I learned from this excerpt that meditation can occur anywhere spontaneously. After all, I embody the Self all day long, and not just during that special time when I meditate. I have felt moments like the one experienced by the woman doing tadasana, but was hesitant to label them meditation because I wasn't sitting for a long time in a special spot. Now I understand.
Massachusetts, United States
“She always thought she had to do it…”
And yet in the end it was a matter of bringing the body “into perfect balance” and allowing grace to enter. This teaching has served me for so many years since receiving shaktipat. Sometimes I forget it and labor intensely toward an outcome. And then—praise be!—I remember and find that place of balance within and grace fills my world.
The only word I have ever found that comes anywhere near describing where grace brings me is—knowing. In this place it is not that I know, but I am the state of knowing. And it is full of grace.
A great challenge in my sadhana and in my life has been to find a balance between my sincere efforts and an openness to grace that is free of expectations.
I remember Gurumayi’s teaching about Siddha Yoga being a path of moderation. This inspired me to develop a sense of what moderation means to me without comparing myself to others. This awareness has in turn helped me to find more balance in my life and to be more open to grace.
Of course, I don’t always succeed; sometimes I overdo my efforts and realize it too late. But I don’t lose heart. Instead, I regain my strength, learn from my mistakes, and let the Guru's grace show me the right way.
I discovered My Lord Loves a Pure Heart twenty-one years ago when I first stepped onto the land of the sages in Ganeshpuri. I was not a Siddha Yogi but I’d brought my wife to Gurudev Siddha Peeth to attend a seva workshop. I stayed in a hotel and “happened” to buy this book—which awakened me to a different world. I read the book throughout the night.
The next day, I joined my wife in chanting at the Ashram as there was a Mahashivaratri saptah. Returning to the hotel, I spent the next three days and nights engrossed in the book. The next morning I had to return to Mumbai. In pitch darkness at 3 a.m. I climbed the hill-like pathway to Gurudev Siddha Peeth. In the courtyard, the mantra was being chanted by almost a hundred Gurukula students. I sat in the last row, chanting the mantra, as tears filled my eyes. In the dimly lit courtyard, I saw only Gurumayi’s silhouette.
I was in a trance. I returned to Mumbai having found my path and my Guru. I am still reading this book.
Last night when I could not fall asleep, I got up and did some stretching. I was standing and stretching my knees, and then naturally my thighs were tightened, my spine and my whole core were stretched and lifted upward, as well as my pelvis. My shoulders fell down naturally and my chest opened. I felt a deep release.
This morning when I read this excerpt of Gurumayi’s, I recognized all this: it was the mountain pose, without me having known it! I am so grateful to have Gurumayi as my Guru, and to be aligned in this way with the cosmic energy and the intelligence of the body. It is all naturally there.
I had been studying the Siddha Yoga Home Study Course: “In Search of the Self” that I’d received from the Prison Project for several years before I joined the hatha yoga program available in the prison. The wonderful volunteer instructor was teaching a style that had the goal of achieving meditation in motion.
This excerpt from My Lord Loves a Pure Heart was included in the Home Study Course series of lessons devoted to meditation. By then, I had been in the hatha yoga program for several years, and this passage really intensified my experiences of flowing through the sequence of poses without thought.
Now that I’m out of prison, hatha yoga has become a cherished part of my daily routine. And the phrase in this excerpt, “she made no effort,” has come at the perfect time—I was ready to elevate my practice to that level. The Shakti brings what we need at the time we need it.
Oregon, United States