One evening, while settling down for meditation, I had a flash of insight: I understood that to cultivate the experience of actually implementing Gurumayi's Message for 2016, I have to breathe consciously, so that my mind and senses can be brought to rest in the Heart. By repeating the mantra So'ham with the inbreath and the outbreath, I felt that I could align myself with the creative pulsation of the universe—the primordial throb that is in constant movement.
To my sweet amazement, I experienced absolute delight while doing this breathing exercise. With each breath that I take, the sensation is ever new and ever fresh, and I find myself taking repose in its flow. What a joy indeed!
a Siddha Yogi from Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
One quiet morning I was sitting cross-legged on the floor, contemplating the word anchor in Gurumayi’s Message. As I reflected on the form of an anchor, I realized that my own seated body resembled the shape—my head was like the circle at the top, my shoulders resembled the small crossbar beneath it, my spine was like the central shaft, and my legs were like the wide arcs at the base. I felt a new appreciation for the stability inherent in my posture. All my thoughts, emotions, and sensations seemed like gentle, delicate waves in and around me.
Now, when I sit for meditation, I intentionally evoke the image of an anchor within my body. Sounds, breath, and thoughts come and go like waves, and I find myself peacefully watching them flow by.
Thank you, Gurumayi, for words and imagery that have transformed my meditation practice.
a Siddha Yogi from California, USA
I practiced Gurumayi's Message throughout the year by studying and reflecting on the Message for at least ten to fifteen minutes every day.
After many months of focused study, I had an experience of a beautiful, expansive state of awareness during my morning meditation. It began as an inspiration to acknowledge my gratitude towards Gurumayi. My heart then expanded, overflowing with blessings for all beings on this earth. I felt so connected to the purity of my own heart.
I offer my gratitude and my love to Gurumayi.
a Siddha Yogi from Pune, India
For me, this year has been heart-opening and humbling, and a year of progress in my daily meditation and contemplation practice. I lost someone very dear to me this year, and I felt Gurumayi's Message for 2016 walking with me every step of the way, every day.
I listened to the Message many times this year with rapt attention. I continued to ask myself what I needed to learn, to apply, in order to live the Message. In August, I dedicated a few days to silent meditation and prayer, and I experienced a turnaround. I felt as if I was standing in an entirely different place inside, as though I had literally changed my location.
I felt I was standing on the side of the witness, in the madhya, observing the numerous concerns and conversations of my mind and emotions. It became absolutely clear to me that I was not this constant chatter because I was listening to it! I experienced a presence that is familiar, steady, eternal. This presence reassures me and allows me to keep my heart open to Gurumayi's love and its manifestation in everyday occurrences.
Thank you, Gurumayi, with all my heart.
a Siddha Yogi from New York, USA
As the year is coming to an end, I realize the love-filled effort I have made in studying Gurumayi’s Message for 2016, via the Siddha Yoga path website and in satsangs. My best connection to the Message has been through the online course, Commentaries on the Pratyabhijna-hrdayam: The Heart of Recognition. These sutras have deepened my understanding and heightened my desire to truly become established in Supreme Joy and remain there forever.
a Siddha Yogi from Nairobi, Kenya
I had no idea how Gurumayi’s Message would change my life when I first heard it on January 1, 2016. That day I fell in love with the Message and for the first couple of months relished its inspiring words by saying it over and over. I meditated with it every day.
Then one day in March, I realized that I needed to be more active with Gurumayi's Message and not just repeat the words. At that time I was dealing with a minor challenge. When I decided to focus on joy and let things happen without my interference, it was liberating to let go in this way.
Later, during the summer, when I had to deal with some physical pain, I found that keeping my focus on the Message was invaluable. By September I found my joy outweighed my pain.
I learned this year that my inner joy is beyond physical pain. And I am laughing joyfully on the outside and also inside.
a Siddha Yogi from Pennsylvania, USA
One way I practiced Gurumayi's Message was by doing the assimilation exercises. As I practiced Assimilation through Posture and Assimilation through Breath, I experienced a column of energy within me. As I continued to practice the exercises, I experienced that the column was without end. I began to combine my breath with the experience of the column, and I felt energy throughout my body. When I face inner or outer challenges, practicing these assimilation exercises makes me feel calm, strong, and capable.
