Tuesday, August 25, 2009

From Mr.Sikhnet

Yesterday evening I had the kids with me while my wife worked late, and for some reason my daughter Charanjeet was having "one of those days" and was crying incessantly about everything. It was like a marathon (with a few pit stops). It can be SOO intense when your children cry and "freak out." Lots of the times it is them trying to assert themselves, or get what they want. It’s as if they are experimenting with their ego and learning how to use it. As a parent this can be really challenging sometimes! The crying and screaming has a very strong effect on parents. Those of you who have kids will understand what I mean by this. It takes quite a bit of discipline and calmness to deal with your children in a neutral way without bending to their will, or having a meltdown during one of these "storms". They can be like tornadoes trying to suck you up to make you do what they want.


This morning as I was thinking about this it made me also think about the many Sikhs that I deal with online who are very critical, judgmental and REACTIVE. Whenever something happens some people just lash out at others. Some perceived disrespect is done… and there seem to always be people who are ready with the pitchforks… ready to burn someone at the stake. It feels like such an old primal reactive nature (like the violence in Delhi in 1984), fueled by hate, and inner anger.

It’s as if these things are done to make the person feel better and give them "power" when they feel empty inside. Why is it some people’s habitual reaction to divide and attack? There are lots of things that I don’t agree with that other people believe, but I don’t go out of my way to tell them "what I think" and how "my way" is the correct way.

I think that actually, people see a mirror of what is already inside of them projected out onto others. When we hate, we see hate.

I still don’t get why so many Sikh are so close-minded. Our Gurus taught that there is only One God and many paths, yet when someone does something "wrong" people react and kick them out. It’s no wonder so many of the youth don’t want to be Sikhs! There seems to be so little compassion and understanding. It’s "my way or the highway". "You either follow what I believe or you are wrong!".

Being a parent with kids, and just dealing with negativity and the reactive natures of some people has really allowed me to grow. Every time someone posts a negative comment judging or criticizing me, it challenges me. Initially when this happens I feel that gut wrenching feeling in my stomach/naval as I emotionally want to protect myself. The next thing is the feeling of wanting to react to them; as if they are trying to suck my energy and draw me into theirs. This is the challenging part of being non-reactive and not letting these things effect me.

When I was thinking about all of this I tried to imagine what the Gurus were like and how they would act. I can’t imagine one of the Gurus reacting in anger or pretty much any strong emotion that is reactive in nature. I imagine them still like a pond, not affected by whatever storm may blow by and by whatever people say. With anger coming at them they might smile back and share some inspirational words about God.

I personally strive to reach this type of stillness in my life, where no matter what people say or do, I am not affected by it. This takes a certain meditative mind and awareness to achieve. As Sikhs we are are learners and are, by definition, always be open to learning. It is when we become rigid in our thinking and actions that our "window" becomes smaller, and we limit our own opportunities for learning and personal growth.

My prayer today is that we all can keep our hearts open and see the God in each other, no matter what the perceived differences are. To love each other and treat one another with KINDNESS and compassion and not jump on people and criticize them because of something we feel is wrong or different than what we believe.

We as a planet of beings will never unite together until we learn to look beyond our differences and see that we are all one and that we are each a piece of the larger "Body". I am you and you are me. I look at you and see me. Love, compassion, acceptance, understanding, unity and forgiveness; these are all things that support the greater good, while the other negative things only bring us all down. Daya is the first quality of Khalsa. How do you recognize Khalsa? By kindness. That is the hallmark of the Gurus own.

Lifestyle Tips

NAPS
When you "sleep" you are not rally sleeping. If you take 8 hours of sleep, actually you sleep for half an hour.

The rest of the time you either dream, or you go into scupit, which is a particular state of consciousness reached during sleep. Peaceful sleep that you call sleep, is "nap sleep."

Let us put it in a Western term. If you can take a half hour nap, you can survive the rest of the time in absolute glory. Nap. Nap means switch off and switch on sleep. The best time to nap is anytime, but the most wonderful time is when you have eaten food. During the daytime, at what is called lunchtime you can nap for 10 to 15 minutes, If you can switch off, and you cannot switch back on, either your digestive system is wrong or your lower back is wrong.

DRINK WATER
Are you having trouble controlling your temper? Do you want to be calm and cool and be self-contained? Drink 10-12-16 glasses of water a day! Keep a pitcher of water on your desk if you can. Maintaining water balance is very important. Be sure to drink a couple of glasses first thing in the morning to flush out the kidneys, and drink a Glass before bedtime so you won’t sleep dehydrated, which can cause bad dreams.

DRESS IN WHITE
When some day you are totally depressed and negative, which is normal and it happens sometimes, do the following experiment. Take a shower, rub yourself thoroughly with a soft towel, and then dress yourself from top to bottom in white. From that negative state to that positive state will take normally about 15 minutes. You will be a different person. It is that physical, a gross physical action which can change your temperament, consciousness and energy.

From the book Ancient Art of Self Healing which is a collection of excerpts from lectures, notes and classes by SSS Harbhajan Singh Khalsa (Yogi Bhajan)

Four Teachers

he following excerpt is from the great book called: Kundalini Yoga: The Flow of Eternal Power by Shakti Parwha Kaur. She is a dear friend and like a grandmother (just turned 80!) since I was a little kid.


"Unfortunately, most parents, including yours and mine, have to depend upon their instincts and the parents they learned from their parents. Most of them are not yogis. They can only guide us within the limits of their own knowledge and experience. Even with the best of intentions, their own neuroses and biases color the way they teach us to deal with ourselves and the world.

