Gurucharan Singh Khalsa & Karuna Transcript

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Gurucharan Singh Khalsa & Karuna Interview

Rick Archer: Welcome to Buddha at the Gas Pump. My name is Rick Archer and I once again I’m filming an interview at the science and non duality conference in San Jose, California. Today, my guests are Gurcharan Singh, Kalasa, and corona. And they are both students in the tradition of Yogi Bhajan, which is Kundalini yoga. I became aware of Yogi Bhajan, back in the 70s, I was with marshy, Mahesh Yogi and I remember he and Yogi Bhajan had a meeting. And I was I recall, I was up in the mountains of France and Yogi Bhajan wanted marshy to come to Mexico for some conference or something. And Marcia just didn’t want to do all that traveling. And so he didn’t go. But as I recall, hearing good things about the meeting. So this is one of those interviews, which I have not prepared for I know very little about Yogi Bhajan, Kundalini Yoga, although I do have a good friend within this group called Meet who’s up in the Ottawa. She’s lovely center. Yeah. Cheers. Oh, great. And important. For years, I’ve been actually thinking of, like, you know, in tribute to my friend call me, they’d like to interview somebody in that tradition. And that was kind of had that in the back of my mind, when I came to this conference, I wonder if I’ll meet somebody, and you guys would be the one to talk.

Karuna: Really, it’s really lovely to be here with you. I love the name of your company,

Rick Archer: thank you exactly a company, but it’s a good name,

Karuna: it’s a great way should be

Rick Archer: to 501 C three.

Karuna: Come, that’s already Yogi Bhajan, it’s working. He’s already manifesting a huge prosperity for you. So

Rick Archer: good,

Karuna: nice job.

Rick Archer: So what I’d like to do in the next hour or so is have you give us what you feel is the cream of the message that you could give in an hour. So you know, what Kundalini Yoga is? What benefits? If it’s relevant, what its history is, but maybe not too much time on that? Because mainly, we want to focus on the practical stuff, you know, what, what would a person do if they were to get involved in this? And what benefits could they expect to get from from doing it? And where would they have to go? And you know, that kind of thing? Would they become would they have to wear a turban? Or different kinds

Karuna: of you can like not wear it? I’m taking the turban off.

Gurucharan Singh Khalsa: So yeah, let me let me start with let me start with that. Okay, and and currently, you chime on in as you wish. But kundalini yoga is essentially about how do you live a life that is one of consistent delight and elevation, as a

Rick Archer: human delight,

Gurucharan Singh Khalsa: delight and elevation,

Rick Archer: and elevation,

Gurucharan Singh Khalsa: yeah, and elevation. Because as a human being, we have that capacity to, you know, be with whatever the plot of our life is, and yet birth within that plot a story. Because the story is not the plot, right? The story is that thing that we write with our heart, you know, it comes from an inner dimension that we talked about in spirit, not all fuzzy and mystical in that way, but sort of powerful and present. But, you know, a lot of times we get caught just in the plot. And plots are interesting as plots and drivers. But the story is how we transform, it’s the nature of our choices and what we do and how it develops this inner inner dimension. So, Kundalini yoga was always about how do you awaken the human that possible humaneness and open the heart center and live beautifully within this world? Okay. Now, traditionally, let’s say there when I got interested in anyway, he would, this is all guy talking and this is back before internets and half the journey was finding the bookstore and the dustiest book and then learning to translate into Sanskrit and that kind of thing. Now, you can get it on your watch or something. Yeah, but, but along with that, there was a lot of vagueness around this thing that I always heard about Kundalini, you know, and the other translation is buried, but essentially it means awareness. And that means the central property of you as a human being which is awareness.

Rick Archer: Associated Kundalini with the Sushumna and energy that rises up. So

Gurucharan Singh Khalsa: before you get into all the all of the interpretive symbology and iconology and the putting it into certain cultural context, if you talk about experientially, what is it? It means you awaken your sense of presence, that space of grace that you talk about? It’s when you have a relationship, in every breath basically to that now, every system that approaches that from all directions, right has some kind of map fuzzy or otherwise to kind of get there and practices and such. And Kundalini is that way. The basic distinction to think of is in eastern way, right? You’ve got meridians, and Puranas, and all that kind of stuff or chi, these things. So you’ve got a whole energy system that has to do with balancing our senses or attachment or things like that. So think of that as one whole way of being, and that connects us to sitting in this place, you know, with these smells, and colors and such things. And that’s to a Kundalini yoga person, that would be equally real. As the oneness, they’re co equal, they’re coextensive. They don’t exist without each other. So it’s not it’s never an issue that something is beyond illusion, or in or out, the question is, here in my heart, in my experience, right? How do I act in a way that delivers that kind of reality, authenticity being a me as a person. So I’ve got these promises, and balancing flows, and all this stuff going on, that lets me particularly ate my experience and get it. And then there’s this thing called Kundalini. So Kundalini and this way of thinking isn’t like a product, it’s not an energy, actually, all the people refer to him, it’s not what it is, it’s more like the, you could call it the urge of self transcendence, you could call it the inner dimension, that starts to open the flower. So can relate to that traditionally, is looked at that as it quote rises. And it’s really important to ask because you think here, always climbing ladders, and getting to the top, okay, so you always got to put all the ladder stuff in a circle with a center. Alright, so So you have to kind of think it always is about to tight center, and around it are all the different manifestations and challenges, right? So what constructs this outer rim of experiences, all these promises and stuff like that, but what brings us into transformation, which brings us into the height, at which you might want to live would be the Kundalini. So sometimes you have problems in the body and the mind, or Someone here said very nicely, you know, all of our human problems are psychological. And all the solutions are spiritual in the sense that we reconnect with the wholeness and the flow, the inner part with the outer parts, we combined these are as I would say, take the heavens, take the earth and bring them together at the heart. Because you know, you’re being your totality, right? And how you know, is resolved by action, which is what we call Dharma, right? Time is the right step at the right time in the right place in the right way that has a natural, blooming quality to it, let’s call it which I call the fulfilled sense of destiny and heart that we are in our own authentic self. So Kundalini is about all the different ways and so in this way, I mean, we founded the Kundalini Research Institute, back in 72, or something. And so we’ve collected and put publicly now online just recently, literally 1000s of meditations in these were given in a shared by Yogi Bhajan. Over the years and those were collected. There’s their seek meditations or Sufi meditation, Christian meditations, there’s things that we don’t know what they were, but they were sort of passed on. So a lot of that tradition was oral. A lot of it was secret. A lot of it required initiations. So one of the things that truly attracted me, well, there’s a lot of reasons, but one was that having been kind of raised in myself as a scientist and a mathematician and saturate, I didn’t like things that were secret, I saw that part as I understood the esoteric side of it, but mostly it got applied as cultural hierarchy, basically, and binding. Okay, so I’d rather say that what is truly unique and subjective, and each of us is ultimately, the secret. And not only through our relations, interactions like that, is that there’s no secrets. The only secret is the uniqueness. Because if it’s unique, it’s not comparable, right? So I didn’t do I kept coming across Kundalini references or something that would parallel that Taoism and this in many different traditions, right? And a lot of them would say, it’s secret, it’s this and this. But when I’m at the bathroom, he was the first one I met that said, No secrets, no initiations, if you can initiate yourself, you don’t have the responsibility to engage in an authentic way or on soul. How do you get to make the progress really? And so it appealed to me in the sense that it was open and I could test it. And then the rest scription he gave was try it, it worked for me. If it doesn’t work, throw that away, try something else. And I said, okay, so that experimental approach and experiential approach appealed to me. Because I think that’s what the universe says. I think the universe is a constant play. And I don’t think it knows any more than we do. I think it’s winging it. So someone says, Do you know what God thinks that? Yeah, God’s winging it. And we’re the wings. And so we are in a constant coevolution. And that’s the first

