Monday, November 07, 2011

Monday November 7, Blog Post, Rishi Kesh

Sopurkh, Jap Preet and I made it to Rishi Kesh! After a very intense European tour it was a minor miracle. We had one powerful concert after the next with the incredible and devoted band... Ramesh Kannan on vocals and percussion, Thomas Barquee on piano and vocals, and Scott on sound. I am so grateful to each one of these guys for pouring their heart and soul into this tour.

Jap Preet, my daughter, had some allergies act up in our last concert city, Barcelona, to the degree that Sopurkh (my husband) and I were talking about having him take her back to the States while I went to India without them. By Guru’s Grace we decided to keep our plans and met up with a new crew in India.... Todd Boston on guitar, Harimander Jot Singh on tabla, and Simrit Kaur our assistant who is a gift from Guru Ram Das. She has been taking care of all of the logistics of our journey in India, and also has been able to take care of Jap Preet with so much love and care, that I can’t even believe how blessed we are.

Being here in Rishi Kesh has been incredible. The teaching tent for the 11.11.11 course is right next to the Ganga River. In moments of silence during the classes, one hears the swift and joyful flow of the river. It is a very deep experience to take in Her loving presence while practicing the sacred science of Kundalini yoga, chanting together, and meditating.

Gurmukh said something poignant this morning in her class.... “India brings out all of your neurosis for healing.” I had a very powerful experience of that yesterday.

Sopurkh and I taught a class with the beautiful guitar accompaniment of Todd and the earthy balance of Harimander Jot’s tabla playing. After the class I was completely blissed out. For sure I thought... the rest of this day is just going to be so relaxing. Little did I know what was to come.

After the class Simrit brought Jap Preet to us and we just hung out in the back of the tent, taking in the good vibes of the very inspirational class taught by Guru Singh. I was so grateful to be with Jap Preet. Her allergies have been coming up still in India and we have been struggling a bit with that still. I admit to feeling some guilt and fear about her allergies, and on a deeper level I have been feeling heavy in my heart about our choice to take such a young one traveling with us. I try to protect her from as much as I can, and keep our time together as focused as possible. In the midst of everything it is sometimes a struggle. As we sat in the back of the class it felt so relaxing, so special. Nobody seemed to notice. We kind of had this little family bliss moment. Then as if orchestrated by God a lady came back with a camera asking if she could take a picture of me. I so much just wanted to be with my daughter. I looked at her and with some emotion that I just couldn’t keep in, said no. And then another lady came and asked the same thing too. This time with a little anger I said no. “I just want to be with my daughter”, I thought to myself.

As the hours progressed it came time for Arti, a ceremony that the ashram does at the banks of the Ganga every night. I had been asked to go and sit with the rest of the presenters by Swami ji who takes care of the ashram. All of the the boys of the ashram who study with Swami ji were dressed in their orange robes and were assembled under an archway of the ashram that stood over a set of cascading marble steps that touch the waters. People began gathering. I was carrying Jap Preet as we walked towards the spot where I thought Swami ji would be sitting. One of the orange robed boys stopped us and pointed to another a sitting area, a kind of dock that rapped itself around in front of the Arti location. I explained to him that I had been asked to come and sit next to Swami ji... but he motioned in a very authoritative way that I should go with the course participants to sit on the dock. The combination of just teaching, being a little out of my body, and perhaps being in India made for a kind of inner feeling of surrender... alright let’s go. So we went and sat down on the dock. It was so peaceful there. The coolness of the river felt so good after the warmth of the day. We watched as people gathered at the Arti site and did prayers into the fire. Jap Preet was so peaceful as the chanting began. I was completely savoring the moment with her feeling the rough travel days of our journey melting away. Then Simrit got a phone call from one of the administrators of the ashram. I was being asked to go and sit near Swami ji. I let out a big sigh and decided to take Jap Preet with me because I didn’t want this precious moment with her to end. We all went. When we got close to where Swami ji would sit it was just packed with people. In an attempt to find a space to sit I tapped a lady on the shoulder who I knew from the kitchen here at the ashram and asked if we could sit next to her. She looked around where she was sitting and said no... that she didn’t think there was a space for us. This wave of frustration passed through me as the place was filling up so fast, it didn’t feel like there was any hope of us finding a place and I proceeded to turn around in a flury of frustration as our little group followed me. We went back to the dock. Back again I thought to myself. I just want to be with my daughter anyway. I don’t need to be a part of a ceremony. The most important thing for me right now is to be with my daughter.

Swami ji arrived. He sang so beautifully, so sweetly. Then it happened again. The same temple boy who had turned us away a little earlier was there with one of the staff members of the course. You must come and sit with Swami ji I was being told. I just couldn’t take it anymore.... I said it with all of my emotions this time... “I am here with my daughter, I can’t come!” They left.

Swami ji arrived and sang so beautifully.

The Chardi Kalaa jatha played some of the most inspirational and soul stirring Kirtan I had every heard.

