By Swami Samvidaananda
As a teenager in the Eighties, I loved when Prince sang, “Dearly Beloved, we are gathered here today to celebrate this thing called life.” At least, that’s what I thought he sang. The lyrics are actually “to get through this thing called life.” I’ve had it wrong all this time!
I think I misheard the lyrics because I actually celebrate this thing called life. Sure, at times I’ve felt like life was something to get through. There’s been pain and the uncertainty of hard times. But alongside that, I’ve had glimpses of the sacredness of life. Moments of perceiving how being a human being is a precious opportunity. And then I met my Guru. She confirmed the reality of those glorious glimpses. She teaches that life is Divine:
What seems to be only a mundane world is Divinely designed to engage you fully. Each and every person, critter and object is made of the One Divine Energy, shakti, coalescing into a separate and fascinating form. When you step into the marvel, the awe and majesty of this amazing creation, you live in the bliss of Consciousness
– Gurudevi Nirmalananda, “Being a Yogi in the World”
The world is made of Divinity. Well before modern day physics, yogis knew that everything is made of energy. Named shakti, this energy is not an inert, lifeless substance. Shakti willingly, knowingly, blissfully chooses to be the dance of Existence. More than merely conscious, she is Consciousness, concentrating into everything. Every thing on this planet, every thing in the universe, every thing that exists. Including you.
You might think, “Well, okay, everything is made of Consciousness. But not me.” What are you made of, Swiss cheese? Oh, Swiss cheese is made of Consciousness, too. If everything that exists is made of the same substance, then that has to include you. Your body is made of consciousness-concentrate. Every cell is distilled Divinity.
It’s like what Salinger’s short story character Teddy McArdle says:
I was six when I saw that everything was God, and my hair stood up, and all. It was on a Sunday, I remember. My sister was a tiny child then, and she was drinking her milk, and all of a sudden I saw that she was God and the milk was God. I mean, all she was doing was pouring God into God, if you know what I mean.
— J.D. Salinger, “Teddy,” Nine Stories, 1953
Do you know what he means? As a human being, you have the unique capacity to know that everything is God, like Teddy did when he was six. You’re not just a part of God, like you, Teddy, his sister and the milk are pieces of a God-puzzle. All the pieces together make up the whole.
It’s more like you are a drop of water When you drop into the ocean, kerplunk! You merge with it. Then, which part is the ocean and which part is the drop? You’re the whole ocean. Your Self = God = Consciousness = the One Divine Reality. That is who you are.
So, how come you don’t know that’s who you are? You do know, sometimes. You get glimpses, like I did. But it’s not enough. You want more. To know your Divinity all the time, your capacity has to be activated.
Gurudevi can do that for you with an initiation called Shaktipat. She is a Shaktipat Master, empowered and authorized by her lineage. She doesn’t just tell you that you are Divine; she gives you the experience. And she teaches you to meditate, so you can do your part.
Every time you meditate with the lineage mantra, you immerse your mind in your Self. Your mind needs the help, because it is used to focusing on the mundane instead of the Divine. And it convinces you that you are small, separate, unworthy and unlovable.
But when you meditate, you drench your mind in your Divinity. Over time, your mind becomes less capable of blocking your bliss. So you know the marvel, awe and majesty of this thing we call life. We each have our role. And we each are the whole — the whole of Divinity. Outside and inside, there’s only One. You find the One inside when you meditate. Gurudevi will show you how.