November Nature Gallery Part I

When I saw the photograph of the single heart-shaped leaf on the Nature Gallery, I recalled Gurumayi’s words from her poem “Explore the Inner Path,” which has stayed with me since I first read it on the Siddha Yoga path website in 2013. 
 
Gurumayi’s poem begins with the words, “Every leaf counts.” Recalling these words brought me back to the awareness of the sacredness of everything in God’s creation. I became filled with respect for everything and for everyone including my own Self.
 
I am so grateful for Gurumayi’s grace, which has illumined this understanding.

a Siddha Yogi from Massachusetts, USA

When viewing the late autumn images of the November Nature Gallery, I gradually became stiller and stiller. I became more absorbed with each image—until there were no thoughts.
 
I feel relaxed and spacious within, and that there is time—time to allow things to gradually unfold. This state fills me with patience, gratitude, and wonder.

a Siddha Yogi from Yulara, Australia

There’s so much to learn and to benefit from the Nature Galleries and the Siddha Yoga path website. 
 
I wondered why these images brought such peace and quiet to my being, while being in nature, though enjoyable, often did not. It occurred to me that when I am outside in nature, my attention is often distracted, as my mind flits from one scene to another, one sensation to another.
 
I have recently been intentionally practicing holding my focus on particular aspects of nature—a tree branch, a cloud formation, a swirl of wind—much as a photographer must do. And with this focused attention comes the same peace and quiet in my being that I’ve experienced when viewing the Nature Galleries. I am most grateful.

a Siddha Yogi from New Mexico, USA

As I look at the November Nature Gallery today, I see that one of the great teachings here lies in the way nature so easily, gracefully, and beautifully changes from season to season—and even from moment to moment. One season the leaves are green; in the next they are red. One day they are on the tree, and the next day they have fallen softly on the ground. And nature isn’t complaining! Nature accepts change. It embodies change.

I find this especially helpful right now as my aging mother is moving in to a new living situation. It has been challenging for me and my sisters to let go of the old, familiar home. We liked the way things were for so many years.

But here nature is guiding me to embrace the new season and find beauty in it. I’m so grateful to receive this comforting—and liberating—perspective inspired by the Nature Gallery. I feel encouraged and supported to embrace change as the natural course of things.

a Siddha Yogi from Massachusetts, USA

I woke up early this morning, and so as not to wake my husband, came down to the lobby of the hotel where we’re staying, to have coffee and read. I noticed computers in the lobby, and decided to visit the Siddha Yoga path website. As I scrolled through the beautiful November Nature Gallery,I became aware, despite the loud music playing in the lobby, of nada going on within me.

This led me to contemplate the myriad of teachings in these photo galleries. I feel as though Gurumayi is teaching me to be more appreciative of the art and beauty of nature, to be able to witness the power of nature, and to still the mind and have darshan no matter what's happening around me—even in a loud hotel lobby at 4:30 in the morning.

It is truly a gift to be connected in this way to my Guru and to my heart. Thank you, Gurumayi.

a Siddha Yogi from California, USA

Being in nature at night in the snow, I have experienced some of the most sublime moments of the soundless sound and the space of flawless quietude. When I saw these photos, I immediately slipped into that divine space.
 
Thank you, Gurumayi, for all the means by which you teach us and inspire us!

a Siddha Yogi from Florida, USA

Wow! Snow! We didn't get any in the city, but I can see that the Ashram did. Beautiful pictures of the Ashram grounds with the snow. It brings memories to my mind and gives me the feeling of actually being there.
 
Looking at the beauty and vastness of nature, I had the thought that instead of cluttering our minds with artificial things, what we really need is more of the expansiveness, beauty, and stillness we receive from nature and other forms of the divine.
 
