The Path of Surrender

Nearly two months ago I had an experience which, for some reason I am compelled to share here today, with you.

I was driving through town on a Saturday afternoon, on my way to Wendy’s for a little guilty pleasure cheeseburger (I confess to breaking a lot of yogi rules). The sun was high and the weather pleasant, with the fragrance of fall promise coming through in sweet wafts on the breeze. I recall being particularly at ease and joyful when suddenly I became aware of Durga Ma’s presence as she said “Take care of my children.”

Initially I was taken aback, because in all of our years I never heard her speak quite like this. It was clear that she was talking about all of you, but it was still odd for me to hear it. The words came through my entire body in a visceral experience of understanding that they weren’t simply a directive, but were filled with a compassion and concern of a variety that reaches inside oneself and beyond with a knowing that is hard, at best, to articulate.

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What does it take to let go and open ourselves up to divine love?

I have never felt terribly comfortable sharing these types of experiences openly, because we all know the potential for being misunderstood, criticized, and even persecuted. Durga Ma was one of the first and only people I ever felt safe enough with to openly share the wild and sometimes even freightening things that I experienced. She taught me what it is like to be truly accepted and loved unconditionally.

Which is why Im writing this, I suppose.

I inquired with her about this task of “taking care of her children,” and it comes down to this: we need one another. Satsang, community, tribe, sangha, or any other name you give to it… it is an essential part of this journey. We are the few, and our lives are not ordinary, or easy.

Spirituality done with any conviction means that we will, sooner or later encounter obstacles of one variety or another. This is when it is the most beneficial to have the support of one another. Our human selves don’t always know what’s on the other side of the next step, and that’s ok. Sometimes it’s not knowledge that’s necessary, but the courage to go ahead anyway. This was the foundation of my relationship with Durga Ma. I trusted her and she loved me unconditionally – and because of that I always had the courage to continue, and still do.

Ultimately our courage grows and we discover that it is ever-present within us. But when we can’t find our own courage, we can lean on those who believe in us, and they will bolster our catapult into the unknown so we can re-discover what we have forgotten or lost sight of. So we have one another not only to break through obstacles, but to celebrate the victories of our survival on the other side!

Durga Ma transmitted the lineage to me before she left her physical body. It is now my responsibility, and I admit that it was not a decision I made easily, or a task I accepted with full understanding.

She told me that I would be a great guru… one day. I told her that I would be a truffle farmer if it didn’t work out. I have always relied on my sense of humor when I am nervous or the discussion get’s too serious, and she reminded me that “levity” and “levitation” are a superpower. There was no way she was ever going to give up on me, and I am eternally grateful for her love.

So here is where a new path in this journey begins to unfold… from me to you. Our connection is eternal, our realization is already complete. Still we must walk this road to the far shores of understanding and abiding in the Reality of Truth. Mine is a story of love in a world of suffering, and if it only serves as a reminder that you are not alone on this adventure then I will have been successful.

While I continue in the maturation of what has been laid before me by Durga Ma, I would like to share something of great value that she wrote regarding Surrender Meditation/Sahaja Yoga. It points to (on one hand) that there is space for everything on this journey. We can range the spectrum of experience and appearance and be well within the range of our own divinity, which is something I feel is incredibly valuable to our human expression of connecting and communicating with one another.

Sahaja yoga, shaktipat kundalini yoga, Surrender Meditation, also called sahaja yoga, shaktipat kundalini yoga, and other names, are synonymous terms for the path of surrender as taught by Durga Ma’s lineage. The unique feature of Surrender Meditation is that, with the release of the life energy in the body through shaktipat diksha, meditation occurs effortlessly on its own and kundalini awakens naturally and safely. The aim of this practice is spontaneous meditation and union with God, freedom, and spiritual evolution. Surrender Meditation is aimed at union with God, spiritual evolution and liberation.

This practice is not about balance because it is not about using the will. Will is the domain of techniques and ahamkara (“I do-it”). The body is always thrown out of balance when the will is used, because the life energy is not free but in the service of the will, the seat of which is the mind and it’s core drive, ahamkara (ego).

