From the Office of the Secretary of Religion of Sikh Dharma International
Dharma Minister's Newsletter
Aquarian Sadhana - SS Manjit Kaur Khalsa, Espanola, NM
"We are all pioneers in the Age of Aquarius. No man can give a man anything other than love. No man can give a man anything other than hope. No man can give a man anything but service. The only thing you can do is act like a forklift - go into the dirt and lift the other person and put him on track, so he can proceed. You will ask me the question, 'If I start doing that all the time, what will happen to me?' Then the big forklift called God will come, and He will go into the dirt
and lift you up. Is there a better deal than that?"
From the Secretary of Religion
These are turbulent, challenging, transitional times globally, within countries, nations, communities, and most certainly, our Dharma. There is much uncertainty, confusion and upheaval. Yet we have been trained to weather this, and so much more. As Ministers of Sikh Dharma entering the Aquarian Age, our frequency is carried through our core relationship to the Shabad Guru, our consciousness of service, and our collective unity.
On Sunday June 19th, 2011, we held our last Summer Solstice Minister's Gathering before we cross the threshold into the new age. The theme for the gathering was "Strong as Steel, Steady as Stone: The Sikh Dharma Ministry Enters the Aquarian Age." As your Secretary of Religion, I want to share with you some highlights from this gathering. Just as a reminder, we call these "gatherings" rather then meetings because the emphasis is on spending time together as Ministers to elevate and educate ourselves, rather than focus primarily on business.
After I gave a short introduction and framing for the gathering, SS Dr. Shanti Shanti Kaur led us in an 11-minute solidarity meditation. This meditation required us to be in a circle. Afterwards we stayed in the circle to answer the following questions:
1) What does strong as steel, steady as stone mean to you?
2) What helps you to sustain that strength and steadiness, and what distracts you from it?
3) As a Minister in your service, how do you inspire people to foster a relationship with the Guru and seva?
Everyone had an opportunity to answer each question. The responses to questions 1) and 2) were: keeping up through adversity; having a strong nervous system; having a steady Sadhana; living your principles; standing up for your beliefs (even when it is hard to do); being there for others in need; seeing the truth of things as they are and adjusting effectively to change; not letting yourself or others down; holding the space of Shunia no matter what is going on; remembering that compassion is the core; holding the radiant body of Guru Gobind Singh; bowing to Guru's will; and keeping a steady endurance with grace.
In response to the second part of question 2), people shared what distracts them: external and internal commotion; emotions; judging others; forgetting to breathe consciously; monkey mind; fear; lack of discipline; not meditating; and forgetting who is the Doer. Someone shared a profound quote: "Don't believe everything you think!"
A sampling of responses to question 3) regarding inspiring those we serve included: modeling and inviting; serving langar; teaching and allowing one's presence to work; reaching out to all; telling stories; inspiring people's hearts so that they are drawn to their desired seva; serving whoever comes; loving to serve; serving with love; sharing what serving and connection to Guru has meant personally; taking hukums and inviting others to do so; helping students to excel; and teaching people about the rewards of seva and a relationship with the Guru.
Everyone was given a handout called: Sadhana Tool Kit. SS Sangeet Kaur from Espanola explained that these materials were originally developed for a sangat workshop. The Sadhana Tool Kit will shortly be available for general distribution through the KRI website.
SS Chioneso Kulwant Kaur led us in a meditation entitled: Kundalini Yoga Kriya with Laya Yoga Kundalini Mantra. The meditation firmly grounded us as "strong as steel, steady as stone" beings! I then summarized and closed our gathering. In the midst of the wind and dust, it was a blessed time. It is my prayer that you get to join us at our next gathering.
SS Dr. Sat-Kaur Khalsa, Secretary of Religion
SS Nav Jivan Memorial - To Our Sister Minister
On Friday, August 12, 2011 Sardarni Sahiba Nav Jiwan Kaur Khalsa of Espanola, New Mexico, died after a long illness. We will miss her generous heart and strong, clear spirit. She is survived by her children Abinashi Singh and Guru Parkash Kaur, daughter in-law Sat Siri Kaur, sister Anne and brother Jim.
We honor her memory in the words of her family and friends.
Her elder sister Anne describes early signs of Nav Jiwan Kaur's spirit. "In our classically WASP 1950's New England family there were rules that we followed because we were told to, whether they made sense to us or not. Nav Jiwan Kaur knew what made sense to her and acted accordingly. If she wanted something in the high cupboard in the kitchen she took matters into her own hands. Rather than waiting for a grownup, she made a ladder of the lower drawers and climbed them to reach her goal. This was at four years old."
Hari Charn Kaur and Sarb Sarong Kaur speak of the friendship, strength, dignity, courage and spirit that Nav Jiwan Kaur conveyed as a sister, wife and mother. Once, Hari Charn Kaur heard the Siri Singh Sahib speak of Nav Jiwan Kaur as "a genuine Khalsa woman."
