Monday, January 30, 2012
In these moments
In between God's inhale and exhale
As the sun rises
And night turns to day
Feeling for a moment
The great spin
What do you have us do
In these moments
I know you are
Just in between breaths.
Show me everything,
Every step of the way.
I am blind
I never seem to hear
All that you are saying.
I never seem to
Open my heart
The day begins.
Soon the bees buzz.
The decisions made.
One by one.
Locking us into
Of our small
Why don't you
Make the decisions today?
In this moment
Your exhale and inhale Oh God
Let me be yours.
Blessings to you for a beautiful week.
PS - Come to Costa Rica with us in March!
Wednesday, January 25, 2012
Snatam: I am really happy that you will be providing an opportunity for people to do your cleanse during both the Song of the Self Retreat at Blue Spirit in Costa Rica, and at the Radiant Power of Women Retreat at Omega. In fact, I have never done a cleanse with you and intend to take part in the program because of the powerful experiences I have seen people have with your program. Can you tell us a little about your cleanse?
Shivanter: Participating in the Shivanter Singh Strategies Cleanse is a journey; physiologically, hormonally, emotionally and at a core cellular and spiritual level. This experience offers the opportunity to nourish and support you, and to reinvent your being in a way that is congruent with your divine self.
A day doing the cleanse would go something like this: after sadhana you will take 3 different herbal compounds and a healthy breakfast of fruit juices and polenta porridge, followed mid-morning by a round of 2 herbal compounds. Mid-day there would be a lunch of fresh salads, raw soup and herbals teas. The afternoon will consist of a mid-afternoon dosage of herbal compounds (same dosage as the upon waking protocol), and for dinner, a bountiful meal of quinoa, lightly steamed kale and soaked legumes along with the same herbal compounds taken in the morning and mid-day.
The traction it takes to make change in our lives is normally a process that can take years. Our emotional existence on this planet is not simply cognitive, but rather an amalgamation of hormones, neural hormone receptors and synapses in our central nervous system that all adapt to survive based on our experience. The means that if we live in stress and anxiety for years, our body quite literally adapts to survive, and forgets to thrive. When we really begin to understand the chemical and physiological resistance we have to change, we are able to take the steps to adapt ourselves inside out to live a life full of grace and productivity. This cleanse offers a method to fast tract your way through resistance to change, but not only helping you break old stories intellectually and emotionally, but also by helping your body reprogram and hardwire at a neurological and endocrinological level.
Snatam: How was this program developed, and what was the inspiration?
Shivanter: This cleanse came out of the work that I have done with Gurmukh over the year, and it was a direct result of the Golden Bridge Cleanse. Several years ago Gurmukh suggested that I take this work on as part of my path, and I have been so very honored to have the opportunities to share this experience, this process with people. The principles behind the cleanse really work very well with the practice of Kundalini Yoga when we really begin to work from the platform of mind, body and spirit, we see people lives begin to change.
The true inspiration behind this work is certainly Yoga Bhajan. He has many thoughts and teaching around diet and this program has taken much of his insight into nutrition and brought them into this experience. The Strategies Cleanse is about learning about and creating healthy lifestyle strategies, and to be able to do that, one much be able to come from their own experience, their truth. The program helps individuals to come from a place of understanding their bodies better, and where they can begin to listen to their intuitive self, which I truly believe is God. Kundalini Yoga is incredible in that it provides the technology to connect with the heavens and also be present on the earth. When we bring in the herbs, diet, and physical work, we begin to move through all the blocks that just don’t serve us anymore, and with that gives us the opportunities to maximize our systems so that we truly can be present to serve.
Snatam: It must be really powerful to do the Strategies Cleanse during a yoga and meditation event such as the Song of the Self Retreat or the Radiant Power of Women Retreat. Can you tell us what you have observed and share with us one of your most special memories form working with people over the years with this program?
