Yogi Bhajan, Special Arrival
Sat Nam, Dear Family! There are so many qualities of the Siri Singh Sahib, aka Yogi Bhajan, that made him special, and one was his perception. Exemplifying this was how he viewed the Guru’s teachings: they were no longer teachings. First they turned to commands, then to devotion, and, finally, into merger. His life had become a living trust in honor of Guru Ram Das. This perspective was a blessing from Guru ji Himself. This is why he was and is special. Please, let me give you an example.
The Siri Singh Sahib, motioned for one of his secretaries to move away his eating tray. It was a chilly and windy day. I was sitting in front of the side window, so I could hear the trees rustling over the TV. It was an unusual fall day, evoking more of “Jane Eyre” novel than New Mexico. An ominous, forbidding, scary day. At least that’s what my training had created. He saw things differently.
For him, this was an auspicious day - one filled with Guru’s gifts. With this attitude there cannot be any day which isn’t auspicious. His perception was different. He was graced to see everything as a blessing and at the same time, perform his duty with the one-pointed attention of a true yogi.
He use his yogic powers to become a better Sikh. And, it worked. He matched up. As he would say, “you must see things from 35,000 feet up to get a better look and better understanding to see the truth.” This was his perspective. This truth works in all venues. Physical, mental, and spiritual decisions are seen from a different perspective making good decisions much easier to make. This is another reason why he was and is so special.
A call was put through to the our beloved teacher. I could tell that it was a special call because his demeanor changed immediately. He became dead serious. I had seen this display many times before, so it was easily recognizable. It always brought me to attention as well. Something important was happening and I wanted to know what it was about.
Some things he let me in on, others not so much. I had to figure the others out through the clues I could attract. I liked the game. He knew how to tease me on one hand, and demand of me from the other. As you can see, this playfulness also added to his specialness for me. Here’s the best news, he’s special to all his students. All they have to do is find his specialty. There’s a cost, and it must be paid. The cost is devotion.
I was so fortunate to view his grace in action even when it was camouflaged in worldliness. I was lucky, I never judged his worldliness, in fact, I was his “grand enabler.” He taught me how things of this world were not only OK, but could always be used in service to our Guru. This was his perceptive. He was a man of pure faith, turned to belief, turned to devotion, turned to merger. Whatever came his way was a gift from God. Period!
As he hung the phone up, I saw his eyes squint in an expression of joy, reserved for special occasions. These occasions grabbed my total attention as well. He wanted to share his joy and I was lucky enough to be available.
The details of his joy weren't the issue, his pure joy was what was special about him. He dealt with so many issues most of them unresolvable that when big issues were favorably resolved, his gratitude for God’s mercy was really on display. Win or lose, happy or sad, he was always the quintessential yogi, and he never got discouraged. His devotion to The One, was always what drove him and his devotion.
His life became a continuous circle of more and more devotion, then more and more pure love. He worked hard in creating this Dharma and he deserved any and all gifts which come his way. He deserved it all. He taught us that in learning how to serve a spiritual teacher, we, his students, could show our devotion. In serving him in all facets, in making sure his needs were met, and even those before he knew he needed them! We sat his feet, day after day, night after night, and soaked up the love and joy he radiated in his surrender to Guru Ram Das.
We looked to see how we could be a part of this relationship and get for him, our beloved teacher, what would make him smile with joy once again! There were no guarantees the yearning was there to decorate him with all the splendor we could muster, and then some, all in devotion to the truth to which he led us. I heard someone on TV say, “Don’t fake til you make it, fake it until you become it.” I couldn’t argue with either.
The joy he shared with me that cold and supposedly ominous day has stayed with me forever. Right in the middle of everything, for a few seconds, I saw him bow his head in gratitude for the kindness shown. Then he was right back in business as usual mode.
It astounds me even today how much those brief, but subtle moments of his joy, deeply affected me. Life was good. Life was fun. I recognized that I was glimpsing life through his eyes, through his blessed perspective. We were all saved. We were all doing the right thing. We were all on the right path. We were blessed to find what we prayed for. This awareness becomes more than an understanding, it becomes an experience of hope turned to reality. At least that’s what it was to me. I had a glimpse of the Infinite, everlasting joy through his perspective.
The experience was so overpowering that it’s been my life’s quest to return to that perspective. Why me, I don’t know. I don’t really care. I’m past that. If God wants to bless someone, they should at least have the good sense to not block it. I know his perspective is real because I was blessed to get a preview. The way to the full length version is through devotion, devotion to your teacher. That’s it. All the other ways are fruitless. Obey, serve, love, excel. This was his teaching and this was his way. It all starts with obeying. I know that’s a bad word these days, but that’s how it’s done. Obey the teacher; obey the teachings; obey the Guru; obey God. Obey the truth.
Once you’ve selected a teacher (and I’m not discussing how that selection process happens). that’s it. Then you serve the teacher’s will, that’s it again. Commitment is commitment, that’s what he taught. He defined commitment as ‘come what may.’ A Sikh never abandons a commitment, a relationship. Yes, there are all kinds of deviations along the way, but that’s the necessary process. To get what the teacher has to give, the true student must surrender his will in devotion to his trust in the teacher. Nobody said that it was going to be easy.
The beauty is that he had something real to give, and I was blessed to touch it. That’s the deal right there. What does the teacher really have to deliver? Many get fooled, thank God we haven’t. The game of life is to become the teacher, become the Guru, become God. His touch is available in every Kundalini Yoga set, in every meditation practiced, in every mantra chanted, in every teaching practiced, in every Seva performed. That’s another reason why he’s special. He’s as available now just as much as he was when he was with us personally, and, most importantly, he had something real to deliver - the truth of Guru, the truth of God.
I no longer judge why I was blessed to be present on this great day, or why I was close enough to him to ride the wave of his aura. I’m just grateful for what our teacher’s good word to Guru ji has done to bless my life, whether or not I, or others, think it’s warranted. The blessing is that your image of yourself is expanded exponentially and automatically when you serve your teacher. That is, if the teacher can deliver that expansion. And, in turn, through your devotion and surrender, your teacher’s grace can touch even more hungry souls. Our elevation actually guarantees our teacher’s reach and reveals his true specialness. How blessed are we to be a part of delivering this specialness to others!
In the Humility of Service and Gratitude,
See Sikh Definitions.
Yogi Bhajan, Time Bomb Lesson of Vietnam
Sat Nam, Dear Family! The Vietnam war has been an enigma in the consciousness of America ever since it began. Watching the Ken Burns series on PBS has brought up many issues again. What was it all about? What did it mean? Was there any redeeming value to it? What have we learned? These are just some of the questions which haunt many Americans to this day. They are good questions, they are fair questions, and they are questions which must be asked to give any resolution, redemption, and closure to this war.
I was one of those wanting to understand what it was all about. I’ve studied it. I’ve learned that it’s complicated. Let me see if I can decipher what I’ve come to understand in simple language.
Right after WWII, America supported free societies all over the world, and that included Vietnam, or Indo-China, which also included Laos and Cambodia, as it was called then. France was our ally. They were included in a very powerful political and military bond call the Western Alliance (NATO today). This Alliance was viewed as a protector and a promoter of freedom and a free way of governance, and stood in opposition to more autocratic ways such as the Soviet Union and China.
