Kundalini Yoga in Asia: Yoga Festival in Thailand; Teacher Training in China
Kundalini Yoga and the teachings of Yogi Bhajan© continue to be on the rise in Asia. The 3HO Kundalini Yoga Festival Asia is held annually in Thailand in late October. The Ramadasa Yoga Meditation and Wellbeing Center is a new Kundalini Yoga center in China, currently holding a 26-day Teacher Training Immersion course.
By Rebecca Sonkkila, Australia
I attended the level 2 Authentic Relationships course, the Asia yoga festival, White Tantric Yoga, and a two-day meditation workshop with Gurucharan on meditation. Wow! What a ride it was. I feel that each event led naturally to the next, a deepening experience that changed and grew me as I allowed it, and that each event was held with such unbelievable love from all sides. Teachers, peers, and the helpful staff that cooked, cleaned, fetched, and translated at all hours of the day.
The festival hit the nail on the head. With a spirit of excitement we looked inside to discover light naturally arising, we were transformed in the company of new and old friends. Sunder Singh led sadhana most days—a gift to all. His soft voice flowed between the cicadas’ morning call and he had us rocking and stretching our way in deep oceans of meditation effortlessly. By breakfast time I had spanned the universe inside and penetrated an infinite beyond. I dissolved the labels of self, to flicker in harmony with space itself. Then it was time to eat.
Meals included seven or more Thai dishes in buffet style. There is an abundance of exotic fresh tropical fruit. Particularly delightful were trolleys full of milk of fresh young coconuts that surprised us on some of our snack breaks.
The international teachers, Guru Charan Singh, Tarn Taran Singh, and more, came together and formed a powerful team. We were all mesmerized and hypnotized, staring into ourselves, melting boundaries, opening to the entire Universe. Each workshop seemed to build on the last in some way. There was a sense of cohesive direction that really worked. Something greater yet related to the previous workshop could surface, gently and naturally, as we experienced kriyas, conversations, and sharing. Class after class of intense yoga had me floating from room to room. One action-packed event was headed by Guru Charan Singh, Sunder Singh, and Tarn Taran Singh with his guitar. At the end I’m not sure if any of us knew which way the door was. But we certainly knew who we were within the floating stillness of clarity and oneness.
The grounds of the festival, Baan Phu Waan, abound with Thai life: tropical trees of crazy shapes, a luscious pond full of huge fish that fly out of the water. An ancient Japanese painting comes to mind when looking at the cool still surface broken by dancing fish and bordered by temple shapes of cream and gold. This vista is sweetly lit in the night making it difficult to tear your eyes from the glittering scene and head to bed.
Talent night was created to celebrate Sunder Singh Khalsa’s birthday. This brought everyone together in a really magical way. The intensity of our dedication and spirit came to the stage with poetry, song, rapping, Michael Jackson the Sikh, people throwing themselves in cold, and some rehearsing right up to the last minute. We laughed hard and ended arm in arm, chanting in a bubble of love with Sunder Singh at the center.
I loved the Asia festival experience and will be back next year. How special to see the radiance and beauty of the Thai people, and do deep personal work for the light of my soul somewhere exotic and far away from the pressures of home. There is something about Thailand that has me feeling welcomed and loved in every way. The heat felt so good in my bones, the smell was so particular to the tropics. What a remarkable and commendable stand our spiritual teachers make for us. It is an honor to share this experience with the enlightened souls that fill our Kundalini Yoga realm. I’m so blessed I can scarcely contain my gratitude.
Rebecca Sonkkila has just completed the Level 1 Kundalini Yoga Teacher Training Immersion at Ramadasa in China.
Level 2 training is also offered before or after the festival. The dates for 2011 are:
Oct 14 - 19 Asia Festival
Oct 14 International Teachers Conference
Oct 15 White Tantric Yoga
Oct 21 – 26 Level 2 Mind & Meditation
For more information go to www.kundaliniyogaasia.org
Or email [email protected]
Teacher Training in China: The Seed of Consciousness Unfolds
By Yina Chen, Shanghai, China
I am actually not quite sure what made me decide to take a month long leave of absence and come to Ramadasa Center and join the Kundalini Yoga teacher training Level I Immersion course. I quite enjoy my current job, and have no intention to be a yoga teacher. And I had stopped practicing Kundalini Yoga for about 2 months. I just came with a peaceful mind and with no anxiety or specific expectations. I have stopped wondering why I came; I have the answer.
Kundalini Yoga emphasizes experiencing. Each one has his or her own experiences. To me, what I got is that the seed of consciousness has been planted into my life. I started to set my intention to my breath, my body, my thoughts, my emotions, my words, and my behaviors. Then I caught glimpses of my patterns: hidden fears, sadness, and anger. But I also found all my compassion after peeling off all the layers.
With these days at Ramadasa, I feel like a new born baby from time to time, starting to learn how to eat food and drink tea, how to walk and talk with consistent awareness, even in my dreams. I’ve had quite some dreams—I know it is a kind of subconscious releasing. I can remember clearly what happened in one of my dreams: Mom was blaming my grandma (Mom has a bad temper in my mind). I could feel my tension and the shutting off of my sensations. I quickly realized I was releasing my subconscious when I was still in the dream. Then the tension just disappeared.
More often I saw that the divine God passed me information through the people I talked with—if I talked with them consciously. During one conversation with a classmate, I realized that God was trying to remind me to take good care of my body. I became aware of my breath pattern. I tended to breathe in a hurry and I wasn’t breathing out completely. This showed me one of my patterns—that I am always trying to grab things to myself, which makes life stressful for me.
The end of the training is coming day by day. I am finding that everything is arranged by God. The Ramadasa Center, the graceful teachers, the sincere students, the lovely center staff, the morning sadhana, the peaceful environment, and the delicious meals are all so beautiful—even the occasional power outage.
Deep thankfulness. Kundalini Yoga is the best gift given by God. As a beginner, I found the preciousness in my life. There are two codes in the Teacher’s Oath. The teacher’s role is to uplift students to the infinite, rather than to himself; and to Keep Up as a role model of living a life of spirit. The sacred teachings fill me with compassion and gratitude for the Golden Chain, and for the accountability of the Kundalini Yoga teacher. I found diamonds shining from teachers like Sunder Singh, Gurucharan Singh, Suraj Kaur, and Tonie. They bring the light and we as students are enlightened and inspirited by them. We all have our own mission. And with grace we may step on to the path of Kundalini Yoga. Let’s walk together with sun and light... Sat Nam
Yina Chen is a student attending the Level 1 Immersion course at Ramadasa Yoga Meditation and Wellbeing Centre, China. Ramadasa has been established especially to share the deep teachings of Yogi Bhajan. The Immersion is a 26-day intensive teacher training, attended by students from ten different countries.