Thursday, November 26, 2009

A Saccharine Surprise (registered trademark)

From a reader:

It’s been announced recently almost with irony that “Guess what? Your intention has been realized. Your dream has come true. Your wish has been granted. You get to do exactly what you intended, what you dreamt, and what you wished for—in the year 2010. Gurumayi is blessing us again with the Aum Sadhana for the year 2010. Those who attended the Sweet Surprise Satsang in 2009 will have an opportunity to go deeper into the practice of the Siddha Yoga Message in the coming year” Again we are told there will be a rerun of the previous year’s message but telling us this is exactly “what we dreamt” . That’s not what I dreamt, just the way its phrased is a bit disturbing, trying to convince you, you want something you don’t. Only blind fanatics could say that’s right we won’t see Gurumayi again, we’ll hear a recording, just as I wanted! When they know everyone is shouting where are you? they even go further by saying “Whether it is your first time, your second time, or your tenth time participating“ I understand one teaching can be eternal such as “love your neighbor as yourself” or in this case “God dwells within you as you” These teachings have no expiration date so you can reflect on them forever until you realize fully their meaning and intention. But to tell us we will hear this year the same message we received last year in the same manner as this year’s only intensive was the rerun of last years and pretend that that’s what we are hoping for is just inexplainable. Yupi, great! We get to continue wondering where is she, why the silence, just what we are all dreaming of, a big question mark. Thanks for allowing me to share my thoughts here and I wish others would speak out. Am I so wrong? Am I alone? Is this really your dream come true? Blessings to all in this Thanks Giving Day, a bit ironic I know.

Monday, October 19, 2009

Can there be a Siddha Yoga without a Guru?

Dear Gurumayi
I remember with some melancholy my days in the Ashram, one thing I’ve learned: don’t be influenced by gossip and chatter. Your worst enemies are some of your followers and You must be partially responsible for it, to say the least. This “I am Shiva” has been misunderstood for “I’ll do whatever I want” including eating disorderly, lack of discipline and in general , disrespect for the teachings and for others. Siddha yogis have become egoistic, ritualistic and fanatic, more obsessed with the pronunciation of the Guru Gita than with its meaning, more focused on the form than on the content. The question is: can there be Siddha Yoga without a Guru? (Form without content) It is true that the Guru has always been taught as a principle, as an abstract, as the Absolute but it is also true that there has always been a physical relation with the Teacher, essential for the gift of the Shakti to occur. Only a living Guru, with two arms and two leg can give Shaktipat, according to the Guru Gita. You have transformed this Guru-Disciple relationship into a purely abstract relation, a blind reaching for an inner self many times hidden under layers of ignorance for many of us, this makes us no different from other Religions or cults in which followers pray to the Unknown and with hope wait for answers. In Siddha yoga there was no need for “hope” there was reality! In Siddha Yoga the answers came from the words of the Guru but now your lips are closed and the disciples are confused talking to each other and to our egos, in search for answers. The problem is that we are not reaching deep enough, our meditations have become prayers and the answers to those prayers are basically “do whatever you want” or “You like it, go for it” Shivoham misunderstood. We are lost with no clear guidance. Videos or swamis will not do, without You there is no SYDA, I believe. Please renew the so much needed direct relationship with us your devotees and allow our egos to dissolve in the ocean of bliss.


Catch you later, chicka! And thanks for everything.

Dear Gurumayi,

I started this yoga over 14 years ago now, and I gave much to it, although not as much as some. What I gave, and how much of myself I gave, was still significant, to me.

Growing up (I started this yoga in my teens) I have learnt a good deal of things, and the internet has helped me understand myself, and my relation to you, to Muktananda, and to Nityananda.

I'd like to let you know what I've learnt.

I've learnt that Nityananda was (as remains) a genuine saint, without guile, without desire, available to all. From him, came many, many, many so called "gurus" and "teachers" claiming to have a link to his power, claiming to have "inherited" his ability. But really, there is no-one other than Nityananda who can do this!

Somehow, using deep, dark magical yogic techniques, Muktananda learnt how to "steal" the power from Nityananda and use it, but he did not stay true to Nityanandas teachings. And of course, this has continued with you.

I was drawn to your power, and the power I could acces from you. Now I realise that this is all a sham, this power was never yours!

This power was always Nityananda's power, one which he laughed at becuase he knew, this power was in all of us, not to be kept with anyone one of us! And this includes, not to be kept with you!

When I visited Ganeshpuri, and visited your ashram Nityananda's statues and temple, I met, face to face, the prescence of Nityananda. What he showed me, was that he was worshipping me! I found this strange, because I was there to worship him, and what is there about me that had any value?

Of course he answered and showed me, that this is how it all works. Through Nityananda worshipping me, as God, becuase he honours me, I receive his grace, his blessings, his power. He does this, because I worship him, and in turn, give him my grace, my blessings, and my power. This exchange realises that both he and I are one and the same, and this exchange is just one giving to oneself..

