Getting help for my friend
Posted by: woebegone ()
Date: May 22, 2005 05:12PM

A very old and very dear friend has become involved in SYDA (Siddha Yoga). She was just getting over her second divorce and met a younger man who got her involved about two years ago. Siddha Yoga has since taken over her whole life. She no longer has any friends who are not also Siddha Yoga devotees. She now has a very elitist attitude as if she is privy to some esoteric knowledge that we mere mortals cannot grasp. Her language has changed, her mode of dress has changed, SYDA takes up every extra hour of her time and is apparantly costing her a lot of money to keep up with all the programs and "intensives" and retreats that she is always urged to attend. She speaks of her new "guru" as if she were God in the flesh, though I know the two of them have never actually met and are unlikely ever to do so. I have been doing a lot of research into SYDA and have been talking to many former members and from all I can tell, SYDA seems to fit into the classic totalist model. The long periods of meditation, the exotic setting of the meditation center, the repetitive mantra chanting and the "loaded language" that she is constantly exposed to is turning her into a "SYDA Zombie" and her own personality is quickly fading into the background.

I am very afraid for her. I know that some day she will ebventually come to realize how she is being decieved, coerced, and manipulated, but I am told that this may take many, many years to come to pass and that the final realization could be very tramatic to her. It's very difficult to come to terms with the knowledge that one you have grown to love has been betraying you.

I made the mistake initially of criticizing her "guru" before I understood just what was going on and consequently my friend has broken off all contact with me.

I am going to fly down to try to see her in a week. I hope she will not just slam the door in my face. I do not know exactly what I am going to say to her when I get there: I hope my visit doesn't do more harm than good.

Can anyone give me any suggestions? What sould I, CAN I do?



Getting help for my friend
Posted by: rrmoderator ()
Date: May 22, 2005 08:18PM

See []

This site has information about Siddha.

See []

This article explains coping strategies that might be useful.

Getting help for my friend
Posted by: corboy ()
Date: May 22, 2005 09:55PM

People who get involved with very energizing groups are often passionately loyal to the bliss experiences and feel they must stay close to who ever or whatever provided them.

There's a discussion on one of the Google listserves about how to make sense of these 'shaktipat' experiences.


I proceed under the assumption that shakti is a
natural energy, neither good or evil, but like fire, can be used for
helpful or for destructive means. I also believe that shakti is very
similar to drugs. (unquote-the rest of the article can be read in the URL below)



The most profound message you can offer is that you're always there for your friend. She's experiencing intensity and bliss, but these are not the same as acceptance and intimacy--which as an old friend, you can offer.

Best thing is get her to talk about what makes her happy and sad, if she's vegetarian, learn to cook some things she'll enjoy when she comes visiting. You may be able to get hints from her for good recipes---cooking is a great point of contact.

Hint that if she gets sick with the flu she can come stay with you until she feels better. This will demonstrate that the world isnt a bad, horrible place.

The most radical message is--'you always have a place here.'

Getting help for my friend
Posted by: woebegone ()
Date: May 23, 2005 02:56AM

Thank you both for your quick replies.

I have been studying this for a few months now and have been coresponding with former SYDA devotees in the Yahoo exSY list. I have found the people there to be very helpful and understanding.

I do appreciate the link to the old Google List which I will read today.

I'm afraid I have already made many of the classic mistakes in regard to my approach to my old friend. I opened my mouth and inserted my foot before I understood exactly what was going on with her. Consequently she has broken off all contact with me, will not respond to my letters and emails and has even refused to accept a birthday present delivered by the postman.

I'm going to fly down there this next weekend and try to see her if she is willing. I also have a job interview in the city so I can honestly say to her that I did not fly 1,000 miles JUST to see her.

I don't think I'm going to say anything to her about her involvement with this group unless she brings up the subject herself, though I kind of hope that she will.

All I'm trying to do with this trip is to reopen the lines of communication and try to regain her trust. I have always been honest and open with her and feel a little bit strange about holding anything back from her, but want to be VERY CAREFUL now not to put her off any further. I want to introduce the idea that there MIGHT be something fishy about SYDA very slowly and very gently. I would appreciate any ideas anyone can share with me about how best to do this.

Looks like I'm going to have a long, hard row to hoe. I love her very much and WILL NOT give up on her.

Thanx again.


Sorry, only registered users may post in this forum.
This forum powered by Phorum.