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Birthday Bliss 2017

The Benevolent Companion
A Talk by Gurumayi Chidvilasananda
Sunday, June 25, 2017

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Following the Shaktipat Intensive, I studied Gurumayi's teachings in The Benevolent Companion again.
This time when I read Gurumayi’s question, ”How do you wake up in the morning?” new responses came to mind that have increased my perseverance and courage.
I noticed that, as I wake up, my breath helps me connect to my awareness of my identity as Consciousness. I feel encouraged to persevere in waking up by repeating the mantra and connecting it to my breath. Then when I recall the third phrase of Gurumayi's Message, I feel encouraged to breathe out and see my breath as love manifesting in the universe.
I am so grateful to know that I am always accompanied by the kind and generous prana-shakti.
Thank you, Gurumayi, for your teachings and guidance.

California, USA

I am so grateful for this talk! It has invigorated my meditation practice and awakened a love for the mantra that I have never experienced before. The teachings in it are so profound and so practical at the same time. 
I have been reading it almost every day, and every time I understand a little bit more, experience something a little bit deeper. A relationship with the mantra and my breath is unfolding that I am starting to cherish.
When I meditate and I feel “nothing is happening," I trust that my interior is being cleaned by the mantra and I am happy. When I feel a little ragged and my breath is shallow, I remember the mantra and connecting to it calms and fills me.
The more I read this talk, the more I long to understand and embody every word in it. I pray that I may be humble enough, devoted enough, and open enough to allow it to do its work on me.

Melbourne, Australia

In the days before we received this inspiring talk from Gurumayi, I had been reflecting on the resistance I was experiencing as I got up in the morning. After reading and re-reading this talk, I felt inspired to write a letter to Gurumayi and place it on my puja. In the letter I asked for her grace to support me in overcoming the habit of staying in bed when it is time to rise.
The next morning seemed much the same as any other morning—until I went outside and noticed people walking their dogs. I thought, “I could do that! I could get up early and walk the dog.” The following morning I got straight out of bed. I found I had plenty of time to walk the dog, stretch, chant, meditate, and even fit in a few domestic chores. Every morning since then, I have been waking, rising, and embracing the day.
I am so grateful for the Guru's grace, which enables me to break through habits that constrain me and which enriches and blesses my inner and outer life.

Sydney, Australia

The morning after Gurumayi's Birthday Celebration Satsang, I woke up—and felt as if large angel wings were unfolding as I got out of bed! I thought, "What a strange image; I'm hardly an angel!" But it felt wonderful, as if I had something to offer the world. I promised myself that I was going to focus on the unfolding of the angel wings every morning.
Later that day, I read Gurumayi's talk and came across her question about how we feel when we wake up each day. I felt so happy to have experienced the wings unfolding before I'd even read her talk.
This has reinforced my understanding that Gurumayi speaks to each of us individually as she speaks to all of us collectively. It also reminded me that I have a choice every day: even on the days that the wings don't unfurl so easefully, I can focus on breathing deeply and expanding those wings.
I am so grateful that Gurumayi's talk has penetrated my being so deeply.

Connecticut, USA

My heart filled with delight and joyful anticipation as I read this blueprint for how to move steadily forward in my sadhana. I will now pray for the grace of constant remembrance.   
Thank you, Gurumayi, for your illuminating and inspiring talk. 

California, USA

This is such a beautiful talk by Gurumayi. After reading it silently to myself, I decided to read it aloud, as if Gurumayi herself were speaking to me. As I imbibed the words, they became a living mantra—alive, vibrating, dancing, singing, moving deeply within me—allowing me to contemplate and absorb the full meaning of her words in a deeper way. I then repeated her words in the poem at the end of the talk, and meditated on them while the mantra played in the background.
Today I begin my day joyfully alive, peacefully content, humbly devoted, and supremely thankful for this benevolent gift that Gurumayi has given me.

Leeds, United Kingdom

I love this talk so much! With its wise, practical, illuminating, nourishing words, it seems to touch and delight every part of me that was yearning  for clear, loving guidance. It feels like every teaching I need for my whole life is here.
Thank you from the bottom of my heart, dearest Gurumayi.

Hanging Rock, Australia 

I am so grateful for all there is to contemplate in Gurumayi’s incredibly profound and practical talk. I just took the time to read it for the second time. This time, more carefully. This time, giving myself the time to let it sink in more deeply, and reveal itself more fully and clearly to me. This time, taking notes for my journal so I can better remember how to focus on applying the teachings in my daily life.
I looked up the word benevolent, and found these synonyms: kind, caring, compassionate, generous, giving, benign, munificent, altruistic. These describe the way I experience the talk itself—as a breath, so to speak, of fresh air, as an inviting pool of sweetness.
Thank you so much, Gurumayi, for this amazing gift. I feel I’ve been blessed with the Guru’s grace anew. I am breathing more easily. 

