November 1, 2015
In many places around the world, November is a time to give thanks for the earth’s sustaining and nourishing bounty. People celebrate the harvest that has been cultivated throughout the year and give thanks for this plenitude.
On the Siddha Yoga path, November is a time to reflect on, and express gratitude for, the Siddha Yoga teachings that have inspired and transformed us throughout the year. In 2015, our study and practice have been guided by Gurumayi’s Message:
We received Gurumayi’s Message in A Sweet Surprise satsang, at the threshold of the new year. I remember feeling so grateful to receive this invitation to dive deeper into my meditation practice—and to know that my practice would be nurtured by Gurumayi’s grace. I was excited to learn more, to delve into the study and practice of Gurumayi’s Message. I looked to the Siddha Yoga path website; in the months since, it has featured many beautiful teachings and events to support our study.
The definitions and commentaries of the words of Gurumayi’s Message served as a beautiful study tool, elucidating the subtleties of Gurumayi’s profound teaching. By learning what the words of Gurumayi’s Message and their Sanskrit inspirations mean, I saw more clearly how the act of turning inward leads us to experience our true nature: the divine Self within.
Beginning in February, we have had the opportunity to refine our meditation practice by participating in Siddha Yoga Meditation: Monthly Meditation Sessions via Live Audio Stream. What I have learned in these sessions informs my meditation practice every day. For example, I was inspired by the session Focus on the Goal to remind myself daily of the meaning of the Siddha Yoga mantra Om Namah Shivaya. As I entered into meditation, I would silently repeat this mantra with awareness of its divine meaning. I found that as I fully honored the essence of the mantra, I could better guide my mind to merge with the power and grace of these sacred syllables.
In July, Siddha Yogis throughout the world participated in Perceiving Shri Guru’s Grace, the Celebration Satsang in honor of Gurupurnima that was held via live audio stream from Shree Muktananda Ashram. In this momentous event, we chanted with Gurumayi, we meditated with Gurumayi, and we received Gurumayi’s teachings. We explored what it means that Shri Guru’s grace is constant, ever-present, and flowing through each moment of our lives. For me, knowing that the Guru’s grace is always here—and that I can perceive it by turning inward—has given extra brilliance to my practice of Gurumayi’s Message.
Just last month, in October, we had the opportunity to participate in the Global Siddha Yoga Shaktipat Intensive in honor of Baba Muktananda’s Mahasamadhi: Dharma Marga—The Path of Dharma. In the Shaktipat Intensive, we received teachings about dharma and time, two key themes of Gurumayi’s Message talk. For me, participating in this Shaktipat Intensive was a highlight of the year. It gave me greater direction; since the event, I have found myself asking how I can best follow my dharma, how I can fulfill my most sacred duty in each moment of the day.
And there have been so many more ways to study: through photo galleries and videos that expand our sensitivity to the Divine in nature; through detailed and vivid accounts of Celebration Satsangs; through scriptural wisdom, stories, and expositions. Recently, as I was reflecting on the teachings we have received this year, and on the multitude of ways we have been able to learn about and practice those teachings, my heart swelled with gratitude. I thought, What an incredible treasure trove of wisdom and guidance Gurumayi has given us. I took a moment and just sat smiling in appreciation of the opportunity to walk this beautiful path. What a blessed year it has been!
While I was reflecting, I remembered something I had read in Recognizing Divinity, the account of a Siddha Yoga Chanting Satsang with Gurumayi that was held in July. In the satsang, Gurumayi taught about the importance of recognizing the beauty in our lives. Then she said:
Having understood the importance of this recognition, now you can put forth the effort to know that beauty is always present, and it’s your choice to recognize it and experience it.
This will allow you to make the world a better paradise.
When I first read this account, I remember feeling that Gurumayi was inviting me to shift my outlook and cultivate a mindset of abundance. For months afterward, I made a practice of pointing out the beautiful things I saw and celebrating the wondrousness of different situations I was in. I exclaimed to myself, How awesome! How wonderful! Having made this recognition a habit, I rejoice in both the ordinary and extraordinary moments of my life. I am recognizing the grace that flows through each moment. I am coming to experience the Divine in each second, in each person, and in my own being.
When we take time to reflect on the plenitude we have been given on the Siddha Yoga path, we can see, with greater clarity, the beauty and divinity in each moment of our sadhana. And when we recognize the abundance we have received, gratitude naturally pours forth. We are moved to give thanks.
I invite you to explore the Siddha Yoga path website and rediscover for yourself the vast wealth of insight and wisdom we have received in the past year. As you read each teaching, I encourage you to reflect on how it has helped you to strengthen your practice of Gurumayi’s Message. I welcome you to acknowledge all the ways you have transformed this year—all the ways you have experienced divinity, in yourself and in the world around you.