Yogi Bhajan Lecture Archive
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Siri Singh Sahib Bhai Sahib Harbhajan Singh Khalsa Yogi Ji
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Category: Interview
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Dear Yogiji

“Be aware, from the information age, you are entering the sensory age. It is a sensory human being, who is going to be very different from what we know or see.” Dear Yogiji,
Q When I get stressed at work my whole body seems to shut down. Physically and mentally everything is a mess. Even though I know it is happening I am unable to stop the negative experience. Is there a quick fix so I can get my energy and psyche back to normal so I am able to perform my job?
A The results of what we call stress today are not even close to what they will be in the near future. Stress is rusting the complementary system of the body, and damaging the sensory system. In life this causes a lot of gaps, which we don’t always recognize as stress related.
Sometimes the best experts on health cannot discover cold stress that actually freezes the spirit and the mind and which can damage our relationships with people, in work and in our surroundings. Take it slow and steady. The only solution is that our daily schedule must include exercise, breathing, massage, and healthy foods, including herbal remedies and teas.

Q Thank you for bringing Kundalini Yoga to the West. Its practice has made me resilient in the face of adversity. My biggest challenge is staying centered in the face of “good” stress in my life—for example planning celebratory gatherings with my family, friends, and special man, managing projects to make the workplace a better one. I get so worked up about it that I even lose sleep and my appetite. And, to be honest, I kind of like the high. Is there anything I should do about this?
A Fill up a tub with warm water up to the navel point and arrange a shower which falls perpendicular on your head. Enjoy 11 minutes of it. Remember, not hot, not cold, but warm water, and see the miracle.

Q I am enjoying my practice of Kundalini Yoga very much. My question is this: Kundalini Yoga seems to be a very self-referential type of practice. Do you recommend spiritual exploration outside of Kundalini Yoga practice (for instance, the books of Thomas Moore and James Hillman discussing archetypal psychology or the practice of Vipassana meditation)?

A Kundalini Yoga has to be understood. There is reserve energy in us, which has to be uncoiled. It is pure, passionate, precise, and piercing. Add anything you want to add. Every individual has his or her freedom in the Kingdom of God and the domain of Mother Nature. Every creature has to create environments to find the exalted self.

Q My question is "How can one best deal with the stress of not having a relationship with a preferred life partner?" There are many people in my situation, I'm sure men and women who have achieved most or all of their career goals and are living financially secure but empty lives because of loneliness and disconnection. I have everything I ever thought I wanted including good health. I am simply not able to meet a suitable life partner and create a healthy, committed relationship for the remainder of my life here. Along the way, I would have given up some of my other goals in order to have met "the right man" and settled down into the householder's life. This perceived lack creates stress and unhappiness to the degree that I sometimes do not enjoy my many other blessings.
A Longing for a mate should not be pursued on physical, mental, or social level. Longing for a mate should have the foundation of virtues and values, like a sacred oath. A human has to be trained to accept life mutually with another human. When two people are conscious, mutuality has to set the rule. In that, life becomes a sweet tender give and take.

Q How do I pray? I have read as much as I could find on this subject, and it seems so vague and arcane.
A You live by the breath. You are born by the breath, and you die when the breath leaves you. The focal point of your being is the breath of life. Therefore, you must sit for your sake and meditate on your breath doing the One-Minute Breath* for at least three minutes. When you establish the grounds, then, you can establish the mantra. If you are a Jew, the sound is Ya. If you are a Christian, the sound is Ha. If you are a Moslem, the sound is La. If you are a Hindu, the sound is Ra. If you are a Sikh, the sound is Sa. Choose it from your belief. * With the eyes closed, inhale 20 seconds, hold 20 seconds, exhale 20 seconds.


