by SS Jot Singh Khalsa, Millis MA
For the majority of my adult life, and even beyond his passing, the Siri Singh Sahib (Yogi Bhajan) has been my role model. I watched him serve people for decades everywhere I had the good fortune to be with him. What it instilled in me is the realization that life is about “service,” plain and simple.
For over 30 years now, my art and craft have taken me all over the world displaying and selling knives and jewelry. Early in my career, I began to sense that there was more for me to do at the numerous exhibitions I attended annually than just showing/selling my work.
Exhibitors and show attendees, a normal cross-section of “folks” dealing with life’s challenges as we all do, have afforded me many opportunities to listen and offer words of support.
I endeavor to serve all whom I contact through these events any way I can. by sharing my tasty natural food, listening to their life stories and offering thoughts if so invited, giving them herbs to relieve muscle tension or shoulder massage for their stress, sitting with them and doing healing – even teaching morning yoga classes.
The Siri Singh Sahib encouraged me to use my artistic gifts “to create things that uplift and inspire people.” At times, I’ll offer generous discounts or give away something to someone who seems to need what I’m offering but can’t afford it.
The Power of Sadhana
My morning sadhana, always something close to my heart, helps prepare me for anything that might come up at the shows, and life in general. Since 9/11 there have been many people who have passed by and even avoided my exhibit with more than a bit of trepidation.
Not familiar with Sikhs, they wonder who and what I might be. I sense their fears and concerns and try to put out as much warmth, friendliness, and smiles as possible. Years of martial arts training helps me to be less reactive toward some of the more rigid personality types, allowing me to reach out to them as well.
I’ve consistently offered free yoga and meditation classes at some of the exhibitions I attend. This is unusual for these events since all of the other workshops offered are related to the field of knife and swordmaking. I do a rather short introduction, then lead a Kundalini Yoga warmup set and meditation (around 30 minutes total).
My main intention is to give them a bit of relief from their stress, energize and wake them up, (usually mid-late morning classes) and provide them with a little tune-up/tune-in. Class participants often come by my exhibit after the class and thank me, talk a bit or ask questions. Some will even buy something.
These days I’m doing fewer exhibitions annually, but I still look forward to the opportunity to serve whomever God seems to place in my path.
About the Author
SS Jot Singh Khalsa is an ordained Sikh Dharma Minister. He has taught Kundalini Yoga and meditation for 45 years and studied with Yogi Bhajan for over 30 years. He is a world-class award-winning artist/craftsman and designer. He shares life experiences born of deep commitment to his sadhana and his service as a Sikh Dharma Minister, International Khalsa Council member and Solstice kitchen manager for over 30 years).He is the author of The Essential Element on the core teachings of Yogi Bhajan on morning sadhana. www.TheKhalsaRaj.com and www.KhalsaKirpans.com