by Raghurai Singh
“Your heart has not to open to others. Your heart has to open to yourself.” Yogi Bhajan
The inscriptions of the GRDP logo are: Unity, Respect, Equality and Service. One for the Heart monthly workshops, taught by different teachers who can offer their wisdom, kindness and compassion, are based on this foundation and organizing them has been my contribution to the GRDP for more than 10 years.
The intention of One for the Heart workshops was to encourage people to work on themselves through Kundalini Yoga and to meditate within a community of souls practicing together without any distinction of race, gender or status. This symbolizes a way of life emerging from Guru Nanak’s teachings, where Yogis and Sikhs awaken in the way a lotus flower grows out of the muddy waters below, pushes aside dirty obstacles, and makes its way up and through the clearer waters out into the world where it blossoms.
The metaphor of the beautiful lotus flower has become a symbol of the kind of life many of us have endured in sorrow and separation. We all have the choice to develop out of murky soil and bloom into something worthwhile. We have the opportunity to see each hardship in life as a test to our own reality and grow with it. We all share a common grassland which may be parched in places and seek pleasure in order to avoid pain. We encounter many hurdles and endure the suffering of sadness, sickness, loss, old age and dying. We all go through these challenges. How far one must travel to find enlightment and the true path of the Self?
“You must travel the distance from the thumb to the tip of the little finger. If you place the spread hand on your stomach with the little finger at the navel point, then the thumb stretches to the heart centre. This is the mystical path consciousness must ascend.” Yogi Bhajan
As we persevere through the early years of the Aquarian Age often dealing with turmoil and upheaval, we are faced with many possibilities for healing and transformation. We are being called to move from the Piscean Age with its focus on the 3rd chakra, Manipura, and the lower emotional levels, into the 4th chakra, Anahata, the area of the heart, where we can find our way from darkness into consciousness. “Anahata” also means “unstruck” which relates to the constant rhythmic beat or vibration of the heart.
The heart chakra is associated with the arms, hands, lungs and thymus gland which controls our immune system. Because the lungs filter the oxygen in the body, any pranayama or breath work will also help to deal with ailments in the heart and respiratory systems, breast cancer and impaired immunity. Bringing awareness to our breathing and meditating on the flow of breath as it settles back into its natural rhythm will also calm our mind. Daily Kundalini Yoga practice and meditation in general are very beneficial for the strength and functionality of all these aspects.
“We need to calculate our total strength and serve people from our hearts. If it is heart to heart, you will never be handicapped.” Yogi Bhajan
Getting in touch with your heart and your true nature moves people from the personal question of “What’s in it for me?” into the language of ‘us’. There is no ‘you’ and ‘me’, there is only ‘us’. The person in front of me is just as important as I am. We are we; we are one, and we chant: Hummee Hum Bhrum Hum. It is also about the Sutra – “Recognize that the other person is you”, which indicates that we can see ourselves reflected in another person. If we can admire qualities in another, we can see those same qualities in ourselves. We can see that everything that moves, breathes, opens and closes lives in the Self – the source of love.
It is my prayer that One for the Heart workshops will expand to reach individuals and communities nationwide who need to heal, grow and transform their lives. It is a call of love and service so many teachers of Kundalini Yoga may feel inspired to join the GRDP in sharing these ancient teachings through leading workshops in their areas, and their local communities.