Tuesday, January 1, 2008

The Siddha Yoga Message for 2008 is...

OK. I'm not made out of wood. When a commenter from Australia revealed that the 2008 message talk would be given by Gurumayi herself, well, I just had to sign up.

I'd LOVE to tell you the message; I'm DYING to tell you the message. It's a message everyone MUST hear right away.

There's just one itty-bitty problem. At my center they made everyone promise not to talk about or reveal the message until after February 15. What's so auspicious about this date, you ask? Dunno. But I'm guessing it's the last day you can pay to sign up and hear the message via webcast.

In other words; pony up one hundred bills, or remain in the dark regarding the first message personally given by Gurumayi since 2004. But, here's the dillio! Once I collect myself from the shock of again hearing Gurumayi's divine voice (even via pre-recorded tape) I promise to share with you my 'experience' of the talk.

Stay tuned, gentle readers.

134 comments:

Anonymous said...

cAN'T WAIT TO HEAR IT! DON'T WANT TO PAY THE BIG BUCKS.

Anonymous said...

Someone actually hit the nail on the head the other day.
This being the 100 Aniversary of Baba's birth she spoke about Baba and his life and told his stories.

The theme for 2008 is Play of Consiouness.

I didn't go only heard the Gossip. So I didn't make 'any promises'.

SeekHer said...

anon said"cAN'T WAIT TO HEAR IT! DON'T WANT TO PAY THE BIG BUCKS"

Well, I heard almost ALL of it. Except the last 3 minutes or so. You see, this broadcast was hosted by the uber-odious Navritti Gillet and I literally would sooner have poked by eardrums out than listen to his oleaginous voice for one more minute.

Still, I did hear the entire Gurumayi part. Patience.

Narayan said...

Sorry, but anything this want to be "Guru" want to be human being with feelings has to say doesn't interest me! She is just another in a long line of want to be's still around on this planet, hoping to get one's hard earned money in order to live on. Gossip abounds with such faith in a no body that she is and a dead Muk who woulda and couldn't be anything but his own houses ass! Here's a surefire staging tip for her broadcast, ahummm, Less is always more, and be organized, buyers will envision themselves living a stress-free life in your home (Ashram)Blissed out on the shakti that only one of a kind energy that really sucks the life out of people. No thanks! I'd rather eat a beluga whale sandwich.

Anonymous said...

For those too anxious to wait to hear the enlightening nugget of wisdom offered this morning, it's posted on ExSy. The focus is on the SYDA site ,it is to continue the study of GM's book...Sadhana of the Heart. Priceless.

Anonymous said...

I called SF this afternoon to find out the message.
They told me I'd have to pay for the webcast to get it.
The operator repeated herself because on my end my mouth dropped open and I was speechless when she told me the first time.

Thanks anon 8:16pm for the message.

Anonymous said...

I am really confused. why do you care? for spiritual water for the thirsty i'd suggest going to adyashanti.org where you can hear a truly profound teacher speak of the truth of advaita (non-dualism) in the most humble, egalitarian way. FOR FREE. no flash, no rules, no secrets. no guru. just his dazzlingly wise self speaking to your own.

this latest all feels like more fizzy coca-cola to me. even that you cannot speak of this message till a certain "date' or the fact that scary-slimy navritti was the host, should you be setting warning bells. yes, magicians can make their voices melodious and compelling. be not fooled, "dear ones".

as a friend said, "did the message give a full accounting of all undisclosed secrets from the past? all lies and deceptions? if not, i'd say there couldn't be much worth hearing.

how quickly we are seduced. don't sell your soul for a hotdog.

Anonymous said...

"Divine voice"??? You are kidding, right??
Unless she talked about Muk's abuse of children, his black tantric practices, his black sorcery, apologized and offered to help those he hurt and offered to give us our money back.....all she was doing was telling more lies and trying to shakti bomb people enough to keep the money coming in.
What's so divine about that?

Anonymous said...

OK, so THIS is how she maximizes her money intake.

NOW I get her strategy.

Have a small event, show up, make everybody who wasn't there feel like they missed the most important thing in the world, and then clean up by people getting the CD/DVD, sitting in on "makeup" sessions locally, etc.

Actually, quite shrewd a move financially. The main event is expected to be small so it's kept at low cost. The "making everybody feel like they've missed something" approach then maximizes the revenue intake after the main event.

Brilliant. Dunno if this was GM's own genius idea, or one of her advisors (probably one of the financial or legal advisors') but as a businessperson, I can't argue with the strategy.

I just KNEW she wouldn't show up again without a "catch".

Thanks, Seekher, for explaining the "catch" so clearly.

Anonymous said...

It is incredible that they still think they can "swear people "to secrecy" about the message (what about free speech?), and that they tell people to take the broadcast to hear it shows an absolute, almost comical absence of any sense of shame. Do they think people play along with these ugly rules? Where's the spirit of "giving freely" that was supposed to be a cornerstone of siddha yoga practice? Is it only a practice for the disciples? What if we had said: I'm gonna give a lil bit of dakshina IF gurumayi personally and palpably blasts shakti into my meditation today?

It is so absolutely visible that this path is not rooted in love, joy, generosity and goodwill.

Anonymous said...

The real message is :

"Play of Conciousness (buy the book)"

I was doubting the doubters; now I am not.

Anonymous said...

Dear Seekher, after all the trouble you've gone to in setting up and moderating this blog, "ROD", why in the world would you consciously support anymore secrets? We really cannot believe it!!!! You are losing your credibility by not communicating this new message to us now!

And by the way, of course GM was going to give the message, if not "live" but on tape, how naive of everyone not to know that! The price of the satsang itself should have been the clue, $100.00. Several years ago the NYM was $80.00 and that was a live satellite feed with Gurumayi giving a talk, chanting, "Jota Se Jota", the whole deal.

The real question here is, why the interest/obsession on what the Guru is doing and saying now, in the physical body? Hasn't She really done and said enough for a whole lifetime already? How many more talks, how many Intensives, how many more books, chants, etc.?; how much more did she have to do before we would get it? Has EVERYONE forgotten that the Guru/Disciple relationship has nothing, technically, to do with anything physical? It's a PRINCIPLE, not a physical thing. If we all think we received shakipat, for which we all paid good money, over and over again in many cases, right? (which was not necessary); if we understood what that transmission of energy was supposed to mean to us and do for us, shouldn't that really have been enough for us? And if SYDA made it easy to be addicted to the shakti, we devotees, human being with brains in our heads, still allowed it, still fed our own addictions for more and more.

I've read on other blogs that the greatest and most dharmic thing that Gurumayi has ever done for us was to shut it all down, pull away and make us all stand on our own two spiritual feet. And that That action, in and of itself shows Her "real" Guruhood, and therefore, all is not lost! If we can accept this gracefully and move one with our lives, then we GOT it! We got it, we all got shaktipat, we all got the rasa of meditation,......now let's move on with our lives and not fall prey to what SYDA wants from us now, more $$$. We can all maintain our personal, private relationship with the Guru, within the Guru/Disciple relationship, but we don't have to fall prey to the cult of the organization. Let's not continue to maintain the culture of secrecy......so, Seekher, if you don't share this message, then you yourself are choosing to maintain that culture which this blog was intended to expose. Your choice.

Anonymous said...

"Once I collect myself from the shock of again hearing Gurumayi's divine voice (even via pre-recorded tape) I promise to share with you my 'experience' of the talk."

Christopher, are you sure you want to do this? I wonder if your best interest is served by violating the terms of your participation in the podcast to this extent?

Not that I think it's all that big a deal whether or not someone spills the beans on this message, which is already available to almost a thousand readers in exSY.

Still, you may discover down the road that keeping a lower profile with regard to SF and the SYDA movement serves you in good stead.

Do what you think is best, but if this were me I'd attend the broadcast, blog about my impression of the event, deconstruct what that means to me at this time in my spiritual journey, KNOWING WHAT I NOW KNOW ABOUT MUKTANANDA AND GURUMAYI, and keep my status as a SYDA podcast user in good repair.

You never know. You may want to do something similar in the future. Don't burn that bridge unless you're absolutely certain that you never want to cross it again.

Anonymous said...

>>"It is incredible that they still think they can "swear people "to secrecy" about the message (what about free speech?), and that they tell people to take the broadcast to hear it shows an absolute, almost comical absence of any sense of shame. Do they think people play along with these ugly rules? "<<<<<

Hey, apparently it still works doesn't it? People still being "patient" until they can hear another pitiful regurgitation and half-baked interpretations of a great tradition (and I DON'T mean siddha yoga!). My suggestion: pick up a copy of the Bhagavad Gita, invest in a few of the hundreds of volumes of the Vedas and Shastras, read Ramana Maharshi's words of wisdom and follow his advice or go to the Adya website (as suggested by another poster here) and listen to the simple truth. Yes, it takes a little self-effort but the "payoff" is retaining your discrimination. These siddha "yogis" and their guru just remind me of the politicians out in Iowa with their false "truths", negative messages that are broadcast after a speech saying no more negative messages, candidates saying they saw something they didn't see and then, instead of owning up to it, re-interpreting the verb "to see".
Maybe when siddha yoga finally folds, all of the big-wigs can get jobs as political advisors..yech!


"Still, I did hear the entire Gurumayi part. Patience...Seekher"

So, if you heard it...you aren't "sharing" until you're "allowed to"? If so, you are part of the problem you're trying to figure out...think about it.

s

J said...

Hmm, those last 2 comments say it all-- looks like you'll be "damned if you do, damned if you don't"!
Ouch!

Anonymous said...

"It's a message everyone MUST hear right away."

You've got to be kidding! Even back in the day I thought the messages were ridiculous - a tortured attempt by GM to say something profound. This year's message is along the same lines - I've forgotten it already but its something like "seek the truth and look for enlightenment". Puhleez!

Anonymous said...

I can confidently say: Don't worry about the message. You carry all the wisdom inside yourselves already. Honestly, I hadn't planned to attend, but then changed my mind when I heard that Gurumayi would be speaking. Just to reevaluate my own assessment of what Siddha Yoga means to me today. I REALLY paid very close attention, intent on not letting even the most minute grain of wisdom slip by unnoticed. I did not want to dismiss anything prematurely. But the fact is: I felt like a grown-up visiting kindergarten again after so many years. It felt like travelling back in time. Nothing had changed, except for my own maturity (hopefully). Exciting children listening to goodnight stories, that's how it felt to me. Nothing I could possibly relate to in an adult body and with an adult mind. Nothing about what I would call true spiritual investigation. I feel like having approached my kindergarten teacher asking her for advice about my adult life. And she replies by telling me the old stories over and over again and still treating me like a four-year-old. Because it seems to be all she has learnt to do. Fine. Simply the wrong person to address.

No, you guys. Honestly. Parts of this blog and Martha's blog are way more truly soul searching than the New Year's talk IMHO. Sorry if saying this hurts somebody's feelings. I can say I spent a wonderful childhood in Siddha Yoga and this is something I am grateful for. But I have simply grown out of it.

Keep seaching for God inside the treasurehouse of your own hearts and in every little rock. It's all there ...

Anonymous said...

" I wonder if your best interest is served by violating the terms of your participation in the podcast to this extent?

.Still, you may discover down the road that keeping a lower profile with regard to SF and the SYDA movement serves you in good stead.

You never know. You may want to do something similar in the future. Don't burn that bridge unless you're absolutely certain that you never want to cross it again."


When I read this message (with its veiled and subtle implications) , I immediately thought about the fear that so many people experience when they leave siddha yoga...the fear of retribution, of shunning, of losing their friends, their jobs, their futures. Folks: The greatest freedom is TRUTH and TRANSPARENCY! There is nothing to FEAR from an organization like siddha yoga or from a "guru" like gurumayi. Playing into the agreements not to talk, signing waivers when you leave, promising not to "tell"...all of this simply allows a maniupulative, unethical organization like siddha yoga to continue "doing business" and that's exactly what it is: a business, plain and simple, with it's podcasts and workbooks and on-line courses and televised "shaktipat" for sale (geez! what a concept..."we got our shaktipat...paid for it!"). If the former CEOs, swamis, and higher-ups ever found the courage to speak up for dharma, it would be a great day..perhaps they should take "the message" to heart and "search for knowledge of the truth"..blah blah blah.
Seekher: there is NOTHING they can do to you! The days of goons, clubs and skunk oil are over...now it's "friendly advice"...and "suggestions" (a much more "tasteful" approach). If you stand with the Truth there is nothing to Fear....ever! The Truth lives within each one of us at our core...we do NOT need an intermediary to interpret our Self to our Self...just the courage to turn deeply within and SEE.

s.

Stuart said...

I called SF this afternoon to find out the message. They told me I'd have to pay for the webcast to get it.

I believe this is merely following in the tradition of other great teachers. Didn't Jesus himself charge 25 pieces of silver to attend his major sermons? Didn't he swear everyone on The Mount to secrecy, so that god forbid no one should get his teaching without paying for it?

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

Anonymous said...

Funny how an org like SYDA and a person like GM can ask its followers to "search for the truth" yet so consistently try to hide or deny its own wrongdoings.

Why don't they tell the truth about Muk's sex abuses, GM's verbal and behavioral abuses, George-A-Thief's physical abuses (including the beating by George and his goons and never punished by GM (and thus sanctioned), of a then fifteen-year old teenage boy I know personally after he, like teenagers often do, challenged GM and mouthed off to her in Darshan line), the organization's financial abuses through overpricing of product and program and begging shamelessly for $$$$, or the flow-through of a portion of that money to GM's offshore accounts in places like Switzerland, the Grand Caymans, etc., or the private home for GM in Marin County CA (Mill Valley?).

Why don't SYDA and GM simply TELL the truth? It'd sure save remaining devotees the time required to go off searching for it.

Anonymous said...

s said -" So, if you heard it...you aren't "sharing" until you're "allowed to"? If so, you are part of the problem you're trying to figure out...think about it."

