These last two years have been very hard on me in every aspect. I have kept up with my practices and my faith and prayer, and I knew
I was being heard. Still, things were not getting better. So I looked at my puja
with deep yearning and asked, “What is happening?” I clearly heard, “Burning away karma.” All of a sudden, it all made sense. I felt grateful because the most difficult parts of my life were being addressed. I could not clean up so much on my own. It is hard, but I know I will come out the other side much lighter. And I can’t express how much gratitude I feel for this.
Miguel Hidalgo, Mexico
I am grateful for the gift of experiencing the joy and depth of the practice of seva
. I have learned to offer my actions with a mind focused on God and a heart open to my own self-worth. I’ve come to understand and experience that Gurumayi brings out the best in me through this transformational practice of offering seva
Once I was invited to offer seva
teaching dance in movement sessions at Shree Muktananda Ashram. All of my sense of unworthiness came to the surface only to be upstaged by my pure love for dance. To offer seva
in an area I had learned and loved since I was a child was a perfect gift.
At home now, as I go about my daily tasks, I am grateful for the understanding that I can offer all of my actions to my Guru and to God. In the quiet solitude of my home space, I also dance nearly every day, and I remember this too is an offering.
New York, United States
I have been on the Siddha Yoga path my whole life. I always attended satsang
s in my city, but due to one reason or another had never visited Gurudev Siddha Peeth.
Several years ago I was facing questions about my purpose in life. I had the opportunity to go to Gurudev Siddha Peeth for a seva
visit. While I was there, my longing to know my divine purpose was fulfilled. When I returned to work, my understanding of my divine purpose led me to be content and happy.
On my sixtieth birthday, reflecting on my life, I saw that the Siddha Yoga path has shaped my whole adult life. At age twenty-five, I met Baba Muktananda through a video at the small meditation center in Brisbane. As I watched Baba on the screen, I became filled with love flowing through my whole being, which I had never before experienced. This love stayed with me for a long time. As I passed people in the street, I felt this love for them, and all the trees glistened with this love.
I met my husband at the Siddha Yoga meditation center, and we have shared our sadhana
together now for thirty-eight years. In 1997 I participated in a “Siddha Yoga and Psychotherapy Conference” at Shree Muktananda Ashram. I had just begun my career as a psychotherapist, and what I learned there has shaped my entire working career. I am so blessed in my personal life as well, as I keep growing in love through the grace and teachings of Bade Baba, Baba, and beloved Gurumayi.
In 2006 I offered music seva
in Gurudev Siddha Peeth as a long-term gurukula
student. Gurumayi ji was there at that time, and we sometimes had some educational meetings with her. In one such meeting, we each received a small paper with one word written on it, and we had to say something in response to it. My word was bottle
. After contemplating, I shared that one can use a bottle in different ways: one can put earth from a sacred place in it—or alcohol.
Remembering this many years later, I realize that every evening I can use my body, like that bottle, in different ways. For example, I can chant or I can go out somewhere. Most evenings, I have chanted namasankirtanas
. This has given me sweetness and blessings, and has benefited both me and my family.
I have been following the Siddha Yoga path since childhood, and I don't recall even one day in my life when I have not felt protected and nurtured by Guru's grace.
In school, in college, at Gurudev Siddha Peeth as a gurukula
student, at my first job, as a new wife and a new mother, and in the various professional roles that followed, Gurumayi’s wisdom has guided me every step of the way, even if I was not always aware of it.
This guidance came in many ways. Sometimes it came in a teaching from one of Gurumayi’s books. Sometimes it came in offering seva
, or in a friend’s advice. Sometimes it came in the midst of a challenging life situation. But no matter what, I have always felt Gurumayi by my side.
Many times my heart leapt in sheer joy and love, and all I could do was to say, “Thank you, thank you, Gurumayi, for your presence in my life, and on the planet!”
Recently, I looked back over my nearly forty years as a Siddha Yoga student, and I realized that grace, protection, and guidance have always been present for me since the Guru entered my life. I have so much to be grateful for, not only for the many good times, but also and especially for the challenging times. I cannot imagine a life without the Siddha Yoga teachings and practices. I feel so blessed.
Some time ago, my mother was sick and her illness prevented her from doing a lot of the things she loved to do, like reading, traveling, and offering seva. One day while keeping her company by her bedside, I remembered all the things she loved to do, and I started to ask her, “Mom, do you regret anything...”
