Yogi Bhajan Lecture Archive
Lecture by :
Siri Singh Sahib Bhai Sahib Harbhajan Singh Khalsa Yogi Ji
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Lecture on: 03/01/1995
Category: Mantra
Location: Espanola, NM

Quantum Technology of the Shabd Guru

by Siri Singh Sahib Bhai Sahib Harbhajan Singh Khalsa Yogiji, Ph.D. compiled by Mukhia Singh Sahib Dr. Gurucharan Singh Khalsa, Ph.D. - April 1995

  1. Basis, Use and Impact of the Quantum Technology of the Shabd Guru
  2. The Character of the Aquarian Age and the Information Revolution
  3. The Nature of the Shabad Guru
  4. The Quantum Technology and Impact of the Shabd Guru
  5. Education for Leadership and Spiritual Fitness in the Aquarian Age

Basis, Use and Impact of the Quantum Technology of the Shabd Guru.
A contemporary perspective of the exploration of the Shabd Guru and the Information Age.

We live in turbulent times. Storm warnings surround us. There are warning signs of personal breakdown and information overload everywhere. We must learn the way to be happy and thrive under new, elevated levels of pressure. The cover story of Newsweek reported that the president of Harvard University, Neil Rudentstein, collapsed into the fatigue abyss. He announced that his life was scrambled and devoured by an invisible enemy, information overload. Mr. Rudentstein lived for three years in a state of hyper-energetic activity. He used brilliance, little sleep and consistent high-level skills for information management to create excellent results for the University. Then he hit a gap. Relationships, family, health and performance all failed. He was forced to withdraw from all stimulation for several months on a Caribbean island before he could return to his work, and when he did it was in a much reduced capacity. Intelligence, skills, resources were not enough. He came up against some basic, perhaps primal limitations under the demands of an information overload.

Mr. Rudentstein is only one example on the top of a long public list of famous people and leaders who have declared a mental rupture and social meltdown from hyperactivity and information overload.

We have seen this happen to people in every walk of life: sports stars, police officers, professors, housewives, young students, and stress counselors. Even professionals whose job it has been to handle great stress and coach others to do so, fail to maintain their balance under increased pressure from the information storm, and resultant new social complexities .

Some writers have recently warned us about the impact that comes with the increased rate of change and access to unlimited information. The well known futurist Alvin Toffler proclaimed, "The breakdown of human performance under heavy information loads may be related to psychopathology in ways we have not yet begun to explore. Yet even without understanding its potential impact, we are accelerating the generalized rate of change in society. We are forcing people to adapt to a new life pace, to confront novel situations and master them in ever shorter intervals."

For many people the information bomb has already exploded - in the silence of their minds. Information overload and a constant exposure to the moods and manipulations of unprecedented numbers of other people through technology is becoming overwhelming. An article in the Wall Street Journal warns us of this increasing problem: "at executive seminars run by the Harvard Medical School psychiatrist Steven Berglas, technology-induced exhaustion is now the most popular session. 'People won't admit to being overwhelmed,' Dr. Berglas says. 'That's why they're driving themselves crazy."'

Current surveys confirm the rising impact and the emergence of new maladies. Our own eyes can witness the pressure and problems all around. None of the predictions and none of the current symptoms touch how vast, radical and immediate this problem is and will be in the future. The limitations of the brain's capacity to handle information and the awakened sensitivity of consciousness will cause considerable pressure on each and everyone of us. The result will be new forms of psychological, emotional and spiritual disorders.

This new pressure on the mind has only just begun. We are sensing the first ripples of a vast tidal wave of pressure on humanity. InfoDementia SyndromesTM (IDS) defines the variety of maladies which have begun to plague us like depression, disorientation, diffusion of identity and other effects which come from the gap between the brain's capacity to handle the flood of information and social contacts it is exposed to and the need to act immediately and consciously in each situation. The gap between information flow and sensory capacity and response will widen as the quantity of information and the number of people exposed to it increase.

The massive overload of information we will all be subjected to destroys the balance of the mind and creates conditions of unimaginable disorientation. We have mapped out these syndromes and changes both in the present and for the future We have used the quantum technology of the Shabd Guru to help thousands of people in these ways: to regain lost balance, to strengthen virtues already developed, and to overcome obstacles. Those who practiced the techniques of the Shabd Guru excelled with stamina and motivation, gained clarity in their values and direction in life, dropped addictive habits, and were healed from many mental and physical aliments.

The outcome of this shift of Age depends on our ability to assess and command our own consciousness. The demands of this great change require that each of us use and master and apply the inner technology of the Shabd Guru.

Using the Shabd Guru we can quickly and effectively find the calm eye of this mental and social storm of change. From this place of inner stillness, (shuniya), we can find our focus so we may excel and be happy. This state is described as the state of being samdarsi. The Guru describes the attributes of a mind that dwells in such a neutral state:

We must prepare for and find antidotes to a wave of new maladies. Each Age has its special challenges to body, mind and soul. For example, leprosy, tuberculosis, malaria and smallpox are plagues we faced for many generations in the last Age. Through new medical technologies and committed efforts, some of the old enemies, like smallpox have disappeared. Others are contained and in retreat. Now, as we enter a new Age, previously unknown challenges such as viral epidemics and psychological/spiritual ailments beset us, with more on the way. Depression and fatigue-related psychological illnesses are at epidemic proportions and rising at accelerating rates. The Annals of Internal Medicine, a prestigious medical journal, recently reported fatigue and stress as two of the top reasons people seek a doctor. Over 25% of patients complain of prolonged fatigue lasting at least several weeks. Other symptoms come with the fatigue: insomnia, inability to concentrate or make decisions, loss of a feeling of control, and alienation from normal social and sexual relationships. News reports are increasingly documenting that even the most competent, productive and intelligent people have lost their sense of balance to the inescapable pressure of information overload, the lack of time, and increased social and personal demands.

At first people will try to deal with this gap with increased electronic technology. We will attempt to use more sophisticated devices, software, even special intelligent helpers to sort the flood of information. The ancient defenses of our human nervous system will accelerate. We will fight, withdraw, and fantasize more. Some of us will attempt to diffuse the impact of the flood of information with harmful adaptations like drug use and violence. Electronic technology will only bring us more information, more choices, more contacts, and more complexity. It will push us beyond all the old frontiers of identity- home, neighborhood, country, values, and the natural rhythms of nature. Our old touchstones for forming an identity will fail and we will have a pervasive identity crisis.

All these examples highlight the necessity for a potent and practical technology to generate the inner energy needed to survive and excel under this pressure. Energy is "the capacity for action or accomplishment; the effort your mind and body is able to exert to move from the current slate to a desired state." Remember the famous formula of Einstein, E = MC2. It converts the mass of an object into the amount of energy it can generate. In the realm of the mind we can write a similar formula:

E (inner energy) = MC2
(Mind) (Consciously Conscious)

We must consciously direct the consciousness of the mind. We release the energy we need to excel and balance ourselves with an inner technology that can alter the frequency of the mind and the state of the brain.

Guru Nanak - the first Guru of the Sikhs, immersed into the Shabd Guru, saw the pain of people everywhere. He experienced the vast flood of information from the entire cosmic consciousness. And he perfectly laid down patterns of the Shabd Guru that commanded the brain and mind with rhythm, sound, concentration and breath. The patterns of the Shabd Guru combine atoms of information in the smallest sound units to release the inner energy of awareness needed to guide the brain and mind through this wave of change. Just as combining atoms has opened the way to use the greatest energy in matter, the quantum's of sound are the atoms that open the way to the greatest inner energy of consciousness and command the chemistry of the brain. Those Shabd patterns are a legacy to be used and shared with all as an antidote to the maladies of the InfoDementia Syndromes. The Shabd Guru technology is not just for the Sikhs but for everyone, for in every human is the Light of the same Creator.

We do not need new choices. We are flooded with choices. We need an elevated capacity to make choices. We do not need more information. We need the wisdom to use all the information. We do not need another religion. We need the experience of a Dharma that creates the spiritual fitness to act believably on our beliefs. The Shabd Guru is a special kind of technology with a unique contribution to develop potentials and handle the problems of the new age - the Aquarian Age. In the body it produces vitality; in the complex of the mind it awakens intelligence and develops wisdom and intuition; in the heart it establishes compassion; in each person's consciousness it builds the clarity to act with fearless integrity.

The Character of the Aquarian Age and the Information Revolution ( back to top )

We recognize the Aquarian Age is dawning. November of 1991 marked the cusp of the last step of the shift of Age. There have been many Ages and shifts of Ages before in the long history of Humankind. But this shift of Age is different. The old "Piscean Age" was dominated by machines and hierarchies. The new "Aquarian Age" is ruled by awareness, information and energy. The greatest power will be your Word, your consciously projected words. This change is radical, not incremental. It is a simultaneous change in both the outer and inner worlds. The mind is changing, its sensitivity, its basic frequency and functioning. Our lifestyle is changing its sense of time, space, relatedness and relevancy.

The Kalyug will turn everything upside down. (Parbeen 12)

In the Age we are leaving behind, it was a central and even sacred task to find and gain access to the right information. There were special places of study in remote areas - like Tibet, or in a deep jungle or an isolated desert, accessible to a few who could qualify or who had a special destiny. The motto of the Age was "to be or not to be." Learn, grow and become something. Great knowledge about human potential was guarded by secrecy and layers of initiations.

In the Aquarian Age there are no secrets! Information is available. Finding it is not the central task any longer. In this Age the motto is "be to be." You already are something by the grace of the Creator. Accept your wholeness and your connectedness to a larger creative existence and express it with each committed action 13. Let your actions demonstrate wisdom. Study alone, knowing a truth alone, will not be important. Real value will come from truth embodied in practical actions and in the internal caliber and qualities of your mind and heart. This is the profile of a fulfilled human being.

The Aquarian Age person will demand personal experience and the capacity to act The Shabd Guru is available to all and will soon be on Information networks all over the globe. You need not search. You need to practice, experience, incorporate and express .

This last point is a key to grasp the shift of the Aquarian Age. Imagine that information on anything and anybody is available to everyone. In such a world, your value will not rest in what you acquire, find or know. It will rest in who you have become through the experience of what you find. Value will lie in your capacity and consciousness to use information. You will be valuable for your wisdom and unique point of view. That is what the Shabd Guru develops. It is not a thought, an idea or a piece of information. It is a patterning of information. It is information about information. It is not just an experience, it is an experience about experience. In a world saturated with information we need a technology to develop our command of it, not just gather more.