Rick Archer: and fourth rate or the Lost Ark. Somebody said, what’s the plan? He said, I don’t know, I’m making this up as I go along.

Gurucharan Singh Khalsa: If we’re joined with the one, so is the one but it’s you know, it’s funny ways of talking about it. But But I liked the playfulness of it. Because I think, without joy, and without coming from your heart, and without embracing all the plot that you’re in without even knowing about, how can you play an infinite game in a finite world? And you got to do both?

Rick Archer: Karuna do you want to add to that?

Karuna: No

Gurucharan Singh Khalsa: She does.

Karuna: Well, I mean, the only thing that’s coming up for me with listening to an amazing dissertation on Kundalini Yoga unit, you as a student of Yogi Bhajan, and having really never have encountered Yogi Bhajan, this is as close as I can get. So my relationship with Gary Chiron has just been so exquisite, because he actually gives me the leeway in the freeway, to to really be who I am in this process of a teacher, and with the teacher training programs, and all the evolution that you get through the teachings on teaching on an everyday basis that I do in Boulder, that it helps you to grow and extend an authentic relationship that you were just talking about with joy and humor, and in just being you know, being able to freely flow with these teachings and not being somebody who’s so you know, very, they’re very physical in the sense of they move your heart and that’s how I look at physical I don’t look at physical as you know, when triathletes come to my classes and long distance runners and they’re winning their races with the Mantra of Satnaam Satnaam Sat Nam instead of oh my god, I can’t do this. When I heard somebody in class say today I can’t do it. I was like, Oh, I was like, No, you can you can you have great you have passion, you have compassion. And it’s, you know, it’s that movement that this yoga gives you that looks so wild and pets yet so incredibly devotional. It’s bhakti, Shakti and ROG

Rick Archer: yoga, it’s while

Karuna: they Raj of this yoga, yeah, this yoga, this yoga, the Kundalini Yoga is such a Raj yoga, it’s a royal yoga, it wants you to become as, as enlightened if you want to use these terms that we’re using so much around here, or as awakened or awake in the sense of awareness of just how are we communicating with each other?

Rick Archer: Okay, so let’s say that, you know, somebody wants to check this out, and they come to your center or your class or whatever. What specifically are they going to learn? And what are they going to take away in terms of a daily practice?

Karuna: Well, we start with poke, provoke, confront and elevate. That’s a rule. That is a really well to poke, okay, so you start with a practice. And you poke, you start to poke those little things that don’t feel so cozy in you anymore. You poke your own, you poke your own things. So with the teachings of Yogi Bhajan, you tune in and that could be a poke right there just going omnimaga. David no more, what is that? And that poke something in you that asks a question that provokes something in you to confront something and you to even ask, why am I even confronted by this? Why can I just be in the experience, which is the elevation ultimately that you’ll get by the end of the class,

Rick Archer: so some of you might get a monitor on the MO? Jordan, your vein Namo Guru Dev

Karuna: Namo. So you might get a Mantra, you might get sound current that you’re not used to in a classroom, we really look at

Rick Archer: your eyes closed, or

Karuna: you tune in. So if we were to rub the palms together at the heart,

Rick Archer: rhythm on the microphone, right?

Karuna: This balance is the right left hemisphere of the brain. So all of a sudden, and I say this to my brother, who’s an NFL football coach to tell his quarterback like tell him to do this because this unbalanced the right and left hemisphere of the brain and when he goes for the goal, he’ll hit it, because it’s he’s balanced. So it’s fun. It’s fun just to use the technology now, just half a second you actually don’t even need to do it. You could actually just put the prayer mudra together, put the thumbs into the thymus gland, turn the pot Thumbs up, sit with your sit bones grounded elevate from your crown chakra. And just feel that is a different frequency already. And

Rick Archer: if it’s not too simplistic to ask, what is give us an overview? I mean, what is the whole scenario here that theory are going to discover and you know what sort of without going into great elaboration on specific things, what are they going to be doing? What are they going to learn? What are they going to take home and do every morning?

