The Gangaji Forum is a potent and intimate source of connection for members of this community. We asked a few contributors for permission to share their recent posts with you.
Endless, December 12, 2022
Gangaji inspired me to share in yesterday's public meeting. I haven't gotten into my personal story much, but here is a little of it. I struggled with addiction for much of this life. I got sober for the first time when I was 19 and though there was blossoming awareness I was really missing the now obvious. I read The Power of Now back then and was so stilled by it. I would pause again and again because what was felt was so huge, but then I would put it down and go back to my story of suffering.
I loved to suffer. Even while I was seemingly healing I was very comfortable in my victim role. As a child and teenager I really was a victim. Horrible things happened. Abuse, neglect, rape. But then those things ended and I continued to carry them with me and to use them as tools of manipulation to get what I wanted which was attention and love. I was always seeking outside for these things. I didn't know how big the attention was. I didn't know how big the love was.
Eventually I relapsed at 25 years old with 5 and a half years of sobriety. Even though I seemed to have everything I wanted on the surface—a doting girlfriend, a decent job, enrolled in college—I was misearable. Drinking and drugs put a bandaid on that for a time and for years I would struggle trying to get sober but never quite getting it and trying all sort of external things to try to "fix" me.
Then I met my teacher, Yehnemsah. I went to live in this Ashram in New York last year still seeking outside solutions. When I met her it was like lightening. I was struck. I thought I must be in love with her. I started to operate from old stories. She refused to indulge any of my manipulations or tricks. She told me it was imagination. She was ruthless in her compassion. She told me to stop. She asked me, 'Who are you'? I circled through these things for a time. There was actually a time where she refused to speak to me at all because I was so wrapped up in my ego and my story of suffering which then included her. I was devastated. But she let me come to Satsang and eventually speak with her privately again.
I can't say when it happened just that there was a moment of complete surrender and opening so vast that I really got it. I stopped. I could stop!!! Wow!!! I was the one perpetuating these stories of suffering!! It WAS imagination!! The love was so much BIGGER than the mind could understand. Endless love. The attention and love I was seeking for so long in "other" was right here...in ALL.
This recognition changed everything. And it took some knocking on the head to really get it. Gloriously this recognition is fresh in each moment. This discovery is endless. Waking up again and again and again. Consciousness always revealing where the attention is.
I am thankful Yehnemsah introduced me to Gangaji. Gangaji has a voice like molasses! Yummy! These two beautiful beings transmitting this so beautifully and showing me again and again what is always here, what is untouched by anything!! AMAZING!! The amazement is ENDLESS!!
Yehnemsah was awakened by a photo of Ramana. In an instant. Ganagji by her time with Papaji. Me by my time with Yehnemsah. Everything connected in this web of Truth that holds all. And it continues. Gloriously and endlessly. I have been able to get truly sober in this recognition. Using or drinking would cause immense suffering for me and all being. My sobriety is an offering. And because of this it is really choice-less. Such grace.
Thank you Yehnemsah. Thank you Gangaji. Thank you Papaji. Thank you Ramana. Thank you, thank you, thank you all Being.
Freedom, Love, Gratitude, August 18, 2022
By M, Ethiopia
Dearest Gangaji & Forum,
Yesterday, I came to know through the news that the war in northern Ethiopia may start again now, after few months of cease fire. Although for the people in Tigray region it wasn't really any better since they are in total black out of all services. I didn't talk to my parents since June 2021 - in between I went through the darkest three months of my life in the concentration camp. I'm still living in disguise partially, as one of the other ethnic groups, to avoid prison or another mass arrest if the government decides so — which was stopped for many of us because of pressure from the international community especially the EU, USA, Amnesty International and UN reports. Still unable to leave the country because my place of birth on passport says I am from Tigray. So fear kicked in: can I survive another concentration camp?! Then mental agitation, going into some news analysis, revising some means I might get out from the country (I was being somewhat reluctant).
Then willingness & courage to stop & just BE for the moment. Sadness of course, and pain, but peace holding everything. It was past midnight, so I let go or it feels letting go happened — I fell into bed, as if swallowed and dissolved, no apparent distinction between the bed and the body - gone into infinite nothingness. Hmm... sweet. 🥰
Today, I was just wandering around somehow feeling a little uneasy, mental discussion going on - trying to end the feeling of confusion, uncenteredness, losing point of balance or perspective - wondering if that is even how I was feeling. Then suddenly the willingness to just let it be, what/however I might be feeling.
Then I entered to a nearby cafe. I sat in a place exposed to all eyes around, which is normally a very unideal place for me. The ideal place is around a corner where I can see everything else but am myself out of sight of others. That is the fixation.😀 So some agitation follows, yet unmoving willingness to open persists.
All of a sudden the personality is gone, beautiful ease of being, "others" disappears - only oneness. The people around, the ant crawling on the table, cars, the body-mind I call myself - everything within this infinite holding space, appearing as empty space themselves. Fear of losing it didn't appear, as it usually does. Instead this solid faith that I can endure whatever appears in awareness. The mind wondering why it is not lost already, as if trying to push it away — fear of too much awesomeness maybe or to just lose it now. It's gonna be lost anyway so why not lose it now and return to usual 😀. Nobody is there resisting the tendency of the mind, it appears empty itself, held in emptiness.
What to say?!! I feel so lucky, honestly!
