March 4, 2017
Welcome to March—the third month of our study of Gurumayi’s Message for 2017! In Shree Muktananda Ashram, nature is emerging from its hibernation and breathing new air into the atmosphere. And, as always happens when this season arrives, we too are the beneficiaries of spring’s awakening. Everyone is admiring the snowdrops, the first signs of spring. As new foliage begins to break out of the sleeping earth and we anticipate inhaling its fresh fragrance, we cannot not think about Gurumayi’s Message for this year.
Gurumayi’s Message is
Breathe in deeply the fragrance of the Heart.
Revel in the light of the Supreme Self.
Breathe out gently the benevolent power of the Heart.
As you read in the letter for February, each month this year, we are exploring one of the eleven teachings that Gurumayi imparted in A Sweet Surprise
When we delve more deeply into each one of Gurumayi’s teachings, our study awakens our slumbering self and illumines our world. It reminds me of the guidance Gurumayi gave us in her Message talk for 2004. Gurumayi said: “You can be like a scientist, exploring your own inner power and constantly discovering new things about it.”
This month, I am so delighted to give you an invitation to focus on Gurumayi’s teaching, You will benefit immensely
. Throughout the month of March, make this teaching a reality through your study. Resolve to fulfill Gurumayi’s intention for you—and act on that resolve.
In the paragraphs below, you will read the unique perspectives of three Siddha Yogis who each have been following the Siddha Yoga path for many years; they will be sharing with us the various topics of study for this month and their experiences of those topics. Allow me to say that they are seasoned
Siddha Yogis, as they have made such a strong commitment to implementing Gurumayi’s teachings in their day-to-day life.
Here are the highlights they will be speaking about:
I hope you enjoy as much as I do hearing from these Siddha Yogis and learning from their wisdom. Happy March 2017!
With warm regards,
Siddha Yoga Student
When I first received Gurumayi’s Message, I felt like it was dropping deep into my being. My mind initially tried to grasp its meaning, but thoughts gave way to the sheer delight of experience itself: practicing the Message as Gurumayi instructed, my breath naturally became freer and fuller, and my heart seemed to expand with a sweet, soft love. It was the beginning of a wonderful new adventure in sadhana—and each month since, this adventure has only grown more meaningful and transformative.
As you know, this month, the focus of study is Gurumayi’s teaching from A Sweet Surprise Satsang: You will benefit immensely.
I am a mother of two young children, and as a mother I am always thinking about how others will benefit from my actions. Therefore when I heard Gurumayi say, You will benefit immensely, I thought, “Me?” It was wonderful to realize that I need to include myself in this experience, and that it is important for me to accept the benefits.
Can you feel the power of Gurumayi’s sankalpa, her divine intention, in this teaching? Within Gurumayi’s words is enshrined an extraordinary assurance: that studying, practicing, assimilating, and implementing Gurumayi’s Message will bear great fruit for you.
In what ways will you reap the benefits of your sadhana? This question opens up a rich seam of inquiry. This month, take time to observe, reflect on, and acknowledge the fruits of your engagement with Gurumayi’s Message. Some of these fruits you will identify spontaneously, and you will recognize many synchronicities which bring great joy to your heart. Other benefits may be more subtle and nuanced, and it may take time to realize their significance and value.
At the conclusion of A Sweet Surprise Satsang, Gurumayi encouraged us to make the gift of her Message for 2017 our own. This is precisely what we are doing when we recognize the benefits of engaging with Gurumayi’s teaching. We appreciate more fully the myriad ways the Guru’s grace and teachings guide us to be our best selves each day, and in turn bring benefit to the world around us.
Gurumayi has invited us to make this gift our own, and one of the ways we can do that is by meditating with her Message. Since January, I have been applying Gurumayi’s Message for 2017 in my meditation practice, and I have found that this teaching is a doorway into deeper meditation. For me, every word scintillates with the power to bring me into the depths of my own inner being.
I am a retired schoolteacher, and I lead a quiet yet active life—offering seva from home, giving support to my family, and fulfilling day-to-day responsibilities like picking up the groceries. My regular practice of meditation on Gurumayi’s Message has been a joy, a jewel in my day.
Here’s how I’ve been meditating with Gurumayi’s Message for 2017. I typically begin by repeating the words of the Message and focusing my awareness on the heart chakra. As each sentence of Gurumayi’s Message rides on my breath, I feel my body relax. I connect to a quiet, expansive space within. I feel myself easing into this space—my heart, the Heart—where Gurumayi’s Message already resides. Touching into this space of stillness day after day, I find that I can better speak and act in a way that is beneficial. I approach the people and activities in my life with greater compassion and presence of mind.
Throughout the year I encourage you to discover the benefits of making Gurumayi’s Message for 2017 an integral part of your meditation practice. You have an invaluable opportunity to begin doing so this very month: a new series, Siddha Yoga Meditation: Meditation Sessions via Live Audio Stream 2017, will be commencing. In these sessions, you will be guided as you cultivate a meditation practice that is exactly right for you—and that brings you, step by step, to the experience of the Heart that Gurumayi describes.
As a musician, I felt a rush of excitement when I received Gurumayi’s Message for this year because of its emphasis on the breath.
The power of breath is foundational for musicians; the breath is important when you begin singing, during your song, and at the conclusion of the performance. When I began training as a vocalist, before my teacher even let me sing a note, I had to first learn how to breathe. And in my study of Siddha Yoga music, I learned that the breath is essential to one of the Siddha Yoga practices I adore, a practice that will be a focus this month on the Siddha Yoga path website: svadhyaya, or the recitation of sacred texts.
Svadhyaya, like the other Siddha Yoga practices, is a way to invite the mind to turn inward and reflect on the Self. The word svadhyaya is composed of the Sanskrit terms “sva” and “adhyaya” which mean “one’s own self” and “study” or “lesson,” and they combine to mean “the study of one’s own Self.” As part of the daily schedule in Siddha Yoga Ashrams, svadhyaya includes recitation of Shri Rudram, Shri Guru Gita, Kundalini Stavah, Shri Vishnu Sahasranama, and the Shiva Mahimna Stotram.
So, from the knowledge I’ve gained as a Siddha Yoga musician, I’ve come to recognize that the breath plays a key role in both the practice of svadhyaya and Gurumayi’s Message for 2017. For example, when I recite Shri Guru Gita with others, I see it as one long cycle of breathing in and breathing out. As one half of the hall is ending their line and exhaling, I am breathing in and beginning the next line. There is this constant circle of the breath that never ceases. In the same way, Gurumayi’s Message for 2017 directs us to focus on the cycle of the breath. With each subsequent in-breath and out-breath, just as with each verse we recite in svadhyaya, the mind is drawn further within, to rest in the light of the Self.
I remember that when I first began to focus my attention on the breath during svadhyaya, it was somewhat daunting. By making effort little by little, however, I found that this challenge turned into a delight. I began savoring every syllable of the text as though it were nectar—and I experienced what it meant to benefit immensely from my recitation.
As you continue to practice Gurumayi’s Message for 2017 and to focus on the breath as you recite svadhyaya, the benefits of your practice will radiate outward. The sacred syllables of scriptures purify the atmosphere wherever they are recited. When you sit down to recite Shri Guru Gita or Shri Rudram, your inner state and outer surroundings become still and serene. You find that you are able to then carry this sense of equanimity into your day and act from a place of stillness as you engage with the world around you.