Q Two years ago I was very sick and was confronted with the idea of death. Only after my acceptance of death could I accept the possibility of living and being happy. Why is it so difficult for us to accept ourselves?
A From one little molecule that is the spermatozoa and one egg we are all born. Our development, our path, our gain and loss, our sickness and health are mostly the karma of the previous life. As we compete and compare while living, we forget that our destiny and dignity were designed first, and then accordingly we got the body. We have never developed our sensitivity to differentiate, so we feel we are betrayed by nature. We normally accept things when there is no way out. If we accept everything willingly, then our will and God’s will will be the same. There will be all gain and no pain.
Q How fixed is the future? Everybody keeps talking about projection and changing your life or karma, and maybe that works for some people. But somebody must have planned and projected my life before I was born, so what gives me the right or motivation to interfere? Why would I change that planning rather than accept it?

A You have three minds: negative, positive, and neutral. By meditation you can direct your mind positively toward success, you can spread prosperity, and you can shine like sunshine. If you remain neutral, you will pay your karma and play into the hands of time and space. If you adopt the negative mind, may the hand of God be with you! God knows which way you will end up. It is the most sad and painful living.
We have the right to be happy and excellent. It all depends on how we meditate and direct our mind—ourselves, or let it be directed by circumstances. Many people have good things by good luck but without a meditative mind they lose consistency and act as a loose caboose.

Q With the understanding that (1) there is an epistemology to history, (2) there is semantic meaning to history, and (3) there is a pragmatic meaning to history, what is the purpose and/or obligation of a Sikh regarding his or her history as it relates to this most recent theme of developing into a “sensory” human being?
A History tells us where we have succeeded and where we have defaulted and gives us a chance to build our individuality and reality to share with all, big and small, to answer the call of service. It is very funny that the hand of God comes to help us through. Though it is unseen, as a sensory human we can feel it.
Q What is “destiny” and how does a spiritual being create the highest destiny possible for themselves and others or even for the planet? Is our destiny “fixed” or can it be changed? When “bad” things happen to us, is that our destiny or our fate?
A We have birth by longitude and latitude. We have parents by our karma of the past. But, if from childhood we learn to live with a clear consciousness, with service in our heart and compassion in our thoughts, and we carefully enrich others’ lives, we shall be rich! All the past negativity shall be wiped out, and we shall have a wonderful time on the Earth.

Q When does acceptance become an excuse for giving up or not facing the situation with consciousness? I accept that I speak to people rudely, that is just the way I am. I accept that I am poor. God wanted it that way. My married friends of 10 years just got a divorce; I accept that they were having a difficult marriage.

A Whatever you are, you are wonderful because you know how to accept, if you accept that God has created you, that the purpose of life is happiness, and that serving others is the main theme of humanity. If you accept to enjoy nature, its beauty and bounty, you will have no chance to be in the wrong place. All you have to accept is to be in the right place, and the hand of time and God’s space will be all yours. Remember, accepting is the greatest personal gift, if we accept nothing but the positive and do not accept the negative. At the least remain neutral.

Q We, my wife and I, are secular folks, so to speak. We have both been drawn often to the Sikh community, no matter where we are. We have good friends who are Sikhs. How do “normal” people like us begin, or consider the process of beginning “conversion?”
A The Sikh way of life is not a conversion. “Sikh” means “student,” and student can easily learn from the master. Sikhs have the great master that is forever and has no ego, no shift of direction, no attachment, and counsels straight and simple. It is called the great Guru, the Siri Guru Granth Sahib. Even if you can understand the first writing (part) of it, the Japji of Nanak or Sukhmani, the “Jewel of Happiness,” you’ll be shocked how fast you can change. We read the Guru’s words and learn how to wipe out all karma of the past so that we can have a prosperous future with bounty, beauty, and bliss. Keep going, saying to yourself that you have tested out with commitment and consciousness.