Gurucharan Singh Khalsa: In a typical class, you’ll come and do an hour class, okay, let’s say, and so you do something to tune in to your present. And then there’s probably some talk or something to give some topic written. And then you engage in what we call a Korea in Korea is a sequence of actions that leads to sort of predictable realms of exploration of yourself, okay? Now that include physical exercise, like yoga, like yoga, yoga, asanas, postures breathing, it could be silent, using the breath control. That’s right. Think of us some think of that there are 10s of 1000s of Korea’s Okay, so there’s a big bunch of stuff you could do. Let’s like any physical one out No, no, no, no, some things are extremely simple that I still do the very first one I ever learned, you know, it takes like 20 minutes. But But there’ll be movement, stillness, out loud, silence, focus, non focus, guided internal visualization. So the variety of things you do is one of the kind of interesting things to me like yoga, you know, some, it’s like, here’s the 16 things you do and sequence, you get really good at that, which is a good thing you can really, master that. Clearly yoga is difficult, it’s difficult to master yet, just because of the size of all the things that one could do, it kind of focuses you on mastering yourself. And so each of these things is to help you in sort of consolidate that sense of self at your heart. So you come to class, you tune in, get a little talk, you go through some kind of creative process, which usually involves meditation, either during the process, or at the end in the meditations, depending on the class. And the purpose might be anywhere from three minutes. In advanced classes, half an hour, like that. 11 minutes to half hour is very typical, in these classes, and meditation in the physical movements, and all this are completely integrated, they’re not thought of as separate Netway. Okay, and then you consolidate and you close the class and you can have some food and you have a little Sangha, and enjoy right now out of all that you’ll have some experience and some elevation in yourself, that you can find applications as you go into the world because what you’re taking is not a big bunch of stuff to do, but then align with yourself with whatever your plot is, as I was saying, right, that’s, that’s what you did. It’s like a tune up right? Now. Just one more little kick on that when I said Korea, this kind of odd word Korea, okay. It’s a nice origin word. Okay. So Cree is like action. Okay? Yah is infinity. It means being Korea means an action done with excellence in the presence and integration with you all. So it has the connotation of fulfillment and spontaneity. It has the connotation of rightness of the moment and kind of a flowering of their potential. It was right there without effort. Okay. So then now you take the person as is the big picture. You and I walk in and we got wounds, you know, we do they’re good ones, the other ones that make us think, right, precious pearls of pain, as we call them, right? Yes, we have those. That’s where we have a good plot. And what good is a big drama with no villains, no challenges. I mean, we all get bored and go home, right? So we’ve all have some fantastic drama or war we’re coming from now. In that we don’t always use our our best responses. We are automatic, we’re impulsive, we have a lot of things. So we pattern our body, we pattern our Soma, we pattern, our thoughts, we pattern our beliefs in order to cope right, with our own experience of ourself, and the plots and the families and the cultures and everything else we find ourselves in. What’s the goal of Kundalini? Well, as you raise this Kundalini as part of the process, you start being able to reboot basically, these patterns. So we talked about that and was like, take this energy here do this particular Korea, this particular process, this little journey of this Korea is like a gesture of internal energy that essentially accumulates it to we say, the central channel and movements you make it almost like Tai Chi, I’m sure because you bring these these various movements and flows into, quote, the stillness of the central channel. So ultimately, you develop a sort of presence stillness, and you start learning how to act from that stuff. wholeness, because in the stillness, you’re inviting a flexible wholeness so that you can do what? Notice what is where am I? What’s happening? What in so we have a state, there’s an old word for it, I kind of liked this word, it’s in the Sikh tradition. They call it, son why he grew up kind of sad, whenever it means, right. So you say, and it means like a part, an atom, living consciousness unit, part on, sung all of them, like sung it on the sun, when you’re 30 trillion cells on the sun all come together in a residence in the ecstatic, inexplicable moment is present. Wow, hey, right here now, well, hey, not while somewhere, that was somewhere else. But why Hey, Guru Guru is now in the presence of transformative wisdom. So Guru, right, darkness goes to light, who Andrew Gordon means a technology technique or procedure. So awakening the grid of through the stillness is to allow yourself to understand your own knowledge, and bring out of that wisdom of how to act for the heart. So that’s what it’s all about. But what it’s not about is really getting a philosophy. It’s more about gaining a capacity of sensitivity as sentience in your body, and a clarity in your mind. And that kind of embrace of wholeness in your heart. Those are the three goals and emphasis. Absolutely, yeah, absolutely. And I think that’s one of the things that attracted me to experience and test. In Yogi Bhajan, was, it was a force of nature. And he would say, like, here’s all these Koreas I’m sharing and some were the Akashic records, some were things he learned, there was a lot of places these came from, but he would always say, look, I tried these or I know about them, or whatever he did. And these are pretty good ones. And he’d say, there’s a whole lot more,

Rick Archer: how many you need, I mean,

Gurucharan Singh Khalsa: one good one would do just fine. You know, in terms of Korea, just like good exercise, you don’t want to just work your legs you want to use you know, that your your love and your anger and all the emotions and you want to lose.

Karuna: And also, a lot of them are specific for kidneys, adrenals, endocrine system, glandular system, the brain, you’re working all part, you know, so if you come in with something that’s failing you right now, in your physical body, mental body, you know, all your different bodies, even your heart, you know, you come in with heartbreak there is a specific kriya to is that design that we can find for you, to help you with your adrenals to help you with your kidneys, with your, you know, with the the whole system is covered in each Korea, so each Korea is designed around a different part of your body, actually. And it is up to the teacher to really read that before the class to understand that before the class because there is over 4000 kriyas we can choose from. So think about it, if you’re going into an hour or a 90 minute class, you have to be ready to deliver something to that class.

Rick Archer: How in the world do you keep track of 4000 kriyas?

Gurucharan Singh Khalsa: Books?

Karuna: Yeah, we have

Gurucharan Singh Khalsa: online

Rick Archer:  like a doctor who might have a Pharmacopoeia? Oh, this person has that is quite

Karuna: and of course, it’s very intuitive. So that, you know, you’re really it’s very intuitive for the teacher to bring in the right kriya. And to really and sometimes it has to be switched up because the class could be all the sudden, you know, 80 and over. And you’re not gonna do you know, awakening the 10 bodies in an eight, you know, you’re not gonna throw them into Breath of Fire in stretch pose.

Rick Archer: Or if you have 30 people in the class, and they range in age from 15 to 80 do a lot of customized for each person.

