Yogi Bhajan, Chief of Protocol
Sat Nam, Dear Family! I’ve lived a rich and royal life. Even when I wasn’t, I always strived to hold the standard. My teacher the Siri Singh Sahib, aka Yogi Bhajan, lived, modeled and taught me how to look and feel royal. And that’s how I feel most comfortable. That’s my job as Chief of Protocol. Our beloved teacher selected me for this duty, and I gave myself permission to take it seriously.
Therefore, it’s my job to not only profess the standard, but to live to it as well. I’m not perfect, only God is, but I keep-up. I’m not off the hook. It’s a continual challenge that I gladly accept and enjoy the most. I’ve discovered that the life of a graced person must be lived to God’s standards, otherwise grace is lost. And, it’s grace which separates the real from the also-rans, the blessed from those hoping, thinking, believing.
A religion, a lifestyle, a movement, anything which has been graced exceeds beyond normal. God’s gifts are beyond the beyond. How much do we get? That’s up to the degree the standard is being followed and karma owed. And grace is not worth jeopardizing at any cost. Just because it usually takes some time, don’t settle for less. Don’t allow any other way of thinking to penetrate your consciousness.
There are many ways to experience grace - all great. But, the unique way of living a spiritual, royal way brings gratitude into your life. When grace is experienced and life ascends to places only dreamed of and gratitude perpetuates this accession through itself, that’s grace. It’s self-perpetual joy, the joy of understanding, the joy of devotion, the joy of trust, the joy of love.
At some point, the standard bearer(s) and God become true lovers. The standard bearer appreciates Him so much that there’s no more denying, no more doubt, no more judgment. He and you know each other so well that you become best of friends. Then lovers. Then His slave.
I know that ‘slave’ is a charged word. I don’t mean it with any disrespect. After all, I also came from slaves in Egypt. I haven’t forgotten. But, this is another one of those occasions where, as the saying goes, ‘you don’t want to throw the baby out with the bathwater.’ In other words, we ,as Sikhs, as seekers, have another interpretation of ‘slave.’ We pray to be slaves of our Guru, or God. And, if we’re so lucky as to have a true teacher as we were blessed to have, then throw in being a slave to our teacher as well. No problem.
We Sikhs have the protocol, at the highest level, of wanting nothing more than to be a slave to Guru’s Will, to serve Him the way He wants to be served. This is the standard of a Sikh. And, I’m most happy to say, this standard has been held. Everything it takes to be Guru’s slave is right in the Siri Guru Granth Sahib, our living Guru in our scriptures. Guru talks about wanting nothing more than being a slave time and time again. Yes, Guru ji is also a slave, the best slave, the slave of God Himself.
Starting with Guru Nanak and continuing throughout the chain of Guru’s, the humility which comes with only wanting to serve God’s will is found in being a slave to God and following His will, not our own. This is where grace lies. This is where gratitude is found. This is where a Sikh experiences the highest state of love.
The standard is the key. For instance, even if grace has left an organization, if the standard is kept, then, at least the next generation of students, or the next generation, will have the opportunity of following the true way and can do something real to bring grace back into play.
In addition, and maybe most importantly, a time-honored and true structure unites people under it’s standards banner. It is the basis for real teamwork. It’s the approach to a united effort. Our standards must be kept, and fortunately or not, I’ve been given the job of assuring that it continues. I know that this will offend some of you right off the bat. That’s O.K. That’s as it should be. Nevertheless, I’ve been chosen for this job by our beloved teacher and, please understand, I have no choice.
Some think they are now in charge; some think that things need to change; some think that times change; some think that standards are out of date. Need I go on! Some think that we all have the right to vote on standards; some think that I should’t be the only one to analyze them; some may just not like me or my views. All of these rationales are not the issue. Yes, there may be a rare exception and the law requires an adjustment, but that is the rarest of occasions.
Know this. Whether you agree with me or not, whether you like me or not, whether you are flexible or not, this is my duty bestowed on me by our beloved teacher. And, as my wife and other like to say, I’m relentless. I will do this job for the rest of my life period. So, it’s best to understand one another and be smart. Please understand, I’ve been well trained for this job. Part of that training included not letting my thinking, my wants, my judgment, my anything get in the way of maintaining the standard as it was taught to me. “I” want nothing to do with it. No part of it. My liberation depends upon it.
I’ll do what I have been trained to do without allowing any personal, environmental, political, you name it, influencing the standards. The standards aren’t just the teachings, they are subtle standards which effect protocol. How we interact with other cultures, how we treat waitresses (a metaphor for dealing with this world), how we enjoy ourselves, and how we sacrifice, are not in the teachings. I learned these additional rules through observing our teacher. That’s why I have the job. I have thirty years of daily interaction with the Siri Singh Sahib through viewing, training, and osmosis to be qualified.
I can tell you this, it’s a life changing job. This job has taught me neutrality. When life is lived through the lens of neutrality, life changes. Things are seen through different prisms. Better choices can be made. Life become easier and easier. This job has given me the confidence to do this job. This job is a double hit. Stay tuned.
In the Humility of Service and Gratitude,
See Sikh Definitions.
Yogi Bhajan, The Reaction to the Distractions of Factions
Sat Nam, Dear Family! In innocence, a new student recently asked me, “What faction of this Dharma do you belong to? I mean are you a yoga teacher or a Sikh, a business man, or a prophet? Where do you fit in?” At first, I was shocked at this question. For me, this Dharma is all one. After further review, I I was amazed at the depth of her question. It reminded me of the many different ways we are perceived by others. It brought to my awareness how we may be misunderstood by others, and by ourselves, because of our mixed Identity.
In my mind there is no dichotomy, or trichotomy, or any division within our organization. We’re all part of the same Dharma. Yes, it may appear that there have been separate disciplines within our Identity, but that’s not my view. However, this question makes it clear that this perceived bifurcated is shared by some others.
Our united Identity must be first, last, and always in service to God. That’s it. Whether we’re a kundalini yogi, a Sikh, a spiritual businessman, a whatever, in this Dharma we all serve God first. Everything we do is in service to Him, even our mischief. We give our mischief as well as our good service to He who made us so. We are guilt free because we’ve surrendered everything to Him including our guilt brought on by our mischief.
“I belong to the free faction,” I answered her.
“What do you mean by free faction?”
“I mean that I’m free to not attach myself to any faction. That way I can enjoy them all. I belong to the faction which unites us. I belong to the faction which financially supports us. I belong to the faction which leads. I belong to the faction of love.”
Didn’t the Beatles sing a song which said, ‘all you need is love, love is all you need’’? Well, it turns out that they were right. And, where is the greatest love to be found? It’s found in the pleasure of Keeping-Up. The love of God is based in gratitude. Keep-Up being grateful no matter what the circumstances and gratitude will turn to devotion. Unfettered love for God allows for this transition. When devotion and service meet, the outcome is trust. Trust which comes from the experience of the devotion. With true trust comes the elimination of any and all insecurities. A secure life breeds a love that nothing can destroy. The consciousness becomes that of pure love. Your love for He who eliminated these insecurities can never be expressed properly. It’s love of total surrender. It’s a love of gratitude; it’s a love of devotion; it’s a love of the trust. You’re all in. That’s love people!
