Build Your Own Sacred Place


It’s my great honor to be with you all in the Siddha Yoga Universal Hall this Saturday evening—or, for those of you in the Eastern Hemisphere, this Sunday morning. As some of you may know, we are gathering in satsang on a date that holds special import for many people in this world. In the Christian tradition, this Sunday is Palm Sunday.

Many of you have been sharing on the Siddha Yoga path website what you have been learning and assimilating from participating in the “Be in the Temple” satsangs with Gurumayi. I want to thank you for continuing your Siddha Yoga practices during these trying times, and for knowing that you can take refuge in the Guru’s grace.

I want to read to you one of the shares posted on the Siddha Yoga path website:

“Participating in each of these satsangs has been a doorway for me to enter and connect to the core of my being. In this place, I am strong, clear, loving, thoughtful, and grateful …. I reflect on how I will move from a place of peace and strength, and how I can gently remind myself to return, reset, and renew as often as needed.”

What a beautiful share. I see you all have found inspiration from listening to Gurumayi’s words in the “Be in the Temple” satsangs. I want to thank you for taking Gurumayi’s words to heart.

As you know, Gurumayi’s teachings are timeless. And at this particular time, the immeasurable value of these teachings is even more clear; it’s even more evident.

Many of you have also shared on the Siddha Yoga path website about how having darshan of Bade Baba’s radiant form has illumined your own inner being. In the presence of Bade Baba, in his Temple, you are able to immerse yourself in Gurumayi’s Message for this year: Ᾱtmā kī Prashānti, Peacefulness of the Self.

I am aware that you are all trying to make the best of this time in your own simple and creative ways. I want to share with you that by doing this, you are taking a yogic approach to the situation. The Indian scriptures speak about how yogis look to see the best in a given situation. The sages of the Rig Veda say this prayer:

“O Lord, may we hear auspicious words with our ears;
may we see with our eyes that which is auspicious and sacred;
may we live with happiness and contentment
in bodies that are healthy and strong;
may we always praise and serve the Divine
in the time given to us on this earth by the gods, the devas.

I personally feel very heartened to hear that you are responding to this incredibly challenging situation by practicing the various means you have learned from Gurumayi to give rise to your own strength. And I am heartened to hear how you are creating a very robust connection with that experience of your own strength.

On the topic of the current global pandemic, we have all received very clear and firm direction from the World Health Organization about how to take precautionary steps to ensure that we stay safe and keep others safe.

In the “Be in the Temple” satsangs, you heard from Gurumayi how she and Baba Muktananda have, truly speaking, been teaching about cleanliness and tidiness year after year…after year. For this reason, I believe that it won’t be so hard for you to follow the steps that have been laid out by the World Health Organization. You may have already been putting these steps into practice, as cleanliness and tidiness are integral to our path.

The sage Patanjali teaches in the Patanjali Yoga Sutra that no matter what our circumstances are, we always have the ability to experience the serenity and joy of the Self. This experience is available to us now and in the future.

As I reflect on these “Be in the Temple” satsangs, I am also thinking about how a sacred temple is built brick by brick, stone by stone. I want to ask you to imagine building your own inner temple as you perform each Siddha Yoga practice, as you reflect on each Siddha Yoga teaching, and as you implement these teachings in your day-to-day life.

At Gurumayi’s request many years ago, in the 1980s and 90s, I offered seva on landscaping projects in the Ashram, both in Gurudev Siddha Peeth and Shree Muktananda Ashram.

When I was offering seva in these areas, I realized that completing any one of these projects would take at least three to five years. Initially it was shocking for me that I couldn’t get these projects done overnight. I was young and enthusiastic, a go-getter by nature, and I wanted to get each project done, done, done, so I could move on to the next seva project. However, I realized very quickly that I needed to adjust my attitude and my perception. So, I took certain steps.

The first step I took was to focus on each task that needed to be done by the end of a given day and acknowledge myself for each bit of progress I was making.

Another step I took was to remind myself to be patient. The third step I took was to think long-term. And the fourth step I took was to explain to the other members of the team what I was thinking and doing so that everybody was on the same page.

I did all this to ensure that my team and I kept putting forth steady effort, knowing that this steady effort would bring about the successful completion of each project. Lo and behold, this little shift in my attitude yielded great fruits.

I’d now like to speak about the Workbook on Gurumayi’s Message for 2020 on the Siddha Yoga path website, which will support you as you build your own inner temple.

I am assuming that many of you have registered for the Workbook, and that you are taking it seriously and making every effort to work with Gurumayi’s questions.

Let me share with you a sweet little anecdote about the Workbook. In early January, Chinmayi and Mallika Maxwell, who are in charge of the Workbook, told one of the main writers that people might not have so much time to do the Workbook this year. They said that perhaps this should be taken into account when creating the Workbook—and that there should be just one question from Gurumayi per month.

The writer then shared this plan with Gurumayi. Gurumayi said, “I don’t think so. I don’t think that is correct. Because whether or not people work on these questions—they should still receive my questions.”

Therefore we went with the same plan we had in 2019, in which there is one question per week from Gurumayi in the Workbook. Often the question of the week is accompanied by several related questions to support your exploration and study.

We are pleased that we were able to implement Gurumayi’s wisdom because we are now realizing that many of you do have additional time during which you can work with Gurumayi’s questions in the Workbook on her Message for 2020.


“Be in the Temple” is a gift from Gurumayi.

There is a namasankirtana every Saturday evening in the Ashram Daily Schedule. And so I am pleased to know that Gurumayi’s gift is reaching all of you through the live video stream of tonight’s namasankirtana in the Siddha Yoga Universal Hall.