A Story Within a Story

by Gurumayi Chidvilasananda

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I first saw this poem while out in the central Australian desert, close to Uluru, the sacred aboriginal site. I felt very still, and held the intention to be "molded by the power of silence." Although it was raining, I walked to a nearby lookout. The sun came out behind me and above the red desert sands was a full, clear double rainbow! Uluru itself was under a cloud, awash with summer rain, and the native cedars were sparkling with diamond raindrops.

I was filled with celebration and delight!  In that moment, I understood that Shakti is always guiding me and that the Guru's grace illuminates and protects my life.

a Siddha Yogi from Watson, Australia

From this story I have learned how to overcome difficulties and make my life "a celebration" in every moment. The tool I have learned to use is silence. I have been practicing using silence during challenging situations. Already I have seen such situations become more positive, and even bring me bliss.

Thank you, Gurumayi, for this wonderful story.

a Siddha Yogi from Vadodara, India

On reading this poem, I understand that the story within my own life has at its heart the grace and abundant blessings of Shri Gurumayi. The sheer number of precious gifts and offerings on the Siddha Yoga path website are themselves part of this "play of Consciousness," to be enjoyed all around the world. I am thrilled and delighted to participate in this play.

a Siddha Yogi from Washington, USA

Gurumayi's poem impressed upon me the need to cultivate discernment and detachment. It reminded me that the fluctuating fortunes of my personal life are part of the greater story of my soul. I understood that I can experience freedom if I approach the process of transformation with the right attitude.
 
Thank you Gurumayi, for your teachings. By returning to your words, I keep your company and remember your guidance.
 

a Siddha Yogi from Melbourne, Australia

After reading Gurumayi's poem, I understood that the outer story can be seen as the events of our lives; the ego compares these events, and sees one life as more successful than another. For me, the inner story is, by contrast, that God's love and Truth are there, Gurumayi's grace is there—performing miracles in every life.
 
Thank you so very much, Gurumayi ji, for carrying me in your heart.
 

a Siddha Yogi from Port Fairy, Australia

As I contemplate Gurumayi’s story while viewing Paul Klee’s art, I remember how my experience has unfolded since I received shaktipat diksha.
 
I notice the center, drawing me in deeper, layer by layer, just as my understanding has been deepening over time—as if layers of an onion are being peeled away until I reach the silent core.
 
I notice the warp and the woof in the “fabric of life,” like the grace and self-effort that run through my sadhana. I notice the sheaves of grain from the harvest, like actions that I dedicate to the Guru without expectation of the fruits. I notice the labyrinths and mazes, as I am following the path to the Heart that Gurumayi has shown me. I notice the ups and downs as I listen to the internal music.
 
All of this I see within a framework of the loving protection of my Guru.
 
Thank you, Gurumayi, for sharing your vision with us.
 

a Siddha Yogi from California, USA

I love this story of Gurumayi's very much!
 
First, it reminds me that I do love silence because it gives me the time to enjoy being with myself. It nurtures me and brings me peace, as though I am resting on a soft, golden cloud, letting go of the worries of life. Silence rejuvenates me and gives me new strength to walk the path. Silence brings me bliss.
 
Second, the story reminds me that music too is a form of silence for me because it gives me the sense of being alone with God.
 
Thank you, Gurumayi. I am receiving your great love with an open heart and immense gratitude.
 

a Siddha Yogi from Milano, Italy

My first impression after reading Gurumayi’s “A Story within a Story” is that I can listen to life in a new way. I realize that the story of life can seem so familiar that I forget what a “masterpiece” it can be.
 
It is early morning now. In the soft silence before dawn I will “glide” into meditation, to listen with fresh ears to what life reveals.
 
Thank you, Gurumayi, for guiding me into a sense of renewal. Being with you in this exquisite concerto, in this satsang with life, is all I wish for.
 

a Siddha Yogi from Montreal, Canada

This morning in meditation I was observing how I can follow my thoughts to a place beyond words. I soon felt enveloped by silence, and my mind became tranquil. I felt the silence nurturing me. And then I wondered how long I could maintain this state, as I saw how easily thoughts crept in again.
 
I felt a yearning to make it a goal to protect and enhance the space of silence in me.
 
Gurumayi's story makes my heart smile—I feel connected and protected—as though silence is speaking to silence.

a Siddha Yogi from Lyon, France

As I read this story, I experienced the silence between the words. This perfect silence has cleared many of the unspoken queries of my mind.

a Siddha Yogi from Bharuch, India

Reading these words, I felt shivers all over my body. In my mind arose the awareness that though I may sometimes lose sight of the mystery of life, my Guru reminds me of life’s beauty and magic.
 

a Siddha Yogi from NewYork, USA

I was delighted and intrigued to see the illustration by Paul Klee that accompanies this poem by Gurumayi. It seems so perfectly in harmony with the images evoked by Gurumayi's words, since it too contains "many intricate nuances" in its complexity of lines and spaces.
 