I disagree. The message can be consisdered to be garbage, or it can be taken to be the height of wisdom. It works both ways. GM did/does have the capacity to inspire. If she still inspires, I think it is perfectly understandable to keep the secret until Feb. 15 as requested by SYDA.

I think it's a bigger problem that people disgruntled with SY believe that everyone must feel like they do.

Anonymous said...

I can see why Seekher doesn't want to let the secret out until the requested date of 2/15.

If his name really IS Christopher, then he's identifiable by members of his local community.

And if he's identifiable by members of his local community, he can be shunned. Squirted off the welcome list faster than me spittin' out a watermelon seed.

They might tolerate his disenchanted middle-of-the-road approach to this blog, but lord help him if he publicly breaks "the guru's divine command". Then he's clearly OUT.

For him to be able to maintain balance on the tightrope he's chosen by setting up this blog, if he at least follows "the rules" then he continues to maintain access to the podcasts, programs, etc. locally as opposed to be cut off from them completely.

So I can kind of see why he's doing this.

Of course, he doesn't seem to be stopping those of us who read his blog and comment here from spreading the information, either!!! More of the "middle of the road" approach, I suppose. If those of us who are truly out let the message slip...or mention that it has slipped on EXSY...well, it's our bad, from a SYDA perspective, I guess, and not his.

Anonymous said...

"Didn't Jesus himself charge 25 pieces of silver to attend his major sermons? Didn't he swear everyone on The Mount to secrecy, so that god forbid no one should get his teaching without paying for it?"

Suart,

Are you referring to after the miracle of the loaves and fishes? That Jesus asked people not to report it was a miracle so many were fed?

Yeah, he said that because it wasn't a miracle at all. JC just got people to share what they had in a broader way than they were used to. Beyond their own clan, beyond their own tribe even. That was the miracle.

The 25 pieces of silver story, for a sermon? Don't know that one. That was a lot of cash then. Only the poor came to hear him. Got a ref.?

Anonny

Anonymous said...

>>>"Didn't Jesus himself charge 25 pieces of silver to attend his major sermons"<<

Huh? are you pulling our legs or do you have some "secret" information no one else has ever heard ? Maybe you are confusing the 25 pieces of silver paid to Judas? I don't think Jesus charged for his sermons...lol! especially considering that most of his audience probably never earned 25 pieces of silver in their entire lives. So..do tell us the source of your information.

Anonymous said...

>>>" I think it is perfectly understandable to keep the secret until Feb. 15 as requested by SYDA."<<<


why is that? I'm curious. It's a first as far as I know. I mean, we were all told to "hold confidentiality" as individuals but never the entire on-line, world-wide community. Do you think it's some "test"? maybe a way of "strengthening the golden vessels" so they can hold "lion's milk". If you tell...you fail the test. If you don't tell, you get to be part of the "obedient servants of the guru" crowd. You know, this is VERY familiar. Something similar happened when the New Yorker article came out. It was promoted as a kind of "winnowing" out of the yoga, a way of getting rid of those "losers" who didn't believe baba was god, those who "questioned the guru". The remaining ones were "special"; they had "followed the guru's command" and now they would be students at the wonderful new Gurukula!Um...whatever happened to that "Gurukula"..is it the workbooks, the re-cycled messages, the headless school of siddha yoga?
Doesn't the whole thing seem a bit manipulative to you?
>>>I think it's a bigger problem that people disgruntled with SY believe that everyone must feel like they do.<<<

If someone is drinking polluted water, someone who knows from experience that it's polluted might give them a "head's up". If they continue to drink, that's fine but the one who warned them might feel a real obligation to offer the warning.

SeekHer said...

A message to the previous two commenters who were confused by Stuart's last comment regarding Jesus. I believe Stuart wants to introduce you to a friend of his. Allow me to do so on his behalf:

Commenters, I'd like you to meet Irony.

Irony, please make the acquaintance of these two fellow commenters.

Anonymous said...

>>>"A message to the previous two commenters who were confused by Stuart's last comment regarding Jesus. I believe Stuart wants to introduce you to a friend of his. Allow me to do so on his behalf:

Commenters, I'd like you to meet Irony.

Irony, please make the acquaintance of these two fellow commenters."<<

Where were the emoticons??? lol!

SeekHer said...

To those who have asked whether I was kidding with my last post I can only ask: what do you think?

To those who feel that ROD is part of the problem by keeping the message secret I can only repeat: Patience.

Posting the sixteen words of the 2008 message here would be too easy. I'd much rather parse the entire talk for the hidden and unintended but very real messages it imparts about the Guru, the path and the future of Siddha Yoga. Which I intend to do, just as soon as I contemplate what I heard, imbibe it fully and formulate an online experience share.

One thing I can guarantee; it won't be like any experience share you're likely to hear at your center.

To the commenter who wants to warn me away from endangering my status in good standing at my local center. Thank you for your concern, truly. Not to worry, though. I think they'll take my $100 the next time I'm willing to shell it out for a broadcast. Not all centers are run by the iron hand of South Fallsburg.

Finally, some of us seem a bit lexicographically-challenged in regards to technology terms used in comments here. A brief glossary, in order to keep our further discussion clear.

Audio Broadcast: this is how the New Year Message was delivered to centers around the world, via an ordinary transmission over phone lines of a pre-recorded tape.

Webcast: this is what people who missed the audio broadcast can now sign up for. It is a streaming audio file, accessible one time only, via an internet connection.

Podcast: this is an audio file that is available on file sharing networks such as iTunes. It is downloadable to your computer or MP3 player and can be listened to repeatedly. Podcasts are generally used to disseminate FREE news or information about topics of particular appeal to certain groups of people.

Since this last term is the one that seems to give the most trouble, allow me to use it in a sentence for clarity:

"A podcast would have been an excellent way to instantly get the New Year's Message for 2008 out to the entire worldwide Siddha Yoga sangham, if only we could have found a way to charge for it."

Anonymous said...

Anonymous at 12.19pm said,
"s said -" So, if you heard it...you aren't "sharing" until you're "allowed to"? If so, you are part of the problem you're trying to figure out...think about it."

I disagree. The message can be consisdered to be garbage, or it can be taken to be the height of wisdom. It works both ways. GM did/does have the capacity to inspire. If she still inspires, I think it is perfectly understandable to keep the secret until Feb. 15 as requested by SYDA."
****
Can you explain to me in your own words, in language that does not parrot SY, why, if a message is indeed inspirational it is "perfectly understandable" that it should not be shared, and shared widely? Truly this is not "traditional" spiritual thinking, as Stuart humorously pointed out. It is SY spiritual thinking.

This is a serious question. I have never heard an answer that seemed generous, compassionate, tending to support movement toward freedom--"spiritual" in any way. Is there one?

Buddhists say that because the dharma is priceless, it must be shared freely. Can't put a price on it, so you give it away. Try that on--what does it feel like to just offer up a priceless teaching, freely?

Contemplating the implications of that in contrast to the implications of "this belongs to those who have paid for it" could be instructive.

Secrets, confidentiality, trademarked names and words, copyrighted slogans--I am so glad to be out in the open air. Never again.

older but wiser

Anonymous said...

>>>" I think it is perfectly understandable to keep the secret until Feb. 15 as requested by SYDA."<<<

<< why is that? I'm curious. It's a first as far as I know. >>>

S – I wasn't really thinking about whether this is a first for SY or not. I find it weird that people are so full of warnings about playing it safe with GM, worrying about her goons etc. etc. Seriously, if this is the only reason Seekher chose to keep the message secret, I find such a stance hard to respect (at this point in time). How about some good old-fashioned reasons for doing things – as a matter of principle or some such thing. The lion's milk stuff was somewhat uncalled for. Clearly, SY must have $$ on their mind and want to milk their sweet surprise as long as they can. This should be no-one's business but their own.

As for the polluted water warnings, I guess I do that too. Except, I also realize I got a lot out of SY so I'm not sure what that's worth.

Older but wiser wrote: "Can you explain to me in your own words, in language that does not parrot SY, why, if a message is indeed inspirational it is "perfectly understandable" that it should not be shared, and shared widely? Truly this is not "traditional" spiritual thinking, as Stuart humorously pointed out. It is SY spiritual thinking."


As a matter of fact, in India spiritual knowledge is never given for free. This is a feature of the Abrahamic religions, and should not be considered a cultural universal.

Anonymous said...

anon wrote:
"I wasn't really thinking about whether this is a first for SY or not. I find it weird that people are so full of warnings about playing it safe with GM, worrying about her goons etc. etc. Seriously, if this is the only reason Seekher chose to keep the message secret, I find such a stance hard to respect (at this point in time). How about some good old-fashioned reasons for doing things – as a matter of principle or some such thing...Clearly, SY must have $$ on their mind and want to milk their sweet surprise as long as they can. This should be no-one's business but their own."

So, let me see if I get this straight. If Seekher is afraid of legal reprisals or physical harassment from SYDA, he's a coward who is beneath respect, and he should immediately publish the message to prove he's not. On the other hand, if he thinks that the only reason SYDA broke precedent in keeping the 2008 secret is $$, he is honor-bound not to reveal it as it's nobody's business but the money-hungry foundation's how they do business.

How did you not get whiplash trying to hold these two opinions at the same time?

Anonymous said...

Anon at 2:52 PM said:

"As a matter of fact, in India spiritual knowledge is never given for free."

Beg to differ. I know that statement is often made in Siddha Yoga (and in TM, another pricey yoga), but it's simply not true. Do a little research, I think you'll find you have been misled.

And beyond HIndu traditions, Buddhism, born and raised in India, is certainly not abrahamic. Nor are shamanic traditions, in which the teacher/healer offers his/her wisdom whether the receiver is able to offer something in return or not.

I would love to hear a response to my original question that presents a spiritual reason for withholding a teaching that hasn't been paid for, not a cultural reason. An explanation that indicates that an intention to serve people, to uplift people, is behind the policy.

older but wiser

Stuart said...

As a matter of fact, in India spiritual knowledge is never given for free. This is a feature of the Abrahamic religions, and should not be considered a cultural universal.

This isn't correct. In India, spiritual knowledge is given for free about a billion times each day. Sometimes, parents give it to children. Sometimes, children give it to parents. Sometimes, friends give it to each other.

In the vast majority of cases, people have productive jobs that earn them a living. Then, in the course of their everyday lives, they give spiritual teachings every chance they get.

True, there's a tiny percentage of people who try to be "spiritual teachers" as their profession. They don't do anything else, so they try to make money from their teachings.

Some people have the idea that a thing can be valuable only if you pay money for it. So they may get the idea that the only real "spiritual teachings" are the ones that come from these money-making teachers. That's silly.

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

Anonymous said...

Mein Gott in Himmel S –

From:

"I find it weird that people are so full of warnings about playing it safe with GM, worrying about her goons etc. etc. Seriously, if this is the only reason Seekher chose to keep the message secret, I find such a stance hard to respect (at this point in time). How about some good old-fashioned reasons for doing things – as a matter of principle or some such thing."

You got:

"So, let me see if I get this straight. If Seekher is afraid of legal reprisals or physical harassment from SYDA, he's a coward who is beneath respect, and he should immediately publish the message to prove he's not. On the other hand, if he thinks that the only reason SYDA broke precedent in keeping the 2008 secret is $$, he is honor-bound not to reveal it as it's nobody's business but the money-hungry foundation's how they do business."

I'm so not into rhetoric, and that's all I can see in your comment. Assuming you have any interest in hearing what I have to say, I'll repeat it again. My basic point is that I don't think it is anyone's business that GM or SY charges money. This, in essence, is what I was responding to – this, and the attitude that not being blatantly anti-SY means one is part of the problem.

p.s. – yes, I've heard about the abuse at SY. Yawn. I hope the rest of you will spare me the righteous indigation.

p.p.s. – and no, I'm not a sheep – including, specifically, not of the anti-SY species.

Anonymous said...

"In India, spiritual knowledge is given for free about a billion times each day. Sometimes, parents give it to children. Sometimes, children give it to parents. Sometimes, friends give it to each other."

Stuart - I'm sorry I didn't add the necessary qualifiers. They take the juice out of a conversation, imo. I meant specifically to compare the stuff that goes on in churches to the stuff that goes on in ashrams. Churches, mosques etc. do not charge for their sermons, ashrams do, either in the form of money or some form of seva.

Anonymous said...

A friend couldn't attend Yom Kippur services at a closeby Synagogue because the tickets were $250 per person.

Another friend couldn't get married at the Catholic Church down the street because she wasn't able to "contribute" enough money to the church for the occasion.

Try getting married in the Synagogue on 60th Street and 5th Avenue in Manhattan. Only people with net worth in excess of $5,000,000 need apply.

The Episcopal church has long been known as the Protestant denomination for the very rich. And the Methodist church is for the poor.

Retreats by Thich Nhat Hahn or Deepak Chopra make SYDA functions look like very cheap bargains. In fact, any "Yoga" retreat, whether Sivananda, Omega, Kripalu, etc., are a lot more expensive than SYDA.

I'm not excusing SYDA, but please don't hold them to a different Accounting Standard, and give the rest of the religious/spiritual operations a free pass.

Anonymous said...

>>"p.s. – yes, I've heard about the abuse at SY. Yawn. I hope the rest of you will spare me the righteous indigation."<<<

wow! what an amazing statement.

Anonymous said...

