At the end of 2018, as I reflect on my experiences of Gurumayi's Message for the year, I see that my deepest experience has been to feel united with what is around me. I have felt united with nature, who shares her beauty with me, and with the moon, who sends me her blessings. I have felt united with the Guru, who is present in my heart. As I contemplate satsang, there is so much love in my heart and so much gratitude for Gurumayi!
This year I have meditated on the Surya-gayatri
mantra every night right before bed. This practice has revealed AUM resounding in my sahasrara
throughout the night. Then, during the day, I contemplate how to live in the awareness of aham brahmasmi
, “I am Brahman, I am the Absolute.”
In this way during my work, in the seva
I offer, and in casual interactions with others, I witness how my longing to truly be uplifting manifests.
Whether I am walking in nature or engaged in seva
, repeating the words "Pause. Connect. Satsang
" focuses my attention. Though sometimes I physically stop to pause, what I notice is that the pause is more often in my mind. And that space between thoughts opens a passageway for me to connect to my heart. In that heart space I experience satsang
—the remembrance of the Self and who I really am.
This simple practice has deepened my sadhana
in 2018 by keeping me in relationship with Gurumayi’s Message: Satsang
a Gurukula student in Gurudev Siddha Peeth, India
During this year, my understanding of Gurumayi's Message for 2018 has deepened. It has given me the power to create satsang
both inside and outside myself, wherever I am, and whomever I am with.
A phone conversation, a dinner with friends or family, or watching the little ones play, can become a moment of satsang
that elevates me, and the people around me.
One way I have been practicing Gurumayi’s Message is by making time—in any weather—to be in nature. Most days this year, I went outside at midday to see the sun’s light through the leaves. Even as the seasons changed, I kept searching for those green leaves!
I also love to read selections in “Poetry of the Saints and Siddhas.” As the year progressed, I added occasional short chants to my midday practice. I would sit by the lake near my work and as I chanted, I noticed the waves become soft and silken, the sky more radiant, the feeling of God’s love in the breeze. As I continued on my day, my heart would be softer.
Thank you, Gurumayi, for reminding me to be with God everywhere, each day.
As I listened to Gurumayi’s Message talk, Gurumayi’s words about the sun ignited something inside me. Initially, I began noticing that I felt so much joy whenever I saw the sun. During walks in nature, I delighted in chanting the Surya-gayatri
mantra. And during other chants, I practiced connecting with God’s light inside. As this year of studying Gurumayi’s Message has progressed, my sweet remembrance of the Guru’s beneficent presence inside me has grown. And as I practice Gurumayi’s guidance to “pause and connect,” I increasingly experience the divine light of Consciousness as the fabric of all.
Maryland, United States
Each year that Gurumayi gives us the Message for the year's focus, I think to myself, “Aahh, this is the best! What could be better?” And then, when the next year comes, the same thoughts arise.
In this year's Message talk, Gurumayi gave us so many practical tools to take us directly to the experience of the Self that I am drawn over and over, in so many different ways, to experience that rasa
. It seems that I live in that state more often than ever before.
As I practice Gurumayi’s guidance, “pause and connect,” I experience my individual consciousness as universal Consciousness. Even in this moment, just thinking and writing about it, I am pulled into an ocean of love and joy! I will practice this Message, Satsang
Thank you is never enough to express my deepest gratitude to Gurumayi for this life with her as my divine Teacher. I am becoming an ecstatic being.
Florida, United States
This year I have been moved by how immediately my inner awareness responds to the Guru’s teachings on the website. On several occasions, after viewing the photos of Hearts or Oms in Nature, I went on a walk with my two dogs and had visions of these hearts and Oms everywhere I turned along the way. It was one delight after another. What a shift this made for me! All of nature became a message of satsang
, of profound love from the Guru.
Massachusetts, United States
For me, this year was focused on the study of myself. I watched the state of my heart. When I kept close to what was happening in my heart, it would show me the way to my truth. When I practiced the teachings that God is everywhere in each moment, and that my life is God’s life, I became peaceful. I sensed a perfect flow in everything; there were no worries, no complications. I came to realize that my life can be perfect. When I felt myself veering off track, I could sense the uneasiness in my heart. Once I admitted to myself what had happened, my heart would again feel at peace.
for me is about living and remembering the teachings. Throughout the year, I have felt a deepening of my awareness.
Florida, United States
This year was a turning point in my sadhana
because of the new understanding I received from Gurumayi’s Message. For example, gardening became a fresh experience for me. Even though my body is engaged in hard work while I garden, I allow my mind to let go of my usual thoughts and dwell on So'ham
or Om Namah Shivaya.
Or I say to myself, "Satsang
is happening right now," or “I am God.” These special, elevated thoughts take me into an exalted state of mind. I feel full of serene joy, and my breath becomes peaceful. In these moments, I feel light, blessed, noble, and worthy.
Practicing Gurumayi’s Message this year strengthened my discipline. First, I have been meditating with, listening to, and falling asleep to the Surya-gayatri
mantra. This has been my satsang
with the earth and the sun.