Shivanter: One of the most powerful moments was at the Radiant Power of Women Retreat. I was working with a woman who had just finished her protocol of chemo for breast cancer. The woman had spent the past three years of her life consumed by the disease, and now she wanted to let it go. Through the cleanse she began to realize that she had the power to heal herself, and that her identity was not her disease, and that she now could begin to listen to her authentic voice. Again, that voice that I believe is God speaking through us, and not at us.
Snatam: What are some of the challenges of doing a cleanse like this? How does one get beyond these challenges?
Shivanter: The biggest challenge that we face in this cleanse is the constant chatter that comes from our head, the negative mind wanting to sabotage us. The way we get beyond the mind is through the community that we create, and the fact that we are together, we are not alone; it’s an amazing healing experience when we can share our truth and feel safe.
Snatam: Do you see a change is how people relate for food after doing the Strategies Cleanse with you?
Shivanter: Yes, people really begin to understand that, “food is medicine”.
Snatam: What are some basic steps you instruct people to do after the finish you cleanse program and go home?
Shivanter: Drink 16 ounces of fresh vegetable juice per day. 50 percent of your diet should consist of cooked grains and cooked or steamed vegetables. 50 percent of your diet should consist of raw foods, of the above combination, 10 percent should consist tofu, vegetable and gain-based high protein foods and beans and legumes, excluding corn or wheat. Drink liquids between meals, instead of with your meals.
Snatam: Thank you Shivanter! We look forward to being with you in Costa Rica this March!
Shivanter: You're welcome! We'll see you then!
Monday, January 23, 2012
"Wandering and wandering oh God; I have come.
I have entered your sanctuary.
This is Nanak's prayer oh God,
Please attach me to your service."
I am here in Hawaii for my recording session with a great musician, and composer named Peter Kater. He has done a lot of incredible work. It is really fun to work with him. I find that it is like tapping the surface of a pond....with the littlest amount of effort this incredible music just ripples out full of heart and depth of experience. You can check out his facebook page here.
I am really happy about the creative flow that is happening. The past few days we have been working on compositions. We are doing mostly songs in English....poems from the Siri Guru Granth Sahib (the sacred writings of the Sikhs), a poem from Yogi Bhajan, and poems that Peter and I wrote. Tomorrow I begin recording my vocals. With Guru's blessing I will deliver something from my heart. Waheguru!!
For me the key message from the Guru this week is to maintain my daily sadhana, or meditation and yoga practice come what may. This is how we can be home no matter what. This is how we can be in God's sanctuary.
I believe that it is a matter of receiving the Grace of God to have this discipline. Where you can start with your own effort is the feeling that you deserve it. Once you feel that...then through your own intelligence you will find the time, you will find the space, and you will find the way that works for you and your family. And actually a daily practice is a gift to your loved ones as it will help you to be more present, more loving, and more strong for them.
If you are wanting a little kick start to create a daily practice I invite you to join us in Costa Rica for our Retreat "Song of the Self". And if you can't make it to Costa Rica we will soon be starting a 40 Day Global Sadhana with Spirit Voyage to be announced soon!
Monday, January 16, 2012
Sat Nam everyone. With this Gratitude Monday blog I really try to stay current to what is present to me. So I offer to you the mantra that I can't get out of my head!
This mantra is in the Aquarian Sadhana that Yogi Bhajan gave in the teachings of Kundalini Yoga. It is at the very end of Rehraas, the evening prayer for Sikhs.
It is called "Rakhe Rakhanhaar."
This morning in fact we had a visitor to the ashram. I asked her if she knew all of the mantras for the Sadhana. She did in fact know most of them, but not the mantra "Rakhe Rakhanhaar." It is a long mantra in comparison to many others given in Kundalini Yoga. Many times I hear people say that they just can't figure this one out... and have totally given up even trying to learn it.
If you are one of these people, perhaps my sharing with you today will inspire you to learn this mantra and apply it to your life.