Karuna: Well, you’re not for each person, and you really don’t do you don’t, you know, pinpoint or, you know, point a finger or call out a name or anything, we have such regard for this a whole group consciousness that it just happens. It just works. Something works.

Gurucharan Singh Khalsa: Again, think of the crit as a flow, and everybody shares all the meridians and all the flows, right,

Karuna: we all have the same.

Gurucharan Singh Khalsa: Every kind of cre is gonna work one of these areas. So some people are very clear in that area. They find that sort of easy. Somebody else, there’s more constriction, and it’s like, wow, that was the greatest thing I ever did. Because I suddenly have all this free energy. I didn’t have another person who’s really clear just because he has really nice, whereas this person who is amazing, where did that come from? Yeah, so they’re general things just like I’m playing jazz today. I got a little rock here. It got messed up a little bit of country dance, you know? And so you come in and what you get when pedaling yoga has a lot of variance in cuz of the

Rick Archer: the makeup you can read.

Gurucharan Singh Khalsa: So I’m just thinking as a clinical clinical psychologist, right, so I do Destiny counseling and such things. But look, I have all sorts of trainings, everything from the cog narrative and NLP and I worked at vinyasa tear and family therapy and all these things. So do you go to like a farm or cook for Democrat when you say are copia? Yeah, you know, and select from that No, with expertise, eventually integrate all these things. And the focus is always on first perceiving what’s real and what’s unique and this person, if you can do that, in terms of applications, right, then you know, and this is one of the things that I’ve had a chance to do over the years is design the curriculums and applications for like addiction programs, and prisons, and executives and creativity and all this. And there, it’s about a syntax, you know, a particular grammar sort of, you know, of experience, that just helps you go through a process that leads to what you want. So it’s not, it’s not just a prescriptive bunch of tools, people do like to do that, you know, what’s the thing or the kidney and this because we want an answer it, but ultimately, it becomes about the individual, or the uniqueness of the group in the situation, applying pretty universal tools that people will have their own experience, enhance, we’re not tell people, you should experience the following. And now you’ll have somebody and now you do this. Because that would counter the respect in a way in this tradition, then, for what will surprise us and emerge.

Rick Archer: Okay, so I’m gathering so far is the teacher is important, it’s not a student, learning from a book kind of a thing you need to train teacher. And the, it’s not a like a one size fits all kind of a thing there. There is a whole toolbox, highly adaptable, very diverse and extensive toolbox of all kinds of things that Yogi Bhajan came out with, and maybe even used it out some or something, there’s a whole lot of things you can get do that. And if you choose to get yourself involved with this, there’ll be a lot of customization. And I presume that, you know, so it’ll be modified and adapted to suit your particular makeup and need and capacity and so on. And that you wouldn’t just do the stuff in a class once a week or something, but then I’m presuming it’d be something you’d take home with you and do on a regular basis.

Gurucharan Singh Khalsa: Yeah, sure. Well, number one, think of it this way, you know, there’s a big beautiful tree out there in the landscape. And some travelers need a moment of shade, they step under, and then they leave, right. And others are going, Hey, I need some fruit from up there, and they get stuff from the tree, you know, and they take some food with them to you know, and other people are going, you know, I’d like to actually just, you know, have a tree house, you know, and I stick around. So it’s a very open system in the sense that you’re not trying to be driven to a certain place this is, let’s meet you, where you’re at, what do you need? I’m happy for you and your journey, you know, a concept to my life, because cuz people ask me all the time, well, is it this way? Or is it that way? And which is the way, you know, this kind of thing? And how do we do inter disciplinary and inter spiritual and all these things. And I like to see, like, there’s one way, you know, it’s one way, and whatever you’re gonna call that way, it’s got lots of twists, like going up a mountain. And so in some part of it, it looks dark, and other it looks, you know, light and other, there’s water and the other, it’s a clearing. But it’s all just one path of the fulfillment in relationship with your whole being to your particular situation, right. And it’s that elegance of, of being, it’s that brilliance of mine that engages, that is what you’re after. So sure, there’s tons of different maps and all that. But it’s sort of what it’s not the issue. And so that’s where I come back to saying in experiential base is important in in traditional reporting, because it gives you other people’s experience, it gives you some guidelines, because it’s easy to be fooled and used and all that and a normal human way. So you’d like to have some guidelines, that that you can sort of check with or understand boundaries.

Karuna: And they do need to be really aware of the that individual soul because anyone that comes into class is so unique, and so authentic, that if you know if you have, you know, an understanding about how to open their heart and share it the wisdom and the grace of this teaching of some kind of, then you can really see exactly what they need. And you can almost see it, you can really read it very compassionately, and know that each one has a story. Each being that comes into your room into your class, has a story has a has a very authentic story to whom they are and they know that story well enough to come and walk through that door and say I’m willing and that’s all we really ask is that we you know we can open the door we never close the door on anyone we Yogi Bhajan never turned his back on anybody. who’s always willing to listen to the story. And that’s really important for people to understand that, you know, we don’t have rules that say you can come in or I always have, you know, a chair, there are a cushion there. You can stand up, you can do it. You can stand on your head the whole time. You can meditate the whole time, I don’t just get the energy of the room get the sound current, because we use so much amazing sound current and sound current being incredible. We have incredible musicians. The first thing that drew me to Kundalini yoga was the music. You know, I was taken to Yogi Bhajan, Samadhi, I didn’t ever even meet him and I was the first one there at his Samadhi. At his funeral, I was the first one there. I had no idea what I was even doing there. I didn’t take the left turn into the right place. So I took the right and went straight to Espanola from Vail and landed there and the musicians were setting up. And once they set up, I was elevated into, like my heart just opened up, I didn’t even know who I was there for. I knew I was, suddenly something was happening in me. So that’s what we really get into classes that shift. There’s something that happens with the energy that shifts it outside of any other type. Because I’ve taught, you know, Hatha for 20 years prior to becoming a Kundalini yoga teacher. I never ever experienced that shift, there was a high from maybe sweating too much. But then there was this low and 22nd 20 minutes, I was like, Oh, my God, I’m angry. And but with yoga, but this yoga, it stays with you.

