Sunday, December 9, 2007

I Am Grateful For These

K, you've got me started thinking. Thank you for that. I recognize that the list of things you loved about SY and now miss terribly is a litany of loss. I have my own litany; we all do. But, there are other things I have to acknowledge that I take with me. Herewith a partial list of those:

1. When I see someone on the street, or subway, and I'm tempted to have a judgment about them at first sight, I stop. Reflexively, I think: "they, too, are God." I don't claim to know what this means. It might mean nothing at all. But, it brings my judgment up short. Usually. And sometimes I even walk away with a renewed sense of the common dignity we all share, and I find myself wishing that person well.

2. I no longer think of myself as a sinner. In fact, the idea strikes me as absurd. For someone raised in the Roman Catholic tradition this is...a radical change in self-concept. To no longer have a majority of my inner life consumed with calculations over degrees of guilt, negotiations between venial and mortal sins and the need for confession, repentance, forgiveness, penance... this is immense. For me.

3. I can meditate. I can fall into a steady posture and quiet my thoughts and plunge inside. I don't anymore. But I trust that I still can. Like riding a bike, it's something you don't forget. My body remembers the posture, my mind remembers the mantra. Meditation was a refuge for me, a sweet surcease from the incessant demands of the world. I hope I can find it again.

--------------------------
Oh, God. This is hard. Because when taking account of those things I'm grateful for as a result of my practice of SY, many things crowd forward to be acknowledged, and I have to reluctantly dismiss them. For instance, what did it mean that we would smile at one another over chai before the Guru Gita, our eyes shining with joy, and silently acknowledge each other's state, which was really our shared state of bliss, of unaltered happiness? What was the unsaid connection we felt in those early morning hours at South Fallsburgh amrit? A common ecstasy produced by our united good thoughts, intentions, feelings, wishes? Or, the muted glow that junkies pass around with a lazy smile and tired nod?
-----------------------------------

4. I've met and befriended people in SY whose goodness takes my breath away. Friends whose purity of heart and intention I've never had cause to question. (I'm thinking of Nina, Iwona, Kathy, Stephan and Anne, Willa, and George, my George...) A few people have even expressed the same opinion of me. Something about this path invoked that in each of us. Yes, this was abused. This unquestioning, trusting goodness was exploited. That was...evil. But, it doesn't take away what I've seen and loved in others. And now, I know what to look for. I trust that this is there, in anyone I would call a friend. I guess I believe that at their core, most people are good.

5. I find it much easier to forgive. Not because I've become a more forgiving person, but because many of the small transgressions we all traffic in every day no longer seem so important to me. Has my ego shrunk? Not likely. I like my ego nice and strong these days. It just has a tougher shell. Guess all that knocking around had it's silver lining, after all.

6. I can talk about spirituality with others in this unmediated medium of the internet, and know that we all share unspoken assumptions and common beliefs and a language which, though corrupted, frames our experiences in ways we all understand. This is not, I realize, a direct product of SY practice (which officially circumscribed such unofficial dialogue, lest anyone start comparing notes and realize that the gig was up) It is, rather, an unintended and quite wonderful bi-product of our practice. Still, it could not have been possible without the intense, shared experience of the "laboratory of the Shakti" that was SY.

7. I know enough not to give my heart away again for a few hits of Shakti and a flashing blue pearl. I now know that my heart belongs entirely to me. In an ironic, sad way I finally understand the teaching that god dwells within my own heart, as me. Ironic, because the one who gave me this teaching sought to claim my heart as her own. Sad, because so many years have passed and, dazzled by the outward show, I've never made any serious attempt to claim the treasure within. But, at least I know it is there.

Well, this is a start. It is a benchmark of sorts, for me. You can't begin picking among the ashes for those few things that are left to you until you've accepted that there has been a fire. A really bad fire.

Please! Have at me with your comments. I'm feeling kinda open and vulnerable and susceptible to whatever comes my way. That's one thing we were never encouraged to feel in SY, n'est-ce pas?

PS Zennie. Start your blog! Please. There are so many correspondences between the yoga we practiced and addiction. I look forward to hearing what you have to say on this subject, and others as well.

128 comments:

Anonymous said...

Thanks for this great, great post, I think I can subscribe each one of your points, maybe with a little difference: strange enough, I don't feel sad any more about the whole thing, I don't feel betrayed, although I did feel sad, betrayed and kind of lost for a couple of years...

And above all, I still keep with me the astonishing feeling I had when I first heard a SY swami talk about this path, back in 1980. When Samatananda was talking, I couldn't help but feel... "God! It's the first time somebody is telling me what is life about!" (I also remember having the feeling of "And I had to wait 27 years for somebody to tell me it!", hahaha). And this feeling, this thought is, 27 years later, still in the deepest part of me, and for this, I'm very, very grateful, because it really changes your point of view, it changes your glasses.

Much love,
Pp

Anonymous said...

Re: "which was really our shared state of bliss, of unaltered happiness? What was the unsaid connection we felt in those early morning hours at South Fallsburgh amrit? A common ecstasy produced by our united good thoughts, intentions, feelings, wishes? Or, the muted glow that junkies pass around with a lazy smile and tired nod?"

Seekher,

I knew you would not disappoint on your list. This captures it so well for me. We were able at times to be so respectful, so caring. That is what I learned from SY, how wonderful it felt to think of others, to take care of each other even in this way of being together in the early morning.

Ah but in the cold light of a seva break and with GM in the Amrit we could get soooo competitive. ;-)

Will revisit you post for food for thought. Thanks so much.

Anonymous said...

"couldn't help but feel... "God! It's the first time somebody is telling me what is life about!"

Pp I was right with you with that thought. I know that shift. SY gave radically new experiences to us little lambs. How could we not love it all.

Anonymous said...

Dear Seekher,

This last post of yours was sublime.

IMHO it is the first writing among all of the pro-SY and anti-SY sites that truly bridges the positives about SY that we remember fondly and miss tremendously, AND the negatives that we must courageously face, honestly own up to and admit they were true since much of it was right there in front of our collective faces, and thus should revile as negative, even evil.

Congratulations. You've written the missing link, IMO. The bridge between the pro and the con, the plus and the minus, the good and the evil, the yin and the yang, "ha" and "tha", the alpha and the omega.

You wrote "You can't begin picking among the ashes for those few things that are left to you until you've accepted that there has been a fire. A really bad fire."

Indeed. An eternal lamp for us to contemplate as we determine where our lives go from this day forward.

Picking among those ashes you mention, I wonder if instead of "Rituals of Disenchantment, perhaps a better name for this blog, and for your writing, might be something like "Ashes of Recognition".

Thank you for a deeply honest, balanced, touching, and perceptive piece of writing.

Anonymous said...

>>For instance, what did it mean that we would smile at one another over chai before the Guru Gita, our eyes shining with joy, and silently acknowledge each other's state, which was really our shared state of bliss, of unaltered happiness?""<<

Dear SeekHer,
Yes, I remember this too! That beautiful, deep, silent time before the Guru Gita...after the early morning Arati in the temple. Brahma-mahurta, my favorite time of day..and still is. It's a very beautiful thing, after a lifetime of searching, to sit at a table in the semi-darkness with a cup of chai, waiting to do a lengthy practice that you love and in the company of others who share your feelings....no need to speak or even make eye contact but the re-assuring presence of what was called "good company" and the play of the senses...the smell of the chai spices and early morning dhoop, a view of Bhagavan Nityananda's murti shining in the pitch blackness, the silence broken only by the sound of chai pouring into a cup . And it's an unusual thing to experience here, in this particular country, so pre-occupied with Desire and fearful of simply being quiet for more than a moment. No wonder we all felt such a great relief and joy...finally, a resting place.
In some ways, this is what makes leaving siddha yoga so difficult...there is the loss of so much that made being here more "bearable". It takes a while to come out of the dream, I think, and to be able to find the same sense of beauty and mystery in the full light of day and the "being-ness" of the moment. It's a different kind of beauty...sharper, perhaps and less "dreamy" but beautiful nonetheless.
I was thinking about the holidays and how siddha yoga made them "bearable" for me...especially the tradition of the New Year's Message...the drive up to Fallsburg, meditation in the Temple and then...a long chant and hearing the phrase that would mark my year! It was a ritual that, for me, replaced all of the excess and materialism of Christmas/New Year's celebrations in the "real world". Now I look at those same "wordly" celebrations and I can understand how, every year, they simply brought up the fact that I didn't "fit in"; I didn't seem to enjoy what "normal people" enjoyed (the excess of the holiday season). But I am, maybe, a little more aware than I was a few years ago when I first left siddha yoga and I have finally begun to naturally move from a place of "getting" (even "getting" for my "spiritual self") to a really genuine place of "giving"... maybe giving ATTENTION to others not necessarily material things. Seeing that there is a longing in virtually every person you encounter to be SEEN, to be ACKNOWLEGED as being here...as "being". Maybe it took my time in siddha yoga (where I totally indulged my obsession with my "Self" (big)..which turned out to be an obsession with my "self"(small) to shatter enough of who I thought I was for the Truth underneath all of it to begin to percolate up to the surface and, along with that Truth, came a greater compassion for the suffering of others and the beginning of an understanding that there is nothing to cling onto or hold for "myself".
I do have some wonderful memories of the practices, of GSP, of long Summers in Fallsburg and of the relief I felt when I thought I'd found "my home" and also memories of the pain I felt when it became clear that I had to leave siddha yoga or be destroyed completely (and not in a good way). I remember something that Suzuki Roshi said about deep practice...when you get to a certain place, there will be lonliness...it's that way for everyone...you have to accept this in order to walk through the gate of lonliness to the other side..This has been very helpful to me when I find myself longing for those early mornings under the stars at Annapurna.
best love to you,
anonymous

Anonymous said...

"when you get to a certain place, there will be lonliness...it's that way for everyone...you have to accept this in order to walk through the gate of lonliness to the other side..This has been very helpful to me when I find myself longing for those early mornings under the stars at Annapurna."

December 10, 2007 11:02 AM

Love back to you for this wonderful comment. What is the cure for that isolation we all feel? Thanks so much.

Anonymous said...

I agree with the other commenter. Seekher, you bridged the pro and con perspectives very skillfully, better than any other site I've seen thus far.

It's wonderful to see that level of balance, finally.

Anonymous said...

Beautiful post, and great comments. Your post shows so clearly that even though Siddha Yoga itself is part of the 'play of consciousness' (sometimes in a 'good' way and sometimes in a 'bad' way), its underlying function is to open up the possibility of finding the Truth within yourself.

So what am I grateful for? I am grateful for your 'grateful list'.

Anonymous said...

>>"Love back to you for this wonderful comment. What is the cure for that isolation we all feel? Thanks so much"<<<


Dear Friend,
I think it's what Suzuki Roshi said...we have to walk through the gate...in other words, we have to fully embrace the feeling of "lonliness" in our bodies, rather than trying to cover it up or run away from it as fast as we can find a chant to put on the cd player. I think this "lonliness" is really just another word for accepting the truth of impermanence...one of the major causes of "suffering" according to Buddhist thought.It's that paradox: "what we resist, persists". If we resist seeing the impermanence of who we think we are, then we are very lonely and isolated. By fully accepting the
feelings of isolation we can see that this ache in the heart is something inherent in the human condition ..impermanence, impermanence of "us" and of everything we love and of everything that is ever incarnated in a form..I think that most of us actually stepped onto a spiritual path to resolve this puzzle. And, moving through that gate that Suzuki Roshi describes can result in the shattering of the illusion that we are "alone" or "isolated". I'm sure most of us have had that amazing experience of expansion that sometimes happens during meditation. At that time, there is no thought of "isolation" or "lonliness" because we are immersed in what is underneath everything and "we" disappear. I think we have all had "awakenings"...many of them...to the Truth of what we REALLY are: what is beneath the image of who we are! In my experience, the memory of that boundary-less clarity, expansiveness and immense love is what keeps me turning inside. There is "waking up" and then there is learning how to live in that state. Part of how that happens, I think, is embracing whatever arises for us..including "isolation" and "lonliness". I remember hearing once that "sadhana is difficult" and I thought, "oh yeah! It's hard to get out of bed at 3am sometimes and I get exhausted from so much seva!" But that's the reaction of a child...the "difficulty" is just what we're talking about...deciding to turn towards what virtually everyone else turns away from (and who can blame them..lol).
best love to you,
anonymous

3rdeyeopen said...

These are great sharings. Thanks all.

I already believe we are becoming more whole within as a result of GM closing the ashram. A good mother bird does kick the baby birds from the nest to fly on their own. If we walk on this planet with the inner awareness open and listened to, making better choices from those moments of inner awareness, we are doing vey well. For me, liberation is the shedding of an old way of thinking, doing, perceiving into more expanded ways. It's not about feeling blisssful all the time. I've been laid back about the ashram getting stricter if you wish to learn or stay there. All the outer play was getting tired for me. Eventually, we need to be alone with our inner deity. For those things I've learned through the wise teachings and maintain a lot of silence during the day, I am very grateful.

Filling up the loneliness: we were taught to take the ahsram home with us. Recreated the beauty and sacredness in your own home. Wake up early and sip tea and listen to the Vedic chants before your disciplines. Hold the universal teachings dear and make them your friends to fill up the gaps.

Also, get back into the swing of life and get out there and spread your wings to fly on your own. With all that we shared together for a while. share that energy with others, your expanded awareness is really needed out of the hall. I teach a simple Matrika Shakti lesson in my workshops about words and art. And now I blog :)

Peace

Anonymous said...

"I've never made any serious attempt to claim the treasure within. But, at least I know it is there."

Seekher,

It is scary to witness that within. I can relate it to Arjuna's experience of seeing the Lord - in a small way.

I am afraid of the full witness and always dance around it, unless clobbered on the head with peacock feathers. Like you I know it is there. It's enough.

Looking for it in others rather than myself is more fun. Less obsessive, less self conscious.

Thanks for framing a wonderful discussion.

SeekHer said...

anon said:
"I am afraid of the full witness and always dance around it, unless clobbered on the head with peacock feathers."

Me too. Have to admit I had a few shaktipat by touch experiences that left me out of my body and scared me more than consoled me about the nature of consciousness.

I was a lazy seeker after liberation. The dissolution of the ego in the fire of sadhana? Sorry, but I've worked really hard in this lifetime to get comfortable inside "my" head. Not really ready to give that up to become everything!

Anonymous said...

>>>""I've never made any serious attempt to claim the treasure within. But, at least I know it is there."

Seekher,

It is scary to witness that within. I can relate it to Arjuna's experience of seeing the Lord - in a small way.

I am afraid of the full witness and always dance around it, unless clobbered on the head with peacock feathers. Like you I know it is there. It's enough.

