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Follow the Middle Path

Follow the Middle Path
Updated: Jan 20Gurumayi's Message for 2017Updated: Jan 23Updated: Jan 22January 2017
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The story's analogy of the tamboura resonates deeply with me. The tamboura provides a constant, steady background drone sound, even as the music soars and quietens. In all my activities I feel most accomplished when I keep my attention on "the tamboura within," which lets me know when and how much to give, and when to allow events to flow without my interference. When I stay focused on this, I experience harmony in my day and I can fulfill my dharma easefully.
 
I have found that my activities in the outer and inner worlds cycle between periods of intense activity and periods of relative quiet. I have learned to be content in both, knowing that I need time to rejuvenate within in order to be able to offer in the world without.
 
I used to be driven by ambition to excel and outperform those around me. I now understand that true excellence is being anchored in the middle path, with a quiet knowing that everything will flow when the strings are at just the right tension—so that they resonate with the inner sound. 

Thank you, Gurumayi, for this beautiful and timely story.

a Siddha Yogi from Brossard, Canada

This morning I was forming a resolution about specific ways to pursue my sadhana in my daily life. Then, when I opened the Siddha Yoga Path website and read this story, I felt that Shri Gurumayi's grace had answered my prayer.
 
I reflected on the story and realized that recently I have vacillated between the extremes of ardent self-effort and laziness. The story inspires me to follow a middle path of balance. This will allow me to have love and respect for my body, as well as to recognize the Guru's grace which blesses my actions and efforts. I feel rejuvenated and ready to attune myself according to the teaching of this story. 
 
My heartfelt thanks, Gurumayi, for your compassionate and insightful guidance.        

a Siddha Yogi from New York, USA

Seconds before reading this story, I had started to create a demanding schedule that would start at 3:00 a.m. This is not the first time that I have done this. But the truth is that demanding so much of myself and setting unrealistic goals have not worked well for me over the years.
 
One challenge for me is that I would like to have consistency in my spiritual practices, but I am a business owner and my work is quite demanding. However, I have noticed that I don't have to do the practices only in early morning. Just yesterday my husband and I meditated at the office late in the morning.
 
After reading this story, I decided that instead of working today, on a Sunday, I will take some time off and relax a bit. This will be one more step toward achieving the balance I would like to have.
 
Thank you, Gurumayi, for constantly guiding me.

a Siddha Yogi from Willemstad, Curaçao, Netherlands Antilles

Thank you, Gurumayi, for this beautiful story. It has soothed my heart during a challenging time and given me much needed direction. 

a Siddha Yogi from Virginia, USA

Earlier today my wife and I were speaking together about how each of us thought the other was doing too much, and that we needed to reduce our efforts a bit. Then tonight I saw the story "Follow the Middle Path." My first reaction was: "How in the world did Gurumayi know what we were saying?" My next reaction was to wonder,  "What does this story have to do with Gurumayi's Message for 2017?"
 
Finally I realized that this story must be for me! So I read it again, with this awareness. And now all I can say is:  I am so grateful to have a living Guru! Gurumayi consistently teaches me things that are so beneficial for me but that I may not be ready to hear at first.  
 
Thank you, Gurumayi, for always looking out for my best interests.

a Siddha Yogi from Washington, USA

This is such an important teaching for me. More and more, in spiritual practices and daily tasks, I am learning that achieving moderation needs constant awareness. I've found that when I put too little energy into my spiritual practices and tasks, things are left incomplete and I feel agitated. When I put too much effort into things, I seem to experience increased resistance and tiredness, and, still, things are often incomplete. It's only when I focus on the middle path that I feel I am truly serving the Guru and opening my heart to my own goodness.
 
Thank you, Gurumayi, for this divine teaching.

a Siddha Yogi from Pennsylvania, USA

This story speaks to my heart because, for many years, I have been focusing on following the middle path. As a result, I have been able to maintain my practices on a daily basis.
 
It has also helped me in other areas of my life, such as relationships and work. I have been able to offer my best according to my capacity. This, in turn, has helped me to expand. 
 
Following the middle path has helped me to be kind to myself and respect myself, and to understand and respect others.
 

a Siddha Yogi from New Jersey, USA

This story came at the right time for me, a time in my life when many different tasks are calling for my attention. The equally important task of giving myself appropriate rest and time to rejuvenate has been so sweetly validated by this story. I smile inwardly and bow my head in gratitude to Gurumayi.
 

a Siddha Yogi from Wisconsin, USA

I read this story after a day spent in airports, on freeways, at restaurants, and with people I don't know well. Still, it was a day with my own heart, a day in which I did my best to remember and to manifest the Guru's love. It was enormously affirming at the end of such a day to read Gurumayi's story on the “middle path”—which I understand to mean that we are to do our best, without overstretching.
 
Thank you, Gurumayi, for this compassionate reminder.

a Siddha Yogi from Washington, USA

This story reminds me of a situation that my third-grade daughter was facing last week. She was in tears on the way to her piano lesson because, with her new fall schedule, she didn't feel she had enough time to practice.  She thought she would need to stop piano lessons although she didn't want to do that either. We talked to the piano teacher, who suggested some changes in the practice schedule and also reassured my daughter
that, however things unfolded, everything was okay.
 
The next morning, without any coaxing or reminders, my daughter began her practice. Enthusiasm and joy were back in her playing!
 
This was a powerful example for me of the fruitful effects of the "middle path." I realized that when challenges come up, rather than pushing harder in an effort to overcome them, or just giving up, there is another way—a way that draws grace—the "middle path.”
 
Thank you, Gurumayi, for this vivid reminder in the form of the story and the beautiful metaphor of the tamboura.

a Siddha Yogi from California, USA

I, too, have been pushing too hard, stretching my mind and body with many hours of work, and feeling exhausted at the end of the day. This story has inspired me to take short breaks, to give my body rest, and allow my mind to go deep within. I am reminded that I have to take care of my body so that I can experience the Self. I have to walk the path of moderation, “the middle path.”
 
Thank you, Gurumayi, for this wonderful story.
 

a Siddha Yogi from Basamathnagar, India

The teaching in this story—about the “middle path” that Lord Buddha followed to attain enlightenment—applies to every spiritual practice, including the practice of seva, or selfless service. For a seeker to serve with excellence, and for the practice of seva to bear the sweetest fruit, balance and moderation are key. The practice of selfless service requires a healthy level of effort along with the discipline of giving the body and mind time to rejuvenate and rest. Like a musician tuning a tamboura, a sevite must learn to offer service without overworking their body or, on the other hand, growing lazy or careless.

a Siddha Yoga Swami