Rick Archer: That’s one of the points I was gonna bring up is that I would hope that there would be a cumulative effect. And as it should be with any spiritual the longer you stick with it, the more it’ll accumulate.  I went through a phase. Yeah. Oh, yeah. For several years. Cold showers. I was like, and I’m gonna tell you funny stories. little diversion here. But I was in Switzerland and living in there. So that’s cold. I was in the cold sorry. Anyway, but but they were working on the plumbing of marshes rooms upstairs. And suddenly, we didn’t have hot water, and I wanted it. So I go in the bathroom in the morning and Switzerland, and I’d start filling up there wasn’t a shower, it was a tub. And I’m sitting there on the toilet waiting while the tub fills, and the windows broken and snows blowing in, you know, looking at that water, it’s kind of blue. It’s so cold, you know, got to do it. Get in there. And he’d be cold the rest of the morning.

Gurucharan Singh Khalsa: Sure, yeah. And like you’re saying, with a tree analogy, you’re at the tree metaphor. Sure, we always give people practices if they’d like to do things outside of class. So a lot of people just come to a class and go, but then if you develop, like anyone a personal practice a time where you’re still in the morning, get up and take a cold shower, that’s one of our favorites, you know, and then do some exercise and then do some meditation, and really, intentionally be present with what is that important thing and your purpose and heart for the day? So there’s a practice in it. We usually we do a morning practice, but he said, Well, could you do it and evening? Okay, you know, what is the morning special meal? Yeah, traditionally, it is, you know, it’s quiet as before the day has started. Everybody’s prepping up, you know, it’s not a bad time to go in there before the noise starts. Good idea. Oh, and there’s mystical reasons and energetic reasons. But, again, think of these things as as a enduring records of practices that have worked for a lot of folks. Yeah. You advocate cold showers. I love cold showers, don’t you?

Karuna: Really?

Rick Archer: Well, you know,

Gurucharan Singh Khalsa: know, it’s a good example, though, you know, technique and purpose, right? So the idea is to stimulate your skin and to use cold or whatever to sort of wake up and be fully present to your practice. That’s also that’s a nice quick way and in the average climates in average climates.

Rick Archer: So people are said, that was a bit of a facetious kind of little story, but it’s this is not necessarily an austere thing, is it?

Gurucharan Singh Khalsa:  I went

Rick Archer: austere.

Gurucharan Singh Khalsa: Last year, now

Rick Archer: have some, you know, grandmother coming in, to you mentioned 80 year olds, you’re not going to, you know, get her on beds of nails or anything?

Gurucharan Singh Khalsa: No, no, no.

Karuna: We also work a lot with Ayurvedic healing. So, you know, if you’re a vata type, and that cold is sometimes hard on you, but if you you know, you can also just stick your big toe in for half a second, you know,

Gurucharan Singh Khalsa: or in our case, do warm, cold, warm.

Karuna: Yeah. There’s one of the five sutras is that there’s a way through every block, just start.

Rick Archer: Yeah,

Karuna: you know, start. You got to start somewhere.

Gurucharan Singh Khalsa: Well, you know, one thing is, in the tree analogy, I kind of

Karuna: I like that analogy

Gurucharan Singh Khalsa:  I kind of stayed and built a house for somebody else. So not everyone’s gonna do Do that right. My particular karma and interest was to do all this stuff for my life, right for years. You know, and I think origins are interesting. You know, how do you get someone always said, hey, get in this stuff anyway. Because you can come in and just have a class and go right. You don’t need to get into something, you find out what what it is in relationship to you and what you’re doing. For me, it was part of the journey of knowing oneself and growing and we had lots of connections that led to such long involvement. And I suspect you have some kind of might have heard it with an origin story of sorts of why you are find yourself. Not even in these kinds of things. Ultimately, if you do the level that wraps we’ve done, it’s not really choosing right. It’s a feeling of calling we call it or, or, or well, I realized I was always here, but they didn’t know it, or can I really don’t want to do this. But yep, that my gut says I must you know, there’s a different level of relation

Rick Archer: to Adyashanti Did you hear his talk the other night, I remember how he said when he first heard the word Enlightenment, he thought, That’s it. That’s what I need. I was I was like, driving down the Post Road in Westport, Connecticut with four fret three, three friends in the car, and some guy in the back seat was reading rom Das, his book about Timothy Leary’s translation of Tibetan Book of the Dead. And they started talking about Enlightenment. I thought, That’s it. That’s why we’re here.

Karuna: Yeah.

Rick Archer: Gotta do that.

Karuna: Yeah, kinda kinda direct relationship to the higher source. And, you know, many so many people say in these conferences, you know, I’m trying to get there. And actually, we’re there. They’re actually we do exist there. But we’d like to drop down into, you know, becoming very lazy in a way and in Yeah, it makes it you have to make an effort. And it is effortless. We talked about this Gurucharan and I. And I he whispered in my ear, you know? And I was like,

Rick Archer: why were you straining or something?

Karuna: No, we’re talking about trade, because they were talking about trying to find consciousness, the the intimacy, or the relationship with consciousness, and it’s hard, no infinity. And actually infinity and intimacy, the intimacy of understanding infinity. Remember, we were talking about that whole waking awakening place, there’s no words to describe infinity, where, you know, how do you describe infinity? How do you how I can even say it?

