By Nelly Coneway (Dayaal Kaur)
Reprinted from LA YOGA magazine September 2006 Vol. 5/ Num. 6
Her spiritual name, Tej, means radiance and perfectly fits the warm heart and soul of one of the great teachers of Kundalini Yoga. Her smile is an open door to infinity and her warm eyes penetrate deeply, reading all like an open book. Tej has an energy field and knowledge that illuminates, comforts and helps those around her.
Tej was working toward her Master’s degree in psychology at USC, when she saw a little sign “Yoga as a Form of Therapy.” She called the number and went for an interview. “I had to take three buses to go there,” she says. “I was 19 at that time, alone in the middle of L.A. There was a temple – Guru Ram Das – and the people around me were dressed all in white.” There she met Yogi Bhajan and her life changed forever.
She carefully listened to everything Yogi Bhajan said that first night and knew that he spoke to the deepest part of her psyche. “It’s like the very wisest part of me was brought out by his statements, like it was already there but was reinforced by him.”
After his lecture, related Tej, he walked down the aisle and stared at her and she reached him mentally: “All right, I like your teachings, I’ll follow your teachings, but I’ll never follow you like a man.” He shook his head up and down, like he understood.
“He heard me, I knew he heard me. He was very respectful and very much related to my depth. Knowing that we were communicating on a psychic level was very interesting, because I never had anybody be able to do that before, never.”
Tej tells the story as if it was only yesterday, but she has been a student of Yogi Bhajan (Master of Kundalini Yoga, Mahan Tantric who brought Kundalini Yoga to the West in 1969) for over 30 years now. Her dedication to Kundalini Yoga and Yogi Bhajan has taken her to positions of honor and respect within the Sikh Dharma. She is the Custodian of the Archives of the Teachings of Yogi Bhajan and a recognized authority on the teachings. Tej has been involved in numerous Yogi Bhajan publications as transcriber, editor and compiler including the Woman’s Camp Series, “72 Stories of God, Good and Goods” and “The Master’s Touch.” Tej went on to finish her Masters Degree in Counseling, and for many years, while assisting Yogi Bhajan with his correspondence she also received extensive training from him in yogic counseling.
Tej teaches a regular schedule of classes at Golden Bridge Spiritual Village in Hollywood. With her extensive background and authentic love of the teachings, the classes are occasions to enjoy very deep meditative experiences and to learn vast amounts of yogic knowledge. She often uses lessons from her own life of study with Yogi Bhajan, sharing how he helped her overcome challenges as examples to inspire her students.
And she tells the class, that in the same way it takes pressure on a piece of coal to make it into a diamond, without the pressure, the pain and the challenges you can’t really go to the next level. “It has been many, many times that my teacher put me through challenges, and I always learned how to overcome my own negative mind.”
Yogi Bhajan was known for testing his students and Tej talks about the hardest thing she’s ever done as being the four years of White Tantric Yoga, every weekend, with Yogi Bhajan. “To do only one of these courses takes 40 days to have the sub-consciousness filter out and cleanse then get used to this new state. It was a severe cleansing every weekend and I don’t recommend this to anyone. We were around him, he allowed us to do it and his aura was protecting us.”
Tej and others were traveling with him at that time and he was leading the White Tantric Yoga meditations himself. Says Tej: “Yogi Bhajan gave his life force for it, every time he did them his auric field was like a garbage collector, gathering, cleansing everybody’s consciousness. He was in so much pain when he finished a White Tantric Yoga session, we had to help him off the stage and into the car.”
Tej also teaches about the Aquarian Age, telling her students to get ready, to build their strength. She leads her classes with the same intention she believes her teacher instilled in her, always aiming to become clearer, stronger and own their energy fields.
Tej Kaur Khalsa talks of almost nothing other than helping her students. Teaching Kundalini Yoga is her life.
Nelly Coneway (Dayaal Kaur) is a journalist/ writer for 24 years and a Kundalini Yoga Teacher in Los Angeles and Tokyo. Nelly can be reached at: happyLAyogi@gmail.com.
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