Tag Archives: at home

Beebi ja emme jooga tunnid 2013 sügisel

 “By construction, the fulfillment of a woman is motherhood; and motherhood does not mean that she gets pregnant and delivers a baby. If you understand her total behavior, you will understand her motherhood. Her motherhood is service, her motherhood is sacrifice, her motherhood is relationship. When she knows motherhood, she is fulfilled.” – Yogi Bhajan

Värskele emadele on võimalik tulla koos oma lapsega joogatamas. Sellel sügisel alustame 14. november, kokku 5 tundi, neljapäeviti kl 10-11.
See on väga ülendav kogemus lapsele ning emadele suurepärane võimalus oma kodune rutiinist välja tulla ja olla teiste emade seas, kellel on samad küsimused ja mured kui sinulgi ning tuleme üheskoos et omavahel toetada ning tõsta oma vibratsioonid et meil oleks beebidele ja perele jaksu.

Rohkem infot Beebi ja emme jooga tundide kohta SIIT
 

The oriental woman

This is the title of a set of Yogi Bhajan’s lectures back in the 1970’s or 80’s. I don’t remember exactly and as I am writing from bed with Theo in my arms I don’t bother searching.

The oriental woman in contrast with the western woman. That’s what he meant. As he came to teach in the west, America and Europe, in this respect is practically the same. Values of women have been completely lost. Maybe it was in the process of industrialization, feminization, globalization, capitalism and all those evil zations and isms out there.

woman in Turkey, photo by Teet Tooming
woman in Turkey, photo by Teet Tooming

Yogi Bhajan ( I prefer to call him el Maestro), el Maestro taught us to be like the oriental woman. He told us we should be like the oriental woman. But what he meant it remains unclear, and as I travel the world I always ask again and again what he meant by that. I get all sorts of answers, yet I know in my intuition exactly what he meant, but it’s too hard for many to take.

El Maestro was an advocate of women. He hated to see how we had downgraded and sold ourselves as sexual objects called ‘chicks’ instead of the powerful and graceful eagles we could become. He would teach women day after day how we should value ourselves by being a woman instead of trying to be something else, instead if going out there and search for everything. Things will search for you when you are a woman.

The oriental woman has one characteristic which I haven’t found in either American or European cultures, getting also lost in Mexico and all over the world. It is the virtue of devotion. It is a virtue which makes life soft, beautiful, divine, loving. A virtue you cannot understand or perceive fully if you don’t have a beloved to which devote yourself. This devotion I am speaking about is a divine devotion, which bridges that incredible dark gap we have in longing to belong. This hole- sometimes it is very real and physical in the chest- is something we all experience as a desire to belong. Some more than others, but it is part of coming into this life, being born and separated from that oneness, and becoming human. Nobody escapes that longing. You can call it a human condition. We all want to feel again whole, being part of that clan, that heaven which we once knew. Suffering comes when we either negate that longing or we cannot find our beloved or belonging to which belong. There is a metaphore of the wife/bride looking for his husband/groom and when she cannot find him she cries in despair, lost in the dark night, hopeless and broken. That is the state in which our soul looks for being completed, being happy, being whole. The soul inside of each of us yearns to be part of that Infinite it once knew, and here in this game called “earth” we come to find the way to do that. To win by playing within the rules. To defeat the game by playing by the rules.

the prayer of the beloved, is one of the highest prayers and ways of liberation
the prayer of the beloved, is one of the highest prayers and ways of liberation