This is the love promised to a true kundalini yogi, a Sikh, a spiritual businessman, anyone under the umbrella of this Dharma. This is the reality of a student in this Dharma. Why wait? Everything you’ve ever dreamed of is beneath you feet. It’s within walking distance. It’s possible. All a student has to do to begin is to practice bringing gratitude into his/her life. Practice being grateful for the opportunity of a graceful life that this Dharma offers. Under the umbrella of this Dharma, the Teachings left by our teacher apply to all. Even those who are not a part of this Dharma if they practice the Teachings. There’s no getting around this fact. Everyone’s truth lies in following the Teachings more and more. This is how the promise begins to take shape. This is a great step. Few can do it. That I understand. But for those who won’t settle for anything but the best, I offer our Teachings as Exhibit A.
Here’s the deal: our Teachings expect the best out of us, but accept whatever we give. That’s the discipline, and that’s the compassion. The Teachings are always with us no matter what. The Teachings will never allow us to be abandoned no matter what. That’s the promise of the Teachings to it’s students.
Nevertheless, I’ve been able to see over the years that the more a student surrenders and serves the Teachings and the mission it delivers, the more elevated and the happier that student became. That is the law and I can’t change it even if I wanted to.
The rule is: The more you give to the Teachings and what is expected, the more God bestows upon you in return. Here’s a hint, God’s gifts are worth way more than you could ever pay for or expect. And, some of what you get gives you everything you need to serve better. It’s an endless, effortless, perpetual, journey through joy. This is where our Teachings lead.This is what following the rules can bestow. This is what living in grace is like.
There are the many times when the rules are just too hard to stomach. It’s too much! And you still have to feed a family. Then all the excuses come in. They flood the pleasure centers in the brain with serotonin, our ingrown drug of pleasure. Actually, we’re serotonin addicts. Or, should I say, we’re addicted to the effects of a serotonin bath. We’re reminded that our pleasure point, our serotonin flood, is located in the status-quo. Change is pain and pain is bad, so we’ll stay right where we are, thank you very much.
But, for those of you who don’t want to let anything get in the way of your liberation, your salvation, listen up. There’s one caveat to avoid the pitfalls of change and increase the effortlessness of surrendering to the rules process. It’s the secret of all time and I’m sharing it with you right here. It’s here for all time, so many later students will benefit.
The secret is not really a secret. I just call it that as an attention getter. This understanding (secret) is actually at the heart of most Teachings. Serve God. That’s it. In this Dharma, we are lucky to have not just God, but His true representative in Guru, then His servant in our beloved teacher, and, finally, His protocol in the Teachings. Sincerely serve any of them and all of them and that will do. Find out how you are destined to do so and serve that. For instance, in my case, I’m a perpetual student of this Dharma. My constant prayer is to be graced to always follow the Teachings.
If you are a yogi, serve God; if you are a Sikh, serve God, if you are a businessman, serve God. That’s what every part of this Dharma is about. It’s not only what unites us, it binds us. Every true Teaching in this Dharma reminds us to serve God. Some may like this, other’s not so much. That’s not my problem. This Dharma is about serving God with love. That’s it.
If your service is acceptable to God, then the Teachings become alive. Compassion is not just a discipline, it’s an experience of joy. Tolerance is not just something to practice, it’s a judgement free life. Duty is not just drudgery, but an expression of devotion. Keeping-Up is not just a perpetual mantra but the experience of God’s protection and prosperity. Need I go on?
There’s more. If you’re lucky enough to have a true Teaching and follow It as if serving God, then you truly are serving your God.. Then God Himself will recognize your service. He knows who are his true servants. You can’t fool God, so your service must be sincere.
Now you are in the biggest game of all. You’ve made it to a view of the promised land. If God so chooses, He and only He, will decide on the elevation of your destiny, or your fate. You may and should submit your service for continual retrial many times. Nevertheless, God’s court is only at God’s discretion. He’s the only judge. And, that service is based on your love of God and your service to Him. Serving our Teachings leads to serving and loving God.
It’s a lot easier to serve a living Teaching, a living person, a living Guru than God Himself. It’s easier to love a real person. It’s great training for loving the indescribable, the formless, God. Otherwise, the student must imagine what he or she worships. Initially, that’s much more difficult.This is how we’ve been blessed to have the opportunity of serving a true teacher. If the teacher is true, the Teachings are true. So, serving the Teachings, the true teacher, and/or the Guru, allows the sincere student to usually have an easier path to follow. It’s easier to focus on a set of rules or a real person.
Here’s where the rubber hits the road. Who gave us the Teachings? Who’s legacy is it? Is it God’s? Is it Guru’s? Or, is it the Siri Singh Sahib, aka Yogi Bhajan's? It’s Yogi Bhajan’s legacy, that’s who. It’s the legacy of our beloved teacher. He set the rules. He lived the protocol. He was a true servant of His Guru, Guru Ram Das. We’ve been blessed. We have been bestowed the blessing of serving a true teacher. The one who gave us our true Teachings.
Even if you don't have a teacher, there’s another option. It’s easier to serve a Guru then God directly. So, attach yourself to the Guru. A Guru like ours, who was a living example of God’s true representative, has left a detailed example of how a spiritual journey is to be traversed. Guru ji makes it easy to see what God wants from us. Guru is ‘God approved’! The true teacher is ‘Guru approved’. And, the student is approved through following the Teachings. The truth is available because he/she served a true Teaching, teacher, Guru, or God, Himself. All parts of our Dharma are part of this Teaching.
I hear so many say, ‘I don’t really need a teacher. Everybody and everything is my teacher.’ Well, good for them. And, that may be true. But, I know the odds and it’s a very bad bet. It’s very difficult to pull yourself up by your own bootstraps, near impossible. A true teacher can help in many ways. Don’t let your habits of the ‘status-quo’ get in the way of your growth. Your growth is contingent upon serving a true Teaching, true teacher, a true Guru, and/or a true God. Serving faction-less is a great part of that service. Very few have the opportunity. Don’t let it go to waste.
In the Humility of Service and Gratitude,
See Sikh Definitions.
Yogi Bhajan, Pain of Life, or Gain without Strife
Sat Nam, Dear Family! So, you want to be spiritual. Well, what does that mean to you? What do you want out of spirituality? What do you expect? What will you settle for? Why are you focusing on spirituality at this time? What do you need? Life can be a “bummer.” Most who come to spirituality do so looking for a way out of the “bummer” stage in life. Recognize this and your need will come into focus.
This “bummer” stage ranges from outright contemplated suicide to just the plain dissatisfaction with never having enough no matter how much you have. The ”bummer” stage has a full range of participants. It’s not a matter of economic or social condition, judgement, or whatever. Pain is pain at any level of life. Pain doesn’t do arithmetic. Pain is just pain. Some turn to spirituality in the hope of dealing with this pain. And, that’s good.
Nevertheless, the questions remain. How much reduction of pain is necessary to make life livable? Where will you settle? How much do you have to do to just get to the point of tolerance? What’s the least you have to do?. Your mind will calculate this automatically. It will come up with a work program: ‘This is what I need to do.’