Second, inspired by Gurumayi’s poem “Radiance, Grace, Silence,” I have engaged in nightly satsang
with the moon. Each night, I look up at the moon, or imagine her if she is covered by clouds, and I speak with her. I thank her for her presence, ask for blessings, or just tell her what’s going on with me. This nightly commitment reminds me that, like the moon, my life has many changing phases.
Third, I have been having satsang
with the Goddess Lakshmi by reciting the Shri Mahalakshmi Stotram
daily. Since the beginning of December, I have tuned my voice and pronunciation with the recording. When I do this, I am filled with both vigor and calmness as I offer seva
and perform my work in the world.
California, United States
Practicing Shri Gurumayi’s Message, Satsang
, has instilled in me a deep-rooted awareness of my breath. I have become more resolute in practicing pranayama
on a daily basis. This practice calms my mind, and it allows me to dive into the sacred rivers of meditation. This refinement in my practice has given me a lot of inner joy and peace. I find that my mind is steady during external commotion.
Bedford Gardens-Gauteng, South Africa
I have been practicing Gurumayi's Message by attending satsang
regularly, reciting Shri Guru Gita
, and meditating. As I make the effort to learn and connect to my Guru’s grace by doing the practices, I feel peace and connection to my inner Self, and I feel bliss. I also experience that Gurumayi is always with me.
Truth pierces the veil
Sight is restored
Hearing becomes clear
Taste revels in completeness
Touch dissipates grabbing
Clouds dissolve revealing the blue
that is ALL.
Missouri, United States
Keeping the company of the Truth has become for me an experience of the Guru’s presence in everything. The light and love of the Guru flow and envelop me in the form of everything that surrounds me. That love shines as me. I experience love for all the aspects of my life, great and small. When I begin to drift away from this Truth, I experience the Guru moving through me as this love, inviting me back! This is an astonishing gift, every time.
My love for Gurumayi soars!
Nevada, United States
Inspired by Gurumayi's words in the 2018 Sweet Surprise
Satsang, I created an intention for the year to experience continuous satsang
. I practice pausing and connecting in nature, in conversations of deep listening with friends, and in offering prayers and blessings. At some point I began to notice that I was becoming calmer and more easeful in my daily interactions and that the awareness of satsang
was bringing me peace of mind. I have also been meditating again and again on the sacred space within, and I have found a reservoir of serenity deep inside. Satsang
has become a sacred space where I dwell in the presence of my Guru.
I am eternally grateful to Gurumayi for showing me the way to the profound depth of my own heart.
Maryland, United States
This year, I decided to recite the Surya-gayatri
mantra at the beginning of my meditations. I quickly realized that on sunny days the sun is flooding my being and that this darshan
is easily available to me. Later, it came to me that a sunny day is a golden day and a cloudy day, a silver one—the light shines through no matter what the weather is. I started to feel the sun’s presence all the time.
Then, as if by magic, it happened that the sun would peep out on cloudy days as if to say, “Hello, I see you too.” It started to feel like we were interacting whenever my mind freed itself.
As this practice matured, I realized that the sun being veiled or shining brightly actually happens in my own Self, and that both are fine. It now feels as if our interaction is happening within me. Rain or shine, we are never apart.
This is the power of satsang
Repeating the mantra with the awareness that I am having satsang
, reminding myself that everything in my awareness—including my thoughts and body—is a manifestation of divine Consciousness, and journaling about my insights and experiences in doing this have all helped to make my experience of satsang
, of connecting to the divine presence within, more constant.
What has also helped is practicing self-inquiry with the title of the 2018 Shaktipat Intensive: Who Am I
? As I’ve repeated and contemplated this question, both in quiet moments and moments of activity, I’ve come to experience more deeply that my fundamental nature is not at all bound to what I am doing or the role I am assuming in a given moment.
Overall, I feel more peaceful, content, lighthearted, and present as I go about my days. I’m eternally grateful to Gurumayi for her grace in the form of this Message.
New York, United States
I enjoy having a morning walk in a park near my home. From there, I can see how the sun rises in the sky and illuminates us all. Just at that time, I start remembering and honoring Lord Surya by reciting the Surya-gayatri
mantra. It then becomes a very powerful and joyous satsang
This year I have learned to breathe! The Meditation Sessions via Live Audio Stream 2018 have taught me the glory of pranayama
. Through these lessons, I began to breathe more deeply. Then, during my meditations with the Surya-gayatri
mantra, my breathing became even deeper, with a powerful pause between the in-breath and the out-breath. Sometimes it felt like the mantra was breathing me
, reminding me to exhale or inhale again as I went deeper into meditation and the exquisite experience of the breath.
I used to find it difficult to repeat the mantra Om Namah Shivaya
on the in-breath and again on the out-breath, because my breath was so shallow. No longer! I can now repeat the mantra as slowly as I want to (even twice!) in time with my breath. The feeling I have now—that the mantra Om Namah Shivaya
is truly mine and I am becoming the mantra—is just amazing.
Thank you, Gurumayi, for this precious gift, and for the Meditation Sessions via Live Audio Stream 2018.