>>""As a matter of fact, in India spiritual knowledge is never given for free."<<

Sorry, but you are wrong here! Teachings are freely given even at ashrams. No seva "requirement" a la siddha yoga. I've spent alot of time in India and have received teachings in many sites: temples,fairs, ashrams, peoples' homes,from wandering sadhus, from the place itself! If you are going to make a formal declaration of affiliation or stay at an ashram, there is usually a charge for room and board ( the ashrams of non-Westernized gurus seem much less money hungry and there are fewer that play the games siddha yoga does at GSP; they are forbidden by law to do so). Seva is a priviledge..not a requirement. .
Also as Older and Wiser mentioned, Buddhism does not charge for teachings. In fact, buddhist teachers are forbidden to charge for teachings. You might get a room and board charge...the teachings however, are freely offered. Students voluntarily give Dana to support the dharma teachers. I have never ever felt pressured to "give" in a Buddhist retreat situation.Buddhist organizations, even in the USA (!) are remarkably free from the kind of business greed we see so much of in siddha yoga.
Most of the worst offenses began here when Maharishi first came to the West and offered the "teaching" that Westerners only felt something was valuable if they paid through the nose for it. This idiocy was quoted frequently in Fallsburg with the tag line that "baba said so".
Since that time, "spirituality" has been a cash cow for alot of folks. When the "most important practice" is dakshina and you can't take a retreat unless you have given dakshina for a period of time to the organization, I'd say something fishy is going on.

Anonymous said...

To Anon at 3:51 PM,
In fact Thich Nhat Hanh's most recent five-day retreat in the US, (at his Deer Park monastery facility in California) cost $500 US for adults for accommodation, food, and tuition. Scholarships are available for those unable to pay that much. His retreats in France are less expensive than that. Compare that to $1200 for a five day retreat with a SY swami, which does not include accommodation or meals. Nor the possibility of a work exchange or scholarship.

Deepak Chopra is a businessman, IMHO. It's fine what he does, I have no complaint, but he is not a renunciant monk, nor a guru. He's clearly selling something. He wouldn't argue with that characterization, I don't think.

But it's telling that the only responses so far to a sincere question have been "THEY do it, too, and even worse!"

older but wiser

Anonymous said...

"In fact, any "Yoga" retreat, whether Sivananda, Omega, Kripalu, etc., are a lot more expensive than SYDA."

Sorry, you have not done your homework. This is not true. Adyashanti has been mentioned here, and his retreats were $280 and he just raised the price after quite some years to $325. That is for 5 days, not 2.5 hours!

J said...

"My basic point is that I don't think it is anyone's business that GM or SY charges money."

I'm not clear what this means. Nobody's business?? As in, "none of your bee's wax"?

Are you saying that we (mostly folks who have had a relationship with GM / SY at some point in time, as well as anyone else who's interested in the discussion here) have no right to talk amongst ourselves? Then why are you here?

SeekHer said...

J said:
"Are you saying that we (mostly folks who have had a relationship with GM / SY at some point in time, as well as anyone else who's interested in the discussion here) have no right to talk amongst ourselves? Then why are you here?"

I don't think the commenter meant to say this discussion was out of line. I may be wrong, but I think the point the commenter was trying to make is that they feel it is SYDA's business how they run their business, and if they demand that people not share the message as a pre-condition to hearing it (something that was not required at my center, by the way) then people have an obligation to honor that demand.

I think the larger point being touched on here is whether or not paying to hear a spiritual teaching should obligate a seeker in the same way a business contract would.

Anonymous said...

Stuart, when you said "I believe this is merely following in the tradition of other great teachers. Didn't Jesus himself charge 25 pieces of silver to attend his major sermons? Didn't he swear everyone on The Mount to secrecy, so that god forbid no one should get his teaching without paying for it?"....

...you WERE kidding...weren't you?

Sorry, my sarcasm vs. earnestness must be undergoing seasonal deprivation disorder or something, but did Christ "charge for admission"? I thought he accepted all whether impoverished or wealthy...stuffing camels through needles' eyes aside...

Just checking to make sure my humor meter's still working.

Stuart said...

Anonymous said...
...you WERE kidding...weren't you?

Certain spiritual teachers through history were known to offer their teachings in a spirit of charity. That is, they tried to make their teachings available to everyone, since they were motivated to help the world. Their teaching was in a different spirit than the running of a business, since they weren't looking to amass fame and fortune for themselves.

I don't know much about Jesus, but I'd assumed that everyone considers him a teacher of that sort.

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

Anonymous said...

>>>"A friend couldn't attend Yom Kippur services at a closeby Synagogue because the tickets were $250 per person."<<<

this is wrong, imho.

"Another friend couldn't get married at the Catholic Church down the street because she wasn't able to "contribute" enough money to the church for the occasion."

Hmm...I'd have to hear the full story here...never seen that.

"Try getting married in the Synagogue on 60th Street and 5th Avenue in Manhattan. Only people with net worth in excess of $5,000,000 need apply."

I don't buy my clothes at Barney's either nu...??

"The Episcopal church has long been known as the Protestant denomination for the very rich. And the Methodist church is for the poor."

I'm what you would call "poor"...educated but "poor". I can take communion and go to service and "receive the teachings" at any Episcopal church I want to attend. I may not want to attend..but that's another matter..you're talking social acceptance here, not "rules and regulations". There is no "required amount" for the offering.

'Retreats by Thich Nhat Hahn or Deepak Chopra make SYDA functions look like very cheap bargains. In fact, any "Yoga" retreat, whether Sivananda, Omega, Kripalu, etc., are a lot more expensive than SYDA.'

You're kind of lumping together monks (Hahn), businessmen (Chopra) and let's make a buck New Age spiritual "venues" (Omega...very bad and Kripalu...terrible). Sivananda, I don't know about. All of these New Age places suffer from the "Maharishi Effect" as far as I'm concerned. But, you know, there's supposed to be a difference between an "Institute" (like Omega) and an ashram. Or at least there is supposed to be. Syda yoga is renowed in spiritual circles as the "yoga of yuppies" precisely because it is so very expensive that real "yogis" from the Motherland couldn't afford to set foot inside the door. However, there are plenty of authentic retreat situations where even I can afford the cost.

"I'm not excusing SYDA, but please don't hold them to a different Accounting Standard, and give the rest of the religious/spiritual operations a free pass."

I agree totally with you. They should ALL be held to an "accounting standard" by the Big Guy Up in the Sky! (and maybe they, eventually, will be). The thing that strikes me is how much I want to support and will do everything to support the teachings and dharma when I know I'm not being ripped off by "spiritual types". The natural reaction to true generosity is more of the same.

J said...

Seeker said
I don't think the commenter meant to say this discussion was out of line....

You could be right. I went back and read the original iteration, and see more clearly now what got me to react. It's that whole notion we were fed in SY, that "we" (everyone one of us) WERE the Foundation. As if we had a say in how things went down. Yet that was so blatantly untrue. Things came down from on high, and that was that.

So this idea of it being "nobody's business," of SY charging whatever they want to charge, reminded me of what it felt like to be in an organization that consistently did things that ran counter to how I believed they should best be. What it felt like to be part of this highly touted "we" that supposedly was the life blood of the organization... yet all along it was actually the blood curdling...

Anonymous said...

Way back in Muk's day, there were some folks soliciting money to get an ashram or center going.
Memory is hazy on the details other than that they were asking folks for money.
Muk published a letter in the Siddha Path, stating that the sy foundation must never ask anyone for money. If people were moved to give, that was ok, but there was never to be any solicitation for funds.

hmmmm, maybe GM didn't get that memo??

Anonymous said...

I know quite a few struggling middle-class Episcoplians.

I also know quite a few very wealthy Methodists.

The characterization of Episcopalians as the denomination for the rich and Methodists as the denomination of the poor is just so, SO wrong.

Anonymous said...

"I went back and read the original iteration, and see more clearly now what got me to react."

Okay, so that's sorted out now. To make it doubly clear - I agree SYDA is a corrupt organization, and also believe that it is very wrong of them to rely on the integrity of their devotees when they themselves have none to reciprocate. At the same time, it's also a bit off-putting to have ex-devotees complain endlessly about the money. SYDA set up a racket - modelled on organizations that were already successful - so they were doing nothing new. They have a 30 year history of demanding money for their snake oil. Why should a $100 charge still be reason for comment and criticism? Moreover, if someone chooses not to disclose the message, that's entirely up to them. Btw, that was me at 11:46 a.m. who posted (a semblance of) the message. So, while I don't understand why SeekHer plunked $100 for this, I don't think any judgment on what the right thing to do is warranted. That was the point I was trying to address.

Anonymous said...

>>"p.s. – yes, I've heard about the abuse at SY. Yawn. I hope the rest of you will spare me the righteous indigation."<<<

"wow! what an amazing statement."

Anon - that was simply to preempt what I thought for sure was coming next. No matter what we're talking about, someone or the other starts off about all the abuse at SY. After that, no-one is permitted to express anything other than horror about what SY is. This is unsatisfying and simplistic, imo.

SeekHer said...

Anon: thank you for your last two clarifications to your earlier comment. Seems we're all saying close to the same thing, just in different ways that get tangled up from time to time online.

Anonymous said...

Re: " So, let me see if I get this straight. If Seekher is afraid of legal reprisals or physical harassment from SYDA, he's a coward who is beneath respect, and he should immediately publish the message to prove he's not. On the other hand, if he thinks that the only reason SYDA broke precedent in keeping the 2008 secret is $$, he is honor-bound not to reveal it as it's nobody's business but the money-hungry foundation's how they do business.

How did you not get whiplash trying to hold these two opinions at the same time?"

January 2, 2008 3:16 PM

Seekher is holding to plain old courtesy. He agreed to hold the confidence until then. The honor code. Not a bad reason. Nothing to do with being a pawn or fearful, just being a man of his word.

Anonymous said...

"Some people have the idea that a thing can be valuable only if you pay money for it. So they may get the idea that the only real "spiritual teachings" are the ones that come from these money-making teachers. That's silly."
Stuart January 2, 2008 3:28 PM



A priceless Stuartism! Many thanks.

SeekHer said...

"Anonymous said...
I can see why Seekher doesn't want to let the secret out until the requested date of 2/15. if his name really IS Christopher, then he's identifiable by members of his local community. And if he's identifiable by members of his local community, he can be shunned. Squirted off the welcome list faster than me spittin' out a watermelon seed."

It's fascinating to watch the reactions you get when you create an anonymous blog; people naturally want to know who is behind what they're reading, what their personal history is, what special expertise or particular baggage they bring to the process of writing about something we all care deeply about, one way or another, or we wouldn't be here together. This curiosity is a very human response. I'd point out though, that nearly everyone here comments anonymously, or with a pseudonym or pseudo-initial. From comments regarding eXSY it seems that the need to create a name for yourself in order to participate in that forum has been troublesome to many.

I didn't set up such a requirement on ROD because I think it hampers the free exchange of ideas at best, and encourages quarrels among readers at worst.

However, some people are so eager to pierce the veil of a blog's anonymity that they imagine they recognize the blogger's identity. Early on in the life of ROD, one such person felt that they "knew" me and starting calling me Christopher. Others began to use this name when addressing me in their comments, perhaps in an attempt to be more "personal", despite the fact that I've always only signed my posts as SeekHer. It's strange to be known to others by another name, but I suppose it's just another way of remaining anonymous.

That said, I wouldn't be afraid of being shunned by my local center even if they knew my "real" name.

Anon also wrote:
"Of course, he doesn't seem to be stopping those of us who read his blog and comment here from spreading the information, either!!! If those of us who are truly out let the message slip...well, it's our bad, from a SYDA perspective, I guess, and not his."

Exactly!

Anonymous said...

"I think the larger point being touched on here is whether or not paying to hear a spiritual teaching should obligate a seeker in the same way a business contract would".

Well, I am not a lawyer, but quite familiar with the business world. And I am almost 100 % sure that even if you signed not to reveal the message or any part of it prior to the last date when potential buyers can register, this signature would be deemed invalid, anyway. So let us look at it from a "worldly" perspective. Just imagine going to a comedian's (or somebody else's program). And before you are able to attend, somebody demands that you sign an agreement saying that you won't talk to anybody about what the show is about, let alone give away any of the jokes. Would make perfect sense, after all, wouldn't it? After all, the tour will ocntinue to other cities afterwards, so if people knew too much about the jokes beforehand, they might not feel like investing a lot of money into attending the show.

Ridiculous idea? Ever experienced it "in the world"? No?

See, this is exactly my point. We have gotten so used to applying totally different standards to SY that almost everything seems to be acceptable which would simply be totally outrageous anywhere else. I am not excluding myself here. Can anybody sue us for giving away the content of the New Year's message? Would be very enlightening to hear a lawyer on this issue, but I am pretty sure that the answer would be NO, OF COURSE NOT.

If we feel obliged to keep our promises, I would say it has to do with long-learned respect, fear (of the Guru and potential consequences - a fear which makes us behave like kids being faced with threats from their caretakers to force them into obedience). Also, as somebody else mentioned, it has to do with a certain code of honor (as SYs, we apply higher standards to ourselves than anybody else after all, right). We adhere to dharma, we are there to bring light to the world, so how can we possibly break a promise?

I think in order to bring our mature selves into play, we need to be very clear about the place where we are coming from if we "respect" something like a confidentiality agreement of this type. And see clearly where we are simply agreeing to being manipulated into blind obedience.

Anonymous said...

"From comments regarding eXSY it seems that the need to create a name for yourself in order to participate in that forum has been troublesome to many."

This was a problem I had with EXSY.
So was the moderation style of that site's moderator.

Ironic since that site's front page describes the site as "unmoderated" when in fact moderation is often very active and in the opinion of this commenter, sometimes unnecessarily punitive.

So I'm happy this blog exists and provides relative freedom and safety of expression and exchange.

So, Seekher, does this mean you'd prefer people stop referring to you as "Christopher"?

Anonymous said...

So far an ocean of cyber-ink has been unleashed over the whole money issue, which will be a moot point in about a month anyway. The question is whether anything was said that was really worth hearing. After three years of silence (or more?) did the Guru come upon anything in that period of deep contemplation and retreat that the world needs to hear? Or is the 'message' another instance of the same formula used in the past? Any comment on this? I await Seekher's impressions as promised and am willing to be patient, even until February.

