A Cross-Continent Satsang For Two

By Laurie & Marguerite

Stories From Meditators

Meet Laurie from Colorado and Marguerite from Quebec. Read how they found a way to get a satsang started, despite a 2,000 mile geographic distance.

Laurie & Marguerite:

It was September 2013, when we met at the weeklong retreat. We were roommates and realized, over the course of a few evening conversations, that both of us missed not having a local satsang. Throughout the week and in listening to others with experience and comfort in their local satsang groups, we talked further about how difficult is was to retain the freshness gained at retreat upon returning home.

Gardens at the BMCM retreat house, where Laurie and Marguerite first met.


At that time, I was living for six months of the year (October –April) in a village in southern France near Toulouse, and the other half of the year in Montreal, Canada. Laurie lived in the Rocky Mountains in Colorado where travel was common but mountain passes prevented a ‘normal’ drive especially in winter. Despite our individual efforts, we hadn’t been able up to that point to find satsang partners.

As the week progressed, we questioned why we couldn’t Skype and share satsang between the two of us. On the last day of the retreat, we decided, and made the commitment to give it a try. And so, our journey began and we have held a satsang every two weeks, with some exceptions extending to three weeks but rarely to four.

Time changes were one challenge on both our ends. Either Laurie was up at dark o’clock in the morning or I was staying up well past my bedtime. But, we adapted well to these minor inconveniences and started with Volume 1 of The Bhagavad Gita for Daily Living. We would read a paragraph and then paraphrase it and then comment upon it. Usually we spoke for about an hour (or more) and went through one or two verses. We went off on examples of our daily living ourselves and found the richness in the text as well as the discussions that brought us to places we might never have encountered without our dedication.

Laurie (large) and Marguerite (small) via Skype.


A year later, or maybe it was two, Marguerite found herself back in France in the fall and had forgotten Volume 1 of the Gita in Montreal. So, no problem, we began Volume 2 and continued without a missed beat. It didn’t matter as both of us had read the volumes several times on our own in years past. We are still on Volume 2 and I think at this rate it will take us about 10 more years to complete it but then again, we are truly enjoying the moment and the richness of our satsang.

I made a trip to France and Italy in 2014 to see Marguerite and her husband Dana in France and my brother in Italy (the person who brought me to Sri EE’s teachings). Visiting Marguerite in the country of her native language and having four days to meditate together, take walks, share Marguerite’s wonderful vegetarian meals and see the countryside and village side of her environs made the return to satsangs when apart even more meaningful.

Laurie (screen) and Marguerite (right) during satsang.


Recently, Laurie had returned from another week in Tomales and suggested we mirror the workshop technique of pausing after a reading and each of us pulling out what most attracted our attention. It now seems to help us more than the original paraphrasing. A few times we have started our satsang by writing the mantram, which does get us right into the workshop mode, but usually we start by revisiting our past two weeks of eight-point program perspectives as well as life’s challenges and humorous moments before starting on the Gita.


As most recently as a month ago, we discussed taking a mantram walk together. So far, we have walked twice at the same time (noting time differences) for 20 minutes or longer. We found that our attention went deeper in both our experiences. Marguerite imagined an arching line from her footsteps in Montreal to mine in Colorado. I imagined I had Marguerite to my left through the walk, even stepping to the side when there would be an irregular path for Marguerite’s footsteps. So much fun, and so many mantrams which went especially deep. The ability we both had to begin a satsang changed our practice in ways that go beyond the word ‘deepening’.