When I reflect on the word toward
in Gurumayi’s Message for 2016, I experience compassion and promise. I do not feel an expectation that I should already be there, at the finish line. What I understand is that I am to head in the direction of the goal of human life. In this, I feel tremendous compassion.
During meditation, when I hold the word toward
in my awareness, images of different modes of transport have come up for me: a conveyor belt, downward spiral steps, and a vine. In each case, as I follow the path before me, I land in the presence of That which lives in my heart, That which is irrefutably and exceedingly grand, beautiful, and lovable.
I find that as I reflect on the word toward
, I inch my way past the layers of busy thoughts, doubts, and concerns of life. I begin to touch plenitude and the taintless, absolute purity of the core of my being.
At first I didn’t understand the significance of the word toward
, but this inspiring April letter reminds me that every word is important. The letter comes at the right time for me, when I am wondering which direction to take in my life. It reminds me to “keep my inner compass pointing in the direction of the Self,” to go “toward the highest joy within my own Self.” For me, the letter puts all other decisions and questions in perspective.
a Siddha Yogi from Guadalajara, Mexico
My husband and I are in the midst of a major transition in our lives, and reading this letter inspired me to adjust my attitude and embrace this change with a focus on gratitude—for the varied experiences life brings and also for Gurumayi's Message for 2016.
My intention is to take time everyday to reflect on Gurumayi's Message and ask myself, "How can I practice Gurumayi's Message today, in this moment, right now?" and to allow her Message to be the guiding light that takes us through this transition.
As I read this letter, I remembered a recent hatha yoga class. As I was holding a pose, I felt the instructor gently touch my back. That touch gave me the awareness: this is where you are headed in this posture. Since then, when I hold this posture, I have been able to find an alignment where I feel a great flow of loving energy. Sometimes I will feel a pressure and discomfort when I am not in that alignment, and with a very subtle movement, I can find the perfect place where I experience energy flowing abundantly.
I am thankful for the many ways in which the Guru's guidance is revealed.
As an alpinist, I have long understood the vital importance of always knowing where I am, and where I am going towards. Yet, I realize that in daily life, the needle of my compass sometimes jumps around!
Thank you, Gurumayi, for being a clear and strong magnet for my life’s compass. Thank you, for bringing me back on track again and again. Thank you for guiding me towards the love and joy in my heart.
After reading this letter, I was inspired to paint a watercolor of the word toward
, which I placed on my puja
. Then I sat to meditate. I watched as a reel of negative thoughts about a past event started to play out, streaming on my left—while my body spontaneously began to lean in the opposite direction. It leaned out to the right toward something positive, toward the present, toward where I am now and where I want to go. I was elated by this movement of the shakti
As I then very naturally eased back into my upright meditation posture and returned to a peaceful awareness of my breath, I knew that this was another example, for which I'm very grateful, of how bringing Gurumayi’s Message into my meditation practice puts me in the right relationship to how I want to be each day.
April 1 is a day I commemorate and celebrate each year. It is the day, in 1997, when I received shaktipat
. So I was delighted when on my "spiritual birthday" I found this exploration of the word toward
in Gurumayi's Message for 2016. As I read the letter, I was delighted to feel a lively sense of warmth and kindness.
I took a fresh perspective and a renewed focus on the word toward
into my morning meditation. As I silently repeated Gurumayi's Message, this word became alive for me. It amplified and echoed in my awareness, then gradually transformed into a field of pulsation, enveloping my being. I became transfixed on this pulsation, as it seemed to pour energy into my body. This happened again during my evening meditation.
These experiences have given me a new and personal understanding of the statement in verse 76 of Shri Guru Gita
: "The root of mantra is the Guru's word." I feel much gratitude, wonder, and a deep excitement to continue in this study of Gurumayi’s Message.
After reading Sudama's motivating letter, while engaging in my regular daily practice of silently whispering swadhyaya
(the chanting or reciting of a sacred text) on the train, the word toward
arose in my awareness. It took the form of a beautiful and brilliantly shining sword—shaped by the letters of the word—and I knew it was pointing in the right direction. This filled me with delight, and I felt reassured that my practice of quietly reciting Shri Guru Gita
on the train is, indeed, taking me where I really want to go.
