Swami Chetanananda is the abbot and spiritual director of The Movement Center, based in Portland, Oregon.
Like his teacher Swami Rudrananda (Rudi), Swamiji works with students to awaken their creative energy and support them in the process of its unfoldment. He teaches open eye meditation, a direct transmission practice in which teacher and student share the experience of the underlying unity of all things.
At the heart of Swami Chetanananda’s teaching is the understanding that the purpose of life is to grow spiritually, transcending the limitations of the family system into which we are born, and to recognize that we are, at our core, nothing but love. Through our practice, we establish our intention to grow, refine our awareness, and learn to live from that love and express it fully in our lives. To initiate that process, it is essential that we have a living teacher.
For the last 10 years, Swami Chetanananda has continued to explore the tantric tradition in all its forms from the plains of North India to Nepal’s Kathmandu Valley and the steppes of Tibet. He has sought out adepts who preserve lineages of powerful healing rituals. With the experience he has gained, Swamiji has expanded and refined Rudi’s later teachings, which Rudi called his “tantric work.”
Swamiji has a profound grasp of the philosophical and practice traditions he has studied. He conveys their essence in direct and accessible terms, making them relevant to everyday circumstances. He offers simple, practical techniques for working with creative energy that can be practiced by anyone. The fundamental method uses the power of the breath to circulate the creative energy (kundalini) and intensify its flow so that tensions and obstacles are dissolved, leading to a more refined awareness. As Rudi did, Swamiji emphasizes the importance of working deeply over time.
To complement his spiritual practices, Swami Chetanananda has a working knowledge of a range of healing systems and methodologies, from the time-honored traditions of hatha yoga and acupuncture to the more modern techniques of homeopathy and osteopathy. He studied for many years with Dr. Rollin Becker, one of the leading osteopaths of the 20th century. Swamiji also brings a wide range of other interests to his teachings: Asian art, world and religious history, and contemporary paradigms such as systems dynamics and productivity management.
In his four decades of teaching, Swamiji has headed ashrams in Bloomington, Cambridge and Portland, as well as satellite centers in Cincinnati, Ann Arbor, New York, Dallas, Knoxville, Indianapolis, Santa Monica, Seattle, and Mountain View, California. His main location in Portland, Oregon, includes a residential ashram, a meditation hall, yoga studios and classrooms in a beautifully restored historic building.
Swamiji has traveled extensively throughout Europe and the Far East, and has held programs at Omega Institute, Tibet House, Claremont College, the Unity Church of Tustin, California, the Shiva Ashram in Melbourne, Australia, and the 1999 Kalachakra initiation in Bloomington, Indiana.
Swamiji is the author of several books on spiritual practice and philosophy, including The Breath of God, Choose to Be Happy, Will I Be the Hero of My Own Life?, There Is No Other, and Dynamic Stillness, Parts I and II. His books, CDs and DVDs are available from Rudra Press, the publishing division of The Movement Center.