Many thanks for sharing this quietness and magnificence through the medium of photography!

a Siddha Yogi from New York, USA

Ah, snow has come to Shree Muktananda Ashram! I shouted with glee as I saw Bade Baba surrounded by the diamonds of snow. We, too, in New Mexico, have had our first snowfall. How lovely, how calming, how genuinely touching it is to witness our connection through nature.

a Siddha Yogi from New Mexico, USA

As I was sitting for meditation this morning, an image of one of the photos in the November Nature Gallery came to mind. It struck me that what I’m really responding to so deeply when I see these photos is the quietude in each of them—the serene silence. Although nature can be full of sound, in these photos I see her as a soundless, all-encompassing witness.

When I first sat down to meditate, I was feeling emotional about something. But as the colors of November filled my inner vision, I was able to glide into the stance of the peaceful witness.

Now, as I’m going about my day, I find the photo image coming back to remind me that I, too, can witness all that’s going on inside and outside with an embracing, open, calm point of view, like nature.

What a wonderful gift.

a Siddha Yogi from Kentucky, USA

These photos of nature in November are so exquisite and inspiring. They help me slow down and experience my heart. And they open me to the sweetest feeling of gratitude.

My husband and I walk around a reservoir near our home several times a week. Sometimes I find myself worrying that we will miss the best time of day to do this. But every time we go, I find it soothing and uplifting, and I feel grateful for whatever view is available that day.

Seeing Lake Nityananda here on the Siddha Yoga path website—so beautiful in all seasons, at all times of day—reinforces this awareness of the profound gifts we can receive from nature all the time, if we only open ourselves to receive them. Thank you!

a Siddha Yogi from Massachusetts, USA

This morning, I was moved by the picture of the absolute stillness of the lake and the trees. I saw the rock in the water emanating such steadiness and strength. It reminded me of Bade Baba's murti in the Temple, with the same silence and infinite sweetness.

In the pictures that followed, I contemplated the perfect reflection of the sky in the pure water of the lake. This too was breathtaking for me, because I saw in them the unity of the Guru and the disciple.

These pictures are very precious to me, because I'm learning from them to experience the presence of Bade Baba in everything. My heart is overflowing with love for all these beautiful gifts I receive every day.

a Siddha Yogi from Milan, Italy

I so enjoyed viewing the delicate, beautiful bubbles resting on the water. Each bubble is reflecting the other bubbles, the surrounding trees and sky, and I also noticed that the water each rests upon is reflecting the bubble.

The scene reminds me of my experience of shaktipat initiation, where my physical being expanded into a sphere-like glistening bubble of light. Inside the sphere was a multitude of smaller, sparkling bubbles. I experienced each small bubble as another person, yet each was also part of me. And each small bubble contained the whole large bubble within it. I was immersed in the bliss of oneness, the bliss of the Self.

For many years, I would often sing words from a song that kept repeating inside me: “I am a bubble; make me the sea.”

This last February, while attending the Pilgrimage to the Heart Retreat in Gurudev Siddha Peeth, through Gurumayi’s grace and lots of chanting, I experienced the bubble bursting, and I became a sea of incredible light and bliss.

a Siddha Yogi from New York, USA.

Typically, I find the pictures of nature on the Siddha Yoga path website to be breathtaking. And these in the November Nature Gallery seem to take the unbelievably beautiful to an even higher level. I feel I am discovering more beauty in nature than I ever knew.

a Siddha Yogi from Pennsylvania, USA

I feel such sweetness and warmth every morning when I come home to the Siddha Yoga path website and view the Nature Gallery. My heart becomes filled with grateful joy, and the day ahead seems to be touched by the divine.

Thank you, beloved Gurumayi.

a Siddha Yogi from Cologne, Germany

After a few months of viewing the nature galleries on the Siddha Yoga path website, I notice that my vision has improved. On my daily walk in the park, I see everything more vividly now: water running over stones, reflections in the pond; my vision feels young and fresh.

a Siddha Yogi from Erina, Australia

Thank you to all the Siddha Yogis who take the time to consider their experiences and to draw out the pearls to share on this powerful portal of the Guru's grace. Your wisdom and observations often inspire me to take a second, third, and even fourth look at an image or teaching that appears on the website.

