Sunday, October 31, 2010

Sickness: Another Perspective

When we forget that we are One,
little things appear to menace.

When we forget that we are Love,
the obstacles can seem like penance.

When we remember we are Mighty,
and we tune in to what is real,
no event can smudge the canvas of our life,
not even shades of how we feel.

And sickness is a reminder that I am not my skin
I am not the layers peeling off.

I am the Truth within.


Thank you oh Great Intelligence, Great Energetic Force, God, for another opportunity to see myself for the I Am that I Am.

Blessings,
Sirgun

Friday, October 29, 2010

Treysha - my new sadhana band

This is a "listener's digest" of our entire Sadhana this week at The Golden Bridge.


And this is from our first rehearsal -



It's so fun to be in a girl band!

Blessings,
Sirgun

Karmic Classroom

I had the honor of speaking with one of my mentors today, who reminded me of something I sometimes forget: "This isn't about you."

Specifically, she was talking about the way I feel about disciplining children. I am pretty lenient when it comes to discipline. And, I'm used to teaching very small children, who usually know to behave after an adult has reprimanded them.

My mentor reminded me that this was a great opportunity to teach the kids (who are in 4th and 5th grade) about the law of cause and effect.

Karma.

Karma means when I do something it has an effect.

"Because I can choose my action, I am responsible for the outcome of my action."

I am responsible for the environment I teach in based on the boundaries I set in place. And more boundaries, consequences, are in order here!

This isn't about me. It's about teaching them about making good choices.

I'm actually enjoying teaching this class very much, but yesterday was rough. I think candy season is in full swing, and I'm going to have to be ever-more present and on the tip of my toes.

Sat Naam,
Sirgun

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Absolutely Complete

I made a recording of this mantra, taken from the Upanishads.

Om pUrNamadah pUrNamidaM
pUrNAt pUrNamudacyate
PUrNasya pUrNamAdAya
pUrNamEvAvashiSyate

It means:
That is whole; this is whole;
From that whole this whole came;
From that whole, this whole removed,
What remains is whole.

You can also download it for free if you like.

May you remember your wholeness.

Blessings,
Sirgun


Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Mutual Benediction

A prayer for you is a prayer for me.

I am currently enrolled in a prayer class. It seems like a peculiar thing to go to school for, but I am actually learning a lot.

Affirmative prayer is the practice of prayer from the place of "it already is." It is a five part formula.

1. This is what God is...
2. And so this is what I am...
3. So, this is what I know to be true...
4. I am grateful...
5. I release it, knowing it is done.

It is one thing to have faith in your own prayer, but it is quite another thing to hear someone else affirm it to you. What a faith boost!

I release this blog post knowing it is complete. And so it is. Sat Naam!

Blessings,
Sirgun

Songbirds

"The Songbirds keep singing like they knows the score. And I love you I love you I love you like never before." - Fleetwood Mac


My friend has taken to calling me "songbird." I like it.

In a class I took at Yoga West yesterday, GuruMeher Singh was talking about the necessity of having something you go to everyday to connect with your Soul. How blessed I am to have so many tools to do this! Yoga is definitely one. Music always has been this for me.

I learned to use my "voice" (in the sense of self-expression) through singing and writing music. I expressed everything. Really, listen to my old music! I didn't spare the audience much. Not much editing of information.

And for a teenager, at least I can say "better out than in."

I'm learning a subtler form of expression though. When I chant mantras--as I will be doing with C.C. White on Saturday, October 23rd, at Bhakti Yoga Shala in Santa Monica, CA (little plug there!)--I can express the feelings without speaking them in my own words.

In that case, "Karuna Sagari Ma" can be an expression of love, a release of anger, an outpouring of compassion, an apology, a question, an appeal, a cry for mercy... anything.

A man reminded me of this at Sadhana--the practice I do at 3:45am many days of the week--the other day. You want to use the mantras as a vehicle to express all the gunk in your subconscious. It should be painful! Then when you go out into the world, your mind is clearer. And you haven't hurt anyone or anything with your silly thoughts.

So yes, we shall sing on. We shall use the ancient words to siphon off the toxic fumes of the mind, diverting them, and crystallizing them into love songs to the Sacred One.

Blessings,
Sirgun

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Why Do Laundry?

I have decided the general theme of my blog is "seeing the meaningful side of everything."

Today I'd like to share a thought I had about doing laundry. This is one of my least favorite tasks (second only to vacuuming)!

I liken it to doing yoga, especially vinyasa. After about 20 minutes in a Kathryn Budig or Vinnie Marino class, already starting to feel the sweat run down my body, my mind flashes: "WHY are you doing this to yourself?"

There is a clear point when my mind and body align in the realization that it feels REALLY good. I think this is about 25-30 minutes after we start. After that moment everything takes on a beautiful shade of rose and any exerting posture simply adds to the feeling of empowerment and opening.

And so it is with laundry!

I avoided doing this load for about 2 weeks. And, given that I have been doing a lot of sweaty yoga, you can imagine not only the amount, but the lovely fragrance of my hamper.

Today I was tired and didn't want to do anything, yet something inside me knew I would feel better about getting it done than resting.

And I was right!

Laundry feels SO good when it's done. It's the physical representation of that apana (stale energy) I get to expel during yoga. Once I've done laundry I feel an energetic lift. There is more prana (lifeforce energy) in my closet!

The home maps our life. A dirty, messy, cluttered closet takes its toll on the mind and body, and prevents us from being our best self.

I want to remember this feeling of accomplishment so I can motivate myself on the next laundry day... I'll just refer to this entry.