Neither you nor Muktananda ever gave me this experience. And it was through this that I can now realise that you have stolen his power, for you own and put it to your own use, for your own benefit. THis is not how it works girl!

You have the millions of dollars we've given you, you have the ongoing devoted fans who will never (unfortunately) stop serviing you as your viritual slaves.. so great, time you go on your merry way and I will go on mine.

And I do have onething though, I want to thank you for introducing me to the one true genuine link to God, and that is Bagawan Nityanadan, and in him, I beleive I have found the real deal... all those who came after, are mere shadows and vague reflections of the real thing!

Catch you later chicka! And thanks for everything.

I now release you from myself, and wish you well in your path of devotion and hope that you too, can realise the sham of what has happened, and rectify the part you played, as dhama requires.



You taught me something, but not what I expected...

Dear gurumayi,
I rarely think about you these days. You just seem like another New Age guru-type who made enough off naive followers to retire in style. There are sure alot of them. The scriptures of your tradition say that in Kali Yuga the world will be filled with false teachers scamming those naive enough to follow them.

I had a great longing for god, for a teacher capable of pointing me towards full awakening. I read too many books about "spiritual experiences" and thought you were the real deal when I started having those "golden experiences" you said were "signs we were making progress on the path". I didn't realize you meant the "path" towards greater Delusion. Oh gurumayi, don't you know that experiences come and go? that they are not what is real? That Truth is found right here and now, always available, simple and quiet: "what is" need for silk cushions, darshan baskets filled with gold bracelets, courses and intensives, altered states and all the rest.

You taught me something. But not what I expected and not what was touted by you and by your "swamis". I feel so much sympathy for the broken hearted devotees. May we all realize together (including you, gurumayi) that the Truth of our Being-ness cannot be given to us by someone else.

an older and wiser person

Monday, September 28, 2009

Even Without You

Dear Gurumayi,

A few years back when my brother died and the rest of the family wasn't told about it until a month later I was in such a bad way, in so much emotional pain. I wrote you a letter begging for help. I wish you had written back, so at least I know you had received it.

As time keeps going by and you seem more and more remote I have turned to other saints like bede baba and ramakrishna. I still feel the shakti, even without you being involved.

I really don't understand why you abandoned your devotees. At first I thought you were ill, or writing a book or something, but now I really have run out of explanations for you. You left us, the messages have become standard lame platitudes, and an intensive now runs about $500.

Despite everything I still love you and wish you well. Wish you felt the same way about us.


Sunday, September 13, 2009

Express Yourself

Dear Gurumayi,

I do not know where on the planet you are for sure. I guess I do not really care. But I want what you took from me back.

You can send it express.

Thank you,
Former devoted peon to your incredible ego.

Friday, September 11, 2009

Mailbox Missive

Dear Seekher,

It’s been three years now since undertaking the gut-wrenching affair of examining the body of evidence available at LSY; concluding with tears streaming down my face, that Muktananda had in fact engaged in sexual liaisons with his young devotees, and that Gurumayi was actively engaged in suppressing the truth. The audio from the American religious scholar’s conference was the last straw, when the levee broke and years of denial (decades really) cascaded over the falls of ‘trust your own experience’, and belief, like mists that rise from watery precipice, vaporized and carried away, invisible, to be belief no more.

Still, the warm and cozy, the embers of unique experience, like a cottage light in lonely winter, linger, even in dreams. Human nature enjoys the generalized, the romanticized, yet sometimes it’s important to see clearly, for the sake of growth.

Firstly, I wonder, was it really so “great” to drop a letter in the darshan basket back when? Well it might have seemed wonderful to have direct access to God given answers, but of course there first had to be a question, i.e. a problem, and the answer if or when it arrived, often took on a form letter quality – short on details and long on devotional catch phrasing. And since regularly scheduled darshan ended in the late nineties I believe, writing a letter with the expectation of finding a home for it in a living guru darshan basket is old, old, old. Son, it’s been the postal service for practically all the faithful for more than 10 years now.

I wrote Gurumayi a letter back in ’84 or so. The problem was that after several days of intense meditation, which was fairly often, I experienced pain at the top of the throat, around the uvula to be exact, and then my health would suffer and I’d have to cut back on mediation. I didn’t actually say uvula in my letter because at the time I wasn’t sure what that flesh thing was called and anyway I assumed that Gurumayi would divinely understand even if I was slightly less specific.

It took over 2 months for a reply to reach my mailbox, but I remember well that on the morning the letter finally arrived I was feeling so pranically hopped-up, really lit and buzzing, and I ‘just knew’ that a letter from Gurumayi was waiting for me at home. Basically the letter said that guru loved me and kept me in her thoughts, and wasn’t it a wonderful Siddha path that we walked together, and keep up your sadhana. The secretary ended by mentioning that Gurumayi had once said that papaya enzymes were good for sore throats.

