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January 29, 2012

Reports on Gangaji by Scott Meredith

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Gangaji Session Jan 26, 2003
I went and visited Gangaji’s satsang session yesterday, to check on her vibes.

Very nice venue, Mill Valley (Marin County CA), a scenically situated Recreation Center with a spacious and gracious architecture.

Fancy setup, with a kind of living-room or talk-show style mini-stage set, everything professionally video taped with lighting setup etc. Huge photo blow-ups of Papaji and Ramana flanking the front platform. Flower, 2 comfy-looking chairs, with boom mikes positioned one for each chair.

About 250 or up to 300 people in attendance, some down on the hard wood floor – front & center – like me, the majority in fold-up chairs behind.

About 60/40 women/men ratio I would say, more men than usual in any kind of semi-New-Age-y event.

They let us in around 3:30 by 3:50 everybody was settled down, we waited in silence until Gangaji entered quietly without any ostentation via a side-door, pausing to remove her shoes at the entrance. That was my first view of her.

Nice-looking lady, not at all over made-up as some have commented, minimal or no make-up at all that I could see. Dressed simply and attractively. White hair somewhat tousled. As I say, nice-looking, but I had no immediate reaction as she lightly mounted the little stage set platform and settled into a chair. She immediately closed her eyes and just sat silently, so I and everybody else of course also just sat silently, most with eyes closed.

I estimate that we sat for about 10 minutes like that. Towards that end of that period (which was terminated by Gangaji opening her eyes, stretching slightly and making a kind of soft purring noise or other vocal indication of readiness), I distinctly perceive her very strong energetic field, directly pressing against my aura. This resulted in a curious “rocking” effect, as though something was gently nudging my own energy field, retracting slightly, and nudging again, in a pulsing rhythm, causing slight rocking of my physical body as I sat on the floor in front (2nd row back) in seiza posture. At the same time, I perceived a kind of “solar wind” effect of heat or blowing precisely from her direction. This had not been apparent in the 30 mins I had sat in same spot waiting before Gangaji’s entrance, nor had I felt it in the first couple of minutes of plain sitting quietly with G. on her perch. It came on gradually towards the end of the quiet sitting intro phase. I do not experience this energetic “rocking” or “solar wind” effect during my normal shakti/ki bodywork and meditative activity, though of course I experience many other typical Shakti effects on my own. This was definitely perceptible as emanation from G herself. This effect persisted throughout the Satsang until G’s departure. I may have looked a bit weird with that slight rocking, but it was strong and definite. More interpretive comments about this at the end of this note.

After stiring a bit, and gazing quietly around the room with a visual sweep right-to-left / front-to-back, G opened with introductory comments in a clear, strong, but otherwise unremarkable voice (though kind of an odd combination of Texas and India in the accent)! She spoke in a slow and measured cadence of her gratitude to us for coming and what she hoped and presumed was our gratitude in having the chance to be there. She mentioned that some people might have come in devotion, and others in skepticism (telepathically picking up ~my hopefully neutral but definitely non-devotee mentality?? )

More talk along these lines, gratitude, openness “to the Nectar” of truth, Satsang and togetherness, etc. Just a few minutes of that.

Then the “bulk” of the Satsang consisted of G choosing an attendee from among a few raised hands in the crowd, inviting such choos-ee forward to the chair adjoining her own on the podium.

The first couple such choosee’s were clearly hard-core, long-time female devotees/attendee’s. Absolutely totally and completely blissed out. Not to criticize at all – this was touching to witness. Definitely all such as those love G totally – body, mind and soul. They stumbled about a bit with their words, but it was pretty much a non-verbal exercise of Bliss Kiss anyway, G held their hand throughout. Just talk about gratitude, progress, understanding (finally! – seem to be the idea of it), and declarations of love for the Guru (e.g. “I am SO in love with you!”) Again, it was touching, played better than it sounds her. G absorbed it with panache, sincere interest without any ego puffery that I could detect. G made some encouraging comments along the lines “That’s beautiful, that’s reality, you have found yourself” etc etc. Pretty generic lines, really more New Age-y and less Advaitistic than I’d expected. Actually G never once trotted out ANY of the harder-edged Advaita staples screenplay such as “Who do you think is experiencing this bliss?” or even “What do you mean you love others now? There ARE no others!” It was pretty much straight-forward New Age Love Bomb validation. Again, performed with style, dignity, and apparent sincerity by G, unfailingly impressive in her slightly detached sympathy and warmth… paradox ?

