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Kundalini Yoga Universe part 3: the word God

Kundalini Yoga Western Australia - Tuesday, August 22, 2017

Welcome to the third instalment of the Kundalini Yoga Universe blog.

This time we tackle the word God.

God is a word that is used in Kundalini Yoga teachings. Yogi Bhajan, master of this tradition, used it a lot. It even appears in some kriyas (exercise sets) and meditations, as a mantra.

It is a word that elicits all sorts of reactions in people in our culture, in Australia. Some have their own relationship to it and are comfortable or even positive about it, while others don't really care, while some others feel some mild suspicion all the way up to strong aversion.

It's not surprising, given the history of organised religion around the world. It might even be enough to scare some people off Kundalini Yoga altogether.

What is meant by the word God in Kundalini Yoga, which is most definitely not a religion, but a technology and also a spiritual path?

The God that is meant is not the Christian, man with flowing white beard in the sky, God. (Although maybe also that God – nothing wrong with that.) It is referring rather to the universal intelligence that animates all life. It's the vibrating, creating, sustaining and dissolving force that is so difficult to talk about and yet which humans have tried to describe and name since time immemorial – just to relate to it. In Kundalini Yoga we vibrate it. We vibrate the name – or the Naam. Our aim is to vibrate Sat Naam – our TRUE identity, which is …... God!

So God in this practice is not a God outside of you – controlling, judging, accepting or rejecting you. No. It is INSIDE you. And all around you. And in all others. In the mineral, vegetable, animal, human and angelic realms. And in all the spaces between. And in all the realms we know nothing about. Through all dimensions and through all time: that is God. In short, there is nowhere that it is not.

It is also genderless. He she it. But manifests in all genders.

People call it many names. We have the One, the Divine, Sat Naam. Wahe Guru. Sat Narayan Wahe Guru. Adi Shakti. Har. Ram. Ma. And so many more. In no conflict with Jehovah, Allah, Great Spirit, Divine Mother etc etc etc. 

The Hindu holy trinity of G – generate (Brahma). O – organise or sustain (Vishnu). D – deliver or destroy (Shiva).

Many appearances and aspects of the one thing. Many metaphors in order to appear to our senses, to enter the realm of the play of life, light takes on colour and 3D form. And so humans relate to this colourless, formless essence or primary intelligence by clothing it and naming it.

Why? Why not just forget about it and not talk about it, since the word God is so loaded, misused and controversial for people in this culture? We could just skip those bits surely?

Well, because people long to relate to and talk to and about this greater-than-us that has no name and so many names. We need to relate to it to put ourselves into perspective and know who we really are - our true identity. We long to know that we belong to and are in fact a manifestation of this greater. To God. That we are all connected in this whole vast web and that it IS intelligent. Life has a point and meaning. We long to be happy and healthy – glowing and vital and on purpose. And along the way we realise that there's a third element to this healthy and happy and that's holy. Wholly whole means holy. And a part of the whole big whole. When you live as though you were connected with the whole you begin to vibrate with the whole. Yogi Bhajan's 5th Sutra for the Aquarian Age – vibrate the cosmos and the cosmos will clear the path. And so, by chanting names of the One whole intelligence, whatever they may be, we vibrate with the whole cosmos. Our lives become filled with this vibration and we know the vitality that comes from a connection to the universal power source.

This may have drifted too far out into the cosmos for some!

But next time you're in class or you are watching a video or whatever the context may be and the word God pops up, perhaps by having considered how you might dismantle previous beliefs and assumptions attached to that word, you will be ready to approach it and let it approach you afresh. No need to throw the baby out with the bath water. And ultimately, who decides what or who God is for you, is you.

KY Universe part 2: dress

Kundalini Yoga Western Australia - Friday, July 28, 2017

Continuing our series of posts on the Kundalini Yoga universe – sharing with you yogic lifestyle teachings special to the practice of Kundalini Yoga as taught by Yogi Bhajan – this month we look at the practice of wearing white and other practical helpers to strengthen the effects of your practice.

We live in a material world and how we dress and the choices we make about our physical environment both expres

s who we feel ourselves to be and in turn impact how we feel. In Kundalini Yoga there are some strong and very practical ways to help you get in touch and stay in touch with your true and natural self.

