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.

27 comments:

SeekHer said...

I got that email and it began with the announcement:

"On Friday, October 9, 2009, Gurumayi asked the SYDA Foundation sevites to write you a letter of invitation to the Sweet Surprise satsang for January 1, 2010.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."

Soooooo---G gave a command from her hidden bunker for the mysterious "SYDA sevites" to write a letter and this is what they came up with? A. It's not a letter. B. It sounds as if it was dictated by a hypnotist. C. The specificity of the date just screams 'She's really, really still around you guys. Really!"

But the best---the absolute BEST and most priceless thing about this entire charade is that SYDA finally got around to REGISTERING "A Sweet Surprise". So, you know, no one can set up their own amrit and call it that, or something.

The only thing even mildly surprising about this con game is that there are still people gullible enough to RE-PAY for a repackaged, pre-recorded 'New Year's message' that consists of a single transliterated and phonetically spelled word.

Anonymous said...

I can imagine the brainstorming session for redacting this letter: Ok we have a problem here, G has refused again to appear you new years, how do we announce it? Well let’s say that we are sorry but… no, no, no that wouldn’t work. How about, due to weather conditions… no, no, no, not that. I got it; let’s say, your dream has come true! Let’s throw the ball to the other side of the court. Sometime people want things but are not aware of it, let’s sound happy and upbeat. O yes, and how much are we going to charge for it? Yes, let’s lie! (Of course there was no brainstorming between sevites, this was written by someone with a particular agenda).
This “letter” is a blunt disregard for people’s concerns; this insulting letter cannot have been written by a sincere devotee or for that matter anyone with a heart, ignoring the thousands of posts on blogs, calls and letters, deliberately misguiding and out front lying to sincere seekers, worried, disoriented and many, like me, in pain. It’s a slap on the face fueled by pride and why not, plain evil or greed. There is a cry out there SYDA, and this is your response? Business as usual?
A rock may decide to ignore the strength of the waves smashing against her and continue to stand there, proud and defiant but this rock is not aware that with time, these relentless waves will erode its surface and some day there will be a sandy beach where she once stood.

SeekHer said...

I'm sincerely sorry for your pain, Anon. I'd like to believe that I've "processed" mine and found "closure", but the bitterness in my comment might suggest otherwise.

THere are thousands of cries out there and yours is one of the most eloquent. Why don't you write Gurumayi a letter detailing exactly how you feel? I would be honored to publish it here. Maybe, just maybe, if enough people pour our their pain to her honestly and openly these waves would become a tide that SYDA can no longer ignore.

Anonymous said...

Actually I let go around 2004 and mostly my only entanglement to this sad, romper-room path is wishing that the $50,000 or so of dog-shina that I donated in various states of bhakti frenzy could be returned. Other than that, I feel grateful grateful grateful this thanksgiving to be long out...altho by chance I stumbled across this website a few weeks ago and was really intrigued by the idea of people writing GM. But those who are writing sound smart, sincere, and savvy enough, it's astonishing they still are being hurt by someone who is not nearly up to their own level of evolution.

Anonymous said...

When I first came to SY my partner at the time sincerely asked, "I don't mean to be offensive, but do you think it's possible GM is mentally ill?" I was horrified by her perception, already flying down the superhighway to a 15 year sugar rush and subsequent crash. But now I realize my then partner could see, without distortion, what my own addictions hid. She recently suggested the book title, "The Guru will Save You and other Fractured Fairy Tales." And what happens when the Guru is such a black magician she needs more saving than any of us? Oh, the karma.

Anonymous said...

