The Chicago Meditation Group of Self-Realization Fellowship officially began in the early 1960s.

SRF Founder Paramahansa Yogananda visited Chicago a number of times to speak to the public and conduct lecture classes.  Yogananda also came to Chicago in 1933 to address the second World Parliament of Religions, which was held in conjunction with the 1933 Chicago World's Fair. While in Chicago, he would often stay at the Morrison Hotel, renowned in those years as the world's tallest hotel. The site of the hotel, at Madison and Clark Streets in downtown Chicago, is now occupied by a high rise office building.      

Here is an historic timeline of the group.

1963

The Chicago Meditation Group officially begins on February 28, 1963. The SRF Center Department's official notification letter to the members is dated March 1, 1963. The group meets at the home of a member in the Hyde Park neighborhood of Chicago, on Friday evenings at 7:00 pm.

1964

The Chicago Meditation Group hosts an SRF Center tour in September, with Brother Anandamoy, Ernest Pesseux and Mrs. Vickerman, at the Morrison Hotel.

1965 

The Morrison Hotel is demolished. The site is now occupied by Chase Tower (formerly Bank One Plaza) at 21 South Clark Street in downtown Chicago.

1968

The Chicago Meditation Group hosts an SRF Center Tour in October, with Brother Mokshananda, Brahmachari Rothwell, and Mrs. Vickerman.

1972

The Chicago Meditation Group hosts an SRF Center Tour in May with Brother Mokshananda and Brahmachari Isaac.

1973

The Chicago Meditation Group hosts an SRF Center Tour in September with Brother Bhavananda and Brother Dharmananda.

1973-1974

The Chicago Meditation Group moves, and meets for a short time at the home of a member in Chicago's South Shore neighborhood.

1974

Two group members, both hatha yoga teachers at the Lawson YMCA on Chicago Avenue, arrange meeting space for the group at the "Y".

In September, the Chicago Meditation Group hosts an SRF Center Tour with Brother Mokshananda and Brahmachari Austin.

1976

The Chicago Meditation Group hosts an SRF Center Tour with Brother Mokshananda and Brahmachari Dennis.

1977

The Chicago Meditation Group hosts a Weekend Retreat in May with Brother Turiyananda and Brahmachari Dale. In October, the group hosts an SRF Center Tour with Brother Achalananda and Brahmachari Eckart.

Late 1970s

The Chicago Meditation Group moves to a member's home: a basement apartment in Chicago's Beverly neighborhood.  In May 1979, the Chicago Meditation Group hosts an SRF Center Tour with Brother Mokshananda and Brahmachari Gary.
 

1980-1985

The Chicago Meditation Group hosts the following SRF events: June 1980 - Weekend Retreat with Brother Sadananda and Brahmachari Austin; May 1981 - Center Tour with Brother Achalananda and Brahmachari Simon; June 1983 - Weekend Retreat with Brother Sadananda and Brahmachari Jay; May 1985 - Center Tour with Brother Santoshananda and Brahmachari Shawn.

  Mid 1980s

The Chicago Meditation Group moves to a member's apartment in suburban Oak Park, Illinois on Taylor Street north of Chicago Avenue. As the group's membership grows, it becomes necessary to rent the upper level apartment of the two story building for its services. 

1988-1991

The Chicago Meditation Group hosts the following SRF events: September 1988 - Center Tour with Brother Mitrananda and Brahmachari Bradley; May 1989 - Weekend Retreat with Brother Devananda and Brahmachari Dean; March 1990 - Center Tour with Brother Devananda and Brahmachari Keith; June 1991 - Center Tour with Brother Ramananda and Brahmachari Gregory.

1993

In April, the Chicago Meditation Group hosts an SRF Center Tour with Brother Achalananda and Brahamachari Keith. In August, the City of Chicago hosts the World's Parliament of Religions. The event is attended by Brothers Anandamoy, Achalananda, Mitrananda and Paramananda, and Brahmacharis Peter and Steven.

1995

The Chicago Meditation Group hosts an SRF Center Tour with Brother Devananda and Brahmachari Keith.

1996

The Chicago Meditation Group moves to a two-story office building in Hillside, Illinois. This location contains a chapel, bookroom, and children's Sunday school room.

1997

The Chicago Meditation Group hosts an SRF Center Tour in November at the Congress Hotel in downtown Chicago, with Brother Satyananda and Brahmachari Martin.

2000

The Chicago Meditation Group hosts an SRF Center Tour at the Holiday Inn in Hillside, Illinois with Brother Anilananda and Brahmachari Robin.

2004

The Chicago Meditation Group hosts an SRF Center Tour in September at Illinois State Beach Resort in Zion, Illinois with Brother Mitrananda and Brahmachari Terry.

  2007

After 11 years at our Hillside location, the group relocates on July 28 to a two story office building in nearby Westchester, Illinois. The address is 10031 West Roosevelt Road, Suite 220.

In September, the Chicago Meditation Group hosts an SRF Member Support Visit with Brother Devananda and Brahmachari Augusto.

2008

In October, the Chicago Meditation Group hosts an SRF Member Support Visit at Illinois State Beach Resort in Zion, Illinois with Brother Jayananda and Brahmachari Cormack.

2012

In April, the Chicago Meditation Group hosts an SRF Member Support Visit and Public Lecture at the DoubleTree Hotel O'Hare, with Brother Naradananda and Brahmachari Gordon.

2014

In September, the Chicago Meditation Group moves to its new home at 946 N. Harlem Avenue in River Forest, Illinois.




 

Today, the Chicago Meditation Group is based in the near west Chicago suburb of River Forest, Illinois. What brings us together is our search for God, which we find in our meditation practice and study of Paramahansa Yogananda's teachings. We enjoy this special form of fellowship and warmly welcome others to join us.

Please visit this page again soon, as we present more information about our group's history.
 

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