1. Wearing white

Of course it's not necessary to wear white to practice Kundalini Yoga, but it is in fact recommended. Before light hits the earth's atmosphere and is refracted into the 7 rays of colour, it is white. So it this way white contains all the colours. Kundalini Yoga is all about experiencing the original you – the purity of your essence. And so wearing white is helpful to connect with this purity and originality of your Self. It helps connect you with your limitlessness. Yogi Bhajan taught that wearing white expands your aura by up to 7 feet. Just by putting it on! Try it. Shower and put on white clothes and experience the effect.

2. Natural fibres

Connected to this practice is the suggestion to wear natural fibres. You'll notice that synthetic fabrics carry their own charge, like a static. All living beings and entities have their own electro-magnetic field, as does the earth. We are poled and we charge and discharge. To take out the random effect of magnetising and charging that comes from man-made fibres, wear only natural fibres and explore the difference. Similar to the practice of wearing white, wearing only natural fibres puts you subtly in touch with your original state. It brings you to neutral, which means you are more able to feel you self, as you naturally are. It runs along the same lines as eating as wholesome, unprocessed food as you can. So the recommendation is, especially when doing yoga and meditation, to wear cotton, wool, silk, hemp or other natural fibre.

3. Sheepskin

You will have seen your teacher sitting on a sheep skin to teach? Another element of yogic lifestyle. Sheepskins are said to neutralise the electromagnetic charge of the earth. It's a kind of insulation. Insulate yourself so as to feel your self neutrally and naturally. Plus, a sheepskin is very cozy and provides nice padding for some of the exercises which would otherwise be uncomfortable, like rolling up and down on the spine. Your sheepskin also accumulates the energy of your practice, so that it even sitting on it changes your state for the better. It can even become a home away from home. You may quickly get to the point where you say, wherever I lay my sheepskin, that's my home!

4. Head covering

And finally the head covering. There are several reasons for wearing something to cover your head while practising. This could be a scarf wrapped around your head, a cotton or wool beanie or hat or a turban. There are lots of way to cover your head. The main thing is that the crown of the head is covered. The practice of Kundalini Yoga aims to bring the energy of your soul self into flow, through your entire being. That energy then, your energy, is contained and circulated, for healing, for raising awareness and for clearing energetic blockages. BY covering the crown the energy is encouraged to cycle back down through your body, creating a continuous, self-nourishing flow. It's all about containment and stability. Not about popping out the crown chakra into the higher realms. Hence the head cover. If you tie it firmer you will also experience a gentle compression in the bone plates of your skull. For some people this firmness gives a sense of containment and coziness that they perhaps didn't even know they were needing. It can also very directly and tangibly help you to keep your head together – to feel focussed and clear.

While none of these things are essential to Kundalini Yoga practice, they all have their reasons and wisdom. As you go along with your practice you may naturally feel attracted to trying them out. We say in Kundalini Yoga that first is the experience. So with this – have an experience of it and decide for yourself. If you have questions, ask your teacher about their own experience and understanding. Or write us a mail at Kundalini Yoga WA. We're happy to help.

Sat Nam.

KY Universe part 1: What's in a spiritual name?

Kundalini Yoga Western Australia - Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Sat Nam.
Welcome to the Kundalini Yoga Universe!

An incredibly rich and powerful practice is Kundalini Yoga as taught by Yogi Bhajan.
Come to class and you will experience this for yourself in a short space of time.
It's a technology with the power to increase your health and vitality on all levels, to strengthen your personal radiance and deliver you to your true Self.

Kundalini Yoga is also much more than just a technology. There is an entire lifestyle on offer and a local and global community of like minded spirits to connect to.
For the newcomer, Kundalini Yoga looks like a real scene. There's the white clothing, the headcovers, the spiritual names, the sheepskins, the greeting of Sat Nam, the exclamation of Wahe Guru, the connection to Sikh Dharma.... What is all this about? What does it have to do with me, if anything?

This series of little articles called on the Kundalini Yoga universe aims to illuminate and elucidate on these questions, addressing the various aspects of Kundalini Yoga lifestyle in such a way that you are given more information to make a personal choice.

