Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Happy Birthday Celebration! "some restrictions apply"

In celebration of Birthday Bliss®, one of the gifts you are invited to prepare-to-be-unwrapped* during the Celebration Satsang™ is a share
©. To prepare, compose a share® that you can give in 45 seconds or less** about one of the following topics:

One way that the Purpose Statement
has inspired you to celebrate Gurumayi's Birthday™.

An experience of AUM sadhana© from your study and practice of the Siddha Yoga Message© given to us by Gurumayi™®.

Another favorite teaching from Gurumayi™® that you are applying in your life.

An anecdote or experience of being with Gurumayi™® - your own or one you've heard and love††.

With Love,
Your Local Steering Committee


* To show proper honor and respect for this auspicious day, please wrap all gifts in organically dyed rice paper or Japanese silk (of no less than 12" square). Offerings of flowers will be accepted at the Guru's Chair® during darshan™ so long as they are not geraniums, and have not been smelled by any living person prior to being offered.

* Sharers who exceed this generous time limit will be gently led to sit back down via the tinkling of silver bells. Sharers who do not obey the bells and instead attempt to "wrap up their thoughts" will be greeted with a brass gong reminder and the good natured laughter of their peers.

Please limit the contemplation of your infinite gratitude to the Guru to approved topics only. Those whose remarks veer off-topic will forfeit all opportunity to share until Gurumayi™® gives her next new year's address in person, or until their death, whichever comes first.

Those who have never had the infinite pleasure of meeting or even seeing Gurumayi™® in person are required to meet with one of the roaming "share coaches" in the hall before the program begins, to insure that the second-or -third-hand memory they are sharing conforms fully to all official photographic, video, audio and textual messages of the Guru as established and incorporated by the trustees of the Siddha Yoga Dham of America. Violators will be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law, or otherwise persecuted should the law not apply.


Anonymous said...

I see that the business and marketing folks are still in control...from "mission statements" to "purpose statements". Inspired by your birthday invitation, I went to the syda site for the first time in 8 years. It's interesting to visit after such a long time...the shilling for money is so obvious, the tired "instructions" from the "guru" such as "be in a state of constant wonder" or "smile, smile, smile" or "trust" ...come off it! We are neither the mind nor the body and trying to contort the unreality of our egoic personalities into following these "words of wisdom" is pretty much doomed to failure. If the "me thing" could control the mind, it would have done so long ago, with or without a workbook. The selling of the message in the form of "magic peacock coffee mugs" (!), "om" notebooks and lapel pins, workbooks etc. is basically no different from Daddy Grace selling his "annointed handkerchiefs" all throughout the South in the mid 20th Century, bilking poor folks out of their money so he could live a high lifestyle. A shill is a shill is a shill and tchokes are tchokes are tchokes.
Take it from me folks, when you leave, it will take alot of effort to get rid of all of that useless stuff you accumulated, thinking it would "help you find the inner guru"..and nobody wants to buy it either so don't count on Ebay.

old fart (no retirement funds but alot of "sacred objects" in my garage...sigh.

SeekHer said...

dear old fart:

yes, the marketing folk and lawyers are all that is left. BTW-- the "invitation" is from an actual email sent yesterday by my local center (footnotes mine). Lord, did we really ever allow ourselves to be this tied in knots when participating in a supposedly "spontaneous" celebration?

Anonymous said...

old fart wrote:

"Take it from me folks, when you leave, it will take alot of effort to get rid of all of that useless stuff you accumulated, thinking it would "help you find the inner guru"..and nobody wants to buy it either so don't count on Ebay."


Inspired by your observation, and in the midst of a wholly unrelated storage cleanse of my own, I pulled out the boxes and boxes and boxes of SY crap I had stuffed in closets today. I supposed that I could try to sell some of it on ebay, but that felt wrong--like transferring a curse to someone else in order to free myself of it. No, what I needed was a master closet cleanse.

So, I leafed through as many of the books I could stand to find the photos and notes from friends that I had tucked into them over the years, and that I wouldn't want to part with, and then I lugged EVERYTHING else and put it out with the trash.

Books, CD's, DVD's, ancient Baba chanting tapes, darshan magazines (Christ are they heavy!) Gurumayi photos, the bit of dirty rug from Baba's room in Ganeshpuri they sold me for a few hundred dollars, statues, more Gurumayi pictures, cheap bookstore frames, shawls, intensive promotion and prasad items, darshan gifts to and from, TWELVE years of correspondence course files, even more freakin Gurumayi and Baba pictures (archival quality this time, the kind that are promised to not fade in sunlight for a hundred years, 85 more years than was necessary as it turns out).