Peace and blessings,
Sirgun

p.s. the kombucha in the background was a present to myself to get me started. ;)

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

You are worthy...

of a million oceans,
a million smiles,
a million tries.

You are worthy of a crown around you,
a universe inside you,
and clarity to expound you.

You are worthy of every sound,
every sight,
and every uplifting thought.

You are worthy of a golden bridge
from where you are to the greatest height.

You are, in fact, worth a lot.

Sunday, October 3, 2010

If at first you don't succeed...

... QUIT!

This is a quote from Rev. Leon from Agape a few weeks ago. I loved it.

When things seem difficult, you are either trying too hard, or stubbornly persisting down the wrong path.

The things that are in alignment with your Destiny always come to you. There is no need to effort your way to get somewhere or be someone. Because while you're struggling to do that thing that isn't meant to be, there is no time to notice the things that are.

If at first you don't succeed, take a deep breath and try something else!

Much love,
Sirgun

Saturday, October 2, 2010

Practicing What You Praise

The Re Man Shabd changed my life. When I first heard it, even though I didn't understand a word of it, and had no idea where it came from, I wanted to live in it.

It's all about knowing your own excellence as a personal experience, rather than as a theoretical concept.
Re man eh bidh jog kamao
Singee saach akapat kanthala
Dhiaan bibhoot charhaao
O my mind, practice yoga in this way:
Let truth be your horn, sincerity your necklace
Meditation the ashes you apply on your body

....

Jaap so ajapa jaapay
Chant even when you are silent.
In other words, live your life with the same integrity and commitment that you have practiced in the songs you sing. After a certain point, your life becomes the words you sing.

Ah, amazing! There is so much more to say, but I will leave it at this:

Why Meditation Solves Everything

I'm going to start with two bold statements:

The answer to every perceived ill and affliction on the planet right now comes from a lack of Awareness. AND, Awareness is the awakening of our ability to see God in everything and everyone.

Well, at least allow me to shed some light on the word God--which used to make me feel very uneasy--before you stop reading!

Yogi Bhajan, who brought what is known as Kundalini Yoga to the West, used the word with this acronym in mind: G.O.D. = Generator, Organizer, Deliverer. Cute, no?

This idea comes from India, where it is believed that there are 3 facets of the Universe:
  1. Brahma: who creates the world,
  2. Vishnu: who sustains it, and
  3. Mahesh: who delivers change and opportunities.
In other words, GOD is simply everything that is. This page, my dad, your hair, our thoughts, Saturn, and your favorite restaurant.

God is a just little word with some large baggage attached. But, regardless, of your religious affiliations, I'm going to use it to mean the entirety of all that exists (TEOATE!). There are thousands of equally insufficient ways of pinning down the entire Universe: Allah, Dios, Jah, Waheguru, etc... I have nothing against any of them. Using a word to give the invisible meaning and form is a great way to begin to relate to what we are, but cannot see.

In the West, we are super comfortable with the first two aspects of God--creative and sustaining--but not the third. Waiting for change to be delivered, after all, can be a little scary.

In fact, the kind of things associated with Mahesh (or Shiva)--death, destruction, transformation, upheaval--have traditionally been seen as the work of the DEVIL, not of God. And yet without change, there would be stagnation. With stagnation comes illness.

The cycle of life is such that each death gives birth to a new beginning. SA-TA-NA-MA means we come from Infinity, we are born and live, we die, and we are transformed into a new beginning. Everything on the planet abides by that law. Ask the trees.

So when we look at everything that is creative and sustaining as "good", and all that is transformative and changing as "bad", we have a block in our Awareness. We proclaim "it should not be like this." We see a problem.

When in fact, everything is playing itself out as it needs to be played out. When our skin is cut, the pus and the scar may not look beautiful, and the pain not be comfortable, but that is what the healing process happens to look like. That is what the world is doing right now.

Now, true, we can slow the recovery of a wound by tearing off the scab, or cutting ourselves again in the same place, or even cutting the body part off all together. There are many ways to prevent the natural flow, the natural change that is occurring. We can deny it, try to stop it, curse it, and even ignore it.

Similarly, there are many ways that we can impede Mother Earth's natural healing process. The biggest one is by not understanding what is going on at all--lack of awareness.

In other words, if you keep ripping the scab off because you don't like the way it looks, you've missed the bigger picture. And you've stood in the way of your own healing, which was happening naturally and without any effort on your part.

So how do we see the bigger picture?

Well, first we must understand the "big picture" is actually the "small picture."

What?

CLOSE YOUR EYES.

You are a Universe inside. If you can meditate long enough to feel the connection between your infinite reality (SA) and your finite existence (TA), you will understand who you really are (SAT NAAM = truth is the identity). And when you understand the small picture of you, you can see the bigger picture of "out there" with clarity and applied consciousness.

Here is a meditation that involves the sounds I was just talking about, and is easy for people to do, even if they have never meditated before. When you can silence your mind by focusing on the mantra (SA-TA-NA-MA) and the mudras (see photos below), you will experience life beyond your thoughts. You can then step out of your way, and the way of healing. And allow all things to be delivered to you without effort.

Kirtan Kriya:
Adults and kids can do this one together! Read descrition here. I've illustrated the finger positions with my hands. You put them on your lap though, not in the air. =)

SA - index finger and thumb

TA - middle finger and thumb

NA - fourth finger and thumb

MA - pinky and thumb

Remember to really press! This has been scientifically proven to stimulate different parts of the brain. And more brain activity = increased capacity for Awareness.

Sat Naam,
Sirgun

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