Image by Linda Sholberg

By Sat Purkh Kaur Khalsa, as shared in the May/June 2008 Aquarian Times Magazine

As individuals, we define our­ selves by many things: I am a woman, a sister, a daughter, a student, a teacher, an aunt, a friend. But that is not our true identity. All those things pale in comparison to being the beloved. It is the priceless jewel that every person seeks. All the stories prepare us for it: Cinderella and Snow-White haunt our every step; Prince Charming is just around the next corner; someday we’ll find that perfect fit. It is a long journey from these beginnings to Infinite Love-knowing and embodying your Self as a priceless jewel. Yet everyone must make the journey. And everyone has to find their own path.

My long and winding road began in many ways with KRI International Teacher Training in Kundalini Yoga as taught by Yogi Bhajan. The process of becoming a Teacher indelibly marks my spiritual journey on the path to becoming whole. There’s a definitive before and after. But as I contemplate the qualities of the “before” and the “after,” I ask myself: Is there still pain? Is there still heartache? Is there still disappointment? And the answer is always, “Yes.” So, what makes the “after” so different? My Teacher.

I’ve had many teachers throughout this process.  My first teacher gave me the affirmation, “God and me, me and God are one,” and I knew that I would never be the same again. The ground had shifted; I was in new territory. My second teacher showed me my grace. Everything that I thought I knew about how to be in the world and how to be in relationships had to be tossed out and relearned (I’m still learning!). My third teacher affirmed my purity. Despite all the things I’d done, she taught that my purity belonged to God, and with that truth, all shame and blame fell away. My fourth teacher showed me my Self subtly and indirectly.  With patience and unconditional love, he continues to guide me, again and again, to gentleness, integrity, truth, and hope.

The Teacher of all my teachers is the Master, Yogi Bhajan. I know him through them. His grace and strength, his ‘poke, provoke, confront, and elevate,’ are alive in the words and actions of each and every one of them. My connection to him has shown me that I don’t need to be loved-only to love.

Each of these teachers has called me to a new level of integrity, awareness, and accountability. They ‘ve required something more of me and in turn have called me to require something more of myself. I find I now have to stand in the world in a new way. I have to bow to the present in a new way. I have to balance the polarities-the Shakti (power of the feminine, creative aspect of God) and Bhakti (devotion) in my every action. Ultimately, I have to live in relationship to the True Teacher, the one within. It’s the first thing we learn in any Kundalini Yoga class: Ong Namo Guru Dev Namo. “I bow to the Infinite; I bow to the Divine Teacher within.” The path to Infinite Love is ultimately the path to your Self and, in becoming a Teacher, I have discovered the surest footing yet….