Share Your Experience of God


What makes Christmas so special? For many people, Christmas is a season to celebrate God’s love made manifest in the world. During this joyful holiday, Siddha Yogis remember and give thanks for their Guru’s blessings and the enduring presence of God in their lives. Take some time to reflect on and write a brief descriptive story about your own experience of God’s love and the many ways in which you recognize God’s love in your own heart.
 


I’m a musician, and for as long as I can remember, I’ve loved music. Growing up, most evenings I would lie in bed late at night with headphones on, listening to music. Sometimes the music would move me deeply, would bring my soul such a deep sense of peace that I would feel “music is God.” But then, inevitably, the music would fade and so would that sense of divinity.

When I was beginning my second year of college in New York, my longing for something higher led me to attend my first Siddha Yoga satsang at the Siddha Yoga Meditation Center in New York City.

That evening, I chanted God’s name for the first time and went into a dreamlike state. It seemed as if I wasn’t in the meditation center at all. I felt that I had become a calm serpent and was swimming down a river. The river shimmered in golden light, and as I swam, I felt one with this light. I felt a warmth, a fullness in my heart. Though I had no words to articulate this fullness, I recognized it as my true nature—the state I am meant to experience all the time.

Since then, chanting God’s names has intensified both my love for God and my love for music. As this love has expanded, I’ve come to experience God and music as interwoven into the fabric of my existence. Each moment feels like a gift, an opportunity to perceive new textures of beauty. Each day, my life feels brand-new. I experience God’s grace in my thoughts, feelings, perceptions, and the countless circumstances that arise as a constantly unfolding symphony.

Pennsylvania, USA

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Several years ago, I was participating in a Pilgrimage to the Heart Retreat in Gurudev Siddha Peeth in India. In the retreat, I asked my Guru, Gurumayi Chidvilasananda, a question in my heart: Do you have something to tell me about God?

Later that day I took a walk in Dakshin Kashi, a beautiful field in the Ashram. I heard a sweet voice within me. It was my Guru’s voice. It took the form of a long poem about God. These are a few of the lines:

God is very tangible in creation.
God talks to you every moment.
God will give you beautiful answers.
Be happy and grateful to God!

Since that time, I have lived my life by this truth.

In this way, my life is very simple, easeful, and happy.

Cancun, Mexico

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A few years after I received shaktipat from Gurumayi, I visited a Sikh temple that I used to attend as a child. As I sat in the temple, the priest began singing a bhajan about Lord Krishna—and having begun Siddha Yoga sadhana, I heard that bhajan as if for the first time.

I had always enjoyed the melodic voices of the priests singing. But this time, something extraordinary happened. The bhajan was about how the Lord and the Guru are one and the same. As I listened, I could feel the devotion in the voice of the priest, and I felt my own devotion stirring the more he sang.

Although I had heard this bhajan many times before, for the first time I could feel my heart opening to what it was actually saying. I could feel the presence of God.

Since then, as my sadhana has continued to unfold, I have found that the routine experiences and encounters in my life are opportunities to connect again and again with the presence of God. I find myself noticing a beautiful flower still in full bloom on a cold autumn day, feeling the palpable joy with which my dog greets me as I return home after leaving the house for just a few minutes, glimpsing warmth in the eyes of a stranger who has just held open a door to let me pass, seeing the longing for God in my own children…

Day after day, I am filled with gratitude for this gift, this vision of God that continues to expand over time.

Ontario, Canada

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As a child, I found God at Christmastime in one of the splendid churches where my family worshipped. On Christmas Eve we would go to the midnight service. I was nine years old, and I was awed by the splendor of these occasions—by the priests in their vestments, the glittering ornaments, the sublime music—and by an image of God that was on a wall so far away I could barely see it.

To me, God was majestic and powerful and unutterably remote. We faced each other, God and I, across a vast and unbridgeable divide. I was certain that God was far, far away.

Then one memorable spring morning many years later, my relationship with God changed. At this point, I had been practicing Siddha Yoga meditation for a couple of years. It happened in the cramped room I rented as a student in London. I had risen early and was emerging from a peaceful meditation. I opened my eyes and was mesmerized by the gentle early morning light that filtered through my window. My modest rooms vibrated with all the glory I had known in church as a child—but with an aliveness that spoke to me directly. In some way, this glory now included me and came from me. I was no longer a spectator; I was a part of God and God was a part of me.

I noticed that my breathing was smooth and even.

These days I have come to recognize the freedom of my breath as an aspect of God’s own nature. When I chant in my New York apartment, often loudly and unselfconsciously, or when I rush to catch an express train to my work in Queens, silently repeating the mantra—this smooth, even breathing connects me with myself and the world around me. I am once again with God.

New York, USA

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