Ohio, USA

As every beautiful page turned over to the next page, I found my own breath rising and falling in complete harmony with the teachings being revealed.
Prior to reading Gurumayi's words, I had been cleaning away the fallen leaves in my garden and relishing the way this activity made me feel both on the inside and on the outside. While performing this activity, I had been repeating the mantra in rhythm with the sweeping motions of the broom . As I did so, the soft summer breeze played with the tall branches on the bamboo plants and they softly scattered more leaves all around me. I smiled at the way nature was playing with me, as I carried on cleaning.
Thank you, Gurumayi, for the gift of this talk.

London, United Kingdom

I was touched as I read this talk, feeling the flow of grace and compassion from my beloved Guru, Shri Gurumayi.
After carefully reading the talk two times, I decided to create regular reminders to smile and laugh, which I sometimes forget to do. The next day, when I offered the mantra to my breath during meditation, as Gurumayi taught us to do, I noticed that the mantra was already going on naturally with the breath.
I trust that this talk will help me to study, practice, assimilate, and implement Gurumayi`s Message for 2017. Thank you, Gurumayi, for such a beautiful and useful talk, which I will remember for a long time.

Udaipur, India

Reading this talk gives me assurance and encouragement as Gurumayi ji talks about some sadhana tools, one of them being to watch what you eat.
This comes at the right time as I just finished reading Gurumayi's book The Yoga of Discipline, which has two chapters focused especially on "Discipline in Eating." I have been contemplating for some time how to get back to a firmer routine of exercise and more disciplined eating; reading these words gives me inspiration to begin.
Thank you, Gurumayi ji, for your blessings and guidance.

New Delhi, India

Breathing is the miracle I experience every day, especially since I have become aware of the different ways I can breathe, and of the possibility of further learning to enhance my awareness of this process.
With that, my life, spirit, and body are changing. 
I feel enormously blessed to receive access to this knowledge from my beloved Guru, who is always near and who gives so abundantly.

Amsterdam, Netherlands

This talk by my beloved Gurumayi transformed my state of mind in an instant! It gave me hope and brought me one step closer to the cleanliness of my being. I read every page three times, and took every word to heart. And I will read it again and again. 
I am delighted to learn the six different ways that Gurumayi elucidates for helping my breath to work better. I know that practicing these will cleanse my entire being! 
Thank you, dear Gurumayi, for this precious gift!

California, USA

When reading this talk, I was amazed at how Gurumayi, time and again, speaks about scriptural teachings and ancient knowledge in such an accessible and practical way.
Thank you, Gurumayi, for guiding me toward practices I can use in my everyday life to pursue my sadhana and to maintain my inner being. Thank you for your grace and generosity.

Santiago, Chile

When I read Gurumayi's tips for improving our relationship to our breath and came to the one about singing nonsense, I had to laugh. Just the day before, following Gurumayi's Birthday Celebration Satsang, I was preparing dinner for houseguests and singing to the food!  
The joy I had felt in the Celebration Satsang was spilling over and coming out as a joyous mixture of melody and silly words as I was cooking.
This kept the situation light for me. I was able to orchestrate some of the more chaotic tasks, so that everything was ready in perfect time. I was in a relaxed inner state. And I brought that to my houseguests when they arrived. 

Illinois, USA

After the beautiful satsang in the Universal Hall on Gurumayi's birthday, I felt very blessed and was drawn deeply into my own Self. As I went to sleep, I naturally focused on my breath, doing japa, which continued when I woke up. I felt so blessed just to breathe and be alive—that was so precious and joyful.
Then I thought, "I must take better care of my body and what I put into it." So I deliberately drank a healthy smoothie, and then went to the botanical garden. The air was so fresh, and it was raining gently. Since nobody was nearby, I began to sing spontaneously and freely, chanting mantras, "Janmadin ki jay jay," and more. I realized how healing this practice is, although I'd never done this before in public. It felt wonderful!
When I opened the Siddha Yoga path website afterwards and read Gurumayi's talk "The Benevolent Companion,“ I realized that I had already received its teachings!
Thank you, Gurumayi, for this experience and for your teachings!

Augsburg, Germany

Gurumayi's words have led me into meditation and an almost breathless state of stillness. Within that state, there may be movement, but it has a different quality, the nature of which is ananda, bliss.
I send my love and gratitude to Gurumayi for her grace-filled Birthday Bliss gift.

Washington, USA

Wow, what a blessing to receive this incredible gift from Gurumayi! The teachings in this talk will guide my sadhana, as I search for the truth of the "why" of my destination on this earth, and learn more about how to clean up the mind and merge it into the tranquil, fully expanded Consciousness.
I will study this talk and how to practice its teachings on a daily basis, and I will meditate on it, breathe with it, and enjoy the fruits of doing so.
Thank you, Gurumayi, for this beautiful and valuable gift! 

