Tuesday, August 17, 2010


Here's the clip from yesterday's live TV moment, discussing Siddha Yoga, Eat Pray Love, and The Guru Looked Good: clip


SeekHer said...

Marta you truly looked good! And sounded even better. Wonderful that you had a chance to counter the SYDA disinformation campaign about Eat Pray Love. I hope many more people read your excellent memoir as a result.


MartaSzabo said...

Thank you for the support, SeekHer. Great to hear from you. I hope you post something over at Salon.com where SYDA has posted a defense. Your voice would be hugely appreciated. m

Anonymous said...

Well, Marta, you had some very thoughtful and insightful things to say. It would have been great if you had been allowed to finish a thought (any of them!) before being interrupted and redirected. It seemed to me that you barely began one answer to a question before you were asked another, and you almost never had a chance to finish a sentence. Well, that's the media for you.

eo said...

Everything both sides are saying about SYDA is true. GM is an authentic kundalini shaktipat guru and countless people can attest to this in very detailed ways. However, actual ego-transcending enlightenment eludes her and all her devoted friends.


Anonymous said...

well done Marta! best wishes to you! i hope the book flies off the shelves...:) seriously

Stuart said...

eo said, GM is an authentic kundalini shaktipat guru and countless people can attest to this in very detailed ways.

In fact, no one can attest to this in any way at all. To claim that Gurumayi is a "shaktipat guru" is to embrace a belief system. It's like saying, "I've been saved by Jesus" or "Martians are controlling my thoughts."

If embracing a belief in a "shaktipat guru" (or in Jesus or Martians) fills some psychological need, OK. Also, it can be useful to remain aware that beliefs are just beliefs, and actual experience is something else entirely.

It's exactly like an ancient Roman seeing the sun cross the sky, and believing that a god was carrying the sun in a chariot. How is it any different to make claims about a "shaktipat guru"? It's just a belief... though it's easy for people to confuse their beliefs with truth.


MartaSzabo said...

Well said, Stuart. My sentiments precisely.

Anonymous said...


I read TGLG when it was posted here as a blog. I read all the comments too. Then when it came out in paperback I bought a copy and read that as well. But not until I saw this TV interview clip did it strike me: I can’t imagine going public against ANY organization, let alone one run by the individual I used to consider my direct line to God (which is how I perceived Gurumayi, albeit privately, during my 15+ years in Siddha Yoga).

The point is, seeing you in this interview, I am struck for the first time by your bravery. We’ve never met or spoken live, so perhaps seeing you “in the flesh” in this clip drives the reality – of your self-exposure, willingness to make yourself vulnerable, and therefore your strength – home.

The woman I see seated on the couch in this clip (holding her own very well, I might add, despite the perky/pouncey Regis-and-Kelly-school-of-interviewing format) appears in many ways to be nothing like the character who sublimated her power to a “higher authority” once upon a time in TGLG.

I’ve now read the salon.com article, all the comments and SYDA’s rebuttal. To my knowledge this is the first time they’ve made such an overt counterpunch. Amazing to me all these years later that someone, perhaps several people, still has the “seva” of policing the organization’s “public image.” Perhaps last week’s Eat, Pray, Love premiere put them all on Amber Alert.

In the comments at salon, I also came across the suggestions that you and Dan Shaw are “using” your SYDA experience “for your own personal and financial gain.” I am biting my tongue here to avoid getting very, very flip. . . but really, what can one say except the old “it would be funny if it weren’t so sad.” (The further and further away I get from all of this the more rational I feel.)

On the flip side, also in the letters at salon, “What’s the current state of Siddha Yoga?” (posted yesterday by eye of the tiger) takes most of the words right out of my mouth. Including this question: “Why haven’t any long-term supporters of the movement written anything of substance about their experience?”

Additionally, “Stop the Press: The Rest of the Siddha Yoga Story” (posted today by Hilary Abramson) – clever title, no? – will be of particular interest to those in the media or those had the “seva” of trying to silence them.

