How I Met My Teacher

I met Yogi Bhajan in 1978 at a Tantric course that he taught in Kansas City. I lived in Madison, WI at the time and I had started taking Kundalini Yoga classes in Jan-Feb. I had previously read the book Autobiography of a Yogi by Paramahansa Yogananda. In it he wrote something to the effect that the spiritual growth developed by 99 years of living in complete harmony with ones surroundings was equal to one year of meditation. After a Kundalini Yoga class the instructor informed us about the upcoming Tantric course in Kansas City with Yogi Bhajan. He said that one Tantric course was the equivalent of 30 years of meditation. I had been having profound experiences from the Kundalini practice and decided that the Tantric course was not to be missed.

I should add at this point that I had a deep hope within myself that the Tantric course would help me heal my marijuana and alcohol problems. I had acknowledged to myself that I had a problem with substance abuse. I had tried to quit on several occasions only to find myself self-medicating again. I had come to the conclusion that I could not quit just by wanting to do it.

I drove to Kansas City with three ‘single men’ that were affiliated with the Madison ashram. I had never spent time with anyone that lived in an ashram before and was fascinated by their stories. Invariably these stories revolved around their Spiritual Teacher, Yogi Bhajan. All the way to Kansas City I was captivated by Yogi Bhajan stories so that by the time we arrived in late afternoon I was extremely anxious to meet him. When we arrived I was told that the course would begin at 7 pm in the basement of a local church. I wanted to get a good place to sit so I arrived at 6:45. The doors were locked and the person that collected the money for the course ($35) showed up at 7:15. Around 7:30 someone began to lead a Kundalini Yoga set as a warm-up for the class. When that was over some musicians began leading the assembled group in chanting. After a half hour of the chanting everyone seemed tired of it including the musicians, yet it kept going.

I was becoming frustrated. My impatience to meet Yogi Bhajan was very palpable. I shut my eyes and tensed my whole body with a mighty effort and silently shouted “YOGIJI WHERE ARE YOU?” To my utter astonishment as I sat there with my eyes clamped shut, it was like a light got turned on and there was a brightness. Then I distinctly heard the following “I’m right here you idiot.” Those words were so clear that I thought that everyone must have heard them and I opened my eyes to look around. Everyone was still chanting painfully away. Then some people over in the corner stood up, and Yogi Bhajan walked into the room past them. As soon as he had entered he stopped and began looking at everyone as if he were trying to find someone. He finally locked on my eyes, and nodded, as if to himself. He then looked away and proceeded to the stage where he was to teach the class.

From the moment he began to speak I had the experience that he understood the innermost thoughts of my heart. Although I did not know it at the time the Buddhists describe this as recognizing one’s Spiritual Teacher by experiencing the Teacher’s words as those of one’s own heart. That was exactly what I felt. It was as if he was speaking directly to me the entire weekend. By the end of the weekend I was a changed person. I no longer had any desire whatsoever to self-medicate. The very idea of it seemed foreign and strange. In addition to this I had a whole new attitude toward women. Prior to the weekend I did not even realize how much I objectified women. The course opened my eyes to this and I have never been the same since.

By the time the course was over I knew that I had met my Spiritual Teacher. As a child when I had heard stories from the Bible about Jesus I had thought how lucky the people were that could actually be with him at that time, and I always wished I could be one of them. I wondered how people that Jesus healed could depart and never see him again. I realized that I was facing a similar dilemma with Yogi Bhajan. If I decided to become a student of Yogi Bhajan I knew that I would become an outcast of my family and friends. I also knew that if I did not that I would always wish that I had.

I decided to dedicate my life to learning from Yogi Bhajan because Yogi Bhajan is my Spiritual Teacher.

It’s not the life that matters, but the courage we bring to it.

Blogs about Paramahansa Yogananda/Autobiography of a Yogi: Pranayama: Controlling the mind through the breath, Moving Gurus, The Law Of Success, Who Am I To Judge Anyone?, Paramahansa Yogananda Words of Wisdom

Blogs about Kundalini Yoga: My life as a flexible freak blog, Motivation, Inspiration, and Integration on the Mat, Kundalini Now, Kundalini Yoga and Meditation, The Yoga of Trading

Blogs about Yogi Bhajan: The Best Minds of My Generation, Quote of the Moment, Theenergyguru’s Weblog, Unbiblical Yoga, You can chase it or let it come to you

 

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