Set Your Heart on Bliss

A Letter from a Siddha Yoga Student

June 1, 2016

Dear all,

Happy Birthday Bliss! On the Siddha Yoga path, June is the month when we celebrate the birthday of our beloved Guru, Gurumayi Chidvilasananda.

Bliss, or ananda in Sanskrit, is our own true nature. In Gurumayi’s Message for 2016 we are given profound guidance on becoming moored in this sublime state.

Gurumayi’s Message for 2016 is

Move with steadfastness
toward becoming
anchored
in Supreme Joy

The word from Gurumayi’s Message that we’re focusing on this month is anchored. In the context of Gurumayi's Message for 2016, one definition of ancorado—Portuguese for anchored—is “to keep hold or be firmly fixed.” Just as the anchor of a ship keeps it from drifting with the winds and tides, when we anchor ourselves in the state of the Self, we no longer drift with the winds and tides of our thoughts and emotions. We are firmly fixed in the state of joy and the experience of our own divinity.

One way we can anchor ourselves in the experience of the Self is by studying and practicing the Siddha Yoga teachings. The Siddha Yoga path website is always abundant with teachings and study tools, especially during Birthday Bliss 2016. One of my favorite elements of this month’s celebration are the Reflections on Gurumayi. I love reading about how Siddha Yogis have contemplated and implemented a teaching or experience of Gurumayi, and how this has impacted their lives.

Discover what happens when you make a habit of studying the Siddha Yoga path website daily. Choose a particular time of day, like first thing in the morning or the last thing at night. Reflect on Gurumayi’s teachings and the other grace-filled elements of the website, and find which ones speak the most to you. You can watch the Commune with Nature videos, participate in the Meditation Sessions, or reflect on the photos in the Nature Galleries. As you engage with each element, become aware of what you are experiencing inside—perhaps it is peace or delight or wonder or stillness. Pause and allow yourself to become immersed in whatever aspect of bliss you are experiencing.

Small, specific, scheduled steps like this lead you to gradually becoming established in the experience of the Self.

Des étapes petites, précises, planifiées comme cela, vous conduisent à vous établir progressivement dans l'expérience du Soi.

devanagari small specific scheduled steps

Passos pequenos, particularizados e programados como este, levam você a, gradualmente, se estabelecer na experiência do Ser.

Here’s how I apply the Siddha Yoga practices in a small, specific, scheduled way while at work.

As a young doctor in training, I spend long hours treating patients in the emergency room of a Montreal hospital. In this hectic environment, I’ve discovered that it’s essential to keep myself deeply anchored to the source of strength, compassion, and joy within myself. When I’m handed a patient’s chart, I pause to repeat the mantra with each in-breath and out-breath, and to offer a prayer to Gurumayi that I may be of service. As I do this—even for a brief moment!—I begin to feel light, energized, and calm. I am once again anchored to that place of strength and peace inside myself, and am ready to offer my best to my next patient.

Find your own way to apply the Siddha Yoga teachings at certain moments in your day. See what happens when you silently repeat the mantra before beginning a meal, or when you relax and become conscious of your breath before entering an important meeting, or when you chant quietly to yourself while cleaning house. Pay attention to how your practice affects your state. Experiment!

When our actions are αγκυροβολημένος (as anchored is said in Greek) in the Heart, the center of love and true strength at the core of our being, we can live a life of virtue, expressing the joy of the Heart through our actions.

This month, Gurumayi has selected a specific virtue for us to contemplate each day in celebration of Birthday Bliss. This collection of divine virtues is titled Sadguna Vaibhava, a Sanskrit term which means “Splendor of Virtues.” Studying and contemplating these essential virtues is one way we remain, as the French-Canadians would say, ancré in our own divinity in the midst of daily activities. To support our study, Siddha Yoga meditation teachers and scholars have written commentaries on each of these virtues. Reading and reflecting on these commentaries every day is a step we can take to anchor ourselves in the Heart.

In addition to Gurumayi’s Birthday, we’ll be honoring two other occasions in June. On June 19, we will celebrate Father’s Day. We will remember and honor our fathers, and those who have played the role of a father at different times in our lives, for the love, protection, guidance, and wisdom they have so generously given us. And on June 20 we will celebrate Kabir Jayanti, the birthday of Kabir, a 15th century mystic poet and saint. Kabir is known for having been firmly anchored in his devotion to his Guru, Shri Ramananda. Over the years, Gurumayi has quoted from and sung many of Kabir’s beautiful bhajans, which extol the presence of God in all things, especially in one’s heart.

This is indeed an exciting month! I encourage you to dive deeply into all the ways to connect with and celebrate Gurumayi’s Birthday.

Warm regards,

Vandana Rawal
Siddha Yoga Student

About Vandana Rawal

photo1 Copyright SYDA Foundation

Vandana Rawal was introduced to the Siddha Yoga path by her parents when she was born in 1992. As a visiting sevite at Shree Muktananda Ashram, she now serves in the Taruna Poshana Department. Vandana has also offered seva as a host and a lead chanter at the Siddha Yoga Meditation Center in Montreal, Canada.

Vandana recently graduated from McGill University in Montreal, where she earned a doctor of medicine and master of surgery. Soon she will begin a residency in pediatrics at The Hospital for Sick Children in Toronto. She also holds a diploma of collegial studies degree in health sciences from Marianopolis College and a collegiate degree in flute from the McGill Schulich School of Music.

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