Looking for it in others rather than myself is more fun. Less obsessive, less self conscious. "<<<


So....this is the "gateless gate" that Suzuki Roshi was talking about.

anonymous

Anonymous said...

I am grateful, honestly, for so many things that SY brought to my life. But then again, as I sit about to enter my 5th decade of life, how many of these things would have come to me regardless- after all, I was a ripe 19 when I traveled to GSP to meet Gurumayi.

Here goes...

I am grateful I learned to keep a secret, to be worthy of people's trust.

I am grateful I had the experience of shaktipat and was able to understand that there was 'more' out there than being successful in a traditional Western sense.

I am grateful for the Joy I experienced in SY. Whether it was shakti induced or not, it was absolutely amazing. (I wouldn't do acid anymore but I still had some very positive life altering experiences on the drug and I don't regret that at all.) I really miss the ease of joy actually from chanting, meditating, and being in the company of other seekers (the GG comment- sharing the sparkle, etc...)

I am grateful for what I learned practically at the ashram re: public speaking, organizing, managing others, etc. It has been invaluable to me in my career.

I am grateful for the connections I had with others in SY.

More thoughts to come later...but on a quick note of thanks first as this is my first post (I've been lurking)...

Thanks for this forum to come together to process. It is so difficult for me to reconcile my positive experiences with the things I overlooked for so long. I had always justified it with the comment that Gurus are people too and they make stupid mistakes and bad choices. But when things are hidden and people censored, this is cause for pause.

I never left SY, just drifted away over time as I could no justify the blinders.

SeekHer said...

anon said:
"I am grateful I learned to keep a secret, to be worthy of people's trust."

With all due respect, keeping secrets is not trustworthy. If we've learned one thing from the history of SY, it is this!

Anonymous said...

anon said:
"I am grateful I learned to keep a secret, to be worthy of people's trust."

With all due respect, keeping secrets is not trustworthy. If we've learned one thing from the history of SY, it is this!

---
My thought exactly! Isn't it learning honesty and openness that truly generate trust?

J

Anonymous said...

Secrets of the Siddhas

The word secret appears a lot in SY circles. In the last New Year's message there is a major transition point in the talk when GM says "Let me tell you a secret from the scriptures" I would hang on every word said after that kind of a come on. What was there? What was the secret?

Well I am certain I have listened to that last NYM talk more than any other person on this planet. I am in the top ten at least. I couldn't care less what GM said the secret from the scriptures was at this point so wont go running for my chapter and verse copies of Experience the Power Within. Full Stop. Kundalini Shakti! but wouldn't you think that I would remember without needing a reference document at this point?

But I don't remember what GM said the secret was just now. I could call it up if I worked at it. But if it was real food, wouldn't it just be there? No. We.....need.....constant......re....pe...ti..tion....You need constant hypnotic repetition of these blandaries to remember them. And that is sad. I was looking for real sustenance in SY. The bliss states, all those lokas, don't matter a hill of beans to me without the integrity of the guru in place.


An very important topic as been introduced, in my not humble opinion. Freedom from intrusive authority has been my flash point since life began. Some of us are like that. I do not know how in hell SY got me to be their step and fetch it, but that says a lot right there to me. They were expert at coercive authority. Complete pros. So secrecy was important to them. And they were dishing high test gasoline.

Secrets and privacy are important to civilized life. The right to privacy is how civilization comes about. The very best things happen off stage in homes and small gatherings of like minded cooperating people. That's my take. I wanted to find that in SY.

The private things in SY have had to become public because some very harmful things went down. Own up. Then move on.

So when we talk about secrets, vs no secrets, it is not black and white. Many nuances, decisions on a case by case basis need to be made. We protect what should be private. Bring out what needs to be discussed.

Thanks to the commentors below for getting this topic underway. Private vs Public very important.


From I am grateful I learned to keep a secret, to be worthy of people's trust.

With all due respect, keeping secrets is not trustworthy. If we've learned one thing from the history of SY, it is this!

December 11, 2007 12:27 AM
My thought exactly! Isn't it learning honesty and openness that truly generate trust?

J

December 11, 2007 2:14 AM

SeekHer said...

anon said:

"More thoughts to come later...but on a quick note of thanks first as this is my first post (I've been lurking)..."

My apologies to you, friend. I wish I had started out my reply to your earlier post by thanking you for reading here, and having the courage to post. Welcome. It struck me that the first thing on your list of things you are grateful for was regarding secrets. As you can see from the resulting thread, the ability to keep secrets is difficult territory for many of us. But I'm curious as to how you were asked to keep a confidence in SY, and why, and what the effect was on you and others. Not terribly interested in the secrets themselves, if you still feel an obligation to hold them. But, if you could expand on your earlier statement, I for one would find it very useful to our discussion.

Looking forward to reading you "more thoughts to come"

Anonymous said...

"With all due respect, keeping secrets is not trustworthy. If we've learned one thing from the history of SY, it is this!"

With all due respect, I think the issue of "keeping secrets" to "earn others' trust" is a matter of both perspective and the specific situation.

In terms of SY keeping too many secrets, I agree with all of you who have seconded this. But this was a matter of secrets kept to answer greed and protect wealth gained from duping (and/or practically enslaving) others, kept to prevent truth of abuses from going public. Of course, these are secrets kept that were damaging.

What about when your boss makes a business or personnel decision that you know will negatively impact another? Or when releasing a secret prevents a successful business or social or even public security outcome (NSA eavesdropping, Treasury SWIFT program, CIA waterboarding tapes)?

Are there not cases where keeping a secret is actually intended to save lives, prevent injury and hurt, protect property, and improve the chances of team and/or personal success, and thus keeping those secrets is actually positive and helpful rather than hurtful?

I wonder if it's a matter of situation? Whether keeping the secret being negative or positive depends on the intent behind the secret-keeping?

I'm reluctant to use the word "always". With the exception of The Grand Absolute, I'm not sure I'm comfortable with lesser absolutes.

Thoughts?

Anonymous said...

Remember that list of beliefs we picked up in SY but don't miss from SY, like the bit about not blowing out the candles?

Here's another: Not stopping mid-stream during either chanting or even listening to a recording of the Guru Gita. Supposedly it was bad karma.

SeekHer said...

anon wrote:
"What about when your boss makes a business or personnel decision that you know will negatively impact another? Or when releasing a secret prevents a successful business or social or even public security outcome (NSA eavesdropping, Treasury SWIFT program, CIA waterboarding tapes)?"

We are not discussing secrecy in an absolute sense, but rather the secrecy that was practiced in SY. Please let's not divert into political waters.

As for whether secrecy was ever a good thing in SY, I think anon 9:42 makes a great point:

"So when we talk about secrets, vs no secrets, it is not black and white. Many nuances, decisions on a case by case basis need to be made. We protect what should be private. Bring out what needs to be discussed."

Examples of secrets that protect privacy in SY that are good? Protecting the identity of those who were sexually abused while young springs to mind.

N.B. any more comments regarding gratitude? Seems we'd begun a rich discussion there about the things we are able to take with us from our practice.

3rdeyeopen said...

I am grateful that I no longer fall for slogans such as "A splendid opportunity to......."

(spend my money on your products, work my tail off for free with no benefits and a kick to the curb when I'm old, use seva as favor to get ahead.).

As much as I leaarned wisdom for my daily life, I also learned how to interpret the sugary propaganda slogans I heard in SY and thus in the world. What we talk about here is a big wake up call to see how many people operate the bs in daily life.

EG.I am traveling to speak and I called the coordinator in another state last night. Her husband (son?) answered. When I asked for her he said she was out. When I said who I was, why I was calling, he called her name and she was sitting right there and took my call. Without blinking an eye, the guy lied right to me and did not cover for his lie and acted like all was well. Needless to say, my third eye is going to be wide open making arrangements and believing her in the future, so I will stay as detached as possible and get the job done and get make sure I paid on time, OMG.

Anonymous said...

"Here's another: Not stopping mid-stream during either chanting or even listening to a recording of the Guru Gita. Supposedly it was bad karma."

December 11, 2007 9:44 AM

I was grateful to learn all these secret ways of practicing, that weren't published, but learned rather at mother's knee so to speak. All these twists and turns in how to shape oneself to fit the Shakti were things I thirsted for once. I was grateful then for them, and grateful now to leave them behind. Like believing in Santa.

The best part of SY for me is right here, right now and this chance to connect with this community. Finding out that so many really wanted something good is a blessing. The learning and insights are terrific. Makes the loss not hurt so bad.

Anonymous said...

I am grateful to be out of Siddha Yoga today. There is a new post about Marta on the phony mirror site. Such cold, distant calculation in the speech tone. Oblivious of the therapeutic process, of the kind of things that lead to freedom for suffering souls. Glad to be rid of this cruelty and inability to bring some true insight to life. SY had a lot of shakti once. Shooting blanks now. Sad. Not a drop of the milk of human kindness anywhere. What happened?

Seekher, your capacities as boatman for this arduous journey of being grateful for what we are received from SY, posthumously, are very appreciated. There were glories in the SY experience.

Anonymous said...

"All these twists and turns in how to shape oneself to fit the Shakti were things I thirsted for once."

I too thirsted for them. I belonged to a very large, well-organized, dedicated, "got-it-all-together" SY center that prided itself (probably still does) on doing SY and showing SY exactly the way GM wanted it done. Followed all those things to the letter to "align with the shakti and the guru's will" as tightly as humanly possible.

Essentially this became very dogmatic. Which is not surprising since that center is in a very dogmatic part of the country when the regional culture is considered from the perspective of established organized religion (Protestantism in its various permutations in this case). The cultural milieu and cherished ways of carrying out one religion was simply adjusted to carrying out SY with similar zeal.

Now that it's a few years since I totally quit SY and have "processed out" a lot of the beliefs, attitudes, and ways of doing things I took on during my time in SY, I can look back and actually recognize just what a Siddha Yoga Nazi I had become, just by being an enthusiastic, devoted, dedicated member of that center and devotee of GM.

Example: I remember once coldly criticizing a man for pronouncing jyota as "jagaayo" instead of the proper Hindi "jagaavo". He was chanting happily and I just had to be the nitpicky enforcement Nazi and rain on his parade.

And I look back on that instance, one of many similar, with chagrin, remorse, regret, and a sincere desire for atonement and forgiveness for my cruelty. I suppose in the grand scheme of things, on the cruelty scale it wasn't so bad. No physical damage was done. Perhaps even serious emotional damage wasn't done. It was wrong of me nonetheless, and I feel bad for my actions now.

Actions all carried out in the zeal to be the perfect Siddha Yogi.

Throughout history an awful lot of harmful, damaging actions have been carried out in the name of God. I have experienced being part of that and am happy to now have an internal meter that will (hopefully) prevent me from engaging in such behavior ever again.

And for this more mature, more sensitive perspective, I am indeed grateful. (Since we were discussing a gratitude thread.)

I guess I'd be curious to find out if anyone else has had similar realizations since pulling away from...or I guess even while still in SY...or were the receipients of such behavior and wish to discuss.

If the person I once coldly corrected from saying "jagaayo" to "jagaavo" happens to be reading here, and even remembers the incident, I sincerely say "I'm sorry I was cold to you" and offer heartfelt apologies and a deep pranam to you, begging forgiveness.

This is one of my special takeaways from SY.

3rdeyeopen said...

anon 11:48,

Thank you for being so revealing and remorseful. I resonate as lesson learned since the accountability for your former actions came from inside of yourself, no one "telling" you. Bravo!

Also, your revealing innner workings of what goes on inside the mind/ heart / psyche of that "perfect" sevite. I just run from them. Your words build up my compasssion for that, knowing how they really feel at the time. Yes, pre-conditioning superimposed onto the teachings.

Nazi = Not See.

Now you can see.

Anonymous said...

>>I guess I'd be curious to find out if anyone else has had similar realizations since pulling away from...or I guess even while still in SY...or were the receipients of such behavior and wish to discuss."<<

Dear Friend,
I suspect we may have been at the same center..lol! Your description is just a little too familiar to me. I remember one time being a hall monitor at a "newcomers program" when our center was still in an ashram . A woman came in with Bare Shoulders!!! and a mini-skirt!!!! You'd have thought that Hitler himself had arrived for satsang. I watched from the other side of the hall as the expression on this exuberant young woman's face changed from innocent delight at the strange mystery of the meditation hall to.....fear, awkwardness, hurt and then, inevitably, anger..as she was given a little lecture about "our customs" and then handed a shawl to "cover herself" with. Through the years, I also observed people turn from open innocence to participants in this "culture of cruelty" in the guise of "being in alignment with the shakti". One day, I remember leaving the new center after many hours of seva and alot of this kind of meanness and driving to a nearby coffee shop for a donut and coffee. It struck me, as I sat at the counter, that the people sitting next to me..just "ordinary people"..were alot nicer and kinder than the people i had just been doing seva with. That was a huge disconnect for me. I do, personally, remember how much it hurt when someone "corrected" me...in that siddha yoga way....it used to happen all the time in Fallsburg in my seva...the worst of the lot were the swamis, unfortunately. It made me extra careful not to do that to other people if I could help it.
Anyway, I think the "remorse and chagrin" that you feel is a great gift. I know that my own sensitivity to the way we can truly hurt each other was sharpened by siddha yoga. It's one of those "negative lessons" that I am the most grateful for. It also made me question what exactly encouraged so much cruelty in this particular path...something I had not seen so much of in other paths I'd been on.
Having said all that, I also have to be careful to add that some of the most loving, kindest and most genuine people I have met, I met at my local center. I'd say, though, that they were, unfortunately, a minority.

"

Anonymous said...

Praise and Blame.

Perhaps this was one thing SY was right about: Don't be attached to the pair of opposites.

Today 3rd Eye lauds me and thanks me.

Last week she fights with me and tries to one-up me when I challenge some of her beliefs.

Whatever.

A good lesson for me in reinforcing the value of detachment and equanimity.

SeekHer said...

Anon said:
"Today 3rd Eye lauds me and thanks me. Last week she fights with me and tries to one-up me when I challenge some of her beliefs.

Whatever."

Interesting. You can tell how 3rd Eye's reactions to your comments have changed, because she signs hers. But how would she know she was being inconsistent in her treatment of you when you post anonymously, like 90% of the commenters on this blog?

Joshua said...

Hello Everyone,

As I said in an earlier post I'm hesitant to write a gratitude list, because this word was so overused in SY. Gratitude to the guru, to the teachings, to the foundation, ad infinitum. It felt scripted into every program, "here's where you will feel grateful, here's where you will cry out of gratitude."

Instead I can talk about what I miss, and what I learned. One thing I learned was the beauty of manual labor, and the peace that came from totally giving myself to the task at hand. My first seva was sparkling tables at the amrit in Anugraha, and I remember the sense of serenity I experienced when I did it. Spray, wipe, spray, wipe... it became an incredible meditation. The amrit was silent and empty, and when I was done I felt an incredible joy. Just from cleaning tables!

