September 26, 2020
On January 1, 2020, we joined one another in the Siddha Yoga Universal Hall to participate in Sweet Surprise 2020 and receive Gurumayi’s Message for this year—आत्मा की प्रशान्ति, Peacefulness of the Self. Do you remember that first moment you received Gurumayi’s Message? Can you recall your first impression?
Perhaps you experienced these words viscerally, feeling their presence pulsate in your body, or had a particular emotion, thought, or memory that the words elicited. Perhaps you began to imagine how you would study this teaching and bring it into each moment of your day-to-day life.
What a great distance we have traveled since those first few weeks of 2020. Never did we imagine the turbulent days that lay ahead, nor the strength, courage, compassion, and steadiness that these unprecedented times would ask of each of us. Never did we imagine how poignantly priceless our beloved Gurumayi’s Message would be—shining as a beacon of light, guiding us through uncertainty and confusion, and reminding us again and again of the source of peace that we find within.
The idea of peace within our being is one thing; consistently living from this steady source of peace, particularly at times of confusion and chaos, is quite another. To truly embrace and carry forward Gurumayi’s Message into every aspect of our lives requires persistent effort. To guide our efforts, Gurumayi gave us questions, in the format of the Workbook, each week beginning on March 1. Perhaps, like us, you eagerly greeted these questions and welcomed them into your homes as divine company, arriving at the perfect moment. Perhaps, like us, you found yourselves returning to the words of Gurumayi’s questions again and again, like dear friends supporting you through uncharted waters.
As Gurumayi teaches, learning occurs in all four bodies—physical, intellectual, emotional, and spiritual—and throughout the year, you have engaged each of these bodies in your exploration of Gurumayi’s questions. You have walked through the four gates of speech, sung and danced to bhajans and abhangas, written letters to the poet-saints, and mapped how you surround yourself with auspiciousness throughout the day. And this is to name just a few of the Workbook activities you did!
As the writers of the Workbook, we have been inspired by the insights that you have shared. Many of you were able to use your extended time at home to further enrich your study. Some of you have worked in the solitude of your homes, while others connected with fellow students by phone and online. One student from the United States shared how the four gates of speech became a road map for how to live under quarantine with their family. In studying the bhajans and abhangas, a student from the United Kingdom shared how this music led her again and again to the love and peace in her heart. A student from Switzerland shared that she set aside time each week for the Workbook and, through her engagement, she is learning how to listen to the inner sound and quiet her mind.
The final worksheet of 2020 was posted on Saturday, September 19. What a remarkable journey we have been on together. Through this Workbook, we have participated in the ancient tradition of question-and-answer between Guru and disciple. We have sat with Gurumayi in satsang—in the company of the Truth. We have been guided by a living master to the lived experience of supreme peace. For this, we offer our heartfelt gratitude to our beloved Gurumayi.
As this Workbook comes to a conclusion, we invite you to acknowledge the steady effort you have committed to this study, the progress you have achieved in your sadhana, and the many avenues you have discovered to recognize आत्मा की प्रशान्ति, Peacefulness of the Self.
Chinmayi Maxwell and Mallika Maxwell
Writers of The Workbook on Gurumayi’s Message for 2020