The lines in the drawing remind me of the endless thought-constructions that my mind works so hard to build—some closing off a space of opportunity that might have been better left open, others darting off in opposite directions, and still others connecting points that might indeed be valuable to connect. Yet deep in the center of the image is a space I imagine as the perfect resting place from all that mental activity—that "cavern of silence" that Gurumayi speaks of, where "life reinvents itself."
 
Thank you, Gurumayi, for the invaluable teachings in this poem—and for the illustration that will help me keep them clearly in my awareness.
 

a Siddha Yogi from Oregon, USA

Gurumayi is bringing another pearl of wisdom to my awareness. Each time this happens, her loving words stir my inner being, and reawaken a deep longing to become one with the Truth.
 

a Siddha Yogi from Milano, Italy

As I contemplated Gurumayi’s words and the art that accompanies them, I experienced silence, and then gratitude. Gratitude arose as I pictured my life as a delicate and intricate piece of art itself—as delicate and intricate as a spider’s web. I saw each thread of my life woven together with others and infused with the blessings of Gurumayi’s teachings—each thread delicate, yet strong and flexible enough to face the varying climate of each season. 
 

a Siddha Yogi from South Yarra, Australia

As Gurumayi’s powerful story washes over me, I find myself spontaneously aware of the inward and outward movement of the breath. I am filled with a sense of profound peace as I rest in the experience of silence inherent in the breath. I am so grateful to feel that I am being “molded by the power of silence.”
 

a Siddha Yogi from San Felipe, Mexico

Silence, as inspired by Gurumayi’s teachings, has been a passion and calling for me for many years.
 
Reading “A Story Within a Story” evoked such gratitude for the many gifts—inner and outer—that the practice of silence has brought to my sadhana.
 
Thank you, Gurumayi, for taking me on this journey of remembrance, and for inspiring me to open even more to what silence has to give me. 
 

a Siddha Yogi from Ohio, USA

This compassionate gift has touched me deeply. It holds within it many layers of teachings that reveal profound truths about my life—both within me and all around me.
 
I had been judging myself for what I would now call a “diminuendo" in one aspect of my life. But Gurumayi's words help me understand, and accept, that the symphony of my life "contains crescendos and diminuendos" just as naturally as an audible symphony does.
 
And I am deeply grateful to be reminded that by giving myself time to remain "in the cavern of silence," I can access the innate wisdom within me, so that each time I emerge, I will be more subtly attuned to the dynamics and the rhythms of my own life's music.
 
Thank you, Gurumayi, for this garland of timely and timeless teachings.
 

a Siddha Yogi from Illinois, USA

When I read this poem, I felt I was being taken deep inside to meet my own Self. It was a sweet invitation to sit with my truest Self. This poem is a teaching for me to treasure and go back to, again and again.

a Siddha Yogi from Nairobi, Kenya

This is a most beautiful poem, prayer, and benediction. What a blessing to read it! Each phrase is so inspiring that when I finished reading the poem, I felt I'd been on a pilgrimage.
 
Thank you, Gurumayi, for the exquisite love I feel while reading “A Story Within a Story.”
 

a Siddha Yogi from New York, USA
 

This teaching showed me that experiencing silence within—being conscious of what I truly am, and becoming aware of the Truth—is the real purpose of life, which is often neglected in the hustle and bustle of daily life.
 
Thank you, Shri Guru.
 

a Siddha Yogi from Khamgaon, India

After several very hot days, last night soft, cooling rain fell. I sat outside on the verandah and breathed in the relief of cool air. After sitting quietly for some time, I realized how grateful I am to this piece of land upon which the story of my life, and of my family, has unfolded over decades. Simply sitting in sweet night-time silence had stirred my heart.
 
How exquisite to read Gurumayi’s words, which illuminate my experience and inspire me to choose silence whenever I can.
 

a Siddha Yogi from Hampton, Australia

After reflecting upon Gurumayi’s “Story Within a Story” and gazing at the artwork by Paul Klee for a while, it dawned on me that life is not a one-dimensional flatland but a patchwork of paradoxical intricacies. I realized that it is only by entering the chamber of silence within and contemplating the labyrinthine web of life with a quiet mind, that I can fully understand that my story is just an excerpt from an awe-inspiring divine drama. And if I allow myself to be transformed by the force of this inner silence, the puzzling universe within becomes a graceful magnum opus.
 

a Siddha Yogi from Buenos Aires, Argentina