The Movement Center, founded by Swami Chetanananda, is a community of people dedicated to authentic spiritual practice. Founded in 1971 in Bloomington, Indiana, The Movement Center is based in Portland, Oregon, and offers programs and instruction in meditation, hatha yoga, and ritual practices. Its mission is to develop deeply conscious, compassionate, capable people who are fully integrated into contemporary culture.
The Movement Center's current lineage holder is Swami Chetanananda, who is remarkable for his ability to make the most profound spiritual teachings of the East accessible to contemporary Westerners. Swami Chetanananda was a student of Swami Rudrananda (Rudi), who lived in New York and passed away in 1973. Rudi was one of the first Americans to be initiated as a swami. Rudi met Nityananda in Ganeshpuri in 1959 and immediately recognized him as a spiritual master of extraordinary power. Rudi studied with Nityananda until Nityananda's death in 1961.
The spiritual practice at The Movement Center is based on the tradition of Trika Yoga, a form of kundalini yoga that comes from the nondualistic tradition of Kashmir Shaivism. Although Nityananda himself did not espouse any particular tradition, the teachings he gave and the practice that he transmitted are consistent with the philosophical underpinnings of Trika Yoga.
A large bronze statue of Nityananda is located in the meditation hall at The Movement Center. The statue was created by artists and craftsmen following sacred casting techniques accompanied by rituals to install the vibration of Nityananda. This kind of statue is called a murti and is treated with great respect. It is adorned with flower garlands and presented with offerings.
Meditation programs at The Movement Center begin with aarti in front of the statue, to honor Nityananda and celebrate his ongoing presence in our life. Aarti means "light" and traditionally involves the waving of lit candles, oil lamps, camphor or some other offering.