New Minister Vows
Congratulations and blessings to SS Kewal Kaur Khalsa (Los Angeles, CA), who took her Sikh Dharma Minister vows at Winter Solstice Sadhana in Florida in December 2015. May God and Guru guide her service on this path as a Minister of the Divine. Wahe Guru!
Winter Solstice Minister Gathering
At this last Winter Solstice, SS Siri Sevak Kaur and I were blessed with the opportunity to facilitate the Winter Solstice Ministers’ Gathering. The theme for our meeting was The Subtle Body, “the body which attracts opportunities to us, the body which brings us good news, the body which collects the Universe for us.” We shared conversation, kriya, as well as teachings from Guru Teg Bahadur, the Ninth Guru who is associated with the qualities of subtlety as expressed through the Ninth Yogic Body (Subtle Body).
The Siri Singh Sahib taught: “The Subtle Body gives the opportunity to understand and master the subtlety of life. It can help you to understand what is going on around you.” We are given here the instruction to receive life from a subtle perspective, to find the Guru operative in each and every aspect of our experiences. Too often we interpret at a superficial level, judging certain things, people and events as other than God. With deeper reflection, we can always discover God in even apparent tragedies and in people who have forgotten their own divine nature.
Living as Sensory Beings
As sensory beings, we receive information via those senses. The more we develop this subtle sensory awareness, the stronger becomes our Subtle Body, and, with this momentum, the more likely we are to perceive the next experience as divine.
The element of Ether is associated with sound. Through the practice of deep listening (Suniaa) and the technology of Shabd (divine vibration), we learn to hear God’s joy in each word and sound that comes to us. The Air element, associated with the sense of touch and the action of movement, develops aspects of the Subtle Body related to healing and dance. Deep seeing, through Tratakum and drishti practice, activates the subtle aspects of the element of Fire.
Have you ever noticed that some people have a strong auric presence without any practice of yoga or meditation? The Subtle Body can also be strong, for example, in musicians (Ether and Sound), dancers and cranio-sacral therapists (Air and Touch), and visual artists (Fire and Vision).
The Water element is associated with the sense of taste. Eating food with close attention to tasting the “six tastes” is a great practice to remind us of the Grace we receive in all meals, earthly and divine. If we can fully digest every experience that God gives us, finding the reality of Love underlying everything that comes our way, then the experience of the sweetness of the nectar of Amrit arises. Earth, associated with the sense of smell, can teach us to receive every tiny particle of creation that floats into our experience as the fragrance of Divine. Something only smells bad when we label it as such. If the “foul” odor is received in simply sensory awareness, then it is just information.
Developing the Subtle Body
At our Minister Gathering, the Ministers experimented with what it felt like in our energy-field sensations when we accessed our senses in the usual way and then when we used that sense in its more subtle aspect. It’s fun to go back and forth and compare the sensations. And we practiced together the Kriya to Synchronize the Brain and the Tattvas. In this kriya, we get to visualize flying high in the sky through each of the elements, helping the brain experience the creation in these more subtle realms.
SS Siri Sevak Kaur shared with the Ministers the story of Guru Teg Bahadur fearlessly agreeing to stand up to the Moghul emperor. Then she sang for us the Ninth Guru’s shabd, Ram Simar. As Sikh Dharma Ministers, we felt together the strength of our collective energy body, each of us a cell in the larger creation.
“The Subtle Body is a very high frequency magnetic field that surrounds each and every cell in the body. Each cell is protected by the subtle body – it is a protective shield.”—The Siri Singh Sahib
Winter Solstice Minister Gathering Facilitators
SS Sham Rang Singh Khalsa, MD, SB, Ayurvedic Doctor, is a physician, teacher, and Minister of Sikh Dharma. He holds certifications in Ayurveda, acupuncture, and emergency and internal medicine, and counsels and teaches about mind-body medicine. Sham Rang Singh Khalsa has been a practitioner and teacher of Kundalini Yoga for more than 35 years.
SS Siri Sevak Kaur Khalsa lives at Guru Ram Das Ashram in Millis, Massachusetts. She and fellow Minister SS Harbhajan Kaur sing together regularly in the Millis Gurdwara and teach kirtan classes at Solstices. She teaches Gurmukhi and Japji courses and has studied classical Gurbani Kirtan with Indian Ragis. She also teaches about Sikh Dharma in order to share her love for the Gurus.