Now, is the fun part. Your mind will now make a choice, consciously or unconsciously, as to whether or not the “work program” is worth the effort. Your mind will usually say when comparing what you have to deal with now versus the ‘work program’ to change, “You know what, I can deal with it. My pain’s not comfortable, but it’s mine and I know how to deal with this. It’s sure as hell of a lot easier and better than that ‘work program!’ I’m really fine where I am.’’ And, then, you’ll just write it off to the fact, but it really is a miss-fact, that spiritually just didn’t work out for you. You haven’t even passed the first challenge and you make the miss-assumption that spirituality doesn’t work. Well, the good news is that you’ll find many other who agree with you, and that’s as it should be. Nevertheless, the end result is that the “bummer” stage remains.
Why am I telling you these things? I do so in the prayer that some of you may hear what I say and it may remind you of what you may have forgotten: you need to refocus yourself in the pursuit of a pain free life. Some don’t want to settle for less, but may have forgotten what it takes. My job is to remind everyone what it takes. I learned this from serving and observing our beloved teacher over decades.
Serving our beloved teacher was an easy job. At least it was for me. I was made for it. At least, that’s how he made me feel. It was an unbelievable experience. Automatically, I was a different person as I served him. The experience of the total confidence he gave me made my life fearless. That’s why I say it was an easy job.
I held our teacher to a great standard. That’s how I saw it in my mind. I was watching to see when he messed up -- was he real! That’s stupid I know, but we all don’t start out wise. It was his compassion which overlooked my stupidity that made me fall in love with him. His compassion made sticking to the standards of compassion mandatory. His standard was true compassion, and he lived it. I saw it. I lost my doubt and became smart at the same time. And, all the time, he didn’t judge my stupidity, his compassion just kept giving to me in spite of my judgement.
Yes, occasionally, I saw some irregularities in his manner, they come with the turf. They are part and parcel of the process if you don’t let them cloud your commitment. I rode with them until I was conscious enough to understand them from another perspective, his perspective.
It turns out that even his perceived irregularities were my misunderstanding. He was a true teacher and, thus, protected and covered by his Guru. My deeper and deeper understanding was borne out of the the further development of an elevated consciousness. And, at the deepest level, he can be seen as flawless. Here’s the secret: find his flawlessness and you’ll find him. In fact, you’ll be him. Get it? If you’re practicing the disciplines of this Dharma, skip the judgement! I’ve been through it, and I came to the blessed conclusion that the real devotee must focus on his flawlessness. This will make the journey much quicker and easier.
I can hear the questions now, “How do I know what’s real and what’s not? I don’t want to be tricked again. I’ve been let down too many times. I need to know before I surrender.”
Those are fair questions. I’ve been through them myself. But, here’s the deal, you’ll never understand him or be him until your doubt and judgement of him leaves. Here’s the answer: It’s not about our beloved teacher, it’s about you and God. Our teacher wants our respect, not worship. Worship is only for our Guru and God Himself. This is what our teacher taught, and this is what makes him real. He leads his students to God and Guru’s Will, not his own. It just so happens that our teacher’s will is the same as our God and our Guru’s. That’s the truth in him which we respected and revered.
Spirituality is sought and experienced at many levels. Maybe you just want some relative piece of mind? Maybe you just want some goodies? Just going to church or temple periodically may do the trick. But, for those who want the whole enchilada, Gods protection and prosperity, and merger with God, then a true teacher is almost mandatory. I offer my history and experience with our teacher in the prayer that the doubt period usually accompanying a spiritual teaching or teacher can be bypassed. And here’s the best news - in our case, doubt is not necessary at all thanks to God and our teacher.
In the Humility of Service and Gratitude,
See Sikh Definitions.
Yogi Bhajan, Who Are You?
Sat Nam, Dear Family! Someone recently asked me, “What are you? I mean, why do you look like you do? What’s the reason?” I loved the question, but I didn’t know where to begin to answer. Then it came to me. Keep it simple. “I’m a man who doesn’t want to waste the opportunity I’ve been given. I just want to keep-up serving God.”
She seemed to grasp that definition. It prompted another question. “Then, how do you serve God, and can anyone do it?”
“Yes, anyone can serve God. But, the trick is to serve Him the way He wants, not the way you want.”
She continued, “How do you know what God wants? I mean, who really knows the truth?”
“Now your asking the right question. Books have been written, protocols handed down, teacher’s of all kinds abound, that’s true. Where is the truth found? God’s truth can still be found. It’s in yoga, it’s in Sikhism, it’s in Judaism, it’s in Christianity, it’s in Hinduism. It’s in all great teachers and teachings. All you have to do is to separate the truth from fiction, reality from culture (easier said than done), then begin practicing that truth.”
This is where a true teacher becomes invaluable. It’s nearly impossible to pull yourself up by your bootstraps. You need a hand up. That’s how it works and has always worked. If your teacher is true, his/her hand will pull you up and lead you to Infinity, to God. Serving a true teacher provides one with a helping hand on spiritual path. This help comes in the form of a taste of the gifts a pure spiritual life provides: joy, contentment , prosperity, selflessness and more are previewed. A true teacher brings to the devotee a preview of an elevated life, in experience and perspective.
In order for the preview to become permanent and continuous, eventually, the servant must serve to a degree acceptable to his teacher, his teachings, his Guru, and his God. She must earn for herself what her teacher has previously blessed her with. The advantage is that the student has now experienced the glory in the elevated experience and knows what she’s after. The goal is not only in focus, it’s in the memory bank of experiences. Thus, self-esteem issues become much less of a handicap. Been there -- done that!
Those of you who don’t have a teacher, don’t fret. There’s still hope. Practice the teachings in your structure, your scriptures, your religion. Take it slowly so you can analyze what works and what doesn’t, separating the wheat from the chaff. It takes great patience, but that’s how being your own teacher works. Typically, this way, the solo method, takes much, much longer. That’s why I recommend a true teacher.
Her questions continued, “Yes, but how do I know a true teacher from a phony? How do I know that this or that teacher will teach me the true way God wants to be served?”
“Now, your questions are getting really good”, I responded. “It’s about karma and it’s about overcoming karma. Karma will take you to where you’re supposed to be; overcoming karma is only at God’s discretion. And, God loves those who serve Him properly. That’s the rule and I can’t change it even if I wanted to. By serving a true teacher, your serving his/her God. Be it Christ or Guru Nanak, or any other true steps, serving this progression is where God’s grace is bestowed. This is where, through God’s grace, karma is overcome.”
“Do you mean that serving God correctly is the way to elevation, to a live of contentment?”
“Yes, that’s what I mean. Now you understand.”
If your service to a true teacher, to your Guru, to God, is deemed acceptable, then, and only then, will God’s grace befall you. Your calling is up to He who created it all. You can never judge the time it takes; you can never judge your worthiness; you can never doubt your love; you can never alter His will.
I repeated, “I’m just a man, praying to keep-up, taking advantage of the opportunity with which I have been blessed.” Stay tuned.
See Sikh Definitions.
