Tag Archives: challenges

On death and dying in life

“If we have no peace, it is because we have forgotten that we belong to each other—that man, that woman, that child is my brother or my sister.” – Mother Theresa

Sat nam dear family,
Last weekend in the Kundalini yoga teacher training level 1 I was sharing the teachings on death. A question came up for which I was not prepared and my answer was not very deep. Since then I want to elaborate more on my own experiences with death, and I take this opportunity to share it with all of you.

I die every day with every breath. Every night before going to bed, I prepare myself to die. I let go of every thing, every experience that happened in the day. I die when I allow these to take over: all my thoughts, all my praises, all my glory and my shame, all my errors and shortcomings, all my lessons to learn, all my attachments, all my ego, my greed, my anger and my desires. My limited self dies when I let go of these.

I died many times when as a young brave fearless woman committed many mistakes. I am forever thankful to my Guru for keeping me under his protection in these times. I died little deaths every day when I retreated from the world, either by disgust or by unconformity with this world, with the reality of how it is structured and the banality under which it runs. I die every moment I see injustice and all I can do is trust Guru takes care of it.

I grieve, oh I grieve for that comfort zone, for that ignorance which is sweet and does not question anything. I grief and remember how life was so easy being unconscious. When I wouldn’t challenge myself every day to become a better person. When I would just be a passive animal wandering in the earth without purpose nor connection to the me within me.

I died along with my precious daughter Vida, the moment she left her body as a newborn, far away from me. Oh how I wandered around those blue ethers, acquired a wisdom which is deeper than the deepest ocean. I wandered like a ghost around her memory, around my empty hands and empty womb, around those moments of bliss she brought me. I wandered and found God, Brahm himself, who told me I should come back and live again in this world, celebrate her memory and the futility of life itself, attaching myself a the feet of the Guru where all is forgiven. In every cell of mine, through deep deep pain, I was reshaped. Oh it hurt. Every single cell hurt more than death itself. Every single cell shook and vibrated with an unknown caliber to me. I was reborn into this life, back from where I was left, with a new mission, with a deeper connection to God.

And I forgot. I forgot all these times I died and my mind wandered away with my ego. I did not honour the beauty and the effort of all these beings who helped me die in my limited being so I could live in my limitless self! I was angry to anger itself for ripping me off my most profound experience within this lifetime.

So yes, I have died. I have died and keep on dying until I truly and infinitely die in my ego, die in my selfishness, die in this time and space. I die with every challenge and I am grateful for each one of these deaths. For when I truly go, I will already know the path and will not need to kill each of these inner monsters in those three seconds, when the film of life runs through my eyes.

Yes I die. I die every time I am grateful. I die when I let go of my limitations. I reform myself again and again and again every time I take on a challenge and turn it towards God, coming out victorious in my soul, in my heart and in my infinity.

For peace is found at the end of the path, not at the beginning. To begin with, we need to work, work, work, sweat from work so that we can liberate others with us, when the time comes.

Jinee Naam dhiaaiaa gae masakat ghaal, Naanak te mukh ujlee ketii chhuti naal. 

In humble gratitude to the divine in all,
Sukhdev Kaur

God is great (in other words, waheguru!)

Dear family,

I am amazed at the human heart. I’m just coming out of two very challenging days, full of stressful moments. This being a long story full of details, I will cut it short.
Two days ago I found myself in an awkward situation, where a training that I’m organizing was about to be cancelled 3 times. The reasons being different, I was concerned the most for the commitment I made all these participants on prices and resources. A big ugly misunderstanding came across, which demanded everybody to pay much more than what we had agreed with them. I could not consider calling and saying “hey, listen now you have to pay 80 eur more on accommodation for next week”. It was just a no question. I prayed for a solution. I considered all possible options, and would have been willing to pay that compensation from my own pocket. Fortunately (or unfortunately?) my pockets are almost empty, so I had to come up with a way to make it all work out well, for everyone, not only for me. I don’t like nasty people who leave you hanging or just quit at the moment it gets challenging, and I definitely didn’t want to be that person!
So I didn’t sleep, and I prayed, and I worried.. (this last thing didn’t help definitely!)
I followed Yogijis advice, and my heart, and wrote a very honest and respectful letter, just as I would like to receive from someone in the same situation. I empathized with all the players in the game. And I diplomatically and courageously wrote my heart out. What was new to me, breaking my usual (bad) habit, was that I specifically and clearly asked for what I wanted / needed. I tend to be one who postpones direct demands, which usually lead me nowhere or into an imbalance, having to give more than the other party (e.g I was willing to put 800 eur from my own money to just save the boat, let alone receiving any money for my work).
I stated my demand in a loving yet clear way.
And no answer came.
I got more scared.
I waited.
And prayed.
And ran around the house trying to become neutral.
So I went to Guru Sahib, and made an ardas (prayer).
I bowed, and took a hukam (a message to follow, I asked for something easy to understand for my poor head)
And just as I was reading it, Theo woke up.
I didn’t get to read the English translation, which my mind longed for guidance!
So I’m in bed, breastfeeding Theo back to sleep.
And continued reading the hukam in my phone (luckily before I ran out I looked at the page number).
And these parts stroke my bells:

“Serve the True Guru fearlessly, and your doubt shall be dispelled.

Do that work which the True Guru asks you to do.

Go to the Gate of Truth, and speak the Truth”

So in this situation, this meant to start calling everybody and tell the whole story, so they would decide whether or not to continue and put in some more money for their expenses. Wow, that sounded like a very nasty job, (to be done fearlessly!) but truth was on my side. So I took this command and bowed to it.
If that is what I’m supposed to do, then I’ll do it. Thank you.
Peace came into my being, a peace full of responsibility.
And I receive an email back from the venue.
By reading my letter they agreed to come down with their prices and meet us at a common ground, keeping their original prices. Wow!
I’m just amazed at the power of the human heart, by opening up and commiting to the end, I get this reward. I had lost hope, and kept my commitment. And I clearly stated my needs (thank you NVC!)
And I’m grateful for these people who sacrificed their earnings and time to come and meet us at common grounds.
Grateful for all the learning in this experience, may it stay with me in the future.
I make a pause, contemplate the beauty of the human soulful heart, and say:
God is great!
Blessings to each and every one.

Sukhdev Kaur
(from the bed still, Theo sleeping in my arms while I’m finishing this text on my phone)

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

Transformation at 02:54 hrs

Just when we started to sleep better (and that means waking only three or four times in the night) again comes a sleepless night… Oh my mind, yet another opportunity to surrender to the divinity in all. Ang Sang Wahe Guru

Today I drove my bike quickly to the shop and left the men at home. At first it was such a light feeling (weightless and free hands) and a sort of familiar sensation of freedom and naiveness came to me, as when I was single and doing whatever I wanted with my time. Suddenly that feeling of freedom became a boring emptiness, where life was pointless and lacked real depth. My lesson of that very ordinary trip to the shop was of valuing all the blessings I have been given. Without the pressures and challenges of motherhood, life was not as fun and deep. Gratitude. Gratitude. Gratitude. 24/7. That’s all that is needed.

Now the time is 03:02 and Theo is sound asleep in my arms, hopefully to remain for the rest of the night.

Stay tuned.

In humility,
Sukhdev Kaur