Shanti Shanti Kaur says, "What I hold most dear about Nav Jiwan Kaur is how authentic she was. She made being a spiritual woman real, practical and true. No embellishment, just what is. One day toward the end of her illness she said, "When I die don't use any mamby-pamby words like, 'transition' or 'left her body' or 'passed away' and tell other people not to use those words, either. Say I died. I know that I don't really die, that my soul lives forever; I don't need anyone reminding me of that. I just don't want people attempting to get around the fact of death. It is okay to use the words. So use the words: death, died." Could she be any more straightforward?
Her children and family send their deep appreciation to all the people who served and supported Nav Jiwan Kaur over the course of her illness.
"The main experience in the Age of Aquarius is God within; then you are grateful, you are merciful, you are passionate, you are wonderful. Whatever God has given you, He’ll give more. From time immemorial we have been taking His virtues and blessings—and living."
Siri Singh Sahib, October 13, 2001
The Miracle of the Siri Guru Granth Sahib
Excerpted and edited from transcripts of lectures of Siri Singh Sahib Bhai Sahib Harbhajan Singh Khalsa Yogiji
It takes you many incarnations to find a Guru. And sometimes as a human you may not even find a Guru, or you may find a Guru who is bogus. These are not worth anything. The blind will take you to the pitch of darkness and death. But look at the Sikh. He is conceived in the womb of the mother and the Siri Guru Granth is outside waiting for him. You cannot be a Sikh and be Nirgura (without a Guru). The Guru is given to you, and to your seed, and to your conception. Later on, you may accept it or not. But never will you be without the Guru. When someone asks, "Who is your Guru?", you say, "Siri Guru Granth. Sat Naam." He can't question you. Because it's the Word. It was the Word of those who were on Earth and there is no parallel to it.
That's why they call it Siri Guru Granth. Gur=formula. Guru=the active formula. Siri Guru=the universality of the applied consciousness of that formula. So, just less than Wahe Guru is Siri Guru, and our Guru is called "Siri Guru Granth." Granth means that the Guru is tied down. It is not a human being as a Guru, it is a Granth, a volume. All the Gurus are tied in to it. No escape. When you recite Japji, you become Guru Nanak, because Guru Nanak recited it. You want to find Guru Nanak? This is how Guru Nanak spoke, and this is how you speak. When you say, "Ek Ong Kaar, Sat Naam, Kartaa Purakh, Nirbhau, Nirvair, Akaal Moorat, Ajoonee, Saibhang, Gur Prasaad, Jaap: Aad Sach, Jugaad Sach, Hai Bhee Sach, Naanak Hosee Bhee Sach", is Guru Nanak separate? Did Guru Nanak have two mouths and six tongues? Was he different from you? No, he was different only in what he spoke, and what he spoke we can speak too.
Is there a difference between you and Guru Arjun when you say, "Tayraa keetaa jaato naahee, maino jog keeto-ee. Mai nirgunee-aaray ko gun naahee, aapay taras pay-o-ee"? Guru Arjun spoke exactly like that. His mouth moved the same way as my mouth moved. His tongue moved the same way as my tongue moved. His prana created the same Shabad as my prana created.
This is the first time on this planet Earth that the Word has presided over man, and man has bowed to the Word. There is no middle man. Vedas can be God, but not Guru. Bible can be holy scripture, but not Guru. Mahabharata can be the greatest philosophy, but not Guru. The only scriptures which attained Guruhood is the Siri Guru Granth. You will not find any scripture addressed on this planet as a Guru. We are Sikhs, and the seeker cannot live without Guru. The seeker is never without Guru, and Guru must be for the seeker. Oh, friend, without Guru there is no knowledge. Then find Guru. Where? You don't know? We were fortunate. Nanak found the Guru for us. What Guru? The Guru, as he found it, was the Word. The Word was his Guru. He gave us the Word too. Amazing!
I am not forcing you to read Siri Guru Granth. Don't misunderstand me. For all I care, you may not ever read it in your life. I don't care. Don't learn it for my sake. Learn it because there is no way out! The psyche surrounding this Earth has become so vast, and the territory of this Earth has become so little, that you require accurate rhythm, accurate scale and divinity. That's why after every Shabad the word Nanak came as a seal, so that nobody could alter it. All other scriptures of the world were written after the great people had died, but this scripture was written within the lifetime of the Gurus. Guru Arjun was alive when he wrote the Adi Granth; he signed every page. If you go to Kartarpur in India, they can show you the first volume of the Siri Guru Granth that was written; it is on hand. Guru Arjun compiled the entire Granth but left some pages blank, and those pages were filled later on with the Bani of the other Gurus and saints.