I was ecstatic about the receiving a letter and thrilled that I was in touch with the Shakti, enough to psychically intuit its eventual arrival. On the other hand I was disappointed that the thrust of my problem wasn’t really addressed, that maybe Gurumayi didn’t know why I had pain or didn’t understand the question. The answer itself wasn’t satisfactory and papaya enzymes, many bottles over many years, totally missed the mark. Some time later while reading a book about Kundalini yoga I learned that there’s a rather important sub-chakra located in the region of the uvula, at the top of the throat. That was actually the yogic answer to my yogic question and I felt better for having finally discovered it, but it raised the question, “why didn’t Gurumayi tell me that in the first place”. At the time I was annoyed with myself for not having specified the ‘uvula’, though in retrospect who am I kidding, I would have in all likelihood gotten the same syrupy bhakti-fied answer either way. Gurumayi was neither omniscient nor a sub-chakra connoisseur. She simply wasn’t detail oriented and certain didn’t want to micro-manage anyone’s chakras. Keep it simple; pray to the guru, meditate a little, do seva, send money, I love you – everything happens for the best.

Speaking of letters, I’ll add that when I was suffering a health crisis in 2001, my wife sent 2 letters to Gurumayi on my behalf. The first was, according to the correspondence office, lost, and the second was answered by what I can only call a form letter. Even then as a hardcore devotee I was so upset that I picked up a stick beat the ground in frustration. When I later wrote a letter to Gurumayi myself, I received a telephone reply from her secretary, though for the most part the suggestions she gave me were not helpful and indirectly cost several thousands of dollars in treatment options.

In any event, back to generalizations. Secondly then, I object to characterizations of unapproved channels, namely eX-SY, as “full of nothing but vitriol”. While I’ve posted anonymously to your blog several times in the past, to me most memorably a lyrical reply to your ‘The Pruned Tree’ entry, I’ve been posting with some regularity at eX-SY for about three years now, and, according to my sensibilities, while the occasional splatter of vitriol does bubble up – hey some people are hurt - by and large the comments are level-headed, thoughtful, sometimes comical and even artful.

You are absolutely right in one respect; the approved channels are censored, and in being so they bottle up years of underpinned discontent till it ferments and expresses itself in the vinegary vitriol you’ve referred to. Well only saints and those who’ve never been jilted are completely without vitriol, though the former are lying and the latter don’t exist.

MovedByGod (MBG)

Monday, September 7, 2009

P.O. Box Darshan Basket

Remember how great it was when we could take a letter up to Gurumayi in darshan, reverently lay it in her basket and then, a few weeks or sometimes months later, receive an answer written by one of her darshan secretaries? For so many of us, this was the only way we had to approach the Guru looking for help and advice about some of the most important decisions of our lives. Well, darshan secretaries have gone the way of darshan but many, many people still feel the loss. Now, more than ever, they want to write to Gurumayi and confide their innermost feelings in a more tangible way than prayer and contemplation alone.

So, I'm opening up Rituals of Disenchantment to everyone—anyone—who wants to write to Gurumayi. Still avid devotees and/or rabid EX-er's are welcome. I recognize that this decision alone might stack the decks to the exes, as active devotees may not be willing to post here. I hope that is not the case. It's been a year since I posted to RoD and many things have changed, but my desire to hear from Gurumayi's devotees and share this space with them has not. So all are invited, and you are welcome to sign your post or remain completely anonymous—without even your internet name to identify you.

Here's how it will work. You send RoD a comment to this post and state you want to post a letter. Put the letter in the body of your comment. I will not approve these comments for publication, but instead will cut and paste them into a new post. I will then delete your comment and, if you wish to remain anonymous, not include any identification in the actual post.

I'm looking at this website as a repository of dreams, both longed for and unfulfilled. It's up to you to supply the dreams, the wishes, the fervent supplications and even the angry denouncements. Dreams are powerful magic, whether pursued or thwarted. So maybe I'm looking for a little Re-Enchantment after all.

PS: Not everyone wants to post a letter and I do expect comments, so fire these at me as well and I will publish them all; tell me I'm naive, a backslider, a reprobate, a hopeless romantic who lacks the courage of their convictions. Slander me as a demon dwelling in a waterless place, or simply an attention seeking whore who wants nothing less than to be ignored. Tell me how you have survived the drought of her absence and if you are one of the few to have seen her, tell us all about it and I promise you that your name will never be revealed. For better or worse---for better and worse---all those years we spent together sipping chai before dawn and sleepily chanting the Guru Gita, or huddled together in hushed silence as SHE entered the darkened meditation hall during an intensive, or swaying as the thousand-throated One in the Shakti Mandap during ecstatic Labor Day chants, have marked us. Set us apart. There is no place else where we can be ourselves, talk among ourselves, argue and cajole, reminisce and rejoice, or remember so that we might at last forget. All the approved channels are censored and the un-approved ones full of nothing but vitriol. Here you can be yourself. Or even your Self.