Yogi Bhajan, The Coronation of Concentration
Sat Nam, Dear Family! Spirituality engages the Serendipitous and that’s just the beginning. This means that events in your life become beyond understandable, beyond luck, beyond coincidence, beyond convenience, beyond any concept of grace. Life becomes a pure blessing which keeps on giving so long as duty is preformed.
This stage of spirituality is defined by a positive perpetual flow of life. This is the “flow“ so much talked about in spirituality. So long as no time limit or judgement interrupts it’s flow, life is lived in pure faith. Faith so strong that nothing interrupts this flow of concentration. Doubt is a thing of the past. Pure faith gives you flow led by Guru ji, God. Our Guru ji is God's trusted and beloved representative on this earth.
We hear a lot about the flow of consciousness. In reality, this is just automatic communication - no thinking attached. Oh yes, the flow of consciousness is creative and can be relevant but it is not easy to access. It doesn’t create change. It just describes what you see and who you are. It can be very informative and entertaining.
On the other hand, the flow of concentration can change things. The flow of concentration is the most powerful tool available to get what you want. It’s the engine, the continual focus, projection, inspiration, and generator which creates another reality. In effect, the flow of concentration prepares you for the flow of consciousness so you don’t embarrass yourself. If you access your flow of consciousness, it’s always better to have a good consciousness. The flow of concentration can make this possible.
The beauty is that this flow of concentration is sometimes called one-pointedness when it becomes automatic and effortless. Things focused on become manifest more quickly. What a blessing. When the student flows with this river of concentration and concentrates on something good, the student becomes the beneficiary of this focus. Something good happens. Now Guru ji can trust him/her enough to be left alone in going with the flow of concentration. Guru ji knows that the students flow of concentration is focused on Him.
The secret of life is to perpetually think of the Name of God. There are many Names. Well, how does a person do this and still take care of worldly things? Aren’t these two things mutually exclusive? If you focus only on God, what about the rest of life? How can concentration be split without any compromise? Is there some way to do this?
Yes, there is. It’s called the “automatic” flow of concentration. When the stream of concentration is on the Name of God and it becomes automatic, carrying on world affairs has an over layer of the soothing repetition of God’s Name. Practicing Gods Holy Name through meditation eventually activates this automatic process. It doesn’t usually happen all at once, but, over time, this sacred flow becomes a more and more a subtle, silent, and subconscious perpetual process. Eventually, this process continues even in sleep through what is known as turiya in yoga (sleepless sleep) and Gurprasad in Sikhism (Guru’s Blessings).
This opens up other doors to explore. Energy isn’t used to just concentrate, therefore, life is lived outside, on worldly issues with, hopefully, God’s direction as an automatic companion. The next door it opens is the awareness that there’s a right way, or not, to use the power of a flow of concentration. This awareness promotes and warns how this flow must be used. Many a spiritual student has been defeated or, at least, thrown off course, by misusing this flow of concentration. The warnings are clear. Don’t misuse this power. In fact, think about not using it at all and that is the only way to guarantee that it won't be misused!
Spirituality is no joke. Spirituality, when experienced, produces joy and fear at the same time. This fear is real, and this fear is devastating when realized. Eventually, the joy of the effortless flow of concentration illuminates the fear that it might be misused and consequences follow. When the flow of concentration is focused on anything other than He who has blessed your life with this power, you’ve misused it’s power. This power is alluring and addictive. Your prayer should be for His help in keeping the flow in line with repetition of God’s sacred name. We pray that this power only be focused beyond our awareness in the prayer that He Who created this creation is it all will take mercy on his creatures and help elevate us in spite of our limitations.
This state of being is called the experience of trust. When your devotion, through the flow of concentration, has brought you to trust totally in God, and that means no limits, no judgments, no doubt, life becomes wonderful. Once you focus totally on God, and your power is real, true trust is born. Trust in Gods deliverance of what you need and no timetable attached. Distrust your own opinions and only trust Him. Trust that He passes the trustworthy challenge and delivers all you need in His Perfect time. Trust in that your opinions no longer hold water, no longer matter, and your only opinion is the love of the name of He who does it all. This is how to use the flow of concentration properly.
See Sikh Definitions.
Yogi Bhajan, Don’t Get Romanced by Romance
Sat Nam, Dear Family!
“Oh baby, I love you so much. You are my soul mate. You make me feel like every beautiful song that’s ever been written. I don’t know what I’d do without you. You are my sunshine, my support and trust.” Need I go on? This type of communication, of courting is many people’s dream to behold and many other people’s nightmare to uphold. And, sometime later, divorce or separation often happens.
What happened to the soul mate part; what happened to the ‘song part’; what happened to the ‘need you’ part; what happened to the ‘support and trust’ part? They all flew out the window. When reality hits, reality bites! Convenience, comfort, and emotions are fair opponents to commitment. Divorce is now an accepted part of our culture. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not against divorce, I’m just against giving up easily.
It’s not the money, the support, the sex in love which makes romance most attractive. It’s the yearning for the experience of selflessness within oneself and the longing to belong, to not be alone, which transcends all else. This is the experience of love. It’s intoxicating, it’s alluring, it’s sensational. Romance can become enchanting. But, don’t get romanced by the romance.
Rather than think that this experience is the ‘get all, end all,’ please remember, even in the best of romances, love fluctuates. That’s because romantic love is only the base level of love. It’s unstable. It fluctuates with many variables. When it’s good, it’s very good, but when it’s not, it’s not at all good. This is a universal experience. Unless you’re already a saint, rest assured, love will vary. So, don’t freak out when it does.
Ask yourself, where does this experience come from? What’s the deal? These are great questions and when you answer them correctly, life changes. Life has other elevating options not previously available. The first step is to understand why love is so alluring and where it comes from. All great religions stress love. So, start there. Religions have a lot of experience with love. What do they mean? From where are the similarities drawn? What do they say about the experience of love?
I’ve done my due diligence. I’ve studied many, many religions concerning this phenomenon. Conclusions can be drawn and understanding realized as a result. Love means serving something outside yourself - greater or not, elevated or not. The result of serving someone or something outside yourself is love.
The degree of love experienced is dependent upon the selflessness, the virtue, and the karma involved. This teaches that love is up to each of us and not contingent necessarily upon a partner. I’m not against partners, I’ve been happily married for forty years. Nevertheless, partners are training wheels in this game of love. Partners teach us to not be affected by the variances in relationships. When this lesson is learned, we’re ready to worship more deeply. Our worship turns to our imagination and intuition.
We now can truly worship and serve a deeper love, a meditative love. Our focus should now be on the inside rather than the outside. We look for the image of God inside our imagination and intuition which makes it real. God comes in many colors, sizes, shapes, forms, we know this. But, the worship of something greater than ourselves unites all customs in spite of rituals. Technique may differ, how God’s experienced my entertain you differently, what different values God holds may shock you. However, each man’s God holds some power over the believer. This is the universal power of love. It can be used in many ways good and not so good.
This understanding of love puts romantic love in perspective. Again, don’t get me wrong, I’m not against it, I’m against not understanding what true love is. I’m against ignorance. I’m against selling yourself short. I’m for more and more love, deeper and deeper love, love at the level of God’s bestowed blessing. True love is only at God”s discretion, but there are a whole bunch of wonderful steps along the way. All these self-embraced steps are activated through more devotion to God. The balls are in your court. Your experience is commensurate with YOUR love for God.
