Poetry is a universal language.
That is to say: in poetry, the cosmos finds innate expression. The cosmos cannot be contained, not even for a second. Its nature demands that it emerge and expand, that it emerge some more and expand beyond that.
The universe has rhythm. The beat was set when time began, and in the eons since that initial spanda arose, it has only continued to be felt; it has insisted upon being heard.
This sound, in turn, inspires our world’s geometry, the atoms and molecules into which everything is arranged. In the shapes and structures, the patterns and fractals that define this creation, the primordial percussion has found a visual representation.
I say all this as preamble for what I’m about to share with you, which is about Gurumayi’s Season’s Greetings for 2022.
I’ll start with a little context. In 2011, at Gurumayi’s request, the SYDA Foundation re-launched the Siddha Yoga path website. And then, in almost every year since 2012, we’ve had the immense blessing to receive Gurumayi’s Season’s Greetings.
Siddha Yogis have come to look forward to receiving Season’s Greetings as their own personal holiday gift from Gurumayi. Why do I say “personal”? Because even though we’re all receiving the same Season’s Greetings, we each have our own unique experience of it.
Many of you have shared on the Siddha Yoga path website what this gift from Gurumayi means to you—how you experience it, what you perceive it to be. I’ve always loved to read what you share, and I absolutely resonate with you when you say that Gurumayi’s Season’s Greetings is poetry. It is music. It is art. It is a heralding of the holiday season, and a distillation of all its best parts—the joy without the exasperation, the peace without the disquietude, the whisper of there being something more to this world, something gold-tipped and magical.
You, my dear, fellow Siddha Yogis, have described Gurumayi’s Season’s Greetings as “a poetic journey to enter the Heart.” You’ve said that receiving it is “like taking a sacred bath in shimmering waters.” You’ve said that it “expresses visually what the Siddha Yoga Guru’s grace and teachings do for the world,” and that “from the first note of the music, [you] experienced Gurumayi’s darshan.” You have shared the insights that have come up for you, the teachings you’ve been reminded of, and the poems that have arisen within you. One person, for example, wrote this in response to Gurumayi’s Season’s Greetings for 2016:
Love emerges out of the silence
Manifesting in a myriad of forms:
Velvety blue oceans,
Golden shimmering light,
Spirals, diamonds, circles,
Letters, language, and meaning,
All expressing the fullness of the heart.
Love returns to the stillness,
The mind and body of God.
Now, I don’t know how many of you are aware of this, but Gurumayi’s Season’s Greetings is designed and directed—in its entirety—by Gurumayi. This entails great effort on Gurumayi’s part, many hours of work to ensure that her vision is made manifest.
What is more, each aspect of Season’s Greetings is created with you, the viewer, in mind. You’re always important to Gurumayi. Regardless of what you think of yourself, Gurumayi holds you in high regard.
I’ve had the privilege of hearing Gurumayi speak many times over the years about how she is thinking about you, your sadhana, and your circumstances and experiences when creating Season’s Greetings. I won’t go into too much detail here, as that would take several hours of your time, but I will share one illustrative example.
In 2020, Gurumayi was aware that people had spent a significant portion of the year at home, given all that was reported in the media about lockdowns in many countries and other limitations on travel. Gurumayi was concerned about the effects this might have on people’s psyches, especially the lack of social interaction. Therefore, in that year’s Season’s Greetings, Gurumayi chose to give you all the experience of a pilgrimage—an eight-minute journey that led you down a tree-lined path, along a curving, lamp-lit road, and all the way up a stately, blue-hued mountain as the sun spiraled upward from the horizon.
Gurumayi wanted to replicate the feeling of pilgrimages that she has taken when traveling on her Teachings Visits—the pilgrimages she’s taken, for example, in Mexico, India, Japan, and Australia. In this way, even if you couldn’t physically take flight during the holiday season, you didn’t have to feel downhearted. You could still breathe freely and remember that, no matter what, your divinity is unbounded. Gurumayi was teaching you that even when it seems that there are constraints on your reality, even when your mind is racing and you are apprehensive about the darkness that seems to loom over the future, you can remember: the light within you will never be eclipsed.
Since Gurumayi puts so much into the creation of her Season’s Greetings, we’ll want to have the awareness that there is a lot here for us to receive, to take in, to be present with. I, for one, always find that there’s even more to Season’s Greetings than meets the eye. In my experience, it defies easy description, summary, or encapsulation.
One thing I can say definitively, however, is that Season’s Greetings is always about a journey. Sometimes that journey will be depicted more literally, as in 2020; at other times it will be a bit more figurative, more impressionistic, more immediately poetic. What’s important to remember is that for all the colors and shapes and textures you see, for all the words that appear and disappear and the music swirling through everything, it’s an inner journey Gurumayi is guiding you on. It’s your special pilgrimage—designed for you by your beloved Guru.