She didn't let me finish the question I wanted to ask her, and she responded quickly instead. Her response made me appreciate her sadhana and also showed me how I could remember the blessings of my own life. Her response was, “When you regret, you are not grateful.”
New York, United States
In 2006 I visited Shree Muktananda Ashram to offer seva with the Prison Project. During this visit, I was scheduled to attend a challenging meeting. I was hoping for a particular hard-to-achieve outcome. I visited the Temple in Atma Nidhi to seek Bade Baba’s grace and guidance for my hoped-for outcome. I made an offering and requested his blessing. At the meeting, everything I’d hoped for was accomplished. I felt incredibly pleased and happy.
Later, during the midday chant, I suddenly heard an inner command to go to the Bade Baba Temple. As I bowed my head to the floor, Bade Baba's voice arose inside me, saying, “Whenever you ask for a blessing, always remember to come back and give thanks for grace.” Inside I gave a resounding “Yes!” As I rose from the floor, his voice came loud and clear again: “Just as important, even if the outcome is the exact opposite of what you want, return to me and say thank you.”
Now, whenever I lay an issue or a request at the Guru’s feet, I remember that the outcome is out of my hands and that, whatever happens, I must express my gratitude for grace.
When I was a teenager living a wayward life on the streets of New York City, Shri Gurumayi plucked me out of harm's way with the touch of her wand of divine peacock feathers on my head during a satsang I attended. Then, as if by magic, my life turned around.
Many years later, when I thought I was meeting her for the first time at Shree Muktananda Ashram, I suddenly remembered that years earlier, she had saved my life. She picked a boy out of the streets, and then gave him her most precious treasure—the love in her scintillating, expansive heart.
Now, in my late fifties, I consider myself the most fortunate being on earth. Sometimes doing my best, sometimes falling short, every day of my life I weep with gratitude. Why? Because, no matter what, I get to be alive at the same time on the same planet as Shri Gurumayi Chidvilasananda. For this, and this alone, aren't we all the most fortunate people on earth?
Nevada, United States
On a seva visit to Shree Muktananda Ashram in 2019, I was offering seva in the Flower Department and in Food Services. One evening after chanting the Arati in the Bhagavan Nityananda Temple, I sat enveloped in the sweet and powerful energy of the chant, feeling I was the most fortunate being on the planet. My heart was throbbing with gratitude. I was alone with Bade Baba, bathing in his bliss, watching my mind dissolving in love. When I offered pranam before leaving, only one thought emerged—serving. “May I serve you constantly in any possible way!”
On my way back to the Lower Lobby, I saw Gurumayi standing there talking to someone. She addressed me and asked, “So you want to serve?” and of course I replied “Yes!” with enthusiasm. I was immediately invited to offer a timely seva. Washed anew by Gurumayi's grace, I floated in gratitude for the rest of my stay.
My Guru’s love ignites my gratitude. Her love is truly immense and my heart is on fire.
I am immensely grateful for this beautiful path and Gurumayi's grace. I am also grateful that everything that is needed in my sadhana comes about when the time is right.
For almost thirty years I had longed to go to Gurudev Siddha Peeth, but it never seemed to be the right time. Finally, in 2018 I set the intention to go in 2020. Then in May 2019 I had this strong feeling I needed to go that November. Although lacking the time and money I needed, I applied just before the deadline to attend the Pilgrimage to the Heart Retreat in 2019. I was accepted and everything I needed for it to happen came about.
Gurudev Siddha Peeth is truly a sacred place and everything about my time there has been a blessing, especially the challenges! I now feel more able to move forward in my life with courage and fearlessness. I am so grateful for the inner guidance to go when I did, as it would not have been possible in 2020 or 2021. I know it all came about thanks to Gurumayi’s grace.
This year I was in a car accident and sustained a concussion. By Guru’s grace and the Siddha Yoga teachings, I was able to recover. Two days after the accident I had a dream in which Gurumayi healed me. Shortly after the accident Gurumayi’s poem “Astronomical Gratitude” was posted on the Siddha Yoga path website; it helped me immensely as I read it several times a day.
One night I woke up filled with fear. I meditated and remembered an experience I’d had when I was six years old. It was an experience of the Blue Being within myself and I knew that was my true Self. A voice said, “It is up to you to decide if you want to focus on your Self or your fear.” I chose the Self.
New York, United States
I wish to elucidate my gratitude for the complete transformation of my life that has taken place gradually over the last forty-four years since I met Baba.
