GURU SINGH: It’s exactly like money. Ego is what ego does. Money is what money does.
It’s a medium of exchange and ego is a medium of exchange, also. It’s a medium of exchanging your energy with somebody else’s or someplace else’s energies. And if you have a desire to be a leader and it requires some ego to see yourself as a leader, combine that with empathy and compassion for those that you might be leading and all of a sudden, you have this incredible combination. You know, like a really good salad dressing. Like balsamic vinegar and a good olive oil makes a great combination and so ego with compassion and empathy and desire makes an incredible dressing for the salad of your life.
DONNA QUESADA: We were saying earlier about awakening and developing that intuitive awareness and the empowerment that goes along with it….and how you tell the difference…if it’s a true voice of awareness or not. And you said, practice, practice, practice. Do all practices work? Are all paths valid?
GURU SINGH: Until they’re not, you know. Are all roads roads? Yes. Are all roads going to get you where you want to go? Eventually (laughing). You know, you take a wrong road…well, it wasn’t necessarily a wrong road…it was just a different road and maybe you had to turn off of that road to get on another road to get to another road to get you where you want to go. But every one of those roads was a road you drove on to get to where you wanted to go. So none of those roads were wrong roads they were just a different road. They weren’t necessarily the direct road but they were a road. And so, yes, all of the things that happen in our life are going to influence our life and give us input in our life and we can make a determination based on that input, based on that experience.
Is this something I want to repeat? Is this a road that I want to go down again? Or, will I choose to take a different road? And some roads are cull de sacs…some roads are dead ends and we get all the way down them and we realize this goes nowhere and we have to turn and comeback. If we register that as a bad thing or a wrong thing, than we’re not really going to gain the experience of the lesson. We should experience the lesson of a cull de sac or a dead end as Wow, sometimes I need to be able to see far enough ahead so I don’t necessarily take a dead end road. Or, Sometimes I should believe the signs and signals that I experience…because, you know, a lot of dead end roads have a sign at the beginning which says, “dead end,” right? And, how many times have you been talking to somebody and they say, “you know, I knew that was going to happen, but I didn’t listen.” The voice in my head said, “you knowthis is going to happen”… but, I didn’t listen to that voice. You do that enough times…you’re asking about intuition. You make the wrong move, or you make a move enough times that doesn’t work out, and eventually, you know, I’m actually going to start listening to that voice… I’m going to start listening and I’m going to start paying attention. I’m going to start reading the signals.
DONNA: Is there a destiny,Guru Singh? And how do reconcile it with the free will to choose and follow those roads?
GURU SINGH: Destiny is just destination. It’s just another word for destination. And the difference between destiny and fate is that with destiny, you get there with choice. With free will you make choices and you make effort and you arrive at your destination through the effort and the choice. Fate is that you’re just in the flow and wherever the wind takes you…wherever the current takes you, that’s where you go and one of the things that I like as a good solid, symbol and metaphor for this is that living in fate is like living on an inner-tube on the ocean. Wherever the winds and the currents carry you, you end up going. Living in destiny is like having a bigger inner-tube, with a keel and a rudder, so that you’re actually using the wind for the choice of your purpose. You’re using the direction that you can choose with your rudder and then you’re using that same energy, that same energy of fate. But you’re altering it. Hence the word alter. You’re altering it by your decisions to make a choice. I’m going to use the energy that may be against me so I tack against it, but I’m going to go to that location. That is my destiny.
As you begin to make more and more willful choices towards your destiny, you begin to get more and more indication of what that destiny might hold…and is it something that you want or do you want something slightly different? And when you begin to become that practice, then all of a sudden, you get the input, which gives you the information that you can make choices with and all of a sudden, it’s like that cooperation…coordination that you’re using your efforts and the information that comes to you. Because the fact that you’re using those efforts or you’re making those choices…and that coordination and that cooperation, is what gives you that deeper sensation, which ultimately becomes an intuitive mind.
DONNA: Thank you. In the few minutes we have, Guru Singh, I want to go back to your book, Buried Treasures,which I so enjoyed.
GURU SINGH: I believe you were right the first time—it was Buried Pleasures.
DONNA: I enjoyed it so much because you share your own journey. You know, you were being groomed to be the next big folk music artist and went and spent time with the Shamans in Mexico before Kundalini Yoga. Would you mind sharing with us…why Kundalini Yoga?
GURU SINGH: Well, Kundalini Yoga is an interesting event because all forms of Yoga and all forms of spiritual aspiration…whether it’s Zen Buddhism, whether its Tibetan Buddhism, whether its Judaism, whether it’s Christianity, whether it’s Hatha Yoga, Kundalini…every single one of them raises the awareness…causes an awakening and the Sanskrit term for that awakening is that theKundalini rises through the centers of awareness in your body. And so, all forms, if we use the Sanskrit term…all forms of religion and spirituality raise the awareness, raise the Kundalini. Kundalini Yoga, as taught by Yogi Bhajan is an interesting phenomenon because it doesn’t have a complete pathway of a single lineage.