A scientist from an MIT research facility demonstrated something amazing. He understood our point that, "People used to remove themselves from normal society in order to search out their spirit. They would go to mountains, jungles, deserts or caves. Or in a village they would wear special garb to be in a different world of spirit with different rules Now there is no place to go. You can take a tour to the most remote spot." His eyes sparkled as he turned on his computer terminal. The screen showed a spinning image of the globe. He had us pick a country. We pointed to a South American location. He zoomed the map on the computer screen to show that country. He asked us to point to a region in it. He zoomed the picture to enlarge that zone. It was a remote area laced with hills. He entered a special code. Several blips of light appeared. He selected one. With a little manipulation, a miniature image appeared of a vehicle with its speed and other information. Our eyes opened wide. He said, "We can track any vehicle that sends out a
cellular or other transmission, and moves at 100 mph or less, night or day, anywhere in the world. We can locate an object as small as a few centimeters. In a few years, we will be able to track anything passively, even without a signal from it. Shall I leave the computer to track it automatically so you can look at it later?" It isn't even the future. That capacity exists now! Information, beyond what you expect, is available even now and is increasing exponentially.

Everything is recorded in the Akasha, in the Heavens - so make each action as if you are in the presence of God. The Shabd Guru develops brain states, feelings and automatic alertness so you can be aware of your actions and guide them before you take them. It gives you a tool to act as a conscious self-conductor. In the last Age you could get away with many more behaviors - from embezzling to dumping pollutants. You could just hide them. Now that is rapidly becoming impossible. In the past you could establish a persona, a mask you show to the world, and be known by it.Now every persona is under audit. We can track each of your actions regardless of how you may appear. Every money exchange, statement and behavior leaves a trail. Just as the Guru emphasized, we will be known by those actions. Our Individual actions bring us nearer or further to God. (Page 12, Siri Guru Granth Sahib, Japji Sahib)

Action is the language of the awakened self As the Aquarian Age dawns, the old defenses and manipulations based on hiding or controlling access to information will no longer work. We need the capacity to assess each action and its consequences before we take them, as if every action will be known and will reveal us. Only then can we realize that our word, fulfilled by actions,is our ultimate gift and power. The use of the Shabd Guru is the highest refinement of that power.

There are many other dimensions to the radical shift of this Age. People everywhere are talking about it, making predictions or debunking it. Some sense the shift as a cataclysm or end of the world, others as a new beginning, and still others as a time of uncertainty and unpredictability. What is clear to everyone is a sense of urgency and a vast change in society, consciousness and the nature of our perception of the world and each other. We have always experienced change. But rarely with this intensity and speed and NEVER with this scope and vastness. The change is on all levels of life at once. It is not sequential and orderly, nor is each step predictable. And it affects each one of us personally.

Regardless of how the shift is perceived, every person down to the grass roots of society is reaching for something to do about it. Each person must accept the responsibility to elevate and manage his or her own state of awareness, to deal with wide spread and constant stress, to take actions and to make decisions on a vast, shifting array of problems. Although people intuit the shift in different ways, there are several overarching themes we all agree must be confronted and dealt with.

Learning is not enough. We must learn how to learn. We need the capacity not just for Cognition but for MetaCognition. Change and learning is continuous and lifelong. We must maintain mental, emotional and physical flexibility. Intellect is not enough. We need a new relationship to intuition, emotion and instinct. Information is not enough.Neither is knowledge. We need wisdom Complexity is increasing as is our need to deal with it. Our sense of personal identity and its foundation is shifting.

This is an Age of Paradox - more global and more individual; fewer boundaries and more demand for political separations, everything is faster and we have less time. We need far more love and unity for we have more fear and tremendous insecurity. Stamina and constant peak performance are the common benchmarks to evaluate every person and their work, and the need is to go inward and regenerate. We require a reconciliation and integration of the spiritual side of life with the technological and material sides - a Spiritual Fitness to sense values and meaning.

There is no isolation. Each action we take must be considered ecologically, in terms of others and globally, because each person does affect, directly or indirectly, vast networks of people, and other living beings and places.

In all of this, the human being will need to cope with the core change in the amount and rate of information accessible and required. The rapid change in information processing power, storage capabilities and distribution are amazing. (See appendix II ) From the beginning of the information age studies have been done, from the 1940s to the present, that estimated the human ability to store and process information so we could take advantage of the new technologies. The results are fairly consistent. We have a massive capacity for storage. The number of neural connections goes into the trillions, but the capacity to process the information of the senses and the stored information of experience is severely limited. The process is not just electrical, it is also chemical. The brain is not just "hardware" or "software" to use computer terms, it is "wetware." It is an ocean of chemical exchanges of information via the most subtle and cosmic electromagnetic interactions. Each of us has a potential information processing bottleneck. That is one of the functions of sleep - to sort out information and to revitalize the chemical and glandular engines of consciousness.

The estimates most scientists use at this time is that the human brain can process and integrate information from the senses at a modest 50 bits per second. Over 100 million bits per second are needed to create a typical TV picture. So we must edit, delete and code the information. The Information Revolution and increased sensitivity of the Aquarian Age will overload the brain's buffers, the temporary storage and sorting areas. We must be able to clear the subconscious quickly and start to develop new capacities in the brain to deal with the overload or we will suffer from InfoDementia Syndromes.

The initial symptoms of the IDS will be: stress, burn-out, more minor and chronic illnesses, fatigue, sleep problems,behavioral addictions and compulsions,poor judgments and feelings of depression, helplessness and withdrawal.Some people are reacting to the current level of pressure by refusing to use any technology or throwing out the computer and TV sets. But the future will be filled with increasing types and quantities of interconnecting devices. And we will have 10 billion people with historically unprecedented levels of higher education and the need to express and communicate! As the pressure increases, we will see chronic fatigues, identity collapse where people will simply leave their physical bodies for extended periods of inactivity, splitting of identities, and catastrophic errors in judgments.

There is opportunity and potential prosperity everywhere - and with it comes equal danger. Information and intellect are not enough to manage our brain and actions in this Age. This massive change will bring many unexpected reactions. Some people will react, burn-out, and try to isolate themselves physically or emotionally. Delusions will become common. The rise of the open information society will have a shadow filled with secret groups and fanatic societies. This is part of the turbulence of such a radical shift.

We must learn to use the mind differently. The mind of the future Aquarian Age person will change both in sensitivity and quality over the next several decades. In a few generations our mental struggles will seem as distant and perplexing to them as the problems and thoughts of ancient prehistoric empires seem to us now. That change of mental quality will occur automatically and has already begun in some people.

We need an intuitive mind to handle paradoxes, uncertainty and the need for action. The intuitive mind can integrate the polarities in an issue with a creative sense of purpose and neutrality that serves both polarities. This will become a key difference between the happy and prosperous and the miserable in the new Age: who can handle information pressure and who can not. The capacity to command the brain into states that handle all information (social, emotional,data, sensory, psychic and subtle) and the pressure to act wisely will create great differences and classes in the world of work, economics, relationships,leadership and lifestyles.

How can we develop the mind to excel in this new environment? How do we embed core value capacity in the mind so that it has an axis of action, an orientation to guide clear decisions? Information and intellect are not enough. It is just as the Guru says in Japji Sahib,

Thinking and thinking, even 100,000 clever thoughts will not solve the need of the mind for direction nor the thirst of the soul for meaning and connection. It is only by special practices of the Naam 14 or Shabd Guru that you can have the wisdom needed to act.

What happens when we have information and intellect, but lack the neutral mind and the practice of spiritual fitness to connect with our consciousness consciously? Consider this point seriously for a minute, What type of problem will arise? The answer is Chernobyl. And the thousand possible Chernobyls of the future.

The nuclear disaster at Chernobyl 15 on the morning of April 26, 1986, affected millions of people. It had an impact beyond anything, imagined by its designers, operators and even its critics. Though many details may still be discovered, the core of the story will stay the same. The whole disaster was caused by two electrical engineers. When the clean-up teams finally managed to breach the core areas of the reactor and the control stations, they pieced together what had happened. Surrounding the dead bodies of the two top engineers in charge was a clear trail of ill-taken decisions. The two engineers were well trained, and educated at the top of their respective classes. They knew exactly what they were doing and the risks involved. They had both information and experience. One night, perhaps out of boredom or a love of risk-taking, this we can not determine, they decided to play a game. They made a bet on how slowly and how long the turbine in reactor number four could ree-wheel when the power is removed. They began shutting down the
reactor. They knew the procedure created instability in the complex system. In fact there were six separate automatic, computer driven alarm systems to prevent exactly what they decided to do. The computer gave warnings with flashing lights, then alarms, then automatic valve shutoffs. They padlocked the valves and overrides so they could not close! How far down could they go? It went all the way down! It exploded. They got the excitement.They lost the bet. All that is left are the padlocks and a legacy of fear.

Those educated engineers had the intellect, the knowledge and the resources to fulfill their duty and excel in their profession. But for some personal reason they lost their clarity. Apparently they had no practice to use the intuitive,neutral mind. They lost track of the reality of what they were doing. They blocked out the calculated impact of their actions. They had the best external technology to stimulate the reactions of atoms but no technology to stimulate the inner atoms of the mind and self. They could not monitor their own internal state. Without being consciously conscious, the mind became distorted. For that momentary lack of spiritual fitness and value clarity, they died, thousands were killed and injured, and millions exposed to long term risks That environment is now uninhabitable. They lacked the spiritual fitness, the value capacity, to read their inner compass under stress. This will be an increasingly frequent situation.

Individuals will have access to technology and information with potential global impact. Watch the current controversies over Russia's open sale of nuclear technology and weapons to the highest bidders. Now we have found weapons grade plutonium on sale in the black markets in Europe and the Middle East. Follow the spread of chemical weaponry across the middle east. Track the stories of hackers who successfully introduce computer viruses into key systems dedicated to defense operations and to medicine.

