Developing & Cultivating Samata with Dr. Monica Gulati

Start Date:26-Jun-2024

End Date:28-Jun-2024



This workshop covered the foundations of Samata, practical techniques and behavioural strategies focused at cultivating balance in everyday life. Samata encompasses equality, equanimity and equipoise. It involves remaining unmoved by life's fluctuations and truly mastering oneself, beyond mere self-control. It underscored that inner peace can be achieved through consistent practice, enabling individuals to make progress and navigate life's challenges more effectively. Over three days, participants engaged in deep practice and reflection, guided by teachings on the impermanence of life, the significance of gratitude and the cultivation of virtuous conduct.

The law of impermanence reveals that everything, from emotions to spiritual experiences, is in constant flux. Recognising this truth helps us avoid attachment to fleeting things and find stability amidst change. By understanding that everything is subject to change, we can cultivate a deeper sense of peace and resilience. Meditation and contemplation are essential to familiarise ourselves with this law, enabling us to remain stable and unattached in all situations.

Practising Samata involves techniques like Calm Abiding Meditation, where we observe the breath at the nose tip, noticing and letting go of urges and discomforts. This practice focuses our attention and develops equanimity by teaching us to accept all experiences without clinging or aversion. Common obstacles such as sleepiness, doubt, and distraction can be overcome through disciplined effort and trust in the practice. As we deepen our practice, we move towards a state of ease and inner peace, aligning with our true self.

Day two of the workshop began with the gratitude inherent in our human existence. It highlighted how being human offers us invaluable opportunities for learning, understanding and personal growth. Gratitude serves as a powerful motivator, encouraging us to make the most of our current circumstances — learning from scriptures, guidance from gurus, and the freedom we possess. By deepening our practice, we strive to remain steadfast in the face of discomfort and change, thereby cultivating inner peace and resilience. Participants practised endurance and letting go of all good, bad, everything that is tied to external sources of happiness.

Participants focused on addressing 8 worldly concerns that disrupt Samata and inner balance:

1.    Run towards pleasure, run away from pain

2.    Run towards praise, run away from blame

3.    Run towards gain, run away from loss

4.    Run towards Fame, disrepute creates agitation

From the teachings of the Dhammapada and Sri Aurobindo’s writings on yogic equality, participants gleaned profound insights into spiritual growth and inner transformation. The concept of equality, as articulated by Sri Aurobindo, transcends mere indifference; it signifies a spiritual mastery over the reactions of mind and life. By cultivating Samata, which entails freedom from desires and attachments, individuals can achieve a state of stable equanimity amidst life's fluctuations. This state allows one to see all beings and situations as equal, fostering a deep inner peace untouched by external circumstances.

Furthermore, Sri Aurobindo's emphasis on conquering emotional and vital impulses underscores the path to spiritual liberation. This conquest leads to the attainment of a free, happy, and all-embracing heart — a heart that transcends egoistic desires and embraces a universal love and compassion. The session encouraged participants to reflect on the impermanence of all things and to practise virtuous conduct while rejecting false behaviours that hinder inner peace and clarity.

The practice culminated with Tonglen Meditation, a powerful exercise in empathy and compassion. This meditation involves visualising taking in others' suffering and sending out healing and peace. By incorporating these teachings into their daily lives, participants will strive to deepen their spiritual practice and align with their true selves, fostering harmony within and with others.

Feedback :

“It made me reflect and think a lot about my daily life and practice.”

[Benefit from most?]

“The practice of breathwork and body awareness.”