I have been gazing steadily for the last few days, always at sunset because of the thick hazy mornings. As I settled into the routine of gazing in the evening I also settled into the habit of skipping my early morning chanting session, called Sadhana, and catching up on some extra zzzzz’s. I would wake up at 3:30am like a machine despite my plans to sleep in, but I didn’t let that deter me. I would hop up, pee, chug some coconut water and go right back to bed. I knew I was messing with a new circadian rhythm it had taken me months to stabilize, but hey, the sun wasn’t getting up either so I felt justified. Besides, the chanting sessions had started to become stale. There is this one particular recording of the chants that I find infuriating as it has Yogi Bhajan (the guy who brought us Kundalini Yoga) speaking over the chants, basically interrupting. Lately it seems that even though the Sadhana leader rotates every day, they all had some secret cabal and agreed to relentlessly over play that one tape. It about destroyed my motivation to go chant when I knew I’d be competing with Yogi Bhajan for the floor. He is like “head guru” or something, so even though he’s technically dead it feels rude to chant while he’s speaking. So I’ve been skipping chanting, sleeping in, bingeing on television and gazing at sunset. Until yesterday that is.
My neighbor and kundalini yoga teacher, Brett, who also doubles as my grounds keeper was watering my back garden Saturday afternoon. I popped my head out and we began to chat. He asked me if I’d be coming to Sadhana the next morning and before I could answer he said “you don’t wanna commit?” He posed this as a question, trying to give me an out in case I would experience his inquiry about Sadhana as a pressure. He wasn’t pressuring me, but he knows I’m sensitive. I must have looked puzzled because he added “I only ask because you haven’t been there in awhile.” It hit home for me in that moment, Brett was right. I didn’t wanna commit; I hadn’t been there in a while. I love the chanting, but this recording being played every day was starting to drive me nuts. I started skipping Sadhana, in part because of it. Sadhana was a much needed addition to my life that drastically changed my schedule a few months ago and my priorities right along with it; I’ve gone almost daily since I started and even found ways to chant in the early morning while I was traveling, from the privacy of a parked car on the side of the road. I can’t explain how it works, but it does work. So I was feeling conflicted, I didn’t want to stop chanting, I wanted to love Sadhana again.
The chanting all happens in the ancient language of Gurumuki, a variation of Sanskrit. The theory in that language is that the sound made by a word is the vibrational equivalent of the definition of the word. For example the word Har in Gurumuki means “Creative Infinity”, and the sound generated by the mouth and vocal cords when one pronounces Har and taps their tongue on the roof of their mouth just so, is supposed to resonate in the body as the feeling of Creative Infinity. It’s language and art and science all rolled into one. It’s some pretty trippy stuff, but I leave there feeling sturdied by invisible armor and with deeper inclinations toward self-love than anything I was ever able to muster with any other technique I tried before it. Chanting has lead me down the path of enchantment. So I have been in a bit of an internal battle to surrender myself to the recording every time it came on. The universe was testing me with it. It was my “thorn in the flesh” as Jesus might put it, to hear that once or twice a week and have to hone my skills and focus through it and past it and find my way to my own clear channel. And I did this gladly, well, I did it anyway, and sometimes I was glad about it.
Then suddenly about two weeks ago the leaders start playing it daily. The universe was ratcheting up the tests. The flowers in front of my door remind me to be more patient and I think about them as I try to reconcile myself to continue on in Sadhana and find the love and vibrance I found in the beginning. But the opposite happened. I started skipping and my schedule started slipping. I was waking up later each morning and going to bed a tad later each night. I got hooked on the first season of a TV show called Aarow about a superhero who fights crime with a bow and arrow. I’m on episode 19 since Thursday, thus explaining the four day gap in my blog as well. So instead of doing “archer pose” in Sadhana I was watching an archer pose on television. My, how quickly things can change.
I had been hesitating to send the leader of the leaders an email with my thoughts about the tape because who the hell was I? He is a master guru and I’m just some gay weirdo who sun-gazes and likes superheroes, what the fuck did I know? But what I knew is that Sadhana had been a healer to me and I wanted that back. A friend reminded me that this is something I do every day so it’s probably worth following up on and expressing myself. Then I realized I am one of only two people who go practically every single day so that’s 50% of the group having an issue. So I mustered my courage, coated it with the sunlight I’ve been storing up over these first two month and wrote the most honest and gentle email I could. I immediately felt a huge release. The test was not a test of patience after all, it was a test of courage. Once I spoke up and expressed what I was feeling things changed immediately. The next morning, only hours later, the Sadhana leader who happened to be on that day played an entire new set of chants before my email had anytime to circulate to her from the leadership. I was beaming, seeing this as a good omen for the day and confirmation that I was supposed to express myself that way. I also did receive a kind response to my email from the guru in charge. The Universe and the Guru had both answered my prayers right in a row. I smiled brightly and gratefully belted my heart out this morning.
SIDE EFFECTS: None, again. I’m just gonna say I think we may have passed the point of their being any negative side effects. My eyes feel stronger than ever and people keep saying they look brighter and clearer than ever.
BENEFITS: My word has become kinder and more powerful. I ask for something or explain something and I am met with favor and agreement. This continues to surprise and delight me. I no longer say “I can’t.” I say “I chant.”