DAY 3 – 40 Day Sadhana

Dharamsala HikeToday is the third day of waking up early and doing a Sadhana. So far, so good. I have to say though, it is a challenge (but well worth it!). I have had the added challenge of having a baby who wakes up all through the night (and lately has had a cold/cough). The other night was a real test for me (and only on day 2!). Arjan hasn’t been getting much sleep because of Charanjeet being sick and waking up all through the night…so I have been taking the first shift of the night with Charanjeet. This night was much harder than others so I was up till about 2AM with her. I knew I had to keep up my Sadhana and had to get up no matter what (even if I went to sleep at 2AM). So as I had done the previous day I got up…took a cold shower and did my Sadhana, and then went back to sleep (not waking up till 11AM). Luckily it was the weekend and I didn’t have to work that day. Even though I know I can’t really go to sleep early I am pretty motivated to keep waking up. I guess when you really want to do something and really commit, you figure out how to make it happen. I guess that is what it means to be committed.

This morning I woke up and did my Sadhana routine and I am feeling really good!

It’s only been three days and I have already started to notice changes. Over the weekend I watched a few DVDs of Siri Singh Sahib Lectures (you can see one of the excerpts). The more I listen to them and meditate, the more I am feeling inspired and motivated to continue in this direction. It feels so good that I want more. I feel the need to start meditating at night too. I am really starting to think about what is important in my life. When I spend more time meditating I feel more in connection with my Guru. It’s so easy to get caught up in the motions of every day life and it’s refreshing to feel this connection. How are things going with the rest of you who are doing a daily Sadhana?

Cold Showers
Many of you might have heard of taking a cold shower, so I wanted to share my experience and methods with you. In general the colder the water….the better. In summer time a cold shower doesn’t do much for me. The cold water has a way of opening up your capillaries and getting your circulation going in a way that doesn’t normally happen.

Before I take a cold shower I take almond oil and rub it all over my body. I massage it really well on my skin and then take 5-10 deep breaths to prepare my body for the cold water. I then turn on the cold water shower and at the same time start massaging my body all over as the water hits my skin. I let the water go on my back…(massage my back)… water on my chest…(massage my chest and stomach)….legs… underarms…..face…etc. I have found that going in and out of the water stream works well. So I go under the shower and massage for 10-20 seconds….then go out of the water….continue massaging my body….and then go back in the water and repeat this in and out for a few minutes until my body warms up. It’s quite a workout!! The past few days I have ended the shower with a bit of warm water because during Sadhana I noticed that I was a bit cold. The ending with warm water helped with this today. Doing cold showers with massage in this way will really help your health. Many people I know who do this on a regular basis never get sick.

Read this previous blog post on the topic of Hydrotherapy/Cold Shower

33 Responses to “DAY 3 – 40 Day Sadhana”

  1. kaur says:

    i messed up. i couldnt get up early today and i thought i was doing good. whathappend was my sister came home really late at 2am. i was awake the whole time because i wasn’t sure where she was. she was suppose to be home at 10pm. i was just so worried..and thinking werid things that might have happend to her. her phone was off as well so it created even more worry!

    i was well tired so slepr at 3 thought i wouldbe able to get up at 5 or so, but itnever happend i turned off my alarm clock nd didnt even know when i did that

    why am i not that commited? what should i do?

  2. l says:

    Thank you for this challenge. I have been fighting with myself for a long time to take a cold shower…love that hot water.

    And I have been wanting to do sadhana in the morning…but somehow….I let myself down on my commitment to me and my Guru.

  3. Kaur: Don’t be hard on yourself. Continue you on! A challenge is exactly that.

    If for some reason you don’t get up early again..then still do your Sadhana that day…even if it is not the early morning. While Amrit Vela is the best time… doing your routine at another time is better than not at all.

    :)

  4. Daljit says:

    Waheguru ji ka khalsa Waheguru ji ke fateh.

    This 40 day program is gud to start with, but remember that just 40 days are not enough. Try to get up early morning everyday as long as possible. If it wasn’t possible, still u got up, think of it as a small challenge given to you by Waheguru ji & u passed it .. :)

    Also I’d like to add that, If by chance, u didnt get up early, dont worry. But do all the banis without fail. Remember, amrit vela is that when u do paath / kirtan / Jap naam, etc. So whenever u recite baanis, that vela turns out to be AMRIT VELA.

    Try not to complicate things; have more than full faith on waheguruji; always be & do just & thats it. U have crossed the world ocean of sorrows & sufferings.

    Again a big BEST OF LUCK to all those who took this awsome challenge.

    Waheguru ji ka khalsa Waheguru ji ke fateh.