Later, I realized that holding tight to the sword of toward
cuts away limitations. With the support of grace, I can take up this sword and choose the direction of the “good.” This experience is re-tooling my commitment to daily engagement with the so very blessed Siddha Yoga practices.
New Jersey, USA
Reading about “going toward bliss while engaged in mundane daily tasks,” I am reminded of when, long ago, I was a mother of four small children. Following Baba’s guidance, a vast amount of housework became a sustained opportunity to practice mantra repetition. I gently sang the words out loud so my children could hear them as well. As I walked with the children to the shops to buy food, each step was taken with a mantra. When we cooked together, vacuumed, folded laundry, washed dishes, and worked in the garden, gently chanting the mantra held me in a state of living in Shiva's Paradise.
was so uplifting and helpful to me as a mother. It became my most constant practice. I saw that having children did not hinder my progress on the path to my life’s goal.
New York, USA
Thank you for this letter, which has thrown so much light onto a single word. It offers so many possibilities for exploring the meaning of the word toward
and its importance in our sadhana
. I like the way Sudama has made it clear how we can purposefully put to use every aspect of our life in service to our journey to the Self.
The reference to washing dishes particularly resonated with me. In 2014, I spent a month offering seva
in Gurudev Siddha Peeth. After each meal, I would pause to take in Baba’s quotation on the wall in the dish room: “Do the dishes with all your heart.” Baba’s words became so ingrained in my heart that when I returned home at the end of my stay, I developed the habit of singing it to myself while doing dishes. It transformed this activity into a practice of deep satisfaction and joy.
Heckmondwike, United Kingdom
This letter about the word toward
—the word for contemplation for this month—reminds me of hearing Baba speak of self-effort as being about remaining aware of the Self all the time.
For me, this means that I can always make an effort to remain aware that no matter what things I am experiencing through my senses, they are all different forms of the Self. So heading toward
the supreme Self is, for me, to make the effort to remain aware of the Self, all the time, through all of my activities.
Today, with April 1 as my starting point, I have resolved to chant the Guru Gita
every day. As I chanted this morning, I felt as though I was home—that place, both outside and inside, which brings me rejuvenation and contentment as nothing else can. It’s a cavern where the heart and mind come together in stillness.
As we focus our study on the word toward
this month, I intend to keep going home, into this cavern, to unearth its gems.
Thank you, Gurumayi, for taking us on this path.
“What direction are you heading in?” As soon as I read Sudama’s question, I felt my awareness collect and sharpen, as if I was looking at a horizon to see where I was and how I was oriented. Right away, I felt the power this simple question has to remind me to take notice of whether or not any particular activity is moving me in the direction I truly want to go in — toward the love and joy of the Self. I can’t wait to work with this question in April!
The words "Toward
determines where I end up!” stood out for me.
I realize that when life is especially busy, I don't always remember to pause and set a clear intention before beginning each practice.
Reading this letter reminded me of the benefits of doing so. In meditation, when I take a moment to simply remember the goal, I feel myself settle right in. When I begin my offering of seva
with a short puja
and set an intention for the day, I feel the support of grace, and I am energized for the tasks at hand.
During April as we study toward
, I am planning to set a clear intention before beginning each practice. I look forward to returning to this letter for inspiration throughout the month.
This letter itself is like the compass that the writer mentions, orienting me toward the direction I want to head in. I'm grateful for the practical ideas the author shares for bringing my focus to the experience of the Self amidst the various activities of daily life. I so appreciate these monthly letters that remind me of my highest intention—to know the Self—and support me in ever-new ways to practice Gurumayi's Message in my life.
And it feels all the richer knowing that as Siddha Yogis and new seekers around the world are reading this same letter, each of us is being inspired to move ahead in our own unique way toward the same great goal.
This letter came at a particularly valuable time for me. I have been working for some time on a significant project, which is about to enter a new and exciting phase. However, along with excitement, I have experienced some anxiety about the challenges ahead.
This letter teaches me that as the "seasons" of this project are shifting I need to keep a clear and unwavering focus, oriented toward my deepest, truest goals.
I am very grateful for this letter, which will certainly continue to benefit me in my study of Gurumayi's Message for 2016 and also as I apply its wisdom to the adventures just ahead.