I also loved being in silence. My day to day world in the city is very noisy, and a week of not talking felt like heaven. Each time I felt like I never wanted to talk again. Why talk when you can communicate so much with just a glance or a smile? That was extremely cool.

I'm intrigued by the comments about keeping secrets. I do agree that it's not black and white. Learning appropriate discretion is a good skill, and a sign of maturity. Keeping "secrets" is very tricky territory, and can lead to all kinds of sickness and abuse.

As I transition "out" of SY I'm struggling with the many, many secrets I've kept after all those years on staff. The terrible discrepancies I've seen between the "love and respect" that GM preaches, and the cruelty I've seen her and her staff exhibit in public and private. The differential treatment among staff and guests, the "policies" that were always waived for people with money, power, or certain kinds of looks.

As staff we were told to lie constantly. "Tell her the hall is full." Well, it's not full but you're an undesirable and we want you in overflow so we can save the seats for the movie stars. We lied at registration -- Oh, there are no rooms left in Anugraha. Of course there were, and we were saving them for VIP's. When GM went to India a few years ago, we weren't to tell people she was there. If they asked, we could tell, but we were told not to offer up any information. Is that lying, or protecting the guru's privacy?

As Marta describes so well in her memoir, keeping secrets (euphemistically called "holding confidentiality") was one of the signs of a good devotee, and an essential for a good staff member. Keeping secrets made us feel special, in the know, different from "regular" people. We were told that these kinds of lies were actually kindness. Don't tell people you're going to a meeting with Gurumayi, they might feel left out. Don't tell that GM is giving you money for winter clothes and not other people, that you have this lovely room, that you're getting a severence stipend while others leave without a penny, they might feel bad.

When I went to India, we were all given extra suitcases to carry for the ashram. When we were asked by officials if they were our suitcases, we said yes. Were we lying and smuggling, or helping the foundation make things go more smoothly? We were being good devotees, following orders, "holding confidentiality."

The words, "It's confidential" are burned painfully into my brain. I'm still detoxing from that environment of casual lies and half-truths, from a yoga whose highest aim is supposedly "The Truth."

And Anonymous 11:48, I corrected so many people for so many things and I feel the same embarassment and remorse. We were trying so hard to be good for the guru. You are not alone.

Sorry for this long post. I do think this discussion is important as we all find our way through this maze of feelings post-SY.

-Joshua

Stuart said...

SeekHer wrote...
I've met and befriended people in SY whose goodness takes my breath away.

I've heard it said that when Buddha was asked to summarize his teaching into one sentence, he said something like, "Don't attach to anything."

Most/all of us come from a culture which gives us certain ideas about what life is about. Many of us grew up hearing that life was mostly about getting good stuff, good situations, good relationships, etc, in the "outside" world. Some people just internalize this life-direction and spend their days trying to get it. Then there are a few of us who question. We wonder whether that's really who we are and why we're here.

I think the SYDA organization and ashram had more than its share of people who'd done some deeper thinking and questioning about what life's about. Certainly not everyone was like this. Some people were just trying to gain power and status and good feelings in a different environment. But there were enough people who weren't blindly following convention. Most people who follow the culture in a sheep-like way would never make it as far as an ashram.

So isn't that part of the joy? That in the world at large, we were this tiny minority of people who really questioned the rat-race, who really looked into the mystery. And in the ashram, we met others like ourselves. And we were told, maybe for the first time, that looking within our own minds and feelings and experiences could be just as valuable as attaining a good situation in the external world.

So that's some beauty, huh? Having a chance to detach from the treadmill of our culture, and doing so with other people who understand this different direction.

The problem was that we gave up some things ("I want to get rich!") and replaced it with other things ("I want to get blissful!") that weren't all that much better.

The way we detached from our old lives was beautiful. The way we replaced it with new attachments maybe wasn't so great.

Stuart
http://stuart-randomthoughts.blogspot.com/

Anonymous said...

Wow Joshua, that is alot of lies.

I can relate to this thread quite a bit. I am still in SY but I live so far away from a center and I do not take any courses that I may be the only real one left. Just kidding of course. I would imagine alot of the people still in SY are sincere seekers of the truth. But to be honest I never beleived that we all could become enlightened in this life. I remember an obscure passage in an old Siddha Path magazine where Baba said most people in SY would not become realized but they would all go to Siddha Loka. I think the most we can hope for is establishing our lives/minds in peace. Hey that would be terrific in any realm wouldn't it?

This was said before but might be worth repeating. A lot of the customs of SY are culled directly from Hinduism. I am sure stopping half way through a chant falls into that catagory. I for one was a little baffled when more and more Indian Holidays started being worked into SY. I mean as a independant path of the Siddhas which has been underground for centuries, why not do a variety of all religions? I rememeber being impressed earlier on with the circle of flags at SMA and the statues of Gandhi and Martin Luther King. I really wish SY would have stuck to that paradigm.

About being abused upon by fellow sevites I had no idea I was not the only one. I was not the one dishing it out but I have taken my fair share of lumps. My first summer in the ashram a seva friend introduced me to a lady he knew. I was shy and said "hi" in a shy way. He said you have to watch out for him, he is a snake in the grass- in a very snide way. I was baffled, after all it was not fake shyness, I was not trying to stiffle the shakti with my shyness, it was depressing. I have a few more, none of them truely injurous but just off the norm of spiritual. But they did hurt.

I was never high up on the totem but I did run the freezers in the kitchen one summer which is a bigger job than it sounds. My secret was not to tell anyone which food was Gurumayi's, but hell no one ever asked, hehe.

I was also on the crew, that was a good time. These guys were not gonna put on a fancy shall and prominad to their seva in silk pants. We had good times just being "guys" in the ashram. We did not have to go to any chants or programs if we did not want to because we would often work long long days of physical labor. That in itself was rewarding. I was a young adult at the time and I worked for free, I did not mind as I got free food, room, and all the practices I could handle. I knew some others got paid, but I was young and wanted to pay my dues.

So I have inadvertantly just made a post on what I miss and don't miss about SY, that's cool. :)

-Anon w/e

Anonymous said...

I had an interesting dream last night.

I quit SY several years ago. My wife is very much still in SY. Which creates some tensions in the marriage, as you can imagine.

In my dream, I was riding in my wife's car, she was driving. She had some kind of seva visit to the SY center we used to attend, in a city we no longer live in. I really didn't want to be there but, riding in her car, I was basically a hostage, a captive audience. I remember feeling distinctly uncomfortable being so near the SY center. We were parked in the open parking lot at the small business park the center was in.

My wife begged me to come inside and see some of my old SY friends. I truly did not want to see them, and felt exceptionally resistant, and I told my wife "I really do NOT want to see any of these people."

Separation from SY people has been important for me for the past few years. I don't want anybody trying to reestablish the hooks back into my being. ANYBODY.

In my dream, my wife actually brought somebody out from the center into the parking lot to come talk to me. I looked up, in my dream, and recognized the face of someone I used to speak with regularly there, a former friend.

This person my wife brought out to talk to me, in my dream, came up to the car window, which was open, and began talking to me, saying how happy she was that I was "back" at the center, and asked me to come on inside again. The woman said "Welcome into the Center!" in my dream.

In my dream, I stayed in the car, looked at the woman through the window and said, flatly and very matter-of-factly, without any negative feeling toward her or animosity: "I'm NOT in the center. I'm only in the parking lot."

In my dream, the woman reacted with a kind of a nervous laugh, and I said "I AM only in the parking lot, right?" chuckling good-naturedly at her. She said "yes, you are" but didn't seem comfortable about it.

Basically in the dream I good-naturedly, matter-of-factly, without any serious emotional charge, made it clear that I was "Out" and "wasn't coming back in" and there just wasn't going to be any other way about it.

For me, this was the first time I'd reacted that way, without any emotional charge, talking to a "still in" siddhayogi, regardless of whether it was in the waking or dream state.

Which, oddly enough, may be a sign of progress, of healthily putting my SY history behind me. At least, I hope so.

My wife, in the dream, was upset that her little scheme had failed and I just didn't want to be part of that emotional charge so I basically got out of the car, and told her "I'm walking over to (a specific place I don't wish to name) and then, when I realized that the place I wanted to walk to was from a totally different geographic location in a totally different and much earlier part of my life than the aforementioned SY center. Recognizing the incongruity, I suddenly woke up.

But the vividness of the dream and the clarity without emotionality with which I plainly stated that I was out of SY forever to a devotee I might not have wanted to face with such news previously, really stuck with me.

I hope this story is relevant for somebody else reading here.

pk said...

This is my first post, so I can't quite work out how to fit into the flow. I guess I just drift in, sort of the way I drifted in and out of SY. I never really stuck since I had an extremely protective inner spirit that would practically shout "run away" as I arrived at the ashram, and I invariably experienced the place itself as a kind of super-sensitive amoeba that soon spit me right out--I never stayed as long as I planned. BUT when I managed to stay, or at the local center when I wandered through, there was often some kind of moment of surprising synchronicity that in retrospect I'm glad to have had. In fact, one such moment happened with a "wrongly" dressed woman, whom I turned to share with (though I hated that sharing stuff): she had been given something to cover her legs (I think she had on cutoffs) and immediately started to apologize about it, and I laughed and said it didn't matter to me, and then shared whatever it was, I just remember it involved my mother's death. Well, her mother had just died, too. And within a few words, we instantly understood exactly what the other was feeling, like this steady blooming of light as we talked. I never saw her again, but I remember her with a remarkable vividness. That inner linking (with people, with ideas) happened often enough for me to associate it with SY, and to miss it now.

SeekHer said...

"But the vividness of the dream and the clarity without emotionality with which I plainly stated that I was out of SY forever to a devotee I might not have wanted to face with such news previously, really stuck with me."

We were taught to hold precious the dreams in which many of us received shaktipat. I believe it is equally important to honor and contemplate those dreams in which we are prepared to diverge from the path.

My wish is that you will now be free to dream where your path leads you next.

SeekHer said...

Anon said "I never really stuck since I had an extremely protective inner spirit that would practically shout "run away" as I arrived at the ashram, and I invariably experienced the place itself as a kind of super-sensitive amoeba that soon spit me right out--I never stayed as long as I planned. "

Odd. I always had an inner reflexive feeling that I should not go to the ashram, which was all the more powerful when I was planning a long stay at SF. Chalked it up to my ego rebelling at the time. Now? Who knows, maybe I had an inner protective spirit too. Maybe we all did, and our daimons warned us away from the inbalance we would acquiesce to there?

Welcome. Your connection withe the "inappropriately"dressed woman makes me happy. As if our collective inner goodness was able to surmount whatever cultural bullshit we were saddled with.

Anonymous said...

Hello my friends,

It would be better for me to write out what I am going to attempt to say, proof it, spell check etc. I can't. I am late on an assignment. But working on disenchantment is a daily task, like bathing now. I bathed in GG, KS, Aratis and Rudrams for so long. This is the balance to that.

I beg Seekhers indulgence in speaking about the new post at SY's phony mirror site continuing it's frighteningly ruthless attack on Marta.

Now, post SY, with whatever faculties for clear, unoccluded sight I have left, and with a BS meter set on very high alert I see things I couldn't see before. I see the lack of perspective, the lack of knowledge about the wider world, the lack of simple warmth and compassion in SY that is there in so many ways and so obvious.

The folks still in SY cannot see that what they are doing is reflecting on them poorly, not Marta. Their ostrich feathers are showing big time.

Marta has bravely told stories about things that I am guessing millions have experienced, but cannot talk about. Particularly people of our generation who experimented with so much during the 60's, 70's 80's. You know BR, Before Reagan. For all the outward sophistication of SY, they are a very stylin group, there is no polish in their manners and decorum. What are the terms for this behaviour? I don't want to think of them.

While I am grateful for a thousand things in SY I am now most grateful to be out. Sons of Bitches. Knock it off with Marta already.

Anonymous said...

Anon 12/12 8:13am,

Your points are underlined by the fact that comment traffic on the site you referenced has slowed to a bare trickle. After months of intense expansive, captivating activity, it appears to have gone into near-stasis.

And I'm not sure why that is. But this is probably not the location to speculate about it.

It is at least satisfying that this blog is still a location where the action seems to be focused. May it continue to be so.

Anonymous said...

Said here:

I beg Seekhers indulgence in speaking about the new post at SY's phony mirror site continuing it's frighteningly ruthless attack on Marta.

K responds:

I think the best approach to this would be to post to Marta's site directly with any comments we have about her or about any public reaction to her site.

The Mirror site does not allow comments. That says a great deal to me.

They make reference to this entry in her blog:

Wednesday, November 28, 2007
Behind Closed Doors ~ Marta

So why not post about the mirror blog's reaction there?

That is if any response is needed at all.

I am in a minority of people who believe the mirror site has been established by a somewhat unstable would be devotee, not anyone at the ashram itself.

I think (and I suspect Marta may think) the best response to it may be to ignore it.

Anonymous said...

"And I'm not sure why that is. But this is probably not the location to speculate about it"
December 12, 2007 9:35 AM


Hello Anon,
Why is this not the location to speculate? The most recent post is so full of hate and lacking in compassion.

Also the reason for no traffic is that there have been no new posts until this week.

"It is at least satisfying that this blog is still a location where the action seems to be focused. May it continue to be so."

What action are talking about? Why wouldn't it continue? Why speculate? ;-)

Anonymous said...

I" think the best approach to this would be to post to Marta's site directly with any comments we have about her or about any public reaction to her site.

The Mirror site does not allow comments. That says a great deal to me.

They make reference to this entry in her blog:

Wednesday, November 28, 2007
Behind Closed Doors ~ Marta

So why not post about the mirror blog's reaction there?

That is if any response is needed at all.

I am in a minority of people who believe the mirror site has been established by a somewhat unstable would be devotee, not anyone at the ashram itself.

I think (and I suspect Marta may think) the best response to it may be to ignore it."

December 12, 2007 9:53 AM


Ummm....I am completely baffled by this reaction to my post about Marta. No speaking to the issues actually raised. Why the traffic cop? . Why be so territorial about what gets spoken about where. I just don't get it at all.

I am an old hand at Robert's Rules and the need for protols but what is the harm in my post to disussion here?

Marta is being continuing to be hounded in a particularly cruel way. It should be upsetting to those interested in free speech.

Anonymous said...

"I am in a minority of people who believe the mirror site has been established by a somewhat unstable would be devotee, not anyone at the ashram itself."

One word, one word would be all it would take. Anyone with close knowledge would tell you that. That word has not been spoken. There are sins of ommission as well as commission.

Grateful to be Gone

Anonymous said...