The many words of Siri Guru Granth Sahib are like the leaves of a great tree. There are twenty millions and trillions of leaves on this tree, there are thousands of branches on the tree, but there is only one root. Therefore you are given a Mool Mantra, the Root Mantra of all mantras: "Ek Ong Kaar, Sat Naam, Kartaa Purakh, Nirbhau, Nirvair, Akaal Moorat, Ajoonee, Saibhang, Gur Prasaad, Jaap: Aad Sach, Jugaad Sach, Hai Bhee Sach, Naanak Hosee Bhee Sach." What Nanak has said in these few words is a great secret to know. Nanak has explained God. What is God? Ek Ong Kaar: there is One Creator who has created this creation. Sat Naam: Truth is His Identity. Kartaa Purakh: the Being who does. Nirbhau: Fearless. Nirvair: Revengeless. He is explaining the Universe. Akaal Moorat: beyond death. Ajoonee: it doesn't come in birth or death. Saibhang: by itself. And Gur Prasaad: it is the gift of the Guru. How is that gift obtained? Here are the orders: Jaap. What's Jaap? Perform this meditation. Aad Sach, Jugaad Sach, Hai Bhee Sach, Naanak Hosee Bhee Sach: True in the Beginning, True in the Primeval Age, True now, says Nanak, He shall certainly be True in the future.
That's the secret, that's the key. It's a tragedy in the world. Somewhere there are locks but no key; somewhere there are keys, but no locks. And Guru Arjun knew about it. All he did was to put all the scriptures and mantras of the world along with the locks and keys in a serial order. You will find few Shabads in the Guru Granth Sahib where there is no Rahao. Whenever you say Rahao, that means the essence is being explained. Rahaao means, whatever I have said before, that is the key.
Guru Granth Sahib is written like a city of divinity: it has trees, it has house numbers, it has boulevards, it has freeways, it has staircases, it has doors, it has windows. Read it properly; you'll find it is a whole city.
The entire Siri Guru Granth Sahib is written in Japa Sutras. When you put your mind into reading Siri Guru Granth, it stimulates the central nervous system we call shushmanaa. All that movement of your most subtle and sensitive part of the body, the tongue, is there to create positivity.
Once a girl asked me a question, "I am reading Siri Guru Granth, but very little is happening." I laughed. I said, "What would have happened without it?" At some places you go, there is a lot of work, there is a lot of garbage. There are some places which are very clean. You can't blame the broom! Some minds are very scattered; some minds are very one-pointed, and some wood is very wet. Try to start a fire with it, you put dry wood on it, blow air in it, put paper, do all these things. All that heat you create around it, when it dries, it burns up. Then you have a good fire, right? But sometimes you get very dry wood. Just put a little heat to it and it will start burning. Is something wrong with the fire? No. The wood is wet. Or, the other analogy is: Some wood is wet. You make furniture with it. It bends, twists, curls, gets out of shape. Is something wrong in the way you make the furniture? No, the wood was wet. But if you take seasoned wood and make it, it will be steady. So, the mind has to learn that.
There are a lot of sutras in the Siri Guru Granth that can create miracles out of God energy. Miracles! And after that, if that has been the vibration in your existence, then your projection becomes the most powerful light of God Divinity, and that light will prevail through you.
Reprinted from "Victory and Virtue: Ceremonies and Code of Conduct of Sikh Dharma," published by the Office of the Bhai Sahiba of Sikh Dharma of the Western Hemisphere. To purchase this manual online, visit Sikh Dharma International or visit SikhNet.com for an online version. Please feel free to submit your dharmic questions to:firstname.lastname@example.org .
As we celebrate the birthday of our Teacher on August 26, please consider supporting the Master's vision for teaching our youth by purchasing a copy of "Akal Dyal."
by SS Manjit Kaur Khalsa, Espanola, NM)
News and Information
2011 Minister Renewal - Please be sure to pay your minister fees and send your minister renewal letters in order to receive your new 2011 minister ID cards. There is no exam this year. Click on the Paypal link to renew online!
Consider enhancing the next year for yourself with "Journey Into the Heart of Sikh Dharma," a small group tele-course, now in its 11th year, to deepen your Dharmic relationship and enhance your spiritual growth. This virtual sangat meets on the phone two Mondays a month starting September 26th, 2011 through mid-April 2012.
Facilitated by SS Mata Mandir Kaur and joined by expert teachers in many areas of the Dharma, our focus is to discover, deepen, and nurture our spiritual journey with Sikh Dharma. The course serves those with all levels of experience in the Dharma from newcomers to ministers and the diversity in the class is enriching and rewarding for all. For more information and registration, please visit www.journeyintotheheartofsikhdharma.org.
New Ministers who took vows at Summer Solstice 2011 (photo above): SS Sat Daya Singh Khalsa, Los Angeles, CA; SS Gurujodha Singh Khalsa, Mexico City, Mexico; SS Amrit Singh Khalsa, Queensland, Australia; SS Mahan Atma Kaur Khalsa, Los Angeles, CA. Wahe Guru and Blessings!
