Tag Archives: gratitude

Ripening

When the self becomes mature enough to the point of ripening, the flower blooms and produces a fruit. This is the beautiful process of life. I have felt it come and go in certain stages of life, every time happening with a more powerful strength and carrying me across the world ocean. Before this ripening happens, I have no idea this is about to come. Usually this ripening is preceded by a dark age – sometimes short, sometimes long and exhausting – where the foundation of the self has to be prepared and the ground needs to be worked upon so that the spring can rise, the flower can bloom. There is no other purpose in life than to reach this maturity, over and over again. This is a state which, like air, can flicker away in an instant, yet its strong presence must be extended by consciousness. This is the jewel of life, this is what all of us seek in our unconscious, subconscious, semiconscious lives. Love is the ultimate state of being in which the self lives out of doubt and in clarity. Perpetual clarity is a state of being, a crystallization which gives us purpose. Frustration can and must trigger this process, the same way as boredom, anger and grief. These are precious gifts given to us so that we can refocus ourselves in our journey. To some they might be obstacles or resistances, but in the true sense of reality they are blessings and stepping stones. They are the wind and the current which will empower our boat to greater distances and wonderful lands that we cannot even dare to imagine. The self has a sense of this yet the mind is too limited to consider this. The mind gets stuck in the problem-solving aspects and forgets the vastness of the self. Only by learning how to use each of these resistances in order to come out of doubt and stabilize the self within those turmoils and dark times we can transcend those limitations and for once and for real live in reality in the true sense of the word. In the vast reality and quiet shores that we have come here into life to achieve. All adversities are to our advantages. We just need to tame the dragon, calm down the flow of emotions and commotions of an unsettled, frustrated heart. Become aware of the freedom in stillness, where freedom means opening that space inside the dungeon of the ribcage.

This is my prayer, that we all learn to live in this bliss. I have been waiting for three years for this moment again. A new stage arises and a new maturity has reached my lands. I welcome this stage with gratitude and an open heart.

“If you set your heart on something, your head will give in. That is why it is the most powerful center and extremely dangerous. On the other hand, this is the only center worth living with. […]

If you ever want to be compassionate, first be compassionate to yourself. You shall not understand another person’s feelings and behaviors accurately, intuitively, if you are not compassionate to yourself.” – Yogi Bhajan. July 17, 1988

The technology that works, into Sahej Sukh

This year I am reaching a beautiful haven. In my physical body, in my personal life, in my spiritual practice and mostly in my life and commitment as a teacher, a sense of maturity blossoms within me. It is a long awaited moment of consciousness, having gone through the hardships of 11 years of practice, of self awareness, of commitment to my path to develop myself through the technology of kundalini yoga. I am just in such a tremendous gratitude to the One, for giving me my teacher, the Siri Singh Sahib Yogi Bhajan, and Shiv Charan Singh for bringing light into my path. Out of ashes, out of a nobody in the crowd, has come a refinement and appreciation. Out of gratitude and prayer, of humility of knowing who the doer is, of infinite service, a stone has been chiseled. Out of me has come somebody who can help others reach their light. I am just at awe at the technology that works. At every sutra, every seed my teacher has planted within me, growing deeper and reaching farther. It has nothing to do with me actually. In just the player who took her role seriously and kept the reference and reverence to the One. I am just the living prayer through which God can create, organise and deliver his blessings. Just a tiny grain of sand which has been polished so it can reflect the rays of the sun.
My heart bursts with gratitude, for I see that the technology works. I have seen it with myself. I have seen it with my students, who are now eagles flying fearless and graceful. I have seen it in my home, in my child, in my sangat, in my enemies, in my world.
And all it requires is a commitment, a continued commitment to the soul and the path.
I give my head to my Guru and remain forever yours. There is no greater bliss than to be your servant. And with this, more blessings you send. There is no end to your gifts, king of kings. Present within all, permeating through every one and everything.
I cannot express in words this state of pure, divine bliss that comes as your gift. All through keeping up, commuting and remaining your servant.
In me, a renaissance in joy and bliss comes forth, the fourth stage opens with a grandiose symphony in peace and intuitive ease.

Deg Teg Fateh!

In constant and infinite gratitude,

Sukhdev Kaur

A story of gratitude

God gives all these precious gifts to each and every one of us. In reality, we all prosper. Just looking at a child, growing in any surrounding, nature provides everything to that child. He or she receives a mother who nurtures him, brings food and warmth, love and security to every moment of his life. He receives a father, a protecting figure who makes sure there is a roof, a safe environment for the mother and baby. Sometimes nature gives different gifts than those, takes the mother or father away and provides a bigger challenge. Nevertheless, the child grows and prospers. Nature is wise.

In reality, our job is not to interfere with our ego-mind. What we must instruct it to do, is to become grateful for all those gifts that have been given. Grateful in every way, in every situation. That of course, doesn’t mean you become passive. It means that you can actually act from a neutral place, where you can enjoy a high perspective.