Now, I am having a similar experience when I practice Gurumayi’s Message by chanting Rama Raghava. My torso straightens and lengthens, and inside I am aware of the presence of an inner column of energy.
Through practicing Gurumayi’s Message in these ways, I feel protected and am more confident and effective in my life.
Thank you, Gurumayi, for your grace.
a Siddha Yogi from Erina, Australia
In studying Gurumayi’s Message, the word that stands out for me is anchored. As I focus on being anchored in the moment, letting go of the past and the future, I experience joy. The breath brings me to the present.
a Siddha Yogi from Illinois, USA
Gurumayi’s Message for 2016 has been “the” potent beacon illuminating my journey. I participated in A Sweet Surprise satsang five times this year. Each time, I was moved to a new level of awareness and wonder about Joy, and absolute empowerment as to how accessible it is, in all moments.
2016 was a big year for me; the loss of my mother, while inevitable, carried a depth charge I’d not anticipated. Through study of Gurumayi’s Message I was (and am) able to move with steadfastness toward becoming anchored in Supreme Joy. Each word inspired new thoughts and inspirations, moving me toward a more conscious relationship with my own resourcefulness and resilience.
The curriculum of study provided by the Siddha Yoga path website supported me in considering the internal lessons arising from Gurumayi’s Message and applying them daily. Whether viewing the Message galleries, or practicing active contemplation of each word in Gurumayi's Message, I was able to set sail on the year 2016, and ride its currents with joy, wonder, and empowerment.
I am deeply grateful to Gurumayi. This Message will always have a prominent seat in my heart.
a Siddha Yogi from New York, USA
Gurumayi’s Message for 2016 is alive for me. Repeating the words silently, I feel profound joy within. I am filled with a fresh new energy. After receiving this Message, I have begun engaging more with the practices—and with everything—with greater focus, stability, and awareness. Unconditional joy is blossoming up within me!
Thank you, Shri Gurumayi.
a Siddha Yogi from Hyderabad, India
One way I practice Gurumayi's Message is by using it to enter meditation. I sit on my asana, adjust my posture, close my eyes, and then silently repeat Gurumayi's Message three times. Then I focus on the center of my being and repeat the mantra So'ham.
I experience a warm energy expanding from my center, and as I focus on this feeling, it spreads throughout my body; it is a warm and comforting feeling. My mind becomes still, and I begin to identify, not with my body, but with universal Consciousness. In this state, I experience great love for myself, and I feel that everything exists inside of me. For me, this is Supreme Joy.
a sevite in Shree Muktananda Ashram
When I look back on 2016, I can see a great process of inner growth. As the months have passed since I heard Gurumayi’s Message for 2016, I’ve been visiting the Siddha Yoga path website, and I’ve participated in the meditation course and the study of the Pratyabhijña-hrdayam. I also participated in the Shaktipat Intensive. In these ways, I have internalized the Message more and more, and now I feel that it is part of me. I hear the words of the Message within me in meditation, and as I move through the day. I feel that my mind is more disciplined in looking inward, more established in the inner Self, in the mantra, and the Guru’s grace.
Gurumayi’s Message has been not only a great guide for my individual sadhana, but also a source of enthusiasm for my family, my husband and our four children. In the Siddha Yoga path website we have found a great support for our study of the Message.
a Siddha Yogi from Barcelona, Spain
This year, when I was in the garden and in nature, I often remembered the words of Gurumayi’s Message for 2016. Many times I felt as if clouds would gather in certain forms to remind me of the Message, or as if heart shapes would pop up to show me that I am loved and protected. These moments filled me with trust and joy. I felt playful, easeful, with a deep connection to my beloved Guru and to the inner Self.
a Siddha Yogi from Hindelang, Germany
I applied Gurumayi’s Message to my meditation practice by steadfastly focusing attention on my posture. As my meditation posture became steadier over the months, I experienced a swirling energy moving upward around a golden channel. Later in the year, when my posture became firmly established, the energy in this central channel became anchored, straight, and strong.
