Hello My Dear Ones,
Some of you know that I am taking a sabbatical from leading chanting and services this fall to pursue kundalini yoga teacher training. Last month I had my first class weekend. It was MAGICAL, POWERFUL and DEEP on so many levels that I don’t even know where to begin my sharing. What I do know is that you are all on my mind and in my heart. And because of that I feel compelled to share some wisdom and insights that are rising up as I enter into this intense study and practice of kundalini. I also want to wish a joyous New Year to my Jewish friends.
I offer you these thoughts and reflections in what I’ll be calling: “TUNING IN”. These sharings will be a vehicle for me to bring this wisdom forward to you as I embark on this part of my journey. Below you’ll find “Suggestions for your own practice” that I hope you find helpful. The meditation and book below were assigned by my teacher, Hari Kaur as part of our teacher training homework this month. Perhaps you’ll find them to be a way to deepen your practice to forgiveness, peace, healing and wholeness.
When I was a kid in the 1970s, televisions and radios didn’t come with remotes. For those of you who remember…we had to physically go to the TV or radio, turn a dial, and tune into the station we wanted. In the process of “tuning in”, there was often a lot of static along with strange sounds or images. (Remember the black and white “snow” on the TV or the rainbow bars with the offline signal?) Sometimes we even had to adjust antennas or bang on the side of the TV set to get it to come back into focus. “Tuning in” was an active process. Today, technological conveniences make it easy for us to tune into our favorite “stations”. With a few clicks of a button or touchpad, we can zoom into an abundant supply of entertainment and information with little static or effort. Maybe that’s a good thing but perhaps we’ve lost something as well.
In our modern world, the convenience, abundance and accessibility of information seems to be increasing distractions and putting us at risk for losing our ability and patience to make an active effort to go after what we want. If getting up to turn a dial on a TV set feels like a lot of work, how can we possibly find the energy to cook a healthy meal, go for a walk, or find our “purpose” in life? So where am I going with all of this?
Mindfulness (the practice of being present and attentive) is a really hot topic these days. Having studied, practiced and taught it for many years, I’m keenly aware of how bringing conscious, non-judgmental attention to the present moment can bring deeper insights and well-being. But making a conscious effort to focus our attention and actively “tune” our “dial” to what we want seems important and difficult these days. Here’s where I turn to the insights that are rising from my Kundalini practice and training.
In Kundalini yoga the first part of practice is “Tuning In”. We begin with chanting the Adi (first or primal) Mantra: Ong Namo Guru Dev Namo - Click here for You Tube Video. We “tune in” to call upon the One/Creator/Source (Ong Namo) and the invisible and visible teacher within and around that brings us from darkness to Light (Guru Dev Namo). We “tune in” to the “Golden Chain” of teachers that have pointed us in the direction of wisdom, peace, love, healing, wholeness, and whatever else we’re looking for. We “tune in” so we can hear and listen to the subtle Wisdom that guides, directs and leads us to clarity, growth and service. We can’t do life alone and the Adi Mantra reminds us that we haven’t and don’t have to. There have been and are many teachers - from our parents and human guides to the still small voice within that some of us call “God”. These teachers help us find intuition and wisdom. When we tune in, we tune into the ALL, the Oneness, the ancestors, the Divine (whatever we know That to be).
Kundalini practice is one way I’ve found to keep tuning into Life, Higher Wisdom and so much More! The practice itself challenges me to work harder, stick with something (even when it’s uncomfortable), and keep moving beyond the “static” of my mind, body and emotions. I appreciate comfort and convenience but I’m aiming to tune into something that brings more peace and healing to me and hopefully others. What, how and who are you tuning into?
Suggestions for your own practice:
Meditation for a Calm Heart
Instructions (PDF Download)
You Tube Video
The Book of Forgiving: The Fourfold Path for Healing Ourselves and Our World by Desmond Tutu
One last thought on “Tuning In”…As you know, I believe that we all possess incredible wisdom. There’s not one of you who hasn’t taught me something in big and small ways. When we “tune into” each other, animals, and the earth – when we deeply and truly listen and connect on a heart and soul level - I believe we come to a place of awe, humility, gratitude and love. These are the qualities I believe will heal our own hearts and the whole world. I would love for this to be an exchange so please share your thoughts, wisdoms, insights and journey as well.
May your heart find peace, well-being and wholeness and may you know that you are not alone.
*Sat Nam means “Truth is my identity”