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 a writer, editor, poet, singer and songwriter—and a pretty good cook, too. She serves as Editor and Creative Director of the Kundalini Research Institute. She has made three albums of sacred music including Queen Bee, Nectar of the Name and Beautiful Day. She is the author of Everyday Grace: The Art of Being a Woman, an introduction to women's teachings of Yogi Bhajan. She lives with her two cats Fatty and Slim, and her dog, Vinnie.
A student of sound for more than 15 years, she integrates the Naad into her music, teaching, and healing practices. She has studied with some of the great Sound practitioners in the West: David Hykes, Shanti Shivani, and Pandit Mukesh Desai and is also influenced by the the Shabd Guru—the sound current in the Sikh tradition. Her music focuses on using sound to move the body, the mind and the breath toward powerful transformative experiences that uplift the individual and serve the soul.