Reflecting on Gurumayi’s Message for 2015

A Letter from Swami Ishwarananda

January 6, 2015

Dear Siddha Yogis,

Happy New Year!

On January 1, in A Sweet Surprise satsang, Gurumayi Chidvilasananda gave her Message for the year 2015. The satsang was permeated with Gurumayi’s love, her wisdom, and her blessings for all humanity.

As Gurumayi spoke, elucidating the many facets of her Message, I found myself lifted to a luminous space of receptivity. Gurumayi’s words seemed to be arising from within me, revealing the direct experience of what she was speaking about. This is the power of receiving teachings from a sadguru, from a spiritual Master.

The teachings that we each receive from Gurumayi in A Sweet Surprise satsang become the foundation for our sadhana in the year ahead. With her Message and her talk on the Message in A Sweet Surprise, Gurumayi has laid out a path of light for all of us to walk throughout 2015.

Last month, in the audio webcast The Power of Listening to Learn—The Power of Learning to Listen, I shared the first in a series of practices that students undertake when receiving teachings from a spiritual Master. Referring to instructions given by the sage Yajnavalkya in the Brihadaranyaka Upanishad, I introduced you to the practice of shravana—listening in a focused and attentive way. We practice shravana so that the power of Gurumayi’s words can enter and take root in our being.

Now, if you have already listened to Gurumayi imparting her Message for 2015, I encourage you to begin the next practice in this discipline for learning: manana. In Sanskrit, manana refers to reflection on the Guru’s speech.

When you practice manana on Gurumayi’s Message, you absorb your mind in reflection on the words of her Message, as well as on the many ways Gurumayi explicated her Message. You carefully consider what Gurumayi said in the satsang and how it applies to your own spiritual practice and your daily life.

Here are some ways you can begin your practice of manana on Gurumayi’s Message:

Recall your initial experience of listening to Gurumayi speak in the satsang. What did her words mean to you? What insights arose as you listened to Gurumayi? What impressions have stayed with you in the time that has followed? Have you begun to put Gurumayi’s Message into practice? And if so, what have you been discovering and experiencing?

Consider the meaning of each word in Gurumayi’s Message. Consider as well what each word means in the context of her Message, and of her talk in A Sweet Surprise. Note in your journal any questions or associations that arise as you do this, and reflect on these. You can do this alone or with others who have participated in A Sweet Surprise satsang.

The practice of manana on what Gurumayi teaches in A Sweet Surprise is not limited to those times you set aside for study and reflection. It involves bringing Gurumayi’s words into your awareness as you move through your day, seeing how they support you to perceive clearly, act wisely, and offer your best in different situations. In this way, you assimilate Gurumayi’s Message into your very being. You will be living her Message.

Throughout 2015, the Siddha Yoga path website will assist you in reflecting on Gurumayi’s Message. Make the website your companion. I also encourage you to participate again in A Sweet Surprise! Discover how much more it holds for you to explore in your sadhana.

I am thrilled to imagine the collective energy and wisdom that will be generated as Siddha Yogis everywhere study Gurumayi’s Message. There are so many insights that we will come to, so many facets to Gurumayi’s Message and A Sweet Surprise that we will explore further.

This year—2015—promises to be a great one. Let’s study and practice together!

Warm regards,

Swami Ishwarananda
Host for A Sweet Surprise 2015

Swami Ishwarananda has been following the Siddha Yoga path for over forty years. He received shaktipat initiation in 1972 while living and teaching English in Japan. Shortly afterwards, Swamiji began his Siddha Yoga practice, and in 1980 he took monastic vows to become a Siddha Yoga Swami. Swamiji has served Gurumayi as a Siddha Yoga meditation teacher, traveling extensively throughout the world to teach in Siddha Yoga courses, Sadhana Retreats, and Shaktipat Intensives. He is a graduate of Williams College in Massachusetts. Swamiji lives in Shree Muktananda Ashram in South Fallsburg, New York.

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