What is Satsang ?

Satsang is a an ancient term, yet one that gets used a lot in recent times.

many-lotusIn ancient India there was a tradition in which the Guru or enlightened master would avail themselves to their students in the form of spiritual discourse. This teaching would be totally with the intention of waking up the student to their true nature, the same truth that exists within everyone and everything.

This would usually take the form of a verbal discussion, and it is said in the scriptures that one of the most powerful ways to receive the teachings of a true teacher is through “listening”.

Yet real listening is not something easily understood, because it transcends the mind. When the mind tries to understand truth, the understanding can only stay on the level of mind, it really doesn’t change the student’s perspective. And mind has a way of filtering everything it hears and applying it to what it already knows, referencing it’s own files, and never really being able to open itself completely to something “unknown”.

True listening is an experience, it is something that is felt. True listening happens when the words of the teacher resonates with the truth that is within the participant. The true teaching is the direct experience of the teacher, it is the frequency of their experience and it can be received as a direct transmission of that experience. In other words the true teaching runs underneath the spoken words, yet “listening” to the words opens the participants up to the possibility of hearing the true teaching and receiving this direct transmission. When a participant resonates with the teaching it is because the truth of themselves already knows this…the teaching is just bringing that memory into a conscious place, into a place of remembering.

This remembering leads to the opportunity for honest investigation into what’s really true in this moment; which is basically a removal of all personal agenda and belief.

This is truly satsang and it is a sacred space. When people come to satsang I always invite them to leave everything they think they know at the door….to forget everything they’ve ever heard before or experienced in the past…. to come as a newbie, because this is what each moment is always asking of us.

Amma used to always say “try and remain a beginner, always be a beginner”. If we think we know anything from a previous satsang or teaching it will just get in the way of what’s possible in the next one. And satsang is really life itself, meeting the unknowable in every moment, being totally available for an intimate relationship with yourself, your true self.