Every two weeks or so, Swamiji gives an hour of discourse, guided meditation and answers questions online. These Zoom transmissions used to be found as individual posts on this blog, but they are now to be found on a new system that the ashram is beginning to use. This post is a link to that system. All Swamiji’s previous satsangs plus the latest ones can be found here.
Swami Nishchalananda gave this satsang online, to coincide with the festival which celebrates the Guru principle in the Yogic tradition. There are of course other spiritual traditions that also extol the virtues of the Teacher-Student relationship.
After the statement that we do not need a Guru, this is further explained. The Guru Disciple principle is fundamental, actually in almost any subject and not just spirituality. But, in the spiritual journey we have to include the ‘inner’ Guru as central. So the Guru may be a person, something in nature, or simply, that inner Guru which is none other than Conscious Presence as the source of wisdom and inspiration. It is that which resonates with any external Guru, which is why Swamiji says….
The best preparation for finding the Guru is preparing yourself by practice, be that Meditation, Yoga or Reflection.
The extension of this idea of Conscious Presence as the inner Guru can lead to the astonishing conclusion that actually, there is only one Guru, because Conscious Presence, Awareness, transcends the boundaries of individuality.
There is no doubt that some of us need a physical person as Teacher, maybe because we are so out of touch with the inner Guru. But whatever aspect of the Guru principle to which we relate, Swamiji goes on to say that, ‘The function of the Guru is not to teach us anything, but to remove our concepts and our blockages’
A discussion of the Guru principle in terms of the paradigm of the Chakras, tells us that there is a chakra between the intuitive / mind knowledge of Agya chakra, and the crown chakra Sahasrara, (which represents transcendence beyond individuality). This is the Guru Chakra, whose function is to draw us into realising the essence (Tattwa) of the Guru principle.
Swamiji responds to questions after this discourse, and finishes with a guided meditation.
The new header picture on the blog (not this post), taken just this morning down the track, shows the Autumnal foggy mornings we get here, up on top of our Welsh hilltop. Quite beautiful, spectrally still with sheep wraiths floating out of the mist; the mist which is really clouds come down around our ears like a damp winter muffler.
Actually… the day before. On a Friday evening the day before Swami Nishchalananda’s birthday we again got together with people from around Europe and the UK courtesy of online videoconferencing platform Zoom. We started with a rousing, and raucous, rendition of ‘Happy Birthday to you’. Set the atmosphere for a session underpinned with a feeling of love and affection. Nice.
Of his birthday, Swamiji said that anyone’s birthday is an opportunity to re-affirm the mystery of our life…. to come back to the basics with regard to our way of thinking, feeling, doing…. look at ways in which they block the natural unfolding of our realisation of conscious presence.
Then a question, one of the big ones…. ‘Is there a conscious presence even when there is no-one to perceive it?’
As individuals, we are expressions which come out of Conscious Presence.
There’s a discussion regarding the way we’ve taken the description of Reality given via the materialistic paradigm taught to us as children, and the fact that now some branches of Science put consciousness at the centre of their paradigm (e.g. especially Quantum Physics).
Further to the discussion of Consciousness as the centre of our life, Swamiji also points out that we also have our Personalities which are expressions of our uniqueness as human beings, but we can get stuck in repetitive ways of acting and feeling, and that can cause us problems.
Spirituality, Yoga, doesn’t mean we have to reject our personality. It just means that we have to get a feeling for that which underlies that personality.
This was a Zoom transmission organised by Mandala Yoga Ashram, giving not just the Ashram residents but about 50 people around Europe the opportunity to join with Swami Nishchalananda. He gave a long reflective guided meditation, then a question and answer session…..
…. here’s a taster of some of the questions and extracts from Swamiji’s answers