  5. M Singh says:

    WAHEGURU JI KA KHALSA, WAHEGURU JI KI FATEH

    Cold showers…I admire youy dedication. Over here on the east coast where I am, it is 8 degrees F. The warm shower is the only time I get to feel what it is like to be warm…my one moment of escape from this arctic freeze. I remember I tried a cold shower once…the water ran out in the water heater…I couldn’t stop shivering for a hour :P

    kaur Ji, as Gurumustuk Singh Sahib stated, this is a challenge. Bhai Nand Lal Ji said that they are Khalsa who fight daily. Fight against the warmth of that blanket that pulls you back to bed, fight against the fight against the 5 friends we all have, fight against the I and the lure of materialism. This is not just a battle, it is a siege war against a relentless enemy. Our everyday is a fight. Somedays, we gain a foothold, the others, our opponents. The objective is to fight the good fight and not give up.

    The Khalsa went to battle to fulfill their duty and to fight. They left victory and defeat to the Almighty, but they did their duty…they fought. Same applies to our internal daily battle. So do your best and FIGHT!

  6. Devinder singh says:

    Well the 3rd day was perfect , i woke up at 4 am ,
    this was the first time i had to take bath in COOOOOL water , but as recomended i massaged my body with OIL ,it was effective , and chanting Wahguru i was successful , did my Sadhana as i opened the Eyes it looked ,( well words cant be said for tht , just like Guruka Singh said , the taste of Strawberry cant be explained ) and Nitnem after tht , I made myself a Full cup of Tea thanking Waheguru !!!!!!!

  7. Kiran kaur says:

    if you really believe your doing some good then carry on put your heart in to it and everything will be easier
    Rabh Rakha

  8. Sat Atma Kaur says:

    Wahe Guru! I have not encountered any problems at all (apart from early start at work- I need to be there at 6.30am) so Sadhana too will be early. I have noticed I am fine with just 4-6 hours sleep and always look forward to getting up. Early days- but I will keep up. I live in the Middle East, and just knowing that there are others getting up for Sadhana is so important. Cold shower is a challenge, it is not summer here yet and mornings are still cool. But I do love the feeling after the shower. Sat Nam.

  9. simran says:

    I can be more disciplined. My challenge was waking up in the morning and if I did wake up staying awake. I tried singing with Simran CD (from sangat samagams.org) and attending Simran at Sangat over the weekend. Mom & dad woke me up for Nitnem this morning.

    My mind is completely wandering is a million different directions often never ending thought plains that became tangents to others. Often times the focus was “wants”, “desires”, past experiences, or future worries.

  10. dre aka kulwant kaur says:

    ….

    its 4am

    im awake

    i lay awake..playing the recording in my mind

    that has been a phantom of so much stress and anxiety ..for so many years..to many years to be happy about…..

    i recognize it…stop the tape…and ask the lord to take it away from me for good

    i slowly creep out of bed

    my house is cold

    and i slowly walk to the wood stove to start a fire

    thinking ..ur really gonna do this ….

    the fire is lit and i go to the shower

    and jump into the freezing cold water making sure

    to consciously recognize why the hell im takin a cold shower at 4:30am

    its over…

    and i find that im actually really warm..warmer than i was before i plunged into the cold stream…

    the yoga begins…i find the tape…coming back into my mind

    i breath…i release it…

    i say to myself…this mind game is boring…i cant believe ur not done with playing it

    …over and over in ur mind…

    breath in …release…. its gone

    let it go…this no longersuits u nor did it ever suit u

    breath in…

    the yoga set is challenging and i find that my years of smoking

    makes my breathing not as powerful as it should be…but i break beyond it

    between sets i realize the sky is changing ..i always love this part of being up early….i watch as it changes thru each breath each position i take

    i pray…i pray to regain myself..i pray to be what i was put here for…

    i pray to never lose my way again…

    silence ……..arrives

    finally I am home…

    Gracias Dios

  11. gurkipreet kaur says:

    ok..for some reason whatever i tasted few days ago, when i start this…, everything tasted sweeet. even my sabhji that had loads of mircchaa( red peppers) tasted sweet!…
    hmm didnt think of it thn but now im like……what was that all about hehehe

  12. Ravinder Singh says:

    Well it was tough to get up the first few days but boy is it still tough to have that cold shower (with a little warm water) in the morning. However, i get up straight away due to wanting to get that cold shower out of the way :)

    I have been doing the following:
    - Ab exercises, as i have been doing it regularly for the last few years
    - Long Ek Ong Kaar / Sahej Sukh Dhyan Meditation on alternate days
    - Waheguru Simran (without music)
    - On the first day i read and understood Japji Sahib, on the second i read and understood Jaap Sahib, and from the third day onwards i am reading the Guru Granth Sahib each day until completion (for about 30 mins each day). Reading the Guru Granth Sahib each day is amazing especially since i had not read it from start to end before so i am utilizing this opportunity and inspiration from you all to do so.
    - Closing my eyes and listening to music, for eg Snatam Kaur, Dya Singh and Chardi Kala Jatha amongst others. It feels great and uplifting for me to finish up Sadhana on this note.