Q How can we best serve others who are newly opening up to awareness of the spiritual?
A Everyone has to start. Give your heart if you are smart. That is the wisdom that yields purity, piety, and prosperity.
Q Is it ever possible to truly live a stress-free happy, healthy, and holy life, consciously and in a fully awakened state, while living outside of a spiritual group in “normal society”?
A Sadhana, your daily spiritual practice, is the essential part of our life. If you do sadhana, you shall have no strife. Everybody has to fulfill his or her own life, and a meditative mind takes away the problems, solves the limitations, and cuts down the hurdles because with the self, minus ego, the hand of God gives to us the greatness that is our birthright.

Q. I have some deep-seated ideas about my inadequacy and not deserving anything. What can I do about this?
A. First of all, nobody is born inadequate. Sometimes it is the tightness of the circumstances that makes someone feel that way. That comes and goes. Secondly, you are not only you. There is your Creator. There is the creation around you. There is the interaction with people and their goodwill. There is something called goodness of heart. There are values and virtues. Don’t deny all these aspects, and then see what happens.
Q. If it is a person’s karma to be poor in this lifetime, is there any point in meditating or doing affirmations to become prosperous?
A. Every diamond which is not faceted does not shine. Your life gets faceted one way or another, either through a Teacher or through time, and prosperity comes as it comes. It is a law of life that even a beggar has a chance to be a king. Q. You have told us that everything is God’s will. Where is the line between God’s will and my choice? Isn’t it my choice to listen to God’s will? Isn’t it my choice to discipline my mind and body?
A. Your choice is to discipline your will to see God’s will and enjoy it. Find a prayer that makes you vast. The reading and understanding of Japji, a universal Sikh prayer, gives you a good vision of life. Similarly, there is a lot of good in the Bible, in the Gita, in the Kaballah.

Q. How do we have more prosperity and increased simplicity in our lives while living in this crazy, accelerated, and very demanding society of the Information Age?
A. You can learn from the birds how to fly through the hot wind and reach the shelter of a green tree.
Q. There is so much poverty in third world countries, and paradoxically the first world countries obtain their resources and profits from these poor countries. How can we help in physical and spiritual ways?
A. Be diligent; do your best. That is what conscious living is all about.
Q. How can I be more discriminating with opportunities so the ones I choose will provide me the greatest financial reward? A. Don’t be judgmental. Be compassionate. Being kind and compassionate brings all the goodness of the world to you.
Q. People always say, “I want to be a successful lawyer, or a general manager of a company” but no one says, “This year I want to double my happiness and contentment.” Why is this happening?

A. Actually, by expressing these desires they are expressing their need for happiness. Bring them understanding. Teach them a new definition of happiness.
Q. What can I do to help money do good every time it comes to me or goes from me?
A. Plan it right and take the wise man’s counsel.


Q. I am afraid that I am losing faith, which is the last thing I want to do, because I know that without faith I will lose everything! Is there a mantra that would help me get out of this particular situation?
A. Faith is the strength of the soul. It is directly related to the breath of life. Do long deep breathing for 31 – 62 minutes daily. Also, by pulling the navel on each sound of the mantra, Har1, I have seen miracles happen. (11 minutes daily)

Q. Is there a time in life, when depression is necessary for karmic reasons?
A. No, depression is the result of pressure in the environment, which is sometimes difficult to face. In such situations, you need a dialogue with either a doctor or a friend. If that is not possible, call the Editor or call me in person to create a dialogue.

Q. What are some effective ways to eliminate the fear trance that I have lived with for all of my life?
A. Fear is just a bump in the road, created by self-illusion. It is good to put yourself into a hard discipline like a day of White Tantric Yoga2, where you can get in touch with your true self. You will be light and relaxed. It is very cost effective.

Q. What is the best treatment for someone who is chronically, clinically, and most likely bio-chemically depressed?

A. He or she must see a specialist. We can recommend a good doctor.

Q. How can I start a new relationship? I am divorced after 22 years of marriage. We don’t have children. I am 40 years old and confused.
A. Don’t be confused. Each day, with courage and faith, you can always start your life better than the day before. That way, what is right for you will come to you. Remember, happiness is your birthright. Don’t let it go and don’t put it in the shadows.