Gurucharan Singh Khalsa: I like to say you become intimate with the infinite in that relationship? Then you show up unprepared, which means you’re perfectly prepared, because how would you prepare for this anyway, but it’s that sincere because life is exactly that way. If you think you’re prepared, and you know, all that you’ve already constrained in a certain way. So you have the knowledge, you know, you know, the map of France or whatever. But then when you get there, that’s different thing. So it’s always this balance. I think that what I call Finite and Infinite games, and then having the creative game of the heart, and that’s, that’s simply put, that’s the game. You know, like when I started this stuff, right? And just, like personal history, and so they know. How do you summarize the history of qualia as a kid? Right, I wanted to know, basically, and I had these two modes of knowing, okay, which is asking questions and doing this. I had a grandmother, who was a Russian grandmother, she had survived the various things you survive in Russia and getting out of there, and this side is killed outside but with white and red Russians, they both kill each other. So so she got out. He went through Canada inside you up there on the farm, and huge farm, you know, and she was a she put me on her knee one time, she says, she says it means my gold, My precious. Never trust a priest. They live on the darkness of the heart, and they take the blood and turn it into money. That’s what she told me. So I was a little kid, and she’s telling me because she had certain experiences apparently, in her life, you know, that say, whatever, okay, you know, but then we’d sit down, and we would fly with the birds, or we would know when to do this, or, you know, I always had a, an amazing sense of that. Not mystical, but that sort of standing at the mystical edge, that sort of mystic stance, you know, where, when you open to the vastness, it’s there when you allow ought to be there. Then there’s a kind of way you’re with things, you know, just that she was the furthest thing from a philosopher. She was a hardcore organizing farm woman, right? But she would have these moments of stillness now I’d call it I didn’t call it that. And then she’d sit down with me and we would do that or she went on she’s go with the cow. And I said, go with the cow. So I’m, I’m a little kid, okay. Okay, sure. Why would the cow and I went over and I’d stare at the cow and count stare at me. You know, this thing was going on. Cow staring. Probably somewhere I have a new school young cow, Iowa. Okay, well in Iowa, you know cows during school. So I was I was, I was initiated to the cow steering school by my grandmother. And and but I noticed that it was so easy to just merge. I wasn’t thinking. But that’s what happened I would simply merge in the cow in I don’t know, no one was pushing, but it would respond. So I could go like this cow in that cow’s head would go around. And I go this in a code stop like this. So Larry, you know, this is a funny story. I was in Russia cash, right. And so I was, you know, once they all advertising, you get computer programming, and no gurus, you can pick your Avenue there. And I wanted to get some incense to take over this temple. So I was looking in and suddenly I’m nudged from the back. And it’s, it’s a big one. No, they’re not like little guys there, you know. And so I looked and I kind of went right back to that, that first way of knowing, you know, just fun, it’s a fun, no big purpose. Just I cow, you know, I looked in the counselor looking to me, and I start looking at the cow, I felt quite young for a moment, you know, and then I did this little thing. And he started doing the head and I got this and the cow is fixed in space like this. And we just sort of held that stillness together. And then I laughed, cow and shook itself and like this, the guy behind me in the shop is watching this, he says free incense free. So the cow gave me free incense, you know, that’s how I look at it, it was a bit of a cow benefit, you know, from my initiation in cattle staring

Rick Archer: They have those snake charmers of the Cobras, and then they have cows. That’s right, and so

Gurucharan Singh Khalsa: on. But it was a kind of openness to just experience, you know, and these funny meters away, so it was always a Nature Boy and that way.

Karuna: But that, that brings me to thinking about, you know how I’m working with the children now and at how old was that when you were with the cow? Five? Yeah. Because when we’re when we’re, you know, when the five year olds come to my class, I have five through 14 year olds that are coming to class. And I put them deliberately together. Because the five year olds are like that inquisitive, inventive. Remember, every remind me of everything I said about from the class before they actually start teaching the class at five. And then you know, and that’s the memory that they were we were trying to figure out in these lectures about, where does it start from? Where do those memories come in, that are relive through your adult life that are remembered, you know, way back when you were a kid in that on that farm having a relationship with that cow for a half a second relived when he’s in his 50s Now, you know, in Rishikesh India, where is that journey? Gone? Where is that remembrance come from originally, and where is it reminded to us later on in life. And it is really in our spiritual practice, that we can remember these things because we’re so silent. We become so one with ourselves, we get to know ourselves again, as when we were a child. And in that innocence, of remembering, that brings so much joy to ourselves. meridians are noddy’s, our whole our brain like awakens to creative consciousness within and around us. And we become one again, we become so happy again. And this Yogi Bhajan said, happiness is your birthright. And to come back home each day, can you imagine if you sat still each day and found that stillness, what would actually arise from you not living in the past, but from the now the presence of your being now and what you’re what you’re going to expand into? And that’s the fun of it. And that’s the joy and there’s so much humor in that.

Gurucharan Singh Khalsa: Now to finish the farm analogy, right. I also would go out and I, no animals were harmed, harmed in this, I’ll tell the whoever cares, right? But this is the fun farm plant, right? So I would go out and you put a log, and then you put another beam, and then you take the chickens and you move them around to put their head in you hypnotize the chickens. Then you put them on the end, and then you’re a little kid, right? And then you do it and you launch the chicken. So the chicken goes up in the air, because it’s there and it wakes up in midair and starts flying. Yeah, of course. Yeah, that’s what they did. But But when I started doing was going, Well, how long does the beam has to be and how high would chicken go? And what would the time of thing and so then I would start taking notes and I started figuring out the system. So that was the other side of knowing. There was the merger, the cows going right. And then there was the chicken plotting, okay. The chicken plotting later became science, because then I got involved in It was a young kid and onward into high school once we had this space programs and people wanted to find kids, so I had a sixth room seven or maybe school out in Oregon woods, basically outside of Portland. And then they came around and said, Hey, we were you, you know. And so I started physics, chemistry, math, when I got the, by the time I got to college, I was triple major in that it skipped two years and physics and math and so on, and was very interested to know what could be now the beauty like Franco in he and I were talking were like, so related, I get it, because you go to a certain level of, of beauty of aesthetic pattern that’s that just strikes you like a big flower in the world. Everywhere you look, you see these amazing, colorful, engaging, poetic, flowerings of resistance and you can match them with time. So yes, I was fully into that. And so my early idols in that time, although I still was caster was was, was, you know, the Haddington and Einstein and this and you know, all the great mathematicians, the German I studied German, read the German texts. And so then I was in Westinghouse, I got scholarships, blah, blah, blah, you know, so I became very heady, and very, parents I needed in my own kind of aesthetic way with all of this. Okay, now, here I am with two ways of knowing. And the more I get into the science, and I went to Harvey Mudd, which is top two engineering schools, right, so it was like, you from here, you go to nuclear science or something. But you know, I have a beard and I was vegetarian, there were no Sikhs, then there was no Coolio yoga, then people would want to talk to me through the grid and the door to make sure their security clearance wasn’t lowered, you know, by document. So it was that period of time. But I was fully engaged in this the pursuit of what some kind of knowledge and castering as well. And so I always have the two sides. So I had many artists, friends and artists colonies. And I always had these two sides going on two ways of knowing you might say, but I got to a certain point. And this brings us to your bedroom got to a certain point, where without describing the details, it was one of those mystical moments we tend to get in our life. And I was alone to in the morning, and so on and so forth. And then find finding a little bit of green and ELA was at the time. And it just hit me in that way that is not arguable. That said, Oh, I forgot one thing in my equation. People must be in the equation, or my whole system doesn’t work. And it’s sort of like, you know, you see those funny diagrams? The woman’s they have the diagrams. Oh, I forgot that my child you know, I seen it because I got a

Rick Archer: child on the bus here.

