December 27, 2022
Happy almost-New Year’s Eve!
Can you believe that the end of the year is already approaching? Every year, even as the holiday spirit ensconces us, I ask this question of myself. And every year, when I look back and find I don’t have the words to adequately describe what’s unfolded on the Siddha Yoga path, all I’m able to say is, What a year this has been!
The same holds true for 2022. This year’s culmination, in particular, has felt like it’s dancing with light—an iridescence that’s come from the poetry you have written in response to my correspondence earlier this month, inviting you to articulate your experiences of Gurumayi’s Season’s Greetings for 2022. At that time, you also had the opportunity to read “A Prayer to My Guru,” the beautiful poem that Gurumayi composed to express one of her own experiences of Season’s Greetings.
I’d like to share a bit about my own relationship with poetry, as context for why I’ve found your poems to be so meaningful. I’ve been reading poetry all my life, and I’ve been writing it for the better part of the last ten years, especially as I began to find that my experiences of Gurumayi’s teachings and my insights in sadhana would often resist the conventions of the prose I was more accustomed to writing. Poetry became my forum and playground for exploration. It became, for me, a kind of home, where I could be myself—and discover who that was.
Sometimes, when I read the work of other poets, it returns me to this place of home. So, imagine my delight to find that as I read your poems about Gurumayi’s Season’s Greetings, I was brought there again and again.
I’ve heard that the SYDA Foundation Website Department has received poems from Siddha Yogis of all ages and in all parts of the world—from Australia to Switzerland, Japan to the United States; from India, South Africa, Turkey, Brazil, Italy, Germany, France. The list goes on. Some of you have even sent in multiple poems. In fact, over a hundred of your poems have been published on the Siddha Yoga path website. As a writer, I know that there’s no stopping the flow of creativity once it starts—so I feel confident in saying that, as you enter the year 2023, you’ll continue to find fresh and illuminating ways to describe your experiences in sadhana.
The main reason I’m writing to you today is to express my heartfelt thanks for what you have offered—your love, your devotion, your commitment to the Siddha Yoga path, your dedication to Siddha Yoga sadhana, the fruit of your learning and the boon of your attainment. All of this was evident in the poems you have written about Gurumayi’s Season’s Greetings for 2022.
This is all the more impressive given what I heard from some of you—that this endeavor felt very new; that perhaps you hadn’t previously considered yourselves to be poets or writers. I also want to acknowledge just how personal a poem can be—how its rhythm, its logic, its aesthetics, its meaning can feel like an extension of you. In sharing your poetry with others, you were sharing a part of yourself, something most special and sacred, a glimpse of your innermost world.
And you really went for it here, with intrepidness, with enthusiasm, with flair and artistry. Just as the gopis responded to the music of Lord Krishna’s flute, so too you responded to the Guru’s word. In her Message for 2022, Gurumayi says, “Suno…”(“Listen…”), and that’s exactly what you did. You listened.
As a result, anyone who’s visited the Siddha Yoga path website in the last few weeks has been able to benefit from your abounding generosity. My Siddha Yogi friends have shared with me how inspired they’ve been by your poetry and how seeing everyone else’s writing has motivated them to give it a go, to try their hand at crafting a poem about Season’s Greetings.
I, for one, have found that in reading your poems, I’ve noticed more about Season’s Greetings than I had initially, and—I hadn’t thought this was possible—I’ve come to an even greater appreciation of it. When I first extended to you the invitation to write poetry, I had no idea that you, my fellow Siddha Yogis, would absolutely floor me with your openheartedness and ingenuity. It’s a reminder of how blessed a life I lead—that we all lead—on the Siddha Yoga path.
Thank you, Gurumayi. And thank you all.