Friday, August 17, 2012

What is Satsang?

The following is taken from

What is Satsang

Satsang is a Sanskrit word that means "gathering together for truth" or, simply, "being with the truth." Truth is what is real, what exists. So all there is, is Truth. Whenever something increases your experience of the Truth, it opens your Heart and quiets your mind. Conversely, whenever something, such as a thought, fear, or judgement, limits or narrows your experience of the Truth, the Heart contracts and the mind gets busier. We are all equally endowed with this capacity to discriminate and experience the Truth. Thus, the true teacher, or sat guru, is within you, and satsang, or being with the Truth, is endless. You have always been here in the embrace of your true nature as aware, loving space. You have always been in satsang. 

Truth is too simple for words
Before thought gets tangled up in nouns and verbs
There is a wordless sound
A deep breathless sigh
Of overwhelming relief
To find the end of fiction
In this ordinary
Yet extraordinary moment
When words are recognized
As everything else
(From "Gifts With No Giver" a book of non dual satsang poetry by Nirmala)

Thursday, August 16, 2012

What Do I Radiate?

What Do I Radiate?

Recently I read some postings on a popular social network and it got me wondering....what do I project to the world? Everything I say and do puts out an imprint into this life...Kind of like a fingerprint, a "Bodyprint" if you like, that all the world can see. It is certainly karma but do we really think about that? I know I lose sight of that sometimes.

Meditation helps me find the "Still Point" and adds clarity. In meditation I can see how I am projecting myself to the world. Social networking has become woven into the fabric of life as we know it and it makes it easy to communicate in many ways. It also makes it easy to put out a myriad of views of my actions...If I go online and state a negative point of view about a person, group of people, situation...even myself, I put out negative karma. I create the condition for negativity to come back to me. It is simple cause and effect.

Now I'm not saying social networking is bad. Not at all. I am just using that as an example because it is so very easy to use and so much a part of many people's lives. The example I used simply falls into Right Speech which is one of the Noble Eightfold Path taught by the Buddha to relieve suffering and become awake. I must be constantly vigilant in looking at my actions. Is what I'm saying or doing helpful? Does it cause pain or radiate negativity? 

Meditation is not just "sitting." It is active, alive, moving (even though we are still). Within that awesome "living" practice we can gain insight into our actions and walk a path that leads to a happier existence for ourselves and all beings. What I radiate has an immense and pronounced effect on the world...that is sometimes easy to forget. Being mindful brings reality into focus. It helps us see life as it really is and, occasionally, gives us the opportunity to clean house, be fresh and hit the "reset" button!

Friday, August 10, 2012

Slowing Down

I asked a remarkable woman I know who follows the Dharma path to write some words about her lovely childhood in Sicily. Margaret Pinzone shows, very simply, that being present, slowing down and having an uncluttered life are a beautiful recipe for awakening.

Slowing Down
By Margaret Pinzone

As I read an article about " slowing down," in the Everyday Meditator a few days ago, I was reminded of my own childhood in a small mountain village in Sicily. There was plenty of work to do, we raised our own livestock right inside our homes, grew our own vegetables, and since commodities were too expensive or nonexistent, we had to pitch in with a multitude of house chores. There were no toys to speak of, which meant we had to learn to be creative, and get along with others if we wanted them to play with us. Life was centered around the family..Grandparents lived with us until they passed on, and the lessons of love and devotion they taught us were invaluable. There was a deep sense of trust in the community; no one stole from anyone, keys were left on house doors, crime was unheard of. If we had extra food, mom would pack it up and give it to less fortunate neighbors. Selflessness and compassion were fibers in our daily lives. 
And it occurred to me that for so many years, I have longed not for the village itself, but for the closeness I felt with the Divine...when life was much simpler.