I hope I’m not getting more technical than necessary, but just bear with me for a while longer and you’ll see where I’m going.
One of the perceived benefits of an autocratic system is usually more security. The price paid for this is less freedom. The western model is a system of freedom with the inherent risk attached. Here’s the problem, when liberty and security are at battle, security usually wins. This is an age old battle, which continues to this day, and will continue into the foreseeable future.
After the humiliating French defeat at Dien Bien Phu in 1954 which led to the establishment of North and South Vietnam, more and more pressure was being put on the United States from it’s allies to protect French colonial interests. France, was the most vocal and threatened to break the Alliance if America didn’t support their interests in Viet Nam. France went so far as to threaten to join with the Soviet Union if we didn’t support these interests. We had to make a choice between compromising our standards or allowing an Alliance to break up. America believed this Alliance to be of great value and would continue to promote and defend our Western values of freedom in a very productive way into the furture.
In addition, considering the view of communism as an anti-freedom system universally, made the decision easier. This view that communism was against the interest of the West made communist North Vietnam an easy target. The corrupt, but installed first present of South Vietnam, Ngo Dinh Diem was a perceived advocate of freedom, albeit a very, very perverted style. But, given the choice between Diem or communism, the choice of backing France was made more easily. A lot of political pressure was tilted in this direction.
However, here’s where it gets complicated. Do we stick with the American value of defending liberty, the rule of law, religions freedom, etc. everywhere our influence extends, or do we allow politics to enter into the equation? Now, that’s a question you need God to answer. I can make compelling arguments for either way of thinking. Here’s where the true lesson of the Vietnam experience can be learned. Here’s where the rubber hits the road. Here’s where the truth is available.
Doesn’t the “greater good” thinking need to be a heavy considers deciding factor in our decisions? What good is it to compromise our standards if we don’t survive? We can’t do any good if we’re not here.
I get it. We chose to fight against North Vietnam for political reasons and that didn’t work out so well. It was an understandable decision taken at the time, but what if we would have stuck to our standard and supported the North - Ho Chi Min’s march for independence? There was another choice too: staying out of the conflict altogether and not taking any sides. Would the French have really pulled out of the Western Alliance as threatened? What implications would that possibility have had on world stability? Or, would the Alliance and others learned to respected and to trust us because we stick to our standards which are available to everyone as stated in our Constitution? However, I don’t know if we ever asked God or got His right answer, but we followed the wrong choice.
Several of our presidents have continually promoted whatever sacrifice was needed in order to hold NATO together. But, what if we’d have said “no” to politics - “we support freedom everywhere”. We’re sorry if this in any way offends or hurts anyone, we’re sorry if it supports the right of a nation to choose Communism, but, please understand, this is our core value. And, if we’re true to what we believe, then we must believe the same for everyone, including the Vietnamese.
What I’ve learned from the Vietnam War is that our values are what define us. The more we compromise, deviate, ameliorate, or in any manner change our core standard, our liberty, for any purpose, the worst that compromised decision becomes. I’ve learned that, yes, politics is very important, but it must not compromise the core of Western politics. When politics and standards battle, in spite of public opinion, leadership must uphold the standards.
We didn’t do this at the time. We’ve suffered because of it. No one can deny that. Vietnam has taught me that if we don’t want to suffer again, then we must hold to our core value of liberty in spite of any additional risk in security. That’s the cost of liberty, and I’m glad to say, that’s another great lesson of the Vietnam War.
We had the courage when the British invaded, we had the courage at the time the War Between the States (the Civil War) broke out but we have not shown that courage when things became more complicated. Do we now? Have we learned the right lesson from Vietnam, or will the blessings which have befallen on the America because of sticking to our standards continue, or will we fade into the ordinary like all the great civilizations, which preceded us?
“When the adversity will hit, the communication will break. Never break the communication. Neither with an enemy nor with a friend… Keep communicating. That’s what God does. Just understand, communication is vibration. Keep vibrating, but positively. Never listen to negativity.” Yogi Bhajan 7/10/85
In the Humility of Service and Gratitude,
See Sikh Definitions.
Yogi Bhajan, Wing Walker Stalker
Sat Nam, Dear Family! I was blessed to see, over and over again, how the Siri Singh Sahib, aka Yogi Bhajan, lived a life of understanding, and that wasn’t the half of it. He not only understood, he experienced that understanding. “Myriad are the ways,” the Guru says. And, this statement is not just an understanding, it’s an experience. Please, let me give you an example.
We had just arrived back from an outing and went straight to the living room where our beloved teacher could relax. Home is always the most relaxing place, our personal sanctuary. He went straight to his chair as one of his secretaries turned on the TV. He leaned back causing the lower leg rest to elevate his legs, and, as usual, a blanket was placed over him, a caring gesture indelibly echoed in my mind. Now I saw him not only relaxed, but contented as well.
Tea was served. The hustle and bustle of issues to resolve were now included into his relaxed period. On this day, things were resolved quickly. We began watching TV. A thirty-ish woman was on TV explaining what she did. She was a ‘wing walker’, which meant that she climbed out on the wings of a airplanes when it was flying at up to 160 miles an hour, to entertain the crowds below at air shows. Twisting and turning through the air, emphasized through the power and lift of the plane, was what this woman lived for. She made that quite clear.
This woman had a fascinating story. Why did this woman live for this? The interviewer began to probe with softball questions throwing out suggestions as to what the answer might be. Did she do this for money? Did she do this for the adrenaline rush? Did she do this for recognition? She didn’t bite. None of his suggestions were agreeable to her, she had her own answer: Freedom. She said that she had never been so passionate about anything, never loved anything like this. She left no doubt about her commitment, her devotion, and the freedom it provided.
She further stated that she has known 30 to 50 people who had died doing what she did! It was a glimpse into what it took to do what she does.
Our teacher began to comment, “She’s so addicted to her experience of freedom that she’s willing to take any risk. That’s commitment. But look at how this great commitment has been used. The Guru says, ‘Myriad are the ways.’ What an example she is.”
He saw this woman’s plight, first, through compassion, then through the experience of Guru ji’s teaching. He saw it in a spiritual perspective. He saw it as one of the ‘myriad of ways.’ He was just grateful that he had found a not only a better way but a different way to freedom. One which is life saving rather than life threatening. One which lives in the experience of freedom and beyond. One which is true because it even allowed him to see the ‘myriad of ways.’
While the usual person would consider this woman nuts, he didn’t. He saw her with compassion. Compassion was his default status. He understood her plight. He understood her nature, her search for freedom, and appreciated it for what it was: commitment and courage. Two things which he also held dearly. Yes, there’s a difference of focus, but the commitment and courage it takes are the same.
“Can you see the pain in this woman’s eyes,” he continued. I could, now that he mentioned it. “With all her life’s desire fulfilled, flying through the air had satisfied every bone in her body, at least that’s what she declared. She had me convinced and I’m not easy to convince. Gratefully, she has shown me that unless the Guru’s truth is the focus, pain will follow. There is no refuge from this world except through living the truth. This woman is satisfied, but not content.”