The outer education provided by the information revolution must be matched by an inner education in wisdom, self-control, intuition and the use of the neutral mind. We have the quantum technology of the inner science in the Shabd Guru to answer the call of the Age. We need stamina under stress, clarity of values for decisions, a new base for identity, and the ability to command our brain, mind and states of consciousness consciously through the filter of intuition, wisdom and the positive, negative and neutral minds. This is where the Shabad Guru becomes essential to the future.

The Nature of the Shabd Guru ( back to top )

"Shabd" means sound, "Guru" means teacher or knowledge that transforms you. The simplest meaning of Shabd Guru is a special sound that is a teacher. But what is it that we learn from the Shabd Guru and how does the use of sound act as a teacher?

To answer this question look at a deeper definition of Shabd Guru from its root structure. "Shabd" comes from Sha- and -bd. "Sha" means the expression of the ego, the attachments we identify with."Bd" means to cut out/off or to eradicate. The root meaning of Sha-bd is that which cuts the ego. It is not just any sound. It is not just a wise sound or a song of truth. It is a sound that cuts away the ego that occludes the truth from you.

Ego is formed by the mind's constant automatic processing that attaches us to and identifies us with objects, feelings and thoughts. The ego is not inherently bad. It is just limited.

Ego is a chronic malady and in itself lies the cure (Siri Guru Granth Sahib, page 466)

In itself it can be useful and even necessary to functioning. But when you act attached to the ego as if it is your real nature and as if it defines your reality and scope, then you create pain, unhappiness and problems. Your spiritual reality is that you are part of a vast creation. In experience, you are a creature that is not separate from the larger matrix of life and consciousness. When you act in your specific role toward a goal or project, you must focus and limit your attention and energies. You can do that and forget anything other than your current attachment. Or you can act with passion and commitment as you remember and intuitively connect to the larger Self that is you and to the larger world that you act within.

The ego creates a kind of forgetfulness.You forget the Creator 16 . You forget vastness. The energy of the mind begins to act in narrow ways with petty feelings and limiting beliefs. You act according to the information patterns of a small part of your potential and experience.

What is the alternative? If we cannot base our identity in the known or on any limited position of ego what can we do? Act egolessly. Base an identity in the Infinite and the connection to your sense of the Infinite. That may seem a great or mystic accomplishment, but it is the natural state of the Self. We are part of the Infinite by nature. It is the mind that forms a limited sense of self. We do not need to create an Infinite self. It already exists That existence is called SAT NAAM - SAT 17 is reality, truth or existence. NAAM is the identity or creative name. We are all in essence a reality that vibrates and creates. Most of the time we act as if we are not. That is the pain imposed on our life by ego. The Shabd removes that pain by removing barriers to perceiving and acting from the Real Self.

This is one of the miracles of grace embodied in the teachings of the ten Gurus of Sikh Dharma. Each of the ten Gurus carried the Guruship and the Infinite identity of the Shabd Guru with very different personalities, ages and situations. And yet each affirmed they were all one Light. The identity they embedded in the Shabd Guru did not depend on ego or any finite identity. They sang Shabds that merged the one who recites them into the Infinite and infinity of self, beyond the limits of time and space. It is exactly such a technology that is needed. It establishes a link with the sense of the Infinite no matter what mood and position you begin with. There is a raga and sutra to lift every possible position of the ego into egoless merger.

Ego will no longer work! The shift of Age has changed the conditions of the mind. The Piscean consciousness operated with less sensitivity. You could hide actions, thoughts and feelings with a high degree of short term success. Some ego positions were favored above others by the conditions in a family, society or environment. That has fundamentally changed in this new Age: all finite positions of ego are equally vulnerable.

We need to develop a new habit of awareness. We must learn an inner technology to base the identity of our Self in the Infinite. The Shabd Guru is the quantum technology that establishes that awareness. It is a compass point that directs us to the Infinite in each finite action.

The practice of Jappa of the Shabd Guru changes the frequency of OUR words. We go from the words of the manmukh 18 -one who speaks with attachment to the mind and intellect, to a gurumukh 19 - one who speaks form the heart. When we speak from ego our words carry a hook, a calculation for what we believe we need or want. When we speak egolessly our words go to the heart of the other person and speak wisdom that is true regardless of advantage. Words spoken in ego are ruled by impulse and intellect.The words sharpened by the Shabd Guru are ruled by integrity, intelligence and intuition.

It is the function of the Shabd Guru to make our ego nothing so we can serve and be served by everything. In a cyclone you go to the eye of the storm to escape its turbulent power. In an Age swirling with chaotic change the path to the center of the storm is through the neutral mind, 20 established by quelling the conscious and subconscious reactions to the ego. A sense of identity based on the experience of the subtle and the Infinite within us is the only source of stability and power in the Aquarian Age.

The second word in the phrase Shabd Guru is "Guru." If we break this word into its inner naad,21 or atoms of sound, it becomes Gu-Ru. Gu means darkness or ignorance. Ru is light and knowledge. Gur is a formula or instruction. A Guru then gives a Gur, a formula or technique, that transforms darkness into light, ignorance into knowledge, the gross into the refined.

A Guru then is an active knowledge. It is not the intellectual knowledge that simply classifies or analyzes. Guru changes you. Guru develops the capacity to see. It removes darkness, obfuscation.The Shabd Guru transforms the practitioner by removing the barriers erected by the needs of the ego. The encounter with the Guru is through action. It gives you Know How not just Know What. It gives you procedural knowledge that is in your cells and subconscious, not just representational knowledge in your ideas. Think of the difference between discussing death in general, and discussing your potential death from cancer with your doctor. "Death" takes on an urgency and relevance when it is yours. It forces a deep evaluation of it, along with everything else that is important to you. And you want to know what to do; what action to take. To encounter the Shabd Guru is to learn by doing, by experience. The Guru will give a practice. That key practice for Shabd Guru is the meditation and repetition of specific primal sounds and phrases.

That may seem easy. Simple is not necessarily easy or without challenge. The greatest challenge is the practitioner's own subconscious. The mind is not trained to base itself in a relation to the Infinite. It is based in ego. It is filled with reactive thoughts that try to maintain the attachments of the ego and tries to avoid pain.22 When you repeat the patterns of sound and thought in a Shabd, those thoughts counter the direction and intensity of the habitual thoughts. The Shabd provokes a dumping of the stored subconscious patterns of thinking and feeling If, under the torrential flood of subconscious feelings and thoughts, you persist in repeating the pattern of the Shabd Guru, then the new pattern establishes itself Your mind clears, and you awaken dormant inner capacities or enhance existing ones.

Where do the patterns of the Shabd Guru come from? They exist from the beginning of creation. They are the tides and rhythms of the movement of the creative pulse of Infinite consciousness. They vibrate in all things continually.

It is the ability to hear and feel them that is needed. That capacity comes to a mind that is fearless, neutral, open and awakened. The ten Gurus of the Sikh path heard it perfectly. They put that rhythm and pattern of energy into the poetic compositions of the Siri Guru Granth Sahib. That's why it is called a Granth rather than just a collection. It is a "knot." It binds the pattern of awareness into the words of the songs. Each Shabd is a template for an aspect of awareness and a potential of consciousness. Each Shabd is a kind of spiritual DNA that restructures the mind and stimulates the brain.(See Appendix I)The Siri Guru Granth Sahib is a collection of such gems.

The Quantum Technology and Impact of the Shabd Guru ( back to top )

The impact of the Shabd Guru comes from its masterful use of the technology of sound and rhythm. It is a "quantum technology. " A technology is the application of a science. The sound patterns of the Shabd Guru are based on the science of sound. In the West this would be the science of reflex to create changes in neurotransmitters to command the state of the brain and mind. It is "quantum" because it manipulates the smallest particles of sound and energy into effective combinations and patterns. It uses the quantum patterns like seeds that act as blueprints for constructing larger patterns. The atoms of sound build the molecules of language, thought and mind.

In time we will unravel many of the mysteries of this complex relationship of sound, brain, neuro-endocrinology,psychology and behavior. We will elaborate an intellectual model of the entire sequence of quantum sound technology. From the movement of the tongue to its reflexes to the neuro-endocrine cascades to the change of mental state, we are at the beginning of that study and modeling process.

The techniques of the Shabd Guru codified in the Siri Guru Granth Sahib and in the mantras of Kundalini Yoga 23 24 wait for us to mine their secrets. Every person can use them to elevate themselves, to heal, to develop stamina, to increase intuition. They do not need to know the science of the process. They only need to apply the technology of the Shabd Guru.

Because the reflex points are stimulated by the movements of the tongue, you get the maximum benefit from the pattern of a Shabd by consciously repeating the sounds out loud. That is called Jappa -conscious, conscientious recitation.Rotating the tongue over the 84 reflex points in the pattern of the Shabd produces the maximum impact on the gross level of the neuro-endocrine system. As the Shabd gets established in the nervous system and your subconscious, every cell of your body will vibrate the pattern with you. That is called the state of Ajappa Jap - of repeating without repeating. In that ideal state the resource released by the Shabd Guru is always available to you regardless of the momentary focus of your attention on daily tasks. It is the result of great devotion, much practice and mastery, or grace. When that state is reached you still repeat the Shabd out loud, but the dimensions of joy and awareness that accompany the practice are without limit. You recite the Shabd in the beginning of the practice of the Shabd Guru in order to clear the mind, and attain an awareness. When you reach a stage of mastery, you still recite the Shabd out loud because you have become the Shabd and the Shabd has become you. There is a merger between the personal experience of you and the impersonal experience of Infinity beyond you and within you. 26 The core technique to precisely vocalize the Shabd of the Shabd Guru is useful and true for the most novice beginner and for the most exalted master. The repetition of the Sutras of the Shabd Guru is a tool as timeless and unconditional as the Shabd Guru itself.

The ancient seers and the Gurus have left us maps and tools to guide us into the territory we want to explore. They also give us the clear warning not to confuse the maps for the actual territory. They implore us to realize that no amount of study replaces the knowledge which comes through experience.

The human body is analogous to a musical instrument. It is constructed with 72 strings. Each string or "sur" aets like a meridian - it is a flow of the energy of life called prana 27 . The inflow of cosmic energy into the body cascades through the crown of the head, the "tenth gate," like a waterfall and collects in seven pools or special vortices. Those pools are called chakras or energy centers. The 72 strings are controlled by three central strings or channels These are called the ida and pingala - the left and right channels to either side of the spine, and the shushmana - the central channel up the middle of the spine. The upper centers vibrate with the release of each independent thought. The thoughts of the mind are released at a rate as high as a thousand per blink of an eye. These vibrations or patterns of thought "pluck" those strings. The strings vibrate into 72,000 channels. Their vibration creates the shape and function of the physical body, the emotional body and the mental body. Just as you stroke a string on an instrument and it forms a shape in
the air.