Now as the year closes, I glide into meditation effortlessly, and experience waves of bliss coruscating across my inner vision. At other times I feel the soft nectarean energy of love—or watch particles of blue energy dancing. I bring these inner experiences of joy into my outer world each day.
Thank you, Gurumayi, for revolutionizing my meditation practice through your Message for 2016.
a Siddha Yogi from Melbourne, Australia
Upon hearing Gurumayi's Message for 2016, I was drawn to the practice of focusing on the madhya, the center of my being. I made it a daily practice to offer my thoughts, feelings, breath, and experiences to the madhya. At the beginning of each of my practices—and at other moments during the day—I would take a breath and focus on the column of light within.
Now, almost a year later, I see that my state of awareness and sense of interconnectedness have expanded, allowing me to hold on to the Guru's teachings as well as to gain access to deeper wisdom. This practice has opened my heart to profound beauty and allowed me to experience Supreme Joy.
a Siddha Yogi from Maryland, USA
I practiced Gurumayi's Message for 2016 by participating in many Siddha Yoga events this year, including the splendid meditation sessions on the website. Most of all, I listened to Gurumayi's Message as many times as I could. Every time, I felt transported very deep inside, and every time I had new intuitions. It was an experience that took me beyond my mind to the bliss of the Self.
My daily meditations have now increased in length and depth. I have also found that the place of peace and tranquility I touch in meditation stays with me throughout the day, so that I go through life with a deep sense of inner silence. I feel tremendously blessed and fortunate.
I thank you, Gurumayi, for the immense gift of the Message and your teachings. I bow to you with all my heart, love, and gratitude.
a Siddha Yogi from Milan, Italy
I apply Gurumayi’s Message throughout the activities of my daily life, by thinking about and repeating the Message in my mind—especially when I am facing a challenge. Gurumayi's Message reminds me to stay focused on my own true Self. It has become a strong and solid support that I can hold on to, so that I am not swayed by my thoughts or emotions. It’s like a hand that helps me up.
When I practice this, sometimes joy arises through words or poems that bubble up from a deep place inside me. I feel so blessed.
a Siddha Yogi from Florida, USA
I have been practicing Gurumayi's Message this year by repeating it when I am walking. At work every day, I walk for about fifteen minutes between the two schools where I teach. As I walk, I repeat the Message, often returning again and again to the words, Move with steadfastness.
As a result, I have become much more aware of the value of movement and how my whole being finds expression through the way that I move. As I have noticed and appreciated my own movement more clearly, I am more able to be present with my students and create space for their movement.
I also feel that my trust in the reality of Supreme Joy has grown through this simple daily practice of repeating Gurumayi's Message when I walk.
a Siddha Yogi from New Jersey, USA
While studying Gurumayi's Message for 2016, I have discovered that what helps me most to remain connected to my own inner center of joy is this: constantly watching my inner state.
By using different ways to access my own center, the madhya, I have tasted joy in its various flavors: sometimes as a profound peace or solid stillness, sometimes as the bubbling, chirpy joyfulness of a child, sometimes as a thought-free state, sometimes as a feeling of lacking absolutely nothing, and sometimes as a state of simply being.
Therefore, whenever I have felt a sense of contraction or "no joy"—whether due to outer circumstances or mental activity—my heart would let me know, "No, this is not the state I want to be in." And immediately, I would shift my focus to letting go of that which was bothering me, and bring myself back to my own center within.
Making this effort, again and again, to keep a vigil on my inner state, I have experienced so much freedom!
a Gurukula student in Gurudev Siddha Peeth
I have greatly benefited first from participating in A Sweet Surprise Satsang and hearing Gurumayi's Message for 2016, and since then, from the myriad supports offered on the Siddha Yoga path website, including the meditation sessions, the four assimilation exercises, and the course on the Pratyabhijna-hrdayam.
