by SS Gurucharan Singh Khalsa, Claremont, California
2023 (First Quarter)
One time a very wise man and I were sitting close together, across from each other. In what seemed to me a sudden move, he placed his hand in a clenched fist near my face. Looking into my eyes, he said, “This is not a heart.” After what felt like a very long moment, he opened his hand—still near my face— and said, “And this is not a heart.” Then he slowly began to open and close his hand in a fist. He had my attention. As I looked at his hand and its movement, it was as if I could see the beating of the human heart. Looking into my eyes, he said, “This is a heart.”
My 9th grade biology teacher would frequently say, “Where there is movement there is life.” It is in the opening and closing, in the holding on and letting go that we move through our lives. To move to that next level, we have to let go of that which has held and supported us. Letting go of that support, even though we can see how it limits us, is always a challenge.
How are we held in this life? When I reflect on this question, I often think of the three levels of consciousness that we were taught: individual consciousness, group consciousness and universal consciousness. In my experience, we are held as individuals in this human body, a body that both limits and enables our movement. We are also held in our relationships–in how we show up and how we interact with each other. Finally, and ultimately, we are held in the heart of the Divine. As such, we each contribute to the universal consciousness—boundless and without boundaries—that is God. To the extent that we are held, we feel safe and secure in our own bodies, in the loving kindness of those we hold most dear, and in the blissful joy of our divine connection to all that ever was, is now, and is now evolving through time and space… timeless.
To the extent that there is a breakdown in how we are held, we feel vulnerable, we face risk, and we lose access to those personal, shared, and divine resources that not only embraced our lives, but made our lives worth living. For most of us, the first emotion when threatened is fear. We have lost our connection to something that helped us survive, perhaps even thrive. It has suddenly and unexpectedly been ripped from us. We let go, but not because we were ready to let go. The next emotion is often anger. Feeling righteous in anger, we feel strong, in control and much safer than in fear. In both states, we remain disconnected from that which held us. We are ungrounded, at risk and often desperately willing to hold on to something—anything—that can stabilize us.
How do I get back to feeling connected, at home, at peace—within my own body, with other human beings, with my community, and with the Divine? How do I find the rhythm of my own heart and risk sharing my heart with others? How do I settle in to the simplicity of being who I am and free others to be simply who they are? I am, I am….. We are, we are.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
S.S. Gurucharan Singh Khalsa
In 1972, searching for a home for his values, his heart, and his soul, Gurucharan Singh was led to the practice of Kundalini Yoga. A core message, “We are Spiritual Beings having a human experience,” became a guiding value for his life. His Teacher was a Sikh; becoming a Sikh became a way to more deeply commit to a lifestyle that resonated deeply within.
At his Teacher’s direction, Gurucharan went back to school to get his PhD in Clinical Psychology. A practicing psychotherapist since the late 1970s, Gurucharan helped to establish Kundalini Yoga-based therapeutic programs at KRI. As a psychologist, his focus has been grounding – in the body, in relationships and in the Infinite. As a teacher and trainer in Kundalini Yoga, his focus has been to embrace the Divine and this human experience.