That was it for me right there. His compassion had allowed this woman’s plight to let him see once again, just how grateful he was. How devoted he was. How surrender always turned to love. How humble he truly was. And, most importantly, how blessed he was. His ‘live and let live’ nature was blessed. There was no more “holding on.” There was only “letting go.”
He didn’t often reveal himself so dynamically, at least not in my presence. Occasions like this one made a direct impact on my consciousness. Through all his worldliness, he was different. Sometimes we forget that. After all, as they say, familiarity breeds contempt. And, he was a very familiar teacher. Once again, I was blessed to see from his perception, a different perception, a compassionate perception, and one that provided for reality. Occurrences like this one were always the most comforting of times. I am grateful for it more than you know.
‘Myriad are the ways,’ for him, became an experience of compassion. Compassion which fueled gratitude. The cycle becomes Infinite and devotion is reached. Our teacher’s truth lay in his surrender and love for his Guru, Guru Ram Das. Focus on Guru Ram Das brings on compassion, compassion for all. Compassion to all is only truly obtained through Guru’s grace, not through any effort on your behalf. Nevertheless, Guru ji does look favorably on those who sincerely follow His teachings. That’s the way it is and you or I can’t change it.
No doubt, everything is karma. Nevertheless, whatever your karma is, known or unknown, the way out of this world “alive” is to only act as if your karma is elevated, is royal, is serviceful, is devoted, is destined, is divine. He lived a life of service to Guru Ram Das. He lived this life in spite of, or because of, karma, it doesn’t matter. He could have been anyone. But, he was the blessed one. How grateful are we to be his.
In the Humility of Service and Gratitude,
See Sikh Definitions.
Yogi Bhajan, “Happiness Runs”
Sat Nam, Dear Family! There’s a song we sing called “Happiness Runs” which was first sung and released by Donovan in 1969. It’s almost like a camp song. By that I mean that its very simple, rhythmic, and catchy. It could even sung in rounds. The Siri Singh Sahib, aka Yogi Bhajan, loved this song. At first I thought I understood why. Well, I was wrong again. Please, let me explain why.
The song begins, “Happiness Runs in a Circular Motion.” I thought that the circular meant the circle of life, the completion of this journey. I soon discovered that it’s not just about me. A circle is the symbol of Infinity, of the whole ball of wax, of the whole creation, and beyond! I further discovered that true happiness runs through the service to God’s will. Happiness blends into a contented life, one connected with the circle of Infinity.
The next line is, “Life is like a boat upon the sea.” I thought this meant that staying afloat was a secret. It is, but it turns out that there’s more. Our Guru often refers to our existence as a journey across the sea of of life, the see of tragedy, the see of blocks, to the glorious shores of contentment. The image of this crossing as the Guru explains it is, “Across this terrible world ocean.” This image is indelibly inscribed in the consciousness of a Sikh. This lines represents the truth and the humility necessary for crossing over into merger with God. Of course, this journey cannot be completed without Guru ji’’s permission. It’s all up to Him. All we can do is get a in the boat, paddle, keep paddling, and pray that Guru’s mercy falls upon us.
“Everything is a part of everything anyway,” I never misunderstood this line It’s right to the heart of the truth. Everything is God, including us. This truth is hard to find, harder to understand, and, still, harder to carry with you. Nevertheless, it’s still the truth. The reality to see this is subject to your consciousness and your karma. But, no matter what you or I think, we are all God-in-training. This line reminds us of where we stand in comparison with the big picture, so that humility can visit you. It’s a great thing.
“You can have it all if you let yourself be.” What does “have it all” mean? Will I become a wealthy person? Will I find true love? Will I be remembered? And, by the way, what does “let yourself be” mean? The Siri Singh Sahib, Yogi Bhajan, used to say, “To be, to be. Not “to be or not to be” as Shakespeare said. To be, to be was a statement, a mantra, related to the truth and his teaching of - I am, I am. The first ‘I am’ is finite, the next ‘I am’ is Infinite. ‘I am’ my own person, and ‘I am’ the personification of God. ‘I am’ represents ‘to be’ in this world and the next, to master both. In addition, ‘to be’ meant to relax into the exalted state of Guru as existence spins around. Finally, ‘to be’ means to be under the protection and prosperity of Guru ji. This is what is also meant by “you can have it all.”
So, it’s true. This is a grand song. It represents our way of thinking accurately. Like anything, interpretation will vary because of the myriad of personal reasons, excuses, rationales, or justifications available. But, to our teacher, this song depicted a great truth, the great truth of God expressed in the most simple and sophisticated way.
See Sikh Definitions.
Yogi Bhajan, The Gall of Football
Sat Nam, Dear Family! For those who believe that there’s no redeeming value in football, I offer the following. Bare with me and I hope you will find this enlightening. The coach I’m going to quote is not from my alma mater, so I have no associated prejudice or bias. In fact, he’s not just a football coach, he’s a teacher, a life teacher. Some coaches are better than others, but all at the collegiate level have demonstrated a degree of teaching ability.
Like the world, some coaches teach ethically, some not so much. Both can work the current Iowa State Coach, Campbell, said something to his team which exemplified the highest caliber of understanding. He was able to verbalize in a manner which resonates truth.
Coach Campbell said to his team after a big win several Saturdays ago, “The platform we’re using is team before self. And, that’s not a part of our culture today. Our culture says, ‘it’s all about me.’ Our culture says, ‘screw process, I want instant gratification.’ But, here’s a fact, and young guys listen to me, If you fall in love with the process, if you fall in love with the process, then eventually, then eventually, eventually the process will love you back.”
Now, that’s not only a motivational speech, it’s a grand teaching. It’s a spiritual teaching. It’s a teaching which applies to all true spiritual journeys. It’s a journey of being a part of something greater than yourself. It’s the beginning of surrendering. If the team takes this message to heart, it makes winners out of losers. That’s a great teaching.
Other ethical coaches have their own way of leading their team from sacrificing individual needs for the good of the team to doing it through confidence; others by support, and there are many more ways. Coach Campbell beautifully verbalizes it. The more that individual players surrender to the team, the more winning is experienced, until, losing never happens again. This is an elevated spiritual concept. This state is an experience of contentment. This experience is what spiritual aspirants cherish.
Another very successful coach does it by repetition, by making players thinking process get out of the way so a better performance can be obtained. Changing ones habits is difficult, but repetition (jap, repete, as Guru ji says it) can do it. In spirituality, mantras, selfless service, devotion, are methods to change old habits, and “repete a mantra” is Guru’s first lesson of change. When football players just react with proven strategies rather than thinking and second guessing in the moment of critical plays, they are one step ahead of their opponent, and that step is typically the winning edge. In addition they’ve eliminated many things which cause penalties. When a true team plays with this added advantage, success increases exponentially.
These coaches become the modern day preachers. Preachers teaching spiritual truths without using God. They do this because they teach multi-cultural athletes; athletes from multi-varied backgrounds bringing their different relationships with God,to the team, but the truths are the same. Good coaches bridge the gap. They teach through the tolerance necessary. They turn religion into the best of American values - truth without hyperbole, without unnecessary ritual. They teach the truth without a pulpit. They teach to a select group. They teach these great truths to, of all people, football players and, in many instances, it works.
