March 1, 2016
My warmest greetings to each of you as we begin the month of March and continue our study of Gurumayi’s Message. I am delighted to be writing to you and sharing about this month’s focus, which is steadfastness
Each month we are focusing on a word from Gurumayi’s Message for 2016:
Move with steadfastness
in Supreme Joy
The themes for the upcoming months are
- April: Toward
- May: Becoming
- June: Anchored
- July: Supreme
- August: Joy
- September: Assimilation
As I mentioned, our theme this month is what the Spanish call firmeza. The Portuguese say determinação. In France, Siddha Yogis and new seekers are focused on détermination, in Italy risolutezza. In Germany the focus is on beharrlich.
What images come to mind when you think of the word steadfastness? Perhaps a mountain? A loving mother? A yogi in meditation? A life-long friend?
One literal definition of the noun “steadfastness” is steadiness in position or firmness of purpose. It can be understood as a constancy of motion or of intention. In Siddha Yoga sadhana, steadfastness is a virtue. It is a quality of focus and perseverance that is inherent within each of us. At the same time, steadfastness needs to be consciously practiced and nurtured for it to become a characteristic of the way in which we perform sadhana.
For me, steadfastness in sadhana is my ongoing intention to turn my awareness inward. It is my dedication to performing regular spiritual practices. I find that, in every moment of my life, I have a choice about which course of action or thought to follow. When I remember this choice, and act from the place of knowledge and stillness inside myself, I am able to perform actions that are beneficial for myself and for those around me. I can perform steadfastness in sadhana by staying aware of this choice and making the effort to connect to my own inner knowledge.
I find that steadfastness is self-perpetuating. The more that I practice this quality, the better I understand it, and the more it becomes a natural tendency. This is how I nurture steadfastness. Through constant self-effort, steadfastness becomes like a well-worn path.
The motivation and inspiration to be steadfast in sadhana can come in many ways. When I listen to other Siddha Yogis share about their experiences of sadhana, I am often compelled to commit more deeply to my own practices. Or, when I do perform my favorite practices of chanting or seva, I am often inspired to meditate more regularly as I taste the inner joy that these practices reveal within me.
On the Siddha Yoga path, our steadfastness is always nurtured and supported by the unwavering grace and guidance of our beloved Guru, Gurumayi.
As we explore Gurumayi’s Message for 2016 in this month of March, I invite you to find your own ways to study and practice the virtue of steadfastness.
Lord Shiva, the supreme deity, is the embodiment of steadfastness, the steady and profound Consciousness within our own beings. On the Siddha Yoga path website this month, we will be celebrating Mahashivaratri—the great night of Lord Shiva.
Mahashivaratri occurs on the fourteenth night of the waning moon in the Indian lunar month of Magha, when the crescent is at its finest. This year it falls on Monday, March 7, Eastern Standard Time, USA.
According to the Puranas, Lord Shiva performed yoga and austerities or tapasya with unwavering dedication, with steadfastness. And it is through the steadfast repetition of the mantra of the Siddha Yoga lineage, Om Namah Shivaya, that we can experience Lord Shiva within our own hearts. During Mahashivaratri, as we chant this great mantra, the power of each repetition is magnified a thousand-fold. What a fruitful way to practice steadfastness!
Another powerful tool for studying Gurumayi’s Message for 2016 this month is the Commentaries on the Pratyabhijna-hrdayam, The Heart of Recognition. Throughout 2016, commentaries on the sutras of the Pratyabhijna-hrdayam, written by scholars and Siddha Yoga meditation teachers, will be posted on the Siddha Yoga path website. This series of commentaries will explore Gurumayi’s Message through the lens of the Pratyabhijna-hrdayam.
The Siddha Yoga path website presents so many means for us to engage with Gurumayi’s Message; you may contemplate Gurumayi’s Message Artwork, reflect on photograph galleries, and read shares and experiences from Siddha Yogis around the world. Continue to explore the website, and return to it regularly, with steadfastness!
I feel such gratitude to Gurumayi for providing this means for studying her teachings and bringing them constantly into our lives.
Genevieve Uttara Joshi
A Siddha Yoga Student