By Bhavanjot Kaur
“Whenever you mentally expand you save yourself trouble. When you mentally contract, you will trouble yourself. You go vast; troubles become zero. You go little; troubles become big, you become small.” -Yogi Bhajan
My six-year-old daughter and I recently spent a week on an impromptu camping trip with some friends. While it was no summer solstice in New Mexico, I definitely came home with greater awareness about myself and what is required of me to live an emotionally balanced life.
Prior to the trip, I had a head start on the current 40 day global meditation, The Master Key Meditation. I had been practicing it for thirty-one minutes a day for more than forty days prior to the actual start date. My intention was to keep up with this meditation through the summer, but my plans unexpectedly changed.
“There is no good and bad. There is no guilt, there is no sin. There is no wrong, there is no right. There is only our own insanity or our own meditative concentration.” -Yogi Bhajan
After the first day of camping, carrying car loads of stuff in the summer heat, coming down with an allergy cold and being chased by a skunk in the dark, I thought I was in dire need of a break. I decided I was going to take the week off from my meditation and I watched as my intention was lost in a cloud of marshmallow, chocolate and graham cracker smoke.
As the week went on, I became a less than stellar version of myself. I was emotional, pain-ridden, without boundaries, selfish and irritable. I was not practicing my daily walks, Kundalini Yoga and meditation or hot yoga and my intake of food and such was less than healthy and I was borderline sleep deprived. I was what I would call a “hot mess” and I was not sure if my break was actually backfiring and instead causing a break-down.
“There is a factor in you that messes you up. The fact of that factor is that you are not a mess, you think you are a mess. This is our competitive nature.” -Yogi Bhajan
After returning home and a few nights’ rest, I sat on my mat and practiced the meditation for eleven minutes and then I got my daughter off to day camp and went to a hot yoga class. During savasana the teacher played Snatam Kaur’s version of the Mul Mantra. The teacher came by my mat and whispered what my grateful heart already felt, “This is for you.” I approached her after class and got goosebumps on my arms as I told her that this was the first mantra Snatam Kaur taught me some years ago and that this mantra is very personal to me.
The Mul Mantra is the mantra that removes fate and changes the destiny to complete prosperity. It is the root mantra and the foundation to which a spiritual practice may begin.
“The strength of your judgment is the only enemy you have. You don’t look at things in the light of the spirit, the light of the soul, and you do not believe and trust that everything is the light of the soul.” -Yogi Bhajan
As I got into my car to leave class, I got to thinking that maybe I could stop being so hard on myself about the week prior, and instead look at it as a beautiful reminder of how far I have come; and that it is possible that this week off was part of the meditation for me, and a necessary experience to guide me into the next stage of my practices and my way of being and living.
Perhaps this break from my practice was not a break-down, but instead a break-through and a beautiful reminder of how my daily practices sustain me and keep me emotionally balanced. While every day is not going to be perfect by any means and I certainly cannot claim perfection for myself within those days, I do know that I have a much better chance at a good day for myself and for those around me when I do what I know works best for me.
It seems that sometimes we have to go back to where we started—to the roots—to see just how far we have actually come; how we have grown and how much we still have room to grow. And we can be grateful for the beautiful reminder of our own personal journey and evolution.
In my humble experience, like most things with Kundalini Yoga, one step leads to the next and I was guided to the Gutka Kriya, which uses the same shabad as the Master Key Meditation: Ek Ong Kaar Sat Gur Prasaad. This kriya can restore balance by taking what is negative and turning it positive.
“When your mind is going berserk, apply a gutka. What is a gutka? It is a stopping lever. It is a lever that can stop you and take the entire weight of the reverse balance. So whenever there is a reverse balance, if you apply the gutka, it will stop it. When the energy is in reverse and it is stopped, it will go to the positive and you’ll be good again. Isn’t that a simple way to fix yourself?” -Yogi Bhajan
My daughter was happier than a clam about our camping trip and was seemingly unaffected by the inner and sometimes outer emotional unbalance that plagued me during that particular week. I was very grateful that it was mostly my enjoyment of life that was hindered and not hers—another blessing of awareness. She has been beaming as she shares stories of her wonderful experiences at the park, the beach, crabbing and so on.
She spent much of the time on her scooter and bike and was left with many cuts and scrapes and bruises on her knees and elbows, but significantly improved her riding skills during that week. She reminds me again and again that life can be messy sometimes and we may get a little messy within it, but we are not a mess; we are all just learning and evolving.
Like my daughter on her bike, we just have to get back on it and try again because we cannot get anywhere just sitting on the sidelines or standing down to anyone or staying down for anything. We have to get back up and keep on moving forward because that is who we are and this is what we do.
“Emotions do not last long; character does. Commotions do not last long; character does. Values do not last long; character does. Character is an aspect of consciousness—total and complete.” -Yogi Bhajan
Bhavanjot Kaur is the owner and founder of Hamsa Healing Arts located in Centerbrook, CT. She is a Kundalini Yoga teacher and Radiant Child Yoga Teacher. She is also a Reiki Master practitioner and Teacher, Craniosacral therapy practitioner, Raindrop therapy massage practitioner, and she offers sound therapy with a 32" Paiste Symphonic Gong. Bhavanjot is a consultant for essential oils, medicinal mushrooms and CBD oil. She is mother to a delightful six-year-old little girl who overcame a rare childhood kidney cancer, which inspires her work with Lucy's Love Bus and the Connecticut Cancer Foundation.