Everyone else is also welcome to comment, and in a simple statement of one's impression — good or bad — you don't necessarily have to give the message away. Do you feel it moved you forward or not? And what, for you, constitutes 'forward?'

And for those who say that the point of the Guru's silence is that 'we' are meant to work on what we have received rather than constantly begging for more: what of those who have never received 'the teachings' and would benefit by them? The world is in pain, and if you set yourself up as a spiritual leader, then you have a responsibility to keep extending your compassion. And if on the other hand you want to wash your hands of the whole thing and back out, you need to say so and not be coy about it. One of the central issues of this blog, as I see it, is the perception that GM and SY have been attempting to sit on the fence for quite some time, and quietly maintain their standard of living from the interest earned on old glories. It's time for Truth: get off the fence one way or the other, so that we can all move on.

Without necessarily giving the message away, did the New Year's Message address this one way or the other, or is it another statement from atop the fence? And where does that leave you?

Anonymous said...

here's a new question for those of you "honoring' the request to not divulge the message...(and please know i write this, not because I wish to know it...actually, i honestly feel there is nothing more for me to get from that path, the days are done, but the drama here is very interesting to read and comment upon)...

has it occurred to you that yr "guru" has broken countless agreements with you, with all of us. i think of endless dakshina we poured into "capital gains programs" that were non-existent...i.e. let's all donate a million dollars for an oakland temple to bade baba that will never be built! okay! how about a bridge over the road in south fallsburg that leads to the silent path! here's another $100...how about them trees of immortality for your dead relatives that now you can't even get access to?

besides the monetary deception, lies galore have unfortunately littered this path. I've come to believe that those of us who were the most devoted grew up in families where such behavior was familiar. we came to expect such inconsistent, destructive behavior as normal and became grateful for any crumbs of love thrown our way. hence the addiction to syda-love.

hence the deep happiness when mommy reappears with her latest $100 bottle of luke-warm milk.

no more.
know more
how about your own self?
all you need is inside.

what more can this seductive con/businesswoman give you?

Anonymous said...

Somebody wrote asking why those of us who have left are going apes**t over the mere $100 fee for the NYM program.

It's not the fee that getting me angry.

It's the WAY it was handled:

1) Sign up for a "sweet surprise" on New Year's Day

2) Many, who have despaired and given up on GM reappearing, chose not to attend this time, after 4 years of recycled NYM'ing

3) Thus, the audience was limited, far more limited than if a pre-announcement that GM would be in pre-recorded attendance had been made

4) Result: The hangers-on desperate for a fix of GM now clamor to attend the make-up programs. All to listen to a pre-recorded speech she made and to have a sing-along with a pre-recorded chant she recorded. Revenue still maximized, just delayed to after the fact rather than before the event.

Financially, the latter would have been advisable since in finance you always want to collect cash first to invest it and gain interest for a longer period of time, rather than delaying a cash collection. You delay payments to the latest possible date before getting in trouble for the same reason, to maximize interest earned.

However, the approach taken this time just seems far too sneaky for me to feel comfortable with.

If she truly, truly gave a crap about her devotees, she would have announced long ago that she'd be there, even if only virtually via a pre-recorded program.

Instead, the paradigm of "SY class warfare" is willfully continued. Such "class warfare" is more than adequately described in Marta Szabo's "Guru Looked Good" blog in SY experience stories told by both Marta and many of the commenters there.

And again, with this NYM event, there's a set of "people priviledged to have heard GM first" because they devotedly signed up for the January 1st program, instead of allowing their natural human doubts to register. All of the late takers, the "makeup group" are automatically identified as those not devoted enough to be there on January 1st.

Any teacher who has followers who TRULY cares about those followers, as I see it, would have provided EQUAL opportunity to be there at the same time, via the foreknowledge that would result from a pre-announcement of her royal majesty's presence at court, even if only virtually.

It's just too danged sneaky, because three things may be going on at once:

1) Keep 'em hanging on, string 'em along, by showing up but not announcing it first. Give 'em just enough hope to keep 'em going.

2) I care more about maintaining my ability to keep $$ rolling in than the spiritual/psychological welfare of those who follow me

3) I get to check the lists of who signed up on 1/1/08 and know who my most devoted and unquestioning devotees are; all others who "make up" are now suspect of being doubters and can/should now be watched carefully to test their level of devotion.

Maybe I'm spinning conspiracy theories, but I wouldn't put any of this stuff past her, I truly wouldn't.

So, it wasn't the charge of the $100 bucks. There was just SO much that was SO underhanded about the approach taken, on just so many levels at once.

Ugh.

J said...

did the Guru come upon anything in that period of deep contemplation and retreat that the world needs to hear?

---
I didn't listen to the talk. But several people volunteered to share the message with me (and without my asking them to do so--lol)

It kinda left me cold. Then I thought of Adyashanti's teachings, which I've been following for the past several years and find to really hit the cutting edge for me. So I let the message reconfigure in my mind a la Adya. Here's what it sounds like:

STOP seeking for knowledge of the truth! Just rest in awareness (of the Self, consciousness, what you already ARE).

Would I say the world (or at least some folks) could benefit from hearing that? Ah, yeah.

Anonymous said...

"If she truly, truly gave a crap about her devotees, she would have announced long ago that she'd be there, even if only virtually via a pre-recorded program."

Seriously some of the comments here are even more cringe-inducing than anything SY churned out. Aside from the whiney tone, I get this clear picture of someone standing with a begging bowl looking for scraps. Those scraps will never be fulfilling and if you're still looking for them then the problem is not GM.

Anonymous said...

"Then I thought of Adyashanti's teachings, which I've been following for the past several years and find to really hit the cutting edge for me. So I let the message reconfigure in my mind a la Adya."

I checked out Adyashanti's website since it has been mentioned a number of times. I guess 25 years ago I would have thought it was the height of wisdom but yesterday I found I couldn't even pay full attention to an 8 minute talk. It also left me cold. I guess I'm oversaturated because of SY. Cannot listen to talks or read this genre anymore. I wish I could find a substitute practice. Sniff.

Anonymous said...

""If she truly, truly gave a crap about her devotees, she would have announced long ago that she'd be there, even if only virtually via a pre-recorded program."

Seriously some of the comments here are even more cringe-inducing than anything SY churned out. Aside from the whiney tone, I get this clear picture of someone standing with a begging bowl looking for scraps. Those scraps will never be fulfilling and if you're still looking for them then the problem is not GM.

January 3, 2008 11:54 AM"

I'm the Anonymous January 3, 2008 at 11:09 AM who posted the original.

You thought I was whining? Begging for scraps? From whom? The likes of GM. One answer: No. Not only NO, but HELL NO.

There is NOTHING I want from GM other than to publicly and officially retire and declare SY a thing of the past, so certain family members can be finally freed of their Gurumayi addiction.

I'm not whining or expressing a desire for any "scraps" (whatever that means. What gave you the impression I was "begging" for anything???)

I'm instead expressing a deep, shuddering revulsion at how GM and SYDA handled the whole "sweet surprise" thing. So damned underhanded and dishonest. If she was going to show up, why not just tell the world and be honest about it? Wouldn't that be the mark of a higher integrity?

Believe me, I want nothing other from Gurumayi except for her to either give it up and officially retire. Or die.

Yep. I said it. All I want is for her to be gone and for my family to be freed. I need nothing else from her. Believe me, she robbed me of enough of my life's time, my hard-earned money, and my freedom of beliefs. SY framed so much of my formative life decision-making. Where to live. What kind of career to follow. Whom to marry. To have kids or not.

No more. Better late freedom than no freedom.

So, I have a question for you:

What, specifically, induced your cringe? I'd like to know so I can address it more clearly.

Anonymous said...

anon wrote:
"What, specifically, induced your cringe? I'd like to know so I can address it more clearly."

If I had to guess, I'd say the begging for scraps comment was a direct parrot of Gurumayi's (in)famous Labor Day talk in which she told the adult Siddha Yoga students in attendance at the Shakti Mandap "your begging bowl is full" and vowed to concentrate her efforts at teaching children.

Whatever happened to that youth effort, by the way?

J said...

It also left me cold. I guess I'm oversaturated because of SY. Cannot listen to talks or read this genre anymore. I wish I could find a substitute practice. Sniff.
--

I hear you. To be honest, that was my initial reaction too. But for some reason I eventually eased up and gave it another try. I wanted to know if it was really possible for a spiritual organization to operate with integrity. I decided to be open minded/open hearted about it. And, for me, that paid off. My oversaturation with Sy began to drip off. Slowly, drop by drop. I recall thinking, this stuff is so simple, it doesn't have any of the hoopla I got used to in SY-- none of which was really useful.

I'm NOT, btw, trying to convince you of anything. Not out recruting for Adya, believe me. Just sharing my process in case you're interested. Seems like most of the people who are drawn to him are the ones who've been on one or another path for 20-30 years, reached a point of frustration/ disillusionment or whatever, and want someone to quickly slice through all the crap and bring the long-time seeking to its conclusion.

Joshua said...

SeekHer,

Thanks for moderating the discussion about this topic. Your comment about Nivritti Gillette as "uber odious" and his "oleaginous" voice keeps me chuckling. A friend sent me this,

Gurumayi's New Year's message for 2008 is "Search for the knowledge of the Truth and become established in the awareness of the Self."

Apparently she told Baba stories and we're supposed to keep reading Sadhana of the Heart and add Play of Consciousness to our study. That's about it.

I confess to being underwhelmed.

I was on staff when the first idea of a yearly message was being developed. I remember it as a talk GM gave in the mandap, about Baba saying "Take a broom and sweep your heart." People liked it so much that the bookstore started selling little brooms with that phrase on it. (It seemed so sweet at the time; in retrospect it seems unbelievably hokey.) It became the focus of many of GM's talks for the year.

As time went on, "the Message" morphed into the main focus for the year, and it became an event of near-hysterical proportions. We signed up early, struggled to get a seat "in the hall" versus "overflow," and then gasped and swooned when the message was delivered. Then everyone stormed down to the phone booths in Anugraha to call everyone we knew to tell them. Faxes, e-mails - it was, as SeekHer said (I hope ironically) a message everyone MUST hear right away.

We studied it with gusto at first, memorized it, bought all the paraphernalia at the bookstores (sticky notes! paper weights! pens!) and made it the Holy Grail for the year.

Now that I've woken up a bit, thanks to Marta's memoir and this blog, I wonder what all the fuss was about. I've realized that I was carried away by this mass hysteria, just like so many of us.

SeekHer,I felt that same old pull on New Year's Day. I wanted to be there, to share the twittering excitement and the swooning and the sighs. But all of that isn't true for me anymore. It was a little sad, but now that it's a few days behind me, I'm so glad I resisted. As someone here mentioned, it felt like the pull of addiction. Oh my god, gotta have it, gotta have it NOW.

After Feb. 15th, the CD will probably be in the bookstore catalogue. There'll be a big rush to buy it, then the fuss will die down. It'll go into the collections of siddha yogis, along with all the other message tapes and videos. Most of mine just gathered dust, frankly. I listened to them for the first year, and then we were on to the next message or theme or focus of study.

I'm thankful to everyone here for their insightful comments about SY, GM, the traditions of spiritual teachings, honesty and secrecy. I'm learning a lot from you and really "deconstructing" my 20+ years in SY.

Thanks to you, for the first time in many years, I spent this New Year's day free from the hubbub and hysteria of "the message," and had a reflective day with friends and family, talking about the highlights of 2007 and our hopes and dreams and goals for 2008. It was a peaceful, joyous day. Free at last.

-Joshua

Stuart said...

Anonymous said...
"A friend couldn't attend Yom Kippur services at a closeby Synagogue because the tickets were $250 per person."

this is wrong, imho.


I see no reason to make any of this an issue of right and wrong. There's a marketplace of choices for us to choose whatever we like. It's not "wrong" for a restaurant to offer a salad for $50. But people simply looking for a nutritious meal will likely look elsewhere.

People who like pagentry, ritual, and grand atmospheres can choose organizations like SYDA or churches or synagogs that require big payments or "donations." But I'd imagine that most of here are more concerned with finding a clear, peaceful mind, and looking into the big questions of life, stuff like that. So there's no reason for people like that to choose organizations that charge a lot for their "services."

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

Anonymous said...

"So, I have a question for you:
What, specifically, induced your cringe? I'd like to know so I can address it more clearly."

I guess it was just the tone of the entire post. It had that element of "If you loved me, you would . . . " The clause after the conditional "if" implies you want/expect something. Hence the image of a begging bowl.

I see nothing morally wrong in the way the sweet surprise thing was handled. It's called marketing. Only those lining up for freebies would find this objectionable. (Again the begging bowl). Remember, all of these outfits have genuine snake oil to sell and they are marketing it as such. I can understand if you object to the snake oil, but I don't think you can object to GM selling it. Whatever dose of it I had, happened to benefit me greatly even if it cost me multiple years. Who knows what other sorts of snake oil I'd have swallowed in those years anyway if not for GM.

Now you say this: " I'm instead expressing a deep, shuddering revulsion at how GM and SYDA handled the whole "sweet surprise" thing. So damned underhanded and dishonest."

If this causes deep shudders, what adjectives do you have left to describe your reaction to rape, murder, war and genocide? The lack of perspective in your comment makes it hard to take you seriously. This is a general trend among most GM-bashing commenters so it's not about you personally at all. I stopped commenting at Marta's because she permitted only anti-GM posts. I'm on a roll right now and just found your comment to pick on. It embodies all of the elements of the begging bowl, how GM ought to be living, how she ought to be running her business, and how she absolutely must love and care about us.

Btw, I must have missed that begging bowl talk of GM, but I gotta agree with her here.

Stuart said...

Anony wrote...
Cannot listen to talks or read this genre anymore. I wish I could find a substitute practice. Sniff.

