Along my way of setting a goal to to become a Yogi & Yoga teacher, there has been a great many colourful & interesting viewpoints, there are lots of lessons to observe, experience, contemplate & digest before you can moving along. My most refreshing example of witnessing a spiritual experience took place early during my teacher training.
I'd started my Kundalini teacher training late; already a quarter of the way in, meaning i'd have to catch up the first few weekends of classes next year to complete. I was two weekends in when we covered Karma & Health, specifically it was the lessons of Karma which connected to me most strongly. I'd heard the word 'karma' being openly banded about with such conviction & smugness as though from whom & whence it came was to warrant some sort of dothing of cap, ''well played sir'' there is no comeback for such a timely placed word!! As I tried to put my ego aside, it struck me that right here & now I had very little knowledge of the workings of Karma, Dharma & it's true meanings/lessons despite what my huge ego may have thought all this time.
So the message I began to translate was; the experience of life can be based closely to the proverb ''you reap what you sow''. Karma is the CAUSE & effect, NOT!!! just the result, or effect, as which I had so long confused it with. An example; you fall down the stairs & break an arm ''Bad Karma Bro!!'' but wait..... Karma is more subtle it's not the break or the fall, it's the trip! Say you didn't get your eyes tested cos you wasted your time on some trivialities, meaning when you had to act quickly you were blinded by your incompetence (also your glaucoma) as you failed to navigate around some loose footing resulting in the chain reaction of falling & hurting yourself.
Karma; is life trying to teach you a lesson to understand, if we fail to grasp the teaching, we don't learn & then cycle begins again & again, until the message becomes so loud we gain some awareness to see the consequence of our ignorance then decide our path from there, ie not wasting your time & straining your eyes staring at facebook, go get some of those important things done!
The next topic for debate was Samsara, ''Sam who?'' I believe Samsara is ''the repeating cycle of birth, life & death (reincarnation)'' it's six worlds of ego, which plays according to game rules depending upon the skill of the player & strength of ego. Samsara could be thought of as a karmic cycle of fear/desire attached to our perceptions/interpretations of the Maya or illusion before us in which we identify to the world or our existence as such. Now i'd heard & read before that all we perceive was just an illusion, however it seemed pretty real to me, an getting someone to believe that it was all an illusion is difficult too, try it sometime, you can all tooo easily get a clip round the ear to hear a sniggering, ''is that an illusion too mate?''
It is believed that we pass through six worlds of ego play; hell, hungry ghosts, animals, human, jealous gods & gods, all these are a gameworlds for the ego & the ego can never be satisfied. As soon as we acquire something it's not long until the satisfaction disappears & we find another desire pulling us towards it, potentially forever, or until we get burnt out!! Ohh-kayyy.......so how can we get out of this???? Was the question, my question........I don't want to be trapped struggling in some terrifying web of suffering, waiting for the spider of doom to make it's move, I want an option!!! Arrrghhh, so what next oh wise one?
The sage took us through some options, one idea particularly clicked with me, you choose Dharma, the golden words were now taking shape, oh how I wished I had listened to what Dharma was!!! So what was Dharma again? It's not been freely discussed in the ale houses of West Yorkshire, nor have any of my chorines been free to offer up quick afternoon workshops on how to buffer up your Dharma for the next year? I have scrawled sometime ago & stuck to my wall, ''Read daily from the scriptures of your choice on topics relating to the path out of suffering (Dharma) & the nature of (Satya) Reality & Meta Physics.'' Clear as mud & I was stuck in it, upto my neck.
I could feel the trick was about to manifest & great teachers keep you suspended in patience, not in hope, the answer is upto you dear friend, drop all hope as it wont come to you like that. The sage explained; ''the cycle of Samsara can be briefly stopped & the door into Dharma can be opened by a guide,'' 'nice' I thought! ''BUT!! the door won't be open for long,'' there's always a BUT!! ''so you have to Jump as you can't be in both worlds, enter into Dharma walk the path & things come.'' This new information was electric to me, I began to instantly visualise my experience, big wheels, doors, jumps & long drops, time limits, oh crikey. This whole door opening thing had really clicked, I began wondering if i'd realise when someone was opening the door for me, also how long would it be before it closed? I decided that if this was to occur I would be super sensitive & leap with both feet & try not to worry about where I landed, as long as I leapt, not leaping was a fate worse then death in my eyes.
A week or two later I was on my way to a Hot Hatha Yoga class, I could see the teacher as she was holding the door open for me to come in, we clocked each other, I said ''hi'' she said ''I'd like you to teach here, we don't have many boys teaching & I really need some boys'' I immediately started to say how busy I was & I was already doing teacher training in Kundalini Yoga making my excuses when I realised what was going on. There she was, a teacher/guide literally holding the door open, leap damn you!! I said leap!!!! Erm ''okay'' I said, she said ''have a think about it & get back to me.'' I could feel that this was the lesson, the air tasted different, if I trusted everything, all would be okay things would look after me I was sure. ''I'm already doing a Kundalini Teaching thingy'' she repied ''thats great, but how long will it take you to get your students, to get established? Enough money to pay/cover room hire?'' I scratched my head & realised what she was saying. ''I've already got the students, just need someone to teach, it's £25 an hour'' she said, I said ''Where do I sign?''
