Monday, October 31, 2011

"Bless the Good" at Rock~N~Flow

Saturday my friends Amber Samplin and Chris Courtney organized a yoga festival in Tempe, AZ. They asked me to play an opening "prayer" and for savasana (final relaxation). It was really fun... and REALLY hot. After the yoga class we all danced to the conscious lyrics of the Luminaries. Viva yoga!

Thursday, October 27, 2011

My Experience of Liberation Kriya


This is the first sadhana I ever did. I did it for 40 days.

It's interesting that Gurmukh refers to it as "Liberation Kriya." It is in the "Life Styles & Life Cycles" Level II manual as "Longevity Kriya." Perhaps liberation is the key to longevity. I probably haven't lived long enough to give testimony to its longevity effects. However, I did feel very liberated by it. It gave me the strength to say "no" to various things that I needed to let go of.

It can be painful at first, especially if you are not used to doing these sorts of strange kundalini arm exercises.

But it's worth it!

Love,
Sirgun

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Harnam's New CD!


Let's help Harnam get his CD made! Everyone was so amazing this spring in helping Sat Darshan and me create our album. I have no doubt this project will be funded in no time!

Blessings,
Sirgun

Monday, October 24, 2011

Video: Guru Ram Das Chanting - 10/21/11


This is from Friday night. I edited down over a half hour of video into a little under 4 mins... what magic!

Devoted to What?

I really enjoyed this video by Los Angeles Yoga Teacher Tommy Rosen.

When you don't prescribe to any one religion, what is "devotion"?

In a broad sense, devotion is where you place your energy. As Tommy describes, we can be devoted to things that don't serve us, like drugs (his example), or to things that do serve us.

That which is the most important thing to us, that which takes privilege over all other things, is what we are DEVOTED TO.

What we are devoted to expands us, and expands in us. Where we place our energy determines our frequency, which will effect how we navigate through life.

In Sikhism we bow our head each day to the Siri Guru Granth Sahib, the writings of Awakened Saints from a variety of spiritual backgrounds. We do this because we are devoted to aligning ourselves with the frequency of this text. We desire to live our lives in alignment with our Destiny, as the vehicle through which the Cosmos can fully actualize itself.

When we bow our head we place our heart above our head. In yoga this is called "balasana" (child's pose). Regardless of what we are in front of or visualizing in that moment, this is a good place to start. Our heart is the seat of our Soul, which is the part of us that is CONTENTED and PERFECT.

Thank you Tommy for this lovely vlog!

Blessings,
Sirgun

P.S. Tommy's spiritual name, Bhagat, is in "Japji Sahib" and is written in a script called Gurmukhi.


Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Occupy the Land

I can close my eyes and be lifted
to a transcendental height
Meditation has taught me well
to sail my mind like a mighty kite

I ride invisible vibrations
as I surf the Current of Sacred Sound
Watching my spirit soar above a body
that still holds firmly to the ground

I am at ease with elevation
Yet, I'm on Earth to learn to stand

And I hear it calling loudly:
"Come learn how to occupy the land."













Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Liberated Heart

They say we are attached
At the heart
By an arc

They we are teathered
At the base
Of our own space

They say there is no me
no you
no us
no them.

And that when we talk of borders
we take the flower for its stem.

They say we never truly feel
the sense that separation can imply
We see our own light reflected
in another person's eye.

They say that commitment
limits
that it pins you down with its dart
And yet we are each a ventricule
beating a liberated heart.


Tuesday, October 11, 2011

When Someone Makes You Mad

I just spent an incredible weekend at "Womanheart" with Sangeet Kaur Khalsa (Healing Source) in the Arizona mountains. She has devoted her adult life to spreading the teachings of her teacher, Yogi Bhajan on Women.

Women have an amazing capacity for compassion... we also have an amazing capacity for remembering who and what has wronged us.

When I am angry I tend to complain... quite a bit. How imperfect is the person I am having issues with, how imperfect is the issue I am having issues with...

In truth, complaining is the least effective way of dealing with a situation. The last thing a dramatic situation needs is more drama. The last thing a person needs who made a mistake is to feel guiltier.

It's good to be in touch with our feelings, but it's even better not to personalize someone's "stuff" as our own. If someone just yelled at you for not walking fast enough, or not speaking clearly, or laughing when you weren't supposed to, that is an issue they are dealing with. A compassionate person understands that.

I have been working on this a lot lately. If someone does something that turns on my auto complaint button, I remember to bless them. 

Because isn't that what you would want when you're having a bad day?

Whatever it is they might be dealing with, our resentment towards them is not going to make this world a better place.  

After all, wouldn't you want someone to forgive you and bless you for the error you made?

I think so.

Blessings,
Sirgun

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Big Words: Sin

Sat Nam friend,

As promised, I am completing my two-part blog on "Big Words" today.

So....