Wonderful! If you find yourself losing interest in what you read in books or hear in beautiful talks... maybe this means you're now ready for a different direction. You can do a practice where the "center" is looking into your own experience, taking up the big questions for yourself.

Of course you can find plenty of groups where other people will join you and support you in doing such inquiry. Just make sure it's a place where everyone thinks for themselves, rather than believing in some dogma or beautiful words and ideas from a book or teacher.

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

Anonymous said...

The respondent's assumption was that I was whining and wanting something from GM.

This was an erroneous assumption but a natural one for a "Siddhayogi®" to make, since they all consciously or subconsciously want something from GM whether they directly admit to it or not...supposed love from her, shakti from her, acknowledgement from her, whatever. One more look, one more touch, one more smile, one more shakti-hit, one more swoon of devotion.

I am now free of this addiction and want nothing more of GM than to officially disappear forever in hopes of my family members also being freed. Fingers multiplifically crossed on that one while also not holding my breath. GM's hold on people's psyches is remarkably deep in some cases.

Anonymous said...

"If this causes deep shudders, what adjectives do you have left to describe your reaction to rape, murder, war and genocide? The lack of perspective in your comment makes it hard to take you seriously."

Believe me, those make me shudder even more, in most cases.

Rape, Murder, and Genocide frighten me even more and anger me even more than GM. Is this sufficient enough perspective to ask you to take me more seriously??

War is a different matter. I think it's fully justified when someone else attacks you without your aggressing against them first. I pretty firmly disagree with people who think war is NEVER justified. Pearl Harbor justified a war against Japan. 9/11 justified a war against the Taliban and Al-Qa'eda and other Salafist terror groups, and possibly even the states sponsors who support(ed) them. I'll have to disagree with you on the war part.

As for GM's right to market her product in any manner she wants, I'd again have to express disagreement with you. Yes, most marketers in a free society are relatively free to market their products or services any way they want. Typically the legal bounds, and society's ethical bounds, applied to them regard to harm or injury caused by those products or services.

We all see "snake oil" sold everyday in the papers, the internet, spam e-mail, the radio, TV ads for all sorts of supplements, exercises equipment, diet plans, etc. These people market their snake oil pretty liberally and frankly, since some of this stuff may be harmful if misused, probably ought to be regulated more tightly.

In GM's case, she's marketing lingering hopes and dreams for spiritual salvation/liberation/whatever-you-might-call-it to a bunch of followers who long for continued contact and/or "guidance" from her in various ways, shapes, and forms.

Personally, I see this continued need for a Gurumayi-fix as harmful to these people, whether they (or society) recognize it or not.

And I'm not an outsider. I was a deeply committed Siddhayogi® for nearly 25 years, took an intensive with Muktananda at age 19. And I also would have described my involvement with SY as having benefited me. However, in hindsight, now that it's nearly 3 years since I left SY completely, I can see that really all I did was substitute one addiction for another, and that SY set up a whole system of beliefs that I adopted from it, from guru or swami talks, from videos, from books, from hearsay at my local ashram and later center, etc. that informed so, SO many critical life decisions that, had I not felt the need to rely on GM or SY as a backdrop, might have been made with a far deeper, well-reasoned wisdom than I did.

And I truly doubt that I was alone in this. In fact, I KNOW I wasn't alone since family members did the same thing.

In SY, I see the deveopment and maintenance of a dependency that the organization fosters.

It is that very dependency that I see as dangerous and harmful. And is the reason I object so strongly to the "sweet surprise" approach taken.

You might argue that if someone comes into SY merely looking for a little meditation, a little philosopy, and a little peace and calm, that's one thing. But we all know that the focus of SY is on the "Guru". Whoops, dependency being sold again. So it's NOT just a little peace, a little calm, a little philosophy or meditation. It's a whole belief system that's being hawked. A belief system that takes away people's full freedom of thought and belief.

I guess if you don't take me seriously after this, I'll just give up. Not sure how I can get any more explicit than this.

Anonymous said...

Dear Joshua,

I really, rrreallly loved your sweet, honest, conscious comment and hope you'll write here more.

Ax said...

Stuart said...

Wonderful! If you find yourself losing interest in what you read in books or [for that matter, read on blogs]... maybe this means you're now ready for a different direction.

Hmm, Stuart, are you ready to take your own advice, then?

Anonymous said...

>>"I see nothing morally wrong in the way the sweet surprise thing was handled. It's called marketing..... Remember, all of these outfits have genuine snake oil to sell and they are marketing it as such. I can understand if you object to the snake oil, but I don't think you can object to GM selling it."<<

It seems you are a little confused about ethics and marketing. siddha yoga is not "selling snake oil" and marketing it as such". If they were, there would be no problem. Siddha yoga is selling "a golden path to Truth", under the guidance of a "living siddha master". Perhaps, after 10 years or so, a person might realize that siddha yoga IS selling "snake oil"..in other words, lying about what they offer and marketing the lies. If they were upfront about selling "snake oil" and marketing it as "snake oil", fine..then "buyer beware". The issue is the lying and manipulation by a "spiritual teacher" and a "spiritual organization"...if you don't have a problem with a "golden path to the Truth" that "markets snake oil", that's your business but don't be surprised if other folks have a different take on things. If you go to a used car dealer, you expect to be on your toes and watch out for the "a little old lady drove this car to church once a week...never been in the auto repair shop" sales pitch. If you go to an ashram (you know, a "refuge, the "literal body of 'god'...lol!), you don't expect to be sold a bill of goods, lied to and manipulated. And, frankly, I DO "object to gurumayi" selling snake oil..just like I object to anyone who sets themselves up as a "spiritual leader" lying... I even "object" to that car dealership lying to me to make a buck. Just because it's common practice doesn't make it ok. Imo.
by the way, what exactly is "genuine snake oil"...isn't that a contradiction in terms?

Anonymous said...

Dearest Gurumayi,

With respect to your new New Year's Message for 2008 of "Search for the knowledge of the Truth and become established in the awareness of the Self", the only conscious response I can possibly think of, is:

OK. I'll go for the second part first.

I exist. I exist. I exist.
I am. I am. I am.

I can hold that awareness of being "self-ness". I can even extend it to feel its connection with everything around me: The people, the weather, the animals, the plants, the positive, the negative, the health, the sickness, the peace, the violence, the "Source"...whether that is God, Self, Void, whatever. I feel that connection very directly and am very aware of it, whether awake, or meditating with eyes closed.

OK, so, second part of the message accomplished.

Now...as to that first bit about searching for the knowledge of the truth: Can either you or somebody else please explain to me, exactly, WHAT is the truth?

Other than, a possible dictionary definition of something that isn't false or misleading?

Like not telling devotees you're suddenly gonna show up after being gone for nearly 4 years?

Or not ever coming clean about your own teacher's sexual misconduct and threats of violence to people who planned to spill his secrets to the public?

Or like sending one of your secretaries to try to frighten a woman who is the victim of that sexual misconduct into silence so she wouldn't take the story public and endanger your future net worth?

Or the claims you allow your minions to make about your own sainthood and enlightenment in order to maintain a devoted group of followers when in fact, your own conduct and speech over time has entirely indicated otherwise?

Like approving of tossing skunk oil on your own brother by a couple of your fanatic, irrationally overexhuberant drones?

Like approving of your live-in lover of 18 years ago beating the S**T out of a fifteen year old I knew who had the stones to challenge you publicly in darshan line?

Search for the knowledge of the truth? WHICH truth? YOUR truth or the truth of what's actually happened over the years?

I can search for the knowledge of the truth, but if I poke at your direction in that search, I'm not convinced you'll allow it to surface.

Which leaves me somewhat perplexed. How do I really go about fulfilling the first half of that message for 2008?

Namaste.

Anonymous said...

"In GM's case, she's marketing lingering hopes and dreams for spiritual salvation/liberation/whatever-you-might-call-it to a bunch of followers who long for continued contact and/or "guidance" from her in various ways, shapes, and forms.

Personally, I see this continued need for a Gurumayi-fix as harmful to these people, whether they (or society) recognize it or not." >>


First of all, I'm sorry if I came across as overly heavy-handed. Regarding the above quote, I just want to say that I was raised in an atheist environment and at this point in time (post-SY) I've started identifying myself as an atheist. Now, I've spent some time talking to all sorts of God-believers. I was shocked and awed at how real their hopes for salvation/liberation/whatever-you-might-call-it are. They really believe there's a God up there. And we're talking about at least 75% of humanity here. I also used to see this continued need for a God-fix as something harmful. Now I'm not so sure. It can be harmful, just as eating and drinking can be harmful. But in itself it isn't necessarily so. So, as others have pointed out, we need to apply the same sort of standard when talking about GM as we do for the whole god business in general. I'm not so sure it's harmful.

I think I can neatly segue into responding to Stuart from here. (Yes, that was me sniffing about not having a practice any more.) Stuart wrote: If you find yourself losing interest in what you read in books or hear in beautiful talks... maybe this means you're now ready for a different direction. You can do a practice where the "center" is looking into your own experience, taking up the big questions for yourself."

You see Stuart, the problem is that I'm not interested in the big questions any more. I'm in an existentialist funk. It all seems pointless. Is feeling good the only point of this whole long life? Not worth getting out of bed for if you know what I mean. I'm actully envious of the God-believers now for all their stupidity. They have some sort of juice that I think I no longer have. So, I'm wondering, are false beliefs better than the dry truth? Or is this just a phase I'm going through?

Anonymous said...

"by the way, what exactly is "genuine snake oil"...isn't that a contradiction in terms?"

The golden path to truth is an example of genuine snake oil. Now read your own comment in light of this definition and see how little sense it makes. I'm sorry to hear you didn't find that golden path. Hope your boo boo's better by now.

Anonymous said...

You see Stuart, the problem is that I'm not interested in the big questions any more....

---
Not Stuart here. But I can relate to that in the sense that I was an atheist for the whole first part of my life. The part where I'd differ though is that many atheist are very much intersted in the big questions. I remember thinking, people with religion don't bother to ask the big questions cause they think they already have the answers. For me at the time, being an atheist meant I could ask all the questions-- and was free to accept any or all or now answers, only as I personally saw fit.

Anonymous said...

"The part where I'd differ though is that many atheist are very much intersted in the big questions."

Thanks for the response not-Stuart. I agree that athiests are very much interested in the big questions. You missed the "any more" part of my post :-) I used to be all about the big questions. All of a sudden they don't matter. I guess it's because theoretically I feel I have all the answers (and it's no biggie).

Anonymous said...

""by the way, what exactly is "genuine snake oil"...isn't that a contradiction in terms?"

The golden path to truth is an example of genuine snake oil. Now read your own comment in light of this definition and see how little sense it makes. I'm sorry to hear you didn't find that golden path. Hope your boo boo's better by now.}<<

Sorry..I must be really stupid; I still don't get it. "Snake oil" is "deceptive talk or actions"; "genuine" is defined as: "authentic, real, free from hypocricy". How can something that is, by nature, deceptive be, at the same time, authentic and free from hypocricy? Is there such a thing as "authentic lying"?? Or perhaps you are using the word "genuine" in a colloquial way? as in...see the genuuuiiine three headed snake..right this way???

by the way, I never said I, personally, was feeling bad because I didn't find the "golden path"..I was using it as an example of lying or selling a false bill of goods.

why express this false compassion towards others ..as in "hope your boo boo is better by now"? if you don't feel it, why bother? I guess it's "snake oil compassion"...lol.

i've lost that loving feeling said...

Beward of organizations I heard someone once say. This siddha yoga thing makes me ill. To me, it's not truth. It's about money. I kept trying to make myself believe that this was it, cause everyone around me seemed to be in love. Now I look back after leaving the whole trip 7 years ago and it's so laughable. Everything about it and everyone who continues to be parrots in that money-grubbing organization. I was duped, but only for 5 years. What a relief. I wished I could have read this stuff years ago - now I realize people are finally starting to see their own truth. I can't believe that people still wait for the fricking new years message. It's the joke of all jokes. It keeps everyone small because somehow we can't come up with our own message. We have to hear it from the queen herself and at best these messages aren't that great. I can imagine everyone at these new years things cheering. BFD.

Anonymous said...

"why express this false compassion towards others ..as in "hope your boo boo is better by now"? if you don't feel it, why bother? I guess it's "snake oil compassion"...lol."

Sorry, that was indeed rude of me. But yes, I was using the term "genuine snake oil" sort of colloquially. I've come to realize that snake oil has its uses. What do you tell a 5 year old whose mother just died. I think it's okay to say she's up in heaven with the angels and that God is now looking after her. Similarly, adults too have their needs - the golden path to truth and what not. Sometimes there is a lot of healing and growth on this golden path. That's the genuine part, I suppose. But the rest is just the snake oil, imo.

Anonymous said...

>>>" I've come to realize that snake oil has its uses. What do you tell a 5 year old whose mother just died. I think it's okay to say she's up in heaven with the angels and that God is now looking after her"<<

See..that's what we used to call a "white lie"..meaning "harmless" or told in order to cause "less" harm, not more harm. Snake oil is something very different...it has to do with intention..sorry to be so picky about it but it seems important to me and thank you very much for the effort to communicate your ideas clearly.

Anonymous said...

"Thanks to you, for the first time in many years, I spent this New Year's day free from the hubbub and hysteria of "the message," and had a reflective day with friends and family, talking about the highlights of 2007 and our hopes and dreams and goals for 2008. It was a peaceful, joyous day. Free at last."
January 3, 2008 1:06 PM

Thanks Joshua for your comment.
Had the same kind of holiday without SY and it was more meaningful because it was my own, not the Guru's. At one point I wrote that SY had made me feel homeless inside, because I had given myself away so completely. Now I have that home inside myself again. Now feeling good in my own skin without the constant feeling that I haven't given enough.

Anonymous said...

