Monday, August 29, 2011
This Gratitude Monday I am grateful for my beloved teacher Siri Singh Sahib ji, Yogi Bhajan. We celebrated his birthday last week on August 26th with 2.5 hours of Long Ekongkaars at the Omega Retreat Center and participated in a global meditation with the worldwide 3HO community by chanting the mantra Guru Guru Wahe Guru Guru Ram Das Guru for 11 minutes.
Lately I am trying to eat more vegetables for my physical health and well being. I was reminded last night as I served myself some zucchini from the Omega dining hall of a time when I was 5 or 6. It was Khalsa Youth Camp at Ram Das Puri. Yogi Bhajan was coming to see us. We prepared a basket from the garden piled high with these beautiful zucchinis. One of the children delivered the basket to him. He reached for one of the zucchinis and took a huge bite of it which totally shocked me because it was raw. But then he proceeded to eat the whole thing right there. He once said to me years later as I sat with him over a plate of baby artichokes, "life is eating you up, isn't I?". I nodded my head in frustration. He took a small artichoke in his hand and leaned forward and looked into my eyes and said, " then you eat up life!" In one bite much like he had eaten the zucchini he ate that artichoke, and smiled at me with a twinkle in his eyes.
This morning after my sadhana I listened to his words of affirmation called "Patience Pays." I felt deeply blessed and would like to share this vibration with you. I invite you to take a moment to read these words and let them sink into your consciousness.
"Patience pays. Wait. Let the hand of God work for you. One who has created you let Him create all the environments, circumstances, and facilities & faculties.
Tu kaahay dolay praaniaa tudh rakhaygaa sirjanhaar | jin paidayas tu kiyaa soee kardaa saar
Oh individual, why you are in a very doubtful state? One who has made you will take care of you. One who has created this universe, all the planets, planetary faculties and facilities on Earth, He is the One who has created you. Wait, have patience, lean on him, and all best things will come to you.
Dwell in God. Dwell in God. Dwell in God. Befriend your soul. Dwell in God and befriend your soul. Dwell in God and befriend your soul. All the faculties and facilities of the Creation, which are in your best interest, shall be at your feet. You need million things; million things will reach you, if you are stable, established, firm, patient. Remember, Creator watches over you and Creation is ready to serve you, if you just…be you.
So please take away the ghost of your life and stop chasing around. Consolidate. Concentrate. Be you. And may all the peace & peaceful environments, prosperity approach you forever. Sat Nam"
You can hear Yogi Bhajan's voice actually saying this affirmation from this You Tube video:
You can download this affirmation for your meditation practice at www.spiritvoyage.com under the title Patience Pays by Yogi Bhajan
Monday, August 22, 2011
Life has such an ebb and flow. One minute you can be riding the wave, the next minute you are under the wave. One minute you can feel safe and secure in your life, and the next minute you can feel totally threatened by something.
I find that when I meditate it helps me to separate myself from the sting of something to realize that it is all coming from God's Divine Will. Usually the most emotionally charged things aren't really that big of a deal anyway. It is our own emotions, our own feelings that must pass through us one way or another. As the ups and downs of life happen to me I am learning to be alright with it and stay centered.
This past week I was given the gift of realizing that there is a great yoga posture that can really help me to stay centered. I'd like to share it with you.
It is Stretch Pose!!!
This is one of the most powerful postures in all of Kundalini Yoga as taught by Yogi Bhajan. Lie on your back. Raise your head up six inches, your feet up six inches, point your hands towards your feet and begin a powerful breath of fire. Breath of fire is a rapid breath through the nose. Do this Stretch Pose for as long as you can! I suggest going for one minute at least. When I do this posture in the morning as a part of my Kundalini Yoga set it completely anchors me into my navel center. From this place I feel less reactive, more positive, and stronger on every level. This posture harnesses and concentrates your "Chi", the energy that is naturally at your navel center. The more navel based exercises you do the more this Chi is available for you physically, and mentally. It will give you the key to staying centered and balanced in your life. There are many navel excersizes that help increase your Chi. Stretch pose is one of the quickest and most powerful ones that I have ever experienced.
It is better to take a break from Stretch Pose if you are pregnant or in your menstrual cycle.
I have practiced this posture my whole life, but last week I had a "ah ha" moment. I realized that this exercise can keep me centered, and that I am very grateful for it in my life. These kind of moments I find are precious, because someone can tell you how good something is for you, but it is not until you get it on a deep level inside that the "ah ha" moment happens.
Please see this link to the Ten Bodies Yoga Set that has Stretch Pose as the very first exercise. I love this yoga set too! It is a great morning tune up and the first set that I got hooked on as a teenager. http://www.mrsikhnet.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/04/Kundalini-Yoga-Ten-Bodies.pdf
May this blog serve you in some way to help strengthen your navel and perhaps have your own "ah ha" moment.
Monday, August 15, 2011
Sat Nam everyone from Gilsum New Hampshire!
