It’s spring in the Northern Hemisphere—a time of renewal. After the winter season, plants begin a new cycle. Some push up from the ground and manifest into flowers; the barren trees bud and produce new leaves. It’s as if the earth is re-awakening. Yet at the same time, in the Southern Hemisphere it is fall—the precursor to winter. Polarities. Yes, even the cycles of the seasons have simultaneous polarities on planet Earth. Is it any wonder that polarization is so readily experienced in our lives?
I’m reminded of the ‘far-reaching’ goal the Ministry newsletter team has aspired to for the calendar year 2023: “Working together, we can make meaningful changes within our worldwide Dharmic community.” As we witness and/or personally experience such widespread, highly divisive communication–what can help us navigate our way through to a place of authentic collaboration with or without agreement?
Ministers have come to me with concerns about how we are interacting with each other. Recently, to my shock, I have become aware of actual threats to Ministers from Ministers. What might serve us to avoid such behaviors in the future? Perhaps some of the guidelines contained in The Code of Ethics for Sikh Dharma International Ministers may help us towards a different outcome. Under part III, Roles and Responsibilities of the Ministerial Relationship, it states: Ministers shall never engage in abusive or exploitative behavior of any kind, including harassment, verbal or physical abuse, or any type of overt or subtle coercion. Later, in part VIII, Ministers in Community, it states: Ministers shall speak and act respectfully to and about other Ministers, as well as to and about ministers and adherents of other traditions.
If we use these statements as touchstones in our interactions and communications, it seems to me that these practices could be a way of moving towards inclusion without agreement and eventually, towards unity. It is an elevated state of consciousness that allows someone to communicate with kindness, compassion, grace, and humility. This path and our practices support the evolution of consciousness. We are blessed with tools that work. How many of us are using them? How many of us are so attached to a particular outcome that we negate these simple communication guidelines?
“Effective communication from an individual is that which maintains awareness of Self, uplifts the spirit or soul of the receiver, is courteous and polite in delivery, is congruent with the frequency of the chakra center from which the speaker is speaking, manifests as a clear radiant light within the auric body, and maintains awareness of the ultimate receiver.” (Communication: Liberation or Condemnation, 1980, p.iv).
May we strive to communicate in such a manner that we uplift one another and help heal each other. Blessings to each and every one of you.
SS Dr. Sat-Kaur Khalsa
Secretary of Religion
THE SECRETARY OF RELIGION
SS Dr. Sat Kaur Khalsa has served as Secretary of Religion since 1991 and was ordained as a Sikh Dharma Minister in 1975. As Secretary of Religion, Dr. Sat Kaur oversees and is ultimately responsible for the delivery of the functions of this Office. Dr. Sat Kaur is a long-time member of the International Khalsa Council and the Khalsa Council Executive Committee. She maintains a full-time Telehealth Psychotherapy and counseling private practice, specializing in relationships. She predominately works with adults (individuals and couples) to support their personal and spiritual growth. She is a certified Kundalini Yoga teacher, a facilitator of White Tantric Yoga®, and a published author.