Minister Fees for 2011 now payable by Paypal. Contact SS Ek Ong Kar Kaur (Los Angeles) email@example.com for more information.
The final cusp of the Piscean Age ends on November 11, 2011, and the
A Vision of
By SS Ravi Har Singh Khalsa, Espanola, NM
For most of the past year I've been working on writing a book about the Siri Singh Sahib's vision for the Aquarian Age. I would like to share how this process has affected me personally and what I've learned about myself in the process. I've always been fascinated with both the future and the distant past. As a kid, I avidly read science fiction; as an adolescent, I enjoyed Edgar Cayce and Immanuel Velikovsky and every kind of woo-woo imaginable since. Fairly recently some non-Sikh friends with similar interests started asking me questions about what Yogi Bhajan said about Earth changes, or population changes, or religion in the future. I realized that, after almost forty years as a student of the Siri Singh Sahib, I was able to answer many of these questions in a reasonably coherent way.
Out of this came the germ of the idea to write a book about his vision of the future. I'd never really thought of myself as a writer, but the idea grew and grew, and seemed to take on a life of its own. Ultimately it led to some preliminary conversations, a book proposal and ultimately a publishing contract with Kundalini Research Institute (KRI). In hindsight I think it was the awakening of a destiny that I'd long ignored and suppressed. That's one of those things about these times – we can no longer ignore who we are or what we are meant to be doing. At the same time I had the nagging feeling that this whole effort would end up being personally transformative in some way.
I got started in earnest on the project about nine months ago. It turned out to be a major research project. I received hundreds of raw transcripts of lectures from KRI and had to build a database to manage all of the information. Each lecture had to be searched, read, extracted and key worded to identify those nuggets of wisdom which would be relevant to the book.
I found myself slowly peeling the layers of the onion. With each layer that I uncovered, I would discover new and surprising layers below. I realized new insights about the Siri Singh Sahib's teaching style. I realized how non-linear and multidimensional his teachings actually are. He said many times that he was really speaking to the future. Well, here I am in the future, or at least the beginnings of the future, trying to synthesize his vision into a coherent message. I found that he rarely develops a concept completely in one place, at one sitting. Instead he often delivers fragments of concepts across a wide number of lectures. It is up to the researcher to apply a good dose of intuition to bring these fragments together into a coherent whole. I began to sense the pressure of my own mental frameworks having to change as I went through this process.
My concept of the book also changed as I started delving deeper and deeper. I realized that the transformation to the Aquarian Age is actually a change of universal vibrational frequencies from the subtle realms into the grosser realms. In order to make sense of this, I felt that I had to better understand the scientific and technical principles of consciousness, since these principles are underlying the entire process. The result of the transformation into the Aquarian Age will be a new world based on a new consciousness, a different functioning of the human brain, delivering a different awareness. In order to be able to write about these concepts effectively I would have to master them myself. I would have to learn to leave my old Piscean mental patterns behind and start to learn to use my own Aquarian mind.
This is no small task. It involves making changes in my own consciousness. What is the best tool we have for changing our consciousness? Well, of course, sadhana. So, in an unexpected way, the Master's hand led me, through writing a book, to a whole new relationship with my sadhana. Now I am able to approach sadhana perhaps more as a scientist or researcher would, seeking an experience and seeking to understand the experience based on underlying principles of consciousness. I find that I am not just doing sadhana out of a sense of duty, or faith, or routine, but usually with an enthusiasm and a sense of excitement about the experience and the transformations that it will bring.
The book will be completed and published, God willing, on schedule. It is a wonderful opportunity to provide the service of sharing the Siri Singh Sahib's teachings with both existing and new audiences in a way that has not been readily accessible in the past. I am grateful for this opportunity. But I have already realized a profound and unanticipated personal transformation through this effort. In the process of setting out to write about the change to the Aquarian Age, I've actually begun to transform myself into a true Aquarian.
Ravi Har Singh is currently writing "We are the Aquarians: Yogi Bhajan's Vision of the Aquarian Age," which is scheduled to be published by the Kundalini Research Institute and available at Summer Solstice 2012.
By SS Manjit Kaur Khalsa, Espanola, NM
As we prepare to serve the highest Truth in the dawning Aquarian Age, sadhana – especially the Aquarian sadhana taught by Yogi Bhajan – will provide the spiritual capacity to sustain ourselves and others. All devotees of the Infinite Divine, uniquely and in perfect harmony with their own ten bodies, destinies, samskaras, environments, constitutions, genes, relationships, and resources generally arrive at the sadhana that works for them. Remarkably, Aquarian sadhana fits all types. All Sikh ministers, and in turn their ministry, can benefit from this practice.
