Bits of Wisdom from My Teacher


Posted on January 8th, by Jai Gopal in Bestblog, Philosophy, teaching yoga, Wisdom. 2 comments

Harijiwan Singh Khalsa at GoldenbridgeI was on a workshop recently with my teacher, Harijiwan and in the midst of all of the discussions I was compelled to write down certain things because they resonated with such brilliance. The italics represent my commentary.

“Expectations are resentments waiting to happen.” (actually said by a woman named Carol rephrasing what Harijiwan said.) This is purely brilliant. When you expect a certain outcome and don’t get it, you’re disappointed. 99% of all our problems in relationship with others comes because we expect them to do something we want them to do and they’re not doing it. The only way out of this, other than controlling the other person or conflict, which are not desireable, is to drop your expectations and attachment to how someone or something should be. The flip side of this, and a very powerful tool for countering expectation and attachment is Acceptance.

“The energy wants you more than you want the energy. The energy (of the universe) wants you to succeed and do what you came here to do.” This is the same as the idea that “if you take one step toward God, God will take more steps toward you than there are in the sands in the hourglass of time.There are many versions of this that come from various religions but the basic idea is that the energy of the universe is a perfect benevolent mass that wants to come through the human to have experience and hopefully gain knowledge so that it can make a contribution. The mind is the limiting factor. We’re given a mind to master so that we can pull in the energy of the soul and project it to our highest ability. Good luck with that.

“The power of prayer is a diagonal power within this parallel-perpendicular matrix.” We live in a parallel and perpendicular matrix– lattitude and longitude, just like the maps that portray our earth. It is a grid of energy with which we interact. The power of prayer is a diagonal power within this parallel-perpendicular matrix which allows you to cut through the blocks therein. (very paraphrased but the gist is there)

“Your memory is totally your creation. ” This is a great statement because in our culture the science of therapy wants to take you back to stir up the most haunting and tragic memories. Because this moment in the present is the only true reality and it’s constantly coming and going, one moment to the next, the past is truly a creation of the mind. You can choose how you look at it. Everyone has hard times and worse, some have really horriffic experiences that defy reason or explanation. It is always your choice, your creation, what you do with these things. The only reason to go into the past is if it’s blocking you in some way in this present moment from going forward.

“We have electricity and sewage throughout most of the world because we agreed as a collective group that this was a minimum standard of living. Peace will be possible on earth when everyone decides collectively that this is how we wish to live. ” (I wrote a whole blog article about this here...)

“If a star quarterback throws the ball impeccably with his right hand, who cares what he does with his left hand when he’s throwing the ball? ” This was another reference to living in past trauma. The big idea here is that if your life is working really well, who cares what happened in the past? If you have a good life going and you go back into the past to live in some pain, that’s insanity. I knew a guy who had everything going for him. He started to tell me one day, about some therapy session he went to where a psychologist regressed him to some past trauma and when I told him he didn’t need to go there, he got very insulted and left with his ego in hand. Everyobdy has pain. The question is: How much of your soul can you bring down and in and project (in the present moment.)

“The 18th Pauree of Japji (The morning prayer of the Sikhs) says: Asankh Moor-akh, anDh ghor which means, ‘Countless are the fools, Blinded by ignorance’. Well, basically, as you go through your life, especially if you’re generally a good person striving to do the right thing, which is very tough, you have to remember that you’re surrounded by morons most of the time. Instead of getting down about these people who generally make your path harder, accept them and keep up.Mala - prayer beads

“The idea is to make yourself strong and build a foundation for your life so you can in turn, help others.” Needs no explanation.

“If you’re in a position of counseling another human being, you must assess what they’re capable of hearing. One of the rules is this: Will what I am about to tell them help improve their life positively? Only tell someone what they have the capacity of hearing.” An addendum to this is don’t give unsolicited advice.

“The more you can use acceptance in your life, the less you will be pulled into currents of emotion which do not serve you.” Back to the discussion of expectation and attachment. When you do NOT accept what’s happening in the present moment and wish it were happening some other way you get pulled into currents of emotion which exhaust you and take your energy in all sorts of places that don’t serve you.

“The purpose of a human incarnation is not to get dirty. Don’t get pulled into that which does not serve you.” More along the lines of the last bit. Some people accept suffering as a way of life. Others even seek it out with the philosophy that things are supposed to be tough and unrewarding. The idea is to find the flow. You’ll always have challenges. If there’s a paved road already, there’s no need to climb up the side of a mountain just to show you can do the harder thing. It’s better for everyone if you walk up the road and get on with the next thing in your life.

“The power of a human being is the power to elevate oneself and others.”

“Yogi Bhajan has said that the heart is greater than a trillion times more powerful than the head.”

“Everything you need to know you can get from the Blues Brother’s movies:”

  1. We’re on a mission from God.
  2. The Lord works in strange and mysterious ways.
  3. Don’t worry, we have a special arrangement with The Lord.

“Lighten up.”

“At this level of incarnation*, nothing is wasted. All of your experiences were given to you so you can fulfill what you came here to fulfill.” This is in response to what most of us feel at one time or another: Why the hell did I have to go through all that? How could that possibly serve me? The idea is that every single moment of your life led you to this juncture and you can use every bit of it positively here and now.

“If you wander into a place and everyone is loving, that’s pretty easy to accept. If you show up and people are swinging axes at you, that takes a little more work.” This is another bit about acceptance which applies to family.  It’s about understanding that many of us come into this life and have seriously tough experiences that appear to have been thrown onto us without our control, and that takes some work to accept (that it’s all in the big plan– “At this level of incarnation, nothing is wasted.)

“The Dalai Lama has a policy of meeting all refugees who make it out of Tibet into India successfully. One old monk got an audience with the Dalai Lama after making it out. This monk was tortured incessantly in prison. The Dalai Lama asked him what was the most challenging aspect of his ordeal, to which he replied: ‘I was terribly afraid that I might lose my compassion for my captors’.” I can’t explain this for you. You’ll either get it or you won’t.

“We’re here to make more powerful human beings.”

“Use your memory so that it serves you. Use time so that it serves you. You don’t need to understand your past, you know what happened. Re-living it over and again like watching a movie is absurd. Reason isn’t going to give you the answer to your past. (You must make it serve your present. )”

Sat Nam





2 thoughts on “Bits of Wisdom from My Teacher

  1. “The only reason to go into the past is if it’s blocking you in some way in this present moment from going forward.”

    Sat Nam … I work with those who are in this very position … PTSD. Sometimes it’s not a “mental” choice because the pain, the patterns are locked in the body. Hence why I believe Kundalini Yoga is such a powerful practice. I’d like to see more dialogue about this topic. I see lot’s of childhood abuse and now we see many young people returning from war sufferring from PTSD. I believe KY&M is a powerful healing tool that can meet the needs of these indivudals. But it must be presented with openness, compassion and acceptance. Thank you for a beautiful article.

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