by SS Dharma Kaur Khalsa, Millis MA
2022 (First Quarter)
With the inspiration of the Sikh Gurus and my own family heritage, I am moved to serve the sangat in many ways—as a wife and mother, and in particular with the service of healthy food for the community near and far. In the summer of 2020, we started a food relief program called Guru Nanak’s Community Kitchen here in Millis, Massachusetts.
Our core values of sharing and giving with love and kindness to all mean a great deal to me and to all those who have supported our food program. We serve completely on donations and much of our work is done by volunteers. The lives and values of Guru Nanak and all the Gurus are the foundation of our service. It gives me great joy to see all those who benefit from it in their lives.
A clear and honest way to live and serve together as a community is very important to me. I believe that if I live up to my ideals, give support to those who need it, and clarify and balance when the situation requires a clear and compassionate voice, I will help our community thrive.
As I grow older and have experienced so much change in this world and in our Dharmic community, I trust more and more that I benefit from being understanding, compassionate, and forgiving. As I reflect on the fanatical and harmful ways I sometimes looked at life, I am inspired to forgive myself and those who have participated in that way.
I wish all of us forgiveness and compassion in our lives, so that we may go forth with clarity, love, and mental and physical health. We may never be free from those bonds. But it is a worthwhile prayer—to break the chain that binds us to intolerance. It would mean a great deal to me if we, as a Ministry, could heal what we have done and see clearly how it affects those we serve.
I pray that we can root out hypocrisy, see the truth from our past, and, today, give strength to our future. I believe that each one of us is strong and capable of letting go of the attachments of the past and becoming, as our true Selves, the healers and ministers dedicated to serving the Dharma.
The Guru’s Bani is a great strength to rely on. The words from the Siri Guru Granth Sahib have helped me overcome anger and hatred, sadness and depression. I realize that it is not the only way—but I know that the Guru’s words of wisdom help me in my daily life and touch all those near to me as I grow. I will always cherish this gift, as it heals me and often sets me right.
As the Sikh Dharma Ministry grows and becomes more accepting, educated, and tolerant of all people and lifestyles, we will strengthen in love and compassion and widen our scope in the world as leaders for these times. I believe that the younger people in our Dharma have a clear eye on the future and I am grateful and inspired by their values and vision. I support and trust them to bring us into the future with a strong and true purpose.
About the Author
SS Dharma Kaur Khalsa began Kundalini Yoga in a little ashram in Bolinas, CA in 1971. After her first Summer Solstice in 1972, she moved into the Ahimsa Ashram in Washington, D.C. In the early ‘70s, she was blessed to take Amrit with over 50 Sikhs at a Summer Solstice Sadhana. She took this commitment to bond to the Sikh faith and give her the experiences that from then onward would shape her life and her family. She has called the Millis, MA ashram home since 1981. She says: “I have always loved to serve by feeding people. Perhaps I come by this naturally through my Italian roots. I serve the Gurdwara in any way I can and love to see the sangat there in such a calming and beautiful atmosphere, where all are One.”