Jap Preet and I have been driving her Grandpa's truck to town and to the lake. We love listening to the radio. At times I can see Jap Preet dancing with her arms as she sits in the car seat. She doesn't really seem to like to be watched, so I have to kind of take sneak peaks. Grandpa has a bumper sticker that says, "I love my country, but not my leaders." He got a kick out of the fact that I would be driving his truck around. I am a passionate Democrat and have voted for every Democrat including Obama since I got the right to vote. He is a passionate Republican. We've had a few heated arguments about politics in the past that sent the dogs to hide under the table. (just kidding... kind of:) We don't really talk politics anymore. We connect in many ways. Especially with my mother in law ill, it has given us so much to share together.
The gift that stands out the most to me this past week is realizing the importance of breath. As my mother in law suffers from Parkinson's Disease I realize that there is not much that I can do. This is a strange feeling. Usually I'm ready to give some sort of advice about a diet one could do, a meditation one could practice, or a doctor one could see. This is beyond anything I have ever dealt with. At times as we sit at the dinner table there is just a silence as we have said all that we could say, and done all that we could do for the day. Small talk doesn't really work too well anymore! At first I kind of started freaking out when these moments of silence came. Then I remembered to breathe. To just be in my breath. I realized at that moment that this gift of being conscious while breathing is a gift to my whole being and existence. When I breath like that I can experience the full spectrum of a situation and see the blessings in it.
My teacher Yogi Bhajan taught that at the last moment of your life, you see your life pass before you in just a matter of seconds. In those few seconds you feel all of the sensations of your life, all of the emotions, all of the energy that you experienced and what you were left with after each experience. It is said that after having this experience your soul can either move on and merge into the Light of God, or it goes back to earth. I don't know about you, but I'm going for the merging into the Light thing! Each breath of awareness contributes to that very last moment.
So let us breathe! Let us enjoy all of the moments.... especially the silent ones!
Monday, August 08, 2011
Sat Nam everyone!
We are in beautiful Gilsum New Hampshire. This is where my husband Sopurkh's parents have a very sweet little home. We've got our RV parked in their driveway. I love being here. There are trees everywhere, and this gentle breeze that just makes you feel blessed. Jap Preet and I love taking walks and looking for chipmunks. And there is a great lake that we have been going to every day where the fish swim right up to you.
My mother in law got the first symptoms of Parkinson's Disease a few years ago, and just about a month ago her condition took a big dip. Now she needs someone with her all of the time. That someone has been my father in law. He just got some much needed back surgery, so Sopurkh has stepped in and has been taking care of his mother and now his father too. He is doing such a beautiful job, as I knew he would. But, there is something really special about this opportunity because I know how much he loves his parents and this is really giving him a way to show and express that love.
I am personally grappling with the whole experience of this form of Parkinson's Disease. There are many different forms of this disease. What my mother in law has includes a lot of dementia and the loss of other basic cognitive and physical capabilities. It is intense to say the least. From the perspective of yoga and meditation, loosing one's memory and not being able to do much but sit and breathe is considered an incredible yogic opportunity. In fact it brings you closer to just pure awareness. But to get to that place takes a journey through so many emotions and so many identities that we give ourselves from the workings of our mind. Here are some identities on my list.... I am a mother, I am a wife, I am a daughter, I am a cook, I am a house cleaner, I am a singer, I am a touring artist, I am a teacher, I am a poet, I am this, I am that. If all of my identities were taken away because I no longer could do things to fulfill my roles could I get to that place of "I am, I am"? Could I be alright with just being?
Many of us pray to be on the spiritual path where we are letting go of our identities on a daily basis, by our own surrender. My mother in laws identities are being taken from her without her wishing, without her consciously choosing it, and without her wanting to let go.
Watching my mother in law go through it is painful. She is such a beautiful lady. Just a few years ago when she visited us I remember how when we had a party in honor of the fact that she was with us, I found her in the kitchen doing everyone's dishes. I remember how when my daughter was born she was filled with so much joy to be with us. I think her Parkinson's symptoms were just coming on at that point and so she couldn't do very much in terms of helping with the housework that comes with a new baby. She decided to just be with her grand daughter and she sat, for hours, watching her, smiling to her, and talking to her. I will never forget that. I am sure my daughter is blessed now for her whole life to have experienced such pure love and devotion.
And now with the symptoms much worse, she still is showing all of us so much pure love.
In the words of Sopurkh, "for me, this has been an experience of surrender, which I guess is love, but it's more about accepting life just as it is, as it is placed before me. Then acting responsibly. All the while, creating joy and happiness, and having faith and gratitude with what is placed on my path."
I pray to one day understand why all of this is happening and release some of the pain in my heart in watching such a beautiful lady struggle in this way. I pray for all families dealing with Parkinson's Disease. For all families dealing with any disease. May we find God's simple and beautiful presence within us, when all else is stripped away.