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.
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,