Often in the course of seeing Season’s Greetings as it’s being developed, Gurumayi will share her impressions with the talented people offering seva creating it, and she will speak about how the images and teachings will enlighten people’s sadhana. This year, for the first time, Gurumayi is requesting that one of her experiences be shared on the Siddha Yoga path website.
This experience is not just an articulation of Gurumayi’s wisdom; it is meant to serve as inspiration for you. Gurumayi has explained that many people have profound experiences of receiving her wisdom—yet either because they don’t have the time or they don’t recognize the significance of what they are experiencing in the moment, they don’t make note of it. As a result, those experiences quickly lose their clarity and vividness, and people have difficulty remembering them. This is why it’s crucial for all of us to write down our experiences of the teachings whose darshan we are receiving, the teachings that we are taking to heart and practicing. It’s my firm conviction that Gurumayi would like us to be able to take great delight in our own inner treasure.
During one of the sessions in which Gurumayi was giving her direction for Season’s Greetings, two of the wonderful people working on it showed Gurumayi their progress in actualizing her vision. Afterward, Gurumayi told them she was pleased, as they had understood the essence of her words and ideas; they had comprehended what it was she had wanted them to create. Gurumayi explained that she could say this with certainty because when she was watching Season’s Greetings, the words of a poem began to spring forth like a fountain within her, taking the rhythmic support of her breath.
Gurumayi said, “It felt like a prayer to my Guru, Baba Muktananda, was arising from within me as I was watching my wish become manifest—my wish to convey to the world my greetings for this holiday season.”
You can read Gurumayi’s poem, “A Prayer to My Guru,” on this page. And there is one main thing about it that I want to bring to your attention: the ellipsis at its end, the series of dots stepping lightly into the ether, foregoing a more definitive conclusion. This ellipsis was, of course, a deliberate choice. Gurumayi shared that it’s an indication of how the poem continues to move, and evolve, and expand.
“This poem,” Gurumayi said, “is like a comet arching across the dome of the sky; it’s like a river that flows without end. Its words could be spread across the circumference of this earth and still, into infinity, into eternity, it will go on. That is the power of the Guru’s grace, and of a life dedicated to sadhana.”
So here we are, having received Gurumayi’s Season’s Greetings for 2022 on December 1, and having read—in the form of a poem that’s boundless in more ways than one—Gurumayi’s experience of this Season’s Greetings. With such an abundance of wisdom and blessings before us, I’m thinking that you might be thinking: what do we do now?
Allow me to make a suggestion. (And yes—all right—I will admit that I may have come prepared to make this suggestion, and that I may have been waiting eagerly for the moment when I could finally share it. What can I say? I’m that excited about it.)
I suggest that you and I—that we all—make time to write our own poetry about Season’s Greetings.
Remember: one of the things that’s so great about writing poetry is that there’s no word count we’re obligated to reach. Your poem doesn’t need to be a thesis; it doesn’t have to be a four-part drama or an epic of the likes of the Iliad or the Mahabharata. It can consist of just a few short words. Poetry is sutra-like. It holds the rasa of our experiences.
Recently, a young child shared with me his response to Gurumayi's Season's Greetings for 2022. It was a video that his mother had recorded, and in it, he was singing a poem he’d spontaneously composed upon seeing Season’s Greetings. “You are my Guru, like the rising sun!” he sang brightly. He sang this line again—and then a third time—his voice growing louder, more buoyant, more exultant with each repetition. “You are my Guru, like the rising sun! You are my Guru, like the rising sun!”
This little boy did not know that Gurumayi had conveyed one of her own experiences of Season’s Greetings in the form of a poem, nor did he know that we all would be writing poems as well. Poetry is just what instinctually sprang forth from within him. It was the intuitive expression of his experience.
We might consider, then, that the poetry is here for us already—that it already exists inside of us, in all its pristineness and profundity. Our job, perhaps, is to discover these words, and to honor them by recording our poetry in writing.
And once we’ve written our poems, what do we do with them? Some of you might be able to surmise where I’m going with this. We can, of course, share those poems with one another! One way to do this is by submitting them to the Siddha Yoga path website.
Now, whether you think you’ve written a masterpiece—a paragon of poetry, the crème de la crème of lyrical verse—or you’ve somehow convinced yourself that what you’ve got is no better than a garden-variety nursery rhyme, I encourage you to submit your poems. I’ve got the inside scoop 😊 that some of them will be selected to share with the world. And you never know: one of those poems could be yours!
I want to make another suggestion, which is that in the days and weeks ahead, you return to and re-read the poems you’ve written. This will help you to recall and expand upon your initial experiences of Season’s Greetings. And if you want to write more—by all means, keep writing. Let out your inner songbird! Give yourself this opportunity to discover just how much wisdom wants to emerge and expand from within your own being—and emerge some more, and expand beyond that.
As Gurumayi has told everyone again and again: “You are great.”