When you feel that you need protection, sing Rakhe Rakhanhaar. This is how I can relate it to you from my personal experience.
If you feel threatened by someone, when you chant Rakhe Rakhanhaar it will not only bring protection to you, but cover the grace and bring healing to the person who was threatening you.
It is a slow process, but works quickly! Let me explain this incredible phenomena. The moment I consciously began chanting this mantra it quickly shifted the energy of the situation so that I was totally protected. I didn't have to say or do anything. It worked on my inner psyche so powerfully that my whole relationship to the situation shifted and I was no longer in the line of threat. And then there was a slow process of healing that took place over many years. As I look back on it the healing was profound and beyond anything I could have ever conceived of praying for.
I will now share with you the meaning of this beautiful mantra with my personal take on it.
Rakhe rakhanhaar aap ubaarian
Oh protector, the One who protects, you yourself lifts us up, carries us across.
(Give it to God, it is God's Creation, allow that One to carry you.)
Gur kee pairee paa-ee-ay kaaj savaarian
You gave us the touch of the Lotus Feed of the Guru, and our work is totally taken care of.
(Imagine how beautiful all of your work would be with the remembrance of the Guru's feet at your forehead. Are you truly doing what your work for the Guru, for the Divine Energy in yourself and all beings? In chanting this line with consciousness you can begin to see clearly what is truly serving and what is not. May our work be one hundred percent in service to the Guru.)
Ho-aa aap dayaal manoh na visaarian
You are merciful, kind and compassionate. Our minds do not forget You.
(In this line we give our gratitude to God. We call God merciful and compassionate. Most people in their complaining about their lives really in essence are complaining about God... because God is the Creator and the Creation. God is energy! By having gratitude to God we attract positive and good energy our way. We make friends with God!)
Saad janaa kay sang bavajal taarian.
In the Sadh Sangat, in the company of those living in consciousness, You carry us across and save us from misfortune, slander and disaster. (When we live in conscious community there is an aura or vibration that gets created by the collective effort. It gives you an absolutely real protection and grace. In these times especially many people are being called to create conscious community for that very reason.)
Saakat nindak dusht kin mahe bidaarian
In an instant you cut away the negativity and slander. (This is the line that really makes energy shift in challenging situations and gives you instantaneous protection.)
Tis sahib kee tayk Nanak man mahe
That Lord and Master is my anchor and support. Oh Nanak, hold firm to that One in your mind. (It all comes back to us, in our own minds, to create the anchor to God as the One who is the Support. God is there for us... so strong, so real, we just forget. This line helps us remember.)
Jis simarath sukh ho-ay sagalay dukh jaa-ay
Remembering God in meditation happiness comes and all sorrows and pains simply vanish. (This is the power of chanting God's Name... it works... chant God's Name... and your troubles will depart. try it.)
God Bless you.
I hope this has served you in some way.
On this day of remembrance to Martin Luther King may we feel the courage that was in his heart and that is in his Spirit today.... his beautiful Spirit that is cheering us on as we stand up for truth in our own lives.
Here is a link to our Amrit Vela album with this mantra on it.
Here is a link to a meditation that we have provided with a recording of Rakhe Rakhanhaar. This recording was one of my first recordings that I did in Eugene, Oregon with my beloved friends Tarn Taran Singh and Jai Jeet Sangeet Singh. In addition this link will show you many other artists who have also recorded this Mantra. Enjoy!!
PS - Join us in Costa Rica for our Song of the Self Retreat, March 10-17, 2012. Read more about our empowering children's program.
Photo by Robin Layton.
Monday, January 09, 2012
Monday, January 02, 2012
Sat Nam. Happy New Year to you! What an incredible time we live in. We are on the brink of either a major global shift in consciousness or a major environmental catastrophe that finally may bring in the shift within each of us. This morning we went to the Guru Ram Das Ashram in San Francisco. In a kind of dream way the weather was sunny. This type of weather never happens in January. In fact this year there has been so much sun in the cloudy city, that I felt prompted to think that it is global warming.