If you can vibrate a pattern in the central channel it will induce a synchronous pattern throughout all the rest of the strings. To vibrate a Shabd in the central channel you must become still, bring your full attention to the sound pattern and let go of your attachments by devotion or surrender. To vibrate perfectly it requires a combination of Shakti and Bhakti. Shakti is the power of precision and discipline in the repetition. It is the pure energy which enforces all implementation without human tiredness. Bhakti is the feeling of surrender and devotion; it is the devoted dedication which provides the energy to complete everything. It is form and flow, sun and moon, rhythm and tone in perfect blend.That opens the intuitive knowledge of the central channel - Gian.28

The thousand thoughts released by the mind can distract you. They can pull you away from the Shabd. But the rhythmic Naad of the Shabd Guru engages and synchronizes the flow of thoughts. The pulse of the atoms of sound produce a pattern of energy that structures the space of the mind to link with the Shabd. This produces an active stillness, a shuniya, a zero-point in consciousness. In that stillness you are like an instrument perfectly played in an orchestra. Your instrument merges into the larger tune.29

Another map for the mechanism and impact of the Shabd Guru traces the reflexes between tongue and brain. The body is perfectly designed to use the Naad or rhythm of the Shabd Guru. There is a connection between the movement of the tongue in the mouth and the chemistry and neuro-transmitters in the brain. One end of this connection is an array of 84 reflex points on the upper palate of the roof of the mouth.The palate has two parts: hard and soft.The hard palate is located directly behind the teeth; the soft palate is located on the roof of the mouth. 64 points (32 pairs)are located along a "U" on the hard palate near the base of each tooth.20 more points are in a "U" on the roof of the mouth. The exact location varies in each person to conform to the unique shapes of the mouth.

The movement of each part of the tongue stimulates these meridian points. The points are like a keyboard input to a computer. The computer is located in the hypothalamus area of the brain. It receives the impulses from the repetition of the patterns of sound in the Shabd. This is translated into instructions that regulate chemical messengers that go to all vital areas of the brain and body. The hypothalamus lies just below the thalamus in the midline of the brain. It is connected by blood vessels to the pituitary gland - the master gland of the body. The hypothalamus is known to regulate vital functions like hunger,drinking, body temperature and sleep. It also triggers the regulation of moods,emotional behavior and sexuality.

The special patterns of the Shabd Guru stimulate the hypothalamus to change the chemistry of the brain. This adjusts the functions of the endocrine system and the metabolism to create a neutral balanced mind, and to strengthen the immune function. Many sophisticated states can be stabilized in the mind using the Shabd Guru. It can conquer depression, enhance intelligence and intuition, and open the power of compassion.

Another approach to understand the impact of the Shabd Guru is to follow the functional changes in brain metabolism and the neuro-endocrine system. We wondered if we could see some trace of such an effect using the latest in brain imaging technology. We set up a pilot study at the University of Arizona using a P.E.T. scan - Positron Emission Tomography. We used an isotope of glucose to see changes in metabolism in different areas of the brain. We took a baseline scan after a period of activity -walking and normal internal dialogue. A second scan was taken in the same subject after a period of walking while using a basic Shabd Pattern, i.e., 2 repetitions of the Panj Shabd followed by one repetition of the Guru Mantra Shabd: Sa Ta Na Ma, Sa Ta Na Ma, Wha Hay Gu Ru. The researchers expected little change with such a subtle variation in activity. The results showed a powerful shift in the function of the left hemisphere to the right frontal and parietal regions. The metabolic shift suggests a strong mood enhancement, countering any
depression. The metabolic drop in some regions of the left hemisphere corresponds to a lessening of inner critical voices. The areas of the right frontal cortex suggest alertness and hypervigilence, which creates a readiness to respond to unusual stimuli and to creative thoughts. Some other areas seemed affected, like the anterior cingulate gyrus, but it will take further research to map the changes completely .

This was a small initial study to sample what we could notice using this instrumentation. The next set of studies will probably employ functional MRI technology for better resolution, especially of the hypothalamus regions. What is important about this study is that it is the first study to show a significant brain state shift from the use of the Shabd Guru. The brain can be shifted in specific patterns by the use of Jappa with the Shabd Guru. It opens the way to begin the exploration of the tongue, sound, shabd, neuro-chemical, brain connection.

These technological approaches and brain connections open the way to teaching a broad audience about the benefits and use of the Shabd Guru. For some, devotion is the natural approach. For others it is the immediate difference it makes in their lives. The explanations need to be practical and accessible, so the Shabd Guru can be known as a quantum technology anyone can use. For a more extensive explanation of some basic links between the brain, its structures and the use of sound, see Appendix III of this paper.

Understanding the technological process of the Shabd Guru in this way invites its use to alleviate many of the maladies we spoke of earlier. In fact, we have investigated for over 25 years the application of this technology in many social programs to end addiction, and a range of psychological problems from anxiety, to depression, to sexual disturbances. In every area we created change, alleviated symptoms and changed lifestyles. Just as the Gurus created social change and provided food and education to change people's lives,the Shabd Guru approached as a quantum technological process can be used to alleviate many personal and social ills.

Affirmations and positive statements are helpful and good to use. Mantras are effective and gradually create changes. But the Shabd Guru as captured in the Siri Guru Granth Sahib is unique. The patterns are a perfect weave of rhythm, sound, tone, focus, and meaning. They act as informational DNA for the spirit.There is nothing as effective and universal as those patterns.

Education for Leadership and Spiritual Fitness in the Aquarian Age ( back to top )

Education is changing. It is being evaluated and "re-invented" in every country. This should not be surprising Education responds to the needs of the society, individuals in the society and the Imperative of the Age. In the early years of the Greeks and in early Vedic times the capacity to memorize and to make acute sensory distinctions was essential. A core part of education was training the ability of each person in mnemonic memory techniques and in rhythmical poetry. In the Era of Enlightenment the transfer and questioning of information became important, as did apprenticeship in specific disciplines.

Now education is changing again. The impact of the information revolution has changed our training from memorization to the acquisition of information to the use and interpretation of information now. We are educating all the senses. Multi-media is becoming a new standard for presentations. The need and ability to use all the senses in education has introduced techniques to use the body,emotions and self-awareness as central parts of the education process.

We arrange memory and understanding based on our sense of self-awareness. As we discussed earlier this sense of self is changing. We must gain the skill, MetaCognition, to recognize our inner state of awareness, our state of emotion, our sense of the body and then adjust it to our task of learning. It is only through the cultivation of experience of the self; and the experience of self-regulation, that we can truly master the ability to "learn how to learn."

There are many calls for a new "experiential" education. The problem is which experience? Just having many experiences does not insure a "learning experience." There are many dimensions to the structure of experience that helps us move it from sensation to information to knowledge to practical wisdom.

That is the power of the Shabd Guru. The quantum process of the Shabd Guru guides and integrates experience into a higher, refined level for profound learning and practical use. It preserves balance and a sense of higher identity amidst the flood of information and change we must handle in the Aquarian Age. We must sophisticatedly educate that inner sense of the self so we can have a foundation in the self upon which to accurately weigh the deluge of information. This will only be possible by learning and teaching the quantum technology of the Shabd Guru as part of any complete education curriculum.

The quantum process of the Shabd Guru sets the brain to a new level of functioning. It gives the mind the caliber and strength to process any range of information. Teaching the quantum technology of the Shabd Guru as a core part of an Aquarian curriculum will become commonplace in the future. Real education for the Aquarian Age blends devotion with discipline, intelligence with intuition, and understanding with the capacity to act and project with integrity. It will be perceived not as a philosophy or a set of values. It will be seen as part of the training of the experience of self, so that you can embody your philosophy,carry your values, increase your spiritual fitness and deliver your self as an answer to the challenge and imperative of the Age.

Appendix I: Information ( back to top )

Information Itself. Why is information so important? Granted, the increase in its quantity, rate and distribution create pressure on each human. But why should it be so disturbing?

The answer is that information is not really a "thing". Things are concrete, stable and we can catch a hold of them. Information is the structuring element of reality. Take DNA as the example. A cell changes all its atoms in a short time. The human body changes many cells in 72 hours, the entire skin in a month, and even all the components of the brain cells in a year. But the structure of it all remains constant. And that is due to the information coded in the sequences of chemicals in the DNA. Information structures matter. Change the information and new forms emerge.

Your self-concept or Identity is the DNA of the mind. Change your concept and all the forms of your behavior and even the shape of your body changes. Information in this way is an ultimate power that restructures matter and directs concentrations of energy for use or dormancy in the human being.

Exposure to huge amounts of new information creates conflicting instructions for basic forms to contain and direct our energy- emotionally, mentally and physically. If we can no longer limit the information rate and flow, then we must use a new process to organize amidst it. The best way to do this is to allow a self-organization to occur. A Shabd is a template of information that directs the structuring of information itself It builds the mental DNA to direct the flow and character of the mind.

That is why it is a quantum process. It changes the fundamental codes. Human DNA evolved as an information medium. The combination of 4 base pairs, A-C-T-G, into long sequences forms a compact way to code information with sufficient redundancy to correct most errors. It is so well designed that recently DNA itself is being used as a computer! well designed that recently DNA itself is being used as a computer! 3 The human brain can contain about one million words. The DNA in a small test tube would have about 10 20 molecules which could code over a billion million words. A I,000 liter container of DNA would have about 10 14 the capacity of the human brain. So information, a great deal of information, can be stored in highly structured sequences of a few basic chemicals.

Now think of those basic chemicals as primal linguistic sounds and notes. Think of the rhythm of the Shabd, the Naad, as the structuring element that links them together. Think of repetition as the redundancy that insures the code implants itself in the new vehicle of matter- your brain and nerves, accurately. The capacity of the Shabd Guru to code trillions of aspects of the shapes of matter, mind and emotion is remarkable and expected. The trick is that the DNA has captured a compact code of basic units that holds the information of a pulse of the creativity of life. Exactly so the Sri Guru Granth Sahib has captured a compact quantum code of sound, structured in rhythm, that holds the information of the pulse of the creativity of Consciousness and God.