Q. What meditation or kriya should I do to help me to accept myself as a true spiritual being and remain connected to God?

A. Do your sadhana, your daily spiritual practice, in spite of the fact that you may or may not like it.


Q. Sometimes due to loads of work at the office I am so busy that I forget to remember the Infinite. What should be done to feel and remember God all the time irrespective of any worldly hindrance?
A. Worldly work should not overshadow the spirit. There should be no conflict. When the spirit is high and bright, the world can be taken care of, but when the spirit is down, the world will fall before it. There is no place for excuses. Early morning meditation, daily sadhana, is the answer.

Q. Last year the Ra Ma Da Sa chant was given to help heal and relieve the stress of the planet. Is there a specific 2001 meditation that will help us all during this significant millennial year?
A. We are still in the middle of it. We have to create enough energy and heal. The circumstances have shown us that we have to work hard and ask a lot of people not to ignore the call. Keep up with the Ra Ma Da Sa chant.


Q. How can I raise my children to be spiritually aware so they have the inner strength and wisdom not to turn to drugs and sex?

A. Be with them. Play with them. Talk with them about values and virtues. Mother is the first teacher. Children are her future at every cost. She cannot give them birth and just let them go, rather, she has to give them values and character and let them grow. With kindness, compassion, smiles, and sweetness share with them the stories of all great and successful people so they can have positive role models.


Q. How can one determine what path (dharma) to choose in this lifetime?

A. Whatever gives a person grace, glory, integrity, and happiness without any shadow of doubt is the only choice. The rest is pain, displeasure, and disappointment. The scales of balance must not tilt towards the negative.


Q. When is a line drawn for conduct that is contradictory to a yogic lifestyle when one lives in a yogic community? Ten years ago I started to use alcohol and cigarettes. If people knew at the time I might have been asked to leave, although it only lasted a few months. Had I been asked to leave, it would have destroyed me.

A. Every line drawn is like a line drawn on water. One who draws it has a judgmental satisfaction, but in reality, there is no line drawn. Rather, it is like the sun that shines equally on everybody, bringing warmth and light. People do stumble. That is the test of the others’ patience and compassion. Sometimes people do go wrong. There is no judgment for it. Wrong will take a short or long time to make the individual aware that wrong is wrong, and that is the beginning of awakening. Punishment is not the human way of life. Faults and shortcomings are caused by ignorance. Compassion and patience pay. Let’s pray all will be great tomorrow.


Q. Will there ever be a day when we all can live in justice and create a caring society?

A. The best justice is to avoid negative environments and to act with non-violence so that you can enjoy life and create environments for others to enjoy.


Q. In the Sikh scriptures, it mentions repeatedly “the Lord’s lotus feet” and that we must “enshrine them in our hearts and minds.” Can you please explain “God’s feet” in the technical language?

A. The lotus is the symbol of purity and piety. It is the symbol of the crown chakra. When you stand on your own lotus feet, all your thoughts will be pure, beautiful, and soft like a lotus. When all thoughts are pure, you will have grace. Grace gives you self-confidence and trust. Life will be wonderful and worth it.


Q. Is there a mantra, kriya, or meditation to help balance Mercury’s influence, when the planet Mercury is retrograde?

A. If Mercury didn’t go retrograde; we all would be out of our wits. When Mercury goes forward, it is the time to look at the world as a whole. When Mercury goes retrograde, it is a time to look at oneself. Looking at every aspect of oneself is the greatest meditation of all meditations. Please let Mercury do its job and you do yours.


Q: Would you explain the b1ending of the auras?