    In all honesty it was tough the first few days but i am finding my rhythm now and hitting the sack earlier each night. I am up at 6am and have a shower and get ready for work by 6:30am, do the Sadhana and finish it at 7:40am and then prepare breakfast and leave for work by 8:10am (after catching up with the CNN world news too).

    I guess one thing that i have noticed is that the day feels longer as i am no longer getting up just in time to get ready and head to work. It feels like a more complete day and i still have energy for my gym workouts, after i wrap up at work. However, i am drinking a little more coffee than usual, 2 cups a day.

    Hope everyone else is doing great.. hopefully i can work on cutting down the coffee.

  13. rajwant singh kalsi says:

    For decades and decades I never had warm water bath. I had a stent surgery on my heart and the nurse asked me please use hot water for bath on third day. I refused and had cold water bath.I think Waheguru simran during and after bath is the key formula. I have a privilege that I live in Brazil, a tropical country, and this may be helpful to me than those live in Quebec and Eastern part of USA.

  14. singhni says:

    Kudos to Gurmastak & Arjan for working together around Charanjit’s schedule. Gurmastak ji tell Arjan (In case she does not know) that a wife earns half the reward of her husband’s saadhana. Another reason to marry a Gursikh man :D

    Those of you who are late in getting up, just do paath of Panj Baaniyaan before you start your day. If you can’t even do that, try doing 5 paaths of Japji Sahib. Guru sada meharbaan hai.

  15. Ravinder: I would suggest to not use stimulants like coffee or too much tea. The caffeine stimulates the adrenals and can cause health issues if you have too much. I can understand being tired…but would suggest that you try to take a short nap if you can sometime during the day. I have found Kundalini Yoga to help quite a bit with energy and overall health. I start my Sadhana every morning with a yoga set (which I linked to in my original sadhana post).

  16. Jaspreet says:

    WJKK WJKF,

    I did not sign up for the Sadhana program, bcoz for a few days I didn’t get the time to visit this website, and I wasn’t aware of the beginning of this program, but on reading about this challenge I decided to go for it.

    My 40 days Sadhana started a day later than others. It was amazing that I was up at 3:00 am on the first day, the excitement of starting was the cause. The next day I woke up at 4:00 and thought I had lost it as I couldn’t stick to my time, and went to sleep and did my Nitnem somwehere at 10:00am.

    But after going through the postings here I realized I was mistaken and actually lost it by not getting up at 4:00, bcoz after all this is a challenge (I haven’t done this in a long time almost 2-2.5 years). So what if it was 4:00 the important thing is to get up at Amrit vela and do my Sadhana and by Guru Kirpa I will be able to stick to the timings. Today my 3rd day I was up at 3:30 and started my meditation at around 4:00.

    Thanks for the encouraging messages people are posting here, I think in 3 days I can feel the difference at the mental level. Even after missing my Sadhana at Amrit vela yesterday there was an amazing calmness deep within, guess it was the effect carried over from the first day. I hope this will go to 40 days and beyond with Guruji guiding me and everyone else. Thanks Gurumustuk for this wonderful challenge.

    The cold shower is some challenge even here in the Middle East but things are looking up.

  17. Kamalpreet says:

    Third day was good, Really enjoyed chanting the Gurmantar and doing the Nitnem.

    I think setting yourself a target of when you should go to sleep by, is really good. I try to go to sleep by 9 and wake up at Amrit Vela.

    I really love it and I will try to reduce my sleeping time bit by bit as I get more used to waking up at amrit vela.

  18. Gurdeep says:

    Waheguru Ji Ka Khalsa, Waheguru Ji Ki Fateh

    Hello everyone. For several days now I have been waking up in the Amrit Veyla for the first time and meditating. Little did I know that you guys are also doing a 40 day Sadhana. Its wonderful how Waheguruji can lead us to do the same things without us knowing!
    M Singh its also cold where I live. But taking a cold shower is very important if you wake up early. Even with taking little naps throughout the day I felt exhausted.