To immerse oneself in the Shabd Guru is to be restructured by the imprint of Infinity. The mind so organized is a perfect flexible structure to handle all information of the environment and mind. It has the structures necessary Each sutra and each complete Shabd adds an inheritance, a spiritual DNA that establishes your ID and lineage with Infinity, the unknowable unknown itself.

The information revolution has unleashed the hidden potential of kundalini, of Shabd Guru, of the patterns of God in each of us. It will push us to need a Guru that is of Shabd. Not a person, nor an idea, but a pulse that is a process of subtle and powerful restructuring of the mind to function without resistance or friction.

Appendix II: Information Technology ( back to top )

Information Technology. The Information Age has already penetrated every area of work, living and technology. It will only intensify its impact. The news wires are filled with discussions of the World-Wide Web formed by interconnected computers and information technology. Three changes in technology are bringing information to the fingertips of every person on earth no matter where they live, and gradually, no matter their level of status or wealth:

Processing Power. How much information can be calculated and manipulated at what speed measures the power of processing. Until recently only the largest corporations and universities could afford the "super computers" like the famous Cray computer. The average person used a small "home" or office computer. Now a new generation of chips is on the way within five years that will have the power of six Cray super-computers and cost only $100 (rather than say $10,000,000). The power that once only belonged to a small elite group will be possible to everyone.

Information Storage Capacity . Storing all that information used to be a major limitation. We are quickly moving into the use of crystals, molecules and optics. The expectation is that we can use molecular states in crystal arrays to store and retrieve information. This means that all the information contained in all the computers in the entire world could be stored in a single crystal of salt! Storage will not be a problem. This was a central problem for the last Age.Ancient scriptures would be engraved in gold foil, inlaid in bamboo and guarded from generation to generation. Most of the instruction was oral and relied on a strict culture of knowledge transfer. Now all the Shabds of the Guru is available on a single CD-ROM computer disk for a few dollars.

Information NetWorking. The computer on your desk is actually a doorway to every computer in the world. With a few keystrokes you can leap from Delhi to New York City, to the Sorbonne, or to medical databases in Africa.With the technology available we can form "virtual teams and offices" with members around the city, country or world with equal ease. The boundaries that used to define us by country, town, family, clan, class or caste no longer apply. We can work with, meet and be influenced by people and ideas everywhere. Some historians speculate that this will be seen as a major factor in the upheavals and transformation of politics in Eastern Europe and Asia as we enter the next century.Networking can not be controlled. It changes the flow of decisions and even the pathways of power in entire societies.

Complexity. Complexity is largely in the eye of the beholder. One person sees something as complex, another as simple. Genius and intelligence has been described as the ability to find simplicity in the complex. Intellect as been described as the ability to create complexity out of simplicity.

Complexity arises naturally as the number of things increases and there interactions increase. If you imagine a system of three people who don't rely on each other for many fllings, it is relatively simple. But increase the number of people, N, and the number of possible connections increases proportional to N2. Include a feedback between people so each persons action depends on a response from proximate others and the system becomes non-linear or even chaGtic. That is it becomes so complex it is lawful but not predictable!

That is the other reason the information revolution has such an impact. It has connected us Hence it has changed the complexity and increased the unpredictability of all our actions. Who knows which action will suddenly be on world-wide TV networks? Who knows which transaction will be flagged by computer monitoring of the tax collection agencies?

It has always been true according to the teachings of the Shabd Guru that all our actions are accounted for. But we act as if they are not. As if a faulty memory is insurance against the karma of actions. Now even the gross world has increased the tracking of our actions, words and impact on others. Something you did years ago can be returned to you now. Watch the contortions of contemporary politicians and leaders as pictures and records from 25 years before are discovered and flashed around the world out of their original contexts.

With complexity comes the need for the mechanism in our brain that is built in to compute in such unpredictable, nonsequential conditions. We call that intuition. Intuition will grasp the higher order structures that information patterns create regardless of the smaller details. It is just like pulling a plug in a drain. The water swirls down the drain. Throw a flower petal on the water and you know it will eventually swirl its way down. You may not predict each wiggle of the petal, but you know for sure its destination. You can decide whether to put the petal in the water or not. Intuition lets you know if you are to act and put your self in the water or not. It is certain, even if with it you need nirbhao and nirvair, fearlessness and a sense of personal agency rather than blame.

Intuition, the opening of the brain areas that allow it, such as the hypothalamus,pituitary and pineal glands, are one of the gifts of Jappa of the Shabd Guru. That is effective, unique, and necessary.

Appendix III: Power of Words and Language and their connection to the basic neural and glandular structures in the brain. ( back to top )

Excerpted with permission from the book "BreathWalk Tm: Motivations for Life" by Dr. Gurucharan Singh Khalsa, Ph.D., (c) Copyright and All Rights Reserved.

The Power of Words

Words are the perfect neuro-stimulators to activate and connect many areas of the brain. When combined with repetitive movement and with the powerful limbic/hypothalamic influence of the breath, they are a potent tool to elevate moods, enhance your range of feelings and command the cellular basis of your consciousness and state of mind. Science has not mapped all the twists and turns of the brain's neural maze. There are still secret corners, unknown territories and surprises to discover. One of the richest sources of how to use words and rhythms to create whole brain patterns and to integrate emotions and thinking is captured in the quantum technology and primal sound templates of the Shabd Guru. The rhythmical phrasing and the sonorous use of words are maps into those secret areas.

The Shabds of the Guru capture the patterns of sound and energy in templates of consciousness. Part of the effect comes from the rhythmical combination of basic sound elements or phonemes that underlie common language. The Guru uses common language in an uncommon way. Like all samples of the Word from people absorbed in the ecstasy of the Infinite, it is filled with meaning, structure and poetic richness. It is poetic, purposeful and potent. The simple primal word units in linguistics are called phonemes. They are the smallest unit of speech that distinguishes one word or utterance from another. The patterns of the Shabd Guru use this quantum or atomic level of language and the corresponding structures imposed on our brains by the universal grammar that underlies all language. It doesn't matter what your language is. Repeating primal sounds vibrates the base of language itself.

You are talking at a level different from daily conversation. You are establishing a cellular command communication. You are using fundamental vibrations that capture the earliest distinctions language makes and that resonates with universal energies within us.

Think of the several levels on which we use words. The first is common language. The words are anchored to personal experiences and history. A car will bring up associations of the cars we have owned or dreamed of. Someone else may have very different associations for the same word. We must be adept at identifying the background of the person we want to communicate to as well as the contexts we both are using. The second level is a structured sentence or collection of words that act as a kind of affirmation, formula or ceremonial guide. Widely used slogans are like this. They are less personal and often capture very specific feelings. "We are number one, all the way, Hey Hey." We chant such phrases at sports events and political rallies. The military is famous for their use of phrases to command, inspire and coordinate. The third level is primal sounds. These are neither personal nor impersonal. They are transpersonal. They have neutral content but an active form. The fourth level is beyond words - the unspoken words of the mystic and the
gut reality of things vibrant and before any single expression.

Now think of repeating a single primal sound, lets say "Ma." At the first level of language you may think of your mother and all the associations you have with the concept of that.As you continue to repeat it, it gains an energy like an affirmation. You will start to dissociate it from the purely personal level and notice its qualities as a sound and energy.As you move to the third level the words merge with rhythm and become a pattern of energy You feel aware and awake. You are mindful of all the stories coming from your brain and your active left hemisphere. The primal sounds keep you steady and calm. You remember that you are greater than the stories of the mind and that you can direct that story. The final level is beyond our words and we leave it there just to feel and to live.

The Primal Sounds - Quantum Patterns

Repeating the pattern embedded in a Shabd ingrains that pattern of primal sounds into the brain. It affects us by the pattern of the sound itself as well as by the higher levels of normal meanings. That is why, to have the maximum impact, we repeat it while giving our full attention, reproducing it in the same manner as it was spoken - without rushing or slurring, and by vibrating it in the central channel of the spine and brain.

Each primal sound is a word that is pronounced by a particular part of the mouth. When we form a word to speak it the tongue moves and touches the palate, the top of the mouth and teeth in a well-defined spot. It directs the pressure of the air and vibrates the vocal chords and areas in the skull. These primal sound scales are unique combinations that use these areas of reflex to direct the patterns of the brain. Not every combination of sounds will create a pattern of wholeness nor a pattern for healing. The Shabds are a treasure chest that records a perfect sample of patterns of wholeness and healing. They form a well-tested legacy for our use.

I wanted a little more idea of how these sounds work. I asked Siri Singh Sahib Bhai Sahib Harbhajan Singh Khalsa Yogiji as the expert on the ancient linguistic technologies of the yogis. The linguists of old had two systems of grammar to understand the structure and effects of language. One is normal grammar as we think of it. The other is called "nirukta" or beyond the forms. It didn't translate the basic word units, like Ma, from common meaning. It interpreted them according to the energy, emotion and awareness they create. This was a very sacred and secret science. It was used to awaken human potential and to heal. He explained the discovery of 84 reflex areas on the top of the mouth. The tongue hits these areas as it says the primal sounds. Each primal sound contacts a pattern of points that sends a message directly into the hypothalamus of the brain. That was a central area of the old brain that directs impulses and feelings and helps connect the two sides of the brain. By rotating the tongue across points using the primal scales different
parts of the brain are called into action. These specific scales are healing, create wholeness, repair the body image, adjust the flow of thoughts and never create any harm. They apply to all people regardless of temperament or constitution. It is possible to use combinations that are targeted for one quality only. But that is an entire science and requires individual diagnosis and great sensitivity of the practitioner. Using these primal sound scales balances everyone and lets the individual's constitution select the special energy it needs. An analogy is white light versus the colors of the spectrum. All the colors are in the white light. You can absorb from the white light just the frequencies you need regardless of who you are because all the frequencies are in it. These primal scales release the full range of healing and sustaining energy of your brain. Each person individualizes its effects just by using it.

