Sunday, December 09, 2007

Tears of Joy

A little over a week ago, I experienced something quite beautiful. I went to a satsang (Sanskrit - truth gathering) where a spiritual teacher by the name of Jeannie Zandi ( came to share with us her experience of being one with truth. It’s rare that I attend such things, in fact this was probably my first one that involved a live teacher as opposed to a prerecorded one. But I’m quite grateful for the opportunity.

We began with a meditation and sat in silence until the last participant arrived (there were nearly 30 of us). As she began speaking I tried to maintain my level of awareness. She spoke for a little while and then began taking questions from the group. There were a few times early on when something was said that resonated so deeply in me that I began to get teary eyed, but I don’t remember now the specifics of what it was that was being talked about at the time.

It was about halfway through or so, when one of the participants started talking about how she knew that everything was beautiful and perfect and so forth, but Jeannie interrupted to tell her to use the first person. Then, the woman began saying things like, “I am beautiful, I am perfect, I am beauty, I am...” While she was talking I finally opened up fully to the fact that she was speaking for me, as well as everyone else in the room. I realized and accepted that she was me speaking to me for my benefit, and I began to cry. The tears kept coming and they kept talking. The man sitting next to me put his hand on my back and told me not to hold back and to be with it, for which I was quite grateful as my mind may have began making me uncomfortable had I let it. He and the woman sitting next to him (possibly his wife) provided me with tissue and continuous support. He also told me that it tends to come in waves. This obviously meant that this was not an uncommon experience, but as far as I could tell I was the only one crying uncontrollable tears of joy.

Jeannie did make a comment about it not being a satsang until someone was crying, but the questions and answers continued as I cried. I was not judging myself and not experiencing anything other than a beautiful warm and tingly feeling throughout my body. There was no need to analyze or question as everything seemed to make perfect sense. Once in a while my tears would subside a bit, but something else would be said that brought up laughter and more tears. As far as I can tell I spent the last hour of the meeting crying and laughing at things that were not necessarily funny or sad. It was a surprisingly liberating and beautiful experience.

Toward the end my tears subsided a bit as a man was asking about how we sustain states such as the ones that are experienced during satsang. I knew this was something I too would be curious about if I were not already in a state of joy, plus just pondering such a question seemed a foreign idea at the time. I don’t remember exactly what Jeannie’s response was now, but it made perfect sense and I think had to do with him examining who it was that was asking the question (the thinking mind which like to remain in control or the Self).

One of the last questions was from a woman who apparently thought that everyone else was experiencing the same level of pain she had, and pointed at me as an example. Apparently she had her own pain and was projecting it on me, assuming I was experiencing tears of sadness. Jeannie was quick to point out that we do not all have the same pain that she was experiencing.

After she finished answering the last question, Jeannie asked the other participants if they would like to check in with me. They expressed interest so she turned to me and asked almost jokingly if I had anything I would like to share with the group about my experience. Then, I began speaking clearly and easily about my experience, without any nervousness or awkwardness that I might have ordinarily experienced in such a situation with a room full of strangers. I started by saying comically, “She started it,” and pointed at the woman (me) who had described herself (me) earlier. I then explained all I could about the experience and clearly stated that they were not tears of sadness to make sure there were no misunderstandings. After I finished I said, “I hope that lived up to everyone’s expectations,” and we all had a chuckle.

I was in a very good mood for the next couple of days and found it easy to laugh and easy to tear up with joy when remembering that night. It was also easy for me to see the innate beauty that is all around us, in the trees, the sky, the ground, pretty much everything. As time passed I became more entrenched in my own thoughts about the events around me and thought again became my predominant state of mind.

Though it can be frustrating to experience states such as this and then lose them, it is important not to get attached to a past experience, which may be one of the beneficial lessons to be learned from this. It also points to other things which we are still attached to. The mind likes being in control and likes figuring things out. It’s hard for it to accept that it can not understand everything and it will keep trying if you let it. For me, the veil separating me from my Self has been pulled back and then closed a couple of times now, but it does seem a bit thinner. I’ll be there once I realize I’m already there and not a moment before ;) So will you.