The feelings that predominate in my life now are those of immense love, gratitude, and joy. What a difference from the young woman who met Baba with feelings of fear, despair, and longing! Steady progress rather than spectacular experiences has been my lot and I am ever so grateful for whatever it is that has caused me to persevere—even when, at times, it felt impossible that I would ever overcome the darkness in my heart.
Truly, all that sense of unworthiness, self-deprecation, and timorousness have left and I feel that I have the choice to never go there again. What gift could be more valuable? Whatever good fortune has guided my life is all the doing of my Guru. I would not want to change a second of the experiences I’ve had since our paths joined. They were never separate!
Clifton Hill, Australia
In 1999 I was serving on staff at Shree Muktananda Ashram. I was feeling so close to touching God’s form, as if I could reach out, part a curtain, and touch and see That. My longing was so strong I went to sleep that night crying, praying that I might see, touch, and feel God. That night I had a dream.
A great being took my hand and walked me out into the blackness of the universe. When I stepped out, I experienced that the universe was sound, and this sound was love—an utterly enveloping love that filled every particle of my being.
New Jersey, United States
In the early 1990s I was going through a period of deep inner work with a variety of modalities. At this time I was also experiencing deep discontentment for no apparent reason; even the company of my best friends and family was unfulfilling. One morning I awoke to the words of a female voice saying: It’s wonderful that you’re learning all of these things about yourself, but what more can you know about your Self?
Soon after I learned about the Siddha Yoga path. When I received darshan
from Gurumayi, the recognition arose within me that I was in the presence of the divine. Each day I count my blessings, for even when challenges arise in my life, I am aware of the greatest blessing of all, a mind that can perceive the ultimate Truth, thanks to the Guru’s grace.
New Jersey, United States
As I take in these wondrous shares, I remember so many of my own experiences of gratitude on the Siddha Yoga path— small and big, recent and past. All the issues and challenges of life seem to dissolve into higher experiences even when at first they seemed unsolvable. I believe this is due to grace, and this leads me to immense gratitude to my Guru.
In 2010 I received a diagnosis of incurable cancer. I had no symptoms so the consultant could not offer treatments designed to alleviate them.
I left his surgery with gratitude in my heart because I immediately remembered having heard a teaching implying that patients like me were very fortunate since they would come close to God very quickly. Even my imprecise memory of this teaching was sufficient to lift my spirits to a kind of exultation. Rather than a death sentence, I had been given a great gift— knowing I was worthy of coming close to God. Rather than dread, I felt jubilation! And I’m here to tell the tale!
I vividly recall leaving the hospital and feeling this understanding enter my mind, overriding all other reactions. In the process of writing this share now, I realize that the true gift was not that memory or any wise understanding I had but simply the presence of the Guru, which always manifests in my hour of need.
My gratitude for that knows no bounds.
Beccles, United Kingdom
The share in “Clarity of Vision” reminded me that, through the Guru's grace, miracles happen in us and around us at any given moment. When my eyes and my heart are open at the same time, I am able to be fully present to what occurs at each precise moment and embrace it with gratitude.
This was particularly evident for me after I received a serious medical diagnosis about fifteen months ago. After my first emotional reaction, I understood that this experience was a gift of grace and a special opportunity for me to learn some truths that had not been accessible to me until then. I embraced the experience fully and was immediately blessed with a state of complete trust and gratitude that never left me, accompanying me to a full recovery.
For me, gratitude is a gift of divine grace that expands and grows into more and more gratitude.
New York, United States
I am grateful for the challenges, the joys, the great things, and the seemingly small things that together constitute my blessed life. Having reached a more leisurely time in my life, I’ve been reading my journals, written over fifty years, and reflecting on the transformation I’ve undergone since I received shaktipat from Baba Muktananda in 1970. The richness and depth of my sadhana experiences amaze me. My reading has allowed me to see the circumstances of my life as a whole, through the lens of time and experience, and to deepen my understanding of the dance of effort and grace that runs through it.
I find myself repeatedly drawn into and uplifted by my own descriptions of forgotten dreams and meditation experiences, significant interactions, and the countless moments of grace. I know that the best way for me to express gratitude for my tremendous good fortune is by embodying the sublime virtues, living each day as an offering to God, and giving thanks to Baba, Gurumayi, and Bade Baba for my blessed life.
Once my journal reading is completed, I intend to offer its gems to my family—and to Shakti Punja, the Siddha Yoga archives.