Colorado, United States
As the year 2018 is coming to an end, I feel so very close to Gurumayi’s Message, Satsang.
I have formed some good habits for having satsang
: watching the sun rise; lighting a diya
, an oil lamp, on my puja
; searching for signs of Om
and hearts in nature; connecting with the Siddha Yoga path website; practicing meditation daily; and more.
These experiences of satsang
draw me to the space in my heart where loving warmth spreads and a feeling of contentment surfaces. This awareness
overflows into my mundane life. I’m so grateful to Gurumayi for guiding me to seek and experience the company of the Truth!
Each day this year, I begin my day by looking at the Message artwork and practicing a few rounds of pranayama
. I follow this with meditation with the Surya-gayatri
mantra for a half-hour. Meditating in this way, with awareness of Surya Devata, the deity of the sun, I receive support for implementing Gurumayi's Message for 2018 in my daily life.
This year I focused on mantra japa
as a practice. Repeating the mantra within, I found the mantra in my breathing and I found a feeling of Gurumayi’s presence in my heart. Now I am thinking less about the future and the past, and living more in the present. I am creating satsang
My resolution for the year has been to notice moments of satsang
during each day, pause to offer gratitude, and then hold these moments in memory. Each evening, I journal at the end of the day. I record "Satsang
Moments," and write about at least three of these moments. These have included the flash of a cardinal, snow shining in the sunlight on the mountains, a friend's warm smile, connection with a stranger, grace resolving a difficult encounter, the flow of tai chi
as I practice by the river, the power of reciting Sri Rudram
In this way, I am cultivating remembrance of satsang
throughout my day, as it flows from the silence of meditation. This practice deepens my gratitude and recollection of the “power within,” the source of all satsang
North Carolina, United States
I have practiced Gurumayi's Message for 2018 in many ways. When I looked at the vast blue sky and beautiful green trees from my office window, I connected to my breath and felt at peace. Regular visits to the Siddha Yoga path website and reading Gurumayi's teachings and poems taught me how to “pause and connect” within again and again. Visiting the local Siddha Yoga meditation center helped me to be aware of the power of the company of the Truth and of lovers of God. Offering seva
took me to a place of silence and gratitude where I felt I was in the company of Gurumayi and of my own inner Truth. Sitting on my balcony and remembering happy moments, blessings, and the presence of grace in my life led me back to my breath and the joy and peace of satsang
with my own Self.
I am grateful to Gurumayi for an endless number of moments of satsang
throughout the year.
Before hearing Gurumayi’s Message for 2018, I thought of satsang as the weekly event at the local Siddha Yoga meditation center. But when I heard this year’s Message, I found a new meaning for satsang—connecting with the Self. Throughout 2018, I have practiced connecting to the Truth within again and again and creating my own satsang. This inner travelling has felt so natural to me.
For me, this has been a year of finding delight in saying, whispering, chanting, or silently repeating prayers, hymns, mantras, and sutras whenever the opportunity met with my loving inclination. Satsang
would emerge from these repetitions in a fine sense of stillness captured at the center of my being. The fruit of this inner satsang
has been increased love, care, and consideration for the people who populate my days—a most precious boon.
New Jersey, United States
Every morning, I sit in my backyard next to the avocado tree, and I wait for the sun to move into the sky. I watch the light filter through clouds and darkness. Sometimes I take a photo just as the sun turns yellow-orange and its form shifts from wafts of color to a solid ball of light. I meditate with the Surya-gayatri
mantra as sunlight feeds the garden. I feel the presence of God. I soak up that sun and bring it with me all through the day. At work, I focus on that light when frustrations arise. I have satsang
with my heart. I am grateful to Gurumayi for pointing us to the sun.
Florida, United States
Whenever I sit quietly to meditate while listening to the Surya-gayatri
mantra, I instantly feel transported across the centuries, and experience inner satsang
of the oneness that links me to the ancient sages of the Rig Veda and their immortal teachings. This satsang
carries me beyond any constraints of time and place, beyond the ninety-three million miles between the sun and me to the eternal oneness and love of the Real, illuminated by Gurumayi’s grace.
California, United States
Gurumayi's Message for 2018 has led me to a wealth of new experiences of satsang
—from connecting on a subtle level to a subway car full of fellow passengers to joining with the natural world on a summer walk in the country. The other day I walked out of my condo and said to myself, “All this is God,” with true joy in my heart.
Every morning when I wake up, I take time to “pause and connect” within and ask myself, “Who am I?” My answer comes through a dharana
I created for myself, in which I repeat “I am light. I am Consciousness.”
This focus helps me to become grounded in my true identity. During meditation, I breathe in and out with this awareness and become immersed in inner peace.
I make an effort to carry the peace I experience in the early morning into my daily routine. During the day, whenever I focus on my breath, this dharana
arises and helps me connect with my heart—even while driving my car or in the midst of a meeting. I simply become aware of who I truly am, and feel joy welling up as I experience satsang
I am grateful to Gurumayi, whose grace has helped me discover so many inspiring ways to live a meaningful life.