Satsang for Collective Illumination
By Jeff Vander Clute for The Enlightenment Zone, July 2019
The range of spiritual practices is as vast and beautifully diverse as the cultures and sacred traditions that enrich the human family. Meditation, prayer, yoga, mantra recitation, conscious movement and exercise, and even sports can all help us to encounter the profound dimension of life and develop our spiritual nature.
The fruits of sustained spiritual practice include greater self-awareness, expanded capacity to give and receive love, reverence for all of life, healing of conflict and division, and, ultimately, peace on Earth. These benefits are realized over time as we engage with heart and dedication, and as we are transformed through the practices that are right for us. Moreover, as the Maharishi Effect and the Intention Experiments have shown, the benefits of spiritual practice can be amplified to the scale of societies, and even the whole planet, when we connect and harmonize our individual practices.
At The Enlightenment Zone, we are exploring new ways of practicing together that are made possible by telepresence technologies such as the Zoom video meeting platform. Our website and social media channels enable individuals to connect with one another and with peer-to-peer programs that use telepresence to access and help spread the enlightened consciousness that is quietly sweeping the planet. Two such programs are “Virtual Satsangs: Journeys into the Heart of Awakening” and “Living in God-Realization,” hosted by Yanni Maniates and Jeff Vander Clute. These regular online gatherings connect people from around the world using the power of Zoom and, most foundationally, the spiritual practice of satsang.
The word satsang derives from the Sanskrit words sat and sangha, which mean truth and company or association, respectively. The traditional form of satsang consists of a group of people who gather physically to associate with the true and the good by engaging in a spiritual inquiry led by a teacher or master. Satsang typically includes meditation, a discourse, and a period during which the teacher answers questions posed by the students. In the powerful field that satsang creates, participants often experience epiphanies and awakenings, and, in some cases, receive direct transmissions of consciousness and energy.
The Enlightenment Zone is building on the traditional practice of satsang – with an emphasis on experience and transmission – while innovating in at least two dimensions: (1) creating a field of liberating energy and consciousness that powerfully blesses each participant and the planet through telepresence; and (2) calling forth the spiritual mastery inherent in each individual so that they can become a co-teacher, with their peers, and offer their unique gifts into the collective. Thus far in our explorations, we have discovered that satsang and telepresence are completely compatible, and that groups of empowered peers can reliably become collective expressions of loving, awakened consciousness.
We have also found that great wisdom and light emerge through each individual, and that every participant contributes to the group’s ability to embody truth and goodness. While some people may be, or may appear to be, more advanced in certain ways (though generally not in all ways), everyone is learning and evolving, and the collective presence is on its own journey of awakening and embodiment as well. Therefore, to create the conditions for collective awakening, we have found it helpful to consider that we are all teaching and learning from one another simultaneously, that each of us is supporting the awakening of one another and the collective as a whole, and that each of us has the potential to be a leader, teacher, and spiritual master who is capable of embodying the light for the benefit of all beings.
A spiritual practice is an ongoing adventure. We practice, we deepen, and we discover new territories of inquiry and possibility. So it is with satsang. Through engaging with forms of practice that have existed for millennia, and innovating in ways that are appropriate to the times, we are discovering how to grow awakened collectives that can eventually coalesce into an awakened humanity. Thus satsang is a practice which, sustained and magnified, may finally enable us to realize the comprehensive healing and peace that we know in our heart of hearts to be the inevitable promise of humanity.
The Enlightenment Zone is an online destination for exploring our true nature where every offering has been created to transmit awakened consciousness and energy. To learn more about the Virtual Satsangs and Living in God-Realization explorations, including a schedule of upcoming events, please visit the Courses section of www.enlightenment.zone.