by SS Guruka Kaur Khalsa, Espanola NM
About eight years ago, a team of people were working together to build our relationships with the Global Community. We called ourselves the “Core Team.” Our team included SS Amrit Singh from Management, SS Panch Nishan Kaur from Sikh Dharma International, SS Guruka Singh from SikhNet, and myself from 3HO® IKYTA. My focus was our relationship with the Association/Community of Kundalini Yoga Teachers. At first, we spoke informally with Kundalini Yoga teachers around the world, and then we began formal interviews.
We spoke with many teachers and we were amazed to hear the same needs being communicated by teachers from Chile to Russia. What we most commonly heard from the Kundalini Yoga teachers was a strong need to have direct input into our organizations, along with the need to create a structure which would enable us to work together in an Aquarian manner.
The IKYTA Global Working Team began its work about 2005. What was unique about this team was that we were truly international. We had two members from South America, one from Mexico, one from the United States and two from Europe.
Another unique quality of this group was that each member came from a very specific perspective: one person had helped build the most highly organized association; one person belonged to an association that was just beginning; one person was the team anarchist; one person had developed a new and exciting approach to building a teachers association; and one person had built a strong community group, but was not in clear relationship with the National Kundalini Yoga Teachers Association in her country.
What happened next was very interesting. At every meeting, each person said the same thing they had said previously. Regardless of the topic under discussion, each person put out their very specific perspective. I remember one time after a meeting, one team member called me to say, “What is the matter with this person? She says the same thing at every meeting.”
In truth, we were each saying the same thing at every meeting. At one point, we came to a decision we needed to make: should IKYTA be an association of individuals or an association of associations? It sounded like such a simple question. We had held four separate meetings to hash this out, with guess what? Yes, each person saying the exact same thing over and over. It was amazing.
People were starting to say to me, “Well, you’re the Executive Director, just make a decision.” But really we all knew we truly wanted to make a collective decision and making an “executive” decision was not in alignment with the work we were doing. I remember getting ready for that fifth meeting on the same topic, thinking, “I just don’t want to go to this meeting.” I was starting to dread it.
I remember calling on Guru Ram Das and calling on our Beloved Teacher to help move things because we were so stuck. We were all so sincere, we all had very good points to bring to the table, but we were just stuck. What happened next was truly “sahej.” We got on our Skype call and within 10 minutes we came to an agreement. No compromise on anyone’s part; just that each person brought something to the collective consciousness that was a needed part of the whole concept of how we would move forward.
We listened to each other, we honored each other, and we came to an agreement that each of us felt good about. That moment changed the way we worked together from then on. We were no longer coming into the meetings holding what each of us felt was right. We were coming into the meetings trying to tune in to what was best for everyone and allowing that to emerge. In that moment we began trusting each other and we all listened to each other with much deeper hearts and more open ears.
The IKYTA Global Working Team has evolved into the Global Teachers Council, with teacher representative members from every region of the globe. Right now, we are focused on bringing this Council into an active working relationship with our Global Association/Community of Kundalini Yoga teachers.
Even with all the changes in our organizations, this work has continued slowly and organically, creating grassroots connections with Kundalini Yoga teachers everywhere. For me, I learned that if you keep up in a situation by staying present with an open heart and a loving vibration, that the “sahej” moment happens. In this case, when that collective moment happened, it truly was greater than the sum of its parts. It was the very best of everyone.
About the Author
SS Guruka Kaur Khalsa is an ordained Sikh Dharma Minister. She serves as the Executive Director of the Office of Ethics & Professional & Spiritual Standards. She also serves as Executive Director of the International Kundalini Yoga Teachers’ Association and is a Senior Executive Advisor for IKYTA. She took her Minister vows in 1973 and has been a student of the Siri Singh Sahib for over 40 years. She is a member of the Espanola sangat where she lives with her husband, MSS Guruka Singh and her son Gurushabd Singh.