Heading in the Right Direction

April 1, 2016

Dear all,

Welcome to the month of April, when the seasons are shifting in many parts of the world: spring is arriving in the Northern Hemisphere and autumn in the Southern Hemisphere.

From where you are standing right now, on Earth and in the circumstances of your own life, what direction are you heading in? Is it a beneficial one? Studying and practicing Gurumayi’s Message for 2016 can help each one of us to find the answer to this question.

Gurumayi’s Message is:

Move with steadfastness
toward becoming
anchored
in Supreme Joy

On the Siddha Yoga path, the focus of study this month is the word toward. In the context of Gurumayi’s Message, the word toward is translated as felé in Hungarian. In German it’s darauf zu, and in French it is jusqu’à, in Italian, per, and in Spanish, para. In Dutch, it is translated as naar.

In the English language, toward connotes more than the simple preposition to that might be used instead. Toward means “in the direction of.” Toward indicates movement that is charged with intention. To reach a destination, a goal, one must move with intention in the desired direction. One must go toward.

For me, then, the word toward suggests a journey with a clear destination. Toward provides us an orientation, like a compass. Toward determines where I end up! Gurumayi’s Message has strengthened my resolve. I want to keep my inner compass pointing in the direction of the Self.

In the Siddha Yoga sadhana circle I participate in, we are studying the Commentaries on the Pratyabhijna-hrdayam on the Siddha Yoga path website. As we do so, we are discovering new insights about Gurumayi’s Message and exploring how we can put them into practice. This can be very practical. I have been experimenting with going toward bliss while engaged in mundane daily tasks. For example, while washing the dishes, I chant silently to myself. When I do, instead of experiencing boredom, I find my heart is reoriented toward feelings of love and happiness.

Another example is when I take a walk. A walk can simply be a bit of exercise outdoors—or, combined with the intention to recognize Consciousness taking the form of this beautiful world, it becomes a walk toward God. Such walks are particularly delightful in April, when Nature’s beauties are revealed in spring or autumnal colors, depending on where in this world we live. This is the month of Earth Day (April 22), when we are invited to acknowledge the value and sanctity of Nature.

April is when we will begin one of the most significant celebrations on the Siddha Yoga path this year: the 108th birthday of Baba Muktananda, Gurumayi’s Guru. Be sure to stay connected to the Siddha Yoga path website as we approach this auspicious time to honor Baba Muktananda and study his teachings.

By engaging in a regular daily meditation practice, by reciting Shri Guru Gita, by experiencing grace in hearts shaped by passing clouds, by engaging in satsang with fellow seekers, by sharing the abundant love in my life with others, and by offering seva, I feel I am heading in the right direction, toward the highest joy within my own Self.

Every day, every activity, every moment is an opportunity to turn toward the Self within.

Cada dia, cada atividade, cada instante é uma oportunidade para se voltar para o Ser interior.

During April, the focus of our Siddha Yoga practice is svadhyaya, the recitation of sacred texts, such as Shri Guru Gita, which is an integral part of the Ashram Daily Schedule. Svadhyaya supports us in maintaining the direction we choose to follow in our sadhana. These scriptural texts teach us about the aspects of God, Guru, and Self. Recitation of these texts also imparts the experience of the divine. As I engage in this practice I find that by increasing my focus on the words of the text, rather than letting my active mind take me into my thoughts, I build my capacity to move deeper into the awareness of who I really am, the Self of all.

In pursuing our journey inward, we can take inspiration from Shri Hanuman. He is the deity who took the form of a strong and powerful monkey, and is known for his dedicated seva, or selfless service, to his Guru, Lord Rama. On April 21 we will acknowledge Hanuman Jayanti, the birthday of Shri Hanuman.

I invite you to dedicate time to contemplating the word toward in Gurumayi’s Message this month. Throughout April, let’s continue heading in the right direction: toward the Self, our essential nature.

Warm regards,

Sudama Sitkin
Siddha Yoga Meditation Teacher

About Sudama Sitkin

teacher photo Copyright SYDA Foundation

Sudama began following the Siddha Yoga path in 1975 in Oakland, California. He serves as a Siddha Yoga meditation teacher in satsangs and Muktananda Dhyana Saptahs. He also offers seva as a member of the Management Team at the Siddha Yoga Ashram in Oakland and as a home and visiting sevite with the SYDA Foundation Legal Department. Sudama was a member of the SYDA Foundation Management Team when he was on staff in Shree Muktananda Ashram from 2000 to 2003, and for seven years, from 1976 to 1983, Sudama served as a member of the SYDA Foundation Board of Trustees.

Sudama holds a bachelor of arts degree from Cornell University and a Juris Doctor degree from Columbia University School of Law. He also has been awarded fellowships to study at the University of Pennsylvania as well as at The Hague Academy of International Law in the Netherlands. Sudama works as a lawyer and lives in Sonoma, California, with his wife, Barbara.

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