Describing Chautauqua to an outsider is a daunting if not futile undertaking but it means something deeply personal to the Chautauquans who have been returning for decades.
A philosopher once visited the Buddha and asked: “Without words, without the wordless, can you tell me the truth?”
Meditative aspects can be found in all religions, Subagh Singh Khalsa said, and the Mystic Heart Program allows him and other meditation teachers to point out those aspects to Chautauquans of all faiths and traditions.
Subagh Singh Khalsa’s teacher, Yogi Bhajan, told him that, when faced with a dilemma, a person should be able to come up with a decision in the amount of time it takes to draw three breaths.
Subagh Singh Khalsa rediscovers himself every morning through his meditation practices.
In the months following 9/11, Subagh Singh Khalsa entered an intense period of meditation. During that time, he used the healing meditations he had long practiced not with the intention of healing one individual, but with a new impulse to bring healing to the many in the world that were suffering.
Yogi Bhajan, Subagh Singh Khalsa’s spiritual teacher, once told him that the sign of a spiritual person is that he or she always knows what to do.
After years without any religious or spiritual influence, Subagh Singh Khalsa realized that he needed spirituality in his life.
“It was very interesting because almost as soon as I defined the problem, a teacher appeared in my life,” Khalsa said. “My sense was that, when the student is ready, the teacher will appear.”
Yogi Bhajan, a teacher of Sikhism and Kundalini Yoga from India, happened to be looking for students in Khalsa’s area. After finding Yogi Bhajan, Khalsa began his journey to becoming a minister of Sikh Dharma and a teacher of Kundalini yoga and meditation.
The Chautauqua season is nine weeks long, but for some who live on the grounds, there is a longer, more important season to arrange one’s summer around: the growing season.
At the southernmost end of the Institution, hidden behind bushes that grow along Bryant, are 15 small plots that together comprise the Chautauqua community gardens. The gardeners who tend them extend their Chautauqua time for planting and harvesting.
Michael O’Sullivan stumbled into Zen Buddhism through a sprained ankle. While he was in a New York City emergency room having his twisted joint tended to, a doctor discovered that O’Sullivan had high blood pressure. When the doctor left the room to write a prescription, the attending nurse turned to O’Sullivan and said “Don’t take the medicine, learn how to meditate.”
O’Sullivan will lead the Mystic Heart Program during Week Nine. He will lead the daily morning meditation sessions and the semiweekly afternoon seminars on Tuesdays and Thursdays. He said it will be his fourth time facilitating the Mystic Heart Program.