Sunday, July 24, 2016

Sangat

I listened to a great lecture on sangat from mysimran.info (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7PHBvH27img&feature=youtu.be ). Sangat is not just at the gurdwara- its all the people you spend your time with. It’s really interesting I happened to watch that lecture today because that’s something I have been thinking about a lot since I got back from my trip: Who do I choose to spend time with?

Right before my trip to Ontario I realized that there were very very few people that knew how to give me what I need in my life right now. What I needed required a combination of trust, understanding of who I am/what I believe, spirituality, and emotional maturity. On top of that, there is consistently a question of how much the friendship means: is it worth it to address ongoing problems, or do you just distance yourself and eventually cut them out? I left being uncertain of who I wanted as part of my life because I hate (and almost never!!) cut people out. 


When I went away, I met people who had met God. This was a new type of sangat for me and really changed the way I think. It fulfilled my need for what I needed in my life and what I was searching for. I knew after that, that I needed most of all to be in the presence of people who understood this game and desired to meet God, or at least had that interest and we could work on it together. That meant most people I knew just didn't fit. Those friendships were based on gossip and negativity, which I only realized after being in the presence of a different type of sangat. I've realized that I don't want to continue to spend time being weighed down by relationships that don't feed me. One of my friends said you need to ask yourself "is this person feeding me physically, mentally, spiritually?" That's a good way to assess the sangat you are with in my opinion. If they aren't, you should take a step back. 

In the lecture they post a slide that has this line from the Sri Guru Granth Sahib “Kabeer, I have been ruined and destroyed by bad company, like the banana plant near the thorn bush. The thorn bush waves in the wind, and pierces the banana plant; see this, and do not associate with the faithless cynics.” 1369. Being around people all the time who don’t believe in God or spirituality, or don't care about the path and are only interested in maya are not going to help you escape it. They will pull you back in. So I'm being more careful. I’d rather spend time figuring out my path on my own than being  pulled into a path of negativity and anxiety which seems to already be naturally pulling at my mind. I now pose the same questions to you that they have posted in the lecture “what do you discuss and who do you discuss it with?”so that you can figure out what sangat you are in! 

"If you cannot find a good companion to walk with, walk alone, like an elephant roaming the jungle. It is better to be alone than to be with those who hinder your progress." Buddha

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