Next up are the dozens and dozens of notebooks filled with "realizations of contemplating the teachings" that were too precious not to capture on paper. Maybe I'll post some of gems before consigning to the flames.

Let me tell you this feels GREAT! As if 25 years lifted from my shoulders immediately!

I guess in the end Siddha Yoga does deliver on the promise of liberation after all--as long as you can stand to part with all the shite they sold you over the years, mental, material and otherwise.

Anonymous said...

Next up are the dozens and dozens of notebooks filled with "realizations of contemplating the teachings" that were too precious not to capture on paper. Maybe I'll post some of gems before consigning to the flames."<<<

Dear Anon.,
I just got rid of 20 years of my own Mind blathering on about "the truth". God, is it boring to read! The absolute saddest was reading my GSP "journal" from the Summer of 1999 entitled, "Who is the Guru?" (damned if I know...or care). Revisiting the contorted thinking and pitiful self-abnegation that I thought was "humility" and "surrender" to the Truth was strange. I'd have been better off following the sage advice of Prince at the time, "Party Like it's 1999"

"I guess in the end Siddha Yoga does deliver on the promise of liberation after all--as long as you can stand to part with all the shite they sold you over the years, mental, material and otherwise."

Well they say the guru never abandons you until you are

I just received a gratuitous dzogchen mailing. On the back, it said, "this magazine contains sacred images and should not be disposed of in the trash. it should be either burned or shredded with the remainder going into clean recycling". ? I didn't ask for the "magazine" and now they're trying to control what I do with it? Next they'll put a warning on the back..."put this in the trash and you'll live forever in a waterless region"..sound familiar?

old fart

SeekHer said...

old fart and anon:

yup, all my old darshan mags ended up going to the curb too. Never really thought of it but they must be landfill by now

hey--wonder if they could plug that oil leak with all of our old bookstore treasures. now THAT would be one way the global "sangham" could really give back

Anonymous said...

One writer who retains a public face posted a greeting in celebration of 'the Birthday,' and referred in these offerings of love to 'the One I cannot name' (without the slightest touch of irony, Potter-wise). When asked to explain, the response was:

"Many of my facebook friends are of a community that have the same Guru, and they lived in or visited the ashram I lived in for 20 years. Many of us have been asked by the Guru's foundation to not use her name, or the name of the path, in our own writings. It is a way of preserving the purity of the path, instead of letting it be seen or judged by what others say about it."

I'm sure this 'policy' is meant to be kept secret, or else it would unleash a backlash of 'judgements' that would mar the pristine purity of 'the path' which can apparently no longer bear the light of day. The policy is evidently in keeping with all other current policies that are designed to allow everything about 'the path' to be slowly and discretely forgotten, vanishing finally with a Cheshire smile of nostalgia for what never really was.

SeekHer said...

Ha HA! We are at the "love that dare not speak its name" stage now, are we?

How does it feel, YOU WHO ARE LEFT OVER to not be permitted to speak aloud the name of your beloved?

Perhaps you can seek the counsel of all the LGBT siddha yoginis and yogis who were merely tolerated for years upon years by the perfectly plebeian and homophobic "powers that be" in SYDA.

Does anyone remember the ethnic cleansing of lesbian hatha yoga teachers circa 1995-1997? My personal instructor was a wonderful teacher named Rama who had traveled to India on her own dime many, many times to study with the great Iyengar, but who was not allowed to teach in SY circles except privately after the fatwa was announced.

The more I remember about this path the more disgusted I am for ever having followed it

Anonymous said...

Janet Katzen's Sphatika was mentioned in a previous post by Seekher, but am responding here in this thread as it relates to the no name game.

When I visited the Sphaaaatika website there are 'clients comments' all identified by profession, no names used. Hadn't seen that before in marketing. You usually need a name so you believe.

Anywho, get ready, one of the no named 'clients' of Sphatika is 'MEDITATION TEACHER' from South Fallsburg. Holy Cow Batman! She has been found.

When I hear, 'Meditation Teacher, South Fallsburg', I think of only one person. Do you know but one meditation teacher in South Fallsburg? That town is not big enough for two. What's Her Face proved that a long time ago.

PS There's a deep sleep treatment they do for ya. Knocks you out for a couple of days. Then where are you? Your body hasn't learned how to do it on its own, so back you go to Janet.

Sure you need a deep sleep Jones. Can you say A D D I C T I O N? Perfect prey for an energy vampire. Nice spa Janet!