Even when balance is attained, it is not possible to maintain this tenuous balance indefinitely by using the will. Sooner or later, one must surrender. People devoted to control and willful practices will tell you otherwise.

What we truly are is, and has always been, in union with God, already perfect and already free. Through surrender to God, obstacles are swept away until nothing stands in the way of our awareness of this truth, then we live in Truth and the bliss of union without a break. At this point, the body can eventually cheat death. How long this takes varies with every individual, from weeks, to months, to years, to lifetimes.

-Durga Ma (personal notes) Shaktipat Kundalini Yoga Master

With great love and gratitude,

Anandi

 

Coming Together in Devotion – Bhagavad Gita, Ch 10, Vs 8-11

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I am the origin of all that exists. Everything is set into motion from Me. Thus do the wise with the ability to meditate, worship Me. Their consciousness fixed on Me, their Life Energy flows to Me. Sharing their experiences of Me, they enlighten each other and are fulfilled and delighted.

“To those who are always thus devoted and worshipping with kindness and affection, I bestow this knowledge and understanding of Yoga by which they come to Me. For them, out of sympathy for their goal, I, dwelling within their own beings, cause the darkness produced by ignorance to be destroyed with the illuminating light of this knowledge.”

Bhagavad Gita, Chapter 10, Verses 8-11

Here we find the first obvious message stressing the importance of individuals coming together in order to reach God. This is critical for enriching the devotional side of YogaWithout it, it can be harsh and filled with difficulties. This can be mitigated by community and gatherings “accompanied by kindness and affection.” What a wonderful way to live! (See SKY Haven)

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I am the origin of all that exists. Everything is set into motion from Me. Thus do the wise with the ability to meditate, worship Me.

Alternate translation:
I am all that is, for all that is comes forth from Me. With this understanding, one can meditate correctly. Thus does one truly worship Me.

If we understand what we have been taught, we have the ability to meditate. Correctly practiced, meditation is worship of God. To meditate correctly one needs the knowledge and understanding by which one’s meditation is “yoga practiced without alteration of the rule and observed before any other rule as one’s first duty,” as mentioned in verse seven.  

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Their consciousness fixed on Me, their Life Energy flows to Me. Sharing their experiences of Me, they enlighten each other and are fulfilled and delighted.

“Their consciousness fixed on Me”
The Sanskrit for attention is chitta. Chitta is consciousness—not consciousness of something, but pure consciousness itself, the subtlest form of divine energy.

“Their Life Energy flowing to Me”
When chitta flows to something, someone or some place, it is called attention, and where the attention goes, the Life Energy in the body, called prana, also goes.

The stuff of which the mind is made, is chitta, consciousness. 
Attention is a flow of consciousness from the mind to anything that is other than self.

Mind > AttentionWhere the attention goes, the energy flows.

With the attention going to Lord Krishna, one’s Life Energy goes to, and can unite with, Lord Krishna, Highest and First Purusha, Personal God. 

In “Finding the Magician Within” we were alerted to the extreme importance of Attention as being the key to achieving just about anything. This was presented in the context of reaching God/Truth, but it applies to anything. We even brought up Life Mastery in that article, and the necessity of constant Attention on the goal in order to attain it. Lord Krishna is bringing us back to this in this verse when He says that with consciousness (attention) fixed on Him, our Life Energy also flows to Him. This was earlier referred to as ‘worship’, or ‘meditation’, as the means of attaining union (yoga) with God.

You get what you worship

Dance and ChantThe next piece of the verse suggests that the most satisfying and pleasant way for accomplishing this is to be together with others with whom you can share Truth. This is called satsanga (‘Truth-sharing’).
Satsanga - ChantingSatsanga often includes any or all of the following: darshan (meeting the guru), kritana (music, dancing and singing to and about God/Truth), sharing experiences, and receiving teachings. In this way we “enlighten each other.” We awaken each other to God/Truth, and our attachments to previously limited expectations and ideas are forgotten. Enjoying this process, we find that our attention effortlessly remains on God/Truth throughout.

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To these worshippers, who are always thus devoted and worshipping with kindness and affection, I bestow this knowledge and understanding of Yoga by which they come to Me.
For them, out of sympathy for their goal, I, dwelling within their own beings, cause the darkness produced by ignorance to be destroyed, with the shining lamp of this knowledge.