The training was expensive, I didn't have that amount of money so I asked my Dad for a loan, he said he'd help straight away, right-e-oh, whats next? I asked about the timescale of the training, start & likely finish, everything would fit into my already busy schedule like clockwork. I mulled it over for a few days but basically realised that this was potentially a chance to pack in the 9-5 job working with asbestos, a job that was literally killing me, for a pay cut, but hey my life could be mine again, doing something I loved doing & taking a chance, okay time to leap!!!!
I took up the offer, the training was seriously hard & pushed me out of my comfort zone, which was what I desperately needed. By February I started teaching Kundalini & Hot Hatha Yoga, I had fulfilled my dream, I was a Yoga teacher, times two! More doors opened along the way, I began leaping at every opportunity, I understood what Yogi B meant about when he said ''when the time is on, act & the pressure will be off.'' I got the impression that at some point i'd be able to do this full time & it wouldn't just be a bit of extra money. In September I signed a contract at the Hot Yoga studio & handed in my notice, 15 years as an asbestos analyst, wow, I never thought i'd get out!
I've been happily teaching both Kundalini & Hot Hatha for a year now, I make a living, & I am happy, I can see where I was & where I am now Samsara was killing me. I'm not in Dharma but i'm a lot closer then where I was & a little wiser. I tell this story to friends every now & then, last time I was telling a friend when it struck me, I realised that the door may well still be open. What was going on that I couldn't see? I was interested in buying a gong but felt like something was holding me back, leap Joseph Leap!!!! Gong bought, next step learning the Gong, Dharma just suddenly got closer again, I think thats how it works for me.
Look into what Dharma is, ask for some help, prepare to leap when that door opens, you never know what will be waiting for you? You could even write a blog? Erm okay, don't mind if I do.
Sat Nam everybody x
I am a lover of projects. Learning things and doing things. Always “up to” something. To the amusement and sometimes dismay of the people I love in varying degrees.
My projects always start off with the best intentions, usually self-improvement, often to sate my curious appetite and ALWAYS ambitious, because life is for living you know. I’m making an experience. Ahhh. How nice.
For a while now I’ve been juggling a couple of projects:
But what does all of this have to do with yoga or anything for that matter? Simply, this:
I have become really busy, saying yes to everyone and everything; except to myself. I have been so busy working hard at making others happy that I have neglected my heart and my soul, because I have neglected my Sadhana. It’s true, it is extremely difficult to do anything other than work, when work has one stuck in a windowless office for eighty hours over a ten day period… but my question to myself is: “Why are you doing this? Why do you say yes to things that make you sad, and ill, and so frustrated and off-course that you do silly things like not eating, not doing Sadhana, not enjoying your family… chopping off all of your hair?” Why?
Because it looked like the right thing to do. Because I listened to people who are not like me; who do not share my values; who do not understand that there is more to life than running around in circles for more stuff. I know we all need to do what needs doing, but I also know that there is more to life than this… so I’ve been treading water, trying all the conventional ways for keeping ‘up’, but in my heart of heart’s I knew it was bringing me down; so I said, “OK, this is hard, but I’ll count my blessings, and every day make note of one thing, just one, for which I am grateful. I’ll take a picture and share it with the world” – more pressure of course, downloading and uploading when I’m already sick of screens, and after a while, even that became hard to do; because what I longed for was to hold my daughter close and read stories, walk in the woods, have supper with my husband, chant and meditate and dance… but my energy was so low, my body so tired and my head hurt with stress and worry. Am I good enough, am I making all these people happy, why am I not making them happy, what is wrong with me?
I am ill today. Four months of running around chasing someone else’s dream has left me spent and exhausted. I’ve had to cancel my classes today. This is a new low for me. I never cancel my classes… so I become still, I sit quietly and I listen. I listen for an answer. I listen for my breath. I allow my head to stop spinning. I tune in. Ong Namo Guru Dev Namo. I allow myself to cry. It’s OK baby. It’s OK. I’m here, I’m still here. Remember your name? Do you remember? Yes… I am Uttampreet Kaur. I am not alone. And I’ve got things to do…
So I have my cold shower, somehow familiar. And I dress all in white. And I tie up these wispy bits as best I can, and I cry some more. Because I remember that face, I remember that voice, I remember the peace I feel when I sing the song of my soul. I remember how good it feels to be with the people I love, and the friends I have made in Edinburgh and Mexborough, I remember that I have a teacher who has faith in me, and I remember I have a promise to keep.
Chattra Chakkra Vartee, Chattra Chakkra Bhugatay, Suyambhav Subhang Sarab Daa Saraab Jugatay.
Dukaalan Pranasee, Diaalang Saroopay, Sadaa Ang Sangay, Abhangang Bibhutaay
I have a new project. I have to get my house in order. And I’ll sing as I go, sort out, discard that which no longer serves, and hold dearly that which sparks joy… be brave Uttampreet, and be brave yoga-pals, every day is not forced to be easy, but keeping up with what we know works best for us – means we are “kept up” as well… I leave you with this quote from Yogi Bhajan:
“There are a lot of things we need: One of these needs is that for the mind to work for you for the whole day, it must be fresh and clear; it must be made livable. That is why it is a requirement to rise early in the morning when nobody can disturb you, when you can be yourself. ”
Anyone for Sadhana at my place? Everyone’s welcome, because you know, even lighthouses need their bulbs replacing sometime.
Sat Nam x