their Getting Started page.

It is not necessary to sign up for a Zoom account to join an online service, but we do recommend it. A basic account is free and will allow you to make some customizations such as how your name will appear on-screen to others. (We ask that you not rename yourself to anything other than your name and/or location.)

Although free accounts indicate there is a 40-minute session limit, you will be able to stay for the entire duration of our meditations since the Online Dhyana Kendra is hosting the session.

This is mostly a matter of personal preference and what you have available. Zoom can be installed on a PC, Mac, or iOS/Android smartphone, or tablet. A recent PC or Mac with a good internet connection will likely provide the best video and audio experience. But if you prefer to join by smartphone or tablet that’s fine too.

Note: to avoid feedback, please join a meditation with only one computer or device.

When joining a meditation, you will need to choose an option on how to receive audio, otherwise you won’t hear the audio at all. Your options are: “Call over Internet” or “Dial in”. Generally you’ll want to choose “Call over Internet.” This will use your internet connection or data. The “Dial in” option would be if you want to call in via your phone line (rather than through your mobile data or internet connection). If you choose that option Zoom will give you a phone number to call in order to hear the audio. This could be used if for some reason you don’t have working speakers on the device you are using to join the meditation and would want to use a different phone line instead. However, as we mentioned, “Call over Internet” is the recommended option. Kindly note that charges may be incurred for dialling the phone number to hear the audio by phone, so please check with your service provider first.

When joining a meditation, you will need to choose an option on how to receive audio, otherwise you won’t hear the audio at all. Your options are: “Join with computer audio” or “call in”. Generally, you’ll want to choose “Join with computer audio” which will use your internet connection or data. The “Dial in” option would be if you want to call in via your phone line. If you choose that option Zoom will give you a phone number to call in order to hear the audio. This could be used if for some reason you don’t have working speakers on your device and would want to use your phone line instead. However, as we mentioned, “Join with computer audio” is the recommended option. Kindly note that charges may be incurred for dialing the phone number to hear the audio by phone, so please check with your service provider first.

Using the computer screen as the sole source of light is not ideal. Your room should be fairly well lit so others can see you. Uniform lighting on your face and upper body is best. An overhead light and desk lamp should be adequate if there is insufficient natural light during the meditation. If you are relying on natural light and the sun will be setting during the meditation, you may want to have an interior light on as well so you don’t disappear into the darkness. Being too close to a bright window can cause glare.

In addition to lighting considerations, choose a room or location in your home with a background that will be appropriate for an online meditation. This need not be your regular meditation room (though that is usually preferable), but if possible, it should be free from significant noise or visual distractions to other attendees. Try to avoid areas that will have movement in the background such as whirling fans, or people, pets, or traffic passing behind you.

In general, we encourage you to leave your camera on to facilitate the experience of having a group meditation, but of course you may also turn your video off. If you choose to turn your video on, please ensure you are dressed appropriately for a public meditation.

All participants are automatically muted during the online meditations so there will be no noise disturbances to other participants.

The leader’s sound level is checked before the meditation begins to ensure it is loud enough. After that, the loudness depends on the participant’s equipment.
To address sound issues during meditations, we would like to advise that you connect an external, powered speaker that has its own volume control, or try another device to access the meditations. Or if you prefer headphones, then an external headphone amplifier would work.

Joining an online meditation late is different than at an ashram, kendra, or mandali: there is no disturbance to other participants when you enter the Zoom meeting, so you are welcome to join an online meditation at any time, even if it is after the meditation has started. Of course we encourage you to join on time if you are able; however it is absolutely fine to attend whatever portion of the meditations you find convenient to attend.

If you receive the error message “Host has Another Meeting in Progress” this generally indicates you are trying to join the meditation from the wrong Zoom link, perhaps by accidentally clicking on the incorrect calendar event in the Programme Calendar.
Please double check that you are clicking on the correct event in the calendar at the time of the meditation (sometimes devotees can confuse 9 a.m. for 9 p.m. in the calendar, for example).

If you would like a video preview box to show up before you enter the online meditations, there is an option in your Zoom settings called “Always Show Video preview”. If this is checked on, then every time you enter a meeting, a video preview box will open and give you the choice to turn your video on or off before you enter the meeting. Additionally, you can also turn on the option in your Zoom settings: “Always turn my video off.” This means you will always enter the meeting with your video off.

It is absolutely fine to join one of the online meditations together with your husband/wife/friend/family using the same device and Zoom account when you are meditating in the same room together.

Please dress conservatively and appropriately for meditations. Dress code for online meditations is the same as when you attend an in-person group meditation at an ashram, kendra, or mandali. Please treat these sessions with the same respect and reverence.

Our one-hour online meditation begins with group practice of the YSS Energization Exercises, an opening prayer, a chant, a period of silent meditation, and concludes with Paramahansa Yoganandaji’s healing technique and closing prayer.

The altar pictures you see while participating in an online meditation are from one of the YSS ashrams or kendras.

We will continue to add new meditation times to our calendar as soon as we can. We eagerly look forward to hearing from all participants about which times and meditations they would like to see on the schedule in the future, and additionally which meditations and times they can volunteer to help lead and support.

Wonderful! We are so glad to hear that you would like to serve and pioneer the way for Gurdeva’s online meditations! To register your interest, please visit the YSS/SRF Online Meditation Center Program to YSO program page for OMC/ODK. You will be asked to sign up for an account on the volunteer portal. After completing your profile, please visit the our program’s page (link above), and view the Service Opportunities for YSS Leader or Usher. Cick ‘I want to volunteer’ for the role that would be a good fit for you. We look forward to connecting with you soon.

The YSS Online Dhyana Kendra is supported solely through donations to Yogoda Satsanga Society of India. You are most welcome to support us through our Online Donation page.

The TeamUp calendar software that the YSS Online Dhyana Kendra uses allows users to sign up for daily agenda emails. You can sign up for these automated emails via the calendar on our website here: yssofindia.org/online-meditation/calendar.
Please visit the Calendar Settings on the top right of the calendar > Preferences > Daily Agenda and then insert your email address.

If you need any further assistance, please contact us

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