These sounds and shabds are perfect to share with everyone openly without special precautions or restrictions. One student asked if he had to be initiated. He had received a mantra from some group as part of meditation training. I said no. These sounds are universal and based on the full use of your brain's potential. It is already yours. It is in your cells. The person who uses them and has the experience is the person who it belongs to. It is not about any religion or group. It is the science of sound for personal experience and development. This is very important. Repeating the Primal sounds captured in the Shabd Guru is really about listening. It is listening with wide open ears and full attention. It is really whole brain listening. It is not concentrating with a singular but robotic focus on the sounds.

The structure and words in the primal sounds of the Shabd Guru does something very useful to the inner chatter and dialogue. They balance the inner critical voice and the incessant rationalizations given by the dominant left hemisphere areas. By using a relaxed and mindful dwelling on the rhythm of the sounds the full range of feelings and intuition is drawn into contact with the inner stories and the abstractions we use. When I meditate, when I do naam simran with a phrase from the Shabd Guru, I do not try to stop the inner chatter. I simply let the feeling of the primal sounds rise and match the thoughts thrown into the mind by my inner dialogues. The left brain and its allied parts are busy fabricating stories and reasons. I blend this with the steady centered rhythms of the shabd. The two combine into greater clarity emotionally and conceptually. The brain will always produce streams of inner chatter and seek out sensations. It is designed to do that. So do not try to create silence or block thoughts. Just synchronize them with the sounds and the breath. That new
energy and the new resources from other parts of the brain will let you naturally experience your feelings and thoughts in useful and authentic ways.

The Roots of Language and the Vehicle of Word

I know we never lose the power to recreate ourselves with rhythm and sound. I know this from teaching hundreds of thousands of peQple over the last 26 years and watching them change. When all our energy is spent and hope has abandoned us, we search for the rhythm of upliftment When we are exalted and victory is ours, we search for the overtones of triumph to be joyous. Sound is in our genes. Word is potent and we seek it when we want to regenerate or express ourselves. It is the heritage of all humanity.

Perhaps the basic intuition underlying the love of simple rhythmical sounds is the knowledge that most knotty problems in life can not be unraveled by the unaided fingers of our intellect. We need the whole brain supported by feelings and passions to think clearly and act decisively. Moving to the rhythm and sparking our cells to resonate together with the words we command our cells and brain to a new height. We bring reason and emotion together. It is only from those heights that real solutions can come. Thinking of joy when your energy is depressed is mere fantasy. Going over the same old story doesn't change it unless we edit, add new words, recalibrate each mental thought with a tool that changes the scope and projection of the thoughts. The use of the Shabd Guru with conscious attention and breath, full of rhythm and sound, accepts and activates the treasure from eons of experience.

Words are sounds that we produce and use in language for communication. Sounds are natural vibrations like wind and bells. Words are psychoactive. They activate parts of our brain and the neuro-chemical channels of our emotions. Words are associated with different areas of the brain and different hemispheres. You can awaken different brain areas by the words you use and the charge you put behind them.

Listening to sounds like bells, waterfalls, birdcalls and gongs can be a beneficial practice and excellent in mediation or relaxation. The normal sounds in the background lack the rhythmical components that are usually added to instruments used in meditation and therapeutic compositions. So listening to scattered natural sounds will not produce many of the brain integrating effects we want. On the other hand, as you absorb into the Shabd and the primal sounds vibrate in every cell during any activity, you can sense all the peripheral sounds freely. You can enjoy and even enhance your encounter with the sounds of the natural world or the strains of an instrumental.

Words let us do many things to our brain beyond sound or silence. The underpinnings that support that understanding are:

Language and speech is unique and human
They are rooted in our genes and the structure of the brain
The ability to speak and understand words uses many parts of the brain
Words help to organize our sense of body, self and the world When we use the primal sounds we enhance the brains natural connection and collaboration among its parts. This is true partly because words are hard-wired deep in the nervous system in all of us. This is true partly because it is one of the uniquelv human ways we combine emotion and reason. Words let us connect or separate feelings and abstractions. And this is true partly because we unconsciously use words to stabilize our experience of the world and our self.

Learning Language

No other animal uses words and language as we do. Animals communicate. They feel and are sentient. But even the most successful attempts to decode language or teach it to everything from apes to dolphins has provided popularized but very limited success. In fact the most interesting results gave insights to the complexity and innate designs that support human word capacity. In a recent survey of language and human nature, Ray Jackendoff summarized the experimental results: "In short Universal Grammar, or even something remotely like it appears to be exclusively human. Do the apes succeed in communicating? Undoubtedly yes. It even looks like they succeed in communicating symbolically which is pretty impressive. ..the apes learn words... mutch like the way people learn writing systems. It takes training and effort over years.. their symbolic vocabulary peaks active at five or six hundred." Human children learn about 10,000 words by age five. The corollary of this is not about the distance or closeness to our
animal relatives, it is that words form deep and unique connections in our nervous system, our emotions and our behaviors. Every spiritual tradition shares the insight that words are entwined with our special capabilities, and even our spiritual dimension. All things begin in the Word. The universe and our awareness is based in word. So we are asked to watch our words, cultivate our words and elevate our words. If we do that we experience our capacity to be fully human. Using words does something to the brain that opens ancient capacities and braces us to be fully and uniquely present.

Words and language are rooted in our genes and expressed in the structure of our brain.For a long time people thought language was learned by stimulus and response. But listen to the children. They make up sentences they have never heard. They can learn any language they are exposed to. Noam Chomsky took on the learning theory and proposed the existence of a kind of universal grammar genetically granted to humans that prepares us to absorb language, to speak and that structures in fundamental ways the languages and conceptual structures that are possible. This will seem very plausible if you consider that thousands of linguists over hundreds of years have not understood how we speak,grammar nor the process of language. But a child of five does just fine. Words are as much unconscious and automatic as learned. They are portals with the conscious personal and social world on one side and the unconscious and primeval realms on the other. To use words leverages the forces, known and unknown, that meet at that portal. The primary reasons
that we know words and our ability to use them are cellular and universal are:

All natural languages can be learned Children learn words regardless of economic status, race, religion,country or even intelligence. In fact, even genius level children acquire a language as easily and at the same time period as those less intelligent.

Languages do not need to be explicitly taught Children acquire language and speak with rules and structure without being told.

Language learning proceeds in universal stages As the nervous system matures so does the type of word use rules the child acquires. The sequences of sounds, word orders and endings are all learned in regular stages. The stages do not change with different environments or educational efforts.

The expressive variety of language is practically infinite Evolution recognizes a selective advantage to words and language.This may come from the ability to communicate and symbolize. It may also originate in other functions of words such as a neural stimulant and a mechanism to activate information otherwise separated by time, context or the senses used. The child has a few million year head start over the struggling linguist.

We don't inherit specific words as much as the form of words and the ways to structure language. These rules about how to have rules are programmed into the shape, structure and connections of the brain. That is why words are universal and are influenced by the environment. Which language we learn depends on opportunity. The underlying structure and how the sounds can impact us is already present.

Words Use Many Parts of the Brain

Another reason words are so effective is that they use many parts of the brain. You can compose specific words into a sequence that intentionally activates a whole brain pattern. Maybe you have heard over the last decade or so that the brain has two cerebral hemispheres, left and right. And that these are like mirror images, similar but also very different. The left functions for language, words, reason, concepts and sequences. The right functions for feelings, music, whole patterns, and imagination. You effectively have two brains that have very different styles of perceiving and acting.

Well the whole story isn't yet known about the brain. The left/right division is a little too glib though it has important elements of truth, especially in regards to words and language. The human brain, like life, doesn't fit in those neat categories even if they give us comfort and a quick shorthand explanation. The brain has a great capacity to adapt and to choose what is most favorable and possible at any moment in development. It consists of a complex architecture of interrelated parts or modules. They all influence each other and can isolate or connect under different demands. In fact it may be more accurate to think of the brain as a turbulent mix of many streams of chemistry with competing parts that win and specialize in specific types of functions. Some of these areas are predisposed by genetics to have an edge over others.

It may be a more accurate metaphor for the brain to think of it as a loose federation of neural states that compete and cooperate depending on the task they have to accomplish. Michael Gazzaniga in The Social Brain represents this emerging perspective: "There are many parallel co-conscious systems in the brain not just two. It is like a society with competing interests. Our dominant left hemisphere's unrelenting need to explain in words fhe actions taken by any one of a multitude of mental systems gives rise to the subjective sense of unity we have. "In other words, the left hemisphere does compete with structured words and creates a story about our experience that makes some sense and a story about our self. But many times we do not follow that story. We rationalize at virtuoso levels. Even the young child will make up a story - "lie"- with no ill intent or training. The story is an offering from the increasingly dominant left hemisphere and its coalition of parts that use language.

No wonder we are conflicted. No wonder multiple personalities are possible. The wonder is that we are not more disconnected to our many streams of action than we are. Apparently unity, integrity and consistency is a social construction and an attainment that results from effort, practice and experiences that synchronize the different areas. That's where the words come into play.

Whole Brain Orchestration

By using words in simple but subtle poetic combinations with rhythm we can draw the many parts into a working team. Rhythmical words can act like an attractor for the many flows of thought and feeling that come from these unconscious parts of our brain. If we select the right sounds we can loosen the hold the old rationalizations have on us and open the way to more effective actions with feelings that support them.

Consider how words trigger different areas of the brain. The left hemisphere is the star performer. Two special areas have been identified: Wernickes area and Broca's area.Broca's area is about the size of an egg in the lower left frontal lobe. It assembles and decodes the syntax of sentences. It activates when you need to construct a sentence or create a sequence of words. Wernicke's area is further back, midway in the temporal lobe. It puts words together into meaningfull statements. If someone has damage to Broca's area they stammer words and phrases but they lack grammatical sense even though they are clearly meaningful. If Wernicke's area is damaged the person is fluent in speech with proper syntax but in meaningless combinations. The right hemisphere is activated with singing, metaphor, music, rhyme and simple vowel sounds like "ah." Specific areas also respond to the prosodic qualities of words: stress, pitch, volume and timbre. Someone with damage to the right hemisphere might speak in a monotone with little emotional content.
Another interesting finding is that emotional content is part of the key to the areas used. Critical detached judgments use the left hemisphere more. Direct perception of concrete objects and sensations uses the right hemisphere more. Many negative emotions seem to use the right frontal lobe and many positive emotions use the left frontal areas. Although tonal sounds and pure vowels stimulate the right areas, many consonants combined with the vowel trigger the left areas; sounds like "Ta" and "Na." Basic sounds with a simple repetitive melody will trigger various areas in the right hemisphere and some of the language areas on the left.

