Moving Forward in Sadhana

February 1, 2016

Dear all,

Welcome to February! Did you know that the word “February” comes from the Latin term februum, which means “purification”? On the Siddha Yoga path, we purify our perception so that we may revel in the divine within ourselves and all creation. February is a special month to engage in sadhana!

Students and new seekers on the Siddha Yoga path often experience the first months of each new year as a time of revelation and renewal as we begin to study Gurumayi’s Message for the year. Our spiritual practices and daily activities are naturally energized by the light and wisdom of this sacred teaching. Receiving Gurumayi’s Message in A Sweet Surprise Satsang is truly a blessed experience.

Gurumayi’s Message is

Move with steadfastness
       toward becoming
              anchored
in Supreme Joy

In February, we’ll focus on exploring the very first word of Gurumayi’s Message in depth:

Move

Avance
Bewege dich
Mova-se
Muévete
Beweeg

Studying and contemplating the meaning of each word in Gurumayi’s Message is like immersing ourselves in each color of the rainbow, and then recognizing the many manifestations of the colors in our daily lives. Similarly, by studying each word of Gurumayi’s Message, we can discover their nuances and recognize how they manifest in our lives. Then, as we contemplate Gurumayi’s Message as a whole, we can understand and practice it in a much deeper and richer way. For example, what does it mean to move? Is it only a physical activity or can it be a shift in energy or awareness? Must a move always be big, or is it sometimes more effective if we make a gentle, subtle move? And once we’ve explored the many hues of “move,” how does that expand our understanding of the other words in Gurumayi’s Message?

Let’s begin by considering the definition of move: “to go toward a direction or destination, or to change position in relationship to something.” In other words, to move means starting to direct yourself toward a certain destination, making a change in the direction you’re currently heading in, or changing the way to think or feel about something. It also implies the opposite of simply standing still.

As a photographer, I’ve learned that the best way for me to explore and discover the beauty of whatever I’m photographing is to physically change positions and explore my subject from many distances, heights, and angles. If I just stand in one place and take one photo, I might have a decent “documentary” photograph, but rarely something that warms my heart or delights my eyes. By changing positions, I can feel myself becoming more and more attuned to the light, shape, and mystery of my subject and my heart’s response to it.

On the Siddha Yoga path, there are many ways we can actively “move around” or “change positions” as we study, practice, assimilate, and implement Gurumayi’s Message in our spiritual practices and daily lives. For example, how does contemplating the word “move” give you insights about Gurumayi’s Message that you can apply to your practice of meditation or chanting? As you sit with Gurumayi’s Message Artwork and the nature photos on the Siddha Yoga path website, how do they help you understand the word “move”? And how do the movements of nature (seasons, time, wind, sun) give you an insight into Gurumayi’s Message or your own spiritual practices?

I invite you to make “move” your word for the month. Keep it in your awareness, considering its varied meanings and how you can apply them to your sadhana. Explore different kinds of movement and see how they may apply to Gurumayi’s Message. May this be a “moving” experience for you!

There are many opportunities this month to reflect on the meaning of “move” in your sadhana. In fact, this month we will all take a leap! February 2016 has 29 days rather than 28. A leap year occurs because the Earth actually takes 365 ¼ days to circle the sun, so every four years another day is added to the yearly calendar to account for those missing quarter days. The leap year has given us a whole extra day to study the meaning of “move” in Gurumayi’s Message.

On February 8, we’ll wish each other a Happy Chinese New Year 4713! According to the ancient calendar of China, this is a Year of the Monkey. The monkey sign in the Chinese Zodiac carries the traits of curiosity and inventiveness, which are definitely qualities that can inspire us as spiritual seekers. And of course, these qualities are what inspire monkeys to engage in nearly constant movement!

The Year of the Monkey brings to my mind Lord Hanuman, who took the form of a huge and powerful monkey. According to the Puranas, a set of sacred texts of India, when Lord Hanuman was very young he wanted to become a disciple of Lord Surya, the Sun God. The Effulgent One refused, saying that his solar duties obliged him to move constantly, and therefore he couldn’t stop to impart teachings. Lord Hanuman then increased his size and planted his feet on the two farthest mountain ranges in the east and west. This way he could follow his Guru’s light as he travelled through the skies. Lord Surya was so pleased by Lord Hanuman’s commitment, focus, and steadfastness that he took him as a student and taught him the full wisdom of the Vedas.

In the great Indian epic, the Ramayana, Lord Hanuman became known for his fervent devotion to Lord Rama. He performed many heroic and astonishing acts in service to Lord Rama, including bringing him an entire mountain from the Himalayas!

Thus, Lord Hanuman, through his devotion to Lord Surya and then Lord Rama, has become a model of discipleship and selfless service. Contemplating Lord Hanuman’s qualities can inspire us to move with focus, devotion, and joy during this Year of the Monkey.

February 14 brings us the celebration of Valentine’s Day, a day to share the love in our hearts. We have a great opportunity to do so on Saturday, February 13, by participating in a Siddha Yoga satsang titled Love in Action. This satsang will be a live audio stream from Shree Muktananda Ashram. Yes! Another wonderful live audio stream in the Universal Hall. Details about this satsang will be available soon on the Siddha Yoga path website.

Starting in February, you can also participate in meditation sessions broadcast via live audio stream. More information about these sessions will be coming soon!

And, you can participate (as many times as you’d like) in A Sweet Surprise Satsang! Remember, the Siddha Yoga path website is the Universal Hall for satsang on a daily basis.

Each of these teaching and learning events, each photo gallery, each reading on the Siddha Yoga path website will give you a new doorway into Gurumayi’s Message, and a new opportunity to explore what it means to “move” when you are engaging with the teachings.

I wish you a wonderful and abundant February as you continue to move forward in your study and practice of Gurumayi’s Message!

Best regards,

Paul Hawkwood
Siddha Yoga Meditation Teacher

About Paul Hawkwood

teacher photo Copyright SYDA Foundation

Paul Hawkwood began following the Siddha Yoga path in 1987. He has offered seva in the SYDA Foundation as a Siddha Yoga meditation teacher for the past 25 years, and has taught in Siddha Yoga courses, Sadhana Retreats, and Shaktipat Intensives. He also serves on the Steering Committee for the Siddha Yoga Meditation Center in Eugene, Oregon.

Paul recently retired after teaching English at Linn-Benton Community College for thirty years. He lives in Eugene with his wife, Achala Woollacott.

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