Year-End Message: Lighting the Way Forward


Dear Friends,

As we wrap up a momentous year, we want to thank you for all your love, inspiration, and support in this time of transition. Since Christine’s passing in August, we’ve continued to hear of the transformative influence of her life, from friends in New Mexico, the Netherlands, Nigeria, and many places in between. As we mourned the loss of her physical presence, it uplifted us and at times filled us with quiet wonder to celebrate with you the far-reaching and enduring power of her example. One friend wrote with beautiful simplicity, “Her love lights the path ahead.”

As we move into a new year and a new era, I – like this friend – find it deeply reassuring to think of all the light that illuminates the path in front of us: Easwaran’s presentation of universal wisdom and his meditation method for gradually making it our own. The living, loving force of his and Christine’s luminous examples. The meditation passages, shining with divine inspiration, from saints and sages who become beloved companions and beacons in our spiritual adventure. The collective striving of those who share our values and aspirations, and the warm glow of their encouragement  All radiating from and pointing back to what the Upanishads call the source of all light, and the source of our existence. The light that can never be dimmed or extinguished.

At the organizational level at the BMCM, we have much to guide and support us as well: The living memory and experience of Easwaran and Christine’s training and instruction over decades. Immersion in the way of life they established and modeled. Comprehensive written guidance, based on immutable foundational principles, to guide our decisions and operations. A robust culture of consultation and collaboration. Your support and participation, and your essential, irreplaceable work in bringing the teachings to life and breathing more peace and kindness into the world.

Easwaran and Christine fervently desired that the work they founded would continue for generations. With exquisite care, far-seeing wisdom, and absolute commitment, they made that possible, if we continue to work in harmony and turn to them and the teachings for support.

And, as they well knew, we live in unprecedented times, and there will be moments when we cannot see too far down the path. But an eternal light can guide our next step.

“I will always be grateful to Sri Easwaran for making it possible for lay people to understand the scriptures and emulate their core teachings. My life is better because of his compassion and guidance and gentleness.”

— A note from a friend last month

We want to take a moment to express our deep appreciation for all the help you give us, including through your donations that allow us to continue our free offerings and all our other work. And while there’s never an expectation that you include a note or comment, your words mean a great deal to us. We deeply value being in touch, hearing your news, and learning how your connection with Easwaran’s teachings is serving you. If you have not yet made a gift and would like to, we welcome your support. We also understand that, just as our costs are rising, yours are too. Anyone wishing to make an online donation can do so here.

We also warmly invite you to help get the new year off to a strong start by joining us and many friends across the globe for a Day of Mantrams for Peace and Healing on Sunday, January 1st. On this day we will be holding a special Satsang Live. Mantram writing begins at 9:40 a.m. Pacific Time and the Satsang Live program starts at 10:00 a.m.

Our hearts and thoughts are with all of you at this special time. We are filled with humble confidence that together we will continue to discover and live out what Easwaran meant when he said, “In the mystical tradition, it is after the physical passing of most of us that the work really increases in depth and beauty.”

I’ll end with passages from three different traditions, and with all our love, mantrams, and best wishes for a new year filled with growth and well-being. We look forward to staying in touch.

David Bishop

Shine Through Us

Cardinal Newman

Dear Jesus, help us to spread your fragrance
everywhere we go.
Flood our souls with your spirit and life.
Penetrate and possess our whole being so utterly
that our lives may only be a radiance of yours.
Shine through us, and be so in us,
that every soul we come in contact with
may feel your presence in our soul.
Let them look up and see no longer us
but only Jesus!
Stay with us, and then we shall begin to shine
as you shine; so to shine as to be a light to others;
the light, O Jesus, will be all from you,
none of it will be ours;
it will be you, shining on others through us.
Let us thus praise you in the way you love best
by shining on those around us.
Let us preach you without preaching, not by words
but by our example, by the catching force,
the sympathetic influence of what we do,
the evident fullness of the love
our hearts bear to you.

Source of Our Existence

Swami Paramananda

O Thou Compassionate, All-loving Spirit!
Thou art the sustaining power of our life.
Thou art the unalterable source of our existence.
Thou art eternally abiding within us.
Thou art above us and below us; Thou art before us and behind us;
Thou art all about us.

Unfold our understanding that we may comprehend Thy vastness.
Reveal unto us Thy Divine Grace that we may be sustained by
the knowledge of Thy Presence within us.

Fill our hearts with Thy holy inspiration that we may follow
Thy path with unwavering faith and undaunted courage.
Consecrate and sanctify our life.
Make us like little children, gentle, sweet and free from all blemish.

Fill our whole being with Thy Divine Light that we may know
all things in that Light.
Bestow upon us the gift of true vision that we may love
in Thy Love and live in Thy Life.
Teach us how we may partake of Thy blessedness.

We come to Thee with humility and devotion.
Grant unto us Thy abiding protection and surround us
with Thine all-enfolding peace.

The Shining Essence

Fakhruddin Araqi

I look into the mirror and see my own beauty;
I see the truth of the universe revealing itself as me.

I rise in the sky as the morning Sun, do not be surprised,
Every particle of creation is me alone.

What are the holy spirits? my essence revealed.
And the human body? the vessel of my own form.

What is the ocean that encircles the world?
A drop of my abundant Grace;
And the purest light that fills every soul?
A spark of my own illumination.

I am Light itself, reflected in the heart of everyone;
I am the treasure of the Divine Name,
the shining Essence of all things.

I am every light that shines,
Every ray that illumines the world.

From the highest heavens to the bedrock of the earth
All is but a shadow of my splendor.

If I dropped the veil covering my true essence
The world would be gone – lost in a brilliant light.

What is the water that gives eternal life?
A drop of my divine nectar.
And the breath that brings the dead back to life?
A puff of my breath, the breath of all life.