The final step is when God is called to love YOU more. This is where the true experience of spirituality begins. Your love of God does two things. It gives you the experience of some level of true love, and it provides the opportunity for God to take notice and decide whether you are ready for His court and His love. When this happens, life becomes a flow of love.
So, my advice, enjoy romantic love. In fact, embrace it. But, never forget that you are on training wheels. Much greater love awaits and can accompany romantic love. The best news is that romantic love is never negated, it never gets old, and it should become deeper and deeper. Maintain this spiritual perspective and it should last a lifetime.
See Sikh Definitions.
Yogi Bhajan, Two Sides of the Same Coin
Sat Nam, Dear Family! The Siri Singh Sahib, aka Yogi Bhajan, used to say sometimes, “They are two sides of the same coin.” What did he mean and how could these two opposites be reconciled? The answer lies in understanding our beloved teacher and were he’s coming from. Please, let me explain.
Lets take fear and faith as an example. There’s no doubt that fear and faith are at opposite ends of the spectrum, especially the spiritual spectrum. But, are they? Sure, fear is the killer of every wish, want, dream, and projection, but is it fear that’s the killer, or how fear is being used? Let’s examine further.
One of the things which affected me the most was when our teacher wouldn’t let any news be viewed as negative. Often, when ill news arrived, his first reaction was, “that’s good.” ‘What’s good about it,’ I would hear myself say internally. I could see the beauty in his positivity, but why? It turns out that there are several real reasons.
First, his reaction had a calming and elevating effect on all who would otherwise be effected in a fearful way. There’s that word again, fear, ’fearful way.’ Fear is at the base level of insecurity. He didn’t want those around him, his students, to become fearful. Fear is total insecurity.
Fear is what separates us from God. One of the magnificent virtues of God is fearlessness. Our beloved teacher took our fear away and gave us another chance to be successful without killing ourself again before we even began. His confidence, his demeanor, his FAITH, calmed any situation. I know, he calmed me down plenty of times when I couldn’t do it myself. He restored balance and order and didn’t let chaos reign.
This Dharma’s chance of elevating itself increased exponentially when fear was removed from the equation. This allowed our teacher’s projection to become manifest and not our fear. Well, how was he able to do this? What was his secret?
He taught that fear is just an imagination. It’s no different than love, it’s still a projection. And, what happens to projections? If focused on enough, they become manifest, they become real to the projector. They become who we are. So, practice understanding fear as just another imagination, and change your imagination. Instead, see success in you future. See positivity prevail while still containing negativity, see your life change.
The Siri Singh Sahib, Yogi Bhajan, saw faith as the antidote for fear. He taught that the more devotion on something real, (real being defined as that entity which can love you back in an elevated and recognizable way) the less fear their is in life until it vanishes completely. His fearlessness came from Guru Ram Das. It was real. He lived the other side of the coin, so he was able to teach it.
Two sides of the same coin turn out to be a coin in balance, but not in balance the way you think. It’s not a traditional Libra balance, it’s in total balance. Fear or faith may be in total different percentages, but they add up to one in spite of percentages. It’s in cosmic balance. The rest is up to us humans to get it right, to bring it to Libra balance within the coin.
It turns out that fear is a blessing if used properly, or a curse it it uses you. The fear of not matching up is the ultimate motivator. Both sides of this coin are useful if understood properly. Keeping fear in balance with faith allows fear to become the engine, if focused correctly, which carries one to deeper faith. Working together and when focused on God, fear and faith become the blessings of blessings.
See Sikh Definitions.
Yogi Bhajan, Surreal Steel
Sat Nam, Dear Family! Deal with chaos and become good at dealing with chaos. Deal with others and become good at dealing with others. Deal with adversity and become good at dealing with adversity. Deal with prosperity and become good at dealing with prosperity. Become so good that neither adversity or prosperity effect you. Now you get it. This is the difference between Sikhism and other religions, philosophies, lifestyles, you name it. Please, let me explain further.
Let’s take an example in the Judo-Christian tradition, one we’re all familiar with. There’s a famous saying in Bible, the Book of Proverbs (27:17-19), which says, “As iron sharpens iron, so one person sharpens another.”
The usual understanding of this proverb is understood to mean that competition makes each of us better. I know, competition is a bad word these days, but the truth is the truth no matter what we think or want. Especially, if competition becomes a graceful adventure. Competition hones our skill in any field, we become better at whatever we compete. It’s the truth behind the spiritual warrior. It is embedded in Sikhism. It’s true, and it’s great.
In addition, Judo-Christian epistemology has another method of interpretation. Understanding this proverb is further gleaned when it is cross-referenced with many other quotes from the Bible. A deeper meaning is found. For example, the Book of Hebrews (4:12) is used to further interprets this proverb as it states, “The word of God is a ‘double-edged sword’ and it is with this that we are to sharpen one another” And, this too is true. How can we deny this.
This is where the spiritual warrior’s nature expands into teaching. Teaching further sharpens the teacher and the student. Teaching the word of God is the motor, the arm, the energy behind this sharpening. As we teach, we sharpen one another and become better and better examples -- examples of a true spiritual warrior, sharing our service and devotion to God, and, thus, His Blessings with others.
The beauty of a true tradition like Judo-Christianity is that one truth doesn’t cancel out another. They just add-on. This is God’s protection. For us, this is were the individual and/or the organization is covered by Guru ji. There is no discount of one over the other. All are covered, carried and protected under His grace. There’s harmony, There’ cooperation, there’s teamwork, there’s joy. These are great universal truths verified in Sikhism as well. If I deny them, I deny my whole existence. They are great, period.
Nevertheless, there’s more. Sikhism has another truth to add-on to the understanding of this proverb. So far, all we’ve talked about is how great it is to deal with every situation, and it is. But, what about enjoying every situation as well as dealing with them? Isn’t that another great add-on benefit? Don’t we want to embrace this joy if it helps our karma and our contentment? Don't we want to experience God’s love through the enjoyment of everything? Isn’t that what life’s about? Our concept is to never giving up and tp keep-up until God sharpens us through our service to His Will.
This Dharma has the promise of Guru ji to protect the reputation of its beloved students. In order to activate this promise the student has the responsibility to teach, and act, and love Guru ji and His teachings. And don’t forget, Guru ji is the only judge. If he grants his grace, His Infinite truth covers all, past and present and future. The individual life and the life of the Dharma is protected. Magically, previous statements become stepping stones rather than misstatements on the way to the Infinite truth.
In never giving up your service and devotion to God, you’ve understood that true competition is competition within yourself. This is the only true standard, the only one where cheating is eliminated through self-awareness. And, if your standard is elevated, you have a chance to serve and love God. You can’t fool Mother nature. Thank God for His mercy. We all need His help. Just the practice of ‘keeping-up’ awakens His mercy. It’s the secret everyone wants to share! Be that special exception and just ‘keep-up.’ Experience God’s mercy.