Others rotated through the hot seat… all appeared tongue-tied and blissed out while interacting with G, though this may have been just stage fright for many. A few near or total newbies. All got the same validation and warmth from G, nobody got any Kali-ficational harsh-guru come-uppance at all. Only one male I think. He made a funny response to G’s question: “So, what do you REALLY want?” “You mean, apart from wanting you to be my Mommy?” …

One girl was a very young and sweet veterinary medicine student. This triggered a nice mention by G of Ramana’s lover for animals, which I’ve always greatly greatly admired him for, and G displayed her humor here, saying to the girl “Well you have charmed THIS animal (pointing to herself), … do you want to pat my head?” (G lowers her head playfully to the girl’s hand.) That was cute, got a laugh from the crowd.

Overall G was unfailingly polite, gracious, affirming, humorous, dignified, ever-so-slighty remote/distant.

During all this I was absorbing considerable directed energy emanating (not in any personal way of course) directly from where G was sitting. I am sensitive to energy and capable of objectively detecting and reporting about this aspect. Felt slightly detached from myself, completely aware-but-utterly uncaring about the physical discomfort of sitting motionless in seiza on the hard floor for two hours… seemed to be happening to somebody else.

Yet I was NOT “blissed out” in any true sense, just felt warmed/fuzzed by her energy field/emanation, and also this slight or odd feeling of detachment from myself. But there was not any kind of really dramatic experience internally ( I did not care/mind about that of course of course. I went to this with as objective, neutral and open a mind as possible, just in the sprit of “I heard she sang a good song; I heard she had a style; and so I came to see her; to listen for a while” – that’s all, not requiring, expecting or needing to be blissed out or Insta-Enlightened (as some people reported from visiting Ramana at Arunachala, for instance).

Well speaking of songs, it was about time to wind up, so G gently shut down the raised hands, saying that the closing song, to be sung by one “Kirtana” (spelling?) would “answer your questions now”. The performer was an intensely serious looking young woman with solo self-accompaniment on guitar.

Minor surprising incident, in that as the boom mike was being adjusted over the guitar, the mic fell out of its holder onto the guitar with a loud bang! The performer looked a tad shaken (superstitious group, at heart?) but G recovered very nicely with a warm, deep chuckle and a comment about “slapstick” and then turned attention momentarily away from the confused young woman by making a nice joke about “Hey why’d you guys turn off MY mike now? I guess they’re making sure I can’t sing along!”

The song itself was a death-bed lament of regrets as though the writer/singer were actually dying, and looking back to how she ought to have lived life. Though rather odd in expressing deathbed regrets about a “life” that from Ramana’s point of view would presumably be said never to have occurred in the first place, it was beautifully sung and played and very moving in its content. I wouldn’t mind having a recording of that. Definitely some teary eyes at the end of that.

That was it. G made a few closing remarks that more or less escaped me (except for one that for some reason struck me – she said “Our next session is scheduled to happen early March, but maybe we won’t ever meet again, you just never know. Things can change in the world so quickly.”), then gathered the stack of letters from the table at her side, and quietly descended the stage.

We remained sitting quietly for a minutes. Then after a few more procedural info points from an assistant, we put on our shoes and filed out.

My energetic impression had remained absolutely constant, or slightly intensifying throughout the entire 2-hour Satsang. It ceased pretty much immediately after G left the hall, with not much after-effect. This was not a “heart” radiation of love, it was warm, yes – but not a pure love energy. It was just a power field. It reminded me very much of the impersonal power field or “solar wind” type emanation that is very clearly perceptible in the vicinity of the Great Buddha bronze statue at Kamakura, Japan. Pretty much identical. What I’m thinking is that this might possibly be the accumulated layers simply of all those thousands who have concentrated their devotional attention towards G over these dozen years ? This is what in Pranic Healing would be called “energetic cords” – a kind of affliction, or irritating by-product, of fame, in their terms, but not really connected with traditional or Advaitistic notions of enlightenment. I’m not sure about it.

As I crossed the parking lot to my car, I spotted Gangaji with a small knot of people around her own car, preparing to depart. As I crossed a dozen yards away, she suddenly looked beyond her immediate cluster of people, exactly in my direction, I think looking to hail or greet somebody getting into their car just behind where I was walking.

But seeing her gaze momentarily (accidentally) lock on to me, I felt a sudden surge of deep respect for her, and spontaneously bowed with Namaste towards her, completely heartfelt. She looked at me with a slight and brief smile, before turning away.

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Reports on Gangaji by Scott Meredith, 4.1 out of 10 based on 9 ratings