Sunday, December 16, 2007

What is Satsang or Advaita Satsang? by Katie Davis

Satsang is more than a public meeting where a teacher sits before students and the intellectual topic of discussion is consciousness, presence, being now, Truth, Self-realization and enlightenment, while using concepts, ideas and beliefs. In Satsang, "sat" means "truth" and "sang" means "community." The term "satsang" means "in association with Truth."

In English, we do not really have an equivalent translation. In fact, the most popular translation, "in association with Truth," is slightly off point. While the difference may seem subtle to the mind, it is problematic for Self-discovery. If you are attending satsang and believe that you are "in association" with Truth, then you can be who you really are. The translation is dual in nature and Self-realization is Non-duality; there are not two. If your perception is that you are sitting with "the Awakened," you are looking at the teacher as something other than you are. This is a false idea. True satsang is a confirmation that you are indeed all that you are seeking.

In satsang, there is a palpable "new" frequency of being, a radiant being, and an inexplicable silent stillness that is alive. If words are spoken, which is not required, the words arise from the stillness as living words. The vibration of quietude is on top of, behind and through every word. The teacher is not "doing" or "transmitting" anything. Instead, the teacher is like an open window with a breeze blowing through, a breeze with no separation or movement. When the mind is quiet, it is called Presence and this Presence is very contagious by Itself. Everyone who comes in contact with it is affected, whether they are conscious of it or not.

There is no positionality whatsoever between you and the teacher. In fact, the teacher is recognized to be none other than one's true Self. It is directly experienced that you are not separate and that you are already aware and whole. There is absolutely no need to heal a perceived broken past, since in the Now, you are already radiant and complete. There is no need to fixate on any aspect of the future, in search for an obscure happiness through more becoming, since as Now, supreme happiness is. You are the Now and it is realized that this is the only eternal moment in which true life IS.

In satsang, Love burns everything into Itself. Like the alchemy of transforming base metal into gold, there is a natural transmutation of pain and suffering into Love. With 100% willingness, there is the destruction of everything false and enduring fulfillment outpours.

Papaji, one of the world's greatest sages, shared that there are certain requirements for the student who attends satsang. First, there must be an ability to discern what is real and what is unreal. Second, it must be recognized that Truth is beyond the senses. In addition, there must be a willingness to be timelessly present (as you truly are), releasing all concepts of the past and future. Finally, there must be intense yearning and the desire for freedom above all else.

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