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Connecticut satsang

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Connecticut satsang

Postby Andrew » Sat Feb 20, 2016 6:22 pm

Hi,

Haven't written in a while. Just checking in to say that I am getting to see James teach in person for the first time...yay!

I am trying not to do my happy dance just yet because the weather here has been very erratic :)

Hope all is well.

Andrew
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Re: Connecticut satsang

Postby Stan » Tue Feb 23, 2016 10:48 am

Hi Andrew,

Great news about you getting to see James. I hope you let us know how you got on.
Fingers crossed for good weather for you...just get there !
imagination running wild about your happy dance. :lol:
Look forward to hearing from you.
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Re: Connecticut satsang

Postby Andrew » Wed Feb 24, 2016 4:42 pm

Hi Stan,

The weather here in Connecticut is varied to say the least. Snow yesterday, torrential rain today. So far, the weekend forecast is good, so I am another day closer to doing my dance :)

I will give a report of the day. My wife and I can only make the Saturday but I am sure we will have a great time.

Back soon. Hope all is well,

Andrew
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Re: Connecticut satsang

Postby georgschiller » Mon Feb 29, 2016 4:11 am

Hi Andrew,

I am looking forward for your report :) I would like to know how the seminar went and what your honest :D experience of the seminar was!
It is also good to hear how Sundari and James are doing. There are not many newsletters going out recently...

Cheers from Bavaria :)
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Re: Connecticut satsang

Postby Stan » Mon Feb 29, 2016 8:08 am

Yeah, and don`t forget to ask the questions you really wanted to ask, but forgot ! :lol:
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Re: Connecticut satsang

Postby Andrew » Mon Feb 29, 2016 9:46 am

Hi guys!

I got to see the man in action this weekend, so here's my little report :)

The satsang was scheduled for Fri/Sat/Sun but due to time/$$ restraints, my wife (Sandy) I opted to go for Saturday because some teaching is always better than no teaching. Although I knew about the event, for the longest time, I didn't sign up because I looked and thought "Feb? Connecticut? Hmm.." because the weather has, as I mentioned before, been really weird and a lot of stuff has been getting canceled and re-scheduled.

However, Iswara co-operated weather wise and made sure that this weekend was actually pleasant. (Yay, prasad!). But Iswara also supplied me with a fun head cold so I was all congested and heavy. (Boo, prasad!). On the upside, while I wasn't feeling 100% I was still perfectly well enough to go and listen (Yay, prasad).

We dropped off our dog at Petsmart for the day (we told her she was going to the 'spa' to hang out and get her nails done) and headed down to the venue which, was a nice trip and really not hard to find at all. The satsang was held at the Wilton Hindu Mandir. Have to add at this point is that the people at the temple were super nice and very helpful and excellent chefs to boot because we opted to eat there rather than head out for food. Had my tongue/nose been functioning better I would've tasted it more, but still it was great Indian home cooking. Can't argue with that! They also made sure it complied with rules for satvic cuisine therefore vegetarian, no onion, no garlic etc.


They planned for about 50 people, not sure if there were that many but it was well attended nonetheless and everyone we spoke to were relaxed & easy going sort of people - I guess the type of people you would expect and hope would go to a Vedanta event. Some were very knowledgeable in the subject and/or knew James from other satsang, others were either just starting to stick their toe in and were there just to see what was up with 'that guy they saw on Youtube'. I offered my wife $200 in cash if she would stand up and in a stupid voice say: "Hi James...I am like a totally spiritual person ya know..and I'm like sooo...into like Ganesh because he's my spirit guide and...I wanted to know what like essentials oils you use and stuff?" She declined. Guess she didn't want a clothes shopping spree as much as she thought...