Gratitude

When I came to SY, birthdays were not pleasant. Too much preoccupation with self, small s. I remember one day in the tiny dining hall in SF before all the renovations, a handsome young hall wallah was behind the serving line. I couldn't believe someone from the inner court was serving in the serving line. Even then SY society had begun to stratify. As I approached him with his huge smile, he said to me, 'Happy Birthday!" It was his birthday. He was taking the chance to serve on his birthday. The sweet habit of handing out prasad on one's birthday, this focusing on giving rather than receiving was such a relief from self centered thoughts. It forever changed how I felt about birthdays. Never again was I disappointed on a birthday.

I really loved many things about SY

SeekHer said...

For what it's worth, I'm happy to host the discussion re: Marta's evil twin site here, as she was gracious enough to host discussions about Rituals when it briefly went dark.

That said, I completely agree that the best response to that ugliness is to completely ignore it. Someone(s) went to a great deal of effort to create that site and has just invested a fresh burst of energy into it. No response at all is the best form of negative reinforcement we can collectively give.

Anonymous said...

I went to the "evil twin" site today for the first time...it's shocking, especially the virulent intensity of the attack and how extremely personal it is. Most disturbing of all is that the authors consider themselves to be "transformed and uplifted by siddha yoga"!! I shudder to think what they may have been like BEFORE siddha yoga.

Anonymous said...

Secrets

I found the whole discussion about secrets very thought provoking. For me, secrets featured prominently in my whole SY experience. They were a main cause behind my departure.

Yes, as someone pointed out, it makes a big difference what relationship or context we are considering. So, then, how about lover and beloved: who would say secrets should be, even could be, held between such ones? That promoted me to offer honesty and openness as antidotes to secrecy.

But I already said that. This post is for a more recent thought about secrecy and this blog. We are being open with one another, especially in contrast to the way things are in SY. Yet, there is immense secrecy here. As in anonymity. What did Seeker estimate, 90% of us?

Now, obviously the internet plays a large, and possibly determining, role. But there other sites about other topics where I'd be willing to engage with my real name. And I do.

So, that brings me to what prompted this post. I don't like the feeling that SY is still influencing what I say or how I relate to others, even in this form. It's subtle but not so subtle. And I don't want to continue to have those scars, I don't want to feel controlled in that way. Not sure of the solution. But I had a fantasy someone took it upon him/herself to set up a site where anonymity could be shed because it was only open to those sincerely engaged in healing in this way. It would require some effort and lots of communication. But it could happen...

J

#rdeyeopen said...

My tag gives me freedom to have a cyber identity on this blog but still maintain some anonimity.
SeekHer can easily check the site meter to see when my posts come in.

I'm more cautious today than I was yesterday of who is speaking and for what motives with all the anons going on. It's easy to set up sockpuppets on these blogs which is one person speaking under many identities. GM herself can be chatting with us, how would we know? Howdy, honey!

Anonymous said...

>>>"Yet, there is immense secrecy here. As in anonymity. What did Seeker estimate, 90% of us?"<<<

Dear J.,
It's interesting that your post appeared in the middle of this discussion about the site that is "deconstructing" Marta Szabo...and the intimate details of her life, her "psychology", her history, etc. I think people stay anonymous for many reasons but all it takes is a trip to this other site to see just how unpleasant people still connected to siddha yoga can make it for someone whom they know personally. In some ways, perhaps it's not the smartest thing in the world to identify yourself publicly...look at the kind of hits that Dan Shaw takes on a consistent basis. And, earlier this month, I believe there was a situation here where someone who was not anonymous stopped posting because they were being attacked personally by someone who "knew" them. And the person who left said that they had been harassed in "real time" by syda "devotees". I think, personally, that there is a great difference between anonymity and secrecy.
But I hear what you are saying about wanting the transparency and honesty. Face to face, it makes perfect sense. On the internet, I'm not so sure.I can see the value of anonymity in an essentially "anonymous" medium. You never know who you're talking to..as evidenced by the Face Book stalking issues.

s.

Anonymous said...

Regarding how context dependent secrecy can be:

A pal had a list of items indicating spiritual progress. Among them were two that I can recall:

* Loss of interest in the games of domination and submission on offer in varoius theatres of cruelty

*An increasing capacity to see and cherish the difference between privacy and secrecy.

IMO, a very big difference is whether secrecy is part of a game of domination and submission on offer in a particular theatre of cruelty.

Is the secret imposed on you by someone higher in the pecking order?

Is the secret something that instills dread, shame, fear, keeps you locked in and afraid to leave, for fear of blackmail, or in fear of the pain of a conscience and heart that awaken and regret what one has witnessed--or been led to do in devotion to someone higher up?

Secrecy between friends and lovers--peers--is different.

But..I have been burned by friendships in which I found I was custodian of too many secrets. This had started out as loyalty, then caused me to feel afraid to confide in people.

When secrecy leads to social isolation...its not good.

SeekHer said...

"#rdeyeopen said...
My tag gives me freedom to have a cyber identity on this blog but still maintain some anonimity.
SeekHer can easily check the site meter to see when my posts come in. "

Oh, please. I have a life. Moderating this rag tag group of shakti junkies is time enough away from the tellie and a nice cold one.

No one is watching. be yourselves.

Anonymous said...

Greetings Shakti Junkies,

A friend just sent a spiritual item. Before Siddha Yoga I would have related to this spiritual expression in another way, like a fantasy, let's pretend, I can make it real if I try hard enough to BELIEVE kind of way. Like Tinker Bell and Santa. And I did have many experiences generated this way, through belief, through faith. I think I was "saved" at least three times before I ever went to school. I am one of those "suseptibles", at risk of getting something if exposed.

SY entered my life and I did not have to crank this engine all by myself. I was off into spirtual exctasy that was off the charts in my experience. Then I found that instead of just existing outside, God, himself, existed in me too! I will spare you all the expletives that I would like to shout at what this did for me and to me.

It is completely understandable that I would want to give my life to the person or make some kind of committment to the person who showed me this. But now I can't. He is judged a pedophile and Black Magic con artist by the court of public opinion. So trying to ride the faith train with the Guru as God will/does not work. God is perfect, by definition. Gurus are not.

I prayed to my Guru the way this man, considered a saint, Ambrose, prayed to his God, in the snip to follow. Embarassing all the way around the way humans paint a human face on the Lord. But that's the way we humans like our Lord, with a face, and a heart. Like us. Such kindergartners. Hey soon we are going all craaazy about the birth of a baby some consider God, Incrnate. Imagine.

I am not ready to play this game with any god right now. I am safely ensconced back with Jean Paul Sartre. Not kidding. But for relaxation, and joyful reading I am really fascinated by things like the following that people say about their God.

I have to thank Siddha Yoga, especially Gurumayi, for opening my heart to true sprituality, for deepening my understanding and capacity for love, even though the organization is no more. This endures despite the incredible incididents of (gulp) 'ego busting'. I still wish her Godspeed in whatever she undertakes. I wish her release from the shackles of the false path she was introduced to. She excecuted this role in a way no one I can think of could have done better. Playing the game she was dealt. Now the game is over. The SY Shakti Casino is defunct. I am grateful that Chidvilas is free of it.

Here are Ambrose's words to his Lord. I felt this way once about someone too.

"How do we hold him fast? Not by restraining chains or knotted ropes but by bonds of love, by spiritual reins, by the longing of the soul.

If you also, like the bride, wish to hold him fast, seek him and be fearless of suffering. It is often easier to find him in the midst of bodily torments, in the very hands of persecutors.

Whoever seeks Christ in this way, and finds him, can say: I held him fast, and I will not let him go before I bring him into my mother’s house, into the room of her who conceived me. What is this “house”, this “room”, but the deep and secret places of your heart?

Maintain this house, sweep out its secret recesses until it becomes immaculate and rises as a spiritual temple for a holy priesthood, firmly secured by Christ, the cornerstone, so that the Holy Spirit may dwell in it.

Whoever seeks Christ in this way, whoever prays to Christ in this way, is not abandoned by him; on the contrary, Christ comes again and again to visit such a person, for he is with us until the end of the world".

SY helped me understand the significance of such words. SY made God real for me, not wishfulfillment.

Anonymous said...

"within a few words, we instantly understood exactly what the other was feeling, like this steady blooming of light as we talked. I never saw her again, but I remember her with a remarkable vividness. That inner linking (with people, with ideas) happened often enough for me to associate it with SY, and to miss it now."

December 11, 2007 8:58 PM

This comment nailed what the atraction was big time for me. From pursuing whatever sources I could find, to understand Kundalini Yoga, I came to see the kind of thing you describe, the kind of thing you miss is as evidence of her presence. Synchroncity, serendipity, ability to be in the right place and the right time even when you took the wrong bus, say the rigth words at the right time, etc. are said all be evidence of Her Presence.

It is clear to me as I write this that SY has lost Kundalini's Presence. And it is more than just no bells, no whistles. There is absolutely no message at all coming from SY, except 'Gimme Money! That's What I Want!' The last talk has come true.
The old gal has walked out of the palace of mirrors into the sunny blue sky. That's fine, but she should not forget that there are grey skies for a lot of us since she left and we ain't had no milk and butter since that cow's been gone. She could at least return for a disinvestiture like they had for Subash. That would help us all put it to rest.

The feelings I had for Chidvilas were real, for real person. Truly I believe in her goodness. She's just sidetracked. I hope she hires some better advisors, consultants, soon. Ganapati should retire already.

Anonymous said...

THere are valid reasons for people to feel concerned for their privacy.

Dan Shaw has an article on his website on authoritarianism in psychotherapy--including how therapists in training can find themselves abused by mentors.

But..toward the end of that article there is a description of how mental health professionals who were SY devotees were trained to use therapy sessions to get clients recruited into SY.

And...Dan reported how therapists divulged sensitive material from sessions to the guru. It is in the last 1/3 of the article--but the whole thing is well worth reading. So despite the title referring to psychoanalysis, there is valuable material here concerning the hazards when therapists become devotees of a high demand organization that subordinates professional ethics and boundaries to the whims and demands of an authoritarian leader who wants to control everything.

Narcissistic Authoritarianism in Psychoanalysis

by Daniel Shaw, LCSW

From Power Games: Influence, Persuasion, and
Indoctrination in Psychotherapy Training, Editor R. Raubolt, New York: Other Press 2006.



http://www.danielshawlcsw.com/narc_auth.htm

Anyone who made themselves vulnerable and disclosed intimate concerns about their relationships, hopes, dreams, traumas to one of the devotee therapists described in the latter portion of the article would have an urgent reason to want to protect their anonymity in cyberspace.

SY seems to have had a messy mixture of secrecy combined with boundary blurring.

Lib/Zenie

Anonymous said...

Dear s.

Oh absolutely, I think the dangers of publicly revealing identity in this situation are very real. While I admire Marta's courage to step out, there's no way I'd want to be in her shoes at this point.

The thing that nags at me is this feeling of still being robbed by SY's cloak of secrecy. On staff it messed with my relationships. I'm sure I hurt others without intending it. And I know others hurt me. It was the power relationships, the fear, the secrecy. Lethal combo.

Here we have what I see as the leftovers of that. Not because of who we are and what we're doing here and now. More like SY set up something that greatly affected our lives, and the strings have been tied tighter than we maybe realized.

I'm not trying to defend my view or convince anyone else to agree. But writing about it here is helping me clarify this feeling. And maybe some of you will resonate.

J

Anonymous said...

"It is completely understandable that I would want to give my life to the person or make some kind of committment to the person who showed me this. But now I can't. He is judged a pedophile and Black Magic con artist by the court of public opinion. So trying to ride the faith train with the Guru as God will/does not work. God is perfect, by definition. Gurus are not."

Oh, wow. That just totally sums up the space I'm in regarding SY myself. Thanks for expressing it that way...not sure I could have quite made it so clear myself, but am sure grateful you were able to.

Anonymous said...

"Anyone who made themselves vulnerable and disclosed intimate concerns about their relationships, hopes, dreams, traumas to one of the devotee therapists described in the latter portion of the article would have an urgent reason to want to protect their anonymity in cyberspace.

SY seems to have had a messy mixture of secrecy combined with boundary blurring".

Lib/Zenie

December 13, 2007 9:48 AM

Exactly what went down for Marta. Thanks for posting this

Anonymous said...

Marta's such a healthy individual. Good thing you strive to emulate her:

We stopped downstairs outside the Institute. Next door to us was a hardware store, owned by our landlord. Natvar was complaining. He said he had been asking the landlord to install a light there at the door, in the small alcove between the door to our building and the door of the hardware store. “It smells like a toilet,” Natvar was saying. “There’s no light so the bums come and piss here. I keep telling him we need a light, but he doesn’t care. I know,” he said. “I’ll show him –“ And Natvar was pissing now, spraying his urine across the front door of the store. He was laughing. We were all laughing. This was new for me. New to be with someone who crossed lines I had assumed you could not cross.

“In the morning,” Natvar was saying, “we should leave a turd. That would do it. That would make him put in the light.”

I did it. I did it the next morning, placed my offering just as Natvar had suggested, early, and reported my accomplishment later at breakfast. Natvar was delighted. I was his star pupil. Well, so was Mark, but I was certainly a star.

I was certain I had hitched myself onto a skyrocket that would take me out of the mundane into something brave and original.

Anonymous said...

>>"But..toward the end of that article there is a description of how mental health professionals who were SY devotees were trained to use therapy sessions to get clients recruited into SY.

And...Dan reported how therapists divulged sensitive material from sessions to the guru"<<<

Dear Friend,
You have only to go to the "alternate" site that is under discussion to see some of what Marta shared in her therapy sessions being discussed....word for word. I found that, it itself, incredibly shocking. That someone was publishing the contents of someone else's therapy sessions and then "analyzing" that content in a virulent blog. None of this stuff was mentioned by Marta so it has to have come from another source. Horrible.
s.

Anonymous said...

">>>>More like SY set up something that greatly affected our lives, and the strings have been tied tighter than we maybe realized.

I'm not trying to defend my view or convince anyone else to agree. But writing about it here is helping me clarify this feeling. And maybe some of you will resonate."<<

Dear J,
I understand. When I left the yoga, I thought that the only defense against the conditioning we all experienced around the issue of secrecy was total transparency. It's funny, too, once you see how being "exposed" is all about your "ego identity", it seems to lose alot of its sting. What you are bringing up is really important, imo and I think the farther up on the syda "food chain" a person was, the harder they were hit with the whole "holding confidentiality" thing. I saw husbands and wives who were instructed to keep things "confidential" from one another...not the best thing in the world for a marriage.
s.

Stuart said...

Anony said...
A lot of the customs of SY are culled directly from Hinduism.