So in this game, devotion comes in handy. It has the power to connect us with that beloved, that infinite, to set our anchor in the right place, to place an altar to that infinity, to realise that our wisdom has a purpose, and so we can feel Whole and One once more. In life, constantly. Not be lost like that soul bride in an empty bed. To feel the joy of being part of the One, that one which is actually inside of you, but in order to connect we need to find a path, an inspiration which will remind us of that light within. Technically, most religions started that way, to reflect that wisdom and connect you with an image of that inner reality. Many got lost in the way, but devotion is something that at least in some way has remained- in the oriental woman. The oriental woman as I see her, and as I am inspired by (and this is an image, may not be related to geographical surroundings or any “orient” in particular, but who said that El Maestro meant any geographical location?) is humble, is serviceful to her husband (her real husband but mostly her divine husband), is always accompanying her husband and walking softly behind him. She is a subtle inspiration, a light breeze which blows softly in the twilight, pointing to the right direction of the way. She is that woman who gracefully and patiently waits for her husband to awaken, making him lovingly food every day. She is that woman who is constantly in prayer, living in compassion and acting with kindness with everyone and in every situation. She is not in contradiction with a strong woman, in fact, she is stronger and steadier than any screaming and pounding woman. For her strength lies in her wit, in her inner wisdom, in her forgiveness, in her vibration, in her prayer. She devotes time for herself in deep meditation, sometimes while still serving others. That is the fulfillment of her self as a woman. And that is the highest blessing we women can awaken. It does not mean that we are not strong, powerful entrepreneurs or global women, it is not in contradiction. The same way she is a warrior when giving birth, she is a warrior without having to be in the frontline of battle. We don’t have to choose between one or the other. What we do have to choose is to do it consciously, by choice and not by imposition.

As a woman, just know that your power is a subtle one, and your light will shine through your service for others. The more lights you can awaken, the more your prayer works. Without that you have to move an inch.

 

God-like parenting

This is probably the most important thing I have learnt from the master about parenting. Although he said it directly only a few times, this concept resonates within all of Yogiji’s teachings on parenting.

And it is actually a very simple idea, easy to remember, yet takes a lot of courage and practice to apply. I like to call it god-like parenting.

In your parenting, act like god. Talk to your children like god would talk to them, heave like god, dress like god, act like god, love like god, forgive like god, be compassionate like god, be humble like god, graceful, radiant and patient like god.

But what does that mean exactly? Well, to me god is the existence beyond any limitations. It is the limitless, infinite, liberated part of me (and of each and every one) that escapes all descriptions, all faults and flaws, in one word- all limits. In other woes, god is the experience of the infinite within. That vast source of ecstasy, of boundless love, strength, courage, and all qualities you find in the realm of the higher self. God, in a way, is the exponential potential you, your great potential expanded exponentially.

So to say that as a parent (or as a person really! In all your actions) you must be patient like god, it means that your patience must not be limited. This is easily brought to light many times having a nursing toddler who is tossing and turning trying to fight imminent sleep. Just remain patient when you feel your patience reaches a limit, just reach out for your god-like backpack of infinite patience. And believe me, it works.
And do the same with each and every quality you attach to the word god.
Do not believe me, just try it.
You will surprise yourself of how great, magnificent, kind and graceful you can be.
In humble service of the divine within all,
Sukhdev Kaur

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From virus to virtue

This week has been a great test of grit, character and endurance. It all started in ah honourable setting sharing the teaching space with Shiv Charan Singh. We had the last six days of kundalini yoga teacher training and I was to teach the last two. Few days before that I fell ill with a strange flu virus. Spent some time recovering and some time in the teaching space, my time was now to teach. I did not question it for a second. I tuned into the golden chain and surrendered my head, my aching and feverish body into the flow of teachings. Although my voice was not the best, and
my head not the brightest, I allowed myself to accept that state and be grateful for it. In any situation, that’s the first thing to do. Thank god for this virus. It gives me an opportunity to reconsider my present, to be in tune with my biological body, to settle down, to simplify, to bring down any masks, to be authentic.
Any challenge brings forth an opportunity to reevaluate.
And each reevaluation can bring a hidden treasure.
That is what Shiv Charan Singh means in his sutra “from virus to virtue”: to turn around misery into opportunity, disease into healing beyond the physical, from the dust to the blessing of that dust in my forehead.
Yogiji said we should always live in an attitude of gratitude. Every situation, turn it into a virtue. See the good side: thank you for this wonderful blissful virus!
Blessi gs to all
In humble service to the divine
Sukhdev Kaur