Imagine looking at a city from above.

You will see the people walking on the streets, the traffic, the rhythms. If you look closer you will see the windows of every house, holding a different story behind each of them, a family sleeping, a dog alone barking, a couple having dinner, a child playing with a cat. Among them, you will see your story, the emotional reaction you are having to this hard day, the way you are so focused in your financial situation, your worries about tomorrow, your jealousy for the couple upstairs or for the innocence of the child playing with the cat.

Zoom out again.

Realize that the couple have also their own worries. Every story behind every window has their own bubble of emotions, commotions, passions, worries, limitations.

Now what does this big picture give you? You can just accept that you are just one more of the crowd, useless, worthless, struggling like the rest.

Or you can discover the treasures you hold and be grateful for them. The smallest things like the look on your dear children when they wake up, or the food you have on the table, or the broken car which nevertheless brings you to places. Or even the old and humble furniture you hate, or the job that you don’t like but helps you to pay the bills.

We have been trained to think that the grass is always greener on the other side. It is part of a sequence in our mind, an illusion which actually helps us to develop the power of will, the power to move and to act. Yet the illusion will not bring us to happiness. It is the inner harmony with tr present moment that can only bring back to a sense of prosperity. This is all begins with recognizing, accepting and agreeing where I am standing. This is my story.
We need to stop living in our minds and rehearsing the story of the neighbor- if I had money… If I had that wife… If I was this or that. The first step to finding peace is through gratitude. However dark and gloomy my own story may seem, it is mine, and that is already a precious finding. Thank god, thank the universe, thank yourself, thank whoever and whatever that has helped you shape your story. Because it is unique and valuable as it is.

We all create our stories. There are certain patterns we follow, personal, inherited, societal, national and universal patterns which help us shape that story. Yes, you can and must become aware if those patterns and change the ones you don’t need or which are negative. Yet even each if those has been there for a purpose, whether you realise it or not, but you can be grateful for each of them.

I am grateful specially for the difficult and challenging situations in my life. Because through them, I have had to find the courage to go through, to find the light in the darkness, to wake myself up so that I can shine, to become neutral in the middle of emotion and commotion. And that I can guide others in spite of whatever turbulence is going in in my story. And at the end, that turbulence will find peace if I find the gratitude in the middle of it.

In humble service and love to the one in all,
Sukhdev Kaur

20130222-080457.jpg

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)

Small insights from a sleeping posture

A few nights ago I got a virus. Nothing extraordinary, but I was weaker than usual so I put Theo to breastfeed before going to sleep on the bed (he usually only eats and falls asleep in arms, even now at 9-months). That day I asked him kindly to understand that I couldnt carry him, and although it took longer than usual, he was patient enough and finally did fall asleep.
Next day when I was already feeling better, I tried the same thing. It was of course not the same situation and he knew it, it took us quite long and at the end he didn’t fall asleep, he got very tired and frustrated and he didn’t understand why now we had to do it like this. It had been my intention to see he difference, and I learnt quite a lot about how the reason behind makes all the difference.
He wants to fall asleep in arms. He wants me to be next to him when he is sleeping. That’s not too much to ask is it? I provide him as much as I can, and do it with gratitude. One day will come when he won’t want me there and won’t need me to fall asleep. That day will come probably sooner than I will want, so why push it?
Children understand more than we adults think. We sometimes dont realize that they are fully conscious beings with need and right for respect just as all others. If we want to instill in them values, let’s then go for the ultimate values of respecting others just as we would like to be respected.
Being a parent is a sacrifice and it is a big one. It is not Fair for the children that you “get away with it” by trying to teach them something they don’t want to learn. There are also times when I would like to fall asleep in my husbands arms, or when I need some comfort. We are all humans, day and night, and children also need us during the night, with the same love and understanding as during the day. That is part of the sacrifice, the difference lies in my attitude: do I do it because I have to, with a face and rolling my eyes? Or do I do it from my heart, with love and compassion and voluntarily, because I want to? (all things in life indeed can be dramatically changed by asking ourselves these questions). And even if it is something that I do not want to do (like going again for the 7th time in two hours to get him to sleep), my attitude makes the difference. After all here is absolutely nothing in this world that I HAVE to do, all is free choice.
A small note: when I lost my first daughter I noticed some of my friends with toddlers that the mother often rolled her eyes to certain behaviors like tantrums. I promised myself I would never ever do that to my children.
In love for the divine in all,
Sukhdev

20120210-232507.jpg

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

State of gratitude

“My divine majesty today is not mine. It is a state of consciousness. I wonder why you can’t get there. It is so simple. Your husband cannot give it to you, your mother can not give it to you, your father cannot give it to you, your brother cannot give it to you. Money cannot give it to you. Possessions cannot give it to you, your spiritual rituals cannot give it to you, your spiritual rites cannot give it to you. It is a state of gratitude, and it is a relationship between a human and God.” – Siri Singh Sahib (Yogi Bhajan)