Connecting the Dots with Vibration

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A lot of my kundalini life is solo—doing my thing pre-dawn, my cat Nico and me. I peer out the window during mantra: “What color is the world out there today?” It looks whitish gray with a tinge of blue or green or lavender, slowly waking up outside. I heard a new bird song this morning when it was still dark. It had a long clear tone. A long, clear singular tone. It made its way to me, to my sadhana, in my little room, with Nico, my cat. My soul peers out and observes the world waking up to spring and receives the bird song.

This predawn discipline is for me, even if I’m traveling or with family. It’s my primary commitment to myself, every day. No matter what’s going on or where I am or how late I stay up, it happens. It’s as sure as the tide. I can’t miss just one day. So I retire early if I can. I pass on evening festivities. But I often return home exhausted, with not enough sleep.

Reading a blog on 3HO, I digest thoughts that are familiar and resonating. It brings tears of comfort to my eyes. I’m not the only one on a journey—a journey to I don’t know where—inward, outward, in, up and out. When I teach yoga and chant with others, it’s different than when I’m alone. The energy is stronger and fills the space. I observe those joining in and see how open they are to trying something different, leaving their comfort zone. When we get the giggles after an intense mantra with challenging mudras, I love that. And I love hearing how it made them feel and what they experienced.

A kundalini community helps me feel less alone in the adventure. My heart, my soul keep me moving through the unknown. With darkness inside me and pain still finding its way out, I end the sadhana lighter and at peace. And today, as I chanted Guru Ram Das Chant, the outside hue was pale yellow, because the creamy blossoms on a dogwood tree were just opening up.

I know others are doing the same across our beautiful planet. It’s something that connects us—dots on a globe connected by vibration. We may look different, we may feel differently, we are in different landscapes and seasons.  Some are alone, some with others. Some are in a good place, others feel numb, scared or sad and are struggling through life changes.

On business trips, in airports, with kids running around, at work or at home, sadhana is the consistent thread. The energy swirls, shifts and releases out the window. And we accept life, however it is today. We chant, wherever we are and connect in vibration—naad. A flowing current that lifts, heals and elevates our voices.

I like to imagine that—little dots or stars spread across the globe, connected by vibration. All at peace together, having done bow poses, cat cows, ego eradicators and shoulder shrugs, and chanted to the stars and the changing hues at dawn. And we join a bird song, together.

At the end, feeling peaceful within, I imagine equality for all and love for all living creatures and pray for protection of our earth mother. I send out prayers for my children, anyone sick or struggling. I pray for dolphins, whales and sea turtles. For rocks, trees and dirt. And for my sacred path. I ask what I can do for the planet in this lifetime, what I can do for others. I ask for any messages for the day and support in taking my next steps

With the final tone, with an exhale and hands at heart center, I give and receive peace—in community. Heal ourselves, heal the world. Sat Nam.

Note: My assignment for blogging for 3HO (kundalini blog at www.3ho.org) was  “From Isolation to Connection & Community.”

 “Sometimes each person's load can only be taken collectively. Collectively we can pull the weight. We have a collective strength in us, hand in hand, in friendship, in the love, and in the affection. Do not keep things to yourself and say, ‘I cannot.’ There is nothing you cannot do.”
Yogi Bhajan 10/5/01
 

Isolation can be by choice or by circumstance. If you are the only Kundalini Yogi in your town or state or country, you may feel isolated from your spiritual community. The good news is that through the mindful use of social media, you can be connected and feel part of a family of like-minded souls. And attending the occasional Solstice, White Tantric Yoga® course, or other yogic event builds connection and community, even if you are the only Kundalini yogi living in your area. 

Some may choose isolation from social interactions, even while living in an inspiring spiritual community. But humans are hardwired to interact with others. When we are socially isolated, we lack emotional support, friendship, and a sense of belonging and connection. And all kinds of opportunities may pass us by because we aren’t reaching out.

“By isolation, you block all the opportunities, all the wealth, all the happiness and everything which should come to you and belong to you. You put your shields up and nothing can enter. If you are open, wide, honest, giving, receiving, smiling, and kind, even God can walk into you. 
-Yogi Bhajan 7/19/94

Fear

What does fear feel like in your body?  Being held down and tickled.   A bike accident – that moment when you know it’s happening and nothing can be done.  A crick in the neck. A shallow breath.  A populated mind.  A sick loved one. A tummy ache.