So, as our beloved teacher taught us that the progression is “Individual consciousness, to group consciousness, to Infinite consciousness. It’s not the life that matters, it’s the courage you bring to it.”
Millions of people in the USA relax on the weekend to view their teams compete, everyone hoping for victory. Trips are made, parties are organized, and friends come together to witness the culmination of their Coach’s influence over his team. It is quite something to see when the TV cameras scan the stands as it comes down to the last few minutes in a race for victory. Thousands of people have their hands in prayer pose, hoping, wishing, praying for their team to make the impossible possible and win!By the way, putting ones palms together is a yogic technique which balances the hemispheres of the brain! Wow, look how God brings people to prayer!
Our beloved teacher taught us that grace is in the details. The detailed training of the mind to, in all circumstances, see things in this light. In our fight for success and victory we must believe, remember, then practice, and finally experience the truth of sacrifice; the truth of serving something great; the truth of surrender; the truth of confinement; the truth of love. Yes, football can teach a lot.
Oh, and don’t forget to mention the discipline it takes to make teamwork real, but that’s for another time.
See Sikh Definitions.
Yogi Bhajan, A Thirst for the Worst
Sat Nam, Dear Family! The Siri Singh Sahib, aka Yogi Bhajan, used to say, “The worst you are, the easier it is to follow spirituality.” At first it kind of freaked me out. I thought it meant that if I wanted to be best, I had to probably admit to myself, and to the world, that I’m also the worst. Well it turned out that it true,but there’s much more but it’s a tough one to conquer. His teaching taught me how to work this magic on myself. Please, let me explain.
I began to understand that the worst of me means to no longer to be feared. This awareness allowed me to practice incorporating this way of thinking into my belief system. One-pointedness is the key to progress. My Kundalini Yoga practice greatly aided me in creating the necessary focus. I came very good in it getting what I wanted. But, then is saw that I wanted d to do more than just understand. I wanted to be the understanding. What next?
Self-judgement is a constant companion and creates fear. It’s necessary and part of the process. If you’re advancing, you’ll constantly be facing the “wall of limited self-esteem.” After a while, you get used to it and it doesn’t freak you out again and again. This leads to a trust, an integration, of a process which can get you out of limited self-esteem. Once again, the answer lies in the teachings of our teacher, our Guru, and our God.
The answer lies in the awareness that you are no longer the judge of whether or not you are qualified for such grace, you are just grateful that you’ve been blessed to no longer worry about being ‘the worst.” Your worthiness is no longer your doing. The “limited wall of self-esteem” is climbed through the relaxation that whatever God wants you to be, shall be, whether you agree with it or not. Whatever is seen in advance is no longer inhibited by worthiness or lack thereof. If Guru ji wants to bless me, I am now able to get out of my own way. I can now bring on the full me, best and worst, fearlessly.
When this way of thinking is integrated into your ‘trust factor,’ your opinion of yourself no longer matters. Admitting to your self that you are also ‘the worst’ becomes understood in another context, in an elevated perspective. This leads to an understanding that any blessings bestowed must be at least paid for through gratitude for what’s been give and who is giving. This gratitude turns to devotion, devotion to that which has blessed you. So, you could say, devotion is deeper gratitude. At least that’s what I say.
We’re not done yet. More and more sincere devotion leads to love. The love between the giver of grace, and the so-blessed. A love so pure that no advantage is sought, just continued giving. A love in service to the truth as we’ve been taught. A love of the awareness that this love is Infinite. A love that is so real that all dreams are satisfied. A love in experience that’s as much as you can take. Again, the focus on relaxation is the key.
We’re still not done. What more can there be except love. Every religion, every true anything promotes it. And, it is true, I believe it to be so. My teacher taught love, my Guru ji verified it , and my God endorsed divine love. My Guru says that love is the highest spiritual virtue. Naturally, I believe this. Nevertheless, I’ve been taught additionally.
Eventually, love turns into merger. Not merger as you think it to be. But, merger in the same way of thinking. That’s it right there. Love turns into a deeper and deeper amalgamation until you and your teacher, your Guru, your God become one. One in your thinking, one in trust, and one in service to the same path of Infinity. You remain yourself, but you carry around the true virtues of your teacher, your Guru, and your God. Less and less fear, and more and more love pervade your consciousness.
This transition is not an instant gratification deal. It’s a slow, gradual, progression into deeper and deeper identity, until, your process may differ, but your values merge. As the Siri Singh Sahib, Yogi Bhajan used to say, IN GOD I DWELL.”
You love your teacher’s purity so much that nothing can destroy your love for his way, until his way becomes your way. Then, you and this way of thinking merge. This thinking is where you dwell. Merger fills in the gaps, gaps of things still left unresolved. When life is lived in a truly relaxed mode, recognition of ‘the worst’ of me becomes an advantage.
When the worst of me is acknowledged and enjoyed, life has no fear. A fearless life is the only way to enjoy this life completely. Acknowledging ‘my worst’ brings up the experience of fearlessness. Life is enjoyed deeper and deeper. Acknowledging ‘the worst’ accelerates seeing the best. Acknowledging ‘the worst’ creates a vacuum and then, as polarity, greatness is clearly seen. It’s the perfect blessing of balance and reward, it’s a spiritual “carrot and stick” routine.
Here’s what I’ve learned. Life’s a progression. If lived consciously, changes happen. If good changes happen, old habits become ‘the worst.’ That’s a good thing. ‘The worst’ only stands to remind us of how grateful we are to have moved from ‘our worst ‘positions. We can now see them in the proper perspective. ‘Our worst’ is no longer our identity. Yes, it may pop it’s ugly head up once in a while, but that’s just like sneaking up on someone and saying boo. Everyone will jump.
Recovery, a transmission, an elevator is the difference maker. He who transitions in an elevated manner out of the boo state is the one with deeper virtues. Even though we may get shocked into reaction once in a while, we are no longer our old habits. We are no longer ‘our worst’, and, through Guru’s grace, ‘our worst’ holds no power or guilt over us anymore. We are fearless and free.
This perspective can be visited during meditation. It’s and uplifting and throughly enjoyable consciousness experience of fearlessness, confidence and relaxation. But, that’s just the tip of the iceberg. When this view is counterbalanced as you open your eyes from meditation and carry it with you throughout the day that this perspective becomes integrated into your life in a perpetual synergistic experience of merger into completeness.
When this view is carried from the depths of your nectar morning meditations and on into the simple and habitual and miraculous and frustrating and boring and uplifting and frightening and emabahrasing and worst and holy every moments of your life, that this perspective becomes integrated into your life in a perpetual experience of total worthiness.
Seeing ‘the worst' in me has given me the best view of me as well. And, here’s the best part: ‘My worst’ and ‘my best’ are up to He who created me. I have no claim, no game, no gain, and, mostly, no shame about it. My destiny is no longer in my hands - thank God. ‘The worst’ had become ‘the best’ through the deliverance of our teacher’s teachings. ‘The best’ is that he delivered what he promised: a carefree, prosperous, fulfilled life as a gift from Above for service rendered.
Please understand. I say these things not as a way of aggrandizing myself, at least I pray is be so. I share my experiences in the prayer that generations who follow will be given the confidence to keep up through all the hard times that are inevitable on a spiritual path. My prayer is that some will gain confidence in the sacrifice necessary in this Dharma.
