From our newsletter dated february, 19th 2020 (english version):
today we are writing a newsletter that, due to the events of last week, has a completely different topic than originally planned. (How was that? If you want to make God laugh, tell him your plans!)
We are experiencing a landslide, volcanic eruption and earthquake at the same time as the reports about the dark side of Yogi Bhajan`s dealings with his students. It’s a shame that he has already left us and we can no longer confront him. That would be the task of a functioning sangat.
As you may experience on the Internet, on Facebook or other media, old and new truths / half-truths / conjectures / opinions / very strong opinions come to light. It feels like a village has suddenly entered the market square and unpacked all the stories from the village. The #metoo movement has also reached Kundalini Yoga. That is right and important and hurts. We have great sympathy for those affected, who had to wait so many years to be heard.
Since Dharma Singh is on the K R I Board, he also has insight into these stories and is deeply concerned. There is something in the stories and there have been abuses. K R I has made a very clear decision that none of the stories will be held back, but that it is urgently time to allow them and to bring them to light. An independent investigation has been established, there is a crisis hotline for those affected (once again mainly women). We can hardly keep up with sorting and checking the events, but we will be allowed to rewrite our history and Kundalini Yoga will get a new face. That goes into the training, the books, etc.
The good thing about the Aquarian Age is that the unheard is heard and nothing remains hidden.
The good thing is that we as Sangat have a consciousness that is more developed than in the early days of Kundalini Yoga. It is also a good thing to take your eyes completely off the personality cult around Yogi Bhajan and to really find our depth and connection through our own experience and the exchange about the teachings. And it means: we can finally dare to build on our experiences, to hold them as true and to love the technology and not the water pipe that conveyed them. (based on a quote from Yogi Bhajan: „Water is not pipe, pipe is not water, water has to flow to nourish the land“ or „love my teachings, not me!“) How true. He said it is important that we are not the wagons of a train where the whole train derails when the locomotive falls. Each of us is our own train and has initiated itself through the techniques.
We can even dare to take our eyes off the water pipe and use the techniques to get 10 times bigger. We call this process emancipation.
Remain able to act
In the sense of grief and crisis process, we proceed step by step:
- Get out of shock and face the emotions that break out (Pranayama to enrich the mind, continue breathing, singing, meditating)
- Allow the emotions and work with them to penetrate the negotiation / negation phase (balance the tattwas)
- Overcoming the tendency to flee and depression with our techniques and accepting them (strong, powerful kriyas that connect us to the body, strengthen the umbilical point, Pratyahara: be conciously concious)
- Create a new world reference with a trust in your own acquired knowledge (Do you trust yourself? How can you trust others if you don`t trust yourself)
We are at the beginning of shock and emotion and it is good to connect to the Sangat, people who remind you that you are connected.
How and what changes in your daily yoga routine?
Do you hang the image of Yogi Bhajan? Yes, why not, an instance like Guru Ram Dass is less shady and has a neutral altar size. Maybe you keep it because you acknowledge that he was the postman.
Are you still doing tratakam? Then probably on a candle rather than on the image of Yogi Bhajan.
Are you going to White Tantra? Well, the recommendation to link it to level 1 will probably be reconsidered. And if it fed you as a meditation technique, clearly why not.
Do you join the golden chain with Ong Namo? Sure, because on this level there is not the polarity of light and shadow, but connection to the source.
Can you trust Kundalini Yoga? Of course, because all Facebook and other social media posts have this in common, people love the technology, the tool, because it helped you in difficult times like this one too. So here is a tip for meditation:
It is also an important question in the entire #metoo debate, whether in yoga, film, politics or art:
What is there to learn as a large community? Why is there such misconduct disclosure that has always existed? Does that work side by side: ingenuity and being human with all shadow parts (angelic, human, animal)? Each of us dances on the edge of the sword and can fall next to it with one step. We have already experienced this with other beloved teachers. And that is when we look back at each of us.
Where is the Sangat as a corrective? Do we consciously place ourselves in a sangat that gives us feedback? Do we give feedback to others? And very importantly: what is our own and common reference as sangat to which we refer? As long as our reference is human, there is always a risk that they will fall and that we will feel cheated. In this sense, we refer again to Yogi Bhajan, who also said: he is not the source but ultimately the words of the gurus from the Guru Granth Sahib … and has valued every other religion as well.
Thank you to everyone who is currently trying to act consciously, calmly and carefully in these windstorms of life. They are ready to face this polarity and reactivity with prudence and foresight. Here is a longer (shortened) quote from our Kundalini Yoga teacher forum Facebook administrator, Bettina Khalsa:
.. Long story short. Assume that Yogi Bhajan is actually an assaulting charlatan. What would change in your lifestyle and teaching? I would still be a vegetarian, I would continue to take no drugs, would continue to follow the rules of Patanjali, would continue to teach Kundalini Yoga, would continue to welcome the golden chain, because I love Guru Ram Das and Guru Nanak. I would still not literally do everything that Yogi Bhajan teaches (I never did that, I always did research).
But I would listen to myself more strongly than before, had no guilty feelings that I am not wearing a turban, cut and dye my hair, would be connected to yoga as I see fit, would ensure that I am not overbearing and I am happy that I am a partner for my yoga students rather than a spiritual teacher. (Kundalini colleagues have already attacked me for this). If I would drink a glass of wine every jubilee year, then I know very well that I am not a bad person. I would be less afraid of not being a ‚good‘ yogini. I would be responsible for myself! That would be the win for me.
What would change for you? …
Be blessed and feel free to contact us with any questions or suggestions.
Dharma Singh and Karta Purkh Kaur