When you surrender

Becoming a mother is an act of surrendering. During the first months of the pregnancy, the psyche experiences a partition, an energetic and pranic division when the “I” no longer exists as it has been before, and it gives into the “you” or “we”. When the mother focuses her consciousness and can lovingly and humbly give her prayer to the child, that partition becomes a “thou”. During birth, the first and most physical separation between mother and child begins, leading into the second division of spiritual bodies and marks a path into the consciousness of the woman and child. If the mother is meditating, conscious and they experience a loving birthing process, the sacrifice of giving up the “I” into the “Thou” is smooth and conscious. The bond is created and reinforced by closeness, complete peace and a calm and elevating, loving environment (supported by father and other loved ones) in which mother and baby can totally be skin to skin, with the mother’s milk being the new physical link between mother and child, uninterrupted and without scheduling.

The Bear Mother by Bill Raid

The first months of life are laying the fundament for a lifetime. They shall not pass lightly. Specially for first time mothers, the act of surrendering becomes strong during this time. Lack of sleep, complete dedication into the child’s needs, giving up the ego-self and the life she had before are a big challenge which needs to be faced in a conscious and loving embrace.

In the contemporary society, the act of surrendering has got a negative connotation, usually related to history where we were imposed a sacrifice by a regime, a ruling party or religious authority. True sacrifice and surrendering comes from the wish of the soul to merge with the divine, and is an act of love and compassion.

There are many ways of describing this state of surrendering: Sacrificing the ego for the light in the soul, surrendering to the higher self, obeying the truth in all, trusting one’s destiny, humbly accepting and agreeing to what the universe brings us, and seeing them all as gifts in our spiritual growth. 

Guru Nanak wrote a very beautiful description of this surrendering in four paurees or stanzas of the JapJi Sahib (12-15):

Your state of consciousness cannot be described when you surrender and agree with your path and destiny. Anyone who tries to describe this will be sorry he tried.
There is no paper, no pen, no writer who can sit and reflect on this.
Such is the Naam, it makes you pure.
If you surrender and agree, you gain experience and align your mind with your soul. (12)

When you surrender, you gain the power to listen and intuition comes.
When you surrender, you gain all the wisdom of the universes and realms.
When you surrender, you will not be slapped on the face and you will be respected.
When you surrender, you will not die into this world.
Such is the Naam, it makes you pure. If you surrender and agree, you gain experience and align your mind with your soul. (13)

When you surrender, no obstacles will come your way.
When you surrender, you will go home with honor and radiance.
When you surrender, you will not wander in worldly paths.
When you surrender, you embrace the Dharma.
Such is the Naam, it makes you pure. If you surrender and agree, you gain experience and align your mind with your soul. (14)

When you surrender, you find the door to liberation (your 10th gate opens)
When you surrender, your family is liberated and goes across with you.
When you surrender, you cross over the world ocean taking the Guru’s Sikhs with you.
Oh Nanak! When you surrender, you do not wander as a beggar. 
Such is the Naam, it makes you pure. If you surrender and agree, you gain experience and align your mind with your soul. (15) 

My experience during the first six months of Theo’s life in this earth was the most intense surrendering. It was an act of love, and a conscious decision to surrender and become his guide. It was not an easy task, specially to let go of what I was, what I am and what I will be, as an individual, as a professional and as a teacher, in order to gain a new level of experience in the consciousness towards the divine. Sometimes, when I thought that this job as a mother was “useless”, e.g. holding sleeping Theo in my arms (for endless hours!) when I could be doing something more “useful”, I brought myself back into consciousness and inner focus, to let go of these thoughts (let them be) and find the bliss in obeying my destiny and lesson in the moment. On this last pauree (15) of surrendering, Guru Nanak gives the key to it all: you are liberated, not in your fantasy of escaping the reality, but it is a full liberation of your soul.

If motherhood (and babyhood) seems sometimes as a prison, that condition is a gift, since it is challenging the ego, which always wants to run away, to do and do and do, and escape the present moment. It is a gift given to connect with the soul and the real meaning of life. Nanak gave us the path of the householder, and it is while being a householder, a housewife, a mother, whatever you want to call it, that we can be liberated from our attachments to this worldly illusions and be deathless in our soul, touch others with this light of consciousness and radiate.

