December 28, 2017

Dear seekers,

Here we are, in the culminating days of a remarkable year of Siddha Yoga sadhana. Gurumayi’s Message for 2017 is guiding our breath––just as it has done since January 1, when we received her Message in A Sweet Surprise Satsang:

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.

Whenever Gurumayi gives a teaching, she also gives her blessing for us to put it into practice and experience its benefits in our lives. And, oh, what an amazingly beneficial and transformational journey into the power of breath this year has been!

Throughout 2017 we have actively taken part in Siddha Yoga teaching and learning events in our local areas and in the Universal Hall on the Siddha Yoga path website. The Message has unfurled for us in myriad beautiful ways through our study of Gurumayi's Message Artwork; our implementation of the teachings Gurumayi gave in Love in Action, in her Words of Illumination, and in her talk, "The Benevolent Companion"; our participation in the global Siddha Yoga Shaktipat Intensive; and our experience of Gurumayi’s love in her Season’s Greetings for 2017—a love at once fathomless and immediately tangible.

You all have been so generous in sharing your insights and experiences of studying Gurumayi’s Message––through your words, photographs, and other creative expressions. Please know that each of your shares has inspired the sadhana of countless other seekers.

No matter what form your shares have taken, one expression threads through them all, and that is gratitude. Your shares reflect how Gurumayi’s Message has transformed your relationship to the vital breath. They convey the profound understanding you have gained, of how something as intimately familiar as your own breathing has unimaginable purifying power.

Truly, Shri Gurumayi’s grace is ever-present in our lives—it is always so close; closer, indeed, than our own breath.

As the sage Kshemaraja, from 10th century Kashmir, says:


Salutations to the marvelous speech of my Guru, which ever reveals new meaning and is like a boat that takes one across the deep ocean of doubt.1

As we receive the Guru’s teachings, as we reflect on and endeavor to live by the Guru’s teachings, new insights arise within us. We move, step by step, into the experience of our own divine Self.

And now we stand at that divine turning point where we bid farewell to 2017 and welcome in the year ahead: 2018. On the first day of this new year, we will give homage to the marvelous speech of the Guru, to Gurumayi’s life-transforming teachings, by participating in A Sweet Surprise Satsang.

Just like New Year’s Day itself, A Sweet Surprise is ever new. It is sparkling; it is incandescent. As January 1 approaches, the anticipation and excitement is building across the global Siddha Yoga sangham. How will the magnificent vessel appear when it reaches the shores of 2018? What will her colors be? What will her sails reveal as they unfurl and fill with the glorious winds of grace?

We will find out soon! Are you counting down the days? I sure am.☺

With great joy, I invite you to this apratim, this unparalleled, event:
A Sweet Surprise Satsang 2018. I cannot wait to join you all on January 1 in the Universal Hall.

Warm regards,

Swami Ishwarananda
Siddha Yoga Meditation Teacher

1 Spanda Karika, 4.1, English rendering © 2017 SYDA Foundation®.

Click here to register for A Sweet Surprise Satsang via Live Stream on
January 1, 2018.

About Swami Ishwarananda

bio photo Copyright SYDA Foundation

Swami Ishwarananda has been following the Siddha Yoga path for more than forty years. In 1980, he took monastic vows to become a Siddha Yoga Swami. Swami ji serves Gurumayi as a Siddha Yoga meditation teacher, and he has traveled throughout the world to teach in satsangs, courses, Sadhana Retreats, and Shaktipat Intensives.

Swami ji teaches with great clarity and wit, encouraging students to discover for themselves the essence of the Siddha Yoga teachings and practices. He especially loves to teach students how to meditate.