But I was still reeling from what had happened. Why can’t I just be with my daughter and enjoy this Arti experience?

Finally the end of the ceremony came. By this time Jap Preet was asleep, totally peaceful. It was announced that each of the teachers of the 11.11.11 course would light a candle. I decided to leave Jap Preet with her Papji (and my husband) and made my way through the crowd again to go and light a candle next to Swami ji. Upon arriving he welcomed me in warmly. I was too late to light an unlit candle... but he motioned to have me light an already lit candle. To finish the ceremony Swami ji invited me to sit behind him. I found myself next to Gurmukh. She leaned over and asked with knowing eyes... “Are you ok?” I said to her “Yes.” But as she turned away and I found my eyes falling on the rushing waters of the Ganga, a voice inside screamed... “No, I am not ok! I am in pain! Pain from deep within about my daughter’s allergies, about the struggles of our travels, about something that has no words.” The pain found itself out of me in a few tears that rolled down my cheek. I gave it to the river, I gave it to God.

The ceremony ended and we followed Swami ji back into a room where he talked with us for a few minutes about work that he is doing to help clean up the Ganga river. I felt this kind of lightness of being from him. It was very nice to be in his presence. He did not really talk to me. But as I got up to go he looked over to me and asked, “So, you are with your daughter now?” I said “yes” quickly. But as I walked out of the room it began to sink in. Yes, now I am with my daughter. She wasn’t with me in my arms. But I am with her. As the fears of my heart emptied out, there was space for her.

I knew at that moment that it was all God’s play, God finding ways through all of these people to open my heart and heal.

Please forgive me if I have shared too much. I only wish you to know that this kind of healing is possible for all of us.

With love, prayers and blessings from Rishi Kesh,

Snatam Kaur

This is the first time I have read your blog Snatam, and I was really moved by your honesty.We all have these moments of inner conflict where priorities push and pull us in different directions, sometimes it's enough just to let go and open oneself up to acceptance to find the right path. I'm glad you found peace through the experience - best wishes for your daughter, despite your misgivings this must be a wonderful experience for her. Stay strong, namastè.
Dear Snatam,
In my soul i can deeply feel, that the soul of every childhood is lying in the hands of god.
I can feel this in my motherheart.
When my heart is praying for my child, i am one with the soul of childhood, also iam lying in the hands of god.
That is the love i am deeply feel in my own truth.There are no doubts.

Greetings from my soul,
Love to you Snatam. And to Jap Preet and Sopurkh. You waited a long time to be a mother and it is so important to you. Such an interesting experience. I can feel that it was very profound for you from your writing. Blessings and prayers. No need to publish this...its just for you.
Sukhmani Kaur
Thank you for showing your humanity.

