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About Satori Process

Experiences from Ganga Cording
About Satori Process

Well, today on the beach I listened to the waves and looked at pebbles and thought: This is it! Just like the pebbles do, you have to live, sit, experience the satori process.

Each as it is and each different, sometimes angular or flat, sometimes round or pointed, large or small, sometimes glittering like gems in the sun, sometimes covered by seaweed or sand, at peace with the accidental company of other stones. Thrown back and forth by the waves, polished, cut, sometimes one side up, sometimes the other - and finally dissolved and continuing as sand. Depending on the perspective, each one shines in its own beauty and above all it is always itself: a stone.

It could be as simple as this if we weren't such artists at creating ever new problems.
When I started to meditate, I was often afraid of going crazy or that my body might fall apart. I told Osho about it and he sent me to the "Enlightenment Intensive" because this process in particular would build a bridge between the two sides of the brain (right intuitive, discursive - left logical, linear). They could then function together and would not have to exist unconnected next to each other without knowing about each other. I have not gone mad. Rather, the longer I witnessed this process, whether as a participant or as a leader, the firmer the ground I gained under my feet. My life has become easier and more relaxed. I enjoy it more to be with others and especially to be alone. I have experienced it first hand and seen with so many others how wonderfully therapeutic the Satori process is, although it is not about therapy and there is no therapist: In fact, everyone is their own patient and their own doctor.

The structure and technique of the "Enlightenment Intensive" created by Charles Berner are truly ingenious. Both are an absolute support in getting into the moment, into the here and now. I often experience the interviews during the group as a kind of Tai Chi, where I draw on the inexhaustible creativity of my counterpart's mind and - if all goes well - we dance together into the moment. Here, in this moment there are facts and circumstances, but no problems. It is what is. Whether we like something or not doesn't change a thing about the fact of what is. After all, the mind is not the enemy, it is nothing more than an accumulation of all the experiences we have had and which are available to us. Only the experiences are unfortunately often in a twisted and inappropriate state: twisted because the mind sees everything through the glasses of conditioning and inappropriate because it does not act according to the moment.

Little by little the willingness to jump naked into the arms of the moment without a sun shade, umbrella, or parachute is growing. And with every jump, the confidence increases that you are really equipped with everything you need to be here. Nobody has told or taught us this, rather we have been told that we are either incompetent and stupid or very talented or otherwise special. Both messages are not very suitable for finding a realistic approach to ourselves and our own resources, to others and to the world. And isn't it ultimately about diving into the pool of my resources and starting to live my potential to the full?
By staying with the Koan*, we learn to say yes to what is right now. That means more relaxation, less struggle, less effort. It becomes easier and easier to just look and admit what is without immediately reacting. Concerns about what is going wrong or wishes for what could be even better gradually become less frequent. The interest in really being here is growing. "Actually not so bad, what the moment has to offer", I hear the mind say.

This is exactly what happens in the Satori group: Experiencing inside and outside directly, sitting at the source with open senses from moment to moment - so alive, so fresh, so immediate. When the awareness is added that it is we who are sitting there, it becomes really exciting. In Zen there is the image of the "double edged sword of awareness". One side of it is directed at the subject of experience: Who makes it? The other side points to the object of experience: What do we experience? Consciousness can turn inwards to the Self or outwards to the events of the moment. One is immutable, not part of time, the others are momentary and transient. But consciousness is consciousness, no matter what its content. When the Who and the What are present at the same time, or even the Who becomes the What, the thing is complete.

This happens several times in every satori group. And why then do some participants come again and again? Because it is so beautiful to be one with oneself and the universe, but also because the mind doubts whether it was not just a dream or otherwise deceptive. Or also because we want to go deeper after a phase of integration, or because we have simply forgotten it and want to find ourselves again.

It is true that many people have a great breakthrough experience at the beginning - first love always remains something very special! But first of all, nothing can be repeated and secondly, it can also be beautiful later, perhaps even deeper and more realistic.

After the first Satori experience the real work only really begins. The path is revealed, pursuit is begun: Let's go into the thicket of habits, conceptions, ideas, longings, dreams, prejudices and projections and what else our character and mind have to offer. Someone else has called it "after the ecstasy the laundry". After the ray of hope, it is now time to roll up your sleeves and wash each habit bit by bit until nothing is left. Without laundry there is no scrubbing, without understanding there is no me. As one girlfriend said so beautifully: "I'm already exhausted from letting go all the time."

And when the thicket has cleared, every corner has been scrubbed, there is nothing left to do but just be there. At home, in solitude, this turns out to be oneness with the universe. Suddenly, what was desperately sought over there, is right here as a matter of course: Love, beauty, freedom, trust, bliss, divinity, consciousness.

For me it is a great gift to be able to be there every time someone in the group emerges from the cocoon like a butterfly, slowly inflating his wings and setting off on his flight. Like a midwife, my heart opens up and all the effort is forgotten. And we look at each other as a team and laugh and say: "It really works! When do we do the next satori?"
Stop? Now that I've warmed up... ?! ...but there's a so much more to say, like about..:
    - Why it is at least as good for couples and those who want to become couples to do Satori as a Tantra or Learning Love group.
    - Why going into solitude is not boring or only attractive for "relationship-damaged" people.
    - How wonderful it is to fall backwards into nothingness (my preferred technique in high surf).

The best is to find out all these things for yourself, surprise yourself and experience the open secret directly. And finally, the good news: This open secret is not getting any smaller. It will get bigger the more you dive into it, I promise!
And now let's go to the beach, maybe the pebbles and waves will let me play along in their symphony of rolling silence...
* A koan is a question that cannot be answered intellectually, but only existentially, i.e. it must be experienced directly. For example: Who am I? What am I? What is love?

About Ganga Cording
Dipl. Psych. In 37 years she has led over 200 'Who is in' meditation retreats. She is a trainer of Satori and 'Who is in' retreats. She is founder of the Academy of Awareness and Creative Expression. She does bodywork with a focus on Hara Awareness Massage. Calligraphy and gardening are her beloved hobbies.

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