Satsang Reports
Been there, done that, from our non-partisan roving reporters ( * )
This page is by Steve.

Catherine Ingram, May 4, 2003, Chicago

Hi, I went to go see Catherine Ingram, a spiritual teacher whose teacher is Poonjaji at the local new age bookstore in Chicago for a little talk and book-signing. Her new book just came out and it is called "Passionate Presence - the seven qualities of awakened awareness." She is a delight, very friendly, down-to-earth, humble, sweet, sincere, absolutely radiant. I literally fell in love with her. I know you are not supposed to fall for the guru, but I did, I couldn't help it. I know that happens to Gangaji sometimes too. Anyways, she was a Buddhist for over 20 years and was a serious meditator. Eventually she couldn't practice that anymore and went through a dark night of the soul for a couple of years. She eventually found her way to Poonjaji and he was to become her teacher and she woke up in his presence, due to his intense awakened presence, it awakened her own presence. He did not teach her anything, he just told her she was already free, and with his presence she actually understood and felt what he was referring to. She has been giving Dharma Dialogues, she calls it, ever since, after doing a retreat with Ram Dass and his suggestion that she should be giving satsangs.

She has been giving these Dharma Dialogues for awhile now and retreats and has noticed that certain qualities appear at these retreats when people become quiet and relaxed. Then one night she had a dream in which these 7 qualities were revealed. She knew this was the basis for a book and wrote this book. The 7 qualities are silence, tenderness, embodiment, genuineness, wonder, discernment, and delight. She shared some stories that are in the book that discuss these qualities. One I remember was about tenderness and it involved the Dalai Lama. She was in India and she was invited to this meeting with him and others to observe this dog boy, they called him, a boy who was raised by dogs and had no human contact and acted like a wild animal, not like a human. She thought she would have more compassion for the boy, but he scared her. The Dalai Lama had the tenderness to go up to this wild boy and pet his head like a dog, this is all he knew. He stroked and petted this boys head over and over, just like you would a dog. The boy curled up by his feet and seemed to feel comfortable and enjoy this affection. This story, which was told much better than I told it and is in the book, brought tears to my eyes, it truly touched me and moved me.

She went on to say that we all have these qualities in ourselves, it is not something we need to attain or acquire. It is just a matter of relaxing, easing our way into our own presence, which is a very alive, passionate, loving presence. And silence is the quality that conveys the most teaching, has the most impact on others and the world. She shared the story about how Indira Gandhi, the prime minister of India was troubled and went to go see the Shankarachya, which is similar to our Pope, he is the religious leader for many, and came out of this meeting transformed. Her companion asked what he had said that made such a difference in her, she said I asked all of my questions and he answered all of them, and neither of us spoke a word. Catherine said it was his presence that changed her, that transformed her. A quiet powerful presence can work miracles.

So I got out of this evening that we do not need to get any of these qualities or work for them, but that they are naturally in us, inherent in all of us and they come out when we are relaxed and at ease, they are our natural state of being. I left there very empowered and feeling good about my true nature. It was a very powerful meeting and I definitely felt her awakened presence. What a beautiful gift we all have to share.

* This is an expandable set of pages. If you've been to see any of my listees and would like to offer an "objective" report, ie from one not already "attached" to the teacher in question or full of ideas based on attachment to a "competing" teacher, send it in (Feedback) and i'll be happy to put it up. Other Reports

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