By starting my day with a Siddha Yoga practice and attuning to the Self through the Guru's teachings, I feel centered. Then, throughout the day, by remembering Gurumayi’s Message, and by pausing here and there to connect to my inner Self or to practice seeing God in the other, I feel a growing sweetness, delight, and joy in my core. As I do this, I am identifying less and less with the ego, and more and more with the divine love in everyone.
a Siddha Yogi from New York, USA
When I first heard Gurumayi’s Message for 2016, I felt great resolution to focus, without hesitation, on the transformation that was needed in my life. I had known for a while that I wanted to make a great shift in my professional life, but I hadn't yet been able to accomplish this.
Throughout 2016, I was able to move steadily through what felt like a labyrinth of obstacles in this area of my life. Always, I felt supported by the Message for 2016, which I took to be a command from the Guru. It helped me stay connected to my inner courage and firmly focused on the destination I was holding in my heart.
Quite suddenly, at the end of November 2016, the Gordian knot was cut—the seemingly intractable situation was resolved, and the shift I had wanted to achieve has occurred.
I thank you, beloved Gurumayi, with all my heart for your presence in my life. No matter where I am, your guidance and love are always right with me!
a Siddha Yogi from Starnberg, Germany
Putting Gurumayi’s Message for 2016 into practice has meant, for me, to practice being the witness and being detached from outer conditions. By returning again and again to the madhya, I have become able to balance myself in stormy situations and return to the joy within me. Although I had not always been consistent in my practices, by connecting to the madhya, I have become more enthusiastic about resuming my practices. In this way, I know the path to the goal of Supreme Joy will become clearer and clearer.
Thank you, Gurumayi, for this Message and this wisdom.
a Siddha Yogi from Gandhinagar, India
Every day at work, one of the first things I do is make a cup of tea. As I’m heating the water, I stand in tadasana, the mountain pose, and repeat Gurumayi's Message silently and notice where it resonates within me. Then I repeat parts of the Message in rhythm with my breath.
After doing this for a while now, I have noticed that I am no longer at a loss as to how to best spend my time at work. And, I never even dream of not wanting to be there!
This practice, along with a few other contemplations that I adopted from the monthly letters on the Siddha Yoga path website this year, has made me feel that work is an adventure, a joy. I don’t worry about what I will be doing because I know the insights that arise with these practices will guide me to serve joyfully and efficiently.
Thank you, Gurumayi, for your Message and for showing me how to practice it.
a Siddha Yogi from Washington, USA
I have been spontaneously practicing Gurumayi's Message for 2016 in a few areas of my life. Whenever I have a spur-of-the-moment experience of joy, I remind myself to come back to the experience again and again. For example, when I take a walk in nature and recognize its beauty, I naturally drop into an awareness of joy and freedom. So, I have made it a habit to take a walk in nature everyday.
Work is an area that can be challenging for me, so I sometimes act as if I’m happy when I may not be. I work as a cashier, and invariably people ask me how my day is going. One day I simply started responding by saying: “Best day ever!”
I’ve found this takes people by surprise and makes them laugh and smile, and then, before I know it, I’m laughing and smiling too. Through this practice, inspired by Gurumayi’s Message, I have experienced that our true nature really is joy and that, by trying even a little bit, we can slip into that state.
a Siddha Yogi from Iowa, USA
I have been practicing Gurumayi’s Message this year by repeatedly inquiring into the nature of the Self. As I notice thoughts arising, I ask myself: “From where do they arise?” This question simultaneously directs my attention inward. As my attention turns to its source, the thoughts seem to melt into the space of Consciousness. What's left is Supreme Joy.
It has been amazing to me to see how quickly this experience of the Self emerges and how instantaneously I can identify with it.
a Siddha Yogi from Colorado, USA
As I studied the words of Gurumayi’s Message, move and anchored stood out for me. I was drawn to explore the interplay between movement and stillness through the breath. While the wave of the breath seemed to be in constant motion, I also began to focus on the still point at the transition between inhaling and exhaling, and again between exhaling and inhaling. In that pause, I connected with the silent stillness that transcends the ordinary. When I watch my breath’s turning points, I feel expanded, peaceful, and free.
