This year 2021 marks the 50th anniversary of the Sikh Dharma International Ministry. It is true that 2020 impacted us on many fronts: the pandemic, politics, our Dharma, racial injustice, financial challenges, and much loss.
We are still very much in the destabilization part of our grief. However, there is a powerful healing potential in reviewing and honoring our history. It is an essential part of the grief recovery process.
It is our intent in this issue of our newsletter to reflect on our past for perspective, education, evaluation, understanding, and, hopefully, appreciation. Perhaps with a deeper understanding of the spirit from which we served, there can be a greater view of the whole.
Many of us here today were the pioneers who helped to create—through our seva—the foundation from which Sikh Dharma in the West grew into a global organization. In the ‘70s and ‘80s, were we idealistic in our desire to build a spiritual nation? Yes. That spirit has carried us a long way.
Our seva was a reflection of our integrity—and still is. Some of us have been through a lot in fifty years. For those of you who came later, it is an opportunity to learn about our origins. Clearly, it is a time of re-evaluation and change. Yet our roots were strong and still are. The Ministry helped spread Shabad Guru around the planet. That is a significant contribution.
In this issue, the Ministers who are sharing their early experiences give us an opportunity to appreciate the seeds that were planted, from which many branches have flourished. It is our prayer that, in reading the stories of those who have contributed to this issue, you too may experience the innocence and joyful enthusiasm of their adventures and journeys. I invite you to take a walk down memory lane with me as we acknowledge our beginnings.
As we observe, evaluate and honor our history, we give ourselves a chance to find meaning and value in our origins and to move a little further along in our grief recovery process, towards a tomorrow rich with possibilities for change and integration.
I have said that the Ministry is the heartbeat of the Dharma. Perhaps we had a heart attack in 2020 and the recovery is slow. However, we will heal—for this is the Guru’s mission.
May God and Guru ever bless you in your service as a Sikh Dharma International Minister.
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.