‘Keeping-up’ is what allows God’s mercy to be awakened and bestowed upon you. The blessing of a wonderful, glorious, elevated, humble, prosperous, committed, focused, disciplined, rewarding, special, sacrificial, serving, loving life is the blessing which befalls you when you know you don’t deserve it. That’s how you know God’s Mercy has overridden your judgement and karma. It’s a humbling, confident, enabling, and submissive experience all at the same time.
Devotion and service to God becomes an endless JOY. There’s that word JOY again. Devotion means no more judgement; service means obedience to God’s command. And, joy means perpetual gratitude for the process, the experience, and the deliverance. Where teachings are found, one has the opportunity to live a discipline where God’s obedience is followed, unity abounds. For us, our teachings, which create our obedience, are found only in our living Guru, the Siri Guru Granth Sahib. Our directions come from this base. We are not the creator, He is. We must be obedient to His commands, HIs teachings, HIs directives, not ours.
We were blessed enough to have a teacher of compassion who taught us what he had learned, and that was plenty. I can honestly say, ‘he didn’t teach me everything he knew, but almost everything I know I learned from him.’ He didn't hold back. He was honest. He served us, he didn’t cheat us. What did we know? We could have been easy game but he never took advantage. He served us as defined in his living legacy. He was us.
Today, our beloved teacher is not physically with us. Nevertheless, his gifts are still found in his legacy, his teachings, the teachings of the Siri Guru Granth Sahib, and the direction of God Himself. They’re all in line. One adds-on to another until some way of teaching appeals to almost everyone who identifies with this Dharma. Our challenge is to maintain this harmony. And, our duty is to not only maintain harmony, but to transform it into teamwork.
This Dharma is where our teacher sharpened his iron. And, it sharpened just fine, thank you. Our teacher transitioned from Yogi Bhajan to the Siri Singh Sahib through ‘keeping-up’ in sharpening his iron through his service and devotion to Guru Ram Das’ Will. We became his duty, his service. We scored, and, yet, how many of us really understand the blessing we lived under? We lived under the blessing of seeing an example of how iron sharpening iron leads to God’s Mercy. ‘Keep-up’ practicing the blessed standard we’ve been given, and see what happens. Remember, there’s no time limit, so you can’t be the judge.
See Sikh Definitions.
Yogi Bhajan, Jubilee Opportrunity
Sat Nam, Dear Family! “Here’s the question, son,” the Siri Singh Sahib, aka Yogi Bhajan, said to me one afternoon on our daily walks around the ranch in the spring of the early 1990’s. “There are many options in life but there is one that few can see, and fewer can actually take advantage of. It’s the option of living a fearless, joy filled, prosperous existence and all this effortlessly bestowed upon you. Do you want to take this option?” Well, that challenge got my attention right away.
My mind was racing. Isn’t this what spirituality is about? I’ve just never heard it expressed so concisely and so truthfully. Yes, that kind of existence is what I wanted. He hit a nerve. Just because I want to enjoy life doesn’t mean that I’m not serious about the duty involved. But, it just so happens, I have a very fun-loving teacher, so I found the right teacher. I understood a lot of who he was right away. He was very familiar.
Serving our teacher was the biggest lottery win ever. We became a connection of mutual prosperity, effortless prosperity, filled with joy. We both got our wish, although I got the best of the deal by far. I was blessed to able to give to him and I prospered beyond my capacity because of him. That’s a good deal in anybody’s book. I have to admit here that for a while It went to my head. I thought that I had something to do with it. My self-esteem was born out of ego.
Thank God, God is Merciful. The experience this option held gave me a chance to regain my manners back. He continued, “This existence is based on service and devotion to God. It’s God’s call, not interpretation. Humility is the bridge to surrender. Humility enters your life when service and devotion to God become a priority. The more service, the more devotion, and the more karma paid, the more life is understood in it’s proper perspective: We are the servants to God, period - nothing more, and nothing less.
Surrender activates courage, the courage to continue beyond limits. Courage comes from the trust that God controls everything, thus everyones life. We’re just along to enjoy the ride and do what we are supposed to do.These are the manners of a Sikh. We subscribe and ascribe to these manners.
As an example, the Jews have a command and prayer from the Book of Deuteronomy (6 4-9) which says, “And these words, which I command thee this day, shall be upon thy heart; and thou shalt teach them diligently unto thy children, and shalt talk of them when thou sittest in thy house, and when thou walkest by the way, and when thou liest down, and when thou risest up. And thou shalt bind them for a sign upon thy hand, and they shall be as frontlets between thine eyes. And thou shalt write them upon the door-posts of thy house, and upon thy gates.”
What’s important about this Jewish tradition is that it creates manners, and manners come first. Jewish manners come from the Word of God (the Book of Deuteronomy is part of the Torah, the first five books of the Old Testament). They’re so concerned with following this prayer that they remind themselves of it everywhere. It works if practiced sincerely.
We, Sikhs, have another way. One which doesn’t need reminding. A way of effortlessness. A way of joy. A way of surrender, and a way of honor. It’s the way of following and loving God’s commands through the teachings found in the Siri Guru Granth Sahib, our living Guru. It is called Sukh Sahej - Effortless Peace.
This teaching provides a way of honor no matter what history is dragged along. This way of surrender is blessed with the ability to deliver the grace of surrender to the right thing. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying that this is the only way, not at all. I’m saying that for a Sikh, this is the right way.
It provides for surrender to that which can deliver this majestic way of life and is the blessings of blessings. That’s not to say that you’ll make it, but you are in the game. The blessing of surrender carries with it the cost of its maintenance. The cost is living up to the the elevated standards which living a fearless, prosperous, joy filled life require. And all this leads to the keys to the gate of grace.
This lifestyle offers a way of effortlessness through the understanding, experience, and love of Guru ji Himself. Duty becomes beauty, duty becomes effortless. Work is still required, but work becomes a joy. As duty becomes an expression of service and love of God, His right arm, Guru ji, bestows the blessing of His love in the form of a joyful and effortless life. Life becomes a flow of His love and that makes everything in life, even chaos, a joy. This is where God’s love is personally experienced.
With the instant awareness that it’s all God’s game, comes the perspective of this world through God’s eyes. Believe me, life has a different experience when viewed through this lens. Our beloved teacher’s one challenge paragraph changed my life Infinitely. He gave me another option, one which was so alluring that I put it number one on my “to do” list.
I began to become really serious about my service and devotion to God. I had it easy. Our teacher is the real deal, so going through him makes this journey much easier. He made it easier to understand, serve, and love Guru Ram Das. This was his blessing. I served him like God. I did what he wanted. I served him as he wanted with no judgement attached.
And, at some point when he became pleased with me, our teacher introduced me to Guru ji. He sang my praises to Guru ji as if I had no flaws. Our teacher is the best front man in the world. He was my best friend and my beloved teacher all in one. I’ll always thank God for our teacher being brought into our lives.
At some point when your service and devotion is acceptable, Guru ji introduces you to God Himself. Along with this introduction comes the understanding that they are all the same. The Siri Singh Sahib, Guru Ram Das, and God are all the same guy. You know this because you see their teachings, actions, and love is all tilted in the same direction. You’ve been blessed beyond the beyond, and beyond your own awareness and capability. And, you now realize it.
