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Sat Yoga at Costa Rica’s Fifth Annual Yoga Festival: “The Still Point of the Turning World”

September 12, 2012

“So, do you want the beginner’s class or the advanced class?” opened Shunyamurti during Sat Yoga’s meditation class and teaching, “El Secreto de la Felicidad” (“The Secret of Happiness”), at Costa Rica’s fifth annual national yoga festival, “Yoga Para Todos,” in San Jose. After the students opted for the advanced class, Shunyamurti continued: “What makes it an advanced class is that this will require an advanced level of discernment, or Viveka. And what you will have to come to discern during this class is the difference between your existence and your being. Most people live in their existence, unaware of their being. The secret of happiness is the discovery of your real being. OK, we’re done,” concluded Shunyamurti, as the room exploded in laughter.

Of course, he was not done, but continued to elucidate the process by which we have misidentified our being with our existence, confusing our Self with our body/mind. Shunyamurti also explained how this condition of misidentification—in which we relinquish nearly all of our power, transferring what remains to the languaged and languished, and therefore anguished, mind—creates with it an unconscious plane of existential fantasy, showing up in our lives in the form of physical symptoms, full-blown illnesses, external karmic events, and, of course, unresolved emotional problems.

The guided meditation that followed the teaching clearly demonstrated the power of a group energy field in which all participants enter into a state of profound peace. In an adjacent room, a dancing class was taking place that literally shook the floor. Outside, the voices of vendors and yoga enthusiasts could be heard, but tuned out, all melding together in the warm background of spiritual openness. But in the meditation room, there was a deep and blissful stillness, T.S. Eliot’s “still point of the turning world.” The inner peace transformed the environment, causing a rush of kundalini energy, a joyous flow of shakti, to enter the consciousness all of the meditators.

A few hours later, Sat Yoga’s kirtan band, Anuttara, took the stage and filled the atmosphere with heart-opening melodies, revealing to all present the unsurpassable beauty of the Sat Yoga community. The energy created during the morning meditation was carried through and passed on to the crowd through the mystical mantras that the group intoned. The sacred lyrics of the songs, mahavakyas such as “Om Namah Shivaya” and “Tat Tuam Asi,” reminded the audience of the true purpose of kirtan, to “be the music” as Anuttara lead vocalist, Shivani, explained. A Sat Yoga student, Diana, added, “The musical performance was a shower of peace during a much needed time.”

The yoga festival was a beautiful communion of like-minded souls, all trying in their own ways to attain the joy of union with the Absolute. Sat Yoga was honored to be invited to participate in one of Costa Rica’s biggest spiritual gatherings of the year.

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