Thank you Seekher, I lived almost 3 years in the Ashram, have been a devotee for 13 years which makes me relatively “new”. I was living in Shree Muktananda Ashram when the “paradigm shift” was implemented in 2004 and suddenly hundreds of the devotees where asked to leave including me. I attended several general staff meetings where we all shared in an opened debate and Gurumayi explained some of the motivations behind the changes to come, at one pointshe said that "Muktananda is a very tough act to follow” and that she “couldn’t do it or know it all” therefore She was going to allow managers to make decisions even if they were wrong, she was not to blamed for other people's mistakes. It has always been taught that the the Guru is all pervasive, that even in the falling of a leaf from a tree with it’s erratic flight pattern towards the ground was in every twist and turn willingly directed by the Absolute, who is Pure consciousness and awareness. Christ Himself said that even the last of you hairs is counted for. And suddenly I am hearing a regular person just like me, complaining about how difficult her job is. Isn’t it a little harder to abide in the heart of every living being, sustaining the apparent multiplicity of the world while still aware the Unity of inner Self?
Any way I was ready to embrace those change so that future generations would have access to the teachings of Siddha Yoga ( she mentioned for the next 250 years), I, like many others, have never been allowed back in the Ashram ever since, that famous ” "Praradigm Shift” not even for a cup of chai. I have celebrated SYDA festivities with the devotees in South Falsburgh, just a few miles away from the ashram with, what I call the community in exile . Suddenly our managers starting messing up as G predicted, our fast passed ecstatic chants were transformed into Christmas carols sung by the Vienna’s choir of boys and their celestial voices. Our voices became falsettos, the levels of volume and speed were changed erratically with no musical or textual argument to support it, contradicting in many cases the traditional forms of Carnatic Music, lot’s emphasis was given to a very complex set of rules for Sanskrit pronunciation such the differentiation between long and short vowels, the palatal consonants and many others, confusing the participants, that found themselves out of tempo after 20 years of chanting the same texts, making the chanting elitist and discouraging participation
All these decisions were made by young men and women who's knowledge of Sanskrit pronounciation was just a two page panflete. But these nonsense changes habe been happening at all other levels, by oncompetent managers, like the deluted experiences of Shaktipat experiences, which have become more like a mellow “nice feeling” sort of what you get after a session in a nice day spa, no longer a life transforming experience.
Whoever is running the show now is or are not realized beings and are, doing more harm than good using trial and error as their method, misguiding new comers and rejecting old timers alike. Eradicating inspiration and spontaneity and instead establishing a body of teachings and texts with study guides and questioners. I my opinion this is grave mistake, SYDA will not continue to exist if it pretends that its future is to create libraries and archives. Without the Guru all those texts are pointless , the videos and the archives are dead. Only the power that emanates from a true Guru, gives meaning to obscure texts and philosophical abstracts. That is the only true legacy to be saved for future generations Gurudiksham, Shaktipat!

cobra said...

yeah I got mine today. the wording really bothered me, but i am going to take it as a blessing for the new year and leave it at that. they can keep the recycled message however.

Anonymous said...

Abandonment is still abandonment, even if you call it a 'sweet surprise'. For me SY is like the experience of playing with a jack- in-the-box, you wind and wind to a twinkly tune, then BAM! an ugly clown pops out, giving you a startled reflex, not exactly fun. Same game over and over. Do people still want to crank that jack-in the-box anymore?

Anonymous said...

Not only have I cut loose that feeling of needing to attend a satsang or do any seva or believe GM,
I am ready to cut loose my social networking sy devotees (still) who are by far the least of the well wishers. The ego in their postings is obnoxious, self serving and
competitive. Frig them!

Anonymous said...

SeekHer said... "I'm sincerely sorry for your pain, Anon. I'd like to believe that I've "processed" mine and found "closure", but the bitterness in my comment might suggest otherwise.

THere are thousands of cries out there and yours is one of the most eloquent. Why don't you write Gurumayi a letter detailing exactly how you feel? I would be honored to publish it here. Maybe, just maybe, if enough people pour our their pain to her honestly and openly these waves would become a tide that SYDA can no longer ignore.

November 27, 2009 10:40 AM"

Ohhhhh, SeekHer, SeekHer, SeekHer.
This wonderful forum. The doubts and anger you yourself expressed.

I guess something inside you really has a need to hang on to that tiniest little shred of hope for the old days.

Do you mean a tide that "SYDA" or "G herself", can no longer ignore? Aren't you really suggesting that a groundswell of letters, mails, blog posts, etc, might persuade her to "come back"?

I'm going to ask you an honest question: What makes you think she would listen if she hasn't already?

Wouldn't the online pleas posted here and elsewhere, the gnashing of teeth of those feeling harmed by her and SYDA both here and elsewhere, been enought of a groundswell already? If all the internet activity around this subject over the past several years can't be called a tidal wave, WHAT possibly CAN be?

Why, oh WHY, do you still keep hanging on?

I just don't GET it.

SeekHer said...

Anon

You don't have to get it.

Anonymous said...