We are totally lucky. We have a lifestyle with can deliver on this blessed option, this Sukh Sahej opportunity. We have the right technology. We have been blessed by our teacher to recognize there is an effortless peace available. Please take advantage of it by serving and loving more each day. No matter what your daily limit is, just do a little more each day and see if glimpses of the “opportunity option” experience doesn’t send your life spiraling in a never ending cycle of elevating awareness.
See Sikh Definitions.
Yogi Bhajan, Thoughtfulness of Nautilus
Sat Nam, Dear Family! I often wear a pendant beneath my undershirt. It’s nothing special monetarily wise, but it’s special to me. The Siri Singh Sahib, aka Yogi Bhajan, told me to buy it and I did. We took it to another jeweler and had it inscribed on the back. I have been blessed to have many precious gems encased in gold and platinum. This was a nautilus in a silver case. What’s the deal? Why this? And, why this inscription? Here’s what I’ve come to realize.
A nautilus is a sea snail-like creature. It’s shell is a perfect spiral. It’s so perfect that a geometric equation - Fibonacci numbers - is based on it. In other words, the nautilus represents perfection, albeit limited in scope, nevertheless, in it’s own limited way, it’s perfection. After all, perfection only really begins at a limited level. And, perfection is transferable and expandable.
The nautilus is alluring to view. It draws you in. It’s an organic perfect Escher print. It’s Sire-like in its enchantment. It’s beautiful to view. It’s kaleidoscopic. It’s psychedelic. And, it’s real. What makes this nautilus real?
The nautilus represents the Golden Mean Spiral. This is known as the Sacred Geometry. This is symbolic of life’s unfolding mysteries. It’s the key to Infinity through numbers. Yes, Virginia, that’s possible. Now, l’m really dating myself.
Anyway, In addition, the nautilus has been used as a meditation visualization tool for thousands of years. It will take you out of the mundane world into a world only dreamed of. And, that’s a good place to be so long as it’s balanced with the mundane.
The nautilus is always moving. It’s spirals turn continuously, at least it does when stared at. It contradicts inertia. It overrides complacency. Movement, any movement, is always good. But, where is movement focused?
The nautilus has so many good qualities, from representing the eternal nature of Infinity to an image, a mandala, and all stops in between. The nautilus is a good focus for new found energy. It’s image takes the inertia of karma out of the game by directing energy back to Dharma, God’s way.
On the back of the pendent, he had inscribed these words, “I am a leader by my own destiny.” I was no leader at the time. I knew that. What was he talking about when he said, “my own destiny?” I thought about this and meditated upon it for many years. It turns out that it has several meanings.
A leader is not elected. A leader is not chosen. A leader is not bought. A leader is self-initiated. A leader anoints him/herself as such. The best leaders lead by example. But, I’ve seen many leaders, most, in fact, who have done great things without being the best examples. There is one common denominator with all great leaders. They all have, the ability to inspire others. Some do it by example; others do it through motivation. And a few, very few, do it by both.
A leader is self-judged. A leader is self-worthy. A leader serves that which he/she leads. A leader holds to the standard, and changes it when required. A leader knows the difference. That’s what makes a true leader. Knowing the difference is what keeps the protocol pure. Otherwise, more trial and error, more time wasted, more needed to be recaptured standards are required before we can move forward.
My life has spun towards leadership without my help. I had no idea what was in store for me. Believe me, I never considered myself a leader. Other things, yes. But, never a leader. Our beloved teacher saw it, promoted it, and sent me clues as to what lay ahead. My nautilus is such a clue.
Without undue commitment, without overstepping his bounds, without prejudging God, our teacher gave to me right up to the ‘teacher limit’, and more than I ever imagined possible. His gifts were both part of this mundane world as well as the tools to pursue the Infinity of God.
We traveled the world: he as a king, and me as his servant, his sidekick, his prince, his student, his driver, his whatever he wanted me to be, I was. I experienced the lifestyle of royalty, spiritual royalty. He made me Chief of Protocol. This was one of the tools he left me with.
I’ve understood the meaning of this title through time. There have been several levels to this office. The highest level is to achieve the experience and understanding of that protocol our teacher left us with. Eventually, after he passed, I took this job seriously. It’s become my number one focus. From his teachings, from his example, from the blessed experience of my extended time with him, from Guru, from God; I have seen, experienced, and intuited a very good understanding and experience of the protocol the Siri Singh Sahib wanted followed. He gave me the job because, if I succeed, I become a leader. Who knew? He did, that’s who!
Please understand, I’m not claiming to be anything. That’s not up to me. I’m just sharing with you how our beloved teacher worked. He was magical. Many left because they weren’t yet able to see his magic. I’m deeply in love with my teacher for giving me a title which has enabled me to see his magic. I’ve seen what it’s done to me. I no longer need faith in our teacher; I’ve experienced his grace.
That’s why I love wearing this pendant.
See Sikh Definitions.
Yogi Bhajan, The Now Vow, Wow
Sat Nam, Dear Family! When I was young, I was haunted by an experience which came upon me occasionally, unexpectedly, and dramatically. It was scary, especially for a young boy. At first I thought that maybe there’s something wrong with me, maybe God messed up and left me with this condition occasionally. But, these experiences didn’t last long, and as I learned to control the them, those thoughts left. As time went on, I could even play with the experience a bit.
What was this kind of experience, you ask? And, why is this important? I’ll try to describe it. When these experiences came on, I could hear myself say to myself, ‘I’m here, I’m really here,’ as an automatic reassurance that was still alive and I was still me. The view was well outside of my security blanket. My reality was sent askew. I was outside myself, yet, still myself. My security was shaken. My truth was out of focus. It was scary, but, at the same time, I knew that this separate reality held good secrets. At the time, I just wasn't able to explore beyond the surface. So, I just taught myself how to get out of these experiences. All it took was a meditative re-focusing on something ordinary. Enter, Kundalini yoga.
Kundalini yoga opened me up to many different experiences. One of which is the experience of the Now. We’ve all heard, read, or somehow have been informed of living in the Now. We understand this intellectually. However, there’s a unique experience which accompanies living in this state. In fact, just visiting living in the Now offers a glimpse. It’s an out-of-body experience which allows life to be viewed and enjoyed as if a very enjoyable movie was unfolding.
The Now provides a different perspective, one of a spectator and a participant at the same time. It makes life an experience of being in a third person mode, one which makes you the creator of yourself. It automatically gives space before actions. Choices become available which never were before. You can draw the picture of yourself in real time. Emotions, feelings, negative thoughts can be controlled. The experience of your environment is viewed through a neutral lens. Things are seen much more clearly. Life becomes a flow of God’s divine grace.
Kundalini yoga has allowed me to recognize that the experiences I had as a boy were nothing more than the elevated organic experiences of the Now and it’s the out-of-body precursor which created the fear in me. You can’t get to the Now part without riding out-of-your-body to get there. Kundalini yoga had given me the security to explore the Now now in depth. It’s an elevating, invigorating, devotional experience. It’s no longer scary and hasn’t been for decades. It’s enjoyable. It’s the experience of an intoxicating life built on God’s land. It’s part of the package in God’s blessings.