Always means always. Continuously coming together according to the previous verse. If we understand the universality of God’s presence within everyone and everything, we will naturally be kind and treat each other with affection. This being the case, one is enlightened as to the Truth of Yoga as the means of union with God/Truth. This union destroys the darkness of ignorance, and proves the Yoga we have been taught.

This enlightenment is possible because of God’s already existent presence within all of us. God is saying that, because we understand this, practice Yoga and treat each other well, we need make no further effort, for God will turn the lights on for us.

Namaste (I bow to the divine one you really are),
Durga Ma
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Spiritual Ego

This is just me, Anandi. Writing to you from the top of a mountain. A silently alive paradise that sits suspended in the ether — between the dramatic waves of the Pacific and the gentle giants that are the Redwoods.

I am going to share the dialogue that has been running through my head from the night, early morning into now. Im doing this to help hang onto the things that are arising for contemplation and with the hope that it may somehow be beneficial for you in some way.

Just a recollection of my stream of consciousness … no edits. sorry.

One of the most valuable things I have learned from being with Durga Ma is about ‘identification’ and beginning to understand the spiritual ego. It’s not anything specific she has said, but the way that she has interacted with me on a ‘human’ and personal level.

I had created an idea in my mind unknowingly about what spirituality looked like and how it would behave and present itself. This came after awakening experiences in the wake of phenomenon, and was strengthened by the way others around me were presenting themselves in the spiritual community. None of them were masters.

What I have come to learn and what has had the most profound outward effect for me is the roundedness and down to earth regularity of Durga Ma. I wouldn’t necessarily know that she was a master if I didn’t know. This is really important, I don’t know if it was so important in days gone by.

What I see increasingly in the world is people trying to transcend their humanness. This is like “throwing the baby out with the bathwater” as Ma says… I think transcending the humanness becomes the “danger zone” where the spiritual ego can really take shape and the difficulty on recognizing it and moving beyond it comes from the fact that the mind has used, and will continue to use, the aspects of spirituality (teachings, experience, etc.) in an effort to establish a pure logic (all or nothing) type of state.

What is more, I think that if the mind has a memory of an awakening it can use this to further make the mind’s alibi watertight. Stuck in transcendence. This is a doozy…. really getting stuck in a deeper state of separation in some ways because now the mind has not only gone into transcendence but is constantly working to stay there outside of the body and physical existence and can use the information gathered ‘spiritually’ to keep it there. It is a trap without the guidance of a master, or a stroke of absolute Grace.

I see a LOT of people doing this now. Most of the ‘spiritual’ people I know.

I’m wondering now if what is often needed is just normal, ‘non-spiritual’ company — in other words, real spiritual people, actual yogis, real people — not the people who are riding around in inflated spiritual egos. It’s easier to become relaxed and trusting when we talk about normal everyday things, our experiences, our lives and where we came from. We don’t have to work at conversation to maintain what we think is spirituality and how it should be talked about and communicated…the only real substance (energetic alignment so to speak) comes from the way we actually relate with each other.

The longer I stay with Durga Ma, the more I get out of it. I want to absorb as much as I possibly can, although the speed at which it occurs when I get to be physically present is such that I find myself experiencing a sensation of near explosion. My head literally goes through periods of feeling like its going to explode. I don’t care, because there is this part of me that just doesn’t care and wants to go on ahead regardless.

I want to be here or near Durga Ma wherever she is, but even in the days of being here I feel myself taking off and abandoning my life responsibilities. I use the word ‘abandon’ because of a control aspect…a subtle piece that I can’t exactly identify other than that it is not a completely conscious choice to surrender. It’s what my heart wants, but it’s like there is a piece that is missing and first I have to reclaim it to surrender it. Sounds ironic but its the only way I can manage to say it.

Particularly with Sam at this age (3), Im not boasting but I’m the sanest person he knows, and I’m his mother. I feel it is my duty to keep him close, and my responsibility to do my best to stay with him until I either just can’t anymore or until he’s gotten enough independence for himself to choose otherwise.

This path is sometimes difficult with a family. Not impossible.

Om Shanti, Namaste,
Anandi