I too feel a need to Know where Gurumayi is. I know the teachings are perfect and eternal but there is an unrelenting sense of abandonment that cuts into my daily practice. The part that really bothers me is knowing that there is a group with an agenda of their own who believe they are actually fooling us. The last time I saw Gurumayi, back in 2004, she looked tired and I remember it was strange to think of the Guru in such terms. Baba always seemed to have an endless source of energy that he shared with us all whenever we were in his presence. SY feels depleted, it feels empty. I am certain there is a group of young talented managers keeping up the perception of a distant Guru but I can't help but admit that I feel the living Guru has left us without a proper farewell.

SeekHer said...

Thank you for commenting Anon 12/12. Please consider writing a letter to Gurumayi telling her the way that you feel that can be posted here. This is really what I would wish this blog to become, a repository for the kind of grief and frustration felt by those who still practice, and a forum in which they can safely (anonymously if desired) communicate to Gurumayi their feelings.

Anonymous said...

SeekHer, my heart goes out to you and others still waiting. I am so sorry for your pain.

She ain't comin' back. Just won't happen. She's just a person, and she can't deal with this SY thing any more. Thinking she owes us an explanation might seem reasonable, but it isn't at all likely to happen.

I think the way forward is to take a deep breath and turn around and keep walking away from the idea that clarity and understanding are anywhere on the horizon. It is painful and means giving up all illusions about the guru-disciple relationship, but at least it allows you to look elsewhere--hopefully inward--for Truth.

SeekHer said...

Anon 12 2:31

As the last commenter's post shows, there are many, many sincere people out there practicing on their own, twisting in the wind, trying to piece together what the "truth of their own experience" is while simultaneously processing the party line from SYDA, which is all dissembling and sleight-of-hand and misdirection.

As other comments here illustrate, many others have loved ones who are still involved, even after they themselves have moved on. There are six years of pent up longing, buried anger, unprocessed loss and yearning for community that still exist for thousands and thousands of people. People who used to be our friends and sadhana mates. Just because some of us have moved on doesn't mean we can't extend a hand to help others. And that means accepting them where they are on their journey. It has been my experience that those who have identified as having "left" Siddha Yoga have at least some resources at their disposal to help them. Those who identify as still following the path do not. There is absolutely no help from SYDA other than blandishments, past their expiration date teachings and appeals for money. And in the Facebook groups and websites set up by devotees there is never allowed to be heard a discouraging word.

For the record, I neither think Gurumayi is coming back; nor do I want her to. I can't imagine going back to the way we were, couldn't shrink my head back into a devotional frame again if I tried. Nor am I looking for an explanation for her absence. But, I spent twenty years following her and that will never go away. It is part of who I am and I can no more dismiss those years than I could amputate one of my limbs. I recently lost the friend who brought me to Siddha Yoga and the process of accepting that untimely loss necessarily entailed groping with countless fond memories of the many, many summers we spent together in South Fallsburg at the Guru's feet.

This is why I have suggested that those who wish to write to Gurumayi do so here. Make no mistake, this and all others websites pro or against Siddha Yoga are monitored by SYDA. That doesn't mean that the contents are passed on to Gurumayi, but it doesn't mean they are not, either. But it really doesn't matter. What does is that anyone who feels they have unfinished business with the Guru and no where to express that, finds a forum here if they wish to.

There really is no other reason for this website to continue to exist.

Anonymous said...

I'm the anon of the post just before yours, SeekHer (12/12, 2:31 PM). It's very generous, what you're offering to people. It's true as you say that there is no place for people who still consider themselves "in" SY to voice their anger and/or their feelings of loss. That's one of the things that makes it clear to me that SY is fatally flawed. A spiritual organization that doesn't help you work with intense doubt and feelings of loss but instead tells you everything is actually wonderful...that just doesn't work. Spiritual bypassing....

The fact that people don't feel able to describe their pain and doubt except from the safety of anonymity--another sure sign there is something very wrong with the org.

I hope the forum you provide here is helpful to people. I bow to your compassionate intention!

cobra said...

Merry Christmas and may blessings and peace be with all of us who are struggling to deal with what's going on.

Anonymous said...

Does anyone know if there was anything different in this year's recorded "surprise"? Was it updated in any way? Are people satisfied with it?

Anonymous said...

For many years the swamis hade been dealing with seekers "pouring their hearts out" and sobbing about never seeing Gurumayi.

One of the reasons they do not have live video programs anymore or events where you can interact with a swami is that they really do not want to deal with these displays.

I have seen and heard seekers begging to know, where is she, what happened? And the swamis are really good at claiming they do not know. I know nothing.

