Sat Nam Fest East 2015: Can you Rise to the Challenge?

sv_SNF_sangat_910x452Editor’s Note: If you would like to stay connected to your kundalini yoga family between festivals – to bring home the bliss that is Sat Nam Fest, please join our Sat Nam Fest Sangat on Facebook!

I was challenged this year at Sat Nam Fest East. Yes, Kundalini Yoga is always challenging. But this year at Sat Nam Fest was different for me. I’ve attended this amazing Kundalini yoga and music festival every year since it started, and each year it gets better: There are more classes, more events (a new addition this year was an all night gong-bath with Crown of Eternity!), and more people. But this year there was more than just Kundalini yoga. There was a challenge to take this energy home and use it to bring peace and healing to ourselves and the world around us.

Sat Nam Fest is a chance for people from all walks of life to come together to practice yoga, meditate, and spend some time in nature. One of the best aspects of the festival is that many participants are relatively new to Kundalini Yoga. The environment is supportive and non-competitive. Long-time teachers and yoga newcomers sing, dance, eat, and share together. But we’re also reminded that we’re put here on earth for a higher cause: it’s our job as Kundalini yogis to make the world a better place.

In class after class, concert after concert, the message was the same: We need to break the cycle of violence that has gripped the world, both on an individual and a societal level. Presenters shared their own stories and gave us examples of how Kundalini Yoga can work to create the change.

11890994_10207744465595118_827439827787036247_n (1)In her concert, Ajeet Kaur reminded everyone that Yogi Bhajan instructed us to bring peace to the world. This is our responsibility as Kundalini yogis! She also spoke about the experience of being a healer through your own presence. As an example, she led the group in chanting the mantra Bolo Ram, in which the movement of the lips removes violence from our communication. “The only thing that keeps us from healing others and ourselves is resistance,” she said. So get out there and chant, and vibrate the sacred sound current so heaven can show up on earth!

simritNext was Simrit, with her otherworldly voice backed by purely ethereal music. The crowd was mesmerized during her concert, as she raised the energy through the roof. Simrit also connected with the message of peace and healing, as she led the group in a long and beautiful rendition of Ra Ma Da Sa, to promote healing in the world. This mantra is called the ultimate healing tool, and Simrit asked that we all make it part of our practice.

In their wonderful class on “Activating your Prosperity with the Millionaire Mantra,” Pritpal Kaur & Pritpal Singh reminded us that prosperity comes in many different forms—not just “green”—and peace is a form of prosperity. But to get there, we have to release fear and doubts and let go of reactivity. When fear and anxiety rule, it creates scarcity—and this isn’t the direction we want the world to go! Know there’s enough for 11933493_945041312221854_4120096555107166278_n (1)everyone, and be grateful and generous. If we start at the individual level, change will manifest.

For me, the most powerful message of the 5-day festival came from Aykanna. As children, both Aykanna members Sukhdev and Akah were exposed to horrific violence. They learned early on that they needed to work hard to break this cycle. Fortunately, through the healing practice of Kundalini yoga, they have transformed their lives and created a wonderful supportive environment for their beautiful daughter.

11953003_10153567230572905_4861990624810362771_n (1)The couple have now committed to working tirelessly to help others overcome the cycles of violence that too often rule—and ruin—our lives. In their music and in their classes, they teach us how to create conscious relationships in our lives. We all have our stories of where our boundaries of innocence have been crossed, they told us. But now we have a chance to stand up and be responsible for our children as well as the child within us.

As I participated in these classes and concerts, and chanted and meditated with the hundreds of others present, I felt the challenge. In order to heal the world, we must heal ourselves first. As teachers and students of Kundalini yoga, we have a tremendous responsibility: we know this technology works, and it’s our job to get out there and share it.

If you’re a teacher, spread the teachings. If you’re a student, become a teacher. If you want to bring peace to the world—whether it’s your own circle of life or the larger world we all live in—we have to start at the individual level. Person by person, we can make it happen. We ARE peace. Are you up for the challenge?

 

 

 

 

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