I remember when GM sent her on her way to cosmetology school sometime in mid 90's. Guess it's paying off.

Product line looks wonderful. Of course. What in SY wasn't luxe?

SeekHer said...


Thanks for the Janet Katzen update. I should have figured that "sphatika" meant crystal, Geez Louise that woman could have built her own archipeligo out of the crystals she "won" at those sacred end-of-summer (going out of business?) auctions they were holding in So Falls there towards the end.

And who can't appreciate the delicious irony of Janet shilling sleep? The one thing no one was allowed at the 'shram!

Anonymous said...


That makes sense on the crystal purchase at the Whaa Whaaa Auctions. Anything of real value would not get to far away from easy access. Think of the bother of moving and storing those things, easier to have Dan and Janet do the heavy lifting.

Here's the Meditation Teacher, South Fallsburg's comment:

"While sitting in with the crystals I felt the energy centers start to open up and flow."

Steiner taught these items should stay where they are. The mining of these precious stones causes tremendous disruption to the Earth.

See this link below for more on why crystals are not healing and mining them tragic exploitation. Metaphor for Siddha Path? She mined our treasures for her own use.

For more see:

Excerpts from site:

" Crystals do not offer the benefits of healing, nor helping with spiritual development
Many people have spoken to us about their doubts that crystals could be of any use for healing, and told us they certainly never received any benefit from using them. They had felt it was their own fault they didn't benefit, that somehow they hadn't used the crystals properly. They were relieved when we told them it wasn't them at all, it is no wonder they didn't benefit because crystals do not have any healing powers."

"We know and teach that it is not the crystals that heal, but the person's belief in them, the actual healing power being the person's own, not the crystals, and by attributing the healing to the crystals, people are giving away their own power. Instead of helping them, giving away their power like this inhibits people's spiritual development."

"We practise and promote Spiritual Mastery, which is all about owning your own power, and not giving it away to a collection of pretty stones."

"Crystals do not help with your spiritual development in any way. They cannot improve your relationship with God, nor help you to understand your own divinity. Nor can you understand your own power and also believe in the power of crystals, these are incompatible."

So...if you want oo give yourself away to Janet's new enterprise, head on over to Sphatika!

SeekHer said...

Anon re: Crystals

Your comment reminds me of the tale I once heard told in hushed tones around the amrit table at So Falls re: how the ginormous crystal in the Bade Baba shrine happened to end up there, here's how it went:

G wanted a really epic crystal bed for the shrine, so she tasked one of her lieutenants with finding and procuring one for her. Said woman flew to a place in Arkansas where there were rumored to be vast caves of crystal and, once landed, asked the woman at the airport gift store where she might buy a crystal. The airport vendor started to show her some crystal pendants and such and she said no, you misunderstand, I want a big crystal. Bigger than your head, bigger than this display stand, HUGE.

Leaning in, the vendor told her in all confidence the name of a bar where crystal wranglers liked to hang out and trade stories of the ones that got a-way too heavy to lift. Our intrepid slave-ite hightailed it to said bar (can you imagine? In ashram clothing?) and found an old prospector who said he had the goods on where she could get her leviathan, her white whale, her monstre sacre of a crystal. BUT he would only tell her if she could best him in drinking contest.

Bartender lined up a phalanx of shot glasses in front of both of them and the prospector knocked back his first shot. Slave-ite picked hers up, said the mantra over it as Baba had taught her, blew on the whiskey and knocked back hers, slamming her shot glass down.

Ten minutes later the prospector was under the bar drunk as a punk and our intrepid slave-ite (not even slightly dizzy) had the coordinates to the mine. The rest was simple---find a crew, rape the earth and haul the spoils back to Miss High and Mighty to look upon during those long chants, and the rest of us to be afraid to touch lest we pollute the sacred stone with our Bad Karma.

Charming tale, no? Surely not true, but hey, if Ms. Slave-ite is out there and wishes to corroborate--I'd be happy to print her reply

Anonymous said...

hey, somebody took me aside and whispered (for your ears only...!!! lol) that the crystal had come from South America, "offered" by very wealthy devotees.
maybe the crystal is generating its own mythology as payback.


Anonymous said...

My recent comment was intended for the june 24 string of comments, I might have misplaced it. today june 24, 10 PM or so.


Anonymous said...