In deep love and gratitude of the divine,

Sukhdev Kaur

Your child wants you to be present

Sat nam dear family,
I have been lately so concerned on getting Theo to sleep well, trying to analyse different methods for baby sleep (cry it out, no-cry sleep solution, all kinds of advice..) without really feeling that any of these is the one that works for us (didnt even feel like trying out any). It has been really hard to get him to sleep lately, taking over an hour and he’s whining, eventually crying…
Today I found the key. 
He is sound asleep after 20 minutes of pure pleasure.
What I did?
I breathed differently, and it all changed. I didnt feel anymore like I wanted to escape from there, I was present with Theo and enjoyed putting him to sleep, and I was there voluntarily instead of feeling like dragged in to do it. And I felt intuitive and creative enough to make up a new fun sleep routine which we both enjoyed.  
This new routine was: go to bed, dim the lights, sing our lullaby (while continuing with the rest until he sleeps) change diapers, massage with lavender oil, put pijamas on, (allow him to be and move while doing all this, all this time I was consciously expanding and coming down into my grounds mentally and physically), breastfeed, after a while he didnt want to breastfeed anymore, sat up and played a little bit (and I allowed it calmly which was something I didnt do before, and it was great – he actually always sees and tries to reach the water bottle so I decided we “put the bottle to sleep” together), then I laid him on the bed and pat him from head down to his toes while singing for a good 3 minutes (not just 5 times… to let his energy down, and I saw him start to calm down), and breastfeed again, this time after a bit of kicking and moving around he settled down calmly and sound asleep after a few minutes.
It was all a combination of what I did physically and mostly what I did energetically. I changed my feeling of “wanting to be somewhere else” (having 10s other things to do waiting for me: emails, work, dinner…) into choosing to be in the moment with him and enjoy it. That was it. That was the golden key which I had been looking for! 
Your baby wants you to be present. All babies need physical contact and all are fighting to get it, thats why they wake up at night, want to be carried and held, play with you, sleep close to you. Since our minds are somewhere else, we are not fully present with our children they get our presence only partially, and they keep yearning for more. The moment you start giving (constantly) full presence, the less your baby will be needy for you and the less you will feel dragged into the parenthood and everyday duties. When we give only partial presence to our babies (and also to husband, even to ourselves!) they become needy, whiny and grumpy. We are actually teaching them that in life, you can only give partial attention and presence to others, so they start acting the same way. The challenge lies in accepting and living the full presence of oneself, which at the beginning can be scary (am I really that great and divine? can I really just be and not do-do-do all the time?), and as we start expanding that awareness more and more into every day, into each breath, the simpler all gets.
As easy as a baby sleeping (parents will recognise the paradox in this)
The breath that helped me was to inhale while expanding into myself (if visualizing my lungs and chest grow sideways, not vertically), and exhaling coming back inside (like a reverse fountain, downwards and into my core/ground, not exhaling my soul out and up away from my body). Hard the first few times, but I started to enjoy it more and more and Im sure this is something that will stick to me for the rest of my life.

The hardest practice is not to run away. Can you BE while doing all the things you do? Can you dedicate your life to being present, regardless of where, what or how you are? 
Such is my prayer that you and I live in constant applied awareness
In humble service,
Sukhdev K

Few thoughts on parenting and legacy

It’s been a while since my last post here. The everyday life of a mother has sucked up all my time and energy, being in the moment and taking a break from overdoing too much other things. Today I really feel like writing. Theo recently turned 5 months old, and as I write this he is behind me sleeping soundly (beautifully and peacefully).