It is not only what parents say to us, but what they do and what they are that deeply affects us and forms our basic attitudes toward ourselves and everyone else. We in turn pass along this legacy to our children, consciously or unconsciously.

Your first teacher in this school of life is your mother, second is your father, third is the environment (relatives, school teachers, friends), and finally, the forth is your spiritual teacher whose job it is to correct any misconceptions you received from the first three



MOTHER

Your first teacher is your mother. From the 120th day following conception (it is on your 120th day that the soul actually enters the womb) through the first three years of life, your mother’s influence dominates. She is the primary, powerful, most compelling shaper of the attitudes, habits, prejudices, relationships, and self-images that usually stay with you for the rest of your life. For better or for worse, your mother’s influence is almost indelible. The umbilical cord lasts well beyond the womb. The seeds of growing up with fear of failure, or fear of success, are planted during these early years.

FATHER

Your second teacher is your father. From age three to eight, his impact predominates. He is the male figure (or absence thereof) who supplies the example, the role model for a son. Dad is the archetype to imitate, to love, or to hate. Father personifies "man." For a daughter, daddy or poppa is the standard which she will compare every other man she ever meets, for better for for worse.

RELATIVES and FRIENDS

The third teacher enters our consciousness at about age eight, in the form of brothers and sisters, relatives, neighbors, teachers, friends. They take on a major role of influence in our lives. Peer pressure rears its ugly head, and continues to grow stronger until it becomes enormous during the teen-age years. Of course given ideal circumstances, peer pressure can be useful, supportive, and can encourage positive growth, but in most instances, it has the opposite effect.

SPIRITUAL TEACHER

The forth teacher is your spiritual teacher. Most people born in the West don’t really know what a "spiritual teacher" is. We suffer from a collective cultural deficiency, i.e., lack of education about the nature and function of a spiritual teacher and the necessity and important of this relationship in our lives.
Who does think he is. He has had the actual experience of confirming his identity beyond question. His mission in life is to help other people achieve that same experience. And when your soul leaves the body, he’s there to help you make the transition. He works more in the non-physical planes than on the physical.

When you go mountain climbing, you hire a guide – someone who knows the way and the technology to get you to the top without falling and breaking your neck. He tells you where to step. You have the choice of following his instructions or not. You have that same choice on your spiritual path. Your spiritual teacher is like the rope with the hook on one end that you can safely climb up on, because it’s anchored on the top. He offers himself as that rope. You have to project a link to it from your heart and then hold on! He takes on the weight of you and your karma as well as that of all the others he is helping reach the same destination. That link is never broken by the teacher, but the student has the option to let go at anytime, and many do. It is that link of the mind and heart which we create with our teacher that enables him to help us free ourselves from our past, from our pain, from our patterns of fear, jealousy, greed, and anger, which cause us so much suffering and keep us trapped in our lower consciousness. Yogi Bhajan is my spiritual teacher.

Yogi Bhajan describes the student-teacher relationship: "Like a hammer and a chisel with a stone: when they meet, the sparks fly."

The relationship of a student to a spiritual teacher has to be described in analogies, because it is fundamentally so different from any other relationship you have. The relationship is not between personalities, although to the student it can appear to be!

A spiritual teacher is like a forklift who has to come down to earth, pick you up and lift you to the height of his level of consciousness. When he meets you, how you perceive him depends on your degree of consciousness. He can play whatever role you need in order for you to evolve.

TIME IS A TEACHER TOO
Life is a school. We can choose: We can either learn our lessons in the hands of Time or from a Teacher. Our spiritual teacher acts as a catalyst to accelerate the learning process. He saves us time (perhaps even lifetimes). He doesn’t necessarily make life easier, but he makes our growth as a spiritual being the main focus. He challenges us to fulfill our highest potential. He doesn’t, and isn’t supposed to, solve our problems for us, because that is OUR job. He gives us the tools and teaches us how to use them to cope with all the things we must face. He can suggest and recommend, but he cannot make our choices for us.

In this Aquarian Age, it is no longer adequate to know about something, we have to experience it. A spiritual teacher is not a preacher. Lots of people can give fabulous lecture and quote plenty of scripture. A spiritual teacher gives you an experience.

Monday, August 24, 2009

Abstract Movie- On Time

Waheguru Ji Ka Khalsa
Waheguru Ji Ki Fateh

This is kind of an abstract movie directed by Ted Chung. I am starting to really like his short films.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Waheguru Ji Ka Khalsa
Waheguru Ji Ki Fateh

Panjab Digital Library publicly launched. Check it out by clicking here.

Definitely exciting. I just checked out the photographs they have uploaded so far.



"For the first time ever a searchable collection of millions of rare pages, on Sikhs and the region of Panjab has been made available. Panjab Digital Library (PDL) will include texts of manuscripts, books, magazines, newspapers and photographs and will be available to anyone with Internet access at www.panjabdigilib.org. This launch was made possible in part by the Nanakshahi Trust and the Sikh Research Institute.
Panjab Digital Library has been in development since 2003, charged with a mission to select, collect, preserve, digitize and make accessible the accumulated wisdom of Panjab. Texts were included without distinction as to script, language, religion, nationality, or other human condition"

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

From Mr.Sikhnet

by SSS Harbhajan Singh Khalsa – February 19th 1985, Los Angeles, CA
Read it here