Our community has been hit by a virtual tidal wave. We have been confronted and shaken to our very core. We have been forced to look at disturbing information and accusations, and yes, all of this in the middle of a global pandemic. Whether you believe the information that has surfaced or not, these circumstances have thrown us individually and collectively into deep and profound grief.
The polarization that has manifested in our communities as a result of these events is disheartening. It is essential for our survival and future to devise a way to bridge the gap between opposing viewpoints. By so doing, we can co-create what is needed now and for our future. The outcome of this can be unity. However, in order for us to hear each other, have effective dialogue, and create viable solutions, it is essential that we grieve our losses.
The poet Paul Monette described his experience of grief as a sword that cuts through any illusions about life and who we are. Like a spiritual sword, grief can take us directly through the pain of the mind and heart and lead us to the joy and infinity of the soul.
The grief process is not quick nor is it a linear experience. We generally move in and out of the various stages depending upon our own history and circumstances.
In an attempt to assist individuals to assess where they are in the process and to provide information about grief recovery as the integration of change, Dr. Shanti Shanti Kaur and I created a document that can be used as an assessment tool and guide for this journey (see link below).
As Ministers, perhaps using this for yourself first, then possibly sharing it with those whom you serve, might prove helpful, as you deepen your understanding of where you are and what lies ahead for you. This is not a “how to” paper, simply an assessment tool to help the process.
Yes, Ministers are leaders in our communities, yet at the same time, Ministers are individuals. Please take the time to recover from the traumatic events that we have experienced and give yourself a chance to heal. In the body of information about grief, it is recommended to refrain from making major life-changing decisions for at least a year from the initial event(s). As always, may you be blessed in your service and may God and Guru guide your way on.
A Yogic Model of Grief Recovery as the Integration of Change (PDF)
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 psychotherapy private practice in Santa Monica, California, and Santa Fe, New Mexico, counseling individuals, couples, and families to support their personal and spiritual growth. She is a certified Kundalini Yoga teacher, a facilitator of White Tantric Yoga®, and a published author.