Gurucharan Singh Khalsa: Somebody’s like, well, I sort of like, well, I always love people. I’ve totally been there people and I was always castering and people staring to. And then suddenly I realized I can’t know, a certain aspect. And I can see that in the people I was with because that was some of the most brilliant people you can imagine. And they had drug problems. They had this they had their lives still Ramesses they had, they still had brilliance, but there was a missing kind of core. And I looked at that. And so then I started helping a guy named Mansoor, with the drug counseling and this sort of thing. He was the second beautiful psychiatrist guy there, started just exploring and I had been exploring even in high school actually mystical things and parents psychology and such, but, but I really realized that people was the fundamental thing, they had to be in the equation. So I said, Okay, there’s got to be a way that I’ve got to rebalance this heart. Now I know teachers are well that I would identify anyway, you know, maybe my grandmother, pew, Beatles lifestyle, watch on the ground. Anyway, a few things, a lot of reading. And then I just started in meditating more and doing whatever I could find at that time. I studied a lot of stuff. And it’s Quigley’s. I’ve kept coming up. I kept the, you know, I really liked something here. I can tell there’s something here I need to do. So then, the beginning of the story, we were telling was, you started having these dreams, right? And so for like three months, I would have this reoccurring dream. And every time would come up and it would say this date. So I literally see like a date like a ticker date sort of thing, not a very nice stream. And I would get more and more an argument with that dream. I did not want to have the stream. I was ticked off because it looked to me like what I’d seen around me in the 60s, people were drugged, out, spaced out, dreamed out, you know, trying to transcend and full of illusion and craziness that was fantastically creative, but sort of from a scientific point of view full. Where are you going To go with that, you know, really, is that going to get you that and you could really depend on some other new thing. So I, to me, this was like, I mean, I always had I, as a kid, I mean, you’d see auras and lights. And so I was aware of those realms. But I was also aware of how attached people get to those sensations as if there are solutions to something which I don’t agree. So here, I found myself having this sensation that I didn’t want to agree to say. So it was called an upset stage one upset. So that day came, right two months later, and I and I said, That’s it. I was working on a Sloan Foundation grant for engineers to give them experience of really build software. So I’ll lock myself in the room, which I did. I’m not doing nothing. Because you know, that thing was timing this day. So three times people knocked on door and asked stuff about meditation because I was doing the third guy who came QAnon me a little Yeah, so it was brochure, you know, it’s I looked, and there was a little teeny ad about this big that says, Kundalini yoga. Oh, yeah, sure. Nobody’s teaching. And in those days, nobody did. No one call it that. And so I looked at it really. And as Yogi Bhajan. And I said, when he first arrived, he was in LA. So I called up. I could not, you know, I mean? It’s not like I said, Oh, this is the day for this. It’s just that there was and I hadn’t actually associated it. I said, Well, okay, so I call him he said, Yeah, hi. Is this, you know, someone answered and goes, you know, visions of beansprouts and long flowing grasses, and I set out on a suit Southern California for me, you know, engineer, I don’t know. And I said, okay, okay. Like, what’s the initiation? So there’s not as an Okay, so after you do it for a while, what’s the initiation? You know, how to handle flower first, and, you know, it’s totally open really? Anybody? Um, yeah, really? And it’s Cotulla? A, sure it’s gonna it’s gonna lead to a discussion. I said, that’s incredible. Okay, so where is he? Well, today, he’s not here. He’s in Claremont Colleges. In college, and in and I said, Oh, well, he’s giving a lecture and a half hour. Oh, where? Well out my window. Oh, thanks. So I went to the class. How could I not? Right. So then I went, and it was a fantastic class. You must you couldn’t understand him, he was fresh off the boat as it were. And so he was like a drill sergeant, because he had military training. And so his classes were like, black flag and let you try and understand the accent and all this. And he was like, I had never had a class like that, you know? I mean, usually, it’s like, you’re supposed to have these Edelman postures or something. No way. This was like, tsunami time, guys. And then you get to the end, and it was like, go into stillness be this. And then boom, there I was. And the auras got so bright in that room. You had their shades. You know, it was like that. I mean, normally, this and I happen. I’m this was ridiculous. And silent. This is the real deal. I just this great. Exactly. I went up to him at the end of class, right, first class. And I always remember this conversation, because I went up and I said, student and I was in grad school by then and had a scholarship. Sir, I have a question. And he just looked at me and it happens like this quick. There’s no, you know, it is literally it’s right there. And he goes. You’re stupid. That’s it. Well, what a great way to start report, right? Oh, well, but you know, the mind is going Yeah, but I mathematician, I’m doing this. I’m gonna physics scholarships, you know, but you know, half a second or something. Yeah, he’s on a different conversation than I am. Right? That this is another conversation. And he just looked at me and he said, tapped me on the side of the head. He says, You’re a teacher. You’re a teacher, you’re a teacher? And that’s the answer, you know, and I was like, okay, and then he smiled. But teachers know it’s it used to because I’m asking the wrong conversation, right. Yeah, you’re right. Yeah. And then. And then he looked at me, he says, I don’t have time for your nonsense. It’s smoggy. And it was really smug in a game law this way to see you know, in my you know, and he says, Are you with me or not, but he didn’t beat around the bush did you know and I had no idea what he’s talking about, you know, show me the contract. What’s What is this a short term loan? Or what is it? What do you mean? Am I with you, you know, I mean, really? And then I got that look in his eyes, let it sort of an amused, clever, entertained zeroing look at us how I explained that, you know, it’s a good look, I realized it was the same thing as that stupid, Lucky game, you know, because he just said, Are you with me or not? And I remember explicitly I stopped the or he stopped me, I guess. And my breath went zero. And I look to them in the way that you kind of remove your concepts a bit. Yeah, like, and I just had this whole body every cell recognition. And I went to my teacher. And I said, Yes, it was exactly the kind of yes, you say, when I met my wife for three years now. I met her one day, she moved in a day and a half later, and we’ve been 43 years. And it was, this is it. And it is, and of course you work on every day, you know, but it’s it. It’s there’s no question. There’s not a assessment of plus and minus. And exactly with him, he took me in the very first meeting, beyond plus or minus. And so then he laughed, he started laughing and a great laugh, took me down to the cafeteria and said, Come on, I’m gonna read you the rules. And he sat down, and he started, we had a long conversation, and it was very, very funny. And then when he left, he had a shock to you, who is the very when a person his very first student was driving him. And, you know, he waved goodbye. So he’s driving out and suddenly the car stops and you see a big finger and he loves to do this kind of thing. written down, sir, you know, and he brings down the thing. He says, Do you remember that class? I said, every moment. He says, You teach that tomorrow? Wow, you start teaching. And then he started to leave, and he stopped again, you know, so I’m going here. You know, and he’s probably having fun, you know, just go further. Let’s see if you’ll run, you know, he gets paid for it. But I didn’t know I’m just being very serious. I ran up to the yen like, Oh, my God, what happened? You know, and he says, If you don’t see me again, until you die, this is enough. Wow. And then he left. Yes, wasn’t it? Yeah. So then I went back to that. So dream thing I went, Okay, I get it. And so that began a long relationship. That was 1969. And the very beginning of it, I was already running. So I started running an ashram I started ashrams, communities all day long story after that. But that was the origins coming from what I want to know. I like to understand, I don’t want to put humans into the equation. Well, to do that, I took a little 40 year journey here to to clear out the insides like we’ve been talking about, get rid of the blocks be a counselor of destiny and opening these things for people. Because I believe that’s important to have a life like that. They’re nice. And so now I’m doing consciousness and science and mathematics of consciousness and working with my team at Chapman University, Jeff Tollefson. Care hard enough, and others. And now that’s what I want to dedicate myself to doing as good a clinical practice I can. But now taking the teaching, because I’ve established the school that’s going that’s global. Now, the question is, can we now do some of this modeling that takes those two types of knowledge and finds some kind of bridge? That’s not it? As Franco said, in his lecture, he says, Well, you finally know, the temptation is that your math and all that elegance gets somehow captured, right? All this transcendence? Of course, I can’t. So I’m interested in what I would call the emergent boundary between the oneness that is what we are. And the parts through which we express in the manner of that arising does have structure. And that is where this one type of knowledge meets the other. But you can’t even ask the question of how to approach that boundary. Unless your heart is open, unless you’re present, unless you’re already you’re not seeking anything, you know, we already have that. Because then your intuition can give you forms that give you one of many, many ways of doing it. So that’s, that’s an origin story that kind of, I don’t know, might be what you’d like.