"Hinduism" is an umbrella term, invented by the English, for the variety of beliefs and practices on the Indian continent that aren't specifically Muslim, Buddhist, Christian, or Jewish.

So when someone says that customs of SY are "culled directly from Hinduism," the one and only clear meaning is something like this: the teachings and practices in the SYDA organization are quite similar to beliefs and practices that millions of people in India have followed for a long time.

(If it has any meaning beyond that, kindly explain.)

The question then becomes: so what? Why does it matter if a particular belief or practice has been around for many years, or if it's been followed by masses of people, in India or elsewhere?

And the answer is: to whatever extent that you think and act like a sheep, following what other people do, then of course you'll honor those teachings etc that are old and popular (e.g. "Hinduism"). If you're a free-thinking individual, though, there's no reason to care whether any belief or belief-system is old, or popular, or has a nice-sounding name like "Hinduism."

Stuart
http://stuart-randomthoughts.blogspot.com/

Anonymous said...

"I was certain I had hitched myself onto a skyrocket that would take me out of the mundane into something brave and original".

December 13, 2007 1:33 PM


Dear Anonymous,

You may have missed the allure of characters like Natvar. Rolling Stones epitomized the stance and still do. Who can explain our generation's attraction, not universal by any means, for characters like Keith Richards, who may have snorted his fathers ashes. Marta is revealing what happened, not making excuses.

Many of the former top advisers and get it done guys in SY were former drug dealers, ex cons, assasins. Where exactly are you coming from claiming moral high ground against a woman who lived through child abuse and being ostracized by her family and kept at an emotional distance, like a scapegoat. No wonder she clung to the abusive Natvar. Just how thick are you? Sorry. Your lack of compassion and awareness of the larger forces at work in Marta's family is astonishing.

Anonymous said...

>>"Marta's such a healthy individual. Good thing you strive to emulate her:"<<

Where do you read that posters here are "striving to emulate her"? Ihaven't seen anyone say that. I think that people are simply repelled at the personal attacks and the invasion into the therapeutic process. We were discussing privacy/secrecy which is how the subject of the attacks on Marta came up.
s

Anonymous said...

so what? Why does it matter if a particular belief or practice has been around for many years, or if it's been followed by masses of people, in India or elsewhere?

---
I'll tell you why it matters to me. Because so many people (ironically both in AND out of SY) are in the big habit of crediting SY with lots of things they don't deserve any credit for.

SeekHer said...

">>"Marta's such a healthy individual. Good thing you strive to emulate her:"<<

Where do you read that posters here are "striving to emulate her"? Ihaven't seen anyone say that."

I suspect, without proof, that the commenter who is posting quotes from Marta's blog here is the same one who attempted to post here about comments that I left on Marta's blog. (I know; it makes me dizzy, too, which is why I rejected it.)

Could "Rituals" be being visited from the author of the "evil twin site"? My earlier offer still holds. Whoever you are, if you want to discuss with me comments I made elsewhere, leave your contact info here in a comment. I won't post it but will reply with my own.

Anonymous said...

Could "Rituals" be being visited from the author of the "evil twin site"?

I'd imagine so, if only because all the action is over here these days.

Anonymous said...

"I'll tell you why it matters to me. Because so many people (ironically both in AND out of SY) are in the big habit of crediting SY with lots of things they don't deserve any credit for".

December 13, 2007 7:10 PM

I thought this was a good point. With tne new email just received on the new course for 2008 on Kundalini, it reminded me of wooden nickels. All I could think was everybody already has all this. Why are they paying and taking these very lame courses, with absolutely nothing of substance. As communication about what a participant could expect, the email was completely vacant.

If anyone wants Kundalini awakening all one has to do is get down on their knees and pray to the Lord. She really is not all that shy. She will accompany your every footstep. Just have to ask. Your whole day becomes magical.

Siddha Yoga and Gurumayi have no corner on Kundalini. To tie all the benificence of the Lord to Gurumayi takes serious hutzpah. That is the still the gig. How can any of them keep a straght face anymore about this mockery of a spiritual path? Pills and booze, must be present. Without a doubt.

Anonymous said...

wow, my post sure did push some buttons there!

it's funny, when i first started my gratitude list i was following each comment with a note in parentheses noting how any positive attribute has it's negative aspect. i deleted them because honestly i wanted to focus on what i feel grateful for from my years in SY, not what i think was bad or negative.

also to note, what i almost wrote instead of keep a secret, was keep a confidence. but the word confidential, i was worried, would get some people's proverbial panties in a knot.

so in explanation...of course there are MANY secrets that should NOT be kept. many secrets in SY that should NOT be kept. but that doesn't mean keeping a secret is a negative thing- please, let's not throw the baby out with the bath water!

truthfully i was a horrific gossip- for me to be able to keep a confidence was a great learning. not being a blabbermouth improved my friendships, my relationship with my family members, and was a great foundation for my current job in health care where just about everything i hear every day is, necessarily, a secret. private. confidential.

re: the question posed, i was never asked to keep any deep dark terrible secrets in sy. no one ever said to me not to talk about the new yorker article, no one said not to mention the trashing of lake nit, or nit himself for that matter. most of what i was asked to keep 'confidential' was actually pretty inane because who really gives a crap about what photos i saw in the photo department, that there was (gasp!) a computer room, or who i was told could not emcee or share in a program?

for me (me) keeping things confidential was an exercise. what came out of this exercise for me (me) was positive. for this, i am grateful. i am certainly not grateful that the secrets of SY caused or cause people pain. even in the throws of my involvement in SY i was able to keep a (relatively) clear head about taking it all with a grain of salt. i was lucky.

with love,
-s

SeekHer said...

Thank you, "s" for your wonderful clarification and your continued presence here. If your last post pushed some buttons they were wired to lights we wanted to turn on!

Anonymous said...

"December 11, 2007 8:58 PM

"She could at least return for a disinvestiture like they had for Subash. That would help us all put it to rest."

That wouldn't work... Subash may have formally disappeared from SY, but he popped up soon afterwards in a reinvented form of SY (Shanti Mandir). Subash was my first guru, and I haven't been able to forget that, just because he left SY. Nothing was put to rest for me in that regard. So it wouldn't work for Malti either. Nothing would be put to rest, believe me. Everyone would still be talking about it til the end of time.

Anonymous said...

s wrote... "I thought that the only defense against the conditioning we all experienced around the issue of secrecy was total transparency. It's funny, too, once you see how being "exposed" is all about your "ego identity", it seems to lose alot of its sting."

Lovely! "transparency"... after all, this is liberation, enlightment, final state or whatever you want to call it... if you are "transparent", you got it. Much love (with transparency ;-)

Pp

Anonymous said...

Me again... I was thinking... "transparency", I'm sure I have had to struggle much more against phantoms created by my catholic culture (quite strong in Spain 40-50 years ago) than against phantoms created by SY secrecy, etc...

More love,
Pp

Anonymous said...

"She could at least return for a disinvestiture like they had for Subash. That would help us all put it to rest."

That wouldn't work... Subash may have formally disappeared from SY, but he popped up soon afterwards in a reinvented form of SY (Shanti Mandir). Subash was my first guru, and I haven't been able to forget that, just because he left SY. Nothing was put to rest for me in that regard. So it wouldn't work for Malti either. Nothing would be put to rest, believe me. Everyone would still be talking about it til the end of time".

December 14, 2007 2:32 AM

Aye and there's the rub...this phrase came to me as I read your words above Anonymous @ 2:32 am. It came, because this inability to really 'walk on by' SY is something of a dilemma and paradox. I really hate to say that because waaaay too many times I heard the word paradox used to cover for s**t going down in SY.

But without question many reading here are perplexed and confounded to find that the good and bad are so mixed in SY and it is hard very hard to unblend them. So we are stuck like the famous person's words that came to my mind.

Since my memory bank now resides on Google here's where the words came from that jumped to my mind. Good to remember our spiritual struggle is way bigger than a few people from Maharashtra. Another person who stewed alot about his thoughts, kind of like us.


To be, or not to be: that is the question:
Whether 'tis nobler in the mind to suffer
The slings and arrows of outrageous fortune,
Or to take arms against a sea of troubles,
And by opposing end them. To die: to sleep;
No more; and by a sleep to say we end
The heart-ache, and the thousand natural shocks
That flesh is heir to, 'tis a consummation
Devoutly to be wish'd. To die, to sleep;
To sleep: perchance to dream: aye, there's the rub;
For in that sleep of death what dreams may come,
When we have shuffled off this mortal coil,
Must give us pause: there's the respect
That makes calamity of so long life;
For who would bear the whips and scorns of time,
The oppressor's wrong, the proud man's contumely,
The pangs of despised love, the law's delay,
The insolence of office, and the spurns
That patient merit of the unworthy takes,
When he himself might his quietus make
With a bare bodkin? who would fardels bear,
To grunt and sweat under a weary life,
But that the dread of something after death,
The undiscover'd country from whose bourn
No traveler returns, puzzles the will,
And makes us rather bear those ills we have
Than fly to others that we know not of?
Thus conscience does make cowards of us all,
And thus the native hue of resolution
Is sicklied o'er with the pale cast of thought,
And enterprises of great pitch and moment
With this regard their currents turn awry
And lose the name of action.

Hamlet, William Shakespeare

'Pangs of despised love' is a great phrase for ROD readers I think. Jane Austen said friendship is the balm for this kind of pain we are suffering. I am finding that here.

Cheerio

Anonymous said...

Christmas Memories

Preparing for thousands to arrive at SMA for Christmas is one of the highlights of my life. Hearts full tilt open and pouring the exilir of love, joy and laughter. What a blast, even when exhausted and cranky. Yet there was the ever present insanity lurking at the edges of SY. If you weren't part of this backstage scene you may not get the full impact. Kind of an insider's joke and I am not relating it to get a laugh. It is just that this kind of anecdote could be multiplied hundreds of times and I think it is good to remember them in aggregate. To help paint the circumspect perspective that we need to understand this whole thing. It is hard to get the mind around in one gulp. The stories give it shape.

SY would order massive quantities of materials from local and not so local vendors. Gosh a collection of all the PO's of SY would tell such an interesting tale.

One year I was put in charge of decorating. Ho Ho Ho. I had just purchased a set of stencils in Woodstock for my room. I was going to put some with spray snow on my windows for the kids. I had the book on my seva desk. GA saw it and thus was launched the Mandap Christmas Stencil Extravanza. Anyone remember it?

During this time floral and greens were also needed. I was visiting a nursey and the owner told me he once got a huge order that no one ever picked up. Then the following year, he got a call from someone asking, 'where are the 500 poinsettas we ordered?" He was a good natured bloke and laughed. I laughed too, a little grimly. I didn't enjoy the self inflicted chaos that SY practiced in the name of the shakti. Spanda!

I don't like the whitewash that SY wants to practice now about it's history. Please SY let yourself be real. I saw a slogan recently that helped me come out a bit more, maybe it will help you too:

Sanity is for the weak.

Grateful for folks who relate their memories of what happened to them. Moves me down the road a little more. Helps create fresh Ground of Being so to speak. (Hello Epi)

Anonymous said...

First, let me note that everything that I was receiving in SY, I continue to receive through Jesus Christ. My transition out of SY was seamless, as I have described here before on other threads. It basically culminated in a dream in which Gurumayi in the dream handed me off to Jesus.

When I came to SY in the mid-70's I was actively looking for a path which would lead me to establish the connection to the Self. I had had a peak experience years before which had shown me that all lay within and the true goal was to rest in That. My husband and I attended a program with Baba, and it was at that program (not an intensive)that we both received shaktipat. The effect was to establish a link to the Self which I had been searching for, and at the same time to cause devotion to the Self and Baba to arise. Needless to say I felt immense gratitude at that time and we both spent 2 years following the tour and Baba around as best we could. Most of that time we lived outside the ashram with our young daughter and offered seva when we could and took intensives and courses. We were never on staff nor did we inhabit inner circles of any kind (a blessing in retrospect! God was watching out for us then)

Eventually after coming back from Ganeshpuri, we returned to the "world" and became very much involved in local centers, at one time or another serving as Center Leaders or on Steering Comm. Our circle of friends was pretty much SY people. Through all this and from seva at the ashram we both did find we learned tolerance and a certain equanimity. Due to the nature of the kind of sevas we were involved in especially around the kitchen, etc., I learned to see humble work as just as worthy in the sight of God as other more "important" work. (Note that I developed a focus on the Guru as existing within as much as without.)
And of course meditation has always been important in my life as a means of remaining grounded in the Source of All and continues to be so.

I must say that I continue to be amazed that a path that has darkness at its core (that is, the exploitation of others) can have provided people with so much. As others have said, it is a paradox.

But I feel fortunate to have found that all these benefits of spiritual life exist also in following Christ and endeavoring to live sincerely into His call.

Peace and Love and Best wishes for the Season to all,

Episcopalian

Anonymous said...

This post may belong in another thread on Is She or Isn't She, Does She or Doesn't She, Did She or Didn't She, Will She or Won't She thread. Pardon the misplacemanet if so.



Greetings friends and lovers of the shakti,

This is for those who find they blend popular culture with their inner dialogue. I get songs stuck in my head that speak to me about my emotional state. Walk on By is current. Burt Bacharach came up with the music, Hal Davis wrote the lyrics about a woman asking her former lover to leave her alone. Yes, Chidvilas, please vacate my heart. Walk On By.

Bacharach’s muse made it famous. Dionne Warwick version follows. Intended to be listened to like you would a bhajan. The Isaac Hayes version I heard everyday for a semester. My roommate had Hot Buttered Soul on the replay.

Then I met Baba, I thought he was some mixture of Isaac and Richie Havens. He was every cool man of color I had ever admired. Now I see that was the intention to have people think that. Really Baba carried the goods no question. I knew a thrill when I found one. Rest in peace Muktananda. After things are settled with what you left behind. P E A C E P E A C E P E A C E Amen. Shanti Hari Om Tat Sat.

Hats off to writers of love songs who understand the human heart so well. I won’t be coming to anymore satsangs dear Chidvilas. I would rather hide the tears and sadness you gave me when you said goodbye.

Here’s the lyrics to a mighty song of the heart.

If you see me walking down the street
And I start to cry each time we meet
Walk on by, walk on by

Make believe
that you don't see the tears
Just let me grieve
in private 'cause each time I see you
I break down and cry
And walk on by (don't stop)
And walk on by (don't stop)
And walk on by

I just can't get over losing you
And so if I seem broken and blue
Walk on by, walk on by

Foolish pride
Is all that I have left
So let me hide
The tears and the sadness you gave me
When you said goodbye
Walk on by
and walk on by
and walk by (don't stop)

Walk on by, walk on by


Hayes
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0R-ZE-gFcBA&feature=related


Warwick
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cft0cl-j_JE&NR=1

Anonymous said...

