-Shri Adi Shankaracharya from Bhaja Govindam Stotram
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.”
-Interpretation by Shri Brahmandanda Sarasvati
In the great yogic text, “Yoga Vashistha,” the great sage Vashistha says that there is no greater asset to a person on the yogic path than satsang. It is even believed to be superior to all other practices of yoga! So what is Satsang? What does it mean? And am I already doing it?
“Sat” means truth, as in the second Yama from Patanjali’s eight-limbed path from the “Yoga Sutra,” satya (truthfulness). Telling the truth is a fundamental part of the yogic path. To speak the truth is to never lie. Not even those little white lies we tell thinking its for the good of another person! Like when we tell our friend that we can’t come to their party because we are sick, when really just don’t want to go. Satya also refers to living truthfully. Do our actions reflect what we know to be true within us? And most importantly, we practice refining our thoughts to be truthful. Does our mind betray us with things that are untrue? Thoughts of unworthiness, of self-disgust, of negativity often plague our minds and hearts. But the Truth is that we are created perfectly. We are “Whole-y” and Holy beings that are missing nothing. Thoughts that do not reflect our Truth of being complete are lies.
“Sangha” means company. The environments and communities that we surround ourselves with are our company. What do we expose ourselves to on a daily basis through books, television, film, media, social media, friends, and work and home environments?
“Sat-sangha,” or satsang, refers to the company and environments that remind us of our Truth. Do the people and activities you engage with nourish the pure light and love within you? Traditionally, satsang referred to being in the company of wise beings who were already enlightened and already absorbed in Truth. But in our current culture, leaving our jobs and families to find a guru is not necessary. Satsang can come in many forms. According to the Bhaja Govindam Stotram, satsang should bring about a rise of non-attachment to individual self, and remind one of the eternal Self. The books we read, music we listen to, and company we keep should remind us that we are not actually separate, but that we are all One, and connected to all beings and the Divine in all moments. When the aspects of our environment help us to let go of attachments to our desires, aversions, fears, and labels of smallness and separateness, we experience this illumination of the knowledge of Oneness. We experience the ocean of awareness. Shri Brahmananda Saraswati calls it the “I-AM, the ocean of nectarine” because it's sooo sweet.
At Longwave Yoga, Satsang and community is so important to us! We love when you bring in your friends, family, and loved ones. It brings us so much joy when you take advantage of our complimentary offerings and community meditations. It is because of satsang that we work hard to keep our schedule varied with classes that are accessible to any one at any stage of health or age, such as our beginner’s classes, restorative classes, meditations, and kirtans. Did you know that Longwave Yoga is handicap accessible?! Yoga is for everyone; it is INCLUSIVE. We want yoga to be accessible for all. When we spend time together in an environment that encourages us to think, speak, and act truthfully and with integrity, we become more mindful in all aspects of our lives and positively influence the world around us. Because what could be better than feeling like you are living your Truth, thinking with clarity, and experiencing the ocean of sweetness and joy that is our natural state?? To be surrounded by others that are also doing the same! And we need each other to remind us who we truly are when we get trapped in the darkness of negativity. It is through Satsang that we find light again. Let us honor our connectivity by being positive reflections for each other.
Thank you for being a part of our Longwave Yoga community and Satsang. Without you, we wouldn’t even be here. We hope you join us for our Better-2-Gather 2nd Anniversary celebration on Friday, June 3. At 6pm we will kick off the celebration with a special donation based 2-hour, all-levels vinyasa class with a tag-team teach by your crew at Longwave Yoga followed by a social hour, 8pm-9pm, with sips and snacks, raffles & more!
We are. . . TRULY. . . Better Together.