Explore the Self Realization Fellowship | Have a Little Faith with Zach Anner

Explore the Self Realization Fellowship | Have a Little Faith with Zach Anner

-Good morning! It’s a Sunday morning,
and we’re meeting Martin today. And he is part of
the Self-Realization Fellowship. I will let you know everything
that I know about the Self-Realization
Fellowship right now. Welp,
that pretty much sums it up. So, let’s go learn about it! How’s it going? -How are you doing?
-We’re gonna hug it. Nice to meet you!
-Nice to meet you, too. -Where are we right now? -Well, right now
we’re on the grounds of Self-Realization Fellowship’s Hollywood Temple,
but we’re in India Hall. -So, I know nothing about
Self-Realization Fellowship. -Okay.
-You want to educate me some? ‘Cause I desperately need it. -All right, I’ll tell you
a little bit about what I know. -Cool, man.
Well, I can’t wait. How long have you been in L.A.? -I’ve been in L.A. since ’99. -14, 15 years.
-Yeah, yeah. -Were you SRF
before you came here? -I was. I happened to grow up in an SRF family, where my dad
was really into that around the time I was born. He was into the Eastern things
and started doing — you know, researching yoga and meditation
and stuff like that. -So, your whole family
was SRF growing up? -Well, on my mom’s side
of the family, there was a pretty
devout Catholic faith. -How did that work?
-It was interesting, but both my parents
were really open and supportive of each other
and trying to create a space for me to not feel like I had to do
one thing or the other, just whatever I preferred,
I could do. -Did people in school
know that you were SRF and that you meditated,
or did they have any clue what that was? -No, they didn’t. We hadn’t hit that big yoga boom that we have nowadays back then, so talking about yoga
or meditation was pretty foreign to folks. I was a vegetarian, too, and even that was pretty weird
for anyone that I met. All my friends thought I was a little strange in that manner,
so… -I know nothing about SRF. Am I even
allowed to call it SRF? Like, are we on
that familiar of a turf? -Right.
-What is the foundation of Self-Realization Fellowship
as a faith? -You know,
Self-Realization Fellowship was founded in the ’20s by Paramahansa Yogananda. So, most of everything
that we do here is based on his teachings. He came here from India
in the ’20s and found quite a bit
of popularity in terms of speaking
on the similarities between Eastern and Western
religions and philosophies. -Yogananda?
Is that where “yoga” comes from — like, all of yoga? -Some people credit Yogananda with bringing yoga
to the West, yes, but yoga’s been around
for a really, really long time. So, no, he’s not the founder
of that. -He’s just sort of one of
the pioneers of bringing it to the West. -Definitely, yeah.
-And is he the gentleman that’s in all of the pictures? -You’ll see his face quite
a few places around here today. -What is the philosophy that drives
Self-Realization Fellowship? -The thing that drives
it is realization of yourself. So, getting to know yourself, what your purpose is, you know, how you relate to the world
that you live in, and to do it
through various techniques — meditation techniques. -I want to tell you a little bit
about the service before we go in there just so
you know what the format is. -Sure, awesome.
-First, we’re gonna go into the temple,
which has been here since the time that Yogananda
was actually here in 1942. He used to give services
in there. So, that’s really nice.
It’s this really cool space that’s been here
for a really long time with people coming to meditate
and come to lecture services. And just so you know,
we start every service with a brief period
of meditation. -If you’re new
to Self-Realization Fellowship and you don’t have
the meditation techniques, then during the short period
of silence, follow the chant. Just talk to God
in the language of your heart and soul as his child,
which you are. [ Organ playing ] Door of my heart Open wide,
I keep for thee -What is the main goal
of meditation? -To get centered
and in myself and what I’m about
and to reconnect with that. It’s sort
of like maybe I went to sleep and forgot about it
a little bit. And as I wake up, it’s just to take
that extra time to really focus
my mind and my body on how I want to be that day. -And how do you want to be? Like, what’s a day
