What is satsang?
"Out beyond ideas of right-doing and wrong-doing, there is a field;
I'll meet you there.
Satsang is a kind of meeting in which people turn up to be with whoever is giving the meeting and to share that space in Truth, it's a meeting dedicated to this Absolute Truth. Depending on the slant the meeting takes which can be to do with the particular tradition or way of the Satsang giver or the whim of the moment, the meeting could take a variety of forms. If you came to Satsang with me you could expect there to be some speaking certainly, some questions & answers and lots of space given for silence. But Satsang is not a lecture or a debate, it can seem like it's just a talk but it's something else too. There's an idea that when someone wakes up they give Satsang and that consists of them turning up and speaking to a passive audience of people who are so glad to hear all this new found wisdom because they will have little or no idea about it. Perhaps that was the case in the past but it isn't any more, in any Satsang meeting these days there are likely to be some in the audience already fully awake and various others teetering on the edge of it, and almost no one completely clueless - perhaps no one on the planet is completely clueless!
True Satsang is a meeting in support of Awakening, for Awakening to arise not just in the time of the meeting but supporting any opening which is already happening for those that come. So, true Satsang requires as much from those that attend as from the one who gives and facilitates it. What makes the difference between a normal meeting and Satsang is the intention of Awakening with Presence anchored. The role of the Satsang giver is to be that anchor for Awareness which is what happens when someone awakens, Presence anchors itself. Without that anchor of Presence, which really is the holding of the space, there can be no Satsang, it would just be sitting in a group, maybe talking, maybe a debate. We are fortunate these days that even in a very small group there is likely to be a couple or more anchors for Presence in any Satsang – those who can hold that space because they are either already Awakened or beginning to open.
What happens in that anchoring of Presence is that grace can move; grace will move where there is an intention, which in Satsang is for Awakening. In that space, being in that anchored Presence, any question that comes will be answered by grace. Because that awake silence, which is Presence, is attentive whatever comes is noticed. It is really a creative space, the only place where true insight can come. If you work in any creative field at all you will already know this, I'm sure. Inspiration comes when you listen for it without trying too hard. An interesting thing is that grace also asks the question. When people sit in that anchored Presence the questions come in many forms, maybe in the form of words from someone who is in attendance, perhaps prompted by some fleeting event, traffic noise, anything. Whether it's a question from some one or simply speaking coming from the Satsang giver, it seems to bubble up out of nowhere and often there are several in the room who seem to be noticing the same question coming up. It's very evident that there's a common field of Stillness in the room and that whatever is needing to come up does so that everyone gets the benefit of both the question and the answer. The form of the answer is often an insight appearing from nowhere too, and often also just silence, the kind of silence which speaks volumes.