By Bhavanjot Kaur
“Life is a chance to commit, and commitment means to go through it, to complete it. It is an experience.”
I live in a quaint little town on the shoreline of Connecticut. I am a stone’s throw away from the water and I live just a few blocks away from a historic 1892 train station with vintage rail cars that are pulled by an authentic steam locomotive. There is something nostalgic, mysterious and other worldly about this train. It chugs along down the tracks in a mesmerizing motion day after day while whistling its song and blowing off steam in what seems like a symbolic and harmonious acknowledgement of one’s commitment to life and the journey of authenticity.
“Any act that you can turn into a worship; any act that you can turn into an act of higher consciousness; every act you can turn to an act of giving, surrendering, committing to the Absolute—will take you to the Absolute.”
–Yogi Bhajan, 10/16/73
I was participating in an early morning Aquarian Sadhana with my daughter at our recent visit to Kripalu. She was sleeping soundly on her mat next to me in a dimly lit room as we were being taught the Pituitary Gland Series when suddenly the fire alarm sounded.
It was very loud and quite startling amidst the meditative state of the room. I picked up my daughter who was now half awake and followed the rest of the yogis toward the exit. A woman directed us where to go when we left the room and we followed each other through the halls in what felt, to me, like a very calm and peaceful silence even amidst the urgent sound of the alarm.
With heavy storms outside, we were directed to the Annex, which is attached to the original structure at Kripalu. We all took seats on the floor. A short time passed when we were told that we could head back to the classroom. When I sat back down on my mat, the yoga teacher that was leading the class mentioned nothing of the incident, that I recall, and completed teaching the set. It was as though the interruption was part of the set—or even as if we had never left the room.
“There is nothing beyond commitment, there is nothing before commitment, and there is nothing in commitment, because commitment is complete within itself. Before commitment you are a nut. After commitment you are still a nut because you are committing, and you can’t go anywhere else. So within commitment you are a nut because you are fixed. But you know what that feeling is? When the atom splits, it creates an energy which nobody can even measure. When you split, it is like atomic power which burns you up. But when that energy unites, it makes the atom. It is that commitment which is that positive union. An atom makes the molecule, a molecule makes the matter, and matter makes the life.”
-Yogi Bhajan, 10/16/73
My life has taken a few unexpected twists and turns over the last few years. One thing has remained consistent through it all and that is my commitment to cultivating awareness and refining my perception of this experience called life through deepening my practices of yoga and meditation.
Life has a way of derailing us, but there is always a way to get back on track. A powerful practice to gain perspective and direction is The Complete Adi Mantra for Individual Meditation. The Kundalini Yoga teachings are pure in their original and authentic form. It is the practitioner who harnesses this purity and this authenticity through a continuous commitment to come back to the teachings every single time.
“Every tomorrow shall become today to face you, and today you always face. But the day you start preparing for that last day by reminding yourself, 'When I quit the planet, what legacy am I going to leave behind? And what link shall I have with Infinity?'—then you are liberated.”
-Yogi Bhajan 3/28/94
I was out hiking recently with my daughter. There is a lovely wooded area that is near the water where we like to walk. We stop at a tire swing on the water and we also walk to a special tree that we named the unicorn tree because, well, it looks like a unicorn to us.
While we were walking, I watched my daughter ahead of me as she jumped over the tree stumps and roots poking out from the ground. She stopped and looked back at me and asked, “How will we get back to the car?” I smiled and answered, “We just have to stay on the path.” Then she grabbed my hand and urgently asked, “But Mom, when will we be back to the car?” I laughed inside a little and said, “When we get to the end of the path.”
I breathed a big sigh of relief. A salt air breeze passed through the tops of the trees calling me to look up and smile at the beauty of the present moment. I said to my daughter, “Let’s just enjoy being where we are right now. We will get there, honey, okay?” She looked up at me with a smile and said, “Ok, sure.” Within my heart, I could hear the train chugging along, blowing off steam and whistling its song in its full expression of authenticity. Then in the depths of my soul, I slowly began to hear the whisper of Sa Ta Na Ma and my fingers started to dance along.
“Commitment is knowledge within itself. You don’t commit to get the knowledge. When you commit, knowledge comes to you. If you can commit and hold on to it, there is nothing more you have to learn. When you commit, things will happen which will shift in you, change you, stop you, make [tempt] you to disobey, revolt. Such opportunities will come to you. Even if you forget the truth that is the basis of you, if you continue to be committed, that’s all it takes. Commitment does not ‘begin’ anything. Commitment is the end in itself.”
-Yogi Bhajan, 10/16/73
Bhavanjot Kaur is the owner and founder of Hamsa Healing Arts in Old Saybrook, CT. Bhavanjot is a Kundalini yoga teacher, Reiki Master & Teacher, Craniosacral therapy practitioner and she also offers sound therapy with a 32" gong. Bhavanjot hosts a local women's circle and various workshops on therapeutic grade essential oils, medicinal mushrooms and The Art of Reiki Levels I and II. She is a proud single mother to a beautiful and delightful four-year-old little girl who overcame a rare childhood kidney cancer.