Happy Summer Solstice!

Greetings! We have a burst of new updates to share from our yogi friends in Homer, Wasilla, Juneau, Anchorage, Fairbanks, and in the nowhere and everywhere world of cyberspace.

It’s been a somewhat cool and mysteriously overcast solstice for those of us in SouthCentral Alaska. I look out my window to grey skies and greenery as I write this, thinking that once again, “the weather is a good metaphor for life right now.”

  • My journal is an ongoing search for clarity, a daily repetition of the mantra “What am I doing with my life?” and gratitude when it comes, puzzle piece by puzzle piece.
  • My consulting job greets me with the same themes of resilience and adaptation in times of change, asking “What do we do, when the world we have known is shifting and breaking down around us?”
  • The news, the internet, the television and radio are a jumble and a blur of ideas and emotions. I cringe a little, and ask “Where is the truth in all this?”

Yet, I know that although obscured by clouds, the fire of the longest day of sun burns fresh light into our Earthly world just as brightly as it does in the clear blue sky that lies on the other side of those clouds. In airplanes, I’ve flown above the clouds and greeted the sun, still shining, still rising and setting on the horizon (another illusion borne of perspective more than reality).

So, I trust that in stillness and in due time, my path will reveal itself (Kriya to Become Crystal Clear | video). I trust that with open ears and open minds, we will find our solutions and seize this golden opportunity of disruption to create the future we want for the generations to come (Kriya for Beaming and Creating the Future | video). And I trust that in choosing to accept and align with our own truths (Kundalini Meditation for Self Love), we will find the truth that snakes through the media and filter out the noise.

Most of all, dear yogis and friends, I trust that we – you and I – will shine the light of our truth, our creativity, and our warm compassion (Kriya to Open the Heart Center) like that dear, reliable sun in the sky, just as brightly, no matter the clouds or pollution that hang in the air around us, knowing that sooner or later, a strong wind will blow the confusion aside.

Sat nam and warm wishes,

Narayanjot Kaur

From Hari Atma Kaur Khalsa, on solstice:

The Solstice occurs twice each year (around June 21 and December 22) as the Sun reaches its most northerly or southerly excursion relative to the celestial equator on the celestial sphere. The seasons of the year are directly connected to both the solstices and the equinoxes.

The term solstice can also be used in a broader sense, as the day when this occurs. The day of the solstice has either the most sunlight of the year (summer solstice) or the least sunlight of the year (winter solstice) for any place other than the equator.

Since the earth is changing, it is well for each individual to change along with the Sun/earth energy to be more in sync with the universe  Kundalini Yoga includes all 22  different types of yoga that were originally taught in ancient times.  Kundalini Yoga gives our nervous and glandular system the impetus to go through life’s challenges.  It is much more than stretching our muscles (which is important) but stretching our mind and consciousness.

Meditations on Snow

Anchorage is turning out to be blessed with a snow-filled winter this year. Sometimes the flakes are large and still clearly crystalline when they land on my windshield. I look at them and marvel at how beautiful they are, thinking about how each flake is supposed to be unique, and then they pile up in great heaps of white and cover the frozen world beneath them. Kind of like us – each a unique being, but then we pile up and cover the earth in our billions and our evidence of ourselves, blurring together into a worldwide blanket of human presence.

Even if I don’t get out and play in the snow, it makes me much happier to spend the winter in a world sparkling with white. My kundalini teachers told me to wear white to expand my aura. Perhaps Mother Nature is expanding her aura in these parts. Perhaps if each one of us allows our uniqueness to be as clear and bright as these countless snowflakes, that blanket of human presence will make for a cheerier world until the season changes again and a new cycle of birth and growth takes over.

Meditation to Experience and Project Your Original Self

 

 

Miles to go…

Just this week, Anchorage is finally covered in a cozy blanket of winter snow. It always strikes me how much the snow seems to calm and quiet the winter world, making it seem a little softer, a little gentler. The dark winter skies seem to press upon me to sleep, but I am also alert, knowing that a new year and new beginnings will be fast upon us. I am reminded of a few lines from the poem Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening by Robert Frost:

The woods are lovely, dark and deep,
But I have promises to keep,
And miles to go before I sleep,
And miles to go before I sleep.

Today I might be at rest or deep meditation in the dark and lovely woods. But I have promises to keep to myself and to the world, commitments to my Self, my community, my destiny. And those commitments will require me to exert and expand as I learn and integrate new information into my life. I think about how in Kundalini Yoga, the kriyas and meditations work on us through alternating push and pull, contraction and expansion, rest and exertion. And in life, we allow moments of rest to recharge the energy needed to be successful and victorious in all of our new beginnings.