There are so many absurd ideas in the invitation or threat, that it’s difficult to decide with which one to start. One thing in clear, the waves of dissent have arrived at the shores of the Guru’s feet. Even in the most filtered and hand picked group of people you could create, they are asked to produce a sharing no longer that 45 seconds, with infinite gratitud, if you are “Off Topic” therefore not grateful, you will surely be silenced by a gong, and theofensive laughter of your peers! Not my peers. It clearly exposes the discomfort SY marketing executives (or swamis however you want to call them) have to allow spontaneous and free expressions of ideas for fear of someone standing up to what is right and saying what needs to be said, which will not aligned of course with their so called guidelines. I can almost hear the nervous laughter of the automats obeying instructions, how spontaneous they sound indeed, all under a threat of banishment for life and even of dying before the end of the year! as they themselves incredibly and openly admit. What's this, the Inquisition? And we all know how true that is, how many greay peopel have been punished for simply having a mind of their own. Syda Yoga is fast to condemn you and till you die! So much for the good old "welcome with all my heart", yeah right! So be careful with what you say in those precious 45 seconds! Be sure it's a happy something, no matter what, or else... Can’t wait to make my own sharing! It’s just a group of stockholders protecting their brand and their CEO. About the flowers never smelled by any living being, Oh please cut the BS.
Happy birthday Coca Cola...

SeekHer said...

Anon 6/28

This post is a satirical reprint of an email I received from my local center. I've posted body of the "invitation" exactly as it was sent, but added the trademark, registered mark, copyright marks etc. The 'footnotes' are also mine, so don't blame SYDA or the centers office for anything you read there!

Anonymous said...

In response to seekher 6/28, thank you for explaining your inserts in the "invitation", perhaps I went too far? No, I believe your inserts captured the essence of it. We all know what is considered an appropriate sharing, how coached you are and the consequences if you don't make it right. I am Anon 6/28 and still stand behind my comments. But I take note that the original post had inserts that did not come from SY corporate office in its entirety, but they reflected in my opinion the spirit of the letter. My reply was only my 45 seconds sharing... Thanks for not sounding the gong on me.

Anonymous said...

"An anecdote or experience of being with Gurumayi™® - your own or one you've heard and love††."

If you haven't had an actual experience of "being with gurumayi", just make one up..IMAGINE what it would be like to "be with gurumayi", contemplate it, immerse yourself in it, become one with it; sometimes what we imagine is better than the real thing. Remember, gurumayi is not really a body/mind, more like a kind of idea of a symbol of a kind of, sort of spiritual/historical concept of a force that is really just what's already inside of you, me, an ant, a blade of grass, the air your breathe...sort, if you are confused by the whole "precious words of a living master" thing, just turn inside to the "inner guru", who is kind of like gurumayi but not as good...but ok, sort of. Still confused? remember, the "guru" has the power to reside in photographs and peer out at you; you can write a note to her with your questions and put it on your puja, close your eyes, chant AUM (be sure to remember..inbreath, hold, outbreath and the place where the breath naturally pauses, outside and inside and the required number of breaths) open your eyes and look at the photograph and, bingo!, you will get an answer from your "inner guru". If the eyes in the photo seem to expand and contract, you KNOW you have "connected". Be sure to chant your Guru Gita every day! don't forget! if you forget, you lose all your merit and have to start all over again (and please don't imagine chanting 40 of them all at once gets you off the hook!)...and meditate..every day, remember that mantra!...and be sure to do alot of guruseva (the ashram, retreat center, local center) is ACTUALLY the body of the guru! imagine that! would YOU like to have unemptied trash cans clogging your veins and arteries? Plus: did you know that your seva supervisor carries the AUTHORITY of the guru!?! An order from your supervisor is exactly like the "command of the guru"! Oh..and most of's YOUR RESPONSIBILITY to keep those "precious ancient teachings" alive! I mean, yeah, the teachings of the Vedas and the texts muktananda cribbed from have been around for more than a thousand years but they are NOT "offical siddha yoga teachings". Also, it's YOUR obligation to support those wonderful, generous, compassionate and learned "swamis" (gag me with a spoon)until they fly the coop and set up shop on their own and , most of all, your poor, overworked, sensitive, long-suffering "guru" (did you know she has a bad back? and STILL she sat patiently in her chair, receiving all those gifts and all that about sacrifice!). she gives so much to you...just like Ammachi, traveling all over the world offering that once a year hug...only gurumayi does not see fit to make such a show of it...she works "behind the scenes", secretly upholding dharma and just pretending to enjoy those silken robes, gold earrings, cocktail parties, haagen-daaz ice cream (swiss vanilla almond) and celebrity junkets. She keeps those awful, egoic people around her just to keep them away from YOU, not because she feels at ease with them! wow! what a guru!
so remember...prepare to prepare to unwrap the unspoken package of the sweet surprise of your inner self with the continual experience of wonder and bliss of the being of a siddha yogi and the weaving together of the ancient tapestry of teachings of mutliple centers of beingness.. all over the world..and maybe even further than that!...other planets or beings of bliss from outer space or star creatures or, maybe, dinosaurs who got killed by the Mayans or! it's just so blissful...and soon, get ready!

ah the follies of our youth!
old fart

SeekHer said...

