Resources of the Himalayan Yoga Tradition

Conquest of Three Worlds

The form and the tradition within which we teach is not a form of being a source of information.  You are used to seminars for information.  This is not that kind of a tradition.  You would say, "Well!  Aaaah, if a seminar is not for information, what else is there?"  We have a word in India, a very commonly used, a Sanskrit word that is used in all the languages of India, and has found a place in spiritual English also.  I don't know if it has appeared in the Webster's and Oxford English Dictionaries yet or not, but it should be a good candidate for them.  And that word is satsanga.  Without claiming myself to be saintly, the literal meaning of the word is "company of the saintly."

Quite often we go to see spiritually inspiring people, without an
expectation.  There is no seminar. There is no lecture.  There may be no conversation.  There may be no discussion.  The conversations and discussions should be left outside with your shoes.  And the idea in such cases is only simply to sit in the presence.  The word used is darshan, "to watch the visage" –  and we do that quite frequently.  And the purpose of such gatherings as this is not to gather information but only to sit in the company of the like-minded.  To be there!  And if you can enjoy being there, you have learned something.  This is to cut across the entire system of feeding information and quieting of the mental itch.  Not scratching of the mental itch, quieting of the intellectual itch.  Have you ever found that some spot in your body itches; but if you don't scratch it after awhile, the itch is forgotten.  Yes, that is the kind of seminar that this should be. 

The true format of a retreat should be silence, quiet time.  You come away, forget the world, say nothing, sit in meditation, individually or in the group, listen a little, read some, forget what you have read.  That is silence.  And if you read and it keeps on echoing and shouting in the head, that's no silence at all; that is not rest. The processes of meditation, meditative experience, meditative life are processes of cutting across, taking a shortcut through the information maze to other areas of the mind. This we have not learned.