As much of my life seems to be these days, God was giving me this complete beauty of a sunny day in San Francisco... an opportunity to be present. The type of shift in consciousness that it will take to solve global warming is bigger then anything I can do, or even inspire others to do. It will take millions and millions of people.
This is one of the greatest challenges of our day, of this New Year. How do we as meditators, yogis, people of light and love enter into the reality of the times? I do believe that we will find a way, that we will collectively transform, and that it will be a beautiful story in our human history.
This morning as I sat meditating the thought came to mind to share with you the power of the Mul Mantra. This mantra was given to us by Guru Nanak, the first Guru of the Sikhs who walked this earth in the fifteenth century. It is a mantra that gives you the compass so that you may find your true self. This true self sits within the opening of your heart. Some say that the most difficult journey in life is moving from the energy of the navel center to the heart center.
The navel center is very important especially in its balanced state. The navel in a balanced state gives you the fire of courage to stand up for truth. It gives you the capacity to know your center, to be rooted in your inner truth. It gives you the basic energy of digestion... both in how we digest food, but also in how we digest energy. One beautiful teacher, Ma Jaya Sati Bhagavati once said to me, "I eat pain for breakfast" referring to the energy that she dealt with after spending time with AIDS patients. Emotional or mental pain is a part of living life, especially for someone on a spiritual path. The drug companies and popular media make you believe that one should not have pain this kind of pain. Take a pill. Do something to shut yourself off. But the moment you go through the pain, the moment you digest it so to speak... you allow it to be... you embrace it... then that pain is healed forever and released. This takes a balanced navel center.
When our navel center is in an imbalanced state we are greedy, looking to acquire things and energy that we don't really need. We look to fill up an abyss within that can never be filled. That abyss comes from all of the pain that we haven't figured out how to digest. This energy I believe is prevalent in the world today. What is the remedy to bring us back into a balanced navel center which allows our heart to open? How can we be fulfilled without needing things from the outside? How can we find a simpler more sustainable way to live on this planet?
There are many tools to do just these things. A very powerful mantra tool is the Mul Mantra.
I invite you to chant it with me and let its energy unfold within you.
Here is the mantra with the translation. The translation is simply a reflection of my experience as a student of Yogi Bhajan, and as a seeker at the feet of Guru Nanak.
Ek ong kaar....
God is One, I am One with all beings
Truth is God's Name... The vibration of God's Name is what created all beings.... that vibration is within me.... therefore in my core I am true.
God is the Doer.... God does all things... God works through me.... God works through everyone in my life.
God is fearless... I am fearless.
God has no revenge.... I exist in my heart... I stay present... I don't hold on to the past.... I live in this moment in full compassion and acceptance of what is.
God exists in the undying form... God is in the purity of our efforts to live in a spiritual way, and these efforts never die... these efforts live on forever.
God is unborn.... God does not relate to birth and death.... God is beyond the cycles of life.... God is infinite... I am infinite
God is self illumined... I am self illumined. Within me I have the power to find light, to find love, to find joy. I don't need anyone or anything for this.
It is by Guru's Grace.... it is the Grace of the teachings of the Divine One.... the Guru.... Guru Nanak, Jesus, Mohammed, the Masters of all traditions that give us Grace.
True in the Beginning
True throughout the ages
True here and now
Nanak Hosee Bhee Sach
Oh Nanak, forever and always true. Spirit, Truth, Love, and Light.... these are the things that are true, that have always been true.
This is the Mul Mantra....
Let us chant it together.
Let us let go of the dream... and find the reality of our truth.
We can be free.
Chant it with me.
Love and Blessings,
Here is a link to my CD Anand where we have the Mul Mantra recorded.
Here is a link to the Spirit Voyage website with all of their artists who have recorded the Mul Mantra. Enjoy!