The Aquarian sadhana was first given for a 21-year period starting June 21, 1992. Within our Master's miraculous legacy of humanology, mantras, kriyas, teachings, and special messages, it stands out. In this set of seven timed mantras, the Creator has given us a way to optimize our experience of His Creation.
SS Sangeet Kaur, who along with SS Sat Nirmal Kaur and SS Hari Charn Kaur teaches the wonderful Aquarian sadhana workshops at Solstice and elsewhere, suggested I write about my sadhana experiences. Even when I miss all or part of group or morning sadhana, if I do each of the mantras at some point during my day I still feel benefits. Sometimes I chant at random intervals in my schedule, and in unusual settings. More than once I have found myself doing errands and muttering the seven minutes of Long Ek Ong Kars, or one of the other mantras. The full effect of the chants would of course be far greater if done as taught. It's astounding to me that I experience transformation from even a minimal level of practice. And many of the effects probably escape my conscious awareness.
The aforementioned ladies have put together a Sadhana Tool Kit* attached here. It includes practical tips to support your sadhana practice, the meaning and intentions of the Aquarian sadhana mantras, and many gems from the Siri Singh Sahib ji's classes on the Mul Mantra. The Aquarian sadhana provides a microcosm of your life's journey in a little over an hour. It's a process of preparing the individual self to move through the hours of the day, serving the One God at all levels of being.
Spiritual practice makes us feel happy, peaceful, balanced, elevated, connected with Infinity, healed, powerful. We may experience Shuniya, Guru and individual and universal soul. Our efforts and relationships seem more harmonious, universal and productive. Our thoughts and feelings are clearer and more elevated. We are somehow more proactive in creating our personal reality and improving things on Earth. Our prayers seem more effective. This all builds exponentially when we practice in a group.
One goal in any spiritual practice is to better serve ultimate Truth in thought, word and deed. The meditation, prayer, actions and devotion of people of Divine Love combine in a force field around the Earth, in our deepest hearts, and in a universal Unconscious. Together we are truly moving towards universal peace, love and meaningful prosperity.
* The attached Sadhana Tool Kit is in its unpublished form. It is currently being revised, and will shortly be available to download on the KRI website, to be freely shared with all!
Sadhana Jewels (compiled from The Teachings of Yogi Bhajan)
How to Go to Sleep (by Yogi Bhajan)
One who calls himself a Sikh of the Guru, the True Guru, shall
A Doorway for the Shabd Guru
by SS Sat Kartar Kaur Khalsa, Los Angeles, CA
In the last ten years I have taught in various Level 1 Teacher Training courses. I marvel at how far KRI has come with the development of curriculum. There is a huge body of information to impart to teacher trainees, and while the Sound and Mantra modules are comprehensively well organized, there is little time to cover the technology of Shabd Guru, with respect to how many other subjects need to be covered. Working with student teachers, I've seen how many techniques they need to practice, for just leading the most basic yoga class.
I have immense appreciation for how, in such a short time, the Siri Singh Sahib delivered to us the relationship between Yoga and the Shabd Guru. I have come to realize that in the Age of Aquarius, we, as ministers and teachers, have the task to be a teaching "doorway" to yogically render an earthly understanding of the heavenly mysteries of the Shabd Guru.
Yoga for the Seventh Chakra
When I lived in Espanola in the 1980s I heard the Siri Singh Sahib say, in Gurdwara: "Gurbani Kirtan is when you have sex with God. " At a visceral level, this statement helped me to comprehend the depth of sacred ecstacy in Guru's Bani. He also spoke about what happens when experienced Ragis play kirtan with skill, practice, and the appropriate consciousness. He said that in hearing and singing these sounds, the petals of the seventh chakra rotate and the nectar sound showers down through the being. There are many shabds in the Guru Granth Sahib which detail this experience of the lover (student or devotee) and the Beloved (the Guru) in myriad poetic ways. Our Aquarian sadhana is the perfect preparation-- through Japji; yoga to strengthen the nervous system; chanting to clear and elevate thought patterns; Gurdwara to listen and sing the sacred verses of our Living Guru.
Songs of Our Nation
The first way I learned about the joy of the Shabd Guru in the 1970s was through English translations of shabds from Peace Lagoon. Songs like "Oh my mother I'm in Ecstacy" by Singh Kaur, gave me my first understanding of the Anand Sahib. There is a reason that Yogi Bhajan said "our songs are our nation." These English songs were major AHAs! for me in correlating the connection between Kundalini Yoga and the Shabd Guru. I learned volumes from Guru Singh's Golden Temple song:
Your body's a temple entering into the Golden Age;
The story is quite simple, it's been told by every sage;
Take ahold of your Golden Temple
Every single one of us is a walking Golden Temple, lit by the Light of the Shabd Guru. My prayer is that we keep singing those songs and share what they are about with all those who are coming to this path.