that you felt, “I really hit the mark today
for who I want to be”? -For me,
a big one is keeping my calm. You know, a lot
of people say, “Oh, you have a nice, calm voice. You know, you’re very relaxing.” And I recognize that in myself
that that’s just an energy that I like to have with me. -I have the opposite. You are so chill, and I’m just like, “Hey!” How would you calm me down? How do we fix this? -Well, I don’t know. I mean, is it a bad thing? -Now that I’m looking
at you, yeah. -If you’re really wanting to try
and find that calm and that peace, I think
meditation can help. -Is there a point where life
can become a meditation, and you just sort of are
in that place all the time? -I say that’s really
what the goal is. And for me, it definitely is
what the goal is. And when I see the advantage of doing that routine
of morning and night, it’s to get you to that place. Night and day,
Night and day I look for thee
night and day -There’s a stage,
and that’s where the monastic’s
gonna be speaking from. -What is a monastic? -A monastic is — within Self-Realization
Fellowship — Is someone who’s taken vows to be dedicated to it 24-7 in service
of the organization and promotes
Yogananda’s teachings. That’s a big commitment.
-It’s a lecture and not a sermon, right? What is there a lecture on? -Every Sunday,
they pick a different topic
usually having to do with something
going on in life — you know, relationships, how to find more peace
in your life, you know, various topics they pick. And I think they call it —
It’s a lecture service because they’re kind of giving
their perspective on Yogananda’s teachings and how they can apply
to that subject matter, and they also reference
all sorts of other teachings and how it all relates
to that subject matter. -Brother was wondering
about SoulPancake, and, you know,
what does that mean? I watched a lot of
Zach’s videos during the week, and it was really,
really heartwarming, all these different religions. And there was the same basic
human goodness in everyone, and we’re all just trying
to do the best we can. -There’s an altar,
and on the altar, Paramahansa Yogananda comes from a line of gurus, which is, like, their teachers. So, he has — We have a picture
of Yogananda up there and we have a picture
of his teacher, his guru. Right in the center, one of Yogananda’s focal points when he came here was
to point out the similarities between Eastern
and Western philosophies — Christianity and Hinduism,
mainly, so you have a picture of Jesus Christ there
in the center and a picture
of Bhagavan Krishna, who I was talking about earlier, to represent both those two — the union of the East
and the West. -You can be any religion
and come to SRF, right? -You can, yeah. I kind of think of SRF as an umbrella of all faiths. You can have
a Yogananda and have him be inspiring. You can have a Jesus Christ
and have him be inspiring. You can have a Bhagavan Krishna
an have him be inspiring. You can have a Buddha
and have him be inspiring. All these folks
are just examples for us to see of what we might be able
to become ourselves. And we have people
from all different faiths that come here. -Heavenly Father… -Heavenly Father… -…Mother…
-…Mother… -…Friend…
-…Friend… -…Beloved God…
-…Beloved God… -…Jesus Christ…
-…Jesus Christ… -…Bhagavan Krishna…
-…Bhagavan Krishna… -…Swami Sri Yukteswar…
-…Swami Sri Yukteswar… -…our guru…
-…our guru… -…Paramahansa Yogananda…
-…Paramahansa Yogananda… -…saints of all religions…
-…saints of all religions… -…we bow to you all.
-…we bow to you all. -Om.
-Om. -Peace.
-Peace. -Amen.
-Amen. -So, I found this shady spot
under a tree because I, myself, have realized
that it is hot outside today. And I’ve also realized that this is
a really cool place, and it’s a beautiful blend of different world religions that you don’t really think would necessarily mix,
but they do because the teachings
are very similar. And I’ve realized
that I have a lot of work to do before I
can actually meditate. I’m just gonna sit here and see if I can be quiet
for more than…five seconds. No! Not yet. But soon. Soon. It’s my first day.
What do you expect?

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About the Author: Oren Garnes


  1. ♥…that was Awesome, in that it was informative & entertaining (esp the 5s Meditation!)