North Carolina, United States
Tonight I had the darshan of my beloved Guru in a dream. I was in a room and I saw Baba sitting there, with Gurumayi in front of him. Gurumayi was holding an arati tray and doing puja to Baba’s Guru. Baba and Gurumayi were looking at each other as one.
Suddenly I saw myself with an arati tray doing puja to Baba, as Gurumayi watched. As the arati tray circled, I saw Baba's eyes filling with a light that was getting brighter and brighter. I could see how Baba's body was a temple that was being filled completely by that divine light. Everything inside Baba was pure light.
When I woke up, I wanted to keep seeing that light inside Baba. But again and again, my consciousness went inside me and I could see how that same light was shining inside me. I was filled with that light. A feeling of deep love and gratitude welled up in my heart for the gift I had just received.
Villanueva de la Cañada, Spain
Whenever I offer prayers at my puja, it has always been my intention to pray eloquently. Yet each and every time, these are the only words that spontaneously pour out of my heart, overflowing with love: “With immense gratitude—thank you, Gurumayi. Thank you, Gurumayi. Thank you, Gurumayi.”
I know they are enough, because I feel peaceful as I experience the Guru's reciprocal love and gratitude in my heart.
Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
I feel gratitude each time my mind is in silence. In this silence everything is in harmony. I experience peace and love. In these moments there are no words to express my gratitude, and sometimes I have to cry to give space to my gratitude.
Each morning before my predawn meditation, I go to the balcony, stretch out my arms to the sky, and offer my gratitude to God and my beloved Gurumayi. I visualize them holding my hand and guiding me through the blessed day ahead.
Recently I was freezing cold. I boiled salted water along with a few leftover potatoes and put cream over them. When I felt warmth coming into my body, immense gratitude suddenly washed over me. I felt love in the food. Then I remembered Gurumayi telling Rohit to pray that all children have enough to eat. I prayed that this may be so for children and all people.
At night when I go to bed, I sometimes feel so grateful just to have a bed and its protection. Knowing that on this earth many people are sleeping on the street, and that having a bed to sleep in is something special, fills me with gratitude. Then I pray for a protected and soft, warm place to sleep for all.
I experience gratitude most when I get closer to understanding that God is behind everything that happens in my life. Then I am happier and I feel grateful.
Recently I began to thank my body each morning before my morning meditation. I sit with myself and I contemplate how much it does for me and what a miracle my body is. I started this mostly because of how strongly I have been influenced and deeply moved by the love I feel when I practice “Gurumayi's Guidance.”
Together, these two practices have shifted my experience of living in my body. When I feel grateful, I feel good; it seems impossible to struggle and feel gratitude at the same time. I feel so much more at ease, and I notice I am much more present than I have ever been before. Even though Gurumayi has spoken so much over the years about gratitude and I have practiced feeling grateful, I don't think I really understood just how powerful this practice really is until now.
I am truly grateful for the practice of gratitude!
New York, United States
I thank God for all he has given me, all he continues to give me, and all he will give me in the future. I thank my Guru as the “physician” who opened the door of my heart, took me out of the dark cave of duality, and made me able to see the bright light of unity.
A few days ago, I promised myself that I would gather the courage to continue my sadhana with enhanced efforts. As I applied myself to the practices, the worries in my life started to dissolve, and my dreams have become ecstatic and full of meaning. I am deeply grateful to Gurumayi for all her guidance in my life.
Mexico City, Mexico
I would like to express my gratitude for Gurumayi’s generous gift of the Siddha Yoga path website. During these past months of pandemic uncertainty and flux, the Siddha Yoga path website has been my connection, my home base, my daily ritual, and the single most constant and consistent source for me of uplifting, grounding, and transformative guidance and wisdom.
Maine, United States
The other day, I held the door open for a person behind me as we were going through a doorway. They then said, “Oh, thank you!” in a cheerful tone. After we went our separate ways, I felt joy and excitement inside. Because they had expressed their gratitude to me, I felt acknowledged and appreciated. If they had not said thank you, I would not even have remembered that moment.
After contemplating this experience, I realize that I can give people the opportunity to feel the same way I did by remembering to express my gratitude, even for the little things.
Minnesota, United States
Gratitude. This practice is one that I can undoubtedly say has been life transforming. When I practice gratitude, the way I see the world changes and almost like alchemy, the things I look at change. Miracles happen. When I take time to count my blessings, I only see more and more blessings come into my life.
New York, United States