And the answer is: to whatever extent that you think and act like a sheep, following what other people do, then of course you'll honor those teachings etc that are old and popular (e.g. "Hinduism"). If you're a free-thinking individual, though, there's no reason to care whether any belief or belief-system is old, or popular, or has a nice-sounding name like "Hinduism."

Stuart
http://stuart-randomthoughts.blogspot.com/

-You have an interesting take on what I said Stuart. It is kinda like me saying that you do not think Hindu's can be free thinking individuals. Which is one of the things you just implied. My point very well is, I never heard Gurumayi say any of the stuff like bad karma to do half a chant. People like you and me make those judgments. I see it plainly from looking around this site. Goodb ye I retire to lurker.
-Anon w/e

Anonymous said...

As this is a thread about gratitude, I'd like to say I'm grateful for the love. Whatever else happened, I still appreciate the love.

I was contemplating this morning, asking myself "What is love?" To me, love (in the Siddha Yoga sense) is the feeling of unconditional acceptance I felt around the Guru. However, in ultimate terms, it had nothing to do with the person of the Guru or any other person there. The Guru was just a catalyst -- someone who entertained me while the real work happened within. It was a state of being - which has never really left me.

I was once in SMA, and Gurumayi asked in the satsang, "What is God?" Lots of people got up & said all sorts of things, e.g. the Shakti, the Guru, the Universe, etc. She shook her head at all the answers, until a little boy at the front got up and said, "God is love." Gurumayi said, "Yes!"

Anonymous said...

"-You have an interesting take on what I said Stuart. It is kinda like me saying that you do not think Hindu's can be free thinking individuals. Which is one of the things you just implied. My point very well is, I never heard Gurumayi say any of the stuff like bad karma to do half a chant. People like you and me make those judgments. I see it plainly from looking around this site. Goodb ye I retire to lurker."
-Anon w/e

December 15, 2007 5:21 PM

Greetings Anon w/e,

Discussion here is not like elsewhere perhaps you will agree.

This discussion which you are apparently ready to abandon has picked up tremendous speed in a very short period of time. So many visitors since late October. Some discussions are like a wagon with four wheels that carry it along. This discussion is like a semi with 16 wheels. You are one of them. Please keep up with your part. You have brought an indispensible viewpoint. This truck will roll along without you but you would be missed, by me, enormously.

I love my former guru, still. Does it help you to know that for cetainty?

Please, what is it, what irreverence in this discussion has been committed, where has it shut down for you? No need to share. But you should ask yourself this question.

To me there should be absolutely nothing I couln't ask my guru.

Whatever makes you want to revert to 'lurking', let it bring you growth.

Anonymous said...

GRATITUDE THREAD REMINDER


"As this is a thread about gratitude, I'd like to say I'm grateful for the love. Whatever else happened, I still appreciate the love.

I was contemplating this morning, asking myself "What is love?" To me, love (in the Siddha Yoga sense) is the feeling of unconditional acceptance I felt around the Guru. However, in ultimate terms, it had nothing to do with the person of the Guru or any other person there. The Guru was just a catalyst -- someone who entertained me while the real work happened within. It was a state of being - which has never really left me.

I was once in SMA, and Gurumayi asked in the satsang, "What is God?" Lots of people got up & said all sorts of things, e.g. the Shakti, the Guru, the Universe, etc. She shook her head at all the answers, until a little boy at the front got up and said, "God is love." Gurumayi said, "Yes!"

December 15, 2007 6:02 PM


I would love to keep this as the gratitude thread, a place of repose about things we are grateful for. Thank you for this reminder. I have many genuine and wonderful experiences I would like to remember here also.

narayan said...

For once in her life she got something right.(Gummy) God is unconditional Love! with out a doubt in my mind or heart. The way Gummy says it directed towards her is not what was meant by anyone I'm sure! Let her slip into the unknown, forgotten....thats what she wants, so shall it be! maybe in a few thousand years and many rebirths she may learn something about it all? who knows. Right now she is still a nasty little girl that I knew, who cared for no one. Ever! Narayan.

Anonymous said...

I found the following quote on someone's blog:

"Inside each of us is a light, loving, and truly forgiving energy that can transcend any burden or grudge that we may be holding onto. We often aren’t aware that we are carrying a heavy load inside, yet when a certain intense topic comes up with our father, mother or sibling it can feel like a 10 ton weight is sitting upon our chest. The truth is that any self-righteous thought or ego driven belief that we are gripping onto will one day make us feel heavy, tight, or repressed. Whatever the belief is, if it brings a heaviness into your heart, it’s definitely not worth keeping. If you look a bit deeper within yourself, you’ll find that a very loving and spacious energy is still alive. This energy doesn’t care who is right or wrong, how others should or shouldn’t be, or what outcome needs to happen or not happen. It’s an energy born from freedom, devoted to lightness, and bound by nothing. There truly is a “Buddha” of Compassion inside you, and this enlightened being has the power to transform your entire life completely."

Anonymous said...

Thanks Anon 8:36, I appreciate the sentiment on my behalf. The truth is I am not really on the train or truck, just at the crosswalk. I make occasional posts, perhaps at times forgetting where I am. My comments are not highly relevant to the direction of the traffic, so to speak. Not near a sy center, I tend to move to the nearest sound of something about siddha yoga. I mean no offence and ask no special favor. I think anyone would be upset to have a post disected to the degree of losing the context and meaning of the writer's overall intent. That is what I felt and why I went "off track". It is commen netiquette to acknowledge intent or reply to a post in a similar tone. I might know something about this being socially active on the net since 1996. Anyway, no real harm done and I thank you once more for your reply.

-Anon w/e

Anonymous said...

>>"I would love to keep this as the gratitude thread, a place of repose about things we are grateful for. Thank you for this reminder. I have many genuine and wonderful experiences I would like to remember here also."<<<

Dear Anon,
there is nothing to prevent you from remembering your genuine and wonderful experiences or "keeping this as the gratitude thread" in your own mind and heart.Several people have already shared their own special memories with no problem. We can choose to focus on what we want to focus on...but what we cannot do, in good conscience, is attempt to control what others choose to focus on. Reality is not about setting up an artificial "place of repose" where everyone must stay "on topic". That's exactly how siddha yoga functioned: certain things were acceptable to discuss and focus on and other things were not and if you chose to bring up the "other things", even if they were perfectly valid questions, you were shunned and dismissed. Limiting this discussion to something called the "gratitude thread" feels very much like one of those Sunday morning "community meetings" at the local center ...let's just focus on our "gratitude" and not talk about all of those unpleasant issues that are sitting over in the corner like a herd of elephants.
I'm sure you didn't mean for that to happen here.
s.

SeekHer said...

"S wrote:
We can choose to focus on what we want to focus on...but what we cannot do, in good conscience, is attempt to control what others choose to focus on. Reality is not about setting up an artificial "place of repose" where everyone must stay "on topic". That's exactly how siddha yoga functioned: certain things were acceptable to discuss and focus on and other things were not..."

Thank you for this, s. It is a great reminder to your not-so-humble moderator that, if his lazy efforts to herd the thought-cats leaves one or two licking their paws on the sofa, all is well.

To Anon who wants to continue the "gratitude" thread. I've noticed that a well-considered comment here on a particular subject invokes others to join in as well. So, write about what you are grateful for and see if it resonates with other readers.

Personally, I don't think the accounts of gratitude that have been written here are treacly, or that they ignore the larger issues in discussion. This time of year many people stop to count their blessings and, being someone who rarely does so myself, I welcome this opportunity and am happy to extend it to others. There may be no other place where we can honestly, objectively express those positive things we take away from our practice of Siddha Yoga even if, especially if, they were hard won.

pk said...

"We can choose to focus on what we want to focus on...but what we cannot do, in good conscience, is attempt to control what others choose to focus on."

A blog (I have discovered, with next to no experience at all) is a peculiar means of communication with its time lapses and erratic flow, some parts dominating and others vanishing, a few boring eddies here and there, as well as what seems a vast, probably inevitable, potential for misunderstanding. I can appreciate the urge to try to control it, but it's so much more interesting (even shakti-like) to let the river just roll along.

Anonymous said...

>>" There may be no other place where we can honestly, objectively express those positive things we take away from our practice of Siddha Yoga even if, especially if, they were hard won"<<

Yes..and thank-you, SeekHer, for providing this space! Sometimes what we can be grateful for might appear to be, on first glance, a "negative". Much of what I, personally, am most grateful for regarding my time in siddha yoga seems to fall into that category. I learned a very important lesson from this particular guru and that was: never give over the resposibility for my deepest spiritual "beingness" to another person. For that lesson, I am supremely grateful..and specifically grateful to gurumayi because, in the case of siddha yoga (and with the encouragement of siddha yoga), I did "give over the responsibility for my deepest spritual 'self'" to the guru and the suffering that happened as the result of that choice was extreme. However, it also eventually strengthened a deep love for the Truth, compassion for others, discrimination,the ability to forgive (both myself and others) and the understanding that intelligence, devotion and a genuine desire for what is called "liberation" will not necessarily "protect" us from spiritually devastating experiences. It took many years for me to reach a point where I understood the value of my time in siddha yoga but the lessons I learned have proven to be extremely important.
I have the usual wonderful memories of long chants, early morning aratis in the Temple, the exhuberance of New Year's Day in Muktananda Mandir,waiting for the annual message, walking down the road in Ganeshpuri, the challenges and joys of seva, etc. but,in the end, what I am most grateful for (and what ultimately "freed" me the most) are not those ephemeral memories but the very valuable lessons I learned,lessons that have helped me to see the Truth more clearly and to fully accept the responsibility for my own spiritual life.
I truly wish gurumayi peace. I can't pretend that I consider her to be what we were told she was in siddha yoga but I am grateful, in retrospect, for the lessons she taught me(whether or not it was her intention to teach them). They were painful but, obviously, necessary.
s.

Anonymous said...

S said:

"Reality is not about setting up an artificial "place of repose" where everyone must stay "on topic". That's exactly how siddha yoga functioned: certain things were acceptable to discuss and focus on and other things were not...""

I don't know what sort of SY Center you attended, but I think that statement is nonsense. All the things that are discussed on this blog are also discussed from time to time over chai in our Center. People talk about the "good" and the "bad" and often have a good giggle about the whole lot. Yet we still love Siddha Yoga for the great wealth of spirituality it has brought into our lives and continues to bring into our lives, and we are respectfully grateful for it.

Anonymous said...

"No wonder we all felt such a great relief and joy...finally, a resting place. In some ways, this is what makes leaving siddha yoga so difficult...there is the loss of so much that made being here more "bearable". It takes a while to come out of the dream, I think, and to be able to find the same sense of beauty and mystery in the full light of day and the "being-ness" of the moment. It's a different kind of beauty...sharper, perhaps and less "dreamy" but beautiful nonetheless.
I was thinking about the holidays and how siddha yoga made them "bearable" for me...

December 10, 2007 11:02 AM


Thanks Anon 12101102AM for a wonderful passage that I will keep close to reread. I have done that with many things you have posted. to me, we are recognizable by our train of thoughts without signatures. Anonymous tags enhance that focus on ideas. I kind of like it. I like avatars or second personas that people sometimes take on. It is an old tradition. the Greeks did this all the time. Pretended to be someone else to get at the ideas.

Part of this ID thing that pops up sometimes is the troll issue. Who is who? Hope this is not off topic but I never got the troll, sock puppet accusation. Just address the spirit of the troll and his minions. I always picture them like those sock monkeys.

Does it matter who we are?

Because I think I am often on some free association trip in my head, I used up my commenting time on all this about sock puppets and trolls so didn't get to speak to commentor's post about how bearable SY made Christmas. I agree whole heartedly. And not just Christmas, but my life.

But now I see most of SY was a fairy tale. Was it told by an idiot? Did it signify nothing? Who were the authors, ghost writers who told it? As Anon has pointed out, just whose message were we imbibing?

Anyway fellow friends and lovers of the guru, may you all find meaning this season. Also check out the bad ass monkeys.
http://tinyurl.com/2dtge3

SeekHer said...

A note to ROD readers.

'tis the season for going into debt buying things others don't need just so we can prop up our must-post-exponential-growth-or-slide-into-recession economy!

so, I'm gonna be kinda busy, just like y'all. If your comments don't get moderated with the alacrity you've become accustomed to, don't fret. Don't think they've been rejected. I'm just busy playing Santa.

Anonymous said...

>>>"I don't know what sort of SY Center you attended, but I think that statement is nonsense. All the things that are discussed on this blog are also discussed from time to time over chai in our Center. People talk about the "good" and the "bad" and often have a good giggle about the whole lot. Yet we still love Siddha Yoga for the great wealth of spirituality it has brought into our lives and continues to bring into our lives, and we are respectfully grateful for it."

Hello,
Your center sounds very different from the one I attended. I'm happy that your experience has been a really positive one...truly. But, you know, I would never call your opinions or your statements "nonsense". To me, it's a matter of what you call being "respectful".
s.

Anonymous said...

">>>"I don't know what sort of SY Center you attended, but I think that statement is nonsense. All the things that are discussed on this blog are also discussed from time to time over chai in our Center. People talk about the "good" and the "bad" and often have a good giggle about the whole lot. Yet we still love Siddha Yoga for the great wealth of spirituality it has brought into our lives and continues to bring into our lives, and we are respectfully grateful for it."

Hello,
Your center sounds very different from the one I attended. I'm happy that your experience has been a really positive one...truly. But, you know, I would never call your opinions or your statements "nonsense". To me, it's a matter of what you call being "respectful".
s."

Amazed, reading this.

Another case of a "still in" SY'er disrespectfully trashing an ex-SY'er by calling their statements "nonsense".

I have to absolutely second the comments of "s." and back her/him up fully. At the SY center I attended, people avoided discussing the "bad" or the "negative" about SY like the plague. Taking up that aspect any more than once after not getting the subtle social message that delving into such was utterly taboo, was a great way to be ostracized.

Which means, that dynamic exists within SY organizations, and thus, it's really not "nonsense".

I just feel compelled to address that "nonsense" bit. "In-SY'ers" often accuse "Ex-SY'ers" of being angry and hateful and spiteful.

Is calling someone else's comments "nonsense" anything other than those 3 adjectives?

What is it about SY, anyway, that seems to totally smash into millions of tiny pieces the Respect-O-Meter that most human beings naturally watch on their inner emotional dashboard that measures social interation and respect and tolerance and compassion for others? What happens? Does it get dashed once it hits "waves of grace" or "waves of bliss"?

The anti-Marta site is a perfect example.

Just amazing to me how this seems to happen so consistently.

Anonymous said...

S said:
"But, you know, I would never call your opinions or your statements "nonsense"."