I pray that generations share my joy in living fearlessly. I pray that if I can be of any help in providing hope and confidence to keep-up on this path, that I provide you with this help. I pray that I follow His will and not my own. I pray that ‘the worst’ of me continues to be protected by Guru ji. I pray that your life be turned into fulfillment. I pray that your life be lived confidently, relaxed, and fearlessly.
See Sikh Definitions.
Yogi Bhajan, Cash in on Compassion
Sat Nam, Dear Family! I know that there are other disciplines which work for spiritual growth, I’m sure of that. God bless them all. But, right in front of all who read this is a technology which answers all questions, fills every desire, allows for hope and provides for a happy, graceful life. My thinking is “why take the risk going anywhere else when a proven process is front and center”?
The thing that bugs me the most is of all those souls which were given the opportunity to have it all, how few of them have taken advantage of it. I used to think of them as stupid until I fell in the same category without even realizing it. It’s a humbling experience. The pain associated with it can best be remedied through compassion. Compassion is the antidote for ignorance. It works.
As ones own stupidity is realized more and more, compassion becomes the answer to the pain of perpetual self-awareness. Thank God we have a teacher, Siri Singh Sahib Ji, Yogi Bhajan, who taught the answer. And, he did it by his example which is the best way. I found out how stupid I was. Who knew? After all, everyone is stupid in God’s eyes. I repeat: it’s a humbling experience.
Our beloved teacher’s example was that of compassion. And, here’s the best part, his example was that compassion begins at home. First, compassion means forgiving yourself, then truly loving yourself. I know that’s a tall order. How does one have the nerve or the self-esteem to forgive him/herself for everything? To most, that way of thinking seems impossible. There’s too much guilt, too much shame associated with each life. And, they’re right, for them it’s usually impossible. Nevertheless, it is possible, that is, if you’re willing to pay the price. Our beloved teacher often said, “You can’t give someone something that you don’t have yourself.” So, compassion must be developed in order to be shared.
His way to be compassionate with himself was rooted in Guru Ram Das. Guru Ram Das, who had forgiven every transgression he could remember and plenty he couldn’t. Guru ji wiped the slate clean. the Siri Singh Sahib Ji was so appreciative, so reverent, so dependent, so in love with that which forgave and allowed him to forgive himself that the only way he could display his gratitude was in serving Guru Ji’s will greater and greater. Guru Ji granted him the blessing of not only having no guilt or shame in any part of his life, but rather real joy in being aware of the painful past but now with no longer a haunting feeling. How, you ask? I thought you’d never ask.
Our teacher was bestowed the awareness that if he’’s happy with his life, and he definitely was, then everything which had happened to him in the past had brought him to this place, his contented place. Therefore, everything which happened in his life was necessary to bring him to this elevated stage. There’s no regret for anything which has happened. His prayer which he repeated many times was: “Good or bad, I’m your’s Guru Ji, so please make me better so I can serve You better. I can go nowhere else, I have no other alternatives, Good or not, I’m Yours forever.”
He proved his love to to Guru ji through his devoted service. What could Guru ji do? As with all His sincere servants, Guru ji granted the Siri Singh Sahib a seat in Guru’s Court.
Guru Ram Das loves this attitude. He can’t help but. Guru Ji ’s sacred writing are full of such humble devotion. Now, here’s a secret. At least most people don’t know about it. God loves it when a teacher, a devotee, a student, sincerely prays to serve his Guru as Guru ji wills. Prayers like this are not only recognized by Guru Ji, but God, Himself. The odds just increased by an Infinite percentage that now either God, or Guru, or both, will not only take notice, but extend their mercy in the form of blessing the student’s life. A life so blessed, is honored and worthy of feeling good about. Our teacher felt absolutely good about his life.
Someone who feels absolutely good about their life is either truly happy or diluted, both are a possibility. And, unfortunately, there are many many more diluted people that truly happy ones. Diluted means that you don’t know that your happiness is false. You’ve diluted yourself into thinking that you’re happy. I have no argument with this so long as the dilution leads to an elevated process rather than pure inertia.
The happiness in our beloved teacher’s life was the result of his compassion. Compassion guaranteed that his happiness was the real thing. Love of Guru, love of God, and compassion for all His created souls is the way of a Sikh.
This Dharma was created by our teacher and we were carried on his back. He was our success. He did it by being a beloved of Guru Ji. He paid the cost of compassion, and Guru Ji bestowed the gift of happiness. It’s not the kind of happiness we normally think of, he didn’t limit himself as to how happiness looks. It’s the kind of happiness which provides all the tools necessary to handle any and all issues on this worldly plane in not only the perfect way, but to be happy about the process of dealing with it all as well. That’s the happiness I saw in our teacher and this is what he taught about compassion through his example.
He is why we have true hope. He is why our confidence soars. He is why our life becomes real. He is why we experience God’s grace. He is why we must continue to serve and, he is why we continue to prosper. It’s a ‘no brainer.’ We must be now and forever at his service.
I see this attitude in much of our next generation. I believe it to be a blessing. Whether we raised them as well as we should is no longer the issue, They came out better than us and that’s as good as it gets. We’ve done our job. Now is the time to turn over the reins. This generation will succeed in direct proportion to the amount of the teachings that are followed. That’s where the magic happens. The more the teachings are sincerely followed, the more happiness enters life The more reality this Dharma represents and the more good we achieve.
This Dharma prospers because we continue to strive to serve better. As we move forward, I know that the teachings will be lived within many different interpretations. That’s as it should be. So long as the highest standard remains our standard, it’s up to Guru to fill in. That’s not our problem. That is if we don’t compromise our standard. Our standard includes compassion. We need to maintain this high standard no matter what because that’s where our grace lies. This is where magic lies. This is where all who are touched automatically become transformed. This is God’s gift in the love of His compassionate Dharma and students.
See Sikh Definitions.
Yogi Bhajan, Bow to the Now
Sat Nam, Dear Family!
“Sir, what do teachers mean when they tell students to live in the Now? I mean, I get it, but there must be more than I know?” Along with many other students, we were sitting on the veranda of the cabin many years ago during our annual Solstice Celebration. These were always interesting times. Please, let me explain why.
The student who asked this question was a stranger to me. That usually meant that he was relatively new as many of the solstice students were. Those who matriculated to the cabin to be with the Siri Singh Sahib, aka Yogi Bhajan, wanted a more personal understanding and relationship. At these times he was a different teacher.
He was no longer the teacher who wanted, and demanded, more out of us; he was the compassionate, giving, helping, serving, loving teacher most new students require in order to go forward. He taught them as they needed, and, for that matter, he taught us older students as we needed. For spiritual seekers, for yogis, for devotees, for Sikhs, he was flexible as need dictated.
He didn’t demand of some, even older students, while demanding endlessly from others. This was always misunderstood as an elitist system. It was anything but. It was a system based on individual needs and the more you accepted his challenge, the more you progressed. It was magnificent. Here’s the secret: Once you commit, he’s the judge of what’s necessary, not you anymore. Surrender becomes easier by not misjudging the system - that is the key. Whatever he demands of you, do it. His demands are found in his teachings. That’s the backstory, now we can move on.