The left and right hemispheres are connected and coordinated through a large band of nerves called the corpus callosum. All these areas communicate and have subtle rhythms linked through the connecting band. The connections are also critically linked through an important area called the limbic system and hypothalamus. This directs many impulses and emotions and links them to actions. Many of the areas for words in the left hemisphere seem linked to this limbic system through motions and through speech articulation. That is words that we form and speak, even if repeated mentally, have a special interconnection with the central brain and the emotional recesses of the right hemisphere.

There is one relevant and intriguing result from research on split-brain patients, whose connection between the hemispheres is severed. Suppose an action is taken with the right hemisphere, like grasping an umbrella with the left hand. If you question the left hemisphere about the action it knows nothing about it- since all connections are severed. Nonetheless it generates a reason. In fact an entire story! The left hemisphere language functions can't resist explaining all other things that happen even if there is no information to use. It is a compulsive story teller, especially for anything unknown. That may be why we listen carefully for emotional cues in speech to discern if the words are connected with real motivations and feelings.

This may explain the constant mental chatter most of us have. It may also explain why the stories we tell about our self are often divorced from our real emotions or potentials. Our inner story carries limiting beliefs, outdated information and rationalizations that deter us from simply taking actions we want. It is a real accomplishment to cultivate your words and your inner story to represent consistent values or purpose with all your brain parts and emotions supporting them.

So where does all this research leave us? Words are the perfect neuro-stimulators to activate and connect many areas of the brain. When combined with movement and with the powerful limbic/hypothalamic influence of the breath, they are a potent tool to elevate moods and enhance your range of feelings. Science has not mapped all the twists and turns of the brain's neural maze. There are still secret corners, unknown territories and surprises to discover. One of the richest sources of how to use words and rhythms to create whole brain patterns and to integrate emotions and thinking is traditions from ancient cultures. The rhythmical beats of drums and the sonorous use of simple syllables for healing and for celebration are maps into those secret areas.

We train our brain. It learns, grows new linkages, changes at each stage of expertise that we gain. This is still new territory We don't know all the answers and we have only recently invented an array of new technological windows to get a glimpse inside the brain -Magnetic Resonance Imagery using magnetic fields; Computerized Axial Tomography Scans using X-rays- and P.E.T. Scans using particle emissions from isotopes to show metabolic activity.

Your brain is different and looks different in all these tests when you take an action with your whole brain supporting and guiding it compared to the initial actions of a novice or actions attempted under emotional disorganization. Your brain specializes. It specializes in an effort to be effective, to conserve energy and to learn from the past. Not every part of the brain does all things. The tasks are split up in a complex array of subsystems that use different senses, emotions and types of stimulation. If you try to hear with the parts that see, your musical skill will be awkward and progress slowly. It will be futile to organize a sequence of actions or thoughts in a linear way with the part of your brain that is an expert in rhythm and melody. Try to organize with the wrong parts of the brain and the result is art or a personal signature of chaos. You may enjoy the web-like creative brain map of files and papers piled around your desk, but it won't be sequential or simple to any one else.

You train the brain to integrate its many parts and use them in combinations that best fulfill your efforts. When the whole brain is alert, aroused and connected, to respond as you need, we enter that special zone of elegant, effective and joyful excellence. We experience this as mental clarity, emotional vitality and purposeful action.

Under the Hood - A Brief Tour of Your Brain

Let's delve a little into the grand system of mechanisms that produce the phenomenal effects of the Shabd Guru. You don't really need all of this knowledge just to use the techniques. This is for the part of you that wants to peek under the hood afteran exhilarating ride in a custom sports car. Some technical words from anatomy and chemistry are unavoidable. But just take them as off-ramp signs that indicate the areas you are passing, and as interesting territory for future explorations and keep on the main road. The main destination is the importance and nature of the mind-brain-breath linkage for the effectiveness and quality of your life.

Sound, breath and their rhythms are the crucial link in the mind-brain-behavior chain. Scientists have documented our capacity to self-heal, to affect the immune system by thought and emotion, to rapidly change behaviors believed to be incorrigible, and to act in a state of flow that produces top performance and a generalized state of delight. The mystery has been: what is the link?

The old model of the brain and nervous system is finally giving way to a basic understanding of the complexity and intimate interconnections between our genes, cells,nerves, glands and actions. As mentioned earlier, the brain is no longer thought of only in terms of the nerves or as a computer. The brain is understood as part of a labyrinthine supersytem of chemical messengers, neural pathways, perception and self-regulating loops of information and energy. It is all tied together by chemistry and rhythm.

In this supersytem the link between sensations, the mind's thoughts and the rest of the body is the limbic system, the hypothalamus, the pituitary and pineal glands. This group of neuro-endocrine centers translate the neural imprints and associations of the cortex into chemical messages. The messengers are hormones and neuro-peptides. They form an ocean of information and energy swirling between all our cells. Those cells have receptors, special sites, that can recognize the messenger. The result of the message is a change in metabolism or physiology. The genes and the complicated cellular machinery produce new chemicals that release energy, change cellular shapes and structures, trigger healing and immune responses and create emotions and moods.


The top of the pyramid of the mind body system turns out to be a collection of psychoactive centers no bigger than a large walnut. It is at the top because it is a center of information. It receives information from all the senses, from the ideas and associations of the "higher" cortex, and from all parts of the body- from genes, cells, muscles and movements. It sends information in the form of chemical messengers that prepares the body-mind to learn, to express feelings and to act. That flow of information is not linear and one-directional. It reverberates like waves; pulses like a musical rhapsody. This conductor keeps the attention of all the parts and uses rhythm as the central driver to coordinate all the separate instruments of feeling, awareness and energy. The whole supersystem of nerves and glands is regulated through intricate combinations of biorhythms. The central driver for those rhythms is the breath. It is the baton of the master conductor. When each part is alert to the conductor, aroused and mindful, the stroke and pattern of the baton
sets the mood of the music and makes the whole orchestra act together in a perfect flow. The breath rhythm and quality, and properly used sound or Shabd, is interpreted like a code in the hypothalamus. Each stroke of the breath, and stimulation of the 84 points by the tongue is a beat of the baton that releases waves of neuro-chemical messages to activate the pituitary gland which commands all the other glands. That regulates the level of our immune function, the quality of our emotions and the flexibility and effectiveness of our actions.

It is this blend of nerves and glands which lets us create experiences on the normal human scale we all live at. We do not sense the micro-second changes of molecules and cells. We sense only fleetingly the millisecond changes of the neurons. We live in cycles of the breath- in minutes. We feel in cycles of minutes and hours. We learn and change in hours,days and weeks.

When we learn to regulate our self with the Shabd Guru and the regulation of the life breath, we take charge of the fundamental linkage of mind and body. We have a tool that works in minutes to affect the micro-second changes of cellular computations and to shape the hourly and daily process of moods, learning and actions.

Changing the patterns and rhythm of your sound and breath with the Shabd Guru uses the neuro-endocrine link to affect four important systems: the autonomic nerves, sympathetic and parasympathetic, that control states of excitement, relaxation and high performance, the endocrine system that produces hormones and controls your moods and the feeling of vitality and energy; the immune system that keeps you healthy and resists disease and the ravages of stress; and the senses and central nervous system through the neuro-chemical ocean of the body that connects all the cells. This is the power of the Shabd Guru! It breaks the neuro-respiratory code that commands the glands that change the chemistry that coordinates your energy, mood, perception and state of vitality It uses sound, breath and rhythm to command the mind-brain-emotion-body-action loop.

If shabd and breath is the conductor, you are still the composer. You can change the notes. Create chords of happiness or sadness. Bring the instruments to a rising crescendo or lull them with gentle melodies. The templates of the Shabd Guru are tools for composition. Write a grand symphony or a playful jingle. Create feelings of joy, enthusiasm or calmness.

The details of all those chemical and neural mechanisms is complex and beyond what you need or probably want to know in this paper. Any real explanation must be partial because the research is not complete. The limbic link of the hypothalamus is well established. The impact of the breath is well known. The power of sound is just beginning to be studied. The exact pathways and chemical messengers are being mapped as you read this. This whole area of study is enjoying a renaissance of interest. A flood of new discoveries will come out over the next few years. The number of chemical messengers we recognize will probably go from the 500's to over a thousand. While all the details are worked out, you can read the real message from the bigger picture. You can enjoy the impact of the quantum technology and the practices of the Shabd Guru and all the effects of personal transformation.

Here is the basic sketch, in outline form, of the levels of that key linkage. It tells you what the big picture is like so you can appreciate the mechanisms and potentials that are called on by this simple and elegant form of exercise. These points are only the signs for the major off-ramps into the amazing territory of energy, excellence and healing in the body.

The Conductor: the limbic-hypothalamic-pituitary axis

This is a peculiar combination of tissue bunched in concentrated areas, nuclei, and strung together with a profound sense of design and mystery. The word "limbic" means 'border'. When anatomists first peeled back the skull and probed the functions of the brain this area seemed to be a border between the higher thinking functions associated with the cortex and the lower emotions and metabolic processes associated with the structures in the central brain and brainstem. The hypothalamus itself is a region of this whose main job is to receive information from the cortex, from the cells of the body and from the senses and to transform them into the chemical messengers that trigger emotions, metabolic activity and actions.

It, not the ideation of the cerebral cortex, is the real master of communication in the body-mind. True, we are more conscious of sensory images and internal dialogues, but even these must be translated into a lingua franca that can reach all the types of cells that compose us. All the radically different functions of the instruments of the body are coordinated here. It sends branches down through the brain stem into areas that govern arousal, attention and metabolism. It sends other branches upwards into the cerebral cortex, limbic cortex and the central relay station of the anterior thalamus. By communicating in both directions simultaneously it responds to the turbulent demands of inner and outer environments. More importantly it establishes a state of the body-mind, a readiness of physiology, emotion and stream. of thought to act. It is those stabilized states, chords of feeling, arias in our opera, that make up the emotional mosaic of our sense of self and life. If you try to maintain a state of mind by holding one thought it is very difficult. The
thought is slippery and joined by hundreds of other competing thoughts. But if you stimulate the hypothalamic conductor to set the state of the body-mind, it is like picking a frequency on the radio or a channel on the T.V. In that mode or state certain thoughts are easy to hold, others are excluded automatically. This conductor guides your mood, your mode and your mind.

