How did you find Kundalini Yoga (or how did it find you!)?
It was a circuitous path spanning 18 years. I first heard of Yogi Bhajan, the Siri Singh Sahib in 1975, when I was studying Zen Buddhism at the Zen Center of Los Angeles with Maezumi Roshi. My Zen friend Bruce was describing the wonderful yoga he was experiencing with Yogi Bhajan. Also in 1975, I was a graduate student of engineering at the University of Southern California. I encountered Tej Kaur at that time, who told me of her wonderful experiences with Yogi Bhajan and Kundalini Yoga. Also at that time I worked in the Aerospace industry as an engineer. That is where I met my friend Hargopal Kaur. She was (and still is) a physicist.
One day, Hargopal asked me about Zen meditation. I introduced her to the community and we sat in the Zendo. Hargopal did not take to the practice, as she said it was a little too sedentary. So, I suggested that she go to see Yogi Bhajan, who would give her a better workout. So, she did. Soon after all this, I lost contact with all of them.
Shortly after, my wife and I began a martial arts practice in Aikido, which we kept up for twenty-five years. We both earned the rank of Shodan. One day in 1991 I visited my chiropractor, Dr. Waheguru Singh, for a knee injury I sustained in training. He mentioned that his teacher was in town and teaching that evening across the street at Yoga West. He invited me to attend.
The experience that evening showed me that Yogi Bhajan was my teacher. I was blown away. I hadn’t listened to Bruce or Tej closely enough to actually find Yogi Bhajan, but that casual invitation changed everything. From that evening on, my wife and I regularly attended Yogi Bhajan’s classes when he was in town. That was also when we met Hargopal again after about ten years.
Sat Nam Rasayan®
In the Summer of 1993, at Summer Solstice in New Mexico, Hargopal and I were talking outside the Tantric Shelter one afternoon when she saw Guru Dev Singh walking by and said she would like to introduce me to her healing (Sat Nam Rasayan) teacher. Guru Dev Singh walked toward us, and at the moment we met, a cyclone of wind and dust enveloped us. When we recovered from that intense experience Hargopal introduced us. I attended Guru Dev Singh’s healing workshop in the Tantric Shelter that afternoon and recognized that I was destined to study Sat Nam Rasayan® with him.
For some time after that my wife and I attended weekly beginning Sat Nam Rasayan® classes with Hargopal at Gurmukh’s house and workshops with Guru Dev Singh when he was in town. We were Hargopal’s first Sat Nam Rasayan® students.
I began healing and teaching Sat Nam Rasayan® in the healing and meditation space in our home in 1998. We call it the Healing Heart Center. I still perform healing and teach meditation and healing workshops there. Dev Atma Suroop Kaur graciously provides meals for the students in attendance at the workshops.
During Summer Solstice in 2000, Sat Kirn Kaur, director of Yoga West, invited me to begin teaching at Yoga West. Before that happened, I became certified as a Kundalini Yoga instructor. Hari Charn Kaur of KRI graciously invited me to test for certification under the grandfather program, which was ending around that time. I have since been teaching Kundalini Yoga, meditation and Sat Nam Rasayan® classes at Yoga West.
In 2004 I began teaching Sat Nam Rasayan® at Golden Bridge Yoga. I still teach weekly classes there.
Since 2009 I have been travelling to other cities, teaching meditation and Sat Nam Rasayan® abroad.
What do you love about teaching at Yoga West?
What motivates me as a teacher and healer is that I have found a way where I can be useful. I am one of many healers and teachers that Yogi Bhajan and Guru Dev Singh have produced whose intention is to reduce suffering and bring light into the world. Yoga West is the home of Kundalini Yoga, the House that Yogi Bhajan built. I feel a strong connection with the place where I sat with my teacher over so many years.
What is your favorite Yogi Bhajan Teaching?
Ang Sang Waheguru.
What else do you do in your life that we might not know about ?
In 2008 my wife and I began a line of shirts and other clothing that feature sacred images. We call it Shuniya. We have offered them at Summer Solstice and at other retreats.
Top 5 Kundalini Yoga mantra tracks?
Dhan Dhan Ram Das Guru – Sangeet Kaur
Ang Sang Waheguru – Siri Singh Sahib
Guru Ram Das – Singh Kaur
Ajai Alai - Guru Shabad Singh
Rakhe Rakkan Har – Singh Kaur
(I’m old school.)