Anon 6:28

Yeah, no need to worry about exceeding 45 sec, here you can rant as long as you want (so long as you don't try to tell me how to run my blog, ala "Special K"!)

SeekHer said...


Your comment exceeded 45 seconds! Clearly you haven't contemplated deeply enough to be able to extract the rasa of your experience and channel it into appropriately concise oh-so-mysterioso lingo.

Your homework/penance is to repeat the following new year's massage over and over and over again until a. the words lose all meaning and you are subsumed by bliss, or b. you lose consciousness whichever comes first:

Wake up and drink a brimming cup of sunshine as you smile smile smile believing in love and kundalini shakti and rainbows and unicorns and everyday in every way you are getting better and better.

Clocks in at 17 seconds AND IT CONTAINS ALL THE WISDOM OF THE UNIVERSE. See, THAT's why you need a Guru.

Anonymous said...

>>>"Clocks in at 17 seconds AND IT CONTAINS ALL THE WISDOM OF THE UNIVERSE. See, THAT's why you need a Guru."

Yeah's THIS!!!

Trust! Trust! Trust!


o f

charusheela said...

Look at what the world is telling us - how this sheepe mentality has led us to the precipice of civilization. An example is this deflationary environment we find ourselves in where money continues to lose its value. Remember how money played such an important role in sy. Or, how it was that the worker on the Horizon oil rig failed to pull the shut off valve that may have prevented the spill because he couldn't find anyone in the chain of command to give him the ok. This is why gm disappeared. Whether intentionally or unintentionally. It doesn't really matter. The point is we can no longer afford to act like sheep.

janny said...

To Seekher, anonymous, and old fart (and others), whoever you are, I want to thank you for making me belly-laugh out-loud for the past hour, reading your posts - HEY, and that feels as healing as any SY "Intensive" I've ever taken. You guys are very creative and at times humorous writers!

I always secretly thought there should be a Humor Section in a SY library. Here in Sydney, the Theosophical Bookstore no longer has a Humour Section, though about ten years ago it did, and I bought a great book called "When You See Sacred Cow, Milk it for All It's Worth" by Swami Beyondananda AKA an American comedian whose name I cannot remember now, as I gave the book to a friend who never returned it.

I always secretly thought there should be some kind of alternative SY Satsang devoted to Humour, or Depression, or Disillusionment or Honest Questions.....etc etc

For now, I just want to tell you that I met Swami Muktananda in Sydney in 1974 when I was 22. From there I proceeded (do not pass GO, do not collect 200 dollars) to Shri Gurudev Ashram near Ganeshpuri where I spent nearly four culturally and spiritually-illuminating years, following the "ashram dharma". In those days, we were merely required to do around 5 hours of chanting every day (this was before lots of "courses" and more "courses") - but I liked the exotic challenge of Sanskrit chants, some as long as 180-odd verses some of you know.

I came close (atleast in my mind) to taking swami-hood and remaining in Ganeshpuri forever.... but instead, did a U-turn and returned home (OZ)in 1978 to have a family of my own (two children)and pursue "wordly" life. Initially, and for about 12 years afterwards, I kept the faith quite vigorously (my allegiance was towards the sister,because the brother had committed a heinous act or three, so I heard in a circular from Gurumayi herself in about 1984), but since about the mid-nineties have felt the force gradually fade from my life. Many varied things have happened in my life; way too many to fit into a neat little philosophy or spiritual path.

I don't disrespect either Muktananda, Chidvilasananda (Malti) or her brother Nityananda (Subhash) - personally, I've not had any unpleasant associations with any of them. But lately I would like to de-brief with others of like mind. I'm aware of what others are writing and saying (since the early eighties, in fact), and I don't disbelieve what they say, even though that's not been my personal experience.

What's common to us all though, is a phase of having submerged ourselves in an esoteric philosophy we perhaps didn't fully understand, how a huge wealthy organisation grew up from the dissemination of that philosophy, and how impossible it is to worship a human being as divine, beyond fault or foibles.

Anonymous said...

great share, great article, very usefull for me...thank