Yes, living in the Now is living in the moment, enjoying life as it comes. But, there’s more. Our beloved teacher began to respond to this question, “You’re right, but living in the Now is not what you think. One of the grand rewards for sincerely living the teachings is the awareness that you’re just a vessel and a servant: A vessel in sharing the teachings; a servant to everything good in you and also to everything that needs to be better. This is dictated through the teachings. Following the teachings will remove the “needs to be better” issue and replace it with devotion.”
“When life is lived in the experience of devotion, you begin to live in the ‘Now’ automatically, permanently, and lovingly. The Now becomes an extension of your being. You begin to look forward to anything and everything which presents itself. Life is lived in a blissful state. So much so as to allow the sharing of this joy with others. It’s the venue of a true teacher. Living in the Now is a secure, serviceful understanding of what must be done, and doing it effortlessly and efficiently.”
The student asked, “So, you’re saying that living in the Now is a journey through consciousness? I don’t really understand?”
Our teacher adjusted on the spot. He really wanted this student to understand, so he found a way to communicate in order to be understood fully. The shift was made effortlessly. “Remember when you first started doing the yoga, and how you felt then. Remember your feeling of being called to a higher purpose, and that you are worthy of a calling. The yoga gave you the capacity to believe that you have a calling. You all know that. That’s why you all are here.”
“You wouldn’t be here unless your prayer, your destiny, brought you here. So, everyone that’s here, deserves it, even if right now they don't recognize this. We all have been touched by God. The only question left is how much do we really appreciate this blessing? The litmus test is more gratitude, more loving service and more sacrifice. That’s where true happiness lies. All the rest is a sham. Living in the Now is happiness through duty and trust. The duty to serve whatever hand is dealt, with God’s help and guidance, and with a smile. The trust to serve that which bestows it all with love. That’s what living in the Now means.”
What a question, and what an answer. And, what a blessing it was to see our beloved teacher’s grace. The student said, “Thank you sir, I now understand what your saying. You want us to be great, and you know the way. You are in it for us. You believe that each one of us has a destiny or fate to live. That’s our choice, but you’ll do whatever you can to help fulfill our destiny. That’s your job.”
“Now you’ve got it,” our teacher exclaimed as he leaned forward clapping his hands in his usual show of a mutual understanding. His exclamation of “now you’ve got it” had many meanings. He could use it for almost any position he wanted. He loved these multiple kind of meanings. It could mean anything from pacification to surrender. Nevertheless, it also meant that he had connected with this student and others around and that they had heard the truth he spoke. Their life was in their hands and with God’s help he was duty and beautifully bound to help.
See Sikh Definitions.
Yogi Bhajan, The “I” and “Thou” of Boring
Sat Nam, Dear Family! One of the tests of a spiritual person is patience, especially when it comes to listening to others. This is especially true when that spiritual person is also a teacher. It’s one of those deals where it’s a lot easier to say than do. But, do is a must for any true teacher.
Another test of a true teacher is that he or she isn’t him or herself. The constant awareness of who he or she belongs to reflects consciousness. The perpetual understanding that serving God’s Will is all that matters The automatic experience of constantly expanding love for He who makes one’s life relevant. The “I” (your physical existence) is never without the “Thou” (Guru, God, Infinity). The constant awareness that “I” am not just who “I” am, but “I” am also “Thou.” This is what a true teacher is all about.
If “Thou” wills compassion, patience, and sincerity, then “I” must follow. If there is no “Thou” in your life, then things are out of sync. If the “I” commands the “Thou,” then things are really out of whack. The balance is found when “I” follows “thou.” If “Thou” commands patience when listening to others because they need to be heard before they can listen, then listening is a must even when it’s known what another is going to say way before they get it out. Yes, it’s boring, but “Thou” also tells the true teacher that boring is his or her problem. Get over it.
The discipline of a spiritual teacher may be put to the test when boring comes into play, especially if listening intensely was already a challenge. But, “Thou” teaches that that’s just too bad, Overcome boring. “Thou” says, do what you can’t do very well and overcome it. This is how we get better. This is the attitude of a true teacher. This is the personal test in which you’re the only true judge. This is the way of a Sikh and a yogi.
A true Sikh is recognized by Guru through his or her deep understanding that their life is not what they think it is. Entry level Sikhism begins with this deep recognition. Guru is in charge. Guru is not to be used like a personal piggy bank to j pray to just when things are needed Guru is to be served like the God in whom He dwells so one can deserve the the fulfillment of prayers through the blessings of Thou. There are many want-a-be Sikhs. They practice all kinds of rituals and that’s fine. Someday they’ll earn their strips. They do many things, but the ones that Guru ji lets into His inner kingdom are those who those who perpetually know that they belong to God. They constantly appreciate life’s grand ride and work to enjoying all of it!
This state of being is enjoyed by those who know who they are and who they are not. That means that they must listen to today’s theme, “boring”, and makeover that enjoyable. Otherwise their state of contentment will be interrupted. Some teachers are lucky to have no issue with boring, while others, like me, lose focus.The Siri Singh Sahib, aka Yogi Bhajan, taught me to overcome my limitations through turning them on themselves. Boring becomes a game: find the enjoyment in boring. Now that kind of game makes boring interesting. The way to defeat this game is called, in Yogic terms, pratyahara, This is done by shrinking, condensing, zeroing out, yourself rather than expanding. Reducing expectations so as to experience alternative ways of seeing and experiencing things will make “boring” joyful.
Boring is no longer looked at as boring because relaxation takes over and a natural anticipation of the challenge of seeing boring differently comes the focus. It seems counterintuitive, but it works. Relaxation is the first step. Next is the practice of focusing on seeing boring in a different context. As boring is relaxed into, another understanding comes into awareness, that boring just means that my focus on my duty is wanting. Otherwise, there would be no such thing as boring. With this understanding comes a different way of seeing things like boring.
My duty is to practice seeing everything which comes into my life in an exciting, challenging, and enjoyable way. Seeing it as God’s blessing makes this easier. There becomes a purpose to seeing things in this proper perspective. The big advantage is that there’s a great teaching which leads to an exciting, challenging, and enjoyable life. For a Sikh, our focus is the teachings in the Siri Guru Granth Sahib. This perspective means that everything, which comes my way is dutifully made beautifully.
Boring becomes dutiful. Dutiful becomes beautiful. Beautiful becomes enjoyable. And, enjoyable becomes a life worth living. Your perpetual prayer is that you never forget “Thou,” who “I,” owes everything to and, He, who “I,” love and serve deeper and deeper. Here is where no life can match a life of one who truly loves boredom.
This understanding and experience is the reward for learning to love boring. It’s worth the journey. This is how a Sikh and a yogi became a good listener.
See Sikh Definitions.
Yogi Bhajan, The Amenity of a True Identity
Sat Nam, Dear Family! Identity is a strange word. It has so many interpretations that no dictionary can do it justice. Our beloved teacher, the Siri Singh Sahib, aka Yogi Bhajan, talked about Identity a lot. Much of his teaching was about who we as students identify with? (See Duality Optics.)