Many thoughts have been today going through my mind. Recently we bought Theo a new (and light!) stroller, which I must say is more of a comfort to me than bringing him happiness. He loves being carried and being in arms, as all small babies should. And today I went back to the rebozo (carrying sling). It was a good experience- one of those when I came back home sweaty, tired, in a bad mood. He was sound asleep and happy, but not much difference than those times with the stroller. To me it was. He has grown big and heavy, and the sling is not any more a first choice for long journeys in the city. For home use its great, but the time has gone when we were tied together 24-7. It was a small thing, but a strong realisation of how he is growing, and me giving in into al sorts of imagined ideas of how I want to raise him. I give up, my body just doesn’t allow for such perfectionism (my 9’s talking here).

I can see a difference those days when we use the stroller a lot. He becomes (the difference is subtle and slight) more isolated, slightly more irritable and needs more entertainment. Yet I realised today, that in spite of being aware of that, I just cannot physically give him 24-7 hours of body contact anymore. The long uncertain nights have given way to more routine and peaceful days and nights, which is such a relief for me as well. Also, he does not ask for the 24-7 carrying, and is happy playing alone for a while.

Life in this point is so full of moments of awareness. My own cells bring the traditions from my mexican ancestors, yet Theo also has qualities from these northern peoples. I can see both sides in his personality in development.

Another thought today caught my attention: What is the most important thing that I would like to give my child? That means, if I would be gone tomorrow, what would I like it to be my legacy to him (and the others yet to come)? It would need to be something bigger than me, a connection with the divine, an understanding of this play we are all in (maya), and the link to God through Guru. Thats it. The only thought, knowledge and experience of being part of the play of something bigger is what I want to give him- so he will not be dissapointed by the time when he realises that mama and papa are not perfect, or that his mates are also not perfect, or that even he is not perfect. The experience that he can always lean on Guru for answers, for hope, for uplifting and elevating himself and others. And of course, the core of the teachings that is, live for the other. No matter in how many problems or situations I might be stuck today, the sole thought of helping another makes it all senseless. Live for each other, said Yogiji. Thats it. It makes life easy, smooth, relaxing. And of course, gratitude for all.

I am grateful that my child came into my world by the time I have this depth in understanding. Thats probably what I was so afraid of when thinking of having children years ago. I was not consciously mature. But now I have these teachings to give him, and serving the sangat while doing so, is the most divine gift that god has given me. Obey, serve, love, excel. Humility, service, compassion and realisation. The teachings of Guruji, the way to live in this world to walk light and in light. If it was not for elevating others, there would be no purpose in this life at all. Serving humanity to the very last breath in this world. Sharing the technology, the teachings of consciousness. Being a bridge- serving others find the divine in themselves, that is the only thing why I came into this life, and that is what I want to give to my Theo. That is my teaching to him. All other is just icing.

Theo’s new discovery

Sat nam dear family

My son Theo will soon be three months old. Life has become completely different since he arrived, of course a lot more demanding and full of responsibilities, and blessed with new light and an opportunity for us to relive life and discover all it has to offer.

Today Theo has been immersed in the discovery of his hands. he spent all morning just looking – or I should say contemplating deeply – at them. He just held them on the air as long as he could and would look at one and the other. All the time both hands were in really tight fists and motionless. Just concentrated on the one thing of realising that those interesting tools were his own, and that he could move (and squeeze) at will. Thats I guess what a baby in deep meditation looks like.  He even did not want to be held, which is rare. 

As we get used to our hands, our bodies, manners and habits, we humans tend to forget how amazing the tools we have been given are. And such simple yet key realisations, like Theo today, are big steps in understanding our surroundings, ourselves, and life. May our days be filled with such illuminating moments throughout our lives, so we remain fresh, alive, healthy, learning and in love.

Reporting from the mother’s lap,

Sukhdev Kaur

some thoughts on motherhood

Motherhood is actually the chance to practice all I believe in, going beyond the thinking of what others might think, and diving deeply into the seed and the soul of my child. The more I can teach him by my own centeredness, zooming in and out from the 1 to the 10, from the situation into the big picture and viceversa, realising of the situation. Parenting is when children reflect the mirror of what we show them. And motherhood (as pregnancy, childhood, adulthood, and well, LIFE)is the time to keep in mind (and meditate on) the nine treasures:

1 humility

2 loyalty and devotion

3 equality

4 selfless service

5 sacrifice

6 fearlessness

7 forgiveness

8 compassion

9 peace

and also, the 10th hidden treasure behind all, which is courage

to all the mothers: on departures and longing

to all the mothers,

some long gone but never lost in our memories,
some living in the everyday rush of taking care of their kids,
some living far away from their grown up children, watching them uncurl their own lives,
some who have lost their ones, but remain mothers forever,
some who are young and not yet mothers, but already girls and women who have the inborn maternal instinct in their hearts,
and one who is mother of all, mother earth, Adi Shakti, the primal women energy who created this universe.

