Swami Chetanananda welcomes you with love and respect, and invites you to open to an unimaginable possibility as you explore the incredible potential that is available within you.

This site is a place to learn more about Swami Chetanananda, who is a spiritual teacher, author, and the abbot and founder of The Movement Center.  He has the remarkable ability to share an extraordinary energy that enables hundreds of students and disciples to grow spiritually. Swamiji’s teachings are grounded in his many years of meditation and practice in tantric traditions and shared from a deeply open heart. His life has been devoted to cultivating the power of spirit in himself and encouraging its awakening and unfolding in his students.

The resources presented here include:

  • an introduction to Swami Chetanananda and his teachings, as well as suggestions for further reading;
  • information about  programs with Swamiji at The Movement Center and elsewhere;
  • Swamiji’s video blog, News From The Heart, where you can have a more intimate experience of Swamiji as he discusses various topics related to spiritual work and the experiences encountered in doing this work in a world of increasing complexity.

Open Your Heart

To open your heart every day is an activity that encompasses and embraces every meditation and practice tradition. It is the core message of every great religious teaching. It is the simplest and most profound endeavor that a human being can undertake. It takes you beyond the confusion of your mind to a joyous, peaceful place.  Opening your heart is a simple skill, but it is not always easy. The tools you need to do it are part of the practice that Swami Chetanananda teaches.


Swami Chetanananda is a tantric master in the Shaiva-Shakta tradition. He is a teacher in the lineage of Bhagavan Nityanananda of Ganeshpuri, India, and Swami Rudrananda (Rudi), of New York City. He is the founder and abbot of The Movement Center, a nonprofit organization and spiritual community based in Portland, Oregon.

Born in Kentucky in 1948 and raised in the Midwest, Swamiji met his guru, Rudi, during a trip to New York City in 1971. The impact of that encounter changed the course of his life. After spending several months with Rudi, he returned to Bloomington, Indiana, to set up an ashram–the community that has become The Movement Center. He began teaching Rudi’s eyes-open meditation practice and very quickly gathered a core group of students around him. Swamiji continued to study with Rudi until Rudi’s death in 1973, when he took on the responsibility for continuing Rudi’s work and directing the numerous ashrams Rudi had established.

“The essence of Rudi’s teaching could be summarized by saying that to open our hearts and love unifies all experience and reveals the underling truth.  Negativity and criticism fragment experience and bind us ever more strongly to delusion.”
–Swami Chetanananda

Following Rudi’s death, Swamiji turned to Swami Muktananda to continue his study. He took sannyas with Swami Muktananda in I978 in India. He began to explore the teachings of tantric Shaivism, a nondualistic system.

Shortly after taking sannyas in 1978, while teaching open-eyes kundalini meditation class in Bloomington, Indiana, Swami Chetanananda had a profound visionary experience of the Goddess Tripurasundarī, during which the Goddess transmitted to him her essence mantra. Swamiji reported this experience to Swami Muktanananda, who  directed him to study with the Brahmin priests at Mookambika Devi Temple, in Karnataka, India. This launched Swamiji’s 40-year study and  practice of the Goddess through the teachings of Śakta Śaivism in the Śrī Vidyā lineage and the Śrī Chakra sadhana.

Swamiji has studied with the temple priests at the important Śrī Vidyā śaktipīths (places of power) of Mookambika Devi Temple in Karnataka and at the seat of the Shankaracharya, the Adi Kamakshi Amman Devi Temple, in Kanchipuram. Since 2007, Swamiji has practiced the tantric version of the Śrī Chakra sadhana with tantrikas and priests in periodic retreats at the great śaktipīth at Kamakhya Temple, in Assam, in northern India.

One of Swamiji’s greatest gifts is his ability to integrate teachings of the various traditions he has studied and extract their essence. He can explain esoteric concepts in terms that make them readily accessible to contemporary practitioners.Swamiji also holds lineages in the Shije tradition of Padampa Sangye, the Chod of Machig Labdron and the Longchen Nyingthig tradition of the Nyingma school of Tibetan Buddhism. He received those transmissions from Lama Tsering Wangdu Rinpoche, head of  Pal Gyi Tingri Langkor Jangsem Kunga Ling, a monastery in Kathmandu. He met Rinpoche in 1998 and brought him to the United States for the first time in 1999.


News From The Heart

Reflections on the Bhagavad Gita, Part 3

In this episode, Swami Chetanananda addresses: the nature of the connection between teacher and student the role of mistakes how we deal with the understanding that we have no control rising above pain and transforming it into joy expressing contact, alignment and flow Surrender, self-cultivation and devotion are  the steps to the completion of our …


Swamiji lives and resides at the Movement Center in Portland, Oregon in the United States. You may contact him via his Facebook page.