New beginnings are exciting and fill me with hopeful expectations. They can also be scary and exhausting, especially when they involve consciously choosing my own path through life, following my own heart, my own truth, trusting that it will work out for the best even when there is no hard evidence that it will, even when people who love me worry that I am taking too great a risk. But then (thank you!) Robert Frost returns to remind me that the path less traveled holds far greater rewards in The Road Not Taken:

I shall be telling this with a sigh
Somewhere ages and ages hence:
Two roads diverged in a wood, and I—
I took the one less traveled by,

And that has made all the difference.

In keeping with this theme, Kundalini Yoga North is offering a special 11-day rejuvenation intensive in Homer from December 29 – January 8 that will balance the nervous and glandular systems. For yogis in other parts of the state, regular Kundalini classes are available in Anchorage, the Mat-Su, Homer, Fairbanks and Juneau. For on-the-spot or home practice, here is a short video meditation led by Yogis Sukhdev Jackson and Akahdahmah (AYKANNA) for cultivating absolutely powerful energy to meet life’s challenges (tuning in for the 3-minute meditation starts about 7 minutes into the video, following the introduction; the meditation itself starts about 10 minutes into the video).

Changing Seasons, Changing World

As I write this on a sunny April day in Anchorage, it feels like summer has come early, and winter only flirted with us this year. I hear it has been the same all over the state and that people are very aware that our world is changing.

At work, I have been involved in a project about climate change. It is a very complex, challenging and juicy project that has us asking ourselves: how is Alaska going to navigate through these very apparent changes in the natural world? Who are we when our world, natural, social, cultural – is changing so much and so fast around us?

I did not imagine that I would ever really have to ask this question – not on the mat, not at yoga camp or at a party with my meditation buddies, but as a professional among government representatives, military, scientists and business people. Suddenly my worlds are crashing and melding into each other. I realize how much my own life is changing, though I have been too busy keeping up with all the busywork that seems to go along with it to notice very much.

So then I ask myself: how will I navigate through these times?

And I come back to the dharma that I have learned from the communities of meditators with whom I have practiced, from my own yoga and meditation experiences and from the awareness that has blossomed in me along the way.

I used to game the system, figure out how things work and then learn how to say and do the right things to feel like a winner. But the spiritual journey upended my world so that at some point, there was no system left to game. No right or wrong words, or actions, or people to please. I had to decide for myself and commit to myself, take the responsibility for whatever comes of my choices with no judgement good or bad – because there was nothing else to do.

Last week, I heard an echo of this in a talk given by General Ralston (retired) of the U.S. Air Force about the U.S. military and the politics of the Middle East. He talked about political decisions that have been made in recent years and had international consequences, and he remarked that it does nothing to argue about whether these were good decisions or bad decisions. We have the situation we are now in, and we must respond to it as it is. We can only move forward from here and work with the reality we have to work with. He also spoke of being an optimist, that although things might be difficult in the short term, that he believes we can get through it.

And this is the only way I can now imagine living in a world where the changes we are living through are becoming so vast, so fast and so complex that our minds and our intellectual sciences cannot keep up with them.

Sat nam and wahe guru.

Meditation for Intuition with Gurmukh

Returning to Autumn

Hope you enjoyed a wonderful summer! Now that fall is upon us, we have new updates on kundalini classes and happenings around Alaska.

A few weeks ago, I was on the East Coast, soaking up a few last days of balmy summer weather. I was so grateful and appreciative of the warm sunny days, telling everyone I wasn’t ready for the cold and the dark I knew I would come back to. Two days after returning to Anchorage, we had our first freeze and snowfall. It didn’t last long, but I was surprised to find that it didn’t bother me. I didn’t think I was ready, but when it happened, I found myself admiring how pretty the snow was, and feeling a little bit of that happy excitement I used to feel as a kid when the snow gave us an unplanned holiday from school. Reflecting on this moment of humility, I wonder, what else in my life do I mistakenly believe I’m not ready for?

I’ve heard it said that our questions bring forth answers, so I’m practicing and sharing these two meditations to help smooth the way for whatever comes next:

If you choose to do these on your own, as with any kundalini practice, please remember to tune in with the Adi mantra before doing the meditation, respect your body’s limitations (simply visualizing yourself doing the posture is beneficial), and close the practice with a mantra at the end.

Sat nam,

Narayanjot Kaur

…but wait! There’s more.

There’s always more, isn’t there? Beautiful thing about life, on or off the mat.

It’s midwinter and I’ve been hearing about new classes and workshops happening around the state, from classes with Tonia in Girdwood, to workshops in Sat Nam Rasayan with Hargopal in Homer and KY for breaking habits or addictions with Haridass in Juneau. Check out the offerings from the Basecamp, and hope you are all having a great winter!

Cheers!