by SS Jai Hari Kaur Khalsa, Santa Fe NM
“True realization of the actual nature of the material world, its perishable, transitory and illusory aspects, best dawns on a person in suffering.”—Guru Teg Bahadur Ji, Ninth Sikh Guru
In January of this year I learned that I had ovarian cancer. The news was shocking and at the same time it took me inward. During this whole journey—through the treatments and the consequences of the disease—my Subtle Body has been a strong ally. I never asked “Why me?” I just asked God to guide and show me the way.
The Divine rallied all of my friends to support me, take me places, and help me to understand the experience of chemotherapy and what happens while you’re in that treatment series. I never broke down and cried from the diagnosis or the chemotherapy. What made me cry was the overwhelming love and generosity of support from friends for healing and success on this journey…and tears came from the realization of Guru’s strength within me, bringing courage to face the God-given challenges.
It was an experience of wonderment as to how this was going to go, and how far it would take me into the depths of myself. As I contemplated death while in the state of connectedness with my Subtle Body, I grew more peaceful and content. I was relaxed and comforted by the warmth and feeling of being so close to the Divine.
“Pain is the medicine….”—Guru Nanak Ji
At the time of the diagnosis, I was still living in Oregon. It became apparent that I was going to need more help. My daughter Shabd Simran Kaur and my son-in-law Yinka suggested that I come to Santa Fe to be closer to family. The Divine’s guidance confirmed that it was the right decision.
When I arrived in February, Shabd Simran had already arranged for an oncologist, who was also a surgeon. My condition was at Stage Four, which required nine chemotherapy treatments so that the body could destroy some of the cancer cells before surgery. Surgery consisted of a full hysterectomy. This was not the picture I had of my aging process! I had never had a hole in any part of my body nor anything taken way. The surrender of these body parts was an exercise physically, mentally, and spiritually.
The Divine also gave me the Espanola sangat and the closeness of my daughter and her family to heal and uplift me, and to inspire more vitality to manage the treatments. The Shabad Guru was, and is, a constant and necessary daily companion on the journey. I used Ajai Alai—I love that mantra—and Guru Guru Wahe Guru and Dhan Dhan Ram Das Gur. During the day, Gurbani was playing in my ears or just in my room. I always recited Japji Sahib. It felt like that was the connection to my spirit, my soul, my foundation for each and every day. I did yoga as much as I could on a daily basis. In the hospital I had mantras constantly playing in my ears.
Blessing the Journey
The closeness and the depth of my connection with my Subtle Body, my true self, continues to bless my journey. Time without chemotherapy after the surgery reminded me that my body had more strength to continue on. I even grew some hair. The strength did come back to some degree. Then I could see that the body-mind-spirit connection would bring me into a greater unity within myself. Chemotherapy destroys not only the cancer cells but also healthy tissues in the body. However, the intelligent body wants to be whole. I felt that wholeness return. The light was always there; now it’s brighter after having completed my final chemotherapy treatment.
The strength of one’s faith, the constant vibration of Divine energy, and the love and prayers of family, friends, and sangat, are all threads that mend that which has been sacrificed. I am inexpressibly grateful to Shabd Simran Kaur for all she has done to support me in so many ways—during her pregnancy, in her 40 days, and now with a new baby and a four-year-old.
I will make my home here in Santa Fe, near the children, uplifted into greater healing and greater joy in their presence. Returning here has been a homecoming to my roots. The years of coming to Summer Solstice and Khalsa Women’s Training Camp, with the experience of deep friendships with so many women from all over the world, has enriched my ability—at this time when it is so needed— to be that strong woman, to be that woman of essence that can reflect the radiance that the Divine manifests within each of us.
Feeling the Guru so alive and so close and so radiant and vibrant in Gurdwara, amongst His devotees, is unspeakably healing. I am truly blessed, deeply grateful, and filled with joy.
Wahe Guru Ji Ka Khalsa! Wahe Guru Ji Ki Fateh!
About the Author
SS Jai Hari Kaur Khalsa has lived the Sikh lifestyle for 36 years. She is a Minister of Sikh Dharma, and has been a Certified Kundalini Yoga teacher for 35 years. She has practiced Massage, Clinical Kinesiology, Sat Nam Rasayan, and Intuitive Healing for over 33 years in Bend, Oregon. Recently she relocated to Santa Fe, where she has a home office and does phone consultations for all ages all over the world. For Jai Hari Kaur, it is a humbling experience to share the Siri Singh Sahib’s teachings and Universal energies with humanity, as Divinely guided.