Gurudeva has not only touched my life, but helped me to completely transform it.
Her love is so powerful and yet it is also so gentle that for much of my life I was completely unaware of it. There have been times when I have lacked faith and felt alone, but looking back it is clear that it has been there all along, waiting for me to open the door to it.

I was born into a family with a lot of issues which affected me profoundly. By the time I reached adulthood I felt completely lost. I was fearful and anxious, suffered panic attacks, had suicidal thoughts, suffered from addiction and found myself locked in a cycle of destructive relationships. I tried so hard to make my life better, but the more I tried, the worse it seemed to get. I did not believe God existed and I certainly didn’t believe in ‘Gurus’ and having one was the last thing I wanted. No I wanted to find peace and happiness. By my mid-20’s I finally admitted to myself that I needed help and my journey of recovery began.

For the next few years, I was drawn to many different teachers via self-help books, twelve step programmes, Buddhist meditation, counsellors, psychosexual therapists, psychologists and many more. All helped me forward in some way, but there was always something missing. I remember describing how I felt as if the light within myself had become a weak, flickering candle about to go out. Nothing seemed to quench my inner spiritual thirst.

The turning point came when I found the ‘Good Retreat Guide’ in a local bookshop. I wrote off to four non-denominational retreat centres (I didn’t want God!) and waited for their replies. Only one out of the four replied with a personal letter which radiated love. I was so desperate for that love and it wasn’t long before I booked myself in for a two day personal retreat.

I remember seeing photographs of Mataji around the Centre and, at that time, I did not know who she was. I kept looking at them thinking I knew her from somewhere. I concluded that she must be a friend of my mum’s! Looking back, I see know that I was recognising my Guru but did not know it. It was the love and a deep sense of peace that that I felt there that kept me coming back, despite the fact that I was in a lot of emotional pain and really didn’t want to face myself. I began to receive healings, counselling and eventually, although with great trepidation, I took the Pure Meditation course. Although I felt very fearful throughout much of the course, on the middle Wednesday I experienced a profound state of blissful peace during my mediation so deep that I could not move. My inner thirst was being quenched at last – this was what I had been searching for. At the end of the course I was told that Mataji was my Guru if I wanted to accept her. This was perplexing to me at the time. I argued within myself how could this be? I didn’t want a Guru. I didn’t believe in Gurus. I only came to the Centre by chance. It was only a chance trip to the bookshop that led me to the retreat, after all.

Looking back it feels so obvious to me that my Guru had responded to my inner cries of help. Her love drew me to her, despite my egoic self, with a powerful, gentle hand. I was now on my true spiritual path. I meditated regularly, and I returned to take the One Breath. I continued to receive healings and counselling. The next step was to accept my Guru during initiation. My faith was far from perfect, but I could not deny that I was being fed on a very deep spiritual level. I was healing and the candle within that I thought was about to go out, at times now felt like a burning furnace. So when I had doubts, {which was often}, I just reminded myself of how my life was transforming, and I continued on the journey regardless. I wrote to Mataji several times which helped me to feel a connection with my Guru. Her replies showed me how much she really understood me.

Mataji not only replied to my letters, but also to my inner questions. As I used to be a very anxious person, full of fearful ego, my habit was to try very hard with everything I did in order to succeed. It was hard to meditate with this mind-set so I struggled. The more I tried and pushed to find peace, the harder mediation was. But I didn’t give up. I kept meditating. I could see the fruits of my meditation in my life, so I knew it was helping me. I just wanted to slip into a blissful state whenever I wanted, which just was not my experience. After many years of this inner struggle, I was sitting in meditation one evening, and I cried out in frustration inwardly, What is wrong with me I’ve been struggling for so many years, I can’t even do this right! I should be able to meditate properly by now!’ Instantly a deep sense of peace came over me with a reply, not in words but in understanding: ‘How wonderful that you have struggled for so many years, and yet you have not given up. You have shown great perseverance and love. Keep going. How grateful I felt and since then meditation became easier, the struggle less. I trusted more, my faith deepened. Let go and let God.

Another lesson which helped me deepen my faith in my Guru still further was during a visit to the Centre for Seva. Mataji has taught that we can contact her through our third eye and she will be there for us. I know this to be true, although my faith is far from perfect. I had not seen Mataji in person for some time and I was missing her, forgetting this important lesson. Whenever I went to the Centre and would pass her house and would inwardly greet her and I felt a longing to actually see her physically. This happened over a few visits. During Seva I had been asked to do a particular job in the garden. I was then told that I was needed to go and work in Mataji’s garden, so off I went. After sweeping up leaves for about five minutes, Mataji came into the garden with her arms outstretched. I went to her and she hugged me and looked at me with great love in her eyes, and then said to me, You know that if you can always contact me through your third eye. I replied, of course, and filled with deep gratitude and love went back to my work. Two minutes later someone came to tell me I was requested somewhere else.? I was deeply moved and realized that my inner yearning for Mataji had been answered, and I had also received a loving lesson that Mataji is always with me and I didn’t need physical proof. It was time to truly trust that fact.

Another beautiful example of Mataji’s presence in my life happened at my recent wedding. My partner and I had decided to get married in a ‘low key’ way at a registry office and the idea was that we would have a spiritual wedding/blessing later. I chose to have a couple of readings during the ceremony read by two of my sisters. The registry office forbade any mention of God which was a disappointment for me (especially as I now I love the word God!). So I chose a poem about Love by Mataji from Poems of the Heart. My sister was very worried about speaking in public, but as she started to read the poem, a profound sense of peace washed over me and the whole room. I strongly felt Mataji’s presence. Later my sister told me that she felt completely at peace while reading the poem too. I felt blessed by Gurudeva’s presence I didn’t need a separate spiritual wedding after all. The beautiful poem perfectly describes the love of my Guruji has for me. She is always there I just need to open myself to receive it.