Awakening  is an independent Kriya Yoga ministry affiliated with the Center for Spiritual Enlightenment (CSE), San Jose, CA. Yogacharya Ellen Grace O’Brian, founder and spiritual director of CSE, was ordained to teach in 1982 by Roy Eugene Davis, a direct disciple of Paramahansa Yogananda who brought the teachings of Kriya Yoga from India to the West. The Awakening community carries on the vision of individual and planetary awakening to the One Truth known by many names.

Awakening has blossomed into the beautiful spiritual community it is today as a result Rev. Nancy Ballinger’s dream of creating a welcoming home for all sincere seekers of Truth. Rev. Ballinger, founder of Awakening, was ordained by Yogacharya O’Brian in 2000. In 2001 we became known as The Center for Spiritual Enlightenment, Morro Bay.

in 2004, as the teachings of Kriya Yoga grew here on the central coast, Awakening received a 501(c) 3 tax-exempt status from the IRS and the State of California.  At that time, with the blessing of CSE, we stepped forward and established the name Awakening and our community continues to thrive today.

Awakening provides a place of refuge for sincere seekers of Self-realization and God-realization to gather for study, prayer, meditation, and warm-hearted fellowship and conversation.


The AWAKENING logo grew from the intention to graphically represent the spiritual awakening of our interfaith community. The logo consists of eight sectors, each bearing the symbol of a religious/spiritual tradition. The sectors are brought together (in community), and when seen collectively they evoke the image of a rayed star.

By delineating the rayed star, a symbol of enlightenment, using the empty space between the sectors, I aimed to reflect the ubiquitous, yet inscrutable nature of spirit.

– Stephen Aiena
New Media Dimensions