    As someone who Meditates, twice a day, & really enjoys #LakeShrine, I'm feeling deeply Grateful, for Zach, SRF (can we say that?), & of course, #SoulPancake 😉

  2. very enlightening zach, as usual
    but I'm not used to zenZach ..I'm more used to bouncingoffthewallsZach
    "workout wednesdays! here's what you need!!!"

  3. As a Christian, SRF really does sound like something I could jive with. Just that whole relaxing, find out where you belong mentality. Sounds like fun.

  4. In this moment, they are euphoric. Not because of any phony god’s blessing. But because, they are enlightened by their intelligence.

  5. I'd like to know how many, if any, of the people who's faces are on the alter are the real representation of the the person. Excluding the depiction of Jesus, of course.

  6. I'd like to know how many, if any, of the people who's faces are on the alter are the real representation of the the person. Excluding the depiction of Jesus, of course.

  7. Zach, you really are a hero in my life. thank you for being so inspiring and just an all-around good person!

  8. Through this channel I have found put a lot about religions which follow the teachings of many different religions, not something I necessarily agree with, but still very interesting to learn about

  9. Zach, I want you to know that I TRULY APPRECIATE ALL of your videos… Each time I watch one it opens my eyes, my Heart, my mind, and my perspective.. So this week I ask, Zach Anner, Will You Marry Me???
    (J/K, UNLESS the answer is Yes… In which case I am COMPLETELY SERIOUS) You are an AMAZING, INSPIRING MAN. thank you AGAIN (AND ONCE MORE FOR GOOD MEASURE) For ALL that you teach all of us in the internet. Your message is AMAZINGLY INSPIRATIONAL

  10. You can skip this if you want sorry
    Hey I'm Jacqueline aka morena cheena it means darkskin Asian in Spanish I'm very mixed lol I wanna help you do something please comment on my channel and tell me what you wanna see
    Sorry for the bother :/

  11. This was a fantastic episode. Zach, you are so amazing and Martin was the perfect person to represent the Self-Realization Fellowship. I love the blend of East and West!

  12. One of the most wonderful things about attending an SRF service is that it is truly about your own personal relationship and connection to God,the Divine spirit and how it is speaking to you, regardless of what religion you practice. The word "Self" is a beautiful representation of divine realization within yourself! Thank you for sharing Zach 🙂 Hope you get to visit Lake Shrine sometime, it's absolutely breathtaking! ~Peace & Love

  13. I have found it more rewarding to be more concerned with practicing selflessness. I practice christianity because Jesus gave the ultimate selfless sacrifice of dying on the cross for our sins. It is easy and consuming to get caught up with my feelings, mistakes, emotions and my future. Loving others and putting them first has given me purpose and answers to why I am here. Having a strong and growing relationship with Christ has allowed me to have an enriching time while I am alive and has also allowed me to enrich the lives of others. I just love Jesus! He first loved me!

    "Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourself."
    Philippians 2:3

  14. Hey @zackanner It would be amazing for you to do a episode about Unitarian Universalism, i think it would be right up your alley.

  15. Do Satanism next not the Luciferianism crap but the Anton LaVey stuff because they're really just a bunch of Humanists who are effectively atheist.

  16. Personally, I don't understand how all world religions can mesh perfectly. They just don't. I mean Christianity and a few others all say very clearly that there is only one God. And at the same time, there are many religions that clearly state the opposite. That is a pretty big part of religion to be disagreeing about…

  17. Love "Have a Little Faith" so much! Every episode is fascinating. I was particularly compelled by the Bahai faith, and the message of SRF seems really similar. What's the difference between Bahai and SRF?

  18. Jesus Christ is the only one you should bow to.  The others are idols.  These people need to repent from their idolatry (and all other sins) and begin obeying Jesus. 

