How Kundalini Yoga Produces Meditation On The Naam

Posted on January 4, 2011. Filed under: How Spirituality Works | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

According to Sikh teaching the pinnacle of all spirituality is meditation on the Naam. However, exactly what meditation on the Naam is is unclear because it is never clearly defined in any of the traditional Sikh writings. This has led to many arguments and deep divisions among various Sikh associatons. American Sikhs, students of Yogi Bhajan, have often assumed that meditation on the Naam means repetition of the mantra Waheguru, which is the most sacred Sikh name of God. There is a basic flaw to this thinking. Repetition of a mantra, any mantra even the most sacred ever conceived, is not meditation, and therefore Meditation on the Naam does not refer to repetition of any name of God. The repetition of a mantra, any mantra, is a spiritual practice.

In order to understand this it is necessary to define and explain a few basic terms.

What is spirituality? Kundalini Yoga teaches that we and all creation exist in Oneness with God. If spirituality means connection to God then all living things are equally spiritual because all things are equally part of the Oneness of God. This would mean that spirituality has no real distinction.  What makes spirituality distinct is the ability to recognize the connection of Oneness. Humanity has this ability which other species appear to lack. The basis for this ability of humanity to recognize our connection with Oneness lies in our  ability to recognize what is true. As humans we can recognize when we are being honest with ourselves and when we are not and make choices accordingly. We also have the ability to hear what we want to hear and believe what we want to believe. We have these opposing abilities in equal amounts. This is the basis of our free will. We have the ability to choose to develop more honesty within ourselves or to choose ignorance and maintain our delusions. Anything that we do that causes us to become more honest with ourselves is spiritual. Anything that encourages us to hear only what we want to hear and believe what we want to believe inhibits our spirituality.

A spiritual practice then is anything that we do that develops our ability to be honest with ourselves. Kundalini Yoga is the science that includes all forms of spiritual practice. Kundalini Yoga makes no differentiation for religion or belief system. If the intent of the practice is to cause the practitioner to become more honest with themselves it is a valid spiritual practice and part of Kundalini Yoga. Kundalini Yoga is not just the exercises and kriyas that are associated with yogic masters like Yogi Bhajan. Kundalin Yoga includes all types of prayer, all chanting and singing of hymns, all bowing or genuflction before what is deemed sacred, all contemplation of any divine form, all performance of devotional service, and all recitation of divine mantras. If it is a practice that causes folks to become more honest with themselves it is part of Kundalini Yoga.

Meditation is the ability to process ourselves to discover what is true. It has two parts, expanding awareness and applying consciousness. We all learn through expanding our awareness and applying our consciousness. It is the only way we ever learn. When we learned to walk or talk we had to expand our awareness to incorporate parts of ourselves that we had never used before and we had to make decisions about what worked and didn’t work by applying our consciousness. The expansion of awareness and application of consciousness is so essential to learning that it is even key to the evolution of all lifeforms. In other words, evolution itself is based upon the development of the skills necessary to meditate. What makes humanity unique is that we can directly access the expansion of our awareness and the application of our consciousness while other species have not adequately developed them to do so.

When we have learned meditation to the point that we can expand our awareness and apply our consciousness at any moment on command this is still not meditation on the Naam. Meditation on the Naam means that we we have expanded our awareness and applied our consciousness to the point that we have come to the experience of our essence, the Oneness. It is called the experience of the Soul. When one can meditate and produce the experience of the Soul this is meditation on the Naam.

It is the purpose of all spiritual practices to cause us to become more honest with ourselves so that we can directly access the ultimate honesty within ourselves which is the experience of our own Soul which exists in Oneness with all creation and God.

3HO and Sikh blogs: Random Caligraphy, How to Meditate | MrSikhNet, Sikhnet Discussion: Do we believe in God or Naam?, The Concept of Naam, Naam Jaap-Contemplation, Meditating the Sikh Way, Gurta Gaadi of Guru Gobind Singh, Lord’s Name is Peace Giving 20L, Sikh Book Club, Sahaj and Sikhism, Ik Onkaar at golden temple, God’s Note, Sat Nam Wahe Guru, Valor Counterbalancing Bravado, The Cosmology and Methodology of the Siri Guru Granth Sahib,

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The Shift From Religious to Spiritual is Happening Too Slowly

Posted on November 10, 2009. Filed under: Spiritual Teachers | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

Over the weekend I was involved in several diverse and lengthy discussions about the needed shift from religious to spiritual (Shifting trom Religious to Spiritual). During these discussions there were two themes that had general agreement. The first was that this shift is imperative because the lack of this shift is producing severe threats that are imminent to humanity and even the environment of life on our planet. The second was that making the necessary shift is very difficult to do and is happening much too slowly to address the dire problems that we face. Everybody in these discussions agreed on these main issues. I am happy to establish why these points are true and to deal with disagreement to them in the comments section. This post will address the question of how to effect this change more quickly.

