Satsang is a lively, ancient spiritual practice from India. People gather with a teacher and engage in a relaxed, “anything goes” conversation about the nature of reality, self-realization, spiritual life, and all aspects of human experience from the most ordinary to the most cosmic. Satsang always includes kirtan.
When? Every Sunday at 3:30pm Pacific (and occasional Wednesdays at 6:30pm).
Where? Live at 4160 SE Division St, Portland, Oregon. Sunday satsang is also livestreamed over Zoom.
How much? Satsang is offered on a Give What You Can basis.
We chant some chants. Then Shambhavi leads a free-flowing conversation during which people ask questions about anything. Sometimes we do a short, guided practice such as mantra chanting, kriya yoga, or a meditation. The conversation is followed by open-mic, community kirtan. Tea is always served.
Kirtan is call and response singing accompanied by harmonium, drums, bells and any other instruments people bring!
Jaya Kula kirtans are not professional performances or concerts. Anyone can lead the singing or play an instrument.
We have a harmonium and loads of percussion instruments available. Our kirtans range from the most traditional to improvised kirtan to original kirtans composed by community members to more modern interpretations.
Attending satsang is a fundamental practice within many Indian traditions. Satsang was the primary way in which teachers interacted with groups of people before Westerners invented “the workshop.”
Shambhavi’s root teacher, Anandamayi Ma, only taught in satsang. Here’s what she has to say:
By listening repeatedly to discussions and discourses on [spiritual] topics, the path to first-hand knowledge of what has been heard gradually opens out. You know, it is as when water uninterruptedly dripping on a stone finally makes a hole in it, and then a flood may suddenly surge through. ~Anandamayi Ma
Satsang is usually translated as “in the company of the wise.” Shambhavi prefers to translate it as “being in Reality together.” “Sat” means reality or existence. “Sang” is a root that indicates coming or being together.
Satsang is like taking a gentle, or sometimes not so gentle, bath in an enlarged experience of your own essence nature. Satsang is transmission. This is why Anandamayi Ma says that the path to first-hand knowledge of what is being said can open out as a result of attending satsang. For a time, people are relieved of maintaining a defensive posture toward life. Even when satsang is over, we retain some of this experience, and slowly, slowly, the rock of our defensiveness is worn away.
Sat-sanga means association with Sat or Reality. One who knows or has realized Sat is also regarded as Sat. Such association with Sat or with one who knows Sat is absolutely necessary for all. Shankara has said that in all the three worlds there is no boat like Sat-sanga to carry one safely across the ocean of births and deaths…. Sat is only the Self. Since the Self is not now understood to be Sat, the company of the sage who has thus understood it is sought. ~Ramana Maharshi
If you live anywhere from The Dalles to the coast, from Vancouver to Silverton, Shambhavi would be happy to show up and give satsang + kirtan at your house, yoga studio, yurt, yard, store, cafe, or co-housing project.
Pop up satsangs are subject to Jaya Kula’s current COVID safety regulations. Vaccination is required to host or attend satsang. Masking is required in some circumstances. Use our contact form or email nirmana [at] jayakula.org to say hi and let us know you’d like to host a satsang.
Shambhavi emphasizes the more explicitly devotional teachings and practices of Trika Shaivism and Dzogchen and direct knowing through encounters with the wisdom of the heart. She is also known for making complex teachings about the nature of the self and reality understandable, practical, and always relatable to everyday experience. Her teachings are grounded in her more than thirty-five years of daily personal practice and personal retreats.
“Generosity is a fountain of living light at the heart of creation. Having opened your heart and recognized its identity with the heart of the divine, you want to be here giving and giving throughout your natural lifetime. This is the essence of realization.” ~Shambhavi
You can read more about Shambhavi’s background, training and publications here.