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Satsang & finding your tribe





Sat-sangatve nissangatvam nissangatve nirmohatvam

Nirmohatve nishchala-tattvam nishchala-tattve jivanmuktih

Bhaja govindam bhaja govindam bhaja govindam mudha-mate


"Good and virtuous company gives rise to non-attachment. From non-attachment comes freedom from delusion. With freedom from delusion, one feels the changeless reality. Experiencing that changeless reality, one attains liberation in this life. I-AM is the ocean of awareness. Realizing this, one feels, ‘I am not the body and mind, although I have a body and mind.’ Realize Govinda, realize Govinda in your heart, O wise one!"

Shri Adi Shankaracharya from Carpata-Panjarika - Translation by Shri Brahmananda Saraswati


May 2024, and I've just returned from a long weekend in Paris at the Jivamukti Yoga tribe gathering. For those of you who don't know Jivamukti Yoga Is a path to Enlightenment through compassion to all beings. It was founded in 1984 by my Guru's Sharon Gannon and David Life, so this year it's celebrating its 40th birthday, their pictures are on the altar in the studio. I found Jivamukti Yoga through my British Wheel of Yoga Teacher Trainer, Andrea Kwiatkowski, who is also an advanced certified Jivamukti Teacher. If you love (or vaguely like) my classes it is because of Andrea, Sharon & David.


The tribe Gatherings have been happening every year for the last 16 years. It is where Jivamukti teachers and practitioners from around the globe get together in what is called "satsang". Sat means "truth", Sanga means "attachment", so satsang is "attachment to the truth" you could say a collective of people who's underlying motive is to seek the truth. The truth of what? The truth of who we are and our connection to God. So hanging out with like-minded people, sharing ways we can strengthen our relationship to that, is essential for sadhana (conscious spiritual practice). If you want to evolve and grow in your practice, you've gotta hang out with people who are interested in growing and evolving, otherwise, you will stay stuck in your usual patterns. Let's say you want to become a mechanic...would you hang out with other mechanics at the car garage or would you hang out with hairdressers at the salon...which way is going to help you become a mechanic quicker???

If you want to be a holy enlightened being, you have to hang out with holy enlightened beings! I'ts that simple.


Spending a weekend with my teachers and fellow truth seekers was like food for the soul. We practised a lot of yoga asana (posture) in vinyasa flowing sequence (my muscles ached a lot!), Some classes were fast, some were slow, some were more like workshops. We did breathing practices, meditation, chanting, we danced, discussed and listened to mystical stories. There was a lot of partner work too, despite there being language differences in some cases, the connection was still the same. It reminded me I am on the right path, I'm doing my best and to let go of the rest. To soften and relax as it is.


In Jivamukti Yoga and my lineage it's really important to honour your teachers. (Lineage means a sequence of teachers, that continue to pass on and preserve the teachings as originally transmitted from teacher to student and so on throughout time). You will rarely (if ever) find me taking credit for my classes, I'm just a continuation of what my teachers teach me and what I practice. I honour that by having their pictures on the altar at LeAnanda Yoga studio and giving credit to them when I share teachings.


There are many teachers out there that say they don't have a guru and that the guru is within (which is true) but progress tends to be slower without guidance and satsang. You do the practice on your own, but its a really good idea to have support along the way.


A hundred thousand years ago, being part of a tribe was the difference between life and death. Strength in numbers meant you had more chance of living, than going up against the lions and beasts alone, as humans beings evolved we've learned to make those connections that help us survive. You've probably also heard the phrase "its takes a village to raise a child", this is very much true. Within a village there are a greater number of people with different skills and experiences who we can either be open to learn from and utilise or not. A child is more likely to grow and feel nurtured with lots of caring, sharing, and educating people around him/her than not. It's the same on your yoga journey.


Spending a weekend with my teachers and fellow truth seekers was like food for the soul. We practised a lot of yoga asana (posture) in vinyasa flowing sequence (my muscles ached a lot!), Some classes were fast, some were slow, some were more like workshops. We practiced breathing, meditation, chanting, danced, discussed and listened to mystical stories. There was a lot of partner work too, despite language differences in some cases, the connection was still the same. These are some of the things you could expect at satsang. It reminded me I am on the right path, I'm doing my best and to let go of the rest. To soften and relax as it is.


Are there any conditions or rules for Satsang? Not necessarily but it's recommended

  • You speak your truth

  • Don't gossip or engage in mundane conversation.

  • Talk, and share stories of things that are uplifting.

  • Meditate, chant kirtan (singing God's names) - In Paris, we spent 2 hours chanting 3 mantras to give you an idea. In my experience, if you wanna dive into the depths of your heart, chanting is the way to do it.

  • Don't use swear words (yep still working on that one!)

  • Listen to the wisdom teachings

  • Listen to the wisdom of your heart


How do I participate in Satsang and how do I find my tribe?

  • In your regular yoga class....The people you practice, move, breathe, and connect with regularly at the studio, that's your tribe, get to know each other.

  • When you read spiritual scripture or a book by or about a holy person, you're attaching yourself to the truth by doing this.

  • Listen to spiritual podcasts, audiobooks, and devotional singers.

  • Yoga retreats.....Big one!!!! You'll meet and connect more deeply with fellow truth seekers.

  • Yoga or specialist workshops.

  • Meditation or study groups. (Don't forget we have the Plum Village Mindfulness sangha on Wednesday evenings)

  • Specially organised satsangs and tribe gatherings.

  • You could even start your own group. Just be careful not to create more separation, in a "my group is better than yours" kinda way.


"YOUR VIBE ATTRACTS YOUR TRIBE"

Life is too short not to hang out with people who uplift you. Make it a priority.




Would you like to attend a regular community satsang at LeAnanda Yoga?

  • Yes

  • No

  • Maybe






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