Jan 31, 2014

Satsangatve…Get In Good Company.

                             Satsangatve…Get In Good Company.

In my recent studies in India both Sharon Padmaji Gannon and Radhanath Swami emphasized again and again the importance of Satsang. This topic seemed to find itself into just about every lecture. I have always found this to be a simplified instruction. The more they spoke of it I contemplated it’s depth. We really lived it while here, surrounded by so many people in one of the most populated places on the planet. The quality, humility and devotion of the beings I was surrounded by blew my mind wide open as it dropped into my heart. It was so humbling for me to have such company, as it is also where I live. It is often hard to believe in fact. I thought I would write about the affects it had on me and has in my practice over the years.

In our yoga studio,  Swan River Yoga, community is everything to us, upholding it and offering a space that upholds integrity and acceptance for the individuals in the whole to feel encouraged to flourish. We hope the yoga studio to be an “oasis”, example  and reflection of sorts as to how it could be all the time, everywhere, from our work place, schools, streets and homes. With the level of value our teachers give to it, it helped me to realize even more how something so simple is actually everything. Saints say it is so valuable that it can’t be bought. Satsang is a profound reflection of your riches.

According to many yogic texts, being around others is a very high spiritual practice. It has always been a quest of devotees…yogis and yoginis to uncover inspirations in actual forms. In the art of purposefully practicing Satsang we yearn to find actual consciously upright beings that boldly desire creative lives in ways unknown and unimaginable, discovering new ways of being, thinking, operating and living with intentionality. Satsang refines our intentions with greater dignity, flexibility and understanding of the human condition and our role in the whole. Being closed off,  disconnected or myopic steers us further from the big and the real picture where we feel more dislocated from our source as it seems virtual and unreachable. 

I became so delighted to hear that seeking out a network of diverse, evolved inspiration is actually a spiritual practice in the yogic teachings. “This”, right now, is Satsang….Look around you at this very moment. You are the company you keep be it lifting you up or holding you back. Satsang is thought to be one of the most important aspects for any aspirant wishing to devote their lives in service and to experience a profound cleanse of the heart in the most expansive Love and fulfilling way.

In an active, conscious seeking out and gathering of Satsang, our ability to learn, see and have a tactile understanding within our daily, regular life is revealed so that we never build false spiritual materialisms. Compassion, appreciation, kindness,  friendliness, beauty, laughter, joy, playfulness, forgiveness, patience, passion, justice, non-violence, skill, honesty, integrity, courage, enthusiasm, clarity and intuition are actual. One can not read about these things, find them on the yoga mat nor meditate on them alone. Satsang gives us an active karmic opportunity to  become stronger, more intelligent, more talented, more dynamic, more well rounded and more beautiful in a Cosmic unconditioned way. Satsang give us the chance to feel cared for and accepted so that we do not build bad (inner) company and buy into guilt, resentment, jealousy anger or degrading thoughts about ourselves and then impose it onto others.In Satsang we learn where we are blind, where we can grow and what parts about ourselves we have not yet accepted as we see those aspects in “others”.

 “Recognition”, a key concept to Satsang, (called “Pratyabijna  in Sanskrit but with no comparable definition in our language) typically means “to exceed above others” or “prideful” in our western structure & english translation. In Sanskrit, recognition means that an inner perfection is reflected, sparked and turned on in and out, congealing the one to the other,  even if all the while the outside appears quite different and very conditioned. Pratyabijna is to “Re-member” where the periphery unifies  & congeals to the nucleus Whole without simulating, following, imitating or homogenizing.

Satsang is the harmony of both a spiritual practice in action in our physical experiences and collectives. It is the perfect anecdote for yoking together energy and matter, often called Parusha and Prakriti in a Classical Yoga System.  This symbiotic harmony is what ignites the fire or elixir of inspiration. It sheds light on a Higher attitude and level of enthusiasm like that of the Divine, which is all attractive, moving and compelling. 

A daily cultivation of enthusiasm sets a foundation of a more reliable consistency (a fractal aspect of the Divine). To be consistent and well established is “Abhayasa”. Consistency is the threshold to trusting “others” and being trusted. It breaks barriers and stitches us into a sacred tapestry of togetherness. When others trust you and see that the teachings work then they also want to do the work. When the work is no longer work because you are no longer  the “doer”, it enlightens you up so that action/work is quite enjoyable, playful and celebratory when in good company. Even if on the outside it appears as though you are doing mundane things, when in charged company nothing is mundane as you are in love. It is much easier to get into something if others around you are into it. It does not feel as valid or authenticated if these yogic principles and teachings remain only a concept because there is no witness. This means we are relying on you and one another.

