Falling in Love—with Discipline
By Sat Purkh Kaur Khalsa
As winter seeps its way into Northern New Mexico—and into my bones—something new is being born…a quickening, an awakening, a stirring in the heart that is both a surprise and a delight. I have been on this path for 12 years, and I have been in search of my authentic self for much longer than that. And throughout it all, I’ve longed for a practice, a discipline, which would enable me to listen to my soul and express my true self. I’ve longed for this discipline since I was a child. I was fascinated by the idea of monks waking in the night to pray and chant; I was enthralled by the idea of desert retreats and silent meditation. I was thirsty for the experience of my spirit; but that thirst was never enough to actually make me drink! Instead, over time, it grew into an intellectual exercise—“Do I or don’t I”—which eventually became a philosophy: “Do or don’t do” and more often than not I didn’t.
As a teacher and a trainer I often tell my students, just do a little bit and the delight of the experience will awaken in you the desire to do more. But did I ever give myself that same chance? Instead, if I wasn’t getting up for Group Sadhana, the whole nine yards, then I didn’t get up at all. I was unwilling to take my own advice.
Then a mysterious thing began to open up in my life—love. Love for myself, love for life, love for another. And that love awakened in me a desire to discipline my mind, my body and my self. A small commitment to meditation grew slowly into a commitment to kriya, because the meditation was deeper if I did kriya first. And that meditation grew into a desire to go deeper within myself in order to contain and sustain the love that was awakening in my heart. And that deepening grew into a desire to extend myself into the world and become a part of everything. So I began walking and communing with the air and the mountains and the lively things that live in the wild places.
So as I fall in love, I’m also falling in love with the discipline. And it feels like Guru’s Grace. The most significant change in my life, this too feels like a gift. Something I’ve longed for my entire life simply arises, seemingly out of nowhere, and my life is gifted with a grace. I have fallen in love with the guru’s discipline after all these long years. And the beauty of it is that it came from love. Love begets love. And I get to enjoy its fruit. We all do.
So here is my wish for you: as the Winter Solstice brings the return of the light, may you remember love and may you fall. Fall in love with the discipline of this path and give yourself a chance—a chance to experience the bliss; a chance to live in light and be the light; a chance to be happy.
Sat Purkh Kaur Khalsa is the author of Everyday Grace: The Art of Being a Woman and the artist of four sacred music albums: Nectar of the Name, Beautiful Day, Queen Be and Love & Other Miracles. She has a forthcoming album, One, which will be available in spring 2014 and her story of recovery will be available in the forthcoming title, Stepping Into Meditation: Kundalini Yoga and the Art of Recovering Your Life. http://satpurkh.blogspot.com/