Monday, February 8, 2010

Punch. Counter Punch.

What do you all think of this exchange from the comments page of the last post?

PUNCH from Anonymous:

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.

February 2, 2010 1:32 PM

COUNTERPUNCH from (another) Anon

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).

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.

February 8, 2010 8:09 AM



Anonymous said...

I used to be in siddha yoga; then I left. It took a long time to regain my equilibrium. It's amazing to me to stop by here and read this recent exchange.
People, one thing is: the Truth does not require a special language. It's pretty simple.You do not have to "imbibe" teachings like a glass of beer or pretend to "see god in each other" when every word you speak reveals your distaste of "the other" and your confusion about what "the Self" really is. This lack of compassion and finger-pointing is just a big projection of personal egoic stuff ; we all do it (it's an unconscious, fear-based reaction)until the impulse stops arising. Many of us also struggle for a very long time to somehow learn to be what we already are and so we turn to teachers, who are supposed to help us, offering tools and pointers and,also,if we are lucky, providing an example of how to live as a human being who also happens to be awake. That can manifest in "personalities" as different as Nisargadatta and Ramana, who both had a public role, and it can manifest in seemingly "ordinary" people as well. Someone who does not want to teach should not teach; someone who is not meant to be a guru should not take on that role.If they were somehow too young to realize this at the time then the spiritually mature thing to do as an adult would be to be honest: either serve your function or stop taking the perks and stringing people along. It's a destructive thing to do to others on a very deep level. I was judgemental at the time when a group of swamis left siddha yoga and then set up shop to "teach" without ever coming clean about their involvement in some very unethical things but I think now that the teacher or guru creates a mirror of his/her own state in his/her followers. Many people I met here earlier are much "better" than that. I have tremendous respect for all of you who are making your way towards the Truth. Betrayal hurts...until it doesn't anymore.

with love and best wishes to everyone,
former siddha yoga practitioner

Anonymous said...

GM was always lazy. I remember many years ago in Australia she did the "big production" in a huge hotel room (with her guards looking over it from the glassed rooms above), she stayed in the obscenely expensive house in the most expensive suburb (not in the Ashram like her guru did) and she stopped the darshan at midnight, even if there were people still in the line. She just left when she had enough. It struck me as arrogant and ungiving then and still does.

Anonymous said...


I would love to post a letter to Gurumayi, but before I do I'd like to know two things:

One - how often do you check the moderator page for posts to this blog? I'm more inclined to participate if I know someone is going to be here fairly often to keep the discussion flowing at a reasonable pace.

And two - is there a word number limit to the length of a letter you might post here? Mine might be a little long - possibly too long for a simple comment in a blog.

A third q if I may - would you be willing to post to this blog more often yourself? I rather liked some of your introductory writing.

I find that I visit a blog more often if it hosts regular writing by the blog owner followed by a healthy exchange of ideas among regular visitors to the site.


SeekHer said...

Dear K:

answers to your questions:

1. I receive daily emails when comments are posted to this blog, and moderate them as quickly as I can. Except for a period over the holidays when I was sick as a pig with swine flu, I get comments posted pretty much the same day.

2. No word limit to anyone's letters. You may need to put them into successive comment posts as I believe blogger limits the number of words per comment, but I will stitch your comments together and repost them as a separate entry to the blog.

3. Yes, I will happily commit to writing more here---dovetails nicely with an interior impulse I've had to write more every day. I try to refrain from commenting on other's posts as I don't want to "shut down" anyone with my subjective POV. But I can and will write more of my own posts, especially if others respond with their own letters and comments.

Please do send in your letter, and I commit to write one of my own to G and post it here as well if you do.

best, SeekHer

Anonymous said...

No one is blaming Gurumayi for their own lack of commitment. You are refusing to get the message.

Nor does anyone like this kind of twisting things around to attack the one who is expressing their own views.

The view that is being expressed here and is widely shared among us is that it was difficult to have all contact with Gurumayi shut down, followed by zero communication to all of us who really want to know what is going on.