Change comes from within. When change is attempted only externally it does not work. This is why dealing with global climate change is so difficult to deal with. It requires us to each change how we relate to ourselves and the way we each live our lives. It requires us each to change to become more ethical in our own lives when it is easier not to do the right thing. This requires internal change. When this problem is approached with from an external solution point of view it is not even clear what to do to solve the problem. There are some general ideas, maybe even some general agreement on a good day, but no clear path out of the mess. This paradigm can be applied to any of the imminent problems facing humanity. This is because the solutions that are proposed for these problems attempt to impose change from outside on the problem, rather than approaching the issue as needing deeper spiritual responsibility and development from within. These exterior solutions have the effect of medicating the symptoms of the problems but never getting to or dealing with the root of the problem.

Blogs about global climate change: Top 10 worst effects of global warming, Vancouver Unitarians for Climate Change, Eating and Climate Change, Pachauri claims Indian scientific position arrogant, A World War II-Scale Effort

The war in Afghanistan is a prime example of how solutions that are imposed from outside do not fix the problems within. There are huge problems with the way that the folks within Afghanistan have in dealing with each other involving everything from violence to corruption. Until those issues are dealt with by them, no solution that is applied from an exterior source will work. Where they are not taking responsibility for their own problems no outside aid or force will work. David Rohde is very articulate on this topic also (Spiritual Conflict Resolution).

Blogs about David Rohde: A war reporter’s story, One Journalist’s Capture and Escape from the Taliban, An Element of Danger, A Taliban haven inside Pakistan?, Are we there yet?

How to develop the spiritual growth needed in these cases is the realm of expertise of Spiritual Teachers. Spiritual Teachers are those rare individuals among us that have learned to address their own internal corruption and manipulative behaviors and understand that serving this spiritual growth in others is the path of their lives. In this day and age Spiritual Teachers tend to be objects of suspicion and mistrust. This is because  no distinction is made between them and religious leaders and they are therefore considered to be as corrupt as their religious counterparts. The big distinction betwen the two is that the job of a Spiritual Teacher is to take the student to the point of spiritual independence while the religious leader is continually tries to increase their own authority and that of their religion. While Spiritual Teachers can be affiliated with a religion, they recognize that religion is just a vehicle to present spirituality. The Spiritual Teacher’s responsibility is to the development of spiritual understanding and not to the religious participation of the students.

Another misconception is that Spiritual Teachers are considered to have lived long ago and are not thought to be around today. Religions revere Spiritual Teachers like Moses, Buddha, Yeshua (Jesus), the Prophet Mohammad, and the Sikh Gurus religiously and mostly ignore the presence of Spiritual Teachers in our own time. To confuse things even worse, posers promote themselves as Spiritual Teachers which makes it seems as if true Spiritual Teachers are the same as these posers. They are not.

What makes Spiritual Teachers so vital for us at this time is that they alone have the understanding of the spiritual changes that we each need to go through individually, and teaching others who are then capable of teaching others is the only feasible way to multiply the numbers needed to have sufficient impact on our most serious problems.

In order to help validate that real Spiritual Teachers are with us today there is a page on this blog entitled “How I Met My Teacher” that contains real life experiences of people meeting Spiritual Teachers. This page is for everyone to post in the comment box their own story of how they recognized their Teacher as a Spiritual Master. It is also OK to challenge the validity of these experiences and the Spiritual Teachers associated with them in the spirit of investigating and actually defining what a Spiritual Teacher really is and is not.

Spiritual Teachers that I have personally identified in this lifetime are:

Yogi Bhajan

blogs: Kundalini Connection, Kundalininow’s Blog, Who is Yogi Bhajan?, Recipe by Yogi Bhajan, Be the Lighthouse

Sant Guru Dev Singh

blogs: Sat Nam Rasayan Canada, Guru Dev is in Town!, Healing and Shuniya,

His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama

blogs: Tibetreport’s Blog, The most important thing we can do, Chinese angry on India, Pay it Forward, The Buddhist Tradition, Khamerlogue

Thich Nhat Hanh

blogs: On Technology as the Solution, Meditations on Anger, my time?, Crossing A Channel, A Gift of Dharma for 11.9.09

Preah Maha Ghosananda

blogs: The Gods Drink Whiskey, Making Peace, The rising of the light, Democratic Peace

Eckhart Tolle

blogs: JasonGarcia’s Blog, I smoke, Christianity vs. Islam, I Totally Blame Eckhart Tolle

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