Anyways...lol...The teaching was centered on the 'Essence of Enlightenment' book in outlining the major vedantic ground plan. Because we didn't go Friday we only missed a little bit of the beginning but no problem there. Other than listening to me blather on for hours, Sandy has never done any Vedanta study, so her very first experience was to see James in person, which is a really great way to get started. We both took a lot of notes and she seemed to enjoy and get into the teaching and wants to check out 'Essence...' too. The day before the class she emailed me from work "YOU DIDN'T TELL ME WE WERE SUPPOSED TO READ THE BOOK FIRST!" Ha. I casually 'forgot' to tell her because I had a feeling she would read it, feel overloaded and then worry about going and fret about not being able to understand it etc. Seemed better to just know nothing about the subject and hear it direct from source ; )

James was in good form getting everyone 'signed on' to the logic as well as throwing in some funny stories & impersonations. Hell, he even managed to make Donald Trump a teaching tool! During his explanation that 'enlightenment is not a special status' he went into a schtick: "But wait! I'm the greatest teacher in the world!! I AM THE AVATAR OF THE AGES!!!"

During a break, I got him to sign my newly purchased copy of Panchadasi and asked "I heard somewhere that you're the greatest teacher in the world, so can he sign my book?" I got a couple of pics too which he asked me to post later to SW because he said people like to see them. I was very glad to meet and thank him for all his work and the help I know I have gotten from it.

My wife really enjoyed the day because it was something new and interesting, I enjoyed it because it was a good barometer for me to check how much I've learned & understood. I was also happy to see ANYONE interested in Vedanta in this state because I never had the impression there was any love for Vedanta in these parts. Of course, there are more freakin' yoga studios than I care to mention in CT but that's another thing...lol...

Once the session broke for dinner, we had to head back home, retrieve the dog and get some food for ourselves. Big thank you goes to Katherine Silvan who organized the event and had everything running smoothly. Looking forward for more SW events. And of course, to James for teaching!

Best wishes to all,

Andrew
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Re: Connecticut satsang

Postby Mira » Mon Feb 29, 2016 2:45 pm

Hi Andrew,
Great description! Thanks. I'd loved to have seen Ramji's impersonation of Donald Trump! Also, too bad Sandy didn't take you up on the dare ;). It would have been hilarious. Seriously, how wonderful that you both are now interested in Vedanta.

And yes, do post the pictures here---would really love to see them. Mira
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Re: Connecticut satsang

Postby Stan » Wed Mar 02, 2016 8:35 am

Hi Andrew,

Wow...I really loved reading that "little report" of yours ! It was great fun, informative and joyful all in one post. I`ve never been to one of the satsangs,as yet, and it gave a really good impression of your`s and your Sandy`s experience. Thanks for that. :-)

It made me laugh about your offer to your wife of $200 to stand up and act goofy. When she refused, maybe you should have stood up and said the goofy stuff `on her behalf` as it were. Then again, the subsequent karmic results would have been pretty painful no doubt Lol .....

I hope you manage to post those fotos. I know we`d all love to see them. thanks again Andrew, that was great !

Stan.
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Re: Connecticut satsang

Postby Andrew » Sun Mar 13, 2016 4:31 pm

Image

Turns out James has Spiderman like abilities so we are actually stuck to the wall. No wonder I blinked!

Andrew

(The image uploader offered a rotation, but it doesnt work. Dont strain your necks) If you click the picture it enlarges and rotates. However, the free uploader has adverts embedded and some of them are a bit questionable. NSFW warning.)
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Re: Connecticut satsang

Postby Stan » Mon Mar 14, 2016 8:27 am

Hi Andrew,

Thanks for sharing your foto with us...it`s cool to see some of our fellow `forumites` whether blinking or not ! isn`t that just typical ? good to see you and Ramji together. Darned if that Ramji never blinks !

Having clicked on your image, if we right click and click `view image`, it removes all those other `interesting` objects...which hold no lasting happiness anyway. Ha ha ...

When we`re able to get Dan, our wonderful web guy, employed on future projects, we`ll be installing a whole host of forum upgrades such as avatar/foto facility and many other goodies. it will remove the problem of dodgy image uploads etc. For now, we ask for patience and for isvara to facilitate the forthcoming plans. won`t be long now.
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Re: Connecticut satsang

Postby Andrew » Mon Mar 14, 2016 6:41 pm

Hi Stan

My mother always says "You get what you pay for" and I paid nothing for free image hosting, hence the satsang photo and attending penis diagrams etc. Picture uploading will be a nice addition!

