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The Boy with the Cup
Rendered by Gurumayi Chidvilasananda

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I cannot read this story often enough! Hearing of St. Augustine’s struggle helped me to not judge my own struggle and to just throw my cup into the ocean. The story helped me to take a second look at the insidious and various ways in which I can hold on to something. I find that by releasing my attachment to situations beyond my control, I sleep better.

New York, United States

I love this story. It reminds me of an experience I had when I learned that something I was attached to and valued greatly had been changed. Over and over, my mind agonized about why this happened and what I was to learn. Through chanting and meditation, time in nature, and hatha yoga, I was able to let it all go. Now I am at peace. I don’t even think about this situation anymore. I threw my cup of fear and turmoil into the ocean and have truly let it go. Now I experience light and peace. 

Washington, United States

I was delighted to read this story, which has been so beautifully rendered by Gurumayi. As I read about Saint Augustine’s struggles, I remembered an experience that I once had during a Siddha Yoga Shaktipat Intensive, many years ago. In the months leading up to that Intensive, whenever I meditated, I would encounter what seemed like a barrier that prevented me from entering the Heart. I tried to pierce that barrier or go around it, but nothing worked. I felt stuck.

Then, in the powerful energy of the Intensive, as we meditated with the Hamsa mantra, I stopped struggling and simply relaxed. Very naturally, I found myself resting in the Heart. There was no barrier; I was resting in the blissful ocean of Consciousness.
To this day, remembering this experience leads my awareness into the space of the Heart. My gratitude is unbounded.

Massachusetts, United States

Yesterday morning I read Gurumayi’s story “The Boy with the Cup” and contemplated it all day.

After reciting Shri Guru Gita this morning, I took my Guru’s advice, and I placed my cup in the ocean. I dove right in. I had one of most joy-filled and deepest meditations I have ever had.

Colorado, United States

As I read this story, I felt it was describing my life. I was always pushing myself to read the scriptures and to intensify my practices, hoping to have a deep spiritual experience. But the more I did so, the more elusive that experience became. My heart was heavy. I felt lost.

Contemplating the words “Throw your cup into the water,” I realized that the cup I was holding all along was the cup of lack and expectations. I understood that focusing on these prevented me from seeing the many beautiful experiences I was blessed with.

With this understanding, I immediately felt light as a feather. I could breathe freely. And I threw my cup into the ocean of Guru’s compassion, the ocean of Guru’s love.

This meant accepting my life as it unfolds and respecting every experience as being perfect. I am resolved to keep this understanding in the forefront of my consciousness and refresh it every day.

Hosur, India

As I sat for meditation shortly after reading “The Boy with the Cup,” many thoughts were going on in my mind. Remembering the story, I perceived these thoughts as my own “tiny cup” and threw it into the vast ocean of Consciousness. I was gradually drawn into a calm and blissful state for the duration of the meditation session and for many hours after.

Such a powerful teaching story! 

California, United States

This morning after meditation I read this story, and it touched me deeply. For some time I have been trying to comprehend in my mind certain aspects of my sadhana, and it has not been working. After reading the story, I suddenly realized: Yes, that’s it—I have forgotten Gurumayi’s grace, which is available all the time. Instead of listening to my limited ego, I can surrender it to the vast ocean of Gurumayi’s grace again and again and see what happens.

It is such an amazing gift to have a living Master who can change the inner state of a disciple who is ripe for it.

Berlin, Germany

What stood out for me in the story was that St. Augustine offered his compassion and understanding to the boy, and through giving, Augustine received the answer to his life’s quest.
I am learning from this story that giving “empties” me and creates the space within me to be able to receive.

Brossard, Canada

This story resonated so strongly with me as I stared at all my books and lessons and workshop material that call to me from my desk: “You need more knowledge and you need to study more!” That voice always demands more, more, more! I often feel like the boy standing at the ocean, especially when I participate in a class where the teacher seems to be “so much more advanced” than I think I am.
So I realized that for me, throwing the cup into the ocean means trusting that I will absorb whatever I need for going deeper into my sadhana. Often that means to simply stop what I’m doing, go inside, and let the shakti wash over me as I meditate. I haven’t thrown my cup into the ocean completely yet, but this story is a great reminder that I have a Guru who guides me and gives me all that I need for today.

Delaware, United States

This is a story that I have loved most of my life. I first heard it at school from the nuns, who described the small child as an angel. Over the years I have often identified interactions that have helped me break through into new understanding as a meeting with an angel. These angels have taken many forms.
Gurumayi’s beautiful rendition of this story has opened an entirely new dimension for me. I both shudder and laugh at how perfect the image is of me standing on the shore with my precious cup, eyeing the ocean with intent. Gurumayi’s words bring me such lightness, such a feeling of joyous freedom. “Throw your cup into the ocean!”
These words will now be with me forever.

Hampton, Australia

In the early 90s, I was fortunate enough to spend a week at Gurudev Siddha Peeth in India. Before I left, I was walking past the statue of Goddess Durga and experienced intense, beautiful, sparkling shakti everywhere. Though it was a great experience, I felt a tinge of sadness—for I was aware that I had only a very little cup to hold even the tiniest portion of that shakti.  
When I read this story, that lingering sadness disappeared because, by Gurumayi’s grace, I again experienced being immersed in that beautiful, sparkling shakti. I also became aware that grace has always been with me. All I have to do to experience this truth again is to get quiet and remember that we and everything else are That.

Oklahoma, United States

I want to thank my beloved Gurumayi for her beautiful rendering of this great story. Years ago, I too was one of those boys with an empty cup, standing at the edge of the ocean. But from the moment I first met Gurumayi, she has been teaching me that I need to throw my cup into the ocean—and has been showing me, patiently, lovingly, how to do it.

Russian Federation

Gurumayi’s rendering of this story reminds me that searching for unity outside through my senses leads to separation whereas permanent union dwells in my own heart. I had a vivid experience of this truth a few years after I received shaktipat, the inner awakening of Kundalini Shakti.

One day back then, I went up a mountain path along a stream. While looking at the stream, I became aware of my desire to search for unity with it, and I began to feel a knot tightening in my heart. This knot reached its peak when I arrived at the foot of a waterfall. At this point, I sat down and closed my eyes. The sound of the stream and the waterfall permeated my body, and I entered into a deep peace. I felt that the stream and I were one, that we were perfectly united inside.

With the understanding that this world is the manifestation of universal Consciousness, I seek again and again—through meditation—to immerse myself in the experience of profound unity with it.

Rodez, France

Even though I have heard this beautiful story several times over the years, Gurumayi’s rendition has struck such a deep chord for me. 
Ever since I was a young child, I have loved God on a pure and simple level. To read the words “Throw your cup into the ocean. Let yourselves dissolve into Love,” has somehow liberated me to let everything else go and experience God’s love unconditionally.
I feel like dancing and I feel I could fly!


Vasse, Australia

Reading Gurumayi’s wonderful rendering of the tale about the boy who wanted to fill his cup with the waters of the ocean reminded me in many ways of how I sometimes go about my day. Yet the moment I remember to release myself fully into the ocean of the Guru’s blissful presence, I feel completely at ease and am filled with peace and joy.

Cologne, Germany