Journey of the Heart
by SS Mata Mandir Kaur Khalsa, Herndon, VA
The Age of Aquarius is the age of knowledge and experience. As we enter this age as ministers, we have a powerful tool for educating ourselves. The bridgeline course, Journey into the Heart of Sikh Dharma, celebrates 11 years this fall. We interviewed SS Mata Mandir Kaur Khalsa about her journey developing and facilitating this wonderful course.
Q: How was Journey to the Heart of Sikh Dharma created and how did you become the facilitator?
MMK: In 2000, Siri Sikdar Sahiba Sardarni Guru Amrit Kaur was working on a minister training course. My daughter, Saraswati Kaur (former Sikh Dharma Minister Newsletter editor), suggested me to help develop the course because I was involved in an wonderful training program called clinical pastoral education. Once we finished the development, I was so excited about it that I wanted to have an ongoing involvement. Our course started with 10 people and we have had an average of 8-14 students each year. For a few years, we had two courses running simultaneously. Over time, this course evolved to be a wonderful way for anyone with an interest in deepening their connection with the Sikh path to participate in this journey.
Q: How has the course evolved over the years?
MMK: Even though the program started as a minister’s training program, this course has always been an experiential journey to create a sense of community. We have had ministers take this course, and a number of people who take the course go on to become Sikh Dharma ministers. More and more, this course has become a vehicle for people who are new to the Dharma; it is a place for people to feel welcomed, befriended, and to learn about this technology in a deep and personal way. I have really enjoyed working with all of our participants. People who are new to the Dharma have an incredible sense of enthusiasm…everything is a Wow! moment for them. The people who have been on this path for many years bring their wisdom and experience, so we all feed and enrich each other. We also find that many people taking teacher training want to follow up by learning more about the relationship between Kundalini Yoga and Sikh Dharma lifestyle.
Q: Tell us about the seva projects.
MMK: As this is an experiential course, we include “homework” assignments, including written reflections on the various topics. All participanst also develop their own seva projects. By serving, the students make real contributions to the Dharma and to others, thereby experiencing the real “juice” of seva. People have set up children’s gurdwara programs, visited nursing homes, served or established free kitchens, set up a gurdwara sound system, taught free yoga and meditation classes to special populations in their communities. A few of our past participants are now helping to teach this course, which is another great way for them to continue serving.
Q: As a bridgeline course, how do you develop a sense of community?
MMK: The bridgeline is really a wonderful Aquarian tool for connection. We create a sacred space for each participant to share and to give and receive helpful feedback. Our great team of facilitators is diverse, incredibly knowledgeable, inspired, and dedicated to sharing the technology of Sikh Dharma. We have also developed a “buddy system” for participants to work with each other on their homework assignments together outside of the course. People feel very bonded to each other during and after this course. I also am inspired that we have a number of Punjabi Sikhs who share their love of Guru, of Shabad and of Seva, while at the same time, opening up to practicing Kundalini Yoga and meditation. Our course is a cross-cultural experience in so many ways, because we have such a diverse group.
Q: How is this course designed to support people in their transition to the Aquarian Age?
MMK: Our course gives people a chance to experience a sense of community; it is a place to have our ideas nurtured and validated. We experience ways to deepen our relationship with Shabd Guru and learn about surrender. Sikh Dharma is more than a religion. Its purpose is to teach people how to go deep into their spirit. We also deeply honor each person’s unique evolution and contribution, how they connect with and express their spirituality.
Q: What have you learned from this course and what are you most excited about for this upcoming course in September 2011?
MMK: I have learned to become more inclusive about my definition of what it means to be a Sikh. Not everyone can be a Sikh in the same way. I think my job as facilitator is to see the God in each person and to help people feel that wherever they are at in their journey is perfect. I just love to facilitate this course because I learn so much from both the students and the presenters, and am constantly reminded of how precious and rich the path of Sikh Dharma is in my life.
I am very excited to welcome back our wonderful presenters. We also have four new presenters, including a new module for this upcoming series on Prayer to be taught by Siri Sikdar Sahiba Sardarni Guru Amrit Kaur Khalsa, plus Yogi Amandeep Singh (Kundalini Yoga and Sikh Dharma), Mata Mandir Singh (Gurbani, Gurmukhi, Naad Yoga and Nitnem) and Hari Kaur (Amrit). I am so grateful for all the wonderful presenters who are sharing their love for this Sikh Dharma path. We welcome anyone with a longing to participate.