Overflowing gratitude to Gangaji, Lisa, Jared & everyone on this lineage
Heartfelt Love to you all sweet loving friends, 💙🙏
An Old Lover, August 17, 2022
By AJ, Wales, UK
Dear Gangaji and lovely friends,
I don’t know what has changed. I’m so happy to not know. 😂
I feel as though I have walked through an invisible door. On the other side of which everything is exactly the same. All the same emotions are there. All the same moods. All the same. Except not. When I attempt to deconstruct it overly or hold it mentally, it seems to slip out of my hand and leaves a subtly blissful emptiness in its place.
I am in wonder. Of it all. In gratitude. Of it all. I am experiencing a sense of satisfaction or completeness or contentment that I can’t put in words. But with it all. I feel like I’ve just yawned. Or sighed. But over and over.
Over the last year, much has dropped away. Each dropping has served wonderfully in showing surrender. Sometimes relieving. Sometimes fought with considerably and painful. One of these things was drawing. Which had become a spiritual practise in itself for me. But has also served to build a whole new identify and re-enforce some egoic walls. As I unraveled, facing much that I did not and had not wanted to face, drawing left me. It broke my heart. But I made a deal with myself that should this be the price of Freedom, so be it.
Then about a week ago, it came back. Whispered in my ear like an old lover. But returning softer, less fixation driven, full of love and joyful in its expression. In realising it is not needed in order for me to be someone, I’m free to fall into the depth of this creative love with no strings. No exceptions. No must haves. And from that place, I have drawn better than ever. Maybe best ever. The ideas have been beautiful, spoken directly from Truth. Given as gifts of service.
I wish to continue to attempt conveying gratitude to you, though these words have begun to feel dead. As though I’ve said them too many times. And I can’t find new ones which accurately convey the depth of gratefulnesses that wants to sing out from my entire being. So as always a simple thank you will have to do. Thank you.
And perhaps you can see it here, rather and reading it.
I love you.
Good days. Bad Days. August 20, 2022
By Chris, Colorado, US
There are good days, there are bad days, and there are Papaji days — when I watch a Papaji video with a small sangha in Boulder and drown in His presence. And being away from that sangha all summer as I go up to the high country here in Colorado, there are good days, there are bad days, and there are Gangaji days.
What a blessing to just sink into the truth of Being, in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, on a hike, while watching these videos or livestreams. There is no greater gift! Thank you beloved Gangaji and beloved sangha!
The Sparkling, August 8, 2022
By Veronica, Australia
Greetings from the Land Down Under! So close and yet so far! I was moments away from my first meeting with you this morning and, although all was quiet for the first hour, by 3 am (I'm a Perth girl) the dog next door started barking next to my window and it would have been so noisy for everyone, so I pulled the plug unfortunately 🙁 Esta a la vida!
As I usually work on Mondays (I swapped my shift for yesterday), I may not be able to get back for the next few monthly meetings, so I thought I would write and thank you for being there at least and report my amazing and happy experience of The Sparkling.
I am new to this realm and, other than some cherry picking from the delightful Dalai Lama wisdoms, I haven't a clue as to some of the Buddhist concepts. Indeed I only recently learnt of your existence Gangaji. I had Covid a few months back and was listening in the dark (during my lonely isolation period) to Sam Harris' podcasts when I encountered yours. Instantly intrigued, I listened (or mainlined is perhaps a better description) to your podcasts and videos and joined your group immediately, scoring attendance at your May monthly meeting within four days. I kept listening to your wonderful teachings (and some from this chap called Papaji 😀 and one of your podcasts touched me so deeply that I call it The Sparkling.
Cutting Through the Suffering of Trauma
You were talking about inquiry, just for a moment (not too daunting a task), and cutting straight through the suffering of trauma. Having spent over 50 years recovering from a horrendous childhood experience I wondered if what you were asking was even possible. On one of my Covid-induced feverish sleepless nights of sheer exhaustion, I think I just gave it a go and totally expected, if you were correct, to at least find the whole, if broken and damaged, child I locked in the dungeon of my mind all those years ago. Well, I imagine you know what I found!! :) To my sheer amazement and absolute wonder the inquiry led me to a totally untouched version of myself that I didn't even know existed! Wow! Within nanoseconds! The trauma had not damaged the essence of me at all! I was so surprised! It was truly incredible, deeper, and closer than the trauma...a Sparkling essence was there, peaceful, wonderful, complete. Wow! It lasted only a moment but the memory of it sustains me still. I'm so happy that I'm OK and I feel bigger than my trauma now. Truly, it is a blessing I never even knew existed, let alone thought to seek. So thank you Gangaji, I may never have known about the existence of The Sparkling without finding you.
I haven't tried to recapture the moment yet, if indeed I ever should, but I feel different on every level, quietly and calmly (unnoticeably to others) occupying a different space in the world now. Happier, more relaxed. The trauma aftermath is still there of course (although greatly healed now), but the knowledge that it didn't reach my soul, or my slice of The Sparkling (if I am permitted to claim that!), is truly astonishing. It is indescribable how it feels to learn that something so intensely ugy and horrific as the crime visited upon me, didn't reach me, at all. Apologies, if there is a duality there but I don't really understand all that stuff yet? More incredible even than the magnificent images coming back from our new bumblebee telescope in the cosmos. Just hanging out for pictures of the Jewel Box Nebula now, my favorite piece of eternity. I might claim a star from there when we see the photos (I'm sure The Sparkling can reach that far without too much trouble! :)
Perhaps I will have another opportunity to meet you down the road aways, but until then, Thank You Gangaji. 🙏
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