The Sat Sanga program started with a one hour silent meditation followed by a one hour Question and Answer period between the Enlightened Being, called Ramana, and the audience. All this happened in their sanctuary. My friends told one of the Ashram staff, that "Lucas has never meditated before” and I was given a 15 min crash course. Then everyone, about 30 of us, gathered in the sanctuary. When I walked in I saw on wall a big picture of Jesus and a big picture of an older Indian man. I was familiar with Jesus, so to see him gave me a comforting feeling of being in a safe place. Once everyone was settled in their chairs or on the floor, it became very quiet. I was in observing mode. Thank God, I did not have to sit in lotus or any other particular position. I closed my eyes, took a deep breath and tried to quiet my mind. Well, that did not happen. I was busy thinking, having conversations with myself, judging, criticizing, feeling agitated and asking the question "what am I doing here”? I opened my eyes and everyone else sat there like a stone, quiet, looking peaceful and all in total silence. I tried again and again to follow and focus on the breath. It lasted for five seconds and thoughts came in. Then I tried to stop thinking and even more thoughts came, and I could feel my frustrations. I looked at the watch, how much time has passed? "Oh my God, it has only been 15 minutes, how can I endure the next 45?” With numerous tries, finally in the last 10 minutes, for a period of maybe 5 seconds, I had the sensation of connecting with something in me, which produced a feeling of deep inner peace, something I never experienced before. "Wow what was that?” As soon as I thought about it, then it was gone. I wanted more, but was unsuccessful and the hour was over.
That little glimpse was enough for me to attend more Sat Sanga sessions. More of these profound experiences inspired me to extend my holidays so I could participate in a 10-day intensive meditation program. Once that was over, I had made a solid connection with my inner Being of who I am. Finally I was at peace, content and full of Joy. My biggest realization was that Salvation is within me and it is not out there in the world as I had thought. I had always been so busy trying to gain things (money, status, recognition, to be reputable, to have a good family, seeking for God to save me one day and so on) from the world. That was fun (sometimes) but those achieved goals faded quickly, were not lasting and did not have a lot of fulfillment. There was always the question lurking "what’s next”? Now, Knowing (not just on an intellectual level but on an experiential level) and feeling that place of stillness in me, all seeking had stopped, and there was peace at last. What a blessing! Thank you God!
As this awakening occurred, I felt strongly to make a commitment to my self to share this gift I received with the world.
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