"..the problem is that I'm not interested in the big questions any more. I'm in an existentialist funk. It all seems pointless. Is feeling good the only point of this whole long life? Not worth getting out of bed for if you know what I mean. I'm actully envious of the God-believers now for all their stupidity. They have some sort of juice that I think I no longer have. So, I'm wondering, are false beliefs better than the dry truth? Or is this just a phase I'm going through?

January 3, 2008 2:55 PM

Hey Anon, if this is a distress call, I'd say keep reading and posting comments here. I have found all the post SY blogs a spiritual lifeline. No need to believe in the "God Delusion"

Your comments were a help to this former 'shakti junkie'

Anonymous said...

I went to the morning Guru Gita on New Years Day and left right after without wanting to be at the program, around the hoopla. Saw the one or two people who are genuine with me and gave them hugs, then left for a party in my area. No guilt, no bitterness, no addiction cravings, just did what made me feel good. It felt great to have learned the many sides of the SY story. It made me feel so detached from the sevites. I stared at gm and muks photos telling them to come clean and tell the truth. Then I heard the message on the ROD board today (hey thanks!). This board is doing exactly what the message says, to search for the knowledge of the truth; here we are trying to separate myth from reality. As I learn more about SY org I can stay in my own awareness to be detached from the SY org and see through the hype and be devoted to the universal teachings.

Spoke to a longtime devotee today, there since the very early days at the Deville, so if SF is reading, listen up. He says that he is not too interested in the organization these days as it's too behind the scenes and not the way it used to be, that the lack of transparency keeps him wary of the SY foundation. And that they are greedy.

See the world filled with saints (with credit cards).
Didn't Jesus kick out the money lenders from the temple? (Not a big bible person).

Anonymous said...

"At one point I wrote that SY had made me feel homeless inside, because I had given myself away so completely. Now I have that home inside myself again. Now feeling good in my own skin without the constant feeling that I haven't given enough."

Ohhhhh, BINGO!!!!

Bingo, bingo, bingo, bingo, BINGO!

This exactly sums up how I feel also. I don't miss the constant feeling I'm wasn't giving enough, doing enough, comitting enough, to be a truly GOOD devotee.

At some point I realized that the reason I hadn't reached "liberation" or "enlightenment" was NOT due to my own lack of effort or sincerity or comittment. It wasn't my fault.

When what is offered in and of itself does not offer what is promised, the the fault the seller's or the buyer's?

Anonymous said...

To the Anonymus who wrote:
"This exactly sums up how I feel also. I don't miss the constant feeling I'm wasn't giving enough, doing enough, comitting enough, to be a truly GOOD devotee.

At some point I realized that the reason I hadn't reached "liberation" or "enlightenment" was NOT due to my own lack of effort or sincerity or comittment. It wasn't my fault".

... So true. The very message for the year 2008 starts out by pointing out some kind of presumed deficiency/stupidity in the seeker/devotee. It's about a story that Baba used to tell, about 10 pilgrims who have crossed a river, and having arrived on the other side, they start counting how many of them there are. And to their dismay, they always end up getting "nine", since every single one forgets to include himself. Until a wise observer alerts them to their error. Haha. These "unenlightened seekers are stupid creatures, aren't they. And what, according to Gurummayi, is the moral of the story?

She says, "Instead of starting with somebody else, start with yourself first".

Which she elaborates a little more closely a few minutes later (and here I do not remember the quote word by word, but what I am going to quote here is pretty close:

"What do you habitually not take into account when assessing your whole world, your own self? The one, yourself(here she is refering to her opening phrase: "without 1, 0 is nothing, which she in turn somehow derived from the 100 related to Baba's 100's birthday, a subtlety (?) which I haven't yet managed to make sense of) ... That gives life its rasa".

Okay, gentle listers, now, according to the speaker, you know that you are mysteriously lacking something which an enlightened witness is obviously able to see ever so clearly. Now, is it truly the students' fault if they do not understand this type of math presented by their teacher? If there is anything of significance hidden in there, isn't it the task of any teacher to explain things in a way which is empowering and encouraging for the student, which respects the student's capacity at any given moment, rather than shaming the "ignorant" without bothering to speak in a way which helps them understand and grow? Why accept a teaching approach for ourselves which we would probably never ever find appropriate for our children or in any other learning situation we deliberately place ourselves in as adults (and in which we pay for being taught something)?

SeekHer said...

anon wrote:
"... So true. The very message for the year 2008 starts out by pointing out some kind of presumed deficiency/stupidity in the seeker/devotee. It's about a story that Baba used to tell, about 10 pilgrims who have crossed a river, and having arrived on the other side, they start counting how many of them there are. And to their dismay, they always end up getting "nine", since every single one forgets to include himself."

I, too, was struck by the inanity of this opening story, more so because its all-too-obvious point was drawn out and out and histrionically belabored on and on until even the slowest child would have become impatient with the telling.

anon also wrote:
"Now, is it truly the students' fault if they do not understand this type of math presented by their teacher? If there is anything of significance hidden in there, isn't it the task of any teacher to explain things in a way which is empowering and encouraging for the student, which respects the student's capacity at any given moment, rather than shaming the "ignorant" without bothering to speak in a way which helps them understand and grow?"

Exactly. It is the continual baby-fication of the sangham that grates here. Every Siddha Yoga talk starts the clock again at zero, as if even the most basic points need to be stressed over and over and over again. I used to chalk this up to the need to accommodate new people, but after four years of no activity I think it is safe to say the new person out-reach for this talk was nil. So, everyone who was listening was a dedicated SY student.

So, why is there never any acknowledgment of growth on the part of the students? Because the only measure of growth is the attainment of 'full enlightenment', which Gurumayi is in possession of and no one else. Until that time that we become enlightened (and tell me, after 25 years of Gurumayi's reign who has attained that?) we have to accept that we just don't get it, and have to be told it over and over (and SOLD it over and over ) as if enlightenment were a memorization exercise in a child's grammar book.

Anonymous said...

Someone said "Okay, gentle listers, now, according to the speaker, you know that you are mysteriously lacking something which an enlightened witness is obviously able to see ever so clearly. Now, is it truly the students' fault if they do not understand this type of math presented by their teacher? If there is anything of significance hidden in there, isn't it the task of any teacher to explain things in a way which is empowering and encouraging for the student, which respects the student's capacity at any given moment, rather than shaming the "ignorant" without bothering to speak in a way which helps them understand and grow?"

One word answer covers it all:

OBFUSCATION.

Deliberate obfuscation.

Tactic: Deliver some flowery pseudo-spiritual teaching so obtuse, so nonsensical, so overwhelmingly difficult to make out the (likely nonexistent real) meaning, that it sounds PROFOUND, DEEP, MEANINGFUL in some unfathomable, mystical way.

It's NOT SUPPOSED to make sense. It's MEANT AZN unsolveable puzzler.

This year's message is a little bit clearer, yet just as sounds-profound yet meaningless, as the capstone example of this tactic:

"Approach the present with your heart's content. Make it a blessed event."

Especially with the little nautilus shell symbol that went with it, which the then-Durgananda insisted we search for the deeply hidden yet meaningful connection to the words. When in fact, there wasn't a connection that presented itself, after months of pondering and meditating on it.

It sounds deeply spiritual.
But is there any real significant meaning?

Just like this year's message:

Strategically planned,
Deliberate,
Intentional,
Methodic,
O-B-F-U-S-C-A-T-I-O-N

Anonymous said...

To SeekHer, who wrote:

"I, too, was struck by the inanity of this opening story, more so because its all-too-obvious point was drawn out and out and histrionically belabored on and on until even the slowest child would have become impatient with the telling".

Oh yes, I couldn't agree more ... The term "babyfication" that you used hits the nail on the head...

Anonymous said...

I got the message to remember to include yourself and not leave oneself out of the equation, not as a put down. I disagree with the interpretations above. Maybe a hint to those on this blog that your own minds put yourselves in a place of abandonment, when people like me have never felt abandoned. Truthfully, I was always happy she shut down the cheapo 'hotel' and the gossipy 'restaurant'. I'm completely in your corner when it comes to the molestation stories and finding out more and uncovering unsavory practices of an organization. But for me the interpretations above do not resonate. People tend to hear what they want to hear. The interpretations to me reveal the inner workings of those interpreting, that's all.

Anonymous said...

If I had to guess, I'd say the begging for scraps comment was a direct parrot of Gurumayi's (in)famous Labor Day talk in which she told the adult Siddha Yoga students in attendance at the Shakti Mandap "your begging bowl is full" and vowed to concentrate her efforts at teaching children.

January 3, 2008 12:51 PM

Actually Rakhi Day, Aug 15 1997, the 50th anniversary of India's independence and of MUK's supposed initiation by Nit Sr.

In the book Remembrance you can find it on pg. 39 in the chapter Rakhi Day, titled Wrapped in God's Protection.

Missing a few comments and much of the sneering tone of voice but for the most part the entire talk is there in print.

Anonymous said...

Here is something interested posted on ex-Syda.

">>"Gurumayi's New Year's message for 2008 is "Search for the knowledge
of the Truth and become established in the awareness of the Self."<<

I've been thinking about this....it just seems like such a strange
message to give to devotees....search for knowledge of the truth:
isn't that what they are supposed to have found in siddha yoga?
knowledge of the truth? why would they have to keep searching for it?
that's what a teacher is for (read guru)...to give knowledge
(information,facts, principles). I used to teach...I offered
the "knowledge" of how to do certain things (technical and otherwise)
to students. I didn't let them sign up for a class in "Materials and
Techniques" and then tell them...."ok,here's a workbook, now you go
search for the information". A teacher can offer knowledge...but not,
necessarily, wisdom (a very different thing...involving the actual
application and complete digestion of "knowledge").

If she had said, "find the Truth within; become established in
awareness of the Self"...that would make alot more sense to me
(because if you do the first part, the second will happen quite
naturally). But then, I'm just a "demon in a waterless place" so what do
I know?"

I read this yesterday...it's right in line with the questions coming up here..why treat people like stupid children and create more problems for them?

Anonymous said...

Another one from ex-Syda..on topic...promise it's the last one:

"Here is something very
interesting I read this morning by Jean Klein about
striving/searching.
I relate it to what is niggling at me in the message for 2008.


"You can't make an effort without tension. But why do you make an
effort (i.e. "search")? Only because you're looking for some result,
for something OUTSIDE yourself. Once you really know that what you're
looking for is your real nature, you lose the impulse to strive. So
first, see how you are constantly making an effort. As soon as you
are aware of this process, you are already outside it. And it may
come as an original perception that you are really stillness.

But..doesn't even seeing this require some effort?

No. This seeing is your natural state. Just be aware that you DON'T
see. Become more aware that you constantly react. Seeing requires no
effort because your nature is seeing, is being stillness. The moment
that you are not looking for a result, just looking, then you can
perceive this reacting, and you're no longer an accomplice to it.

Notice how effort operates in your life and the ways you strive for
results. What are you seeking? Where do you think you're going?"


This is not some pie in the sky advice..it's practical and it's "do-
able". Why send people off in the "wrong direction" over and over
again? Why tell people to do something but not tell them how, in very
simple terms to "do" it...you know, STOP: right now! look inside! Who
IS that!?"

Anonymous said...

"Missing a few comments and much of the sneering tone of voice but for the most part the entire talk is there in print."

Do you mean GM's sneering tone of voice?

As for Babyfication, y'know, GM's competitor Ammachi has her followers carry around little Ammachi doll-replicas of her self to carry around and put on their pujas.

Makes me wonder: If she hadn't shut down the hotel and shrunk the org, would we be carrying around equivalent GM dollies???

Anonymous said...

Exactly. It is the continual baby-fication of the sangham that grates here. Every Siddha Yoga talk starts the clock again at zero, as if even the most basic points need to be stressed over and over and over again. I used to chalk this up to the need to accommodate new people, but after four years of no activity I think it is safe to say the new person out-reach for this talk was nil. So, everyone who was listening was a dedicated SY student.

***

Thanks to everyone for the wonderfully rich and sometimes fractious discussion on the subject of GM's New Year's Message.

Whatever it means.

SeeHer, sorry to have been one of the folks who got the idea you addressed yourself as Christopher. I thought that name appeared somewhere in your posts themselves. Yesterday I researched the entire blog to find the original source and found it in a response, though not a critical one.

The person who believed s/he knows you and who questioned your integrity came afterward.

Good reading in this blog though, IMHO it's been a big success.

About your comment above, one of the things I believe as an old school SY devotee (started with Baba many years ago) is that GM really isn't all that bright or that articulate. If you saw some of the talks she gave at the very beginning of her time (when her brother was still in the chair) and compared them to the talks MUK gave at the end of his time, you might wonder why anyone would consider this aimless, inarticulate school girl a fully enlightened master of anything.

Later, when it seemed she wrote intelligent and engaging talks, it turns out she was reading material provided to her by experienced writers and scholars, with her elocution (and then, her singing) coached by professional actors, public speakers (and then, musicians), all sworn to secrecy about their "seva" to Gurumayi.

On her own "Gurumayi" doesn't have that much to say, can't say it all that well, and often can't sing to save her life.

To the earlier writer who has only known her through her books: this much I absolutely know to be true - those books were not written solely Gurumayi. They were mostly written by a committee of college educated swamis, writers and scholars hired or seduced into believing they were saving SY from the fallout from the New Yorker article. Gurumayi (who it turns out has no college education) added her own comments and flourishes but most of the talks including some of the "personality flourishes" in the talks were loaded into the text by her own devotees.

If the NY talks suffer now it's because the help is getting scarce.

Like most of the SY phenomenon (wonderful as it has been in some ways) Gurumayi's books are the product of a grand illusion.

And keep in mind - no illusion can convince unless it contains at least portion of real truth in the making of its magic. It may be that your soul sees that small portion of truth as spiritual wisdom, or as a kind of saving grace.

K.

Anonymous said...