A: When a man and woman have intercourse, their Yin and Yang energies merge, and their auras blend; it is a purification. The two people become a different third person. A woman is especially sensitive to the blending of auras. If she blends her aura with one person here and another there, her aura is imprinted, and she cannot hold on to her identity. Her energy is very sensitive, and this merging of auras can have a very destructive effect on her. She can become emotionally weakened. This is very prevalent in our culture. For woman, sexual freedom should not mean sexual exploitation; it should mean sexual preservation, choice, and reverence. On the other hand, if there is love, commitment, and respect between the two people, intercourse can have a very positive effect on her. She will feel creative, expansive, vital, and secure.


Q: As a woman, what can I do to lose the imprints of past partners?

A: Everyone has an arcline—call it the aura. But a woman has an additional arc line between the breasts. Ordinarily the imprint of every sexual relationship a woman has is never erased from this arcline. However, if you do Sodarshan Chakra Kriya it can definitely clear the imprint(s) out. This meditation has been done for the last 3,000 years. It will also help you.


Q: I want a relationship with a man, but my fears have been sabotaging me. How can
overcome this fear?

A: If you want to get rid of your fear of men, then do 31 minutes of long deep breathing. Although it may take a little time, it will heal this subconscious block.


Q: What is the impact of stress on sex, and what can we do to have good sex under high stress?

A: Fill a tub with warm water up to the navel point. Remember the water should not be too hot nor too cold. Sit in the tub and do 15 minutes of Sat Kriya. Then lie down in the tub and relax. Afterwards come out and you will be able to enjoy sex. It works.


Q: Is there a best time of day to have sex?

A: Avoid sex between 3 a.m. and 6 a.m. Because of the position of the sun with the earth, it is a very sensitive time of day. Avoid sex within three hours after eating, after physical exercise, when the woman is deeply menstruating, when you are under stress, and when you are not in a secure place. Any other time is fine. It should not be done in haste and worry. You must be brought to the point that you relax and thereafter sleep.

Q: Should a man try to preserve his semen?

A: When we feel we are hungry, we feel we are supposed to eat; so when we feel passionate, we feel we are supposed to have sex. That’s what sexual love has become today. Man loses the sense of value and self-respect. When you do not value the seed, what do you value? A farmer who does not care for the quality of his seed, nor for the quality of his land and does not care to preserve the seed, or sow it in a proper line, do you call him a good farmer?


Q: Then what can he do about horniness?

A: To feel horny is not a sin or wrong, but if one knows how to invoke the meditative mind, which raises the energy up, one can become totally creative. Horniness on the physical plane can manifest as sexual intercourse; on a subtler plane it can manifest as creativity. It is the same energy, used differently in different body centers.


Q: When men and women approach middle age sometimes they experience a decline in sexual desire. How can this best be dealt with, both physically and emotionally?

A: Sit together back to back and do Sat Kriya. Centuries of experience have proven couples remain together, very successful. It is also useful for couples going through calamities, indifference, and unstable environments. Two spines joined together in Sat Kriya can do wonders. I wish you all the success.


Q: I have read that the Kundalini energy flows up the chakras in a spiral motion. When the energy goes down, does it also do so in a spiral motion?

A: Yes, that is the route it takes. If the flow is free and open, it is great, but the problem is if the flow is limited or blocked, then the energy is only for maintenance. To keep the Kundalini energy in a rhythmic flow and allow it to settle properly in the chakras, Sat Kriya is the best.


Q: What about sex during pregnancy?

A: This is a controversial topic. Sexual energy is too intense for the unborn child. Once the pregnant mother is about four months into her pregnancy, intercourse should stop. Let her pray and be one with the growing child within her.


Q: Does this mean that intimacy, affection, and touching stop?

A: No, not at all. In fact, it is very important that mom and dad are very affectionate with one another. The parents' love is the most important thing a baby experiences in the womb. It can overcome the negative effects of many stresses and traumas.

YB Teachings, LLC
Above Article Copyright Yogi Bhajan 2002. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.



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