Sometimes life takes a hard left and all you can do is swerve along and try not to go into a tailspin. Such has been my last six months.
For all those who visited here, and particularly for those who I invited to post to RoD but weren't able (Lucid I'm looking at you!) my sincere apologies.
Just yesterday I learned that Gurumayi had resurfaced in SMA for her birthday this year, for a videotaped celebration that is still available for viewing on the SY website:
(I haven't read through all the comments to my last post in May, but I assume this has been brought up and discussed at length. For those who haven't seen the videos, or who want a new and very belated thread in which to discuss them, please join in. I will be checking here regularly once again, and your comments are still unmoderated.)
It is hard to say all I felt while watching the videos taken throughout the day of Gurumayi. Certainly, I do feel some real nostalgia for Shree Muktananda Ashram, which was such a huge part of my life for twenty years, and at which I experienced such peace—along with the recognition that those days belong to a past that cannot be resurrected. I thought I would experience the old familiar tug at finally seeing Gurumayi, but that is well and truly vanished. The disenchantment I sought is complete. But, objectively speaking, she doesn't look comfortable, let alone blissful, playing the part anymore either. In the video taken during the 7:30 meditation in the Temple, in fact, she looks downright unhappy to me.
A friend who still practices, still does regular seva, still gives monthly dakshina, still visits his local ashram, told me of the build up and hype around this event--the worldwide sangham was instructed to visit the website for a surprise the day after Gurumayi's birthday, with the promise that Gurumayi would once again be available to her devotees. When he watched the videos, what he said he experienced was great sadness, realizing that he would most likely never be in Gurumayi's physical presence again. It's hard to square this. Looking at the very small crowd of people at the celebration, how are devotees who sacrificed so much for so many years, and who have remained loyal these last 8 or 9 years, supposed to feel about not even knowing this happened until after the fact, and then being invited to watch from the sidelines? Based on the comments on the SY website, many experience the usual feelings of joy and devotion and bliss, and watch the videos time and again to get their fix of the physical guru.
The more cynical among us might see this and think: money-making ploy. Post-disenchantment, that is my take. If all it requires is a once-a-year recorded visit by Gurumayi to SMA to keep devotees everywhere plugged in and contributing--well, that is a far easier lift than mounting the big, expensive summers that used to take place there.
Two perspectives, two sides of the same coin that is now Siddha Yoga. Which face you see depends on whether you're still hanging on, or whether you've made your last pranham long ago and left the hall.