Many years back an innocent student responded, “Sir, what do you expect of us? You were raised with Guru Gobind Singh’s picture and deeds, and we Americans were raised with Mickey Mouse.”
He got the biggest kick out of this innocent statement. This reference became part of his go-to vernacular for years to come. He was right, he really couldn’t expect much out of us spiritually unless he fixed it. So, it was up to him and, really, had little to do with us, even though we thought we were so very important. Believe it or not, we just couldn’t change our Identity without his teachings, so that’s why it was about him. Yes, we came into play when identity changed, but there was no starting point until his teachings kicked in.
Teaching us to live an alternate Identity was one of his specialties. He knew that our identity was our security blanket, limited as it may be. So, his challenge was to provide another, a better security. He delivered. His living example brought his teachings to life and delivered a living reality.
And, here’s something I’ve found out that many might not have realized, the fruits of his delivery are not always available to everyone. Not everyone can or will see his regal Identity and his majesty. That mark isn’t currently on their forehead; karma is karma. That’s the way it’s always been, and that’s the way it is now. But, the opportunity still exists, whether or not everyone is able to understand and/or view it.
Our beloved teacher used to relate the proverb, ‘If a thief meets a saint, all he sees are his pockets.’ This statement has made a big impact on me. It keeps everything in proper perspective. Am I a spiritual thief, or do I see his grace? And, know that everyone on a spiritual journey, except saints, does come up against the great challenger, doubt. So whenever I would begin to question or doubt, I’d hear myself say, ‘Who are you now judging? Where’s your commitment? To whom am I Infinitely loyal? In Whom do I dwell? It’s not the doubting which creates compromise, it’s how doubt is dealt with, how these questions are answered.
This is how he taught me to change my Identity. I saw how he treated people. I saw how he treated himself. I saw how he was. I was truly blessed to see enough to erase any lingering doubt I may have stupidly still manifested. And, here’s the best part. This view is still available to all his students.
At the time, I didn’t even know that my Identity was being worked on. Because I now can see what his personal teaching did for me, I’ve been graced to share the glory of his teaching. I was blessed to see it, become it, and to now share it. He changed my Identity. What more is there to say. Oh yea, he changed it for the good. He did. There are many teachers, parents, friends, you name it, who will take you in many different directions. Our beloved teacher leads us to an Eternal life of bliss through merger with God.
Our teacher didn’t settle for anything less than the whole ball of wax, so we’ve been blessed beyond our awareness. We’ve found a true teacher of the highest magnitude. Do you know how rare that is? Do you know what great karma that represents?
The blessing of blessings is that the Identity our teacher shared with us was way beyond our awareness. He was a king, a spiritual king. He believed it. And, you know what, he pulled it off. He was his projection. He was the beautiful example of a compassionate king. He was the balance between this world and the next. His Identity was Infinite.
At first his Identity seemed more like a hope. I was stupidly doubtful. I felt that if he had picked me to be close to him, then we were really in trouble. But, I went with it.
Soon he started decorating me. Bana, jewels, watches, you name it, were of world class status. I must admit, I took to it like a duck to water. I enjoy looking the part. My Identity changed quickly. I wanted to believe that I was a prince and, now, he gave me the chance. I took full advantage. I looked like he wanted. We were both happy.
And, here’s the great lesson. As my Identity changed outwardly, I realized that my inward Identity needed to follow suit. In gratitude for how beautiful he made me on the outside, I now knew that I needed to match up on the inside. And, therein lies the true challenge. A teacher may change your outward Identity, the only help available is from Guru ji or God Himself. A teacher can take you only so far.
This inward change is conquered through surrender. Surrendering to the teachings is the key to success. This is where defeat doesn’t exist. But, you can’t fool Mother Nature, so your surrender must be real. Otherwise, it’s still an ongoing work in process.
But, if real, surrendering to God brings the immediate benefit of conquering your inward challenges, doubt is released and real trust replaces it. Life becomes pure contentment. This was the life of our teacher. With all the commotion around him, he was contented, and contented for all the right reasons. His contentment was pure. “What’s not to like?” I loved his Identity and benefited greatly from it. I wanted to show my appreciation. I began serving his will more and more. I began training myself to want what he wanted. I practiced putting my wishes, my wants, my demands, my whatever, aside, and just doing what he said to do.
No discredit to Mickey Mouse, but I was really never much of a fan. I never understood the entertainment value in watching a talking rat. No harm intended, but who came up with that stupid idea? Oh, Walt Disney did, now I get it. It was more about technical advancement in animation than it was about a rat. But, the rat stuck; I never did.
I laugh when I hear the saying “identity theft.” I get the idea, but they should call it something different. If someone wants to steal my Identity, I’ll help them all I can and then some. If you want to know of my Identity, I’ll make it easy for you. It’s my Identity to do so. That’s what he taught me.
See Sikh Definitions.
Yogi Bhajan, The Causation and Tribulation of Miscalculation
Sat Nam, Dear Family! Today I write to you as Chief of Protocol for this Dharma. I not only have the title and have the right, I have the sacred duty to do so. I do take my title seriously. Here’s why.
Do you know what the most painful thing in the world is? I’ll tell you. It’s the pain of miscalculation. And, mostly, the pain of self-miscalculation. It’s a thin line our beloved teacher, the Siri Singh Sahib, aka Yogi Bhajan, walked in being the great teacher he was. Please let me explain.
If you miscalculate your health, you’ll create more pain than necessary; If you miscalculate you finances, pain is sure to follow; if you miscalculate your teacher, the pain of his or her limits will follow you. Every miscalculation will yield pain. There’s no doubt about it.
Therefore, if you miscalculate yourself, pain must follow as well. Miscalculation is the root of mental and spiritual pain. Then, how and why do we make this miscalculation? And, of course, how can we change it? The answer has as many answers as there are for excuses, rationales, justifications, or pure ignorances.
Challenging our calculation of who we are and where we stand in the Universe is the greatest pain. We, typically, automatically chose the path of least resistance, the pain of inertia, the pain of our past, the pain we are familiar with. It’s easier that way. So when do we learn of our miscalculations?
The answer is that it’s happening constantly. Our miscalculation creates karma. The worst of it is when we go before Dharm Rai, God’s right hand (like St. Peter is to Christians) and plead our case for liberation. Here is where God shows us our miscalculations and limits us to those. We go back to clear it up. We go back, and we go back…
This is the unseen pain of God. Where God destines us to our miscalculations. It’s His game of games. Things roll on for His entertainment. We’re pawns in His game. We miscalculate in thinking that we can slide through this life. We believe in psychic inertia, it’s what’s called the “comfort zone.”
Here’s the thing. People fear this game because of the unfamiliar pain it will cause. But, what if we get rid of the pain part and focus on making ourselves better Sikhs, better Christians, better Jews, better people? The fear of the unfamiliar pain this may cause is relieved by just committing and practicing being better. It’s available to everyone. You don’t have to look like me, you don’t need to judge, you just need to do better and better no matter who you are, or who you think you are.
This is the message of our beloved teacher: good, better, best.He wanted everyone he met to do better and experience the joy of victory over self. He, especially, wanted himself to do better and as a teacher his purpose was to help others do better. His self self-evaluation was rooted in the teachings of the Siri Guru Granth Sahib. He not only perpetually self-evaluated, but did so in the full light of truth of his Guru.