ramjeet kaur
As the fears of my heart emptied out, there was space for her, wow, that is really so profound. Thank you so much for sharing this, one can never share too much when it comes from the heart. Blessings to you. xxx.
Beautiful Snatam, I can so understand your lines...I was sometimes wondering how you manage all the travels, the concerts, the massive attention you get from people and still be there for your family...praying for you for much more quality family time! Swamiji is so beautiful . I have been at the the Ashram many times and I am missing Rishikesh when i read your words. Love from Germany Julia
Dear sweet Snatam,
Thank you for sharing from the heart. Your voice is pure and your heart is pure and I thank you from the bottom of my heart for being who you are.
Satnam, Keren
Dear Snatam Kaur, 
thank you so much for sharing your experience with us. Yes, I know how it is, if our children have a health problem. My husbend and Me, we have 3 children and I am gone through so much with them. One day God said to me in my prayer that I should trust.
I wish You and your family God's blessing and I am very grateful for your wonderful music and I like to remember your concert in paderborn. Thank you so much for everething you give to the world. From heart to heart. Anneliese Weber, Germany
This is refreshing how you narrate your true feelings and not this I am holy -shit that sooo many would be's carry around. I like the straightforwardness and openness and do know what you are talking about, having been in India and participated in big functions like Navaratri, Shivaratri in a small temple compound with thousands of Indians crushing in on you. Keep this open sharing and honest mind of you. I love your bhajans, they come closest to what I call bhava, deep devotion poured into song and music. I was In Antwerp and when you started , was in bliss. I had a feeling you spared your voice and that's why the yoga bit and the rest came in. That was less inspiring, but nevertheless, what an experience!!!! Do come back!!!
You sound like a wonderful, caring mother. Much love to you!
Loved what you wrote and loved the fact that it was detailed, I almost had tears in my eyes. Thank you Snatam for sharing this experience !
Dear Snatam Kaur, 
thank you so much for sharing your experience with us. Yes, I know how it is, if our children have a health problem. My husbend and Me, we have 3 children and I am gone through so much with them. One day God said to me in my prayer that I should trust.
I wish You and your family God's blessing and I am very grateful for your wonderful music and I like to remember your concert in paderborn. Thank you so much for everything you give to the world. From heart to heart. Anneliese Weber, Germany
Sat Nam Snatam Kaur! You are a human being!!! It is great to know that we are all here doing our work! May the rest of your visit to India with your family continue to bring you healing, blessings and light. Sometimes it is not always so easy! Blessings to you and your family and may Jap Preet's allergies subside.
Sat Nam, Mary Martin
Beautiful post - even gifted people struggle - love the honesty - it's tough being incarnate, yes? Blessings to you & your family always!
Dear Snatam,
thank you very much fpor sharing your precious lession with us. I feel with you and are inspired by your faith. Honestly, I thought a person like you, who seems to be so blessed, centered and peaceful, would never have fear or doubts. Your post shows me, that each one of us faces more or less the same lessons and that it is upon our selves, to learn. Thank you very much for opening your heart not only to your daughter,, but also to us :-)
Love & Peace,
Stefanie, hoping the little guardian angle will guide you well
thank you for such a beautiful post!
thank you for sharing. i know how painful it can be to have a child with allergies. so much love to you, so much love, as god takes care of us, we are loved
Thanks for writing about your experiences. It somehow helps to know that we are all dealing with our stuff and there is a way to release it.
i think i can understand you.
I'm from a town, so i have to travel to the city to study at university.
The thing is, that november is a bit complicated for me because i have to take a lot of exams and sometimes, I get angry with me because i cannot enjoy my family and friends from the town just because i'm stuying hard at the city.
Sometimes I cry a lot because i miss my family and friends, but "i cant" take exams in a easily way because of my ego.
"I MUST HAVE GREAT NOTES" i say to me, but... then i think: all right Lucia, you have great notes, you're studying hard but you cannot be happy for that because something is missing.
So I talked to "liv avtar kaur" (my spiritual name) through meditation and she answered me from the deepest of my heart: "go to visit your family, relax for a weekend, town isn't too far from here. Then come, take the exam".
Then i feel more calm.
Many student came to the city from places that are so far. They can't visit their families like I'm.
So i'm so grateful to God, because the town is near the city and I can go there whenever i wish to and spend time with the more important thing that I have in life: my family, and my friends.
I'm blessed with a beautiful life, I thank God for that.
Thank you for sharing with me your experiencie. I hope Jap Preet get better.
Have a nice and blessed time in India, enjoy your beautiful friends and family.

Lots of hugs from Argentina!
Thank you so much for sharing your authentic voice with us. It is never too much! It takes courage to speak genuinely and it is so encouraging to hear your words as you share with us how you handle the struggles and challenges that life brings. Thank you for being honest.
Blessings to you and your loved ones.
Thank you for sharing your beautiful heart with us. Opening and sharing our hearts is what heals us all. Beautiful blessing to you and your family.
You have touched my heart and allowed me to have a glimpse of such a difficult lesson as a mother... our own fears keep us separated from our children, but sometimes it is so hard to recognize them.
I am deeply grateful for your energy, light, voice and for sharing your thoughts and life experiences...
Sat nam
Thank you so much for sharing ALL the details of your experience , Snatum ... this has touched me and helped me . To see how you honored all the parts that were within , that needed integrating, that needed healing , is helping me now , to do this within myself . Thank you for your honesty and for your candidness. Thank you for shining your light in this world. Many Blessings to you and your family .
Sat Nam from Hyderabad! I saw where you were and really had the feeling of this being a small, small world!! I put my wife Amy on a plane for Rishikesh just this a note just now that she arrived safely. Praying for your continuing yatra and that you touch more hearts with your musical gift. Your friend, Fr. Scott Kingsbury
You touched me, you touched my soul, you said the words I could not have said it better. You give me courage, you are beautiful sister. I miss you.

Susheel in Sweden
Hello dear Snatam, thank you for your post. I saw you play in California several times last year, and always enjoy the memory of the time. I took your children's course and got to meet you and your lovely family personally for a brief moment. I want to let you know how special it was for me to be able to see the side of you as a mother and wife; how much the memory of it brings tears to my eyes. Your increasingly public role brings much responsibility to your life; your willingness to share your personal family with your fellow devotees (and fans!) is one of the greatest blessings possible.

I am a father myself; just listen to your heart about your need for privacy and protection for your daughter; if her health really is a concern, make wise choices and be prepared to sacrifice some of your time as a public figure, to be with her privately as a mother. She is only young once! -- Blessings, Greg
SATNAM.. Snatam Kaur Khalsa

Thank you for sharing, As you touch and up lift everyone soul through your devine music and teachings so shall WaheGuru up lift and guide you always. We just have to keep reminding ourselves to simply KEEP UP !!

God bless everyone :-)

Avtar Sidhu
namaste santam...

This is the first time that I have read your blog, and i must say I can completely picturise the situation and your feelings.
May god give you strength to overcome all the hurdles of life.
Your group is doing a great job, spreading humility/ peace and world peace. Good bless!!:)
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