by SS Hari Nam Simran Kaur Khalsa, Espanola NM
How does Simran serve me in my life?
To me, Simran is vast, with so many different infinite intertwining connections. In fact, Simran is so vast that any attempt to describe in words the essence of Simran becomes a difficult task. Nevertheless, I will attempt to relay how Simran serves me in my life.
Each day, at every moment, Simran seems to have a different effect, a different meaning, and a different result in my life. Essentially, Simran is a multifaceted component that interweaves my every breath.
My challenge, of course, is to understand that Simran is part of my being, a God-given tool that I can use in my daily life. But, being a human, I often get sidetracked in the daily obstacles of life and forget that Simran is part of me and that I can uplift and balance myself by just plugging in my mental circuit to the vastness of life to Simran, and hence to Sahej.
On a spiritual plane, Simran has always been a part of my life, but perhaps only subconsciously until I began the practice of Kundalini Yoga. In the beginning, Simran was a tool, a “lifeline” to help me wade through the difficult experiences and memories of life, to clear the subconscious thoughts, and to get balance in my daily life.
An Electric Current
I really don’t think that aspect of Simran has changed in my daily life, except now I know that I’m not in charge of the roller coaster ride. The older I get, the more I understand that I do not have a choice, except to keep up.
Occasionally, by God’s grace, there have been times when I walk through the woods. With every step taken, with every breath, I can feel the 30 trillion cells within me vibrate in unison with the plants, the animals, the wind, and the air. It is a time when my sensory capacity is at peak performance, a time when my soul seems to merge with the trees, with the birds, with the insects, and a time when I feel merged with each and every component of the environment, even with the decaying wood or soil that I place in my hands and smell.
Simran during these experiential moments is like an electric current running through every vessel in my body. To me, it is the ultimate experience of Simran, and of Sahej. But this type of meditation does not always happen and I never know when I’ll experience the sensation again.
There have been other moments that I have felt the same sense of vastness, of an ultimate connection to the universal awareness. I remember experiences at Solstice, especially during “specified” silence periods that were initiated by Tantric facilitators. It’s a time when my mind felt merged, and when I felt electrified or plugged into the environmental circuit, to the vastness of life.
I can remember walking down the hill, stopping to search for a cicada that was penetrating the sound waves with its vibratory wings or to watch the amazing synchronicity of red ants marching their prized food possessions toward the tiny entrance of their anthill domain.
On other days, the focus of Simran is more mechanical, an exercise I complete so that I can make it through the trials of the day. Yet on another day, perhaps even the next day, Simran is not just merely an exercise of the power over my mind, but a tool to help me focus, a tool to help me become more aligned with the elements around me. And perhaps the day after, the physical act of Simran places me into the vastness of the universe.
But mostly, Simran seems to be a way for me to process the thoughts bombarding my consciousness. The list could go on and on, an endless list of how meditation has served me in the past thirty-some years. Essentially, Simran has become my anchor, my stabilizing element that has helped me through the many challenges and stages of my life. And for this reason, there is never a day that I go without it.
Simran and Prayer
For me, Simran can also be a prayer—a prayer for my family, for my friends, for anyone who I’m angry with, or simply a prayer of surrender. It’s amazing how the Guru takes care of everything when I surrender.
Every time I get upset, I always put the person or situation into my prayers, prior to bowing to the Guru. Somehow, the situation is generally resolved, but not always timely, when I would like it to be resolved, which of course is always a reminder that it is not my play, it is God’s, and I have to flow with the ups and downs given to me.
When my oldest son Deva Singh left his body, my emotional pain was unbearable. I bowed the morning of the funeral at the Gurdwara and totally surrendered myself to be utilized for whatever was needed. I felt the surrender in my soul when I bowed. Later, at the funeral, when there appeared to be an endless line of people coming over to greet us, I wasn’t sure how I could handle it.
Then I remembered being taught by my first teacher, Guru Rattan Kaur, to think “Wahe Guru” when I passed out Prashad to each person. So I applied the concept during the funeral, and for each person that came up to me, I was fully absorbed in the act or intention of blessing each and every person. It was amazing, a time that I can say I was fully in Simran, in a state of Sahej and it appeared that I could see the soul of every person. There were no barriers or judgments toward anyone; it was a very uplifting and blissful experience.
Ultimately, the most difficult situations in my life have been elevated through Simran, through the presence of sangat, and through the presence of Sahej. Whether in the woods, in the physical state of meditation, or in life’s most difficult situations, it is Simran that has led the way for me.
The most beautiful of all “Simran” experiences is when the barriers appear to be dropped, when the wind, the birds, or the trees penetrate my soul or when the souls of others’ hearts are experienced with beauty and wonderment!
About the Author
SS Hari Nam Simran Kaur is an ordained Sikh Dharma Minister living and serving in the Espanola, NM sangat at Hacienda de Guru Ram Das. She is a social ecologist focused on shifting human thinking to embrace and transform through social and environmental relationships. She is a Ph.D candidate at the California Institute of Integral Studies.