SIN:

If you read the Holy Bible, or go to Church, you probably hear this word quite a bit. Strangely enough, it is also a recurring word in the Siri Guru Granth Sahib (Sacred Sikh Text) English translation. Every time I read it it makes me wince because of the religious baggage it carries.

My favorite description of "sin" was given to me by a Christian Mystic friend of mine. He said that sin was simply "when we forget that we are one with God." In this sense, when the Bible talks about "original sin", it can be understood as the gradual.onset of "forgetting where we came from."

Indeed, when a child is born, he/she gradually develops a deeper awareness of the physical world and forgets the feeling of Oneness with God. Baby is no longer a soul in the ethers, merged with the Eternal One. Baby has hands and toes and a mother and a father. Baby forgets ORIGIN.

In Sikhism, sin is translated from the words avgan (or weakness), bikh (or poison), vikaar (or evil), among others. Much like my friend's awareness of the concept of sin, in Sikhism, the only "evil", or "poison", or "weakness" that is worth mentioning is forgetting God.

And by this definition, we are all "guilty" of being "sinners" several times a day. 

However, God does not convict us, or label us. We do that ourselves. Rather than labeling our actions as "sinful", or "wicked", or even "evil", let's recognize our stumbles as necessary lessons along the way.

The beauty of our forgetfulness (read: sin) is that once we become aware of it, it no longer exists. We can only be forgetful so long as we do not acknowledge or align with our origin. Once we choose to redeem ourselves (by remembering), we are "saved."

And we can do that by the simple process of changing our mind... several times a day.

So, again. Meditation is the key.

I may seem like a broken record. But. It's the only thing that will do it. Because it's not our soul that we need to change. It's our mind. Our mind is what keeps us unaligned with our purest Origin. It's not it's fault either. It gets distracted. So we must have a practice to re-orient it.

Otherwise. You will be a broken record of forgetfulness. And, labels aside, it just doesn't feel good to be a sinner (read: forgetful unaligned person).

Blessings,
Sirgun Kaur Khalsa

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Big Words: Karma

Hi there friend,

One of the projects I've been working on for the past few months is a recording for Sikhnet.com. It involves recording my voice reading the Sacred Sikh Text, called the Siri Guru Granth Sahib. The goal was to have a full recording of the 1,400 page text in English, in a woman's voice.

This has been one of the most challenging projects I've ever undertaken. This is likely because the Siri Guru Granth Sahib, rather than a database for facts and stories to remember about one's religious heritage, is a vibration that aligns us with the frequency of Enlightenment. And if Enlightenment were a fingersnap away, we'd all be floating!

The way I feel when I get the frequency of the SGGS vibrating in me is an amazing experience. It's not so much about the meaning of the words, as it is about "giving them life as sound." This is especially true when it's read in the original Gurmukhi.

Despite the fact that meaning is not totally of the essence, I still find myself reading certain passages about sin and punishment that seem to contradict the Sikh teachings. (Note: Reading the SGGS is not restricted to Sikhs. Anyone can read it as a meditative exercise.)

I realized that in some ways the translation I am reading, which is comparatively modern, still assumes a little background understanding into two very big words: Karma and Sin. So I'm going to share what I think these very loaded words mean. I will tackle karma in today's blog, and sin, I will do later.

KARMA:

Karma is a word that we throw around a lot these days to describe our concept of "what comes around goes around." I've been watching reruns of a show called "My Name Is Earl" recently where a man makes a list of everything bad he's ever done and tries to fix it all so he stays on karma's good side. It's a funny concept, but of course, it's a shallow understanding of the way things work.

Karma is not punishment, even though it may feel like it. The way most people handle karma is a bit like planting sunflower seeds in your garden with the expectation of gathering up tomatoes in the summer. That's just not what you planted!

Karma is an action that is incomplete. Leaving your wife while she's 3 months pregnant means some day (whether in this life or the next) you will have to deal with an angry wife and child.

But karma only continues as long as things are left incomplete. "My Name Is Earl" is actually quite brilliant in a sense because the writers understood that one antidote to an incomplete action is forgiveness. Whether or not Earl can rectify the situation or not, he only crosses an item off his list when the person he's wronged forgives him.

Where there is forgiveness, there is no blocked energy. Without blocked energy (read: incomplete action or thought), you cannot create karma.

Meditation is our most important tool for clearing karmic debts. Avoiding the creation of more karma is the ideal, which can be accomplished through conscious action and thought. Meditation helps with this too.

So, when the SGGS, or any spiritual text for that matter, talks about karma, or God coming down and smiting you, understand that the Universe is not vindictive. As Guru Nanak said, God is "Nirvair" - without revenge. If you are experiencing something unpleasant, look at the steps you took to get there.

Nothing is mysterious when you look at it through the concept of karma. Everything is being given to you as an opportunity to complete what you started. We want to leave with as little baggage as possible when we die.


Blessings,
Sirgun Kaur Khalsa

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