Having said this, Kundalini Yoga works on its own without any extras and without having any knowledge of any of this, so
it's certainly not compulsory to even think about it. But who knows.. perhaps there is something in here that you might experiment with that could thoroughly enhance your practice or even make a real and positive difference to your daily life.

May the longtime sun shine upon you,
Jai Ram Kaur


KUNDALINI YOGA UNIVERSE

PART 1:   SPIRITUAL NAMES

 

In your encounters with Kundalini Yoga you will notice that many teachers have an Indian name. Sometimes even a teacher will give both their birth name and spiritual name. What's that about? 

Many people who train to become Kundalini Yoga teachers (but by no means only teachers) make the decision to apply for a spiritual name. This used to come direct from the Master Yogi Bhajan, while he was still alive in physical form. You give your date of birth and family information and then you receive a name. Now it's done by Nirinjan Kaur, who represents Yogi Bhajan in this regard. 

With Kundalini Yoga's links to Sikh dharma teachings and the Golden Chain of teachers back to the fourth Sikh guru, Guru Ram Das, spiritual names are from the Sikh tradition. In this tradition, all women have the ending Kaur, meaning lioness (really referring to awakened feminine consciousness) and all men Singh (lion, denoting courageous spirit in truth). So there is for example Amrit Kaur, Gurubasant Singh, Bachitar Kaur, Dashmesh Singh, Durudass Kaur, Jai Dev Singh and many many more. And of course they all have a meaning. 

Why receive a name?

It's an affirmation and a calling to live your highest conscious potential. You are what you vibrate. 

Anyone going to Kundalini Yoga classes will within a single class make acquaintance with the mantra Sat Nam - truth is my identity. The practice of Kundalini Yoga is about neutralising habitual thoughts and beliefs so that we can feel and identify with the true self. Sat Nam. It's not something you can analyse. It is vibrated. Truth is felt in the heart, and so it's a practice of eliminating to illuminate what's already there - the light of your soul. It's an identity shift from what's impermanent and fleeting to what's deeper and beyond time and space while in time and space. 

 

Taking a spiritual name is a strong practice to help you identify with this spiritual self. A name is chosen for you that is in resonance with who you are and who you may become. It's a call to destiny. For some it's a rebirth into a new life - or giving power to the secret life that's always been inside, waiting. Giving it a name and then having others vibrate that name to you each time they address you is a powerful affirmation and reminder. Even other people's and your own resistances to your new name are a powerful opportunity for you to explore your relationship with your self and others and your commitment and loyalty to your own soul over social convention and belonging.

Of course, you can perfectly well do and benefit from Kundalini Yoga without changing your name! And not everyone who becomes a teacher takes a spiritual name. You certainly don't have to. And in fact, you shouldn't if it doesn't feel authentic to you. It's something to treat with respect and not do for entertainment. And it's also natural to have the name and need to try it on in situations you feel will be supportive first rather than suddenly convert your whole life from one day to the next. Change, for it to go deep and sit well, often needs to be gradual. However, there are also cases where there is a sudden and dramatic seemingly overnight change.. that too is possible! You don't know what's been building under the surface all those years. 

It's a strong step to take, by all means. Becoming known by your spiritual name is a potentially powerful, liberating and accelerating step towards your own becoming of your authentic identity.

Do I have to be a teacher to ask for a name? Not at all. If you feel a stirring and desire to do so, listen to it. Sit with it a while, let it be a meaningful thing, not a throwaway idea. And then take the leap. It's very very powerful. 

A small sample of some names in our community and their meaning:

All women have the ending Kaur - lioness or awakened, great woman and men have the ending Singh - lion.

Indra Dharam Kaur - great woman whose dharma (soul-promoting habits) carry her through all storms (Indra - God of lightening and thunder)

Sat Sangeet Singh - lion who lives in the holy company of truth.

Seva Simran Kaur - great woman whose service is to be absorbed in the name of the Divine

Jiwan Shakti Kaur - great woman embodying the feminine power of life 

Jai Ram Kaur - great woman who praises and celebrates Ram - God pervading all spaces. 

Inspired to learn more or even ask for a spiritual name?