  19. I went to the palasades temple for like three years, but when I developed a neurological disease the brothers told me I should meditate to guru more. If I really believed in Gurus Devine powers I would not have illness in my life. According to their beliefs illness is a weakness of our meditation and spirit, and that it is completely controllable. One of the brothers even said he didn't go to the dentist for toothaches because his meditation was SO PERFECT. How about Nope.

  20. What I like about Self-Realization Fellowship, which is known as the Church of all Religions, and is therefore not a religion in itself, is that there is no conflict of interest for anyone, whichever religion they choose to follow. SRF offers meditation techniques that help still the mind. As it says in the Bible 'Be still and know that I am God' and for me the beauty of the meditation techniques is that they have helped deepen my relationship with God.

  21. Hi, Zach. It is a joy to watch and listen to someone who is so open minded and has a heart of kindness towards so many in this world. To approach faiths with a willingness to learn, to listen, to use ideas as threads of peace and knowledge, well it just seems like the way to go, in my view. Zach, I hope you continue to try to meditate and that it leads to some surprisingly sweet and calm experiences of real love, the love of the creator. Ohm, Peace, Amen.

  22. I'm only 14 but I would do anything too meet zack when watching these videos, "have a little faith" I smile even on my worst days zack is nice and always happy and just seems like an over all amazing person!!

  23. That is why I said ."and much more than peace."
    You asked about different levels of interpretation – I answered that and more!

  24. Zach by the slim chance that you are reading this I wanted to thank you. All of your videos have been incredibly informative and enlightening. I admire your open mindedness and I hope more people could be posses the tolerance you have. Thank you so much and these videos have helped me become a better, more tolerant person.

  25. I really don't want to be Calm when shit is hitting the fan left & right wherever we go in this world. Is yoga to keep us passive & docile while Evil have it's fun field trip, with no objection or resistance from us. I mean it just seems wrong to be calm today. I think we should instead be rational & resist Evil by taking Active participation in Earthly responsibilities rather than zone out inward into mind escapism. Just thinking out loud. I'm researching the truth myself & I've questions…

  26. This is the WORST possible major religion ANYONE can follow. My grandfather is obsessed with it. He was an ass, but this stupid religion made him ten times worse!

  27. what a lovely video!I found it unintentionally. Im from Brazil and here I had the chance to visit the unit of SRF and I can say: its great! for everyone from any religion, its a deep experience if you permit

  28. they tell you its "like mathematics…cannot fail…" but even after the required decades of Kriya (Yogananda said 8 was enough) no devotees actually ever achieved Self-Realization!!! They put krishna and Christ (warring theologies) together to rope in Hindus, and Lets not forget Yogananda and his "bathtub Initiations" in Miami (seriously google the legal specs) with his robe down that almost put him in prison! also look at srf legal dept that CONFISCATED EVIDENCE of wrongdoing from MONASTICS in 2000 (hence the mass exodus) to hide the (homo)sexual abuse scandals!! Pray to no flesh and blood man for salvation.

  29. SRF = Hinduism. They are literally teaching India's vedic / Vedanta philosophy. Rig Veda's first line says, "there is one truth but many manifestation, it's upto people to perceive the truth in his own way".

  30. It's a cult. I have two sisters who have been sucked in and brainwashed over the years. Everything costs money, every book every teaching. Not small sums of money either. Slightly better than Scientology. No "self" involved, just hive mentality and follow exactly what they tell you to do. Yogananda was a complete fraud who created a union of Jesus and Krishna in order to get that 10% donation out of his victims pocket every single week. If you read Autobiography of a Yoga you will have to swallow him floating in mid air and surviving without eating or drinking. I do like meditation and mindfulness. But this cult is bullshit.

  31. Zach thanks so much for making this video. After watching it, I find myself extremely interested in SRF. Appreciate you giving us an inside look through an experienced person about SRF life. Peace!

  32. Please pray for me i am study a with a lady she is Baha'i writing it confused to me i need wisdom how to read it i have a prayer book she gave me she studied out something else i don't understand it

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