In reply to a sadhaka living in an area where there were no others of her practice or philosophy. She asked which meditation groups I would recommend to a person looking for some spiritual association.
The problem with meditation groups is that they are often for propaganda and keeping people followers of whatever philosophy or guru they have. And frankly, most of such meditation groups put out negative or confused vibrations. It is better to meditate alone than with such people.
Satsang is so important, but what kind of satsang can you have with people who believe things contrary to dharma? Sincerity counts for very little as a substitute for true understanding.
Also, when these groups find you do not follow their ideas or ways they are not really accepting of you, only waiting to “bring you around” to their ideas and ways.
Unity and the Church of Religious Science can be positive, but they are tending more and more to be whatever the current New Age fads dictate. So you would need to visit them and see their actual character, which can vary from center to center.
Are there no Hindu temples in your area? Even when our ashram was in California where there are so many groups we confined our association to orthodox Hindu temples and devotees’ homes and Mahayana Buddhist temples of the Pure Land (Amitabha) or Kuan Yin traditions. We always found an instant spiritual affinity with them.
I am afraid I am not being much help, but outside India it is a real problem to find true, spiritually helpful satsang. It is better to be alone than to be in worthless or detrimental company.
- We encourage you to explore our satsangs with over 31 podcasts by Abbot George.
- Here is a sample satsang to begin with: Beyond Theory and Belief to Actual Experience.