Written by Saraswati Kaur on September 6, 2018
“The Siri Singh Sahib, Yogi Bhajan, founded Miri Piri Academy in 1997 to enable students from all over the world to experience Cherdi Kala and develop the grit and grace necessary to be successful in the world. For twenty years, students from diverse backgrounds have come to the land of the Gurus, specifically the birthplace of Guru Hargobind Dev Ji near Amritsar, to develop the skills necessary to be successful in the world and the spiritual strength to keep up no matter what life throws at you. In addition to the traditional academic subjects, they study Gurbani, Gurmat, music, gatka, sports, art, dance and Kundalini Yoga.
At Miri Piri Academy, the teachings of the Gurus have been applied to the developing psyche of teenagers so that they can learn to be confident in who they are and grateful for the life they’ve been given. In these times of rampant consumerism, material values have become prominent. More than ever before, it’s necessary to teach young people to tune into themselves, and not Instagram or SnapChat, so that they can develop an understanding and confidence in themselves, feel the spark of the Divine within, and experience the gratitude necessary to reach beyond the self and serve others.
Miri Piri Academy students come from more than 15 countries, including India, United States, China, Russia, Europe, Mexico, South America and Southeast Asia. One of the students who experienced this growth is Sat Kartar Singh, who attended Miri Piri Academy for five years. During that time, he not only learned to be more comfortable in his skin, but he also developed an attitude of gratitude. In his words:
‘One of the things I learned from my time at Miri Piri Academy was a lot more gratitude. I went to MPA when I was ten. Before I went to India, I didn’t have any appreciation for my brother who has autism. When I returned home after the first year, due to the discipline, the yoga, and the environment itself, I had more appreciation for what I had and for my brother, who I love dearly and who teaches me everyday. I learned many things at MPA, but gratitude and appreciation are amongst the foremost.
I also came out as someone who was comfortable in his own skin. I went to Miri Piri Academy from ages ten to twelve, took four years off, and then went back for grades 11 and 12. My first three years really fortified me; the environment, the sheer intensity of it, the rigorous schedule and the right kind of pressure, made me more comfortable in my skin. When I went back to public school I felt comfortable in who I was. MPA gave me the opportunity to develop that strength.’ ~ MPA Alumni, Sat Kartar Singh, Espanola, NM, USA
No matter what age you are, we are all faced with situations that challenge our strength, our trust and our gratitude. The teachings of Sikh Dharma and Kundalini yoga allow a new path forward and the skills necessary to face the challenges of today, but it takes work….”
In Service, Saraswati Kaur Khalsa