It has been a few years since our teacher consecrated the first sangha gatherings in Los Angeles and Vancouver, during his extended stays in these cities. He painstakingly worked with the local community through many gatherings, some of which took place at the temporary dwellings where his family would reside at the time. It has been far from a smooth ride, with the usual inflow and outflow of those who often felt attracted to the teachings, but found it impossible to commit to the forming of the spiritual container… without which there is no real breakthrough in one’s own growth. Yet, as with all such examples when something new is being born, the intention to support the teaching is carried through the hearts of the committed, and despite the setbacks over the years, these gatherings continue — and the places for the teaching to unfold and flourish in the safety of the spiritual community are coming into being.
… To recognize this path, let alone walk it, requires a pure Heart awakened to truth and beauty. Yet true beauty cannot be revealed, unless the all-consuming power of love absolves the autonomy of our individuality into the heart of Being. This path transcends heaven and earth, as it at once takes us to the highest abode, and into the deepest cavern of life’s mysteries. The Path of the Heart is not for the fainthearted – its power is sustained by that mighty offering kept alive through that Heart-to-Heart connection…
Igor’s ongoing work and presence in Europe over the last years is now bearing its fruits on this side of the Atlantic as well. After our teacher gave his blessings, two more places have been consecrated in Freiburg and Ghent for the purpose of deepening and growing into this work. This last Sunday, dedicated students of Igor gathered in Germany and Belgium simultaneously, to meditate together and to take to heart what Igor explained during the consecration of the Belgian sangha in Mallorca; he reminded everyone that sangha gatherings are dedicated to spiritual practice, to growth and learning, not to be taken lightheartedly as places to socialize, but that these meetings exemplify the willingness to work on oneself and to face the issues that inevitably will come up during one‘s process — no matter if beautiful or difficult.
…We cannot afford to slip into forgetfulness, to be lulled asleep by the dreams of our dying culture… For the same reason there is also an increased significance of the sangha or spiritual community that can provide a spiritual container to help to protect the light of the individual. We all need to work consciously to protect our own light through our spiritual practice and attitude, and to share this light with acts of loving kindness. In this simple way we can nourish and help each other during this very challenging time…
—Llewellyn Vaughan-Lee, Darkening of the Light
Eight of us made it through the hailstorm to meditate together, to join our second gathering in Freiburg, and “to be held by the shared field of Grace,” as Igor beautifully expressed it to all of us during our sangha consecration. We sit cross-legged on widespread white blankets in silence — the golden flame of the candle adds a warm shine to the image of our teacher in front of us, his deep eyes seem to become alive. The pull within is strong. We offer an invocation, a beautiful mantra in honor of the guru principle, and the familiar sound becomes the gateway into the meditation which we have learned during the immersions: aligning the attention with the subtlety of breath, sensing the mantra inherent in each in-and-outgoing stream of air, for entering the gap between each breath, the points of repose, where silence calls us deeper. The spontaneity of the process takes over — blissful currents rise and subtle movements manifest; this time, unique waves of sounds and pranayama roll through the room, to then subside in vibrant stillness, from which the next wave would arise after a while. It is a powerful experience for each of us as we share the joy of being together in the name of the One, and feel the blessing of this new beginning.
…That vast territory that opens up between the beings who share profound Love for Truth — even if it looks like an ordinary encounter for an uninitiated one — in reality that‘s nothing less than a spark of Divine Grace which sets to illumine everything in its vicinity…
There is something very unique in practicing together in and as sangha. In fact, Igor often shares that sitting and meditating together has specific meaning on the Tantric path and specifically in this work, as the collective field is amplified when heartbeats align. While we all powerfully experience the truth of that during our immersions with Igor, it has been amazing that many of us felt similar intensity and depth of the meditations during those first gatherings — as if our teacher was walking among us, showering his grace.
We look forward to following the rhythm of the local sanghas in Los Angeles and Vancouver and to be meeting for monthly meditative gatherings on this side of the Atlantic now as well… may we be able to consciously carry the seed of this precious teaching in our hearts.
With love and gratitude ~
Jai Guru Dev
Team Flowing Wakefulness
Consecration of Belgium sangha with Igor in Mallorca, October 2017
First sangha gathering in Ghent in November 2017
First gathering of Freiburg sangha in September 2017
Igor with sangha members after evening darshan, April 2017
Altar & Offerings from LA sangha, Summer 2017