I am happy she is vibrant and well. That's good to hear. It's just too bad it has to be shared in this context.

The reason it is happening like this is because there has been no formal communication. I mean most of us are in the database, we could have at least gotten a letter. Or an email.

That's my cOMplaint for now.

Anonymous said...

I am fascinated by this blog. Meeting the Guru really does feel like ‘enchantment’. The word derives from the Old French and means ‘to chant a spell upon’. What does it mean to truly accept a Guru; to be initiated; to step into the full knowledge of who you really are? Is this really ‘enchantment’? Perhaps, but more likely it is the awesome (albeit subtle) realization that You, God, Guru are indeed one. I think we are more are more unbalanced by experiencing our own power than by our manifest and well documented weaknesses.

We are allowed to miss Gurumayi, to long for her physical form, to desire her darshan…it is understandable. It is not ‘wrong’; it is not an indication we have failed to grasp her teachings. These impulses are in fact the catalyst, for a new form. We are now forced to seek deeper, to look harder, to strive deeply to find the Divine in ourselves, in our families, in our neighbors, in the SYDA yoga sangham, and perhaps even within the whole of creation.

We are being forced to look within the pairs of opposites, within good and evil, within black and white, beyond all these labels. We must deeply investigate our own experiences; acknowledge the ‘wrongs’ and ‘rights’ of the past; celebrate the teachings; delight in meditation; share our experiences (all of them); enjoy the bonds of seekers on the path together. This is not about merely decrying the abuses and excesses of the past, (and there were many). It is not about covering them up, dismissing them, denying them, re-shaping them or hiding from their consequences, either. I think this new paradigm is about owning the past, all sides of it, and shaping the future of Siddha Yoga in the light of our own divine Selves. No more ‘enchantments’, no more huge public programs, no ‘cult of personality’, no more glam and glitz, no more scandals and swindles—only what really IS.

Perhaps Gurumayi is waiting for US—to do our own work, our own inner work and then to shape the future in the image of the TRUTH—a past, present and future we can live and grow within. We are not powerless in this; are after all her hands and feet in this world.

Anonymous said...

"This is not about merely decrying the abuses and excesses of the past, (and there were many). It is not about covering them up, dismissing them, denying them, re-shaping them or hiding from their consequences, either... No more ‘enchantments’, no more huge public programs, no ‘cult of personality’, no more glam and glitz, no more scandals and swindles—only what really IS.

Perhaps Gurumayi is waiting for US—to do our own work, our own inner work and then to shape the future in the image of the TRUTH—a past, present and future we can live and grow within. We are not powerless in this; are after all her hands and feet in this world."

Yeah, but we're not her mouth, sweetheart. Perhaps if that is what Gurumayi is waiting for she should say so---and start the ball rolling with a few explanations and a LOT of apologies.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous said...

This gal we called Gurumayi is as human as the rest of us. I hope she finds some peace, after she repays those she harmed, makes an attempt at least. She has a row to hoe, just like we all do. She is absolutely no different in anyway than anyone of us. Just a human being caught in somethings she could not control. If she has any conscience left, she can begin to make reparations, apologies. Send a little love in the direction of those who loved her with such abandon. Wake up Malti, I hope you do.

Page said...

Dear Gurumayi,
OM Guru, OM. I recall your visiting me in a dream. You told me that you were writing your talk for the 1997 New Year's talk, but you said I couldn't help because I too would confuse words. You then confused these very words in your talk. They were: "being caught bt a rock and a hard space," (instead of place).
I also knew in my heart why you stopped giving personal meetings (what's it called?) with people. You told me in my dream that it was because people mistook YOU for God; whereas, you were a teacher.
And finally, you responded to a letter I wrote you during a time I was very confused. You called me "professor" as a sarcastic term because I thought I knew it all. Instead, I learned from you that everything must be learned from experience and yes, from the heart.