The last time I saw Gurumayi, I did think she did not look well. She was not her old self. But whether it was back pain or even "losing her mind" (the thought did occur to me that she had) we will never know.

There is no one who will say. It is really amazing, the silence.

Anonymous said...

Oh Boy! I can almost not believe my eyes when I read that you have spent so much time, so many summers in Shree Muktananda Ashram and spend so much time in company of the physical form of Gurumayi and see that you haven't "got" any of her teachings!
"God dwells within you as you". Does that ring a bell? "The mantra is the Guru", "the teachings of the rays Guru", "The Heart is the hub of all sacred places. Go there and roam."... how many times did you hear that?! Did ANY of it get into your system? Did you put any of the teachings into practice? Have you been a siddha yoga student? Have you done your homework?! I'm so tired of all you "poor", "hurt" people in pain being "abandoned". You should be ashamed! You have received SO much and still are begging for more.
If you haven't experienced the Guru within, if you haven't experienced the Self, to put it plainly: if you haven't done your homework, what is the point of Gurumayi pampering you in person?!
Just for the record, I had the great fortune to spend some time in the physical presence of Gurumayi last year and let me tell you, she has never been more energetic, more alive, more in her role as a teacher than now. Just because she is not on tour, delivering talks all year long, doesn't mean she is not there for you. But the escencial question is: are you there for Her? Are you there for your own growth? Have you followed your 9 min OM sadhana every day? NO? Then do yourself and everyone else a favor and think before you blame Gurumayi and the SYDA for your own lack of committment.

Anonymous said...

lol there is no shame in this corporation...your wish, yes you must pay attention to your dreams it is only that you forgot it, "Sweet Surprise Satsang" or how to milk this enterprise a little longer because there is no more Guru to sell. I´ve been following the marketing geniuses in SYDA in the begining they selled baskets and many other stuff to offer to the Guru, stuff that ended being re-selled or given to the chosen ones $$ (they are chosen because of the good deeds of past lives...ahh and of course they give juicy checks you can´t afford to give us to be close to the Guru) at the begining Shaktipat was only available trough the touch of the feathers but as modernity came oh surprise, then Shakti was available via-satellite...wow of course with the best producers and directors, and finally just keep believing because there is no Guru anymore (ring a bell about some religions?) and of course spending know via the internet!!...faith, one of the greatest business of all times. Shame on them and the ones that keep following.

Anonymous said...

The last time I saw Gurumayi, I did think she did not look well. She was not her old self. But whether it was back pain or even "losing her mind" (the thought did occur to me that she had) we will never know.

**** ***** *****

Maybe it was guilt....

Anonymous said...

"God dwells within you as.... blahblahblah Did ANY of it get into your system? blahblahblah...I had the great fortune to spend some time in the physical presence of Gurumayi last year blahblahblah..... do yourself and everyone else a favor and think before you blame Gurumayi and the SYDA for your own lack of blahblahblah....

**** **** ****

Another great Siddha Yoga teaching:

See God in Each Other.

Blah blah blah.

Anonymous said...

Part One (because the blog server won't accept more than a certain number of words):

I suppose I understand the indignant response of the writer of the comment from Feb 2 that 'we' just "haven't 'got' any of her teachings." As is often the case, there is a certain lack of empathy and understanding behind the tongue-lashings delivered by those who proclaim the teachings that we should 'see God in each other.'

'Siddha Yoga' has always rested foursquare on the role of the 'Siddha,' the living master. The behavior of the Siddha in this case in no way measures up to the Masters of the past, who continued their work tirelessly and with compassion until their last breath -- for instance, Bhagawan Nityananda and even Muktananda (who at least spelled out what was happening and didn't stop showing up, even until the night of his passing).

If Gurumayi's health has deteriorated to the point that she can no longer function in her role, it is a tragedy; if she is hale and hearty, and "has never been more energetic, more alive, more in her role as a teacher than now," then at least those of us who dedicated well over a decade of our lives and sacrificed family, health, and looking after our own livelihood and well-being to work full time, seven days a week (yes, for years until we were urged to take a 'day off'') are owed an explanation for what has happened to the 'mission' of the 'meditation revolution' to which we had dedicated ourselves.

In the absence of any real explanation, we have all been left to make up excuses on our own, rather than hear some truth from the one who has so comfortably (and exclusively) occupied the 'seat' since the 1980s.

Since her behavior does not measure up to that of the Siddhas, then the obvious conclusion is that she is not who she has claimed to be (and don't give me any bull about 'she never claimed to be a siddha;' her entire role and authority as 'head of the lineage' is based upon that claim).