Zutphen, Netherlands

This talk is so reinforcing for me at this time in my life.
Every morning during my daily meditation, I begin by reciting Gurumayi's Message for 2017. After many repetitions, I noticed that I had begun to focus on fitting my breath into the pattern of the Guru's words. And the more I repeated the Message, the more my breath began to align beautifully with her words—until I realized that my breath had become much longer and deeper and felt increasingly more comfortable.
As I sit for meditation now, the Message has become as close a friend as it could be, bringing me to deeper and deeper levels of my being.
Thank you, Gurumayi, for your constant presence in my life through your teachings!

Connecticut, USA

I’m very grateful for this talk. I have been bedridden for a number of years, and one thing that helps me begin each day is Gurumayi’s infinite love and grace. I see it all around me: in the trees and the beautiful sky I see outside my windows, in the sound of my cat purring, in the beauty of a flower, in laughter, in the unconditional love of my caregiver.
Gurumayi’s talk made me realize that I could be doing much more inner cleaning; instead of worrying, I could be chanting more and focusing on pure awareness and the breath.
I also understand that I don’t have to accomplish a specific goal in the world. It’s enough for me to simply be, to breathe, and to love and cherish life.
Thank you, my beloved Sadguru. Happy, happy birthday!

New Jersey, USA

Today I woke up with some concerns about my financial situation. But after reading this beautiful talk, I realized that what I care about much more are greater things: feeding my spirit and teaching my son how to be a better person in this world, caring about others and doing good things for them. These things are what really matters!
I know that practicing meditation, reading fulfilling passages like the talk here, and remembering the Self will help me to find the best perspective in every situation.
Thanks for the beautiful talk, and Happy Birthday, dear Gurumayi!

Querétaro, Mexico

On Gurumayi's birthday I walked with friends and family to a small park, where we leaned against a fence and gazed over a saltwater bay. As we lingered there, we began talking about how to understand the sentience of trees and rocks, and how to keep our minds clear of clutter.
It was a joy to read Gurumayi’s birthday talk the next day and to find her profound teachings on those very questions. Even as giant firs and cedars were breathing the sea air all around us, we had forgotten about our own breath! Gurumayi’s words are a powerful reminder.

Washington, USA

This talk gives me so much practical help—and it's just one part of this wonderful birthday celebration, which I've experienced as timeless
and joyful. It's helped me sense the joy running through my life, starting from when I was a little girl visiting my grandmother. And I am now a grandmother myself!
My deepest gratitude to Gurumayi, who expands my awareness and constantly shows me how to access the Truth.

Kingston, United Kingdom

Yesterday a small group of us shared in Gurumayi's Birthday Celebration Satsang through the live video stream. Today we continued our celebration as we read Gurumayi’s talk and focused on the breath.
What a joy to feel the flowers of peace spread out all over the world!

Ostuni, Italy

I am grateful to Gurumayi for this powerful, deep, and so timely invitation to re-recognize the power of our own breath, as we practice atma-vichara. 
Before I received shaktipat from Baba, I was quite stricken with asthma, the constant battle to be able to exhale. Since my initiation, my relationship to my breath has become more and more easeful, thanks to my practice of meditation. And throughout my more than forty years of sadhana, I have been drawn again and again to that fundamental question: "Who am I?" I feel that, step by step, I am closer and closer to living in the awareness of the true answer. 
This evocative birthday talk is a most welcome support. 

Bordeaux, France

Over the years of practicing Siddha Yoga, I have been aware of a tendency in me to get calcified in how I perform my sadhana, how I see the world, how I see myself. Gurumayi has just lyrically guided me to a direct and dynamic path to go deeper and deeper.
Gurumayi perfectly models the state of the Self that I long for each day. By continually following her guidance and her teachings, I can adjust the way I perform my sadhana. Then I feel I am righting the course of my life with the destination of fully knowing the Self. Gurumayi's support in this talk is as specific as the points she enumerates, as inspiring as the way my heart fills with joy. 
I look forward to reading this talk again and coming up with a revised roadmap which will take me more directly to my own Self. 
Thank you, Gurumayi, for this gift.

California, USA

The teachings in "The Benevolent Companion" make me feel so encouraged and inspired—to live joyfully, exercise more, sing nonsensically in the shower, and play more in life. The talk also reminds me once again to be the best friend of my breath, and never ever to forsake it by forgetting about its preciousness. I also appreciated Gurumayi's teachings about cleanliness—cleanliness of my entire being.
Thank you, Gurumayi, for your  teachings.

Kathmandu, Nepal

Reading this talk makes me feel brand new, and that so much more is possible in my life. I deeply recognize every point as forever true for me.

I woke up this morning so content that I was going to read this talk on the Siddha Yoga path website. When I think about it, the way I wake up in the morning, my desire to be alive again each day comes in a big way from the immense joy of having Gurumayi in my life. Sharing this world with Gurumayi, knowing that she is here in the same moment in time on this earth—that makes my own life precious. My heart must know that this is indeed the greatest life of all.

Thank you, Gurumayi, for this life-giving talk.

New York, USA