Movement sends sensory information, stirs metabolism, improves circulation and hence communication to the conductor. Breath is the central link to the rhythms used by the conductor. The sound patterns of the Shabd Guru is the musical score that creates appropriate states of consciousness. All the instruments of the body pulse and communicate in rhythms. The conductor has to pull these rhythms together into a harmony. The sound and breath both record and drive the other rhythms of the body. All the instruments pay attention to their strokes.

Endocrine glands: instruments for energy and moods

The conductor interprets the thoughts of the mind from the nerves of the brain and sends hormones to the pituitary gland. That gland is a "master gland." In the east it is associated with the "third eye"- the intuitive functioning of the human that can know things not consciously recognized. We have traced some of the paths that start with the associations made in the cerebral cortex, that go to centers in the hypothalamus, and then activate nerves that project into one of the two lobes of the pituitary. Those nerves produce "releasing factors", neurosecretions that are messengers for the pituitary to release hormones into the blood stream. Those travel to special receptors throughout the body.

But it is not a simple relay. The state of the hypothalamus and the mode in which it responds depends on input from the key rhythms, like sound and breath in the body. Breatll is linked to the emotional and metabolic state you are in. Subtle regulation of the breath can change the type, balance and range of hormones released in the system. This in turn will crank up metabolism with extra reserves of cellular energy for top performance,and will modulate the moods that are the background for our emotions. The field that specializes in studying these mechanisms is called euro-endocrinology.

The depth and the frequency of the breath, the pitch, rhythm, intensity and sequence of sound are especially important in cueing the pituitary function ands its integration with the more mysterious gland called the pineal. Just breathing slowly and deeply can have great healing effects.

Autonomic Nervous System: instruments for action and relaxing

This is the system we associate with our capacity for emergency response. That is the half of the autonomic system called the sympathetic system. It is the gas pedal of your body. It sends the heart racing, blood pressure up and speeds the breath Once its turned on by anger or fear, it lasts a long time. The whole body gets one message- wake up and go! The other half of the autonomic instrument section is the parasympathetic system. It is the brakes. It slows the breath, relaxes the digestion, nerves and circulation. You become calm and easy going. Its message is relax, take it all in and enjoy what you have. Together they send "go" or "relax" messages to all the organs of the body (lungs, heart intestines, adrenals, etc.).

The senses and the mind generate impulses that go to the conductor. The conductol evaluates these according to the overall state of the body-mind based on the input from cellular messengers and from the status of the rhythms in the body. Then it cues each part of the autonomic system to send our neurotransmitters to create change. A messenger for the sympathetic system is called norepinephrine; for the parasympathetic system a messenger is acetylcholine.

One of the major impacts of this balance of gas and brake is the distribution of blood flow throughout the body. It can make you warm or cold. It can nourish tissue or create degeneration. It can stimulate the growth of tumors or initiate shrinkage as it cuts off blood supplies. It changes basic processes like the clotting of blood, the healing of bruises, and the strength of the immune system response to infections and stress.

There are two important points about this part of the mind-brain link. The health of this balance is maintained by a constant, stable rhythm of activity in the nervous system. You probably heard of circadian rhythms- daily rhythms like sleep and waking. But the most important rhythm for the conductor is the ultrradian rhythrns, ones that are shorter and occur all through the day. If these shorter rhythms get out of synchronization, then you get cellular jet lag, psychosomatic illnesses of every kind and a general emotional slump or even a chronic sense of malaise. Maintaining this core rhythmic quality of the nerves, commanded from the conductor, is an essential task to feeling good, being happy and staying healthy. Second, you can change the balance of the autonomic system by switching the relative openness of one nostril over the other, and by switching the ratios of the inhale and the exhale. It is such an important regulatory mechanism, the body does it on its own when everything is stable. It is called the nasal cycle and is well documented
It varies from about 65 to 150 rninutes in individuals with a strong average at about 90 minutes in most healthy people. It tums out that this is a fundamental driver for all the rhythms in the body, In fact I participated in research that showed that even the hemispheres of the cerebral cortex shift levels of activity with the shift of the nostrils.

Consciously resetting this rhythm with the Shabd Guru helps to heal many problems that come from over working the syrnpathetic side of the autonomic system. The Shabd Guru is one of the best tools to strengthen the parasympathetic system and balance the rhythm of the autonomic system so it can repair itself.

Immune System: instruments for defense

The scourge of AIDS and other plagues around the globe has produced enormous discoveries and new explorations of this system. It not only keeps things stable, it learns and can respond to specific environmental stresses and emotional changes. It is a constantly changing system that is in communication, through the conductor with the general state of the body-mind as well as the presence of invading agents. Its readiness to respond depends on history, learning and the messages it gets from the rest of the emotions and mind, transmitted through the conductor. The new field of study that connects psychology, chemistry, neurology and the immune functions is called psychoneuroimmunology.

The main thing to know is that a huge line up of candidates called immunotransmitters form a communication link between the producing and responding cells of the immune system and the hypothalamic centers. Through this connection the immune system interacts with both the endocrine and the autonomic systems.

Using the Shabd Guru and breath to entrain the rhythms of the hypothalamus and hence the whole body, creates a healing response in the immune system. It improves the use of cells like natural killer cells and helps the removal of toxins and the fight against viruses. I have helped thousands of people raise their resistance to fight everything from autoimmune diseases, arthritis, and allergies to HIV infection.

Senses and Central Nervous System The limbic-hypothalamic-pituitary team sends and receives messengers, like neuropeptides, from all over the body. The senses receive and transmit stimulation from the environment which alerts the conductor who sends back instructions of how open or closed to be. One of the most common comments after a deep recitation of a Shabd is the astounding clarity of physical vision. The eyes seemed to have cleared and there is a new sense of dimension to things. This is the feedback loop between the senses, and the conductor when the breath was used to enhance the rhythms regulated by the hypothalamus-pituitary axis.

The hemispheres of the brain are part of this as we!l. They code different types of emotions in different areas. Their constant shifting of dominance creates dynamic blends of moods that interact with the endocrine system via the conductor. This means we change the shape of our neurons and the composition of our chemical ocean to establish a basic state of experience. We learn and grow or get stuck and show illness according to the flexibility of our super-system to switch states in a timely and appropriate way.

The Shabd Guru Prescription

This outline of the mind-body-breath link, and the central role of the hypothalamus, gives you some idea of how responsive and subtle the mind-body system is. It should also leave you more confident. Not just hopeful. Confident that you can create great changes in your self, from top to bottom, from cell to brain, and from feelings to moods.

It is the incredible process of creation or perhaps the wisdom of the Creator that made every molecule in communication with every cell and thought. And in that design you have a powerful and easy to grasp tool in the Shabd Guru and the breath.

There are many mysteries to that design yet to be uncovered. There is the connection to the pineal gland. It is a tiny piece of tissue in the bottom, center of the brain that looks like a wilted mushroom. It is usually thought to become useless after puberty. It's linked to hormones that regulate sexual growth and give sensitivity to light. But it has many functions in the neurochemical conversation of the body. There is a special connection between its higher functions and the use of the breath. When the breath is very slow, or taken in at least 8 segments deeply, there is a channel the hypothalamus opens between the pituitary and the pineal glands. This flow creates a release of what used to be called "Amrit" or inner nectar. When this message is sent, the potential of the entire nervous system becomes active and is accelerated Vitality cascades through all levels of the mind-body linkage. Nerves scintillate. The muscles regenerate and become strong. The glands send ecstatic waves of messengers to declare victory and healing. That capacity is yours. It is in your very design. It comes from no drug, no special belief. It is a result of your whole brain and super-system coming into synchrony.

This is all about what exercise, breath and attention can do. It is the prescription that uses no drugs. You are the drug factory itself. There was a lot of press about the "runners high" and the mood elevating effects of strenuous exercise some years ago. It came on the heels of the discovery that one of the messengers in the body was endorphins and that there were receptors ion the cells for it. It is a pain-killer hundreds of times more potent than opiates. That was a small window on the possible effects of exercise. It can reduce pains and anxiety by endogenous (self-produced) opiates. But then it turns out these molecules are used for many other communications in the body.

The number of messengers and the range of effects are much greater than simple sedation or excitation. The hormones from the pituitary and the pineal gland like oxytocin and vasopressin are now known to increase the enjoyment of social relationships and the ability to bond with another person. There is a chemistry to our relationships too. Many more messengers and effects are being catalogued.

Two processes enhance the impact of the quantum patterns of the Shabd Guru: the Pendulum Effect and Resonance. Watch a pendulum swing. Tap it slightly exactly as it reaches its zenith. A little tap will make it gain energy. It is just like pushing someone on a swing. If your timing is right it takes very little effort to keep the swing going against the forces of friction and gravity. The pendulum effect in the Shabd Guru comes from the timing and synchronization of the tongue and breath with repetition. Instead of effects from high levels of effort, the effect comes from a gradual build up of synchronization and the energies natural to the body-mind system that are released. When this happens it is not a jerk or a lightening bolt. It is more like a spreading wave of alertness or lightness. It is your own system uncoiling itself rather than a force shoving it.

Resonance is the other factor that creates the spectrum of specific effects. When the opera singer hits high high C and the glass shatters, that is resonance. It is the attunement of a particular frequency to the shape of the glass so that the energy can be absorbed by that glass. Different shapes have different fundamental frequencies that they can vibrate at. That is the basis for instrument design. The body has many cavities in it that resonate to specific words and sounds. High pitches will be felt in different areas of the body than low. The assembly of many rhythms in the body from different organs and groups of cells can resonate in many modes. That resonance can be induced, we say entrained, by the ratios of sound and breath used in the Shabd Guru.

All this is to tell you there are two powerful tools at your disposal: words and rhythm. A simple, conscious use of these has profound effects. Words and sounds are psycho-active events that are rooted in the body and give roots to the sense of self. Rhythm increases our sense of balance, of control of our movements and of general well-being.

3 A vat of DNA may Become Fast Computer of the Future, Science Times, April 11, 1995. return

Above Article Copyright Yogi Bhajan 2002. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

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