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Pointers to Presence
And what is mind And how is it recognized? If I clearly draw In sumi ink, the sound Of breezes drifting through pine Is all that is seen.
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What is satsang?
A Brief Discussion by James Swartz
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The word satsang is a Sanskrit compound. 'Sat’ means truth, reality and/or ‘what is.’ All three of these words refer to the self, limitless awareness, the essence of everything. It is the realization or rediscovery of one’s innermost essential self that is referred to as enlightenment or self realization. Enlightenment or self realization is desirable because it destroys the individual’s sense of limitation, inadequacy and incompleteness. ‘Sang’ is an abbreviated form of the word sanga and means an association or company of individuals. In the context of enlightenment, it is a group of individuals whose primary interest is enlightenment. An initiation into Buddhism, for example, involves a commitment to the Buddha, the Dharma and the Sanga.
Satsang also has an esoteric or inner meaning. It is a subjective condition when the mind is turned inward and meditates on the reflection of awareness. So in this sense it is a communion with the truth, the innermost self. The mind ‘keeps the company of truth.’
Until the late 1980’s satsang was virtually unknown by Western seekers, although it is an ancient tradition in India. The latest wave of Western seekers who came to India at that time discovered a Hindu guru, named HWL Poonja, who gave satsang. A number of his disciples then spread this style of teaching to the West, the most notable of which is Gangaji, Issac Shapiro, Mooji, Tony Parsons and others. It became very popular and roughly coincides with the rise of Neo-Advaita, a Western variant of Vedic non-dual teachings.
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