Amma’s Letter:  March  25th, 2005



  3. for Yogacharini Jennifer Dany Aube

  4. 1.Construct a basic practice which is suitable for the circumstances you find yourself in.  If you are forced by financial or other constraints to lead a busy, hectic life, then do something simple - like waking up as early as possible (be realistic, you also need proper sleep and rest) lighting a candle or lamp, and constructing, a conscious Sankalpa (an ideal which you would like to make real in your life).  Invoke whatever powers you need to fulfill that ideal.   Chant the “Lokha Samastah Mantra” with sincerity!  Salute all the Pancha Maha Bhutas - especially the sun and the earth.  Do a few Jattis, Surya Namaskar, a few standing, sitting and lying down poses.  Practice any suitable Pranayama.  Repeat this regularly and with rhythm so that it becomes a natural part of your day.  This routine may even be less than an hour, but don’t miss it.  You may have to cut it short on occasion. but follow it religiously!

  5. 2.Drink 10-15 glasses of water, lots of soups, juices, eat salads and fruits  Indulge once in a while in something you like to eat for fun, but don’t let it become a habit.

  6. 3.Try to see the sun every morning and the moon and/or stars every night.

  7. 4.Sit quietly a few minutes in morning after waking and reaffirm your intention to grow spiritually.  Sit a few minutes before you sleep, and do a mini Swadhyaya.  How was your day?  Checkout the quality and tendency of our thoughts.  Cultivate observation without condemnation, identification or justification.

  8. 5.Keep some kind of a shrine in your house which reflects what you worship (worship meaning what you hold worth while in life).  You can frame a dollar bill or Euro dollar and keep it there if you like.  Or a photo of yourself or even of Madonna or Brad Pitt!  Be honest about what gods you worship (As you evolve, you may like to replace your idols).

  9. 6.Write to Amma at the Mother Ashram once a month (a least a short email for those trapped in the clutches of modern technology and cage of time).  Make it your monthly Swadhyaya Sheet.  I always know when people are doing things they know they should not be doing when they fall out of contact with us.  Remember!  I am sincerely, profoundly interested in your spiritual evolution.  Be careful to whom you use that definition of love with, however!  One student reported that whenever he told anyone he was profoundly interested in them, they looked at him with profound suspicion.  Do not throw pearls before swine!

  10. 7.Teach and preach and practice what you teach and preach.  Have confidence that with every class you give - at least one person will learn - and that one person will be yourself.

  11. 8.Meet with other Gitananda-nites whenever possible and have a good giggle over all the idiosyncrasies of Ashram life!  Don’t forget to laugh, sing and eat well at these get togethers!

  12. 9.Every once in a while remember who you were when you entered the Ashram and who you were when you left.  The difference between the two who’s is Swamiji’s teachings.  Don’t forget that and perhaps some gratitude will well up in your heart which may mature into devotion to the Guru spirit which may fructify in Seva to the Guru Spirit.  The best Seva is to give to others what you have received and to take great care of the valuable jewels of wisdom which have been entrusted to you.

  13. 10.Look in your own inner core and find the guru Spirit there.  Shut up!  Sit sill!  Watch and listen to it!  (Try not to talk back!)

  14. 11.Come home on any and all occasions.  This strengthens not only the Ashram but also your own Sadhana.  It is so easy to forget.  A trip back to the Ashram is the best reminder of why you are doing what you are doing (or should be doing).

  15. 12.Be faithful and honest with us at the Ashram.  Small deceptions lead to larger deceptions which lead to gilt and embarrassment.  Thus, eventually, small betrayals lead to even larger betrayals.  The final betrayal is to destroy the person/ideal/thing you have betrayed, as their very existence serves as a rebuke and reproach to your own mistake.  This destruction of the object of betrayal usually takes form as concentration on the one negative aspect of the person/place/situation and the convenient forgetting of the 99 positive aspects.  The one negative aspect is used to justify the betrayal. I is a vicious, subtle trap - avoid it if you can.

  16. 13.Stay in one place and dig your well.  Eventually you will strike water.

  17. 14.Love the things of everyday.  Hot tea in the morning, the bark of your dog, the red flower on your widow ledge, he sun’s rays on green leaves.  Those are the important things - not how many students you have or the amount in your pay packet.

  18. 15.Read YOGA LIFE.  Write articles for YOGA LIFE.

  19. 16.Go through the Correspondence Course again, lesson by lesson, thoroughly.  Send your answers to me, just as an exercise and as a discipline.

  20. 17.Get Satsangha by reading spiritual books - the Bible, the Koran, Bhagavad Gita, Upanishad, Yoga Vashishta, Yoga Sutras, (Don’t read too much New Age Stuff - some of that cheese is moldy and will make you sick).

You have heard all these truths from Swamiji - through his writings, through the mouths of his students, (Shravana).  Think about them. Contemplate them. Study them (Manasa).  The end result will be Nidhi Dyanasana - realization of them!  Think about Prana and Apana.  Observe it, experiment with it, practice guiding its flow through mind and breath till it becomes a living reality for you.

Remember - At all times be cheerful!  Whether you succeed or fail, be cheerful!  Whether you are loved or hated - be cheerful!  Whether people understand you or misunderstand you - be cheerful!  Whether feeling low or energetic - be cheerful!  Whether rich or poor - be cheerful!

Swamiji was the most cheerful man I have ever met!  He gave us a great model to emulate!  Be grateful!  Be grateful for your problems for they will make you wise and strong!  Be grateful for the sun and the moon and the good green earth!  Be grateful!  Be grateful for every breath.  Be grateful that you are one of the .0001% of humans on earth who have ever heard the word “Yoga”.  Be grateful you have been given a human body so you now have the tools to consciously evolve!  Be grateful for those who oppose you - they will build your spiritual muscles!  Be grateful for every breath you take, for every smile you get and every smile you give!

Remember!  there are more than five lakhs (500,000) different ways in which you can die every day!  Be grateful that you have (had) one more day to move closer to that Sat-Chit-Ananda state!

Much love to all!

Affectionately yours in Yoga,

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