Oh, I'm really sorry. I didn't mean "nonsense" in the way it came across. Probably I used the wrong word. This is the problem with this type of written communication. It wasn't meant as a harsh judgment.(I have friends who are in SY, friends who are new to SY, friends who are on other spiritual paths, and friends who've left SY: They are all on their own journey and I wouldn't want to pass judgment on any of them. So once again, apologies!)

And, yes, it is true things were censored a lot (but mainly in the 80s really). I think it was done to try and lift one's spirits, i.e focusing on positive things makes you feel more positive. Nowadays it seems to be a free-for-all at our Center. Sometimes I wish we still did only focus on the "positive", as it was more uplifting that way (for me anyway).

Anonymous said...

>>"And, yes, it is true things were censored a lot (but mainly in the 80s really). I think it was done to try and lift one's spirits, i.e focusing on positive things makes you feel more positive. Nowadays it seems to be a free-for-all at our Center. Sometimes I wish we still did only focus on the "positive", as it was more uplifting that way (for me anyway)."<<

Thanks, Anon., for your clarification. I was sure that you hadn't meant it quite the way it sounded. Although my experience in siddha yoga (of the absence of open discussion) happened during the 1990s, both at my center and in Fallsburg and GSP, it sounds as though your center is a very lively one and, perhaps, less controlled than mine was :). Sometimes the most carefully controlled centers seemed to be the oldest centers or the centers closest to Fallsburg and the most flexible centers , a little further away. It's true that the mind can be really brought down by focusing on negativity...it's amazing how powerful our minds are. Managing the balance between discovering The Truth and staying positive can be a real challenge sometimes.
best to you and happy holidays.
s.

Anonymous said...

Dear Friends,
I am off for a bit. I wanted to wish all of you great joy for the coming celebration...The birth of the Great "I AM", the shining light within each one of us...siddha yoga, ex-siddha yoga, LSY, buddhist, hindu,christian, agnostic,cynic, bhakti,jnani ...all of you lovers of the Truth.
Great Blessings to You and to each one of us and the very best wishes for a wonderful year in 2008. May we all Abide in the Truth beneath the appearance of separation.
love to you,
s.

Anonymous said...

Talking about gratitude: Hey, anyone remember Joseph Chilton Pearce? He was such a nice guy and a good teacher. I remember those satsangs in South Fallsburg where he was the MC before Gurumayi came into the hall, and he left us quaking in our boots with his intense question and answer sessions. :)

Anyway, I found him on YouTube:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TaJ6WK38GvY

Stuart said...

It's true that the mind can be really brought down by focusing on negativity...it's amazing how powerful our minds are.

As best as I can understand it and communicate it... what I try to do is always keep an open, questioning mind. A mind that's curious, that wonders about everything. I don't really understand this talk about "negativity." For the people who talk about "negativity"... what exactly is it, what makes you label something as "negative"?

I think maybe sometimes avoiding negativity is taken to mean not talking or thinking or examining anything that's not pleasant. I don't go for that. If something is painful or unpleasant, maybe that's the most important thing to pay attention to.

Stuart
http://stuart-randomthoughts.blogspot.com/

Anonymous said...

Best wishes and blessings of the season to you, SeekHer and to all here.

Peace and Love

Episcopalian

PS. Joe Pierce, still going strong! Thanks for sharing that video.

PPS. Stuart, I agree with you about not avoiding the negative. Sometimes it is even necessary, part of being human.

Anonymous said...

I was told by one of the center leaders that our center had a billion email wars going on. That was about 4 years ago.

Anonymous said...

"People talk about the "good" and the "bad" and often have a good giggle about the whole lot".

Greetings to Anon above,

Everything about your post helped me get to the heart of the matter in leaving SY and I thank you. You provided a rear view mirror for me. You can drive without one, but it does help to get a look back at where you have come from to know where you are now and where maybe you could go.

There are some places I would like to get to from SY but I can't. Until I process some of what happened during 25+ years of love and devotion for the guru.

I am finding now that many were in SY without such a deep emotional committment as I made. It was more intellectual and now post SY it is still an intellectual excercise to discuss it. For others it was an emotional committment without compare. I found you could ride love for another to spiritual dimensions, or some kind of perhaps otherwordly, or at least out of body dimensions anyway. I learned that from reading Vivekenanda's books and meditating on his words. He said Bhakti was the best path. OK. I had help in doing what I had been trying to do since a child, reach God.

Get off this f**king planet Earth, vale of tears. Irish DNA. I will say no more. SY helped me do that. Why shouldn't I love the outfit? Siddha Loka. Hmmmmm. Loco? Just thinking about places like that was now a big WOT. Unless someone from the organization steps forward in a real way and speaks honestly. But do they know how anymore?

In my sadhana circle were MD's and PhD's who could not manage an intelligent discussion about anything. Everyone was completely HUNG UP on how we did things. WOT!

Anon with the Wonderful SY Center
I would have liked to have attended your center. Mine was stilted and programmed, repetitive and almost comatose, but we muddled on for what we ONCE had received. If you post your address, many of us might like to attend, just to see this phenomena. ;-) joke :-) smile. Please don't be offended :-(

I hope you continue to share, how you have found a way to evolve your SY practice. Some of us who are struggling like with an ugly divorce could benefit. Some of us really loved Gurumayi. Not ashamed of that either. I thought she stood for the best in life.

Thank you for posting Anon

Anonymous said...

Joseph Chilton Pearce

"Anyway, I found him on YouTube:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TaJ6WK38GvY

December 17, 2007 8:01 PM

Was very close to Joe at one time. He was fried by GM. He proclaimed Jesus a long time ago. One of the smartest big picture guys around.

Thanks for the video.

Anonymous said...

Greetings Stuart,

On your point:

"I think maybe sometimes avoiding negativity is taken to mean not talking or thinking or examining anything that's not pleasant. I don't go for that. If something is painful or unpleasant, maybe that's the most important thing to pay attention to".


A question I wanted to ask you about is you ability to seemingly remain above the fray of human sturm und drang. An asset clearly and one I wish I had. However I don't and the reason I don't has a lot to do with the work of Joseph Chilton Pearce who was just mentioned above. It was like a cue from the universe to bring this up.

Joe Pearce is all about the precious state of the human at birth and early childhood. The need to be able to empathize with the newborn and child is being lost in our culture to our evolutionary detriment. yadda yadda. Joe talks a mile a minute about stuff you forgot from biology and chemistry. Like a Bucky Fuller, another genius follower of Muktananda. Joe tried to do his bit for GM, but his brains carried him out.

Anyway a bad parenting wrecks havoc in people. Some who had that kind of childhood ended up in SY. Spiritual practices were confounded with the love they were missing. This didn't happen for you.

Questions:

Stuart, Did your mother read Joe Pearce?

What did draw you to Muktananda? I should read your blog again, but what's the short answer? ;-)

Regards :-)

Anonymous said...

"Was very close to Joe at one time. He was fried by GM. He proclaimed Jesus a long time ago. One of the smartest big picture guys around."

Joe, fried by GM??? Get out!!!

Of freaking COURSE he was fried by GM!!! GM absolutely HATES having anybody around her who can outshine her in ANY way, but particularly intellectually.

In the history of mankind, Joe Pearce has one of the deepest, sharpest minds ever, at least at what he specializes in. I was not close to Joe but knew him WAAAY back. In fact he was at the very very first SY satsang I ever attended, his country home in the Blue Ridge Mountains was only about 45 min away from where I was getting my bachelor's degree. He'd often drop in for our local satsang...really a C&M group, held in the home of a couple...the wife of whom later went on to become a widely known and respected hatha yoga teacher.

I could see the depth and sharpness of Joe's intellect then. This was still in Muk's time. It surprises me not one whit that GM ousted him. I doubt she could tolerate having his great intellect around to outshine her own puny one.

Which makes me wonder why she didn't oust the likes of Krip, Ishwar, Umesh, and other swamis. Maybe it was the intimidation factor. Perhaps Joe simply didn't intimidate to the same degree...or perhaps he retained his existing career and was in position to not be intimidated. Who knows.

But it doesn't shock me one bit to hear she drove him out. It was to be expected.

Anonymous said...

>>>" For the people who talk about "negativity"... what exactly is it, what makes you label something as "negative"?"<<

Damn! look at that woman talking on her cellphone and driving that big SUV! People can be SO rude. She almost ran over that old lady crossing the street. And how much gas does that car use anyway? Geez! that article about the polar bears this morning in the newspaper and, that reminds me, the oil spill in Lake Bakul. I just hate to think of all of those birds suffering like that! I wonder if my husband let the cat out again without checking to be sure the bell is on Fluffy's collar. He ALWAYS forgets things like that. i am so sick of having to do everything. Damn! look at that guy in the pickup truck with the deer strapped on the front. How can people....blah blah blah.
It's not rocket science, Stuart and I'm sure you are quite aware of what motivates people to try not to focus on "the negative". The "things" themselves are not "negative"; it's the habit of just letting the mind run on down into the complaining, fault finding, judging, separating pattern..that just keeps on going, going,going.
It IS helpful to notice that the mind is doing this but not really very helpful to "go with it"..as I'm sure you are more than aware. A confusion seems to arise at a particular stage...people sometimes try to "replace" the negative stream with a "positive" one...like "The Secret"..In my opinion, that's just a kind of "programming glitch". I like your description of a curious, questioning, open mind....people who are struggling with this issue of negative/positive are probably trying to get to that, wouldn't you say?

Anonymous said...

Anonymous said:

"If you post your address, many of us might like to attend, just to see this phenomena. ;-) joke :-) smile. Please don't be offended :-("

Ha ha ha. If I told you where my center was, I would run the risk of losing my "anonymity".

Our satsangs are run along official lines of course, but the conversations that occur during amrit and seva are another matter. :)

We spent a few weeks discussing the "sweet surprise" until we got bored with our own silliness and humor and had exhausted all "possibilities".

Stuart said...

Stuart, Did your mother read Joe Pearce?

When I recall my childhood, I realize that whatever struggles I had, I never had reason to doubt that my parents loved me. I didn't realize it was special at the time, but now I think maybe they were willing to focus on and sacrifice for their children more than some parents are, particularly of my generation.

But no, their parenting skills didn't come from JC Pearce; I don't think it came out of a book at all.

What did draw you to Muktananda? I should read your blog again, but what's the short answer? ;-)

I dunno. On this particular topic... I guess that no matter how dedicated your parents are, there can still be a longing for the PERFECT mother/father figure, and maybe that drew me to Baba.

Or maybe it was just that I had a deep questioning about the meaning of life and all, and I didn't find much to support my seeking in American culture, so I looked for some path that'd support my big questions, and Muktananda (with his superior PR machine) was the first alternative that got to me.

Stuart
http://stuart-randomthoughts.blogspot.com/

Anonymous said...

That was me, 3rdeyeopen who wrote about the "billion email wars" at my center. When I heard that I knew who I was dealing with and went running from my center.

From here on I will be just another anonymous anon. Why? Using my tag name I see where layers of separation still exist. It makes it clear why there is so much separation anxiety that goes on between devotees and guru. I'm no longer there. GM never said she was NEVER coming back. I'm not waiting either way, nor am I angry at her. I'd just rather protect myself from a mindset that relied on so much structure from an ahram that one could not forge for themselves. I ran away from the strict fundie way some sevites interpreted the teachings and SY and plan to keep doing so.

Stuart I agree with what you have been writng.
And thanks SeekHer in advance because from here on I remain anon.

Anonymous said...

Religion by Satellite,

http://bldgblog.blogspot.com/2007/12/religion-by-satellite.html

Will have to post other sacred sites. GSP?

Anonymous said...

"From here on I will be just another anonymous anon."

3-I:

Wise decision. I made the same one. I find the blog format's extra layer of cover (and safety) that is provided by the ability to post 100% anonymously to be very appealing.

A protective function that a list forum site like EXSY simply can't deliver.

Anonymous said...

A handful of comments from K and then on to the usual seasonal activities for me:

a) I don't know what sort of SY Center you attended, but I think that statement is nonsense. All the things that are discussed on this blog are also discussed from time to time over chai in our Center. People talk about the "good" and the "bad" and often have a good giggle about the whole lot. Yet we still love Siddha Yoga for the great wealth of spirituality it has brought into our lives and continues to bring into our lives, and we are respectfully grateful for it.

December 17, 2007 4:24 AM

Really? Do you talk about Muktananda having sex with his devotees and threatening to disfigure anyone who took that story to he press, then have a giggle and carry on with your chai and your discussion about loving Siddha Yoga?

I rather think the real story never comes up at most Siddha Yoga Centers, and if it does, even in the most innocuous way, it is dispatched quickly and thoroughly.

Please don't call my concern for the victims and consequences of statutory rape and/or some of SY's major distortions of yoga teaching and true yoga practice "nonsense".

To write this you must truly believe much of what's been revealed in the exSY movement has no foundation.

Sorry, it's been documented by fully believeable sources, including the victims themselves, several of the SY swamis, and many other adults both active and inactive in the movement.

***

b) But now I see most of SY was a fairy tale. Was it told by an idiot? Did it signify nothing? Who were the authors, ghost writers who told it? As Anon has pointed out, just whose message were we imbibing?

December 17, 2007 8:44 AM

In my opinion "the SY machine" or the gestalt of the collected desires and needs of the SY community created those "teachings". In my opinion none of them were "holy mantras" some were genuine nonsense and some were very useful and insightful material.

This sort of mish mash is typical of a religious cult.

By the author of the first excerpt:

c) And, yes, it is true things were censored a lot (but mainly in the 80s really). I think it was done to try and lift one's spirits, i.e focusing on positive things makes you feel more positive. Nowadays it seems to be a free-for-all at our Center. Sometimes I wish we still did only focus on the "positive", as it was more uplifting that way (for me anyway).

December 17, 2007 3:57 PM

I do empathize with this writer's statement (ie the loss of discipline in a spiritual community that once fed his or her soul). But when I look at the way this individual reasons... well, when I get past my own reaction to this kind of reasoning... I need to remember he or she may have bought into a large portion of the SY illusion.

It could take him or her months, or even years, to fully appreciate just how much of what he or she believes to be authentic spiritual teaching was half truth, pure fantasy (or a flat out lie) and not a spiritual path based on genuine teaching and historical fact.

****

d) I think maybe sometimes avoiding negativity is taken to mean not talking or thinking or examining anything that's not pleasant. I don't go for that. If something is painful or unpleasant, maybe that's the most important thing to pay attention to.

Stuart
http://stuart-randomthoughts.blogspot.com/

Agreed.

And:

e) I am finding now that many were in SY without such a deep emotional commitment as I made. It was more intellectual and now post SY it is still an intellectual exercise to discuss it. For others it was an emotional commitment without compare.