It’s got the pathway of multiple lineages coming together. I look at it in this way…and that is that Pantanjali, around 500-600 AD, brought together all of the different physicalitys of Yoga and he formed the eight limbs of Yoga. Because the term Yoga, meaning union…and utilizing the body and the emotional and the mental body and the spirit bodies to form that united self. And then about 1000 years later, Guru Nanak brought together all of the Shabad, the sound. Shabad means sacred sound…brought together all of the mantras and the sacred sounds and formed a language which was called Gurmukhi, which meant, “from the mouth of the teacher.” And so, a lot of mantras were built and a lot of…you know, from Hindu, from Islam from Zoroastrian, from all of it…from Buddhism, from all of the different walks. And then 500 years after that…along comes Yogi bhajan, and he’s pulling all this information together, as you know, when you went through teacher training. You know there’s Patanjali, who’s the apex of all the yogic periods of time and then there’s the…you know, the Aquarian times, which we’re in right now. What each of these different junctures was able to accomplish was, it took all the wisdom pathways from prior and sort of tied them into a bundle, and made them applicable to the moment.
And so, what I found, because I was raised in Kriya Yoga and Hatha Yoga…my family had met Paramahansa Yogananda while in India, in the 1910s and was told to come to America with him in 1919 and then came to the west coast of America in 1924 and served him until his death in 1952. And so, our family was steeped in that Kriya Yoga, Hatha Yoga practice, up until the time I met Yogi Bhajan in 1969…January 10th. And what Yogi Bhajan was doing in those early years was, looking at the industrialized world, which now is the whole world…there’s very little parts. There are few parts of the world anymore that aren’t industrialized. And what happens to the human psyche when capital becomes a commodity and industry becomes the means of life, or the way of life, rather than just a part time?…it becomes a full time and people are now working extraordinarily long hours in the pursuit of capital and you know, the change, the landscape of what it means to be human. And what it means…compassion doesn’t work in that world of business.
They call it The Art of War. It’s a book they all read and they all believe in contracts, which means to contract or contradict. It’s always a battle. And it’s getting one leg and taking advantage. This is not humane, this is not what life is about. So Yogi Bhajan, looking at this, back in the 60s, with the Vietnam war going on…and all wars were wars after resources, you know, early on. They were wars after land but then they become wars after the resources that were going to come from the land. And he looked at this and he said “OK, we need something that is really powerful, is really profound and that can achieve outcomes in the shortest period of time.”
DONNA: And they thought they could do it with drugs at that time so he had that obstacle as well…
GURU SINGH: Yeah. So, he put together a compilation just like Patanjali did, just like guru Nanak did, and it became Kundalini Yoga, as taught by Yogi Bhajan—that phrase after Kundalini Yoga is very important because basically, what it is, is all the yogic forms that raise the Kundalini that are going to be able to be used in an industrialized world where people don’t have all the time in the world to live in a monetary…to live in a retreat center…to spend months and months and months…to spend time studying and perfecting, but something that’s going to happen more rapidly. And so, that is a very long answer to your short question, “why Kundalini Yoga?”
DONNA: Thank you, Guru Singh. Is there anything else you would like to share with the Awaken listeners?
GURU SINGH: Yeah, I would like to share the fact that I’m glad that you’re listening. I’m glad that I’m listening. I’m glad that we’re all sharing because every single one of us is not only a student, but we’re also teachers in our own right. Any amount of wisdom that we have is an amount of wisdom that somebody else needs. And so, constantly throughout our lives, we’re called upon to be teachers, even if it doesn’t feel like we’re being teachers…it might just feel like we’re having a conversation. And in fact, we’re the ones to be the masters, to be the prophets, to be the messiahs and I use those words courageously. I use those words purposefully. I don’t use those words figuratively because this is now a time when we need millions of masters.
Not just one great human being…one great teacher…we need millions of us so that we can offset the billions who are still living in the comfort, in the bliss of ignorance and that is what we will be doing over these next decades and I would invite your listeners to follow all of the teachers that you interview, that you represent, that you present…the Awaken system on the Awaken website. And I would invite them to come to my website and to take the classes and the courses and the podcasts that I make available and all of the ones you make available because it’s as I said, we’re all religions, we’re all paths, we’re all wisdom and we can use that to make a difference in the world going forward, which really requires us because I say so often, the downside is really showing up. And if we’re the alternative…the upside…we need to show up as courageously as the downside is showing up.
DONNA: And your website is of course Gurusingh.com.
GURU SINGH: Yes, thank you. And we have plenty of offerings and they’re becoming more plentiful every week.
DONNA: And we appreciate it. We appreciate your time with us today, Guru Singh. Thank you again. Sat Nam.
GURU SINGH: Sat Nam. God bless you and I really, really enjoyed your questions.
DONNA: Thank you. Sat Nam.