To recommend someone to take the Journey into the Heart of Sikh Dharma course, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org
For more information and to register, visit: http://journeyintotheheartofsikhdharma.org/
Discount Deadline: August 22nd, 2011
Registration Deadline: September 8, 2011
Course dates: September 16, 2011 - May 7, 2012
"Unknown and known, He's set with you. He has a chip in you. God has a computer, is a Master Mind. He's a huge computer, and He has put chips in everybody. He gave you a lens, third eye. He gave you a lever, that is your psyche. With psyche you can move everything and anything. With the lens you can see all there is. I breathe, I exist, I am here. Can you believe? Can you believe what I am saying? Psyche is projective, concentrated inner will of your soul. And with this impulse, the universe's impulse moves, and with its magnetic projection, the whole universe moves!"
Siri Singh Sahib Bhai Sahib Harbhajan Singh Khalsa Yogiji
(April 3, 1997 - Reach, Touch and Heal Psyche)
An Aquarian Teacher
by SS Guruatma Kaur Khalsa, Houston, TX
Back in 1970, my parents sent me to the stage production of "Hair" for my high school graduation present. That glorious melody and those hopeful words of the Age of Aquarius song are forever etched in my musical databank. At the time, I sure did not realize that this phenomenon was a real-life happening.
Last year, while teaching a seven-month Project-Prosperity course, it "dawned" on me that I had been teaching the class from a Piscean perspective. We were studying The Law of Projection ("One must ask, and have clarity and vision of goal, to receive.") My plan was to repeat the exercise we had done in our first class and re-create our Living Vision Boards. Then, through a dream, it dawned on me that none of us could produce an accurate vision board for ourselves, all by ourselves - crystal clear vision and our true integrity depended upon a developed and functional group consciousness.
Having guided and witnessed nine different student's processing throughout the course, I could see and feel how we needed the mirror of each other to be in the truth of who we truly are. Those Aquarian principles I had heard about had to apply now, or we were "lost in a jungle of our own" as Yogiji said. He taught us that "Piscean values work from the ego, concepts, control and penetration – spheres that create boundaries. Aquarian values have no boundaries - except Infinity." So now, it all made perfect sense, that we are energy bodies, linked to each other, and to the universe – we are co-creators with God! What matters is community, and the goal is that everybody gets elevated! We need each other to identify and support our unique gifts, as mine were shown to me by fellow yoga teachers and students who stepped up and helped me initiate and launch my yogic-tools business, which now serves students in 18 countries!
In retrospect, it feels like it all happened in a blink of the eye. With the support of my impromptu and gifted team, we developed a process that created a force and a momentum which now has a global effect. That Aquarian, co-operative energy grabbed me right up and swept me to the stars! I learned that the Generating, Organizational and Delivery forces within the constellation of us, takes care of us. All I had to do was relax, "keep up" and just be me. How cool is that?
I feel so blessed to be here now, going, flowing in synchronicity with this shift, pivoting and adjusting my psyche to wrap around my highest destiny. It feels like a huge privilege, being in the light and awareness of it, and I'm having the time of my life!
By God's grace, my service to the global community is based on sharing all the yogic tools which I acquired along the way. Here are a few of the extraordinary tools I use to maintain my consciousness and neutrality in serving through my ministry:
Shabd/Mantra: Naanak too, Lehnaa too hai, Guru Amar too veecharia. Gur dithaa taa man saadharia. Dhan dhan Raam Daas Guru, jin siriaa tinai savaaria. This shabd is helping me to maintain consistency in remembrance of my death, always asking myself what decision I will make in the three-second review of my life-video, after my pranic body collapses - did I fulfill the purpose for which I came to earth?
Guru is the "default setting" on the computer of my life. Every day, I bring my love and loyalty, and offer my head, placing my 3rd eye and arc line at
Guru's feet, downloading and activating the Master's subtle-body embrace upon me – calling home to the One, not bound by time and space, doing my part in keeping our connection alive and vibrant.
Ek Ong Kaar Kaur's translation of Anand Sahib, Song of Bliss is a perfect tool for connecting to the life-force of Guru Amar Das' mission - to be the home of the homeless, strength of the weak, shelter of the poor. I welcome everybody and keep my antenna open for reception from those in need of a boost – "Go into the dirt and forklift people," as Yogiji taught us.
Recognize the other person is you is my constant focus; judgment drops when I "go there" - life is mutual.
I hold deep respect for Newton's Law of Force/Movement - for every sequence initiated, there is an equal and opposite reaction - this tool has a life of its own.
Exercising an Attitude of Gratitude is crucial!
I tweak a Living Intention Board, keeping it alive - I AM NOT THE DOER, I AM THE SEE-ER. IF I CAN SEE IT, THE GOD IN ME WILL DO IT.
I teach, teach, teach - celebrating and holding the reins of Yogi Bhajan's mission, spreading these marvelous and powerful technologies.
I am fuel-injected by a passionate and joyous impulse as an Aquarian teacher.
Surely, you can feel the joy of my soul coming into alignment with WAHE GURU, having chosen the honor and absolute grace of being a minister of Sikh Dharma in this time and age. THE AQUARIAN AGE ROCKS and I am in my glory!