Satsang… “in the company of Truth”…. implies a quality of radicalism. It is not the normal program and may not be what you were born into. It is a reaching out. If you do not go beyond what you know, it is hard to always see what a Higher taste or conscious lifestyle could look like, let alone a fervent desire to uphold it (Dharma).  It states in the Bhagavad Gita that very few are born into high satsangs. Often we do not know what a human looks like with High desires or how they live their lives. It sounds like a story. We need to see and be these examples in our lives so we know how it looks in a human, limited form and how we can describe it to others, how we can accept it and be it even if we are still working through our karmic seeds and have our shortcomings. It can be quite confusing being of a limitless nature in a limited form. If we and those around us start acting more free and more like ourselves, this IS living Satsang.

Role models in every aspect of relationship are golden gifts for communities. It is stated in the Bhakti Sutras that “Satsang is the practice of opening us to Cosmic Love/Prema (the highest love) . The point of Satsang is that every type of love will have the chance to be practiced within a dynamic tribe experience. In Satsang we work on being the very essence of a role model friend, a role model teacher, parent, child, lover, partner, student, community member. Living the practice of Satsang teaches us that all things with conditions have expiration dates and we can see into them and beyond them. For this reason, the Bhakti Sutras also state that “bad company” ( I like to say those that impose conditions or diminish light) is to be dropped and in time it naturally is as such. Those that impose or create more limitation, isolation and separation draw us further away from our nature and back into the idea of “otherness”. Otherness is very confusing. It can even be dangerous if one is not well equipped. 

Our Soul desires to embrace an experience of interconnected, interactive expressions of Love that is both ecstatic and still…. a perfect unity of the experiencer and the one witnessing the experience. To do this Love has to be expressed and we must actively seek out being in it’s presence. Love, our nature, is not meant to be withheld or there is no witness. And if you have it around you, you are blessed. Appreciate it. Gasp in awe and wonder at it every day. Many beings on the planet do not. I have seen it in all corners of the world. The more beings I meet, the more I feel so Graced and wish for the same of others. Everyone and everything desires this… to be Loved and accepted. 

If someone is operating at a High frequency, through contagious entrainment, we will all be, sooner or later, so get enlightened and get comfortable with high quality company. Draw it out of them because it is just to hard to resist being really good.  Respecting all of creation (which has many names and forms and is not all like you) will diminish our dissolutions. Black brown yellow white Hindu Parsi Sikh Buddhist Muslim Christian All sexes and ways of having sex or no sex at all… In your home, your practices, your yoga studio, your work, your guests at dinner and your bedroom.  Often our first limitation is trying to see God with our eyes. “Keep curiosity so that you can see with Divine eyes. Otherwise you will fail to see the Divine in all things.” Shyam Das

I had the chance to hear Radhanath Swami speak at the  Radhanath Gopinath Temple in Mumbai. He stated that “Satsang is THE MOST important practice of the Kali Yuga (the period of delusion). And in fact, so important, it can help you forget that the Kali Yuga is even occurring at all!”. High and tangible connections are pleasing to the Soul. It is where the “I” turns to “we” and I-ness to wellness for all beings. You want to feel free? You want greater opportunities, ideas and experiences to enter your life? You desire the most optimal, unconditional love possible? I am quite sure we all do. Well, act like you are free so others can see and be reminded of it. Be generous.  And then get yourself around others who act like it , that are better than you at it, and wish for the same. It is all attractive.

Satsangatve Nisangatvam. Nisangatve Nirmohatvam. Sisangatve Nirmohatvam. Nirmohatve Nischala Tatva. Nishcala Tatve Jivanmukti. Bhaja Govindham. Baja Govindham. Baja Govindham mudha mate. 

 "Being in good company gives rise to non-attachment. where you realize the all attractive in your heart."  Shri Bramhananda Saraswati.

"Mudha Mate, typically translated as "oh deluded one".... becomes 'oh wise one'  when one hears the Truth from one IN Truth."  Sharon Gannon on Shri Bramhananda Saraswati.


  1. So glad to see that you are enjoying real sense of yogic living, taking your practice beyond the mat and down dog (:

    I enjoy Satsang, either it be in yoga class or in research conference.

  2. i have several satsangs, spread around the country, all one love. i miss the swan river satsang every day. your words are beautiful.