“If you judge people, you have no time to love them.”
― Mother Teresa
Often in our lives we are confronted with situations that do not meet with our own expectations. This leads us to quickly draw conclusions which depend on our personal perception of the situation making it a very subjective experience. Most likely we are being guided by a concience which is imbued with the colorings of our upbringing and our religion. How does one deal with what we perceive as ‘ immoral behavior’ of others? Should any action be taken?
The following question was posed by a young aspiring soul – Continue reading
When you come to the edge of all the light you have, and must take a step into the darkness of the unknown, believe that one of two things will happen. Either there will be something solid for you to stand on or you will be taught how to fly.
– Patrick Overton
Most of us have experienced times when we have been been unsure of what is going to happen in the future, a time full of doubt and stress which often leads to fear and anxiety. This is what might be called a state of uncertainty. This is a time when we feel uncomfortable because we are not sure of what to expect in that situation. We tend to gravitate toward speculated conclusions and feel uneasy when we can’t find them. We demand answers to everything. In spite of knowing that we cannnot be 100% certain of the outcome of anything we are happier when we can be guaranteed certainty.
The path to higher consciousness demands we let go of certainty.
How can we give up our quest for certainty and learn to rest in the not knowing? Continue reading
When a resolute young fellow steps up to the great bully, the world, and takes him boldly by the beard,he is often surprised to find it comes off in his hand, and that it was only tied on to scare away the timid adventurers.
Ralph Waldo Emerson
Fear wells up in all of us from time to time.
Fear is a powerful emotion which comes from a deep part of our psyche where it was rooted as a primal instinct to keep us alive. When an animal is moving along and something surprising happens, it is usually better for that animal to run away as fast as possible rather than to pause reflectively and wonder what is happening. Our fear is what kept us alive. And our fear is ever with us.
So fear can be an effective motivator but it can also be used as a weapon. Society uses fear as a powerful force to sensationalize news and in many advertisements to sell products. Religions use scare tactics to try and get people to pray! Continue reading
Recently I was asked a question that most of us grapple with.
“…I’ve been curious for years about discrepancies between Psychology (which I learn in school) and Sikhi… Psychology preaches that we must engage in self-care as healers. We must forgive ourselves, be loving to ourselves, believe in ourselves, have very high self-esteem and self-confidence, recognize our strengths, etc. Where does the Guru’s word lie in this? Sometimes I feel guilty, from a Sikh perspective, for trying to focus on my strengths, since Sikhi promotes humility, and there are shabads like “hum avgun bharay ek gun naahi.” So many shabads promote the individual being full of weakness and having no goodness…how I can find a balance within this? What is it that makes the Khalsa so bold, confident, and fearless, but so humble at the same time? How can we be confident without our ego overtaking us? …RK“
Does humility prevent self-confidence? Or does self-confidence automatically prohibit humility? Is humility just an excuse to not be over-confident?
Humility is the quality of being modest and respectful to others by a constant process of self reflection or examination of one’s ego. It expresses intrinsic self-worth such that there remains no need to impress others. I think the following story exemplifies this well: Continue reading
“That is the mystery of grace: it never comes too late. –
François Mauriac (1885-1970)
Where there is grace, there is an inner contentment filled with feelings of love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. Feelings that sprout from His Presence (Yaad- Rememberance). Sadly, we can get so caught up in the daily tasks of life that we are left feeling depleted of these feelings. When we let the depleted feelings take hold of us and allow it to rule our days, we are basically squeezing God out (Bhul – Absence).
It is not easy to let go, to trust God’s grace to carry us where we want to go.
I have a confession to make. Continue reading
Over and over we hear gurbani
Over and over we sing shabads
Over and over we hear historical facts
Over and over we read about our gurus and our ancestors
Over and over we pay lip service to their great sacrifices
Over and over we prostrate before our holy Granth
the timeless ‘Word’ within giving us constant reminders to live a practical life
A life that embodies these loving messages
a life that will reunite us with our shabad guru
Our grand Master – Sahib Siri Guru Nanak Dev Sahib Jee puts a stamp on the importance of a practical life: Continue reading
Dhan Guru Nanak Dhan Guru Nanak Dhan Guru Nanak Dhan Guru Nanak
Please accept my sincere apologies for not posting a blog last month. Following 4 glorious samagams (Atlanta, Detroit, Toronto & Montreal) I also had a chance to attend a Sikh Girls Camp (Kaurs United) at Bellingham, WA. What an incredible week. It was a wonderfully busy time for me as i then went to Prague for a conference. Now I have finally settled down and i promise to send you all the resources that i said i would.
At the Toronto samagam we had shared the story of Jonathan Livingston Seagull (do you remember the name we gave him?). Here is the link for the full story: Continue reading
Dhan Guru Nanak Dhan Guru Nanak Dhan Guru Nanak Dhan Guru Nanak Dhan Guru Nanak Dhan Guru
It was wonderful to see so many of you at the Pennsylvania samagam which was held in such high spirits. We are truly blessed to have had the opportunity to attend.
At the children’s class, on the first day, in the first half of the class, we played a game called “Who wants to be a Sikh Millionaire” in which we learnt some historical facts. According to the feedback delivered it appeared like the game was successful at two levels;firstly it was fun and secondly we ended up learning some facts important sikh history!
The game had some glitches, but hopefully we can improve on it even more.
Any computer techies who can offer some help or suggestions, please ?
In the second half of the class we read the first part of a letter written by a young college boy to his father questioning the significance of the five symbols. – the 5 K’s. It is evident that this boy after having done a lot of research is confused and wondering why we need to keep the 5K’s in the present modern times. He feels that they are all outdated. In order to clarify his thoughts he turns to his father and writes this very frank letter. Continue reading
You are the architect of your own life: it is yours to make or to mar.
By the power of thoughts you are building; are you building aright?
Henry Thomas Hamblin
In the best seller ‘The Power’’, Rhonda Byrne writes, “Your thoughts are both words you hear in your head and the words you speak out loud. When you say to somebody, “What a beautiful day,” you had the thought first and then spoke the words. Your thoughts also become your actions…it is your thoughts that determine whether your words and actions will be positive or negative. But how do you know whether your thoughts are positive or negative?” p.16/17
The thoughts that pass through your mind are responsible for everything that happens in your life. Your predominant thoughts influence your behaviour and attitude and control your actions and reactions. Continue reading
Feelings are all that we have to convey love.
Love cannot be seen nor touched physically, but it can certainly be felt.
Words are powerful, they can retain feelings forever and transmit them to the reader if and when both (the writer and the reader) are at the same wavelength. When we read something that has been written from one’s own anubhav (personal experience, lived life) it has the power to affect us and aspire us repeatedly. This is the magical power of the words (Gurbani – words of our Gurus) contained in Guru Granth Sahib. When we gather together in sangat and sing these words of love, praise or separation our souls feel a similar longing. When we sing or read about words that heed us to lead self-reflective lives, words that urge us to live in this world but not to be of the world we too feel the need to follow such a path. When we read words of praise about our gurus and holy saints and their lives and how they can help us on our path we too begin to thirst for the company of such enlightened souls.
Love messages. Continue reading