Your words encourage me to sit quietly for some time with what I am seeing, allowing more to be revealed to me. This is an important lesson for me.

a Siddha Yogi from New York, USA

As I view this Nature Gallery, I am feeling that, as the bright colors are appearing on the screen, Gurumayi ji is filling my heart, my life with positive thoughts, with bright colors. Her grace is descending upon us in the form of bright colors. She is making us and our lives shine.

Thank you, Gurumayi ji, for all your love.

a Siddha Yogi from New Delhi, India

Looking at the beautiful images of nature, my heart was filled with joy and immense love for Baba. I started to chant Om Namo Bhagavate Muktanandaya, and I reconnected to the experience of chanting on the day of the Shaktipat Intensive. On seeing the lovely colors of nature, I entered into a state of pure silence within, remembering Gurumayi's Message for this year.

Thank you, Gurumayi! What a beautiful experience to be in the space of flawless quietude.

a Siddha Yogi from Pune, India

When I saw the vibrating, vivid colors of the leaves and the magnificence of the fiery sky, I experienced in these amazing pictures the divine beauty of Bade Baba's Temple. I saw the bright light of the Guru pervading the entire world. It felt so powerful!

Then I created a visualization. I imagined the warm colors I saw in the pictures pouring through my whole body from head to toe. I imagined each color painting all of the cells of my body, filling them with healing energy.

The Guru's love permeates my life.

a Siddha Yogi from Milan, Italy

Yesterday, my daughter and I embarked on a three-hour drive through the countryside of Victoria to visit my son at a school in the bush. As I was driving, a magnificent rainbow appeared in the sky ahead of us. I noticed how much beauty I was seeing around me in the sky, the land, and the animals. I have driven this route many times. This time, however, I seemed to be more aware of the environment around me.

The colors of the sky reminded me of the beautiful visuals from the recent Shaktipat Intensive, which in turn reminded me to listen for the sound of AUM.

An ordinary car ride became very beautiful and sweet. I knew my experience stemmed from the darshan I receive from the exquisite photographs in the Nature Galleries on the Siddha Yoga path website.

Thank you, Gurumayi!

a Siddha Yogi from South Yarra, Australia

I feel so grateful for this gallery that reveals nature's resilient strength and trust during the changing season. Despite the changes,there is deep stillness pervading all.

My inner strength has been challenged by recent changes in my life. On Sunday, I joined the local Siddha Yoga community in reciting Shri Guru Gita. I had a very deep and focused recitation and meditation, finding Shri Guru's protection within the profound stillness. This week, I have found it so easy to carry that strength and stillness with me throughout the continued changes happening in my life.

And now I see that deep strength and stillness and the Guru's profound love reflected in the images of nature's changes: the reed covered in morning ice, trees standing tall and strong as their leaves turn and fall away, and throughout them all, I see the Guru's brilliance. Vibrant orange skies and a glowing sun shine steadily, embracing all of nature's changes.

I am amazed by my Guru's grace. I am grateful to be under her shining sun, so that I may be protected and embraced by her love as I navigate the changing seasons in my life.

a Siddha Yogi from New York, USA

The more I contemplate the beauty of nature through these pictures of the changing seasons in Shree Muktananda Ashram, the more gratitude I feel towards my Guru and the SYDA Foundation.
 
Thank you so much, Gurumayi. Recognition of the Self fills me as I do the Siddha Yoga practices with grace and ease.

a Siddha Yogi from Pardies, France

There is so much beauty in the November Nature Gallery at this time of reflection and gratitude.
 
The image of the moon is amazing! In its wholeness it reveals both light and dark, inner and outer, yin and yang. While looking at this image, I thought about the value of having gratitude for something in its entirety, even when parts may be obscured.
 
Thank you, Gurumayi, for your grace and teachings.

a Siddha Yogi from Brighton, United Kingdom