Satsang is a Sanskrit word with its roots in satya and sangha. Satya means truth. Sangha means association or assembly or community. Satsangs are assemblies of/for truth…and to be pointed to the truth. The truth is what-is. Satsangs are where you to to associate with the truth…specifically the truth of your being (who/what you really are). It is where you seek help to see through illusions and ignorance.
I have offered many satsangs over the years, but I only went to one (physically) and saw several online. This is my preferred format for when I (physically) host satsangs:
- You sit together in silence.
- A short discourse or talk may be offered.
- A question and answer period.
- Finish with sitting together in silence again.
Silence is the best teacher, but many come to satsang for the question and answer period. Nonduality and enlightenment are my favorite topics to talk about, so I do enjoy talking about them and answering questions.
As to why are there satsangs, let’s just say there are seekers who feel lost and are looking for guidance/pointers to find their way home. Of course, once you are home…there really is no need for satsang. But some may continue coming for the profound stillness and silence shared. Not out of some need or trying to get something, but instead it is just an abiding in what you are together.
Satsang works on the same principle as tuning forks of the same note. You strike one tuning fork and the others start resonating. So if one or more are deeply rooted in silence, peace, stillness, and being…this tends to make it easier for others to drop into it as well. There are many stories of people who went to satsangs and felt profound silence, peace, or etc. This is because they were pulled into resonance.
I have conducted satsangs in my home in which after sitting in silence (focusing on the present), I then went right to questions and answers. I asked if there were any questions; and I have had participants tell me that they had questions but they were now gone. Their minds stopped and they were just still and silent. I have also often felt more deeply still and silent as well; as we are all chaining off each other in being more still and silent. Reinforcing each others’ silence, peace, stillness, and being. It is often very pleasant for everyone involved.
I do enjoy offering satsangs and may start offering them again in my home in the Fall of 2018…after I move from Mound to a more central location in the Twin Cities (closer to Minneapolis). In the meantime, I plan to offer shorter, weekly online (live video) satsangs through the month of January in 2018 (free, but will accept donations). Depending on the turnout online, we may continue longer. So if interested, please watch for details on the homepage or on the Facebook page.
But I digress. Returning to the question, “why is there Satsang?” – because there are seekers who want to sit in stillness or ask questions.
The answered questions may give a pointer or make you look at something more deeply…and then you may realize something for yourself. Satsang is not where you are told the answers, because second hand knowledge is of no value. The idea is to realize and see for yourself. That is why questions are sometimes answered with questions…to ask you to inquire and look for yourself.
Ideally, answering the questions quiet the mind. Sometimes this means pointing out that certain questions simply do no matter and letting go of the question is suggested. Some questions can not be answered (various reasons) or are simply distractions (from realizing the truth of who/what you are). Satsang is a meeting of truth…not distraction. For example, someone might ask “who was I in my past life?” and the answer given might be, “who are you now?” Questioners do not always get the answers they were looking for.
Satsang’s main focus is silence…of mind…of being. The deepest and most profound teachings often come from silence. We can’t think our way into enlightenment. In silence, enlightenment may just occur.