Tag Archives: relationships

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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Communicate for a better tomorrow

A truly conscious and harmonious communication is a great challenge for all onus humans. Specially is we haven’t grown up with that, or we don’t have any experience on that. Yet it is the key to all success, specially in relationships, in family life, in parenting.
It is a challenge, yet as with all great challenges we are posed a choice: do we keep communicating to hurt each other, to feed our own negative habitual communication, keep reacting and feeding our selfish ego, or do we choose to be conscious every time and transcend the present situation in order for a better future. That means sometimes compromising our own way of seeing the world (eg I know that I am right and you are wrong!…) and:
1) learning to see the other’s point of view = EMPATHY
2) understanding the other through COMPASSION (maybe they at slower to learn, or they just can’t understand our point of view?)
3) keep communicating (non violently), explain everything you think and you need and NEVER taking anything for granted.
4) all communication is meant to elevate us (both sides!) = UPLIFT the other!
5) be civilised. Usually we behave like beasts while communicating (throwing our own garbage to the other, being emotional, reactive). Take at least 9 seconds to respond. And don’t communicate in the heat of anger or resentment.
6) patience, patience and more patience. And relax… You can communicate better when you are relaxed (even though your needs maybe have not been met)
7) LISTEN. Listen carefully and patiently. Try to imagine how the other is feeling and UNDERSTAND that the other has also needs to be met, although he may not know how to express them. Don’t go into “I’m right and you are wrong”, because actually, both are always right, since each of you is alive and has needs. Be an active listener to what the other is saying, not to what your mind is telling you (usually already cooking an answer?)

Here are Yogi Bhajans 5 rules for Harmonious Communication:
http://www.3ho.org/kundalini-yoga/humanology/communication/

Blessed blessed be thy communication, angelic, blissful, uplifting, healing and full of life!

In gratitude (quickly writing from my iPod 🙂
Sukhdev Kaur