Last week, I shared a quote of Shri Dalai Lama with my friends on social media. It goes: “If you think you are too small to make a difference, try sleeping with a mosquito”. One of my friends responded by sharing a video that she made for the school she teaches at. The video had was titles Six Lessons You Can Learn from an Ant. My friend summarized the six lessons as:
Driven by Purpose
These are based on keen observations of how ants behave under various scenarios. You must be wondering, what has all this got to do with the title of this blog? So here it is.
In my experience with this platform called os.me, all six lessons are seen in practice here. It is a no brainer that Om Swamiji and his team created this opportunity for all of us to contribute through blogs about six months ago and thus created this community of beautiful souls. The platform is connecting thoughts, feelings, experiences and learnings from all corners of the World. Based on the interactions the platform has generated, I prefer to call it as Digital Satsang with some unique features compared to a conventional satsang.
One of the most beautiful aspects of Digital Satsang is that the mental walls come down, broken by courage. Many members have shared their experiences which otherwise were locked up in their hearts. It is very humbling for me to read real life stories shared by many members. There is no doubt that courage to share the innermost feelings is in itself a big step. In equal measure, members have articulated their experiences and approach taken to overcome the adversaries as part of their stories. These stories have inspired me many folds besides developing right perspectives.
In my view, right or wrong, this is not seen in a typical conventional satsang. What has enabled the courage to share our truth on this platform could be attributed to many factors. For me, the primary ones are: (a) no visual Contact with participants and (b) sufficient time to reflect before forming a response — both are unique characteristics of Digital Satsang.
Have we not experienced verbal interruptions and/or signals coming through body language (exceptional few can hide their emotions) when we narrate our real life stories to a physically present group of people? The body language of some will reflect judgements being formed! It is wonderful that in a Digital Satsang, none of that happens and one can peacefully describe the turmoil one has gone through without being judged in the process of writing?
Judgements, in fact, take me away from the present moment. It is my assessment, thanks to practices of mindfulness, that my cognitive biases and pre-conceived notions adulterate the thinking process, and take me to a different zone which is most certainly not the moment I am part of. No visual contact and no opportunity to interrupt is a natural benefit of Digital Satsang; thus, enabling sharing of stories with courage and truth.
Learning from each other is the very purpose of forums such as, Satsang. Any help in the process is a blessing. Here again, I have enough time to reflect on stories in blogs rather than an urge to respond which can happen in a conventional satsang, unless of course, if I am mindful. With time that a story deserves for contemplation before offering a response (that may include solutions based on experience of an individual reader), comments on blogs are so rich.
One receives only positive reinforcements as a direct outcome of luxury of time provided in a Digital Satsang. I cannot claim to have gone through all inputs on all blogs; however, by and large interactions are extremely motivating and encouraging.
A very obvious feature of Digital Satsang unique on this platform is monetization of thoughts which is certainly not seen in other Satsangs.
Coming back to the lessons from ants, we are here a community of souls with thread of certain values that bind us together. As a consequence, we too are emulating the behaviour seen in ants. Without repeating the six lessons, I’d say Digital Satsang demonstrates all six attributes. The outcome till date can be best summarized through an anecdote. For the record, the source of the story below is not known to me as I read it somewhere long back.
A person leaves physical body and arrives at the entrance gate of the next World. A question is asked to the person, “Where would you like to go, heaven or hell?” The person, not knowing the difference between the two, asks that s/he be shown the two to enable her or him to decide. “Very well,” comes the response with instructions to follow him.
Person is taken to a huge hall with large number of souls. A gigantic table is at the centre of the hall. A spread of sumptuous food is arranged elegantly on the table. However, all souls are just sitting around the table with sad faces and no one is eating. What is also noticed by the person is that long spoons, twice the length of their hands, are attached to the elbows of each soul. The escort informs the person that they were in hell.
Next, he is taken to the heaven. They are now in another hall with exactly the same arrangement. Much to the amazement of the person, every soul is happy and relishing the food. Each one of the souls was scooping up food items with the spoon attached to their elbows, and feeding the other.
Digital Satsang is feeding each other. What more could we have asked for?
An ant can lift up to 5000 times its own body weight. We are upholding the values that bind us and the thread keeping us together is as strong as an ant. We are only going to get lighter with time and provide much needed relief to the thread…. And that is compassion that we all have vowed to practice.