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By Amrit Manter Singh
I brought Kundalini Yoga into this lifetime from a past life. I know this because when I was a small child a nursery rhyme ran through my head: "Kundalini, kundalini, little ship, little ship, little ship on a sailing trip." I believe that this rhyme was given to me so that I would not forget my purpose.
I do not remember my first Kundalini Yoga class, except that it was with Guru Singh and that it subtly rocked my world. A girl that I met at a Dead Show introduced me to the experience in the late eighties. It felt like heaven, and that was important because I was looking for heaven—in so many toxic ways.
I loved Guru Singh. At that time his classes were small, and we got to know each other and like each other. He was gentle, kind and so knowledgeable. When Yogi Bhajan was in town, Guru Singh impressed upon us the importance of attending his classes, and I did, but I did not enjoy them. Who was this large, imposing man that worked me so hard? I eventually warmed up to him, and started giving him movie passes. He loved me for it.
Kundalini Yoga would change my life. It actually saved my life, I am quite certain. Who knows how far down the wrong road to enlightenment I would have gone if I had not been blessed with my proper path. I would disappear for a year or two, and then always return when things got desperate. I would go to classes regularly, life would improve, and then I would fall off again, thinking that I could do it myself.
Once I got sober and went to Guru Singh’s classes regularly, and he inspired me to start a nonprofit organization that benefited artists in sobriety. It became successful and we held many amazing events, several of them at Golden Bridge. But then my yoga and daily practice fell off, and the organization did as well.
In early sobriety I practiced a prosperity kriya regularly, and went from a place of debt and living small to starting a business that succeeded to the point that I was able to buy a house. The company was written about in the Wall Street Journal. But again, this was not a regular practice. After a while I would get what I wanted, and it would fall to the wayside.
In 2009 I was in therapy, in an emotionally brutal relationship, and suffering again. My therapist was Jungian, and stressed the importance of dreams. In one dream I had, I was in Guru Singh's class. He came up to me during deep relaxation and asked me if my thumb was double-jointed. I said yes, it was. He said, "Then you can become a teacher." I had never seriously considered teacher training because I do not have a flexible body, and did not understand how I could ever teach something that I could not do as well as most of the younger yogis that I would be teaching.
Later in the dream I remember climbing up a hill and coming to a lovely home. Inside were radiant Sikhs that invited me in to their home, and into their lives. I signed up for Level 1 training after that dream, which led me to Summer Solstice for the first time, which led me to the Gudwara, which led me to Sikh Dharma.
I found that what I was missing in my practice was at the heart of Sikh Dharma; the commitment to God and Guru, the devotion, the selfless service, the love. As a Sikh I am no longer seeking. I have found path.
Amrit Manter Singh wrote this story as part of a the coursework for Journey to the Heart of Sikh Dharma TeleCourse. For more information on this inspiring 7 month course go here.