December 18, 2007 8:19 AM

I don't know who you're referring to in this post but I'd like to say that for me coming to terms with SY has not been a mere intellectual exercise. It's been a sometimes exhausting, sometimes enlightening, genuinely soul searching adventure.

For me some of that adventure has been quite emotional. I think that's been clear in some of my writing in this blog.

Please consider that you might be making ungrounded accusations of some of us if you make a nonspecific accusation like this in a forum read by and built by contributions from all of us.

K.

Anonymous said...

"making ungrounded accusations of some of us if you make a nonspecific accusation like this in a forum read by and built by contributions from all of us".
K.

December 19, 2007 11:38 AM

Dear K,

Anonymous was not making an accusation. Just sharing, not judging. Why so harsh?

Anon

Anonymous said...

December 19, 2007 11:38 AM

Dear K,

Anonymous was not making an accusation. Just sharing, not judging. Why so harsh?

Anon

***

Your question motivated me to review the original post and see why I reacted to it as I did.

After reviewing the entire post, I say you're right. I think I inadvertently mixed my impression of this writer with what believed I saw in the tone of another writer.

That's one of the liabilities of having so many anonymous writers in the same forum. It can be hard to keep all of them straight in one's head. Hence I sign all of my own posts with my first initial.

Here's the original paragraph, with my apology to the writer for misunderstanding him/her:

***

I am finding now that many were in SY without such a deep emotional commitment as I made. It was more intellectual and now post SY it is still an intellectual exercise to discuss it. For others it was an emotional commitment without compare. I found you could ride love for another to spiritual dimensions, or some kind of perhaps other-wordly, or at least out of body dimensions anyway. I learned that from reading Vivekenanda's books and meditating on his words. He said Bhakti was the best path. OK. I had help in doing what I had been trying to do since a child, reach God.

***

This person seems to be really struggling with the departure experience.

And it is true, there were some folks who just grazed at the edges of SY. Their departure experience may have seemed relatively painless (but the appearance of "ease" can be deceptive, especially in a situation like leaving a religious cult).

Others dove into the pool, some finding shallow water (dangerous to the head), some drowning in the deep liquid of the SY illusion, some believing if they keep treading that liquid they'll be OK, and some finding the ladder then hauling themselves, sopping wet, onto solid concrete.

Many thanks to both of these writers and a Happy Holiday to all of you.

K.

Anonymous said...

I am wondering how Joseph got fried by Gurumayi. Was it a public bashing, private, did it reveal personal content? I do not wish to air any of his laundray here of course, but if anyone knows the generals I would be interested to hear them. This is because much of this change happened at a time in my life when I was undergoing a medical situation. When I came back the whole landscape of siddha yoga had changed. Many of the big names had left, then John Denver passed away. And then darshan left and all the programs became more structured and rigid if they were kept at all. It seemed very different to me and I had the benefit of not undergoing a gradual change, so to speak. Any key turning points for any of you personally?

Kalliope Amorphous said...

I really needed to see this tonight. I was with Amma (the hugging saint)and departed recently. This post was as if from my own soul....I saw such reflections of the state I am in. It was incredibly comforting. Thank you for that.

Anonymous said...

Such broad brushstrokes.

I was and still am deeply involved in SY privately, with the practices. I"m not so attached to the fact that GM has left the building for now or forever.
Why that decision was made for her to leave, well, I was not at that meeting. We mostly speculate on this board: she's a greedy, money grubbing b^&*$ or she's menopausing (this makes sense), she's a heroin junkie (GM nodding out during hours long darshans, too ridiculous to imagine), etc.

I try not to wonder what made the sevite's tick that they dived into the deep end of the pool, gave abuse, took abuse. I just did not want to be around grown people who act that way. It was embarrassing to me as an adult to hear other adults say GM was superhuman, believe the guru was god and not see themselves as god.
I would chuckle to myself at the sevites who took all the intensives were usually the abusers and not very bright at interpreting the teachings.

My take is that our standard religions and upbringings in them really did a number on us. And we carry all that garbage into the SY and dump it on the guru, like she's suppose to take it and clean it up with a magic wand.

i had a dream long before she left that tuned me into that she might leave and why. In my dream I was one of her attendants. We were behind the stage and gm was approaching the front of the stage, up some stairs and the crowds were roaring her name, the crowd sounded like hungry wolves.
Before she got to the stage gm turned around and said "I'm out of here". As her attendant, I held the door for her to return to Anugraha.

That's what the attachment to gm and the ashram sounds like in the bitter complaining of her departure : hungry wolves.

If indeed she left forever as a fraudulent, greedy money grubber, then good riddance. If she is complicit to criminal behaviors of her predecessor and her loyal bodyguards than screw her. If she's being railroaded by needy, hungry wolves who are big big babies in grown up bodies than i want to wait it out.

Anonymous said...

I like your post about broad brushstrokes Anon. That is exactly how I feel, it was great to see it in words. And I had a similar dream a good deal before she left also. I was going to the main hall in Anugraha and I went to the little hall before the main doors (I think audio visual used to be there). Gurumayi was back behind a pile of desks which made a tall barrier and in front of the desks were a whole lot of sack lunches. For me it said you will be taken care of with some food....

I have only had 2 dreams of her since she stopped giving talks. This one above was before that time.

Anonymous said...

A direct response from K:

Anon: I try not to wonder what made the sevite's tick that they dived into the deep end of the pool, gave abuse, took abuse. I just did not want to be around grown people who act that way.

K: I can understand this feeling, really. I was embarrassed for this kind of thinking when I was engaged in the idea that SY was an authentic religion.

I couldn't understand why people didn't read MUK's books more carefully, why they didn't practice the teaching that they were God, the mantra was God, the Guru was God.

That in fact God pervades everything real in the universe and any thought otherwise is delusion, a distraction from our inevitable Journey Home to the Soul.

I just didn't get it back then that the story about MUK's sexual adventures was true, that it had very real implications for SY, that GM had to have known the truth and most likely had something to do with covering it up, that the connection between MUK and NIT Sr never actually happened as reported.

I blamed the devotees I didn't like for the things I didn't like about my experience with SY. It never occurred to me that these devotees were actually following the "teachings" in the best way they could -- GIVEN THE NATURE OF SY AS IT EVOLVED NOT FROM THEIR PERSONALITIES BUT FROM SOUTH FALLSBURG AND GANESHPURI.

Anon: It was embarrassing to me as an adult to hear other adults say GM was superhuman, believe the guru was god and not see themselves as god.

K: I wonder if your embarrassment may have lessened had you seen their faults as just another expression of God? Can you see how your discomfort actually comes from your negative judgment of these people and not from an adherence to the beliefs you say you learned in SY?

Anon: I would chuckle to myself at the sevites who took all the intensives were usually the abusers and not very bright at interpreting the teachings.

K: I found this comment incredibly condescending and elitist. Did it come from an interpretation of the SY teachings you say you hold so dear? That God dwells in all souls?

I see another contradiction here.

Anon: My take is that our standard religions and upbringings in them really did a number on us. And we carry all that garbage into the SY and dump it on the guru, like she's suppose to take it and clean it up with a magic wand.

K: If Gurumayi were an authentic spiritual master she would be able to lead her community away from a mistaken interpretation of spiritual teaching and into a more authentic and useful one. She had over 20 years to achieve that goal. I don't see the evidence that she succeeded.

Anon: i had a dream long before she left that tuned me into that she might leave and why. In my dream I was one of her attendants. We were behind the stage and gm was approaching the front of the stage, up some stairs and the crowds were roaring her name, the crowd sounded like hungry wolves.

K: You're not the first person to report that you had "special dreams" about Gurumayi (I had them all the time) or to say that the reason she bailed out of her public role is that her devotees abused her into seclusion... except of course for the ones who had these "special dreams".

The dreams and the implication that the dreamer has a special understanding or status with Gurumayi is all part of th culture SHE and her organization created. I know of much more functional religions outside the mainstream of Western society that have successfully moved away from this class bound paradigm.

Anon: Before she got to the stage gm turned around and said "I'm out of here". As her attendant, I held the door for her to return to Anugraha.

K: See? You're SPECIAL. More Godly than those other, deluded, greedy and needy devotees. What kind of spirituality teaches people to see other souls this way?

Not one that truly succeeds at promoting the notion that God Dwells Within All SOuls as they are.

Anon: That's what the attachment to gm and the ashram sounds like in the bitter complaining of her departure : hungry wolves.

K: To you. This is the judgment of one mind, not a reflection of the best in an open and generous heart.

Anon: If indeed she left forever as a fraudulent, greedy money grubber, then good riddance. If she is complicit to criminal behaviors of her predecessor and her loyal bodyguards than screw her. If she's being railroaded by needy, hungry wolves who are big big babies in grown up bodies than i want to wait it out.

K: Hey, whatever floats your boat, honey. And a Happy Holiday to you too.

Hey I wonder what happened to the Gratitude Thread? How did it evolve into the Attitude Thread?

I'm going to give that some thought and get back to the community, maybe with something that contributes to Christopher's original purpose for posting this entry.

K.

Anonymous said...

"If indeed she left forever as a fraudulent, greedy money grubber, then good riddance. If she is complicit to criminal behaviors of her predecessor and her loyal bodyguards than screw her. If she's being railroaded by needy, hungry wolves who are big big babies in grown up bodies than i want to wait it out".

December 20, 2007 8:07 AM

Deprecating enough your post to us babies. Don't mind. I describe my lovelorn condition to be real to get a base to start the change. BTW some of the most brilliant minds in business and academia took intensive after intensive. Were big babies.

Question for you: What is it you are waiting for while GM is being railroaded by babies? Love the image.

SeekHer said...

K-

thank you.

Anonymous said...

Well in just 11 days we'll hear whether the "surprise" was anything significant.

Or even "sweet" for that matter.

My guess: An offer for a complimentary pack of those Amrit "simply wonderful" round thingys that were kinda-sorta like Indian sweets and kinda-sorta weren't...when you sign up for electronic dakshina withdrawal of $100 a month or more from your bank account!

Anonymous said...

Great response to anon at 11:47 PM Dec 20, K, thanks.

I had a similar dream to that anon's, way way back before GM stopped giving darshan in the mid-90s. In my dream she was pacing back and forth on a stage before a huge crowd and said something like "I can't be everything for you people." I gave a lot of significance to the dream, and felt quite superior to the "masses" who clamored after her. I used to share this dream with others and thought of it as evidence of my maturity, not being one of "those" who needed her to be everything. And of course when GM began to make herself scarce, my dream ironically "told" me I was deeply connected to her, on the same page with her. I showed no compassion for the lovelorn, just judged them, and I got lots of ego-building praise for that from swamis and other bigwigs. I had "right understanding" according to them.

But at the same time it was clear that the people who GM regularly spent time with and depended on were people who were slavishly devoted to her, who hung on her every word, subtle gesture or raised eyebrow, and who were willing to abjure their principles and ruin their health to do her bidding. We often said in SY that the guru is always teaching, with her every gesture. What did she teach the "lovelorn masses" by continuing to surround herself with people who were terrified of losing her personal favor? Could it be she was teaching us all that she should "be everything" to us? Whatever she may have been saying explicitly--in dreams or in waking life--her actions spoke more loudly, as actions usually do.

older but wiser

Anonymous said...

K: Hey, whatever floats your boat, honey. And a Happy Holiday to you too. (ETC)

--
K, I find your tone of taunting sarcasm somewhat ironic in a post that is trying to point out to Anon that(among other things) he/she is taking a condescending tone with others.

another anon

Anonymous said...

One thing I do know is that we all come here with our individual perspectives of SY. One person has done summers at SMA since '92, another was on staff for 10 years, another does centers, and yet another was in the inner circle.

One thing is for sure and that is that SY has had a big impact on us. It is my opinion that the impact is highly emotional and those emotions need to be dealt with before one can move on with things, whether with or without SY. Much of the time we prefer to use these emotional impressions for fuel both here and in real life. Maybe that is a way to a higher stance against or for SY, but in the end the scars/impressions will hopefully be healed. Then one can move forward in their own way more complete. After all, isn't assimilation the best revenge?

Anonymous said...

One thing is for sure and that is that SY has had a big impact on us. It is my opinion that the impact is highly emotional and those emotions need to be dealt with before one can move on with things, whether with or without SY. Much of the time we prefer to use these emotional impressions for fuel both here and in real life. Maybe that is a way to a higher stance against or for SY, but in the end the scars/impressions will hopefully be healed. Then one can move forward in their own way more complete.

December 21, 2007 7:50 PM

What a nice comment, and so in keeping with Christopher's intention in posting his blog, as well as this entry in his blog.

Thanks so much for your input.

K.

Anonymous said...

Thanks K.
Hope we all have/had Happy Holidays.

Anonymous said...

"Much of the time we prefer to use these emotional impressions for fuel both here and in real life. Maybe that is a way to a higher stance against or for SY, but in the end the scars/impressions will hopefully be healed. Then one can move forward in their own way more complete".

December 21, 2007 7:50 PM

Thanks Anon for this and also K for the deep thought prompting. This discussion is leading me where I want to go, healing. My natural instincts tell me some of that means dwelling on some negativity to explore it's landscape, not to dwell there. There's a sense of natural completeness, fullness in accepting all of SY in order to claim any of it as a blessings for me. i know I want to do that. But yyou can't get there frome here, where ai am. I have a lot of occluding experiences and memories block that.

Even though I can find much to be grateful for, SY will not solve my siritual dilemmas. I see that now. The new course for 2008 is summed up in a few words about the world not being real. Hell, yes it's real, Walk into your kitchen, take a knife and slice your finger. It the world real or not?

The world is very real. Many folk, perhap thousands, in the very real world are saying they were harmed by SY. What say ye? Not your experience? This is double speak, a tautology 101 statement. Transparency is everywhere now. Public relations as we knew it is over. Everything is known and rapidly. Stop ducking down.

There are people who took all of SY for real. It was not, apparently, the real deal. No response to this huge ouptouring reminds me of Elizabeth II who thought she could ignore the emotional aspect. To those who sit on the sides and scoff at such reactions, don't want to admit to it themselves, I say you are just ignoring the fact that 'there has been a fire' to use Seekher's expression.


Satsang With Gurumayi

Baba's Q & A's were awesome. He never ducked a question. Too bad he slopped in the mud along the way. turns out he is a common sinner, just like me. Well, maybe not so common. In all seriousness I would like to say, Sister Chidvilas, gather the gang and write a real message. Publishing it would solve all SY's money problems. Gilbert's book, Eat Pray Love is #3 top seller for Christmas at Barnes and Noble.

And the SY Message for 2008 is......?

Anonymous said...

I'm just grateful that very few of y'all caved in to that last refuge of a scoundrel ... quoting Dan Shaw!

Emilia said...

This is great info to know.

Anonymous said...


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