Anonymous said...

Part Two of the response to Feb 2:

It is entirely possible to believe in and imbibe the teachings that "God dwells within you as you," and even to have experienced "the Guru within" and at the same time conclude that she is not -- or at least is no longer -- a 'Siddha Guru' or worthy of the authority she continues to exercise by proxy.

In fact, it is that very INNER experience that makes the conclusion about the 'outer' guru unavoidable, especially (in my own case) based upon my own very direct and 'personal' experience in her 'physical presence' on a number of occasions in my service to her over the years. The truth of the teachings, and the truth about 'Gurumayi' are two very separate things (although we have been encouraged to confuse them, and then chided for confusing them); and at this point it is quite clear to me that I can believe in and imbibe the teachings without having to make excuses for her and her behavior.

It is my very belief that God dwells within us all equally, and is the basis of our dignity and worth that leads me to expect an explanation when one human being or set of human beings treats other human beings in the way that 'Gurumayi' and her lieutenants have. To put them 'above' such responsibility denies the very truth of the teachings upon which they rest their authority (and there's no question that there are countless corrupt 'gurus' through the ages who have attempted to do so, writing their own 'teachings' on the matter of never questioning the 'guru'). If honesty is not granted to me out of respect for the God within me, who is me, then the God within me will certainly tell me the truth -- and has.

I have moved on, and am tending to my own growth. It is offensive to be scolded in the way that the writer of the post did, relying as he or she does on the old bait-and-switch of 'the Guru is the teachings' and 'don't blame Gurumayi and the SYDA for your own lack of commitment.' I know my commitment, and it doesn't necessarily require me to swallow every gimmick that gets thrown at us year after year.

The question remains: how exactly is Gurumayi fulfilling her own role as 'teacher' and authority as 'head of the lineage,' and what exactly IS HER commitment? We have every right to ask, and to expect an answer, particularly when we devoted years of our lives to supporting that authority. Her very behavior throws her authority and commitment into question, especially when compared to the commitment demonstrated by other Siddhas.

I really don't expect that an answer is forthcoming, and I'm not holding my breath. AND I have no patience left for the enablers who write such scathing (and dare I say self-righteous?) posts.

Anonymous said...

One Anon said "I know my commitment, and it doesn't necessarily require me to swallow every gimmick that gets thrown at us year after year."

Another Anon accusingly chided "Are you there for your own growth? Have you followed your 9 min OM sadhana every day? NO? Then do yourself and everyone else a favor and think before you blame Gurumayi and the SYDA for your own lack of committment."

I believe the gimmickry that Anon#1 refers to is the "9 minutes of "Om Sadhana" " that Anon#2 refers to.

I dropped out of SY in 2005 but was involved since 1980 before I even met Muktananda in S. Fallsburg in 1981 for my first and last time before he returned to India and later passed on.

To me, harkening back to those days when I still fully believed in Muktananda and his teachings and the practices he had his devotees follow...I don't know exactly what this "Nine Minutes of OM sadhana" is, but to me, it's just ludicrous. Even IF I still believed in SY, which I no longer do, why does some new "gimmick" always have to get cooked up? Yoga has existed for thousands of years and the techniques have not varied over those millenia. If that's the case, then that very gimmickry in and of itself should be a big red flashing, honking warning light that all is not right in paradise.

I remember the days when simply chanting ONS for a while and meditating for a while after that, were "good enough".

Anonymous said...

I have followed Siddha yoga actively since 1986. Before that my parents were involved in the 1970s. I have had outstanding experiences which no other Guru has been able to give me altho they all took my money. I have also observed the shadow side that everyone talks about. I have struggled with it a long time. I also felt the last few years that the energy was just not there, in SYDA at least. I don't claim to know the answers but I do know that the Guru Principle still exists. God still dwells within. No one can take that away. Humanity has its shadow side that it needs to confront instead of blaming. The fat cat big wigs that ran and perhaps still run SYDA, I don't know, I am not there anymore are no worse than the government that we have who take our money and enslave us. Humanity needs to wake up and own their own power while acknowledging their dark side.David Icke's book- Human Race get off your knees comes to mind. Please get over it, move on, own your own power. You can still meditate and have experiences, go out there and make your mark on the world. Dont throw the baby out with the bath water. And wallowing in negativity is not good. Done is done. Be grateful for the good and the bad, learn from it and move on.