Looking back on it, I now realize that these experiences were a view to an opportunity which lay ahead and available if my life were lived in my destiny and not my fate. The opportunity to explore beyond my conception. It’s been the blessing of my life to see beyond myself. These experiences gave me the chance to see that there was room for exploration. It was God’s blessing in the form of a wake-up call. Look further. Don’t stop. Find the right way to get there. Find he way to the Now at your will. Then, look for more.
I did and here I am. I was able to do this because our beloved teacher provided the tools, the vehicle to explore beyond my fear. This was such a great teaching that I decided to explore more about what the Siri Singh Sahib brought to the table. The more I learned, the more I loved. He talked straight and his words hit straight to my heart. If you could take it, he wouldn’t pull too many punches. He’s a Saturn teacher, yet, still, a very compassionate one.
He’s still available for all to enjoy. His relationship with you is as personal as you want it. It’s not about his physical presence. He’s still here for some to see. The more you serve his legacy properly, the more intimate your relationship will be. The more you love him, the more intimate the relationship will be. Those are the steps to beyond the Now. The Now is only a part of the whole. The more personable your relationship is with our teacher, the bigger the ‘parts’ picture becomes. Fortunately for us, our beloved teacher delivered on his promise.
Our teacher not only showed me how to appreciate, use, enjoy, overcome, you name it, my old experience in a positive way, but showed me how to expand the Now-experience into a cornucopia of more elevated joyful experiences. He added-on to an already transcendent experience. He kept expanding the spiritual experience in a royal way. The Now, and more, is within your grasp. I know so personally. It’s not easy, but it’s really all there is.
As I keep exploring the teachings of our teacher, the last tool up the Siri Singh Sahib’s sleeve is Sikh Dharma. This was his base and his elevated state. The teachings of the Guru were his touchstone. It’s Sikh Dharma which doesn’t stop at the Now. It’s Sikh Dharma which is constantly expanding. It’s Sikh Dharma which teacher that there’s always more. It’s Sikh Dharma which promotes prosperity. It’s Sikh Dharma which serves the less fortunate first. It’s Sikh Dharma which represents service, devotion, and compassion as a reflection of the Siri Guru Granth Sahib, the living Guru, sometimes irreverently referred to as a book.
Sometimes I’m just amazed at how this all came about. Just think of it. A bad dream, a scary thought, a misunderstanding, has led me to be here with you. All I can be is grateful, more grateful, and then more and more grateful. I’m grateful for the heads-up in seeing the process; I’m grateful for following and applying discipline to the process; and, I’m Infinitely grateful for the expanded experience Sikh Dharma, through the Guru, has blessed me with. And, yes, I’m very grateful for being scared and teased out of my insecure of fear by God Himself.
Everything that happens creates a future largely dependent upon how things are viewed. Your attitude about what happens to you creates your future. Is it one of anger, fear, jealousy, hate, or is it one of compassion borne out of a true relationship with the Guru? It’s that simple. This creates your future whether you see it or not. Gratitude is the antidote for changing directions and making your life extremely meaningful.
See Sikh Definitions.
Yogi Bhajan, Ride the Beam of Self-Esteem
Sat Nam, Dear Family! “Who is worthy, son, and who is not,” the Siri Singh Sahib, aka Yogi Bhajan, said to me one evening as we were returning from our daily outing. His statement was prompted by something stupid I said and he let me know in his own way just how off my thinking was. Don’t worry, I was used to it and could take it, that is, if I was even aware of his lesson. That’s the way it was.
I had mentioned something in what I thought was an innocuous way about not being worthy of God’s grace, of Guru’s blessings. Naturally, that would get to him because he was all about being worthy. He had found the way and didn’t want others, especially students, to miss out on his help. Actually, I remember saying, “Maybe, I’m not worthy.” Even with the “maybe” option available, that was too much for our beloved teacher to let pass.
Let me first explain that I recognized that I was lucky. I was at the right place at the right time. It’s simple. The more a student gave him what he wanted, the closer you were to him. And let me also say it wasn’t an equal opportunity situation. Some students didn’t get to see him daily, so their opportunities were more limited. Some, like me, came with specific qualities he needed, and not necessarily spiritual needs. Things like money, knowledge, and experience - these were invaluable to him. I came with some of these and was willing to share that with him at his request.
Nevertheless, because of my value or lack thereof, I qualified in his court and that’s all that mattered to me at the time. My proximity afforded me lessons like the one in progress. I am extremely grateful for this opportunity and will not let it go to waste.
He taught me how to be worthy of Guru’s blessings. “This is how you lovingly address your Guru: ‘Good or bad, I’m your’s dear Guru ji, so if I’m not representing you properly, please help me so I can serve you better.’ Now, that prayer shifts the burden of proof onto Guru. You’ve thrown yourself at His mercy. You are totally willing to do as Guru wills, but you need His help in guidance, protection, and deliverance. It’s no longer your problem.”
In addition, our teacher taught that if you’re truly doing Guru ji’s will, and if you are following His teachings, not your interpretation, then Guru ji says that you fall into a category of being ‘under His protection. Your history is covered; your present is corrected; your future is set. Now, that’s great protection.
So, he was saying to me, if Guru ji selects me as worthy for His protection, well, who am I to argue? And, sadly, that’s just what many people do. They deny God’s blessings because they judge themselves as unworthy. What a waste. You’ve already earned this reward and you refuse it. That doesn’t sound right to me. Especially, if it’s Guru ji who’s making the call.
If Guru ji selects you as worthy for his protection, and you deny him, you lose twice. First, you lose because you deny yourself the blessings you’ve already earned. And, second, you deny Guru ji the pleasure of giving His love to his worthy student. Just as you would be disappointed if someone got in the way of you giving to someone you love, Guru ji has the same nature. He loves to give to those who have given to him and chosen as worthy of His love.
That’s how disrespectful we are when we deny God His pleasure. Especially, when we do it in the name of false humility. Yes, we know we’re unworthy of anything, but if God wants to bless us, at least we should have the good sense, the good manners, to get out of our own way and just ride the esteem Guru ji bestows on us in order to accept His gifts. We should learn to step aside and flow beyond our fear, beyond our insecurities. ‘Come on baby let the good times roll.’
The Siri Singh Sahib continued, “With all my faults, seen and unseen, I’m not the judge. What God thinks happens, period! If God takes a liking to you, relax, take a deep breath, and remember that your now on God’s time and God’s space. You’re riding the rocket of consciousness through no fault of your own.
If you’re lucky, you land at a place of contentment. Contentment with who you are and what you get. You’re no longer the judge of either. Whatever regality God brings your way you gratefully accept in the awareness that your acceptance is another way you can express your love for Guru ji. And, let me say this, Guru ji has a lot of ways to give, which are out of our imagination. So, look out. Things do get really wild from this point on. Life just gets more and more interesting.
Living in the contentment of Guru’s protection is a life worth living. His talk has always reminded me of the time when I thought I had a limit. I remembered that it was my limit, and was of my own making. And by Guru’s Grace, we found a teacher who opened a door for us and showed us a life and path of infinite possibilities. Thank God, I was shown that my self-esteem was no longer mine. Contentment means that I now ride the love of Guru ji to places I never dreamed of. Please, join me, His grace is available to all.
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