CENTRE FOR SPIRITUAL LIVING Yaletown

When 3 Ministers arrive at a satsang

“Use all your power to free the senses from attachment and aversion alike, and live in the full wisdom of the Self.” ~ Bhagavad Gita

The jumps and bumps of life

Ever get the feeling that even though you’re “on the ground”, there’s a lot of turbulence to navigate?

Being present is one of the greatest human challenges. It’s easy as kids because life is relatively simple. But as we mature, more complexity is added to our plate demanding a greater level of awareness of ourselves and our surroundings.

This week, my personal opportunities for being present ranged from attending the wedding of a close friend to listening to the fears of a family member on news of a cancerous tumour. Heady stuff.

Then there were a few other things thrown in, just to make my week interesting. Who says Spirit doesn’t have a sense of humour!

What I notice is that these moments are like being on a plane. When I hit turbulence, I have to fight my urge to do a complete nose dive. It can be easy to soar, and then just as easy to drop in altitude. The question is: what’s going on in the cockpit of my consciousness?

Everyone wants to soar, but it’s managing the turbulence that gets the plane to its destination.

Hitting turbulence

I was still carrying the weight of the family issue when the phone rang. It proved to be the beginning of what could become a good metaphysical joke. I’m still working on the punchline – but I digress.

The Satsang in question was at CSL in White Rock. The three ministers? Myself, Rev. Terry, and Rev. Mark Anthony Lord from Chicago. Rev. Mark was to do the talk, Rev. Terry host, and I was simply invited to attend should it fit into my schedule.

When I heard Rev. Terry on the other end of the line, there was an urgent calmness to his voice. Turned out Rev. Mark’s plane from Chicago was significantly delayed such that it put his speaking engagement at the satsang in question. Rev. Terry would step in, but as I had planned to attend would I mind picking him up?

Of course the only answer is yes. But then came the turbulence.

As you may know, I’m a commuter and car share user. I hadn’t booked my car (tardy!), and now it was vital. The plan should be seamless, but here’s what it looked like on the ground.

  • Book car
  • Walk to car
  • Find out I booked the wrong car
  • Rebook the right car
  • Cancel the wrong car
  • Drive out of garage
  • Wait 10 minutes while oversized semi clears alley
  • Drive to cell-phone parking spot (very cool)
  • Plug into wifi and text Mark with contact info
  • Catch up on Facebook
  • Receive notice flight is on time
  • 25 minutes later wonder if Mark is lost
  • He isn’t
  • 10 minutes later drive to international exit and find Mark

And we’re on the road.

What struck me was that there were all these opportunities for me to be buffeted by the winds of change. Instead I was relaxed, at ease and without a care in the world except for the goal in front of me.

arrival banner

We can always be right on time.

Steady as she goes

The drive from Richmond to White Rock was beautiful. Traffic flowed smoothly, just like the conversation. Rev. Mark enjoyed the scenery, and the timing of his late arrival seemed to be divinely orchestrated as he walked into the room just as Rev. Terry spoke of heart connections.

The relaxed energy allowed something more beautiful to emerge. Sharing from the heart would have occurred regardless, but there is something about sharing when it is unencumbered by stress that is so much more pure, so much more clear, so much more easily heard.

The secret lies in non-attachment

It’s the attachment to a certain outcome that creates turbulence in my mind. If I remember not to be attached at any given moment, every little event is just that – another event. No drama, no sweat. Simply one foot in front of the other, like a walking meditation.

This is where I see the value of being on a spiritual journey. Even when I hit an air pocket, there are tools in my back pocket that – provided I remember – can help me make a course correction.

Keep soaring!

Rev. Karin
Karin Wilson is the Spiritual Director at the Centre for Spiritual Living Yaletown in Vancouver, BC. A writer as well as spiritual coach, Karin spent more than 20 years as a journalist contributing thousands of articles to a wide range of media, including CBC Radio's The Current, Daybreak Kelowna, and The World at Six. In 2015 her voyage to Haida Gwaii was featured in Science of Mind magazine.

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3 thoughts on “When 3 Ministers arrive at a satsang

  1. Georgia Nieken says:

    Loved your story of staying calm thanks for sharing

  2. Terry Shea says:

    Rev. Karin hit the nail on the head. Being involved in this little drama of delayed flights, having to speak at an event where Mark and not me was expected and not knowing how it would all turn out was a practice in what we used to call renunciation, also known as surrender. The essence is non-attachment. We get attachment … bad! We get detachment … I’m working in that. Yeah well practice non-attachment. Nothing to be done but a knowing, a state of being to be embraced. Is it easy? Sometimes!

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