Silya Muischneek, born in Switzerland in 1964, joined the cult of a seemingly ‘respectable’ Indian guru – Sri Chinmoy - in 1981, when she was only 16 years old. Driven by the noblest of spiritual values and ideals she devoted the next 17 years of her life to his ‘mission’. Doing so meant obeying the strict rules and demands of Chinmoy, for whom the obliteration of individuality was the most important spiritual discipline and every sign of individuality a form of disobedience that needed to be punished.

When she left the cult in 1998, Silya was a broken woman whose sense of self and contact with life had been deeply damaged - leaving her physically, emotionally and spiritually sick. For ten years she found herself in deep pain and with no help or useful advice, medical or spiritual.

Then, early in 2009, she came across the website and writings of a little-known European thinker, teacher and yogin – Acharya Peter Wilberg – finding that they not only gave deep insight into her still-present pains and spiritual questions, but also addressed these questions from a very different perspective than any other teacher. So instead of rejecting all further association with ‘spiritual’ teachers or ‘gurus’ she entered into correspondence with him.

Now Silya Muischneek invites the reader to share, through this book of her correspondence with Acharya, the Golden Key she found through his teachings – ‘The New Yoga of Awareness’. For these are teachings in which sacred Individuality and unity with the Divine are not seen as opposites in any way. They allowed her - after many difficult years of painful confusion and suffering - to once again breathe free and express her own freely individualising life in an all-new way, thus coming to a new and true awakening of Self and Awareness – ‘The Awakening of a Devi’.


This book honours and is dedicated to all those who journeyed with me on the same path, sharing a time of most intense, fruitful and rich togetherness.

On any such path of sincere dedication to the divine - ‘The Supreme’ - one value of supreme importance is truthfulness. To truthfully share the most painful, difficult and confusing sides of the life I found myself embedded in - as well as to continue to seek the supreme and divine source of life itself in all its expressions - I started to meditatively question and write.

What came to expression in my words and questions, shared in the letters that follow, does not seek to diminish or overrule the plenitude and richness of the many differing voices around and within me. Instead it came simply from an indispensible need to seek and share the deeper truth of life as I have experienced it.

One who studies and practices meditation grows ever nearer to and reaches ever deeper into that One divine and Supreme Awareness in which we all live and which we can all come to breathe. In the process of Awakening to this Awareness, both times that are most fulfilling and times that are most painful, difficult and confusing can help us to learn and grow.

Whether those who meditate this book are led to move in new directions or stay firm on their respective paths, what is important for us all is to uncover the deep value, dignity and glorious divinity of all human life and experiencing. This means never devaluing or ignoring what the individual self - itself a supreme expression of the divine - is called upon to express.
In describing the painful experiences which I share in this book, and expressing the questions that arose from them, I simply followed this healing call.

Silya Svanwith Muischneek
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