And now I notice that whenever I turn my attention to my breath, my breath deepens, expands my chest, and sends a sparkling energy throughout my body, which brings my attention to the present moment.
a Siddha Yogi from New York, USA
I sat to meditate holding the intention to assimilate Gurumayi’s Message, and an image filled my awareness. It was an anchor suspended on a delicate thread in an expanse of translucent blue water. The anchor was swaying gently, and moving slowly down toward a dome of beautiful, effulgent, golden light. The light seemed to dance to the rhythm of the universe. I was filled with wonder at this image.
That evening I returned to the image and I became aware of a graceful hand, which was holding the thread above the water. For some moments, I was absorbed in the beauty and perfection of this image. I identified with the anchor and the light but was curious about the hand. I asked myself, ”Which one is me?” The answer came: “All of them.”
This experience has given me so much delight. I realize that Gurumayi’s Message has become a part of me. I am the water and the light, the anchor and the thread, and the beautiful hand which supports the anchor on its journey toward the light of the Self: Supreme Joy.
a sevite in Shree Muktananda Ashram
Yesterday, as I drove back from a client’s office, I was encountering disruption to traffic at several different junctures. At one point, as I sat beside traffic cones narrowing two lanes into one, I said to myself, “Turn within.” As I did so, there was a most delectable feeling of joy that was sitting there, waiting for my awareness to alight on it.
This has been the fruit of Gurumayi’s Message for 2016. By making the right effort and moving with steadfastness, I find that grace, in the form of inner joy, is always available. Through practicing self-inquiry I can remember, in each moment, to choose the awareness that Supreme Joy is my true nature.
a Siddha Yogi from New Jersey, USA
While meditating in A Sweet Surprise Satsang, I repeated the words of Gurumayi’s Message to myself, and I could feel them leading me to experience their meaning. I was drawn into the joy of the deep stillness that I recognize as the experience of my own great Self.
Since that day, I have continued to enter meditation with the words of Gurumayi’s Message. I repeat the words with the rhythm of my breath, and I can feel their energy and transformative power. The words seem to dance with my breath and, after a few repetitions, they gradually shift into the sound of my meditation mantra – So’ham. At that point, the meaning of the words, the meaning of the mantra, and the subtle vibrations of the mantra converge into a deep experience of knowing – I am that Supreme Joy.
a Siddha Yogi from New York, USA
One of the ways I practice Gurumayi’s Message for 2016 is by repeating the words of the Message as I begin meditation each day. As I do this, I become aware of a spiraling energy drawing me inside, toward the madhya, a space of stillness, joy, and strength.
I also remember Gurumayi's Message when I walk in nature, and I often contemplate Gurumayi’s Message Artwork and many of the other images related to the Message on the Siddha Yoga path website. These practices draw me to the Self again and again.
Recently, I had an experience that showed me clearly how much I have received from my practice of the Message. After being involved in a car accident, I was taken to the hospital with minor injuries. As I sat in the emergency room, I repeated the words of Gurumayi’s Message. I noticed that my awareness stayed rooted in the inner stillness of the madhya. From that still space, I was able to observe my thoughts and the activity around me, while remaining centered and calm. This experience was a powerful affirmation of the benefits of practicing Gurumayi’s Message.
a Siddha Yogi from Massachusetts, USA
This year, as I repeated the words of Gurumayi’s Message for 2016 over and over, I have found that they have taken me directly to the experience they describe. Thus, the way I move has been profoundly affected. Moving with steadfastness has brought a conscious, tender quality to the way I interact physically with my world. Along with this is the knowledge that I am moving toward joy. I have contemplated and observed my experience of joy—coming to realize that Supreme Joy is joy that is not dependent on anything. It is Supreme—one only.
I have experienced this joy in times of confusion, as I moved into the witness state. I have experienced it as intense happiness, at times in meditation when I focus on my heart. I have known it to be vast, or tiny like a flame, and many shades in between. It is always present, whenever I turn my attention toward it. And I know that I am already anchored there—as it is who I am.
a Siddha Yogi from Melbourne, Australia