Reflections on Gurumayi Chidvilasananda

The Gift of Pure Worship

A few months after I received shaktipat diksha in an Intensive with Gurumayi in Heidelberg, Germany, I traveled to Gurudev Siddha Peeth in January 1989, longing to be in Gurumayi’s presence once again. Participating in the ashram daily schedule in the shakti-filled environment of that holy place, I felt immersed all day long in a deep, joyful, light-filled state of being.

Until one day, a disquieting feeling of unworthiness began to surface from within. I knew this feeling was connected with a major work project at home, about which I had a lot of doubts. The persistent heaviness in my heart kept urging me to face the situation. And so at last, I decided to ask Gurumayi directly for guidance. Since this would actually be the first time I would be speaking to Gurumayi in person, I wanted to be very clear and concise about what I wished to say. So I prepared my question carefully and one morning, during darshan time, I felt ready.

As I moved forward on the darshan line, step by step, I felt that I was entering the inner sanctum of the Guru’s love. When it was my turn, I bowed and started to speak. I explained what my project was and the doubts I was having about being able to complete it. Gurumayi listened with great attention, looking into my eyes as I spoke. It seemed that she was seeing into the depth of my being. Then, with a strong, calm voice, she said: “Do it with enthusiasm.” Just that. Four words—a simple, unexpected command.

I felt the power in Gurumayi’s words resonating deep within, and I had the certainty that she had given me the key to overcome my dilemma. Yet her answer was also puzzling to me: at that time, I understood enthusiasm to be a kind of spontaneous excitement triggered by external, pleasurable circumstances. And the project I had told her about did not seem to me to be anything to get excited about!

Back home in my daily routine, I started consciously engaging with Gurumayi’s teaching. I would repeat to myself “Do it with enthusiasm” while sitting for my morning meditation. I also wrote the teaching on a piece of paper which I kept on my computer while working on the project. And I began to notice that, slowly but surely, those simple acts of planting the Guru’s words in the field of my awareness would put me in touch with a quiet space within, full of energy and strength. From there, I could look at the project in a more detached, proactive manner.

The different pieces of the project that I had not been able to handle before started to fall naturally into the right place, and a few months later the project was completed. I was happy and serene about the decisions I had made. I realized that by following Gurumayi’s teaching, I had accessed a boundless inner space where problems cease to be perceived as problems and can be faced in a more active, productive, enthusiastic way.

Gurumayi’s teaching became the gauge with which to measure my approach to different aspects of my life, including spiritual practices. I started noticing that I had an underlying habit of “giving up” on the practices at the first sign of difficulty. This would affect, for example, my meditations. When a meditation session seemed to be leading nowhere, I would simply give up and go do something else. As I practiced remembrance, instead of giving up I would recall Gurumayi saying, “Do it with enthusiasm”—and I would renew my intention to stay with the practice and go deeper.

Inspired by Gurumayi’s teaching, I now choose to adopt an attitude of discovery and genuine interest in my routine tasks and daily interactions, as well as in my practices. When I do this with attention and intention, I experience new nuances of enthusiasm. And I notice that bringing a fresh “beginner’s mind” to very familiar situations gives much more energy and lightness to my approach to things.

It has become clear over the years that when I “do it with enthusiasm,” an inner shift always happens, opening me to new levels of experience and understanding. At such times I become filled with wonder and gratitude at the constant presence of Gurumayi’s grace in my life and at the unfailing, transformative power of the Guru’s words.

 

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