Answering the Call
by SS Karta Singh Khalsa, Le Martinet, France
I was born in 1950 and had my kids when I was in my 30s, quite late in life. Now my children are of the age of those who are going to answer the call. They have the profile of those who will continue what we have started.
After having gone to Miri Piri Academy and returning to finish their college degrees, they had a problem with integration into the plastic world around them. For us, this is the world we excluded ourselves from in the 1960s. We were the counter-culture. Our children do not want to be counter to anything.
It is essential to understand their perspective. They need to answer the world as it is. They have difficulty adopting the bana as Guru Gobind Singh set it. This does not mean that they do not have an intention to serve this way. They are confused; they don't know what choice to make: to be more material in order to fit in and be included or to live with a specific spiritual discipline and make an impact that way.
The Age of Aquarius is already here. It is no longer coming. Today times are more on us than ever. The pressure is more now. Life is as fast as a computer and we move fast, the impact is fast, on the spot. We cannot formulate ahead of time how to proceed. The way I experience this increased pressure is, I feel as if I am losing ground. The acceleration and stimulation and demand to give my attention become absolutely overwhelming. Because there is so much interconnection happening at simultaneously, we cannot possibly cover the people the same way as we did in the past. It is moving too fast. There is not a possibility to do things the way we did before.
I had to drop any sort of image that I may have had about what the Age of Aquarius would look like. This is the time that we have been expecting. And it is nothing like the image we had in the 1960s. We must accept it as it is. There is no projection possible to match the reality. We must stop projecting any image. It is better to just meditate, just be to let be. Stop dreaming. Don't dream about the dream; just drop all imagination of it. We have to stop putting an expectation of form to what the Aquarian Age is to be or how we are to serve.
I find I must be extremely organized and stable. I must stop evaluating or judging anything that comes. There are too many things that come unexpectedly. We must not start from our preconception, our plan, our expectation or we lose. What comes, comes and that is the best it is to be. What is the readiness? What is the intention? It will probably be different every day. These days I let the strategy reveal itself to me rather than attempt to figure it out ahead of time. I have learned to acknowledge that everything is as it is.
We cannot plan any more; rather we receive what comes. I set a minimal structure and then when what is unexpected comes, the minimal structure contains it. I have learned to stay relaxed, to roll with what comes, to adapt, adjust. I include people around me in this approach so they can relax. When I stay stable, relaxed, open, and with good humor, this helps others.
A strong connection to the Guru is essential every day to keep the source of inspiration deeply confirmed. I come to the Guru every day in the frame of mind that I have what I have, I am who I am and that allows me to face the day. The Guru gives me His hukam every morning and that is what I know. It is a practical feeling in the body that I know. When we have 250 teachers come to a course we take a hukam together and it works from that hukam.
All those who come to the Guru may not be in the form we may have expected. Many of the new people coming up do not have training in any lineages; they have no reverence or discipline. They come to us for our values. We represent a sort of last chance for many. The sense of sacredness is minimal. Often people come with an attitude of a consumer, as if they are in a supermarket. Yet we touch the sensory system and then they start valuing it. Our values are what serve people.
They are not coming from a discipline, or a practice or having been trained in anything. They may have no concept of what reverence is. They are just coming to get the hukam, the guidance to face the day. People may not be ready for this whole thing. That is okay. Because of this what we have been trained to think of as Sikh Dharma may not be at all how it is in the future. The form may be very different.
Many, many people are absolutely confused. They don't know what they want, yet they absolutely know what they don't want. What we offer gives them strength and gives them the ability to empower themselves. They start shaky because they do not know values. They get values and guidance from us. They go inside and this gets them scared. We help them; we give them training.
So the question is, How do we make the Guru available to everyone who comes to us? How do we provide access, provide guidance to those who come? How do we help people feel connected, to know that they can come to the Guru to ask and find an answer, and to receive the blessings of the Guru? That is the comfort of Guru Nanak: you come with your question, and he provides the answer. This is what the Guru gives them, that seal, that confirmation of who they are.
It is fine that we send out the hukam from Espanola or from the Golden Temple each day. Yet, it is essential that each person receive his own local guidance, his own personal hukam, not just an institutional hukam. I find I need my own individual hukam, for me, for today, for right now.
This is the state of Sikh Dharma of today and of tomorrow; to receive from the Guru and to accept what is as it is.
The Aquarian Truth
"When you see somebody you see the clouds, and you judge the sun, 'It’s a cloudy day.' Then after five minutes it’s so bright and beautiful. What happened to the clouds? They are gone. The One who has created you is a Perfect Lord and He cannot create imperfect. That’s the Aquarian truth, which you have to believe. Everything is subject to His Will. Are you willing to live that truth? Well, then what about your will? Answer me. If everything is God’s Will, then what about your will?"
Siri Singh Sahib Bhai Sahib