(Incidentally, I emailed the latter to a former-journalist, former-devotee friend. In the countdown to the release of Lis Harris’ article in 1994, this person was contacted by Fallsburg and asked “who they new” at the New Yorker. Stop the press, indeed.)

Several months ago, over at the ex-SY yahoo group, there was talk that the release of the movie version of Eat, Pray, Love wouldn’t kick up much dust around the abandon roads that apparently still lead to whatever’s left of SYDA. But it seems a bit of namak is getting tossed on some old wounds after all.

What I notice for myself, and hope is true for others: the sting lessens with time.

Best wishes,
L. (Lucid)

Anonymous said...


We hear that SYDA is collapsing (I certainly hope so!), but what objective proof is there of that happening? The devotee count is down, but they seem to have "circled the wagons."

A guru is supposed to be loving. What kind of love is it where a guru severs her relations with her parents and tries to destroy her own brother. One would think a loving guru would offer profuse apologies to her parents and brother, and bring them back under one roof again. THAT would be an example of at least a good person, never mind a good guru.

It is interesting: Gurumayi has disappeared from view and is inaccessible to her followers. On the other hand, her brother, who has reclaimed his own guruship and runs -- apparently -- a traditional Siddha Yoga along the lines Muktananda used to do -- is out there and available, even allowing YouTube videos on the internet. His version seems to be on the rise. He's building his third ashram in Walden, NY, not to far from Gurumayi's in South Fallsburg. Interesting... One wonders however, what kind of shenanigans are gong on there too.

Anonymous said...

When will your book be turned into a movie? Now THAT would make for some interesting karma!

Anonymous said...

You appeared to be so insecure during the interview and you seem to so desperately want the approval of others. Like a small wounded child.

Anonymous said...

"You appeared to be so insecure during the interview and you seem to so desperately want the approval of others. Like a small wounded child."

??? It's all in the eye of the beholder. I saw you as very gracious and contained, if anything, cut off by the inept interviewers. Pity they didn't let you develop points. TV can be like speed dating.

You did great! Clear, articulate, not coming across as angry or embittered, but really measured and balanced.

Well done Marta.

Anonymous said...


Wonderful job, well done!

You offered some insightful commentary and the introduction of your book will serve to help others be able to research more thoroughly than the 4 plus minutes you had on air, the realities of this path and others like it.

Anonymous said...

Insecure? Wanting the approval of others? Small wounded child?

Wow, it sure shows how people view things with different "filters" in their mind's eye.

I thought Marta acquitted herself well when the interviewers kept cutting her off.

The ONLY criticism I can imagine is that Marta may not have been prepared for the mainstream media's "5-second sound bite or we cut you off" mode of operation.

In big media (since it IS big business), time = money and a few seconds of pause time to think about how to make one's next statement simply provides more opportunity for an experienced big media interviewer to cut you off mid-thought and force you into changing the direction of your stream of consciousness mid-stream.

The only thing Marta could be accused of IMHO is that she wasn't as prepared as necessary in a media world of 5-second rapid fire thrust and parry. Otherwise, Marta looked poised, calm, solid.

I have nary a clue where the accusations of insecure, looking like a small wounded child, or wanting the approval of the interviewers, would come from given this clip.

Must be the commenter's anger at Marta for turning against Siddha Yoga. In which case it's the commenter who may be the insecure, wounded child. "Your world is as you see it."

cathytowle said...

Hey Marta, Had a nasty case of Bronchitis during this last 10 days, so I missed all the good stuff!! Great job on air...you looked polished and had great talking points when they allowed you to finish a thought!! I liked how you handled directing everything to your experience, instead of blanket statements about SY. It has been really interesting to read all the comments posted here, there and other places. Can't wait to have some time to contribute maybe tomorrow! So happy to see your face out there! Love, Cathy