You are here

Facing Illness with Courage

By Kathe Forrest

The last 3 months have been scary and uncertain and disruptive for me as my body experienced personal challenge.

I was diagnosed with bad bacteria (Helicopter Pylori) in my stomach and took heavy antibiotics, which then allowed another really damaging bacteria to flourish in my system. Fortunately, that round finished the bacteria off and I am now getting my strength back and gaining weight that I had lost.

Of course, my sadhana suffered because I was depleted and needed rest. I realized that focusing on my health was my sadhana and I managed to keep up with Kirtan Kriya  on some days. That meditation is a light for mind and spirit.

The feelings in my gut (3rd chakra) were tumultuous. I kept trying to understand what I was not digesting, having been presented with not being able to digest anything. Was this some sort of wake up call?

I did, however, carry on teaching my yoga classes and surprise, surprise, I always felt better afterwards. I could breathe deeper and felt at peace. It was not really about a specific kriya or pose (although shoulder stand helped at one point and I practiced that on my own), but the total action of teaching and relating to my students to keep up! I think it was their pure energy that kept me going.

Students and friends became strengths for me as I requested and received help and continued to teach. I needed people to come by and just visit, I needed food made and errands taken care of—my energy was so low. They responded with kindness and many gifts of compassion.

It was difficult to make that request but necessary. I tuned in to my intuition as I also found and recognized the need to add Chinese herbs and other supplements to my diet.

Now I feel renewed in my body and psyche because of this intense experience.

My sixth sense is strong after ten years of Kundalini Yoga. My will power to get through trauma and physical pain is fortified with my daily practice,

These times can be difficult if you make events the focus and react to them. Kundalini teaches us to shine on, to gather with others, breathe and spread the light.

“The Yogi is not affected by the opposite polarities of life—neither by praise nor by slander, neither by riches nor by poverty, neither by health nor by illness, neither by life nor by death. The will of God is the will of the yogi. He or she surrenders his or her personal will to the Will of God.”
-Yogi Bhajan

The Will of God acted through my will to continue to push forward to health, to continue rising in the early hours if only to stare at the gurus, and to acknowledge Thy Will be done, Thy Will be done. No matter the situation, rise above it with grace.

Chanting Ong to Remove Fear and Nervousness

Ong is the sound of unity and of manifestation. Chanting this mantra creates a harmony in your physiology and in your thinking, and will remove fear and nervousness from your mind and body.

Sit in a comfortable meditative posture or lie down. Chant the mantra Ong. When you chant it, try to vibrate the bones in your skull. You will also feel the vibration in your sinus cavities. After chanting the mantra once, inhale deeply and chant again. Keep trying to find the sound that deeply vibrates within you. Take your time and keep your breath relaxed. It is fine to take several breaths between each time you chant the mantra.

This is simple and effective for any amount of time. Use it when you feel stressed or undone or sick.

From A Woman’s Book of Meditation by Hari Kaur Khalsa

Kathe Forrest/Siri Kirin is the author of The 40 Day Sadhana Companion: A Guided Journal (formerly titled Keep the Change). She is a mom, grandma called Nonni, yoga teacher, herbalist and nutritionist. She lives deep in the heart of Texas and volunteers through her local hospice and herb society.