This year – I chose fear.  That’s what being out of my comfort zone brought on at age 55.  I can push myself in my career – that’s not too scary.  But taking on Kundalini yoga teacher training and a biking challenge simultaneously – that was by choice.  I dove into the deep end on both fronts – however –at times it feels more like diving into freezing water – shocking, breathless.  And then liberating.

This Saturday as part of the yoga Kundalini Level One Teacher training certification, we have an all-day white tantric event in Worcester, MA, where over 200 people will be participating in a variety of meditations from 13 to 62 minutes each.   My neck is tight and stiff.  Will I be able to hold the position?  Will I get enough air?  I can’t say too much about it because I haven’t done it yet but last weekend was Mind and Meditation weekend in our training at the Ashram and we got a bit of practice.  One of the meditations was 13 minutes, called “Sodarshan Chakra Kriya” which brought out fear in me.  The Kriya involves chanting in one breath before an exhale through one nostril and inhale through the other and repeat.  The fear it brought on reminded me of being held down by bullies - not enough air. Two times, I took big gulps, rather than breathing through the single nostril, as guided.   “Your Capacity for Infinity Meditation” was a very different experience.  The fast pace of the mantra, accompanied by our instructor Dr. Sham-Rang Khalsa’s uplifting commentary during the group inhale helped me relax.  I felt a smile emerge on my intense expression.  I had trouble with the proper pronunciation, due to the speed of the mantra.  This forced my mind to let go and stop trying so hard.  When I relaxed and smiled, it was like allowing myself to coast on my bike down a hill – with no brakes – which is something I don’t do.  It created a safe space to virtually withhold brakes and trust the words to come from my mouth.  When I did this – and let go – the words flowed and it was a more satisfying experience.  A reached a new place through this meditation – to let go, not worry about it and trust that the words would come.

On the biking front – I love biking and I love exercise.  I don’t remember when I decided that I wanted to bike up a volcano in Maui called Haleakala.  I don’t recall when that came into my mind.  It is about 38 miles and a 10,000 foot elevation.  It takes about 5 or 6 hours and it’s comparable to a 100 mile ride on a regular road.  (I’ve only biked 50.) But the goal has been set and I’ve been spinning all winter and going to the gym and trying to prepare myself.  I need to get out on the real roads but that’s not happening just yet, due to New England weather.  I have a guide, I’ve plotted my course.  It’s definitely doable – people do it every day.  But now that it’s the month after next – I’m asking myself why I chose to bite into fear like that.  I think I know the answer, though.  I’ve been road biking for about 5 years now and find that the physical experience of pushing up a hill, imitates life.  Slow and steady – keep the head down – find the pacing – this leads to success.  But the opposite also holds true – going too fast – looking too far ahead – this can lead to fear and doubt. 

Since I started the yoga training last October, I’ve been rising each morning at 3:50 am for my short splash of a cold shower (as instructed, not by choice haha) and morning sadhana or practice.  After practice I have been training for the bike ride.  I’ve been fine – I’m an empty nester, single – I like it.  Others get a puppy – I do yoga and biking.   It’s fine.  I’m breathing.  I’m going to bed early.  I’m taking it slow -- focusing on the day and trying not to look out too far. 

But now I’m getting scared. I haven’t picked this big a challenge yet.  I’m 55 years old – I have to be careful. I know what it feels like to fall off my bike.  I don’t think it’s by chance that I have taken on Kundalini training and this bike challenge at this time in my life – a time of healing, pushing through past pain, finding renewed strength and adventure – and tackling discomfort.   Doing something by myself and for myself. 

Wendy, my therapist and my friends wonder why I’m so hung up on getting to the top when it’s the effort that counts.  I used to tell my daughter that trying out for a play was the cake and getting a part was only the frosting.  And I meant it.   Why did I believe that for her and not for myself?   If the hill imitates life, then I guess that’s it – fear of failure – of losing momentum, and running the risk of heading backwards and down.  But it doesn’t have to be losing momentum.  It doesn’t have to be falling back.  It could be getting off the bike.  Looking at the view and then cruising down the hill – with brakes.  Or getting off the bike and slowly walking to the top.

Pushing through fear is important right now.  Chewing it up and digesting it.  Diving into it.  Because it’s been sitting in my belly for a long time.  It perches on my neck.  It startles me.  Maybe these experiences can help me engage with it in a new way.  It’s cold. It’s shocking.  But it’s freeing.  And could be joyful.  I’ll let you know in May after the bike ride and June – when I receive certification as a Level 1 Kundalini Yoga Teacher.

What does fear feel like in your body?  When did you last choose fear?