SeekHer

I admit it, now I'm dying to read the post you promised about your impression of the New Year's Talk. The title of that talk and a small sample of your impression is already in the blog, so... in your time, not mine since I do understand why you want to reflect on the whole event before you write about it... I would love to read your "personal experience" post.

Anonymous said...

Has it hit anybody else yet that the reason for the "babyfication" is because...just perhaps...GM herself is stuck at an extreme level of emotional/developmental level of maturity? (Which for a 52-year old woman would truly be a rather sad state of affairs.)

And that the dyed-in-the-wool hangers-on are just possibly also stuck at that same level of developmental maturity, and that's the reasons she appeals to them so much?

One of things that makes me wonder and go "Hmmmmmmmmmmm......?"

Anonymous said...

>>"As for Babyfication, y'know, GM's competitor Ammachi has her followers carry around little Ammachi doll-replicas of her self to carry around and put on their pujas."<<

Yes, very true, anon. all we had were "stuffies", no gurmayi dollies.lol!
I was wondering this morning, though, if you can think of any other guru presiding over a huge group in the West who has the chutzpah to run a scam like the "sweet surprise"...maybe Maharishi? I can't imagine Ammachi doing this or Shree Maa or even Karunamayi. I'm not holding any of these ladies up as anything...just can't imagine them promising a "sweet surprise" for $100, offering a pre-recorded talk and swearing the listeners to "secrecy" while the next crop of devotees cough up the cash. It has a really distinct "siddha yoga" feel to it. And something stinks...big time.

Anonymous said...

To the anon who wrote...

"I got the message to remember to include yourself and not leave oneself out of the equation, not as a put down." I disagree with the interpretations above. Maybe a hint to those on this blog that your own minds put yourselves in a place of abandonment, when people like me have never felt abandoned".

I don't quite see in which which way what you are saying disagrees with the interpretations you are referring to. What you seem to be expressing is a notion which simply has become so nauseatingly self-obvious for me over after maybe too many years of Siddha Yoga. OF COURSE we have to include ourselves in the equation. But not like saying, "See? It's your own fault, after all".

I feel that sayings such as "The world is as you see it" can sometimes serve as a beautiful reminder to reflect on our own attitude. And maybe to try out a different approach in order to find out in what way it makes us relate to life or events in life differently. But if it gets used to dismiss somebody else's experience, it will tend to stifle any true communication and sharing. And the very fact that it does, IMHO, accounted (among other things) for the latent passive consumer mentality and sometimes "gossipy" feel in the amrit restaurant that you mentioned.

Anonymous said...

To the anon who wrote,

"... one of the things I believe as an old school SY devotee (started with Baba many years ago) is that GM really isn't all that bright or that articulate".

Very well possible. I remember that this idea already occurred to me way back when I was still a 100% loyal devotee thinking that having thoughts of this type was outright blasphemeous. But nobody else in my environment seemed to be harboring them, so I felt somewhat like the child in "The Emperor's New Clothes";-)

Seems like the setup does not even enable "the Guru" just to be herself. So much make-believe ... As if saintlihood was a matter of college diplomas, eloquence, perfect beauty, a royal attire, hosts of servants and so many other insignificant external paraphernalia!

Anonymous said...

About the anonymous person who quoted from ExSY,

"A teacher can offer knowledge...but not, necessarily, wisdom (a very different thing...involving the actual application and complete digestion of "knowledge")".

Thanks for that. Very beautifully put.

Since I now feel that I have kind of grown up in two totally different cultures, namely SY and "the (Western) world", it seems to me that this actual application and complete digestion of knowledge (=wisdom) would also involve including my Western understanding of the world (enlightenment etc.).

So, as opposed to what I always believed in my SY days, "being in the world but not of it" seems to imply to also be detached from the Siddha Yoga heritage (which has its roots in just another kind of worldly limitation, namely in Indian culture), rather than blindly endorsing every single notion. Such as the classical Indian idea of total childlike dependency on/ submission to/reverence for your elders (e.g. parents, elder brother, king, landlord, employer, guru ...).

To my dismay, a major part of the NY's message stresses exactly this traditionally Indian point: devotion and obedience to the Guru. Yes, I have tasted the sweetness of bhakti, for many years, and it enabled me to blissfully experience my childlike nature. But it turns out to be of little help me when the task is to reconcile this aspect with the task of growing up and with integrating Western values I definitely find worth maintaining.

Being beyond both of them and yet being able to embrace them both - that might be what I would call "wisdom".

Nancy Leigh-Smith said...

Dear SeekHer,
This is a very small point, sketchily on-topic, but I have to point out that, while I love the spirit of "pony up the hundred large", the "large" refers to $1,000.00, so that would be $100,000.00. Now THAT would be audacity. (I know this from my frequent reading of Elmore Leonard, Carl Hiassen and Robert B. Parker novels, the former two having been introduced to me by my ashram roommate).

Thank you for your lyrical writing, and for maintaining a blog that allows for a quirky variety of comments. Living large!

SeekHer said...

Nancy Leigh-Smith said...
Dear SeekHer,
This is a very small point, sketchily on-topic, but I have to point out that, while I love the spirit of "pony up the hundred large", the "large" refers to $1,000.00, so that would be $100,000.00. Now THAT would be audacity."

I thought the didn't seem right when I wrote it! Yes, 100 "large" would indeed by audacious even by SY standards. (Is there such a thing as a "Private Darshan" with Gurumayi?)

Nancy Leigh-Smith said...

Dear SeekHer,
A post-script: "C-note" is a great alternative.

Anonymous said...

Seekher said:
"I thought the didn't seem right when I wrote it! Yes, 100 "large" would indeed by audacious even by SY standards. (Is there such a thing as a "Private Darshan" with Gurumayi?)"

***

That would be confidential, I'm afraid.

Stuart said...

Anonymous said...
I'm in an existentialist funk. It all seems pointless. Is feeling good the only point of this whole long life?

Typically, people try this life-direction of trying to get good feelings for themselves for a long time. Eventually they find it unsatisfactory. It sounds like you've reached this point. After all, we don't even know what this "self" is, so how can "for myself" be a clear direction?

Then for a while they may try the life-direction of holding some belief-system. That too may eventually become unsatisfactory. Why hold some belief (that you hear from a teacher or read in a book)?

Not worth getting out of bed for if you know what I mean.

You've got to do something. It may be getting out of bed, it may be staying in bed. But why? Why eat every day? Why live in this world?

If you've lost belief in everything, you can try the life direction of understanding yourself and helping others.

I used to be all about the big questions. All of a sudden they don't matter. I guess it's because theoretically I feel I have all the answers (and it's no biggie).

When you were born, where did you come from? When you die, where do you go? Why are you alive? What are you?

If you think you have all these answers, maybe you're not questioning sincerely enough. Whatever your answers are, they're just ideas. If you question those ideas, those answers you've settled for, then you can find the big Don't Know.

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

J said...

"Here is something very
interesting I read this morning by Jean Klein about
striving/searching.
I relate it to what is niggling at me in the message for 2008.
---

Your comment is along the lines of what I wrote yesterday with an Adya-fied version of the message ("STOP seeking...") However, I suppose it's not quite a fair comparison in the sense that SY (or any other similar path) is not nondual advaita. For better or worse "seeking" is a cornerstone of the SY approach, independent of any organizational abuses, and likely to stay as such.

Stuart said...

J said...
SY (or any other similar path) is not nondual advaita. For better or worse "seeking" is a cornerstone of the SY approach, independent of any organizational abuses, and likely to stay as such.

What exactly does it mean to have "seeking" as a cornerstone? How about... this moment isn't enough. I need to seek something more, something I can get, and this something will finally make it all complete and "OK."

The SYDA organization appeals to this type of "seeker," this type of thinking. It posits that there's a thing you can get from the guru (some particular understanding, idea, experience, or magical invisible energy called "shakti"); that's the thing you need to seek after in order to be a correct, complete person.

J says that this SYDA "seeking" approach is likely to stay that way. This may very well be true. If so, I've got no problem with it. That is: the world is filled with people who want to get something, whose wanting is so strong that it needs to be filled with some type of "seeking." If not seeking money, or power, or sex, then seeking special experiences or good feelings or spiritual ideas.

The nature of the marketplace is that as long as there are lots of people who want to seek something, organizations like SYDA can and should exist to feed that desire.

But that of course doesn't mean that any of us need to buy into it! SYDA can continue to sell "seeking" for decades. Whoever likes being a "seeker" can pay their money and get some ideal to seek. And whoever gets tired of seeking is always free to stop for a moment and take a look at the big questions for themselves. What am I? What am I doing right now? What can I do to help the situation I find myself in?

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

Anonymous said...

"What am I? What am I doing right now? What can I do to help the situation I find myself in?"

Stuart
January 4, 2008 4:17 PM


Will skip the 'what am I' question, too difficult and I may not like the answer, but to keep asking myself 'what am I doing right now? should help raise self awareness in a simple straightforward way. No "I am Shiva! nonsense. Have felt blasted by this leaving SY. Your comments help me be less emotional.

Your last question is the one that has anchored me for awhile.

What can I do to help the situation I find myself in?

I think we called that selfless service at one time....

Stuart said...

Anony wrote...
Will skip the 'what am I' question, too difficult and I may not like the answer

If the answer that comes up is "don't know," that's worth looking at too. Sometimes people seem to avoid or deny that particular "answer," since it's not necessarily what we want or expect. It may be a little scary, if we're hoping for an "answer" we can hold with our thinking.

There's something to be said for honestly and fearlessly facing the big mystery. Hell, maybe it's not for everyone. All of us may sometimes prefer a comforting belief-system over profound mysteries. But I've found that it's the "don't knows" that keep life interesting.

Anyway, it's cool that anony finds an anchor in "what can I do to help?" When life offers us little or nothing in the way of answers, we do get to choose our motivation. Trying to help... that may be the medicine for suffering caused by "I want to get something."

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

Anonymous said...

When life offers us little or nothing in the way of answers, we do get to choose our motivation. Trying to help... that may be the medicine for suffering caused by "I want to get something."

So said Stuart.

Thank you for that Stuart, so apt. Good stuff you are giving us today.

Anonymous said...

Hi All~
Thank you for all your heart-felt comments. I have been connecting with each one of you as I continue to go within, touch the Self and attempt to find the truth. I have one huge question: Has anyone seen Gurumayi in these last four years? Is she still alive in the physical form? Is she in seclusion? Something is just not adding up. Anyone out there have any scoop? Thanks in advance for sharing.

Anonymous said...

Has anyone seen Gurumayi in these last four years? Is she still alive in the physical form?

Plenty of people see her where she lives (at least most of the time) in S Fallsburg ashram.

Anonymous said...

"I, too, was struck by the inanity of this opening story, more so because its all-too-obvious point was drawn out and out and histrionically belabored on and on until even the slowest child would have become impatient with the telling".

January 4, 2008 9:13 AM

All the web casts have been this way. I am convinced it is hypnotism and very deliberate. Now the sneering tone, that I would have liked to hear for myself. Sounds like the typical formula that controlled me once.

Urie Bronfenbrenner, psychologist said children need an "irrational relationship" with parents. That parents need to be strong advocates for your child, no matter what. He also described parenting of a negaitve type where parents withhold their love as a way of controlling children. To children this is equivalent of depriving them of oxygen, and they will do anything to get it back. Distort themselves if need be. I see now that I had this relationship with Gurumayi.

Dan Shaw has been sharing these ideas that I am waking up to for a long time. So strange I studied Bronfenbrenner over 30 years ago, but while in SY I was not operating on all cylinders. Just the one's my gurumother condoned. Babyfication.

Instead of the focus being on the student's needs for development and encouragement, we focused on the Guru's pleasure, as chanted everyday and instructed in the morning chant. Bronfenbrenner would say this was backasswards. The child is the target, not the parent/guru. Had the wrong person as the center of my life for waaaay too many years. Over now.

Thank you Seekher for this clean well lighted place, for taking the time. It's a tremendous service. Thanks to Marta, C, Dan and RJ too.

Anonymous said...

Somebody said "Is she still alive in the physical form?"

Oh, I SOOOO wanna comment on this.

Anybody remember that numbered list I started in an earlier thread about all the beliefs and ways of thinking and ways of talking and acting we picked up via "Siddha Yoga Philosophy and Culture" simply by listening to other "Siddhayogis®" over the years, things I noticed that I'd picked up, and others picked up, and it was just, well....WEIRD from the perspective of "the normal world"? Like the example I quoted that time of not blowing out a candle and always snuffing it out with a snuffer or waving it out by fanning it, because it was done in the ashrams?

And, just last week, I wrote about my objections to "Siddha-speak" and how it made me cringe or wince or shudder.

Well, somebody else just wrote a PRIME example, which kicked off a second example in my head. Here they are:

Example #1: "Does anybody know if she's still in "the physical form"? "

(An alternate could be "Does anybody know if she's still in the body?" or "her body")

Example #2: "Baba left his body in October 1982."

Why on EARTH must SY people feel compelled to use weird English???

Just why the F**K can't people simply ask, in PLAIN English, "Does anybody know if she's even still alive?"

Or say "Baba died in October 1982"

WHAT is the COMPULSION here????

I don't GET it. I simply DON'T GET IT.

I do get why...at least I THINK why...SY (and probably other cults as well) do use such cult-specific ways of saying simple things that could be phrased much more clearly and directly in plain English. Having a unique way to refer to things, I am convinced, totally reinforces an idea of "we're special" or "we're blessed" or "we're so fortunate".

By using language differently than average everyday people around the workaday world, in a way that is totally unique to that specific cult group, it makes the members of that group feel different from the rest of society. It reinforces the subconscious ties to the group, and separates the members of the group from the "unspiritual people out in "the world" ".