Rick Archer: Now, and I kind of need to keep this to about an hour because there’s something I have to get to. And so I’d like to ask at this point is that if people are interested in finding out more about this, what do they do? Is there a website or their centers all over the place are here there? How do they connect with you guys? In order to learn more?

Gurucharan Singh Khalsa: So as far as Kundalini yoga there’s a lot of websites that list Kundalini Yoga teachers currently has a website, which is website

Karuna: which is www dot light on Kundalini.

Gurucharan Singh Khalsa: And then there’s there’s a general website 3HO, healthy, happy holi organization, there’s Kundalini Research Institute has a website,

Rick Archer: actually. So what I’ll do is I’ll put a page on BatGap for each interview. So I’ll put a page and you’ll you can email me whatever you want to put on that page in terms of websites or books or anything

Gurucharan Singh Khalsa: on if somebody wants to get get me for any of the reasons, coaching lectures, teaching whatever Sure. [email protected]

Rick Archer: I won’t put your email on this, but I like

Gurucharan Singh Khalsa: it because who uses AOL? You know, and it’s like not even yogo Master 1001, because I love Li Li living on the bleeding edge of technology. So back in the old days, AOL was the beginning, right? So it’s still there. So I’ll link to all that stuff. Fantastic.

Rick Archer: Okay, thank you very much.

Gurucharan Singh Khalsa: Thank you for your time.

Rick Archer: Yeah. So this concludes another interview, I think we’ve got to do at least one more, well, I’m still here with Unmani. Not that people are necessarily looking at all these in order. But if you’re familiar with this show, I don’t need to tell you all the details. But if you’re not, this is ongoing series. And if you go to, bat gap, and just explore the menus, you’ll find out what it’s all about there. At this time, there are well over or over 250 interviews to listen to, or look into. And we have them categorized in various ways. So there’ll be a category for Kundalini Yoga now. And then, you know, if you’d like to be notified of future interviews are notified whenever an interview is posted, there’s a place to do that there’s a donation button, there’s a place to sign up for the audio podcast if you don’t want to just watch the video. So that check it all out. Thank you for listening and watching thank both of you,

Karuna: as we would say in the Kundalini Yoga, world. Satnaam and many blessings to you all out there.

Gurucharan Singh Khalsa: Appreciate your time and your audience. I want to give one plug. There’s a most recent book, I did the 21 stages of meditation, which is a really lovely book, frankly, and I mean, the printing and a beautiful thing and we’re doing those kinds of courses around the world and one way to Europe. So that’s if you really want a good hit. Get that one to 21 stages. That’ll give you a whole lot about the system. I couldn’t get it off Amazon joining two stages of meditation.

Rick Archer: BatGap has a link to it. Okay, great. Thanks, mom, everybody.

Karuna: Yay.