"No lasting happiness"...and that's why there are probably no Vedantins working in advertising ; )

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Re: Connecticut satsang

Postby Mira » Fri Mar 18, 2016 5:32 pm

Hi Andrew,
Thanks for posting the pic. It's a terrific picture of you and Ramji. Calmness and peace radiating in all directions :) . I did not have any trouble seeing the photo---no ads or extraneous stuff. Could be because I have a Mac and/or pop-up blockers etc..

Anyway, it's so nice to 'see' you. Hope all is going well with you.

Mira
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Re: Connecticut satsang

Postby Andrew » Sat Mar 19, 2016 4:10 pm

Hi Mira,

Glad you got to see the pic minus the superfluous & gratuitous adverts. Good reason to have a Mac, I guess. I have another shot from inside the temple of some of the deities -especially Krishna & Radha. I will upload that in a bit...I will ser if I can find a different uploader tjis time!

Anyway, it was a great day and attending a satsang among such great people succesfully distracted me from the fact that I felt like crap (sinus issues) the rest of the week :)

As for The Donald...Ramji didnt impersonate him but he did use him and the current election cycle as a teaching tool. Essentially that if Trump doesnt get a nomination, Ramji is ok. If he gets it? Still ok. If he doesnt win the election? Still ok. He wins? Still ok because this is all juat maya doing its thing.

Ramji also said that Trump is a symbol of projected aspirations of people within society. He's an externalization of what people think it means to be "successful" and for some this is an objective they believe is worth pursuing.

As a side thought. Many people keep asking "How is it possible that people are taking this arrogant, racist, sexist asshat seriously?" Scripture says: Maya makes the impossible seem possible. I keep reminding myself of this everytime anyone starts up with "Guess what Trump did/said today?"

Andrew
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Re: Connecticut satsang

Postby Mira » Sat Mar 19, 2016 6:54 pm

Thanks, Andrew for the Trump advice. Very handy indeed. I'm with Ramji and not too bothered about the elections one way or another.

I will say that I accidentally watched one of the Republican debates online and I was laughing so hard that I was crying. I just could not believe the antics on- stage.

And Ramji's analysis of people's projections on Trump is spot on. In an extroverted society like ours--the definition of success reflects material values and aspirations which Trump seems to embody.
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Re: Connecticut satsang

Postby Andrew » Sun Sep 18, 2016 7:24 pm

Well, it is time for "Connecticut Satsang II - Ramji's Revenge" :)

Actually, it was not vengence but bhakti! Sandy & I got to see James yesterday for his recent visit to CT. As before, we opted to go for the main teaching on saturday due to time constraints.

This was a really good satsang and I thoroughly recommend the more seasoned members here to check James' new book The Yoga of Love and the series of lectures on Youtube by Vedanti. The class was aimed at people with some familiarity with the core teachings so he would often run through some of the logic threads pretty quickly to lead into the bhakti sutra content.

At one point, James had said about how Iswara 'takes care of' everyone which was something that my wife, Sandy had some doubts about. I told her to go ask him during the break, the prospect of which filled her with dread. I said "He is a guru..it is his job to answer questions." She was worried that he would say "You are not qualified!" and eject her from the temple.

So, jerk that I am, I approached James in the break while he was tinkering around with camera batteries.

Me: Hi James, can I ask you a couple of questions?
James: Yeah, sure thing.
Me: Actually, my wife has questions but she is too scared to ask you.
James: [laughs] Does she think I have fangs?

I dragged Sandy over to meet him and ask about Iswara and the maintenance of the dharma field. Later on she ended up asking him another question after reading back through her notes and wanted a clarification. Of course she "thanked" me for throwing her under the (vedanta) bus...lol..

It was a good day, really great to get the batteries recharged. Although Sandy has not focussed on vedanta as I have she did say that she understood a lot more than she expected and remembered more than she realized. She also said that she can now see why so much of the new age/modern spiritual world is basically....well, crap.

I am not trying to impose this on her but let her see what it is first hand. I think having gone yesterday boosted her confidence in her ability to follow the teaching logic which ìs cool.

At the end of the class before dinner, it was mentioned that James doesnt charge for teaching at which point he said "If I dont charge and dont deliver the goods, no one can get mad at me!"

Needless to say, there was no danger of him not delivering

:)
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