(An odd phenomenon when one considers that one of the goals of yoga is to UNITE individual consciousness with the whole of the universe (including other "unspiritual people") around you and that use of such language tricks is counter-productive to that lofty yogic goal. And just as odd when one considers Baba's advice to "make the mundane spiritual" by seeing one's work, one's family, everyday people and mundane things as just as equally divine consciousness as one's own self." I'm sure I described that incorrectly somewhere, but that was the gist of things in Baba's time on the chair.)

To me, these "language tricks" are very important. Indeed, it is intentional, DELIBERATE use of the matrika shakti and the meanings it conveys both consciously and sub-consciously, overtly and subtly, to the human psyche. Think about it. I'd wager that advertisers, politicians, entertainers, heck, even the script writers for those entertainers (Sorry, Seekher, sure hope this doesn't apply to you!) use this just as deliberately to mold the behaviors of their audiences and their prospective supporters in an election.

Am I making sense here or am I just foaming at the mouth (errr, typing fingers)??? Are these valid points, or am I off my mid-babyboomer rocker?

Anonymous said...

"It reinforces the subconscious ties to the group, and separates the members of the group from the "unspiritual people out in "the world" ".

Meaning "Us" vs. "Them" thinking.

I agree also with the Anon above who said the NYM's and other programs use very deliberate HYPNOTISM.

And I think the "siddha-speak" examples discussed are simply ways of reinforcing hypnotic ways of thinking, speaking, and acting to further the income-maximizing, psyche-ensnaring ways of the SYDA organization.

Anonymous said...

the question is:
Is Gurumayi dead?
Is she still walking around?
What's the real scoop behind Gurumayi not speaking for four years?

Anonymous said...

>>"Am I making sense here or am I just foaming at the mouth (errr, typing fingers)??? Are these valid points, or am I off my mid-babyboomer rocker?"<<

LOL! Well, I for one, sure hope gurumayi is still "in her body", anchored down somewhere and not wafting around in the stratosphere disrupting weather systems all over the planet!
But, seriously (being a real language stickler myself), using this "jargon" is very common whenever people form groups: political jargon, self-help jargon, spiritual jargon, teen-age jargon. As you point out, it's part of the way exclusivity is maintained and we can feel we "belong".Part of becoming "comfortable" in a group is learning the jargon of that group. Usually we don't realize that's what we're doing. You can bond with those who are in the "jargon know" for your particular group and feel sorry for those who "don't understand the jargon". Remember in the 60s (if you go back that far).."far out!", "it's a rip off!"...soon co-opted by advertising. Siddha yoga, imo, is a really peculiar hotbed of jargon... the jargon of Hinduism and the jargon of self-help and the jargon of the business world...it's a whole new way of speaking.
When we are babies and begin to speak, we learn how to "tag" things with a label...the whole "naming"/separation/identification thing. There has been alot written about the formation of identity and how it correlates to the "safety" of giving conceptual labels to "things".
When someone says, "is gurumayi still in her body" (as opposed to is she even alive)...we know that that person has spent some time with Eastern ideas and, in addition, that the question is only asked in this fashion in relation to "saints" or "special folks". You don't ask...."is Uncle Joe still in his body?". Hey, where else would he be?
Anyway, to the person who asked this question...please don't take this personally..it's just about looking at something peculiar that we human being seem to do.

s

Anonymous said...

Referencing many recent comments.....

Elizabeth Gilbert is still with SY because as is obvious from her own undisguised testimony in her autobiography, she is a total slut, ho what have you. Sluts can be very smart and articulate, as are most of us here on these blogs. The arts and charms of a courtesan or geisha are not held by common women. I was a ho for the guru too, so I am completely sympathetic. Gilbert didn’t live through some of the s**t we have experienced. She’s new. The good old ‘not my experience’ excuse. She is still in the love bomb stage and more than likely forking over lots of cash by now in gratitude for the great fortune she is making from her book and reaping the benefits that brings.

You can get a lot from a flawed path. Jews, Catholics and Muslims will attest. However, SY is more than flawed. It is bogus and built upon the slender shoulders of someone not equipped to lead a major religion as SY is trying to be by branding itself and copyrighting everything in sight.

SY, though I wanted it to be the real deal in the worst way, is simply not the real deal. I had myself believing I was part of a great new spiritual saga. Not so. I am looking back at some of what I missed first go round with my childhood religion, which unfortunately was delivered with fire, brimstone and punishments. That is not all that exists at the core of our major religions, which are still evolving. If you are still a seeker, there are some great thinkers working now in all these paths. Stuart brings us some real food for thought from one path. Epi brings another. I love it that this group is so actively still seeking. Even though I loved the idea that seeking in itself can be dropped and you can just sit and rest from all that once in a while. Thank you Stuart.

Back in the spaces of my childhood conceptions around God, I am finding enduring ideals that are missing from SY. Moses, Jesus, Mohammed and Buddha carried the responsibility of spiritual leadership in a different way than GM. Can these persons really be compared? A living saint she is? Blarney.

SY had me trying to turn myself into something I am not. This butterfly found herself on the doorstep of S. Muktananda and it was love at first sight. Hook line and sinker. I was a goner. This was what I had been searching for. The impact of those early encounters with the philosophy and culture of SY were tremendous on me, still in my early twenties. Drank the Nectar of Chanting until I was drunk and stupid. Love drunk for twenty-five plus years. Sheesh. For what? For who? For whom? However you like it.

I feel authentic now. Marta Szabo carried me to this place of courage to be myself, to accept myself. I personally feel I owe Marta a tremendous debt that I can’t pay with money, although I know she could use some. Good people don’t do spiritual things for money anyway. Business people do. And you can be both, but the motivations should not be confused as they are in SY.

SY though they talk of honoring the self, has nothing to do with learning to love oneself. It is twisted. It tells you first it is about love, and then you learn to hate yourself every single day as you do the practices, because you can never, ever live up to the convoluted trash heap of philosophy and sick behavior that is SY on its bad days. On its good days, you fall in love, are very happy, eat great food, have wonderful conversations, chant incessantly, dress up real fancy and empty your pocketbook into the guru’s coffers.

Well I used to love her but it’s all over now.

Watch out here comes another top 40from another major slut. http://tinyurl.com/2bzs26

It's All Over Now

Well, baby used to stay out all night long
She made me cry, she done me wrong
She hurt my eyes open, that’s no lie
Tables turn and now her turn to cry

Because I used to love her, but it’s all over now
Because I used to love her, but it’s all over now

Well, she used to run around with every man in town
She spent all my money, playing her high-class game
She put me out; it was a pity how I cried
Tables turn and now her turn to cry

Because I used to love her, but it’s all over now
Because I used to love her, but it’s all over now

Well, I used to wake in the morning, get my breakfast in bed
When Id gotten worried she'd ease my aching head
But now she's here and there, with every man in town
Still trying to take me for that same old clown

Because I used to love her, but it’s all over now
Because I used to love her, but it’s all over now
Because I used to love her, but it’s all over now
Because I used to love her, but it’s all over now

Anonymous said...

"Search for the knowledge of the truth and become established in the awareness of the Self"

Anonymous said...

""Search for the knowledge of the truth and become established in the awareness of the Self"

January 5, 2008 12:39 PM

Woke last night at 3:00 am, bhramah Muhurtha, with this thought and what came to me was, Gurumayi is passing the baton, torch. Look elsewhere. Conintue your search, because it is not in SY.

Anonymous said...

>>>" SY tells you first it is about love, and then you learn to hate yourself every single day as you do the practices,"<<

Sigh! This is a very powerful observation! and, in "my experience", very true.

Anonymous said...

Typos to correct in deference to K.

that should be

Brahma Muhurta and
continue
rather than as posted

"bhramah Muhurtha, with this thought and what came to me was, Gurumayi is passing the baton, torch. Look elsewhere. Conintue your search, because it is not in SY."
January 5, 2008 1:17 PM

Will try harder in '08 K. You are correct to urge us to be less casual about such things. :-)

Anonymous said...

>>"""Search for the knowledge of the truth and become established in the awareness of the Self"

January 5, 2008 12:39 PM

Woke last night at 3:00 am, bhramah Muhurtha, with this thought and what came to me was, Gurumayi is passing the baton, torch. Look elsewhere. Conintue your search, because it is not in SY."

Had a dream last night where the Dalai Lama told me, "Sita (the Self,the Soul) is a heat-seeking missile"...Somehow comforting..lol! Don't have to go searching off somewhere else...on the endless New Age pilgrimage from Ammachi to Mother Meera to Tiruvannamali to Omega Institute...just sit down and have a nice HOT cup of tea!

s.

Anonymous said...

Dear S,

You say "Part of becoming "comfortable" in a group is learning the jargon of that group. Usually we don't realize that's what we're doing. You can bond with those who are in the "jargon know" for your particular group and feel sorry for those who "don't understand the jargon"."

My response: EXACTLY!

I was not intending to suggest that SYDA rammed its jargon, its "Siddha-Speak" down our throats. Far from it.

The DID use it. And the devotees DID pick up on it to "stay in alignment with GM's shakti" so to speak. And as "great-timers" and newcomers alike wanted to fit into the group, we all simply adopted that jargon, that language, that way of speaking, simply to fit in. Simply to exercise that very natural human desire to belong and not be an outsider, to "fit in", and feel like an accepted, important part of something meaningful.

The fact remains: The technique, subtle and indirect as it was, STILL worked BEAUTIFULLY to fit GM's and SYDA's plans. I can only conclude it was a brialliant tactic employed quite deliberately...and quite successfully as well...by those at the top of the organization. Basically, "start talking a certain way, and they'll all just naturally start to follow" in order to feel closer to us.

I'm among those who've consciously decided to leave SY forever. And I feel no need to use the siddha-speak jargon anymore.

I obviously can't make people stop it, but I'd sure prefer not to have to hear or read it.

Which is interesting in itself - - now that I'm clearly "out", instead of "pulling me back in", it repels me, quite intensely, to read or hear it.

Somehow its hypno-magnetic polarity got reversed. Or maybe I simply reversed my own polarity!!!

Anonymous said...

"SY though they talk of honoring the self, has nothing to do with learning to love oneself. It is twisted. It tells you first it is about love, and then you learn to hate yourself every single day as you do the practices, because you can never, ever live up to the convoluted trash heap of philosophy and sick behavior that is SY on its bad days. On its good days, you fall in love, are very happy, eat great food, have wonderful conversations, chant incessantly, dress up real fancy and empty your pocketbook into the guru’s coffers."

Very astute observation. And to my observation, very true. I left SY nearly 3 years ago. My wife is still in, totally hook, line and sinker.

MY state has evened out tremendously in that time. I may have a strong tendency to be a grouch, but I don't have the mood swings leaping from joyful bliss to self-hatred and self-loathing and self-anger I had in SY.

And I watch my wife still going through that leaping from joyful devotional swoon to incredible depths of sadness, self-hatred, and darkness because she just "never measures up" to be the perfect devotee, perfect wife, perfect woman, perfect anything. And it just drives her deeper into the depths so she can't and won't DO anything about it.

It's painful for me to watch but she thinks I'm deluded and generating bad energy because I've left and don't engage in SY anymore.

The stuff you've described about trying to achieve an impossible idea of perfection, it's all totally SPOT ON. BULL'S EYE.

Somebody else said: ""Search for the knowledge of the truth and become established in the awareness of the Self"

January 5, 2008 12:39 PM

Woke last night at 3:00 am, bhramah Muhurtha, with this thought and what came to me was, Gurumayi is passing the baton, torch. Look elsewhere. Conintue your search, because it is not in SY."

Y'know...I hadn't thought about it this way before.

It actually COULD be interpreted as an indirect way of saying "Time to go elsewhere".

Except I don't think the current devotees think that, particularly watching my wife's reaction. For her, GM's BACK. Pre-recorded program or not. I'm sure she's not alone in thinking and feeling this way.

Anonymous said...

Interesting commentary (from anonymous on Marta's site, Dec 31):

"I suggest that a guru of this type shows two sides, one public, one private.

The public side of the guru is a false personality that seems super human and carries the projected hopes, energy and idealization of the audience.

The private side of the guru is that of a small child, for whom the entourage act as baby sitters, excuse makers and who cover up the childish whims and tantrums the guru inflicts in private.

Entourage members are probably selective recruited from the much larger pool of devotees, if they show signs indicating they are capable of absorbing and rationalizing abuse, and willing to parent a child in an adult body, the way children cover up for and parent abusive adults.

A guru of this kind enjoys adult autonomy and power yet thanks to the entourage of baby-sitters and parental excuse makers, enjoys the freedom from accountabilty that is appropriate only for youngsters aged 0 to 18 months.

A child that young lacks access to adult levels of money, sex, charisma and power and is not yet capable of empathy or future consequences. It is appropriate to protect a child that young and powerless from the consequences of age appropriate naughtiness.

But when someone with adult access to money, power, and guru-theatrics is let off the hook and protected from consequences as if he or she is a toddler, by an entourage of parental types--all bets are off."

Anonymous said...

"Sita (the Self,the Soul) is a heat-seeking missile".."

Hey Anon who posted the above. Thanks. God is good, God is Love.

Anonymous said...

>>"Am I making sense here or am I just foaming at the mouth (errr, typing fingers)??? Are these valid points, or am I off my mid-babyboomer rocker?"<<


-- for what it's worth, there is a philosophical reason behind why SY and OTHER Hindu groups say "leave the body" instead of die. It is because there is no English equiv word for samadhi, or for the concept that one's body would "die" but the eternal part would continue to live on. The Buddhists say die like us Western folks. But I guess Hindus are trying to get closer to their language meaning.
(please don't jump--I'm not defending or attacking, just giving a perspective)

Nancy Leigh-Smith said...

Regarding the various recent comments about jargon, hypnotism, genuine (or not-so) snake oil,
check out this 10 minute video on you tube - sent to me by a friend: Mind Control Made Easy or How to Become a Cult Leader

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mnNSe5XYp6E

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