The love and the prayer of the mother is one of the purest and most powerful energies in the world. In the womb, it can totally transform the soul of the baby to come, and in life it can bless its grown-up children with a blissful and loving future. There is no time, no space and no limits for the love and the blessings of a mother. I sometimes think that I must have prayed too much when I was pregnant, for I achieved one of the purest souls in the planet to live through me.

Yesterday I read one very beautiful quote by Yogi Bhajan:

“I believe it takes only one woman and one birth to change the whole planet. All it takes is one woman to create one consciousness equal to Guru Nanak or Christ or Buddha. Guru Nanak came out of a woman. Jesus came out of Mary; Krishna, Buddha, everybody, including me, came out of a woman. Therefore, I honestly believe that it is the glory of the woman that spreads the light on this earth.” -Yogi Bhajan

Today, I sit behind the computer with Orkita (my cat) on my lap, while Teedu sits in the ferry on his way to Finland. Yet another departure, once more alone.

Everybody says (including me!) that nobody is never alone, that even though he and Vida are not here physically, I am not alone. They are absolutely right, yet the physical and psychical feeling of something leaving, and a hole, is very much real. And I used to think that “I shouldnt feel like this” but not anymore. It is OK to feel like this, it is only human and it reminds of the human experience that we, as spiritual beings, are living in this world. Or do you think that I should be strong and spiritual and all that crap and not feel alone?

Allowing feelings and emotions arise and dissapear is a true art. The trick is not in suppressing feelings but in letting them run their natural course. Today I cried when Teet left, and though I know he is not far and he will come back soon, it is still a departure and physically it hurts. Crying is healing, and allowing the emotions to live their course is an ultimate healing. Even in the rapture of crying, I can feel the emotion but not feel attached to it. I will not die because of it. And I’ve been through enough departures to see the beauty of it, the power that love between two beings has, and the power that holds them together through time and space. In my cry, today I realised how beautiful and powerful the story of the woman waiting for her beloved is.

One of the most beautiful poems, written in over 1400 pages and in many languages interconnected, is the Siri Guru Granth Sahib. It is a living prayer, and it is very simple. It is, in simple terms, the story of the woman who is waiting for her beloved. She prepares the bed beautifully, she washes herself and puts on the most beautiful dress, she does all the things to prepare for his arrival and to serve her beloved.  She prays for his arrival, and when the beloved comes, the house is filled with joy. The union of the wife and husband is one of the most ancient and most profound stories of humanity. In the Siri Guru Granth Sahib, the story is not about a physical woman and man but it is a metaphor for the longing of the soul. The soul-bride is longing for the union with her beloved husband-god. All the story, is about the thirst that the soul has to be completed, to be united with her creator. All religions, all philosopies, all capitalism, all human wish, creation and action is driven in its purest principle from this desire of union. The husband-lord, creator, beloved and god, stand for that energy which is prior to the Adi Shakti, the female power, which is the state of bliss from beyond time-space, from the zero, from enlightement, from heaven, from paradise and whatever word is there to express that infinite joy and bliss from timeless eternity which we have all experienced beyond this physical world. But it is through the physical world and body through which we have the opportunity to achieve that union.

Longing is one of the most beautiful feelings that a human can experience, because it is the longing of the soul to be united with the creation/creator that is what drives all love.

Unconsciously consciously, I am writing in this blog more important passages of my PhD than in the “official” file. It is much more fun to write it to share in this manner. So comments are humbly welcome.

Muchos besos!