I was so blessed and so grateful to have had the opportunity to see His appraisal in action. I saw him change over the course of the thirty years I spent with him. I was blessed to see a beautiful transition. As he evolved and grew his love for Guru provided a constant protection over every aspect of his life. His history was always right, always complimentary to the change in the times and the expansion of his vision. That’s called Guru’s protection.
Next, the awareness that his transitions were always in tune with Guru Ram Das’ will was always present. His pain became more and more, but his experience of pain became less and less. That’s the anomaly. God may give you more pain, but if the pain is not experienced then what’s the difference. The goal is to live painlessly. Why judge after the fact? He lived a life of painless pain. He endured the unendurable and recognized that it was God Himself who allowed this. It’s the hallmark of all true spiritual teachers. The Siri Guru Granth Sahib says that when you bear the unbearable the nectar trickles and you cover with God.
The good news, I mean the great news, is that we haven’t miscalculated our teacher, our Dharma, our Guru, or our God. We’ve chosen Infinitely well. We’ve chosen a blessed path. So, relax. We’re O.K. Or, are we? We’ve been so lucky to have a path of truth, but how much of this truth are we taking advantage of? How much self-evaluation rooted in the teachings are we continuing?
We have the right structure. Even if we can’t or won’t practice it as fervently as we should, at least we must maintain the standard. We mustn’t change our standard to compromise our teachings. We mustn't change it except in rare times. And, don’t miscalculate “rare times.” I mean really “rare times.” Unnecessary changes have doomed many pure standards. We can see it in everything from religions to politics to families. It’s self-evident. We must be different in order to maintain our prosperity through grace. Our pure standard is what allows us to call on Guru’s grace.
If your self-evaluation days are behind you, at least don’t do anything silly and think that the standards need to be changed so that self-evaluation becomes easier. At least keep yourself in neutral. Don’t create negative karma. Keep everything the same and keep yourself from deeper and deeper unseen pain. The pain of spiritual miscalculation. Avoid this pain at all costs. Don’t let the pain of spiritual miscalculation ruin your Infinity. Maintaining the standards is all that’s necessary to keep things as our teacher wanted. That it, and that’s a whole lot.
As Chief of Protocol it’s my duty to remind everyone of our protocol. It’s an easy job because or protocol has already been set. As usual, not everyone follows, and that’s as it should be and as it always has been. The deciding factor is how the protocol has been changed, or not. We’re lucky. Our protocol was set up prefect for this Dharma. Please, let’s keep it that way, or if it’s been changed, change it back. It’s best for everyone.
See Sikh Definitions.
Yogi Bhajan, No Breechings of the Teachings
Sat Nam, Dear Family! My first job as Chief of Protocol is to remind others when obedience to the teachings is being challenged. People must be alert, awake, prayerful, and not silent. In Christian vernacular, they would say that their standards are under attack by the devil. And the Siri Singh Sahib Ji taught us that the devil is actual the de-will. When we are governed by a negative will and not the direction of our higher consciousness then beware!
Right now, in the evolution of our Dharma, our commitment to our standards appears vulnerable. I think now is the time for me to speak up. Subtle as it may be, we’re under such an attack. Many don’t see it. Even those perpetuating the attack don’t know they’re doing it. They believe that they’re a help. The challenge is to either teach those who are involved in this unconscious betrayal that their reasons for acting are flawed, or wait for Guru to move them out.
What awakens Guru ji to the situation is when His Sangat demands His attention because something needs to be done. Without the support, the need and the love of the Sangat, Guru ji has other interests. Guru ji blesses those who stand up and fight for His true cause.
And, here’s where the real challenge comes into play. What is His cause? That’s easy to answer: obedience to His teachings. Our way is to tolerate everything, but know that His cause is best served through obedience to the teachings. This is our secret weapon. This is where our duty lies. This is where our prosperity is perpetuated.
Some of our standards have been changed. I don’t think it’s necessary to go into detail now. Suffice it to say that, in my humble estimation, some changes are in conflict with obedience to our teacher, the teachings, and Guru’s Will. So, I’m notifying the Sangat that a deeper understanding of what is happening is necessary to draw in Guru ji’s help.
And, what’s at stake? Please let me remind you. The continuing survival, flourishment and prosperity of this dharma holds the hope for millions to follow. We are, or are not, the hope of many who will follow. Without our prosperous survival we let all of them down. I, personally, and I’m sure I speak for you as well, don’t want to have that karma on my shoulders.
Either we benefit from this journey, or we suffer incalculable loss. Either we help Guru Ji in manifesting His will more quickly, or we hinder His progress. This is our only duty. Whether we see it or not doesn’t change the issue. We’re at great risk and/or positioned for great gain. We’re on the precipice. Who will win? Are we ready to move on? In order to assure our success we must never forget and always defend obedience to our teachings.
Where our direction has changed, we must demand it to be put back. Otherwise, our guarantee of Guru’s protection and prosperity is compromised. And, that’s no way to run a Dharma. True leadership must eliminate risks. Obedience to the teachings is the antidote to risk. We tolerate everything in others, and we tolerate nothing short of obedience to the teachings in ourselves. The only intolerance left in our being should be the intolerance of not being obedient to the continuance and practice of the true teachings.
The Catholic Church has known the importance of obedience to the structure for almost two thousand years. They have a grand office called Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith. It is the oldest of the nine congregations of the Roman Curia. (the affairs of the Pope are conducted through the various Curia.) This office was established to defend the Church from heresy. The purpose was great, but politics can ruin anything. Anyway…
The office of Chief of Protocol is our Curia, our custodian of standards. I’m just following in a long list of long ranged planned religions. I’m protecting our base. It’s my job. I’ve been trained to do so, I’ve been selected to do so. You may or may not agree with me, that’s O.K. But, my job is to remind others of what my training and my duty requires me to do.
Many complain that I’m just being a ‘Negative Nelly,’ well they’re right. My negative mind is in full bloom. Here’s the difference, I don’t use it to judge, I use it to analyze. My negativity is not charged, it’s for analysis purposes only. There’s no emotion involved. My negative mind leads me to the most information from which to draw from so that I can make the best decisions moving forward.
This information is added to the positive aspects known. Then looking at the positive and the negative, if that all adds up to the same conclusion as my intuition, then this makes decision making better than ever. More info and better intuition leading to the same conclusion is Godly. So, a deep understanding of everything must always be investigated. Wherever the facts lead, that’s where we must go. No relationships, no personal agendas, no politics should play in this investigation. This is the duty of a Sikh, this is the duty of this office, and I can’t change it even if I wanted to. Neutrality is where the best decisions are made, and neutrality is found within an understanding of extremes and the examination of both the positive and negative minds.
The teachings are where the courage to explore our negative mind without becoming trapped is found. The balance, the neutrality, in exploring the negative mind is found in doing this exploration in service to God. When this service is true, God’s protection allows for an intricate and unaffected exploration to transpire. Negativity is no longer feared, rather, it becomes an anticipated way of gathering more pertinent and very helpful information. All this being done in the prayer that we are acting in God’s Will and with the assurance God’s way is being followed.
See Sikh Definitions.
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