  19. M Singh says:

    This is the 3rd day I’m meant to be doing my sadhna, but i didnt wake up. I had 2 hours sleep the night before and still woke up for 5am to do my nitnem but it looks like sleep got the better of me today. I feel extremely dissapointed in myself, and because its 12:30pm in London now, I feel even more dissapointed because I can’t bring back amrit vela. It’s true Yogi Bhajan said if you don’t do your sadhna it’ll get to a point where it feels like you haven’t had a shower and thats how I feel right now. Even though I feel I’ve let myself down, I will try my best to continue with the sadhna for 40 days and start from scratch.

    What was really strange was I decided for myself I will start to do meditation every morning after my life was going downhill and came on the blog few days later to see everyone is committing to the 40 day sadhna program!

  20. Ravinder Singh says:

    Gurumustuk: thanks for the advice. I only had half a cup of coffee, one cup of tea yesterday and a headache the entire day (i try to avoid pharmaceutical drugs). I will get to a point when it’s down to no more coffee (except at adhoc circumstances where i meet friends for coffee). I will try out the yoga exercises your doing this weekend.

    M Singh: don’t kick yourself. You can’t change the past, you can only direct your future. So keep going at it, don’t give up. We are here with you.

    All: Just thought while posting this i would add my feelings on the 6th day of doing Sadhana. I am actually beginning to enjoy it. This discipline makes me alot more effective during the day, the first few days were tough as i was tired but today i actually feel good. I am growing more intuitive as well which is a huge bonus working as a Project Manager as i have to solve new problems daily (a mix of people and task oriented problems). I believe that people also notice a difference in me, the confidence has grown and i feel more satisfied with what i achieve out of the day…

  21. Kiran kaur says:

    I’m the age of 18 years old and I live in England and I really believe one day I have the strength to follow Gurus path.I’ve found all these comments help and very interesting to read, if you don’t mind me asking I would like to ask some questions to help me understand, when you first stated to wake up from sun risen how could within yourself have a cold shower? A guy at my work place asked me what you have to do to become “a good Sikh and follow Gurus path?” Can you let me know on your views on this question please? thank you for your time Kiran Rabh Rakha

  22. Kirpal says:

    Finally, today I woke at 5:30 a.m. and recited Japuji Sahib (skipped shower completely) Instead I had tea in the morning after I finished Japuji Sahib. Cold shower is certainly not a good idea for me. I have ADD (wonder do I need to add something to make it sound really Very ADD etc). Anyway, my problem is that 30 minutes after I wake up my mind start racing like anything (I have trillion thoughts in my mind in one nanosecond). Only time I really concentrate on divine word is during first 30-45 minutes when I wake up (always it feels like I just woke up from death bed). I can understand why Amrit Vela is Important (everything around is quite along with your quiet mind).
    Any suggestions -if I should still pursue cold shower strategy/shower?

  23. Kirpal: First off… any advice I give is just based on my experience and you should consult a Doctor if you have medical conditions.

    I am not an expert on ADD (attention deficit disorder), however one thing which I have seen in relation to ADD and children especially is that there are many obvious factors which could cause problems. Kids have soo much processed sugar and junk food these days. Breakfast is sugar cereal, doughnuts, sugar juice, etc. People are having less and less fresh and natural food. So much of what is consumed are processed foods. Most of the people I see drink soda instead of water. I’m not sure what your diet is like….but I would start with cutting down on processed foods and start to have more natural and fresh foods. In the morning make a fruit salad (cut up various fresh fruit and mix with yoghurt). There is probably a lot you can do in the diet area to ease your ADD symptoms.

    Mediation will definitely help…and I highly recommend that you continue. In a previous post I posted a video with Guruka Singh teaching a meditation called “Sahej Sukh Dhyan”. Watch the video and give it a try. This should help a lot. It might take some practice…so commit to doing it for at least a week or two and see what happens.

    Cold showers have lots of benefits and I don’t think would do anything specific to ADD. However It is one thing which increases your circulation and clears out your body. I still recommend giving it a try.

    Again… consult your doctor before doing any of these things.

  24. Prabhu Singh says:

    This morning I fooled myself into thinking the cold shower was going to feel warm. I’ve been doing it for four years so the cold water doesn’t scare me, but I’m usually mentally prepared for the cold water. This morning I thought the water would feel warm for some reason and wasn’t mentally prepared for the cold reality :-)
    It was still a great way to start my day, once I got used to it.

  25. g says:

    Kirpal ji,

    Make sure that you see your family doctor as suggested by Gurumustak singh ji. And the most important thing is if you are on a medication then make sure that you follow directions given by your doctor. Please do not stop taking medication.

    Meditation will help you slowly. Try to do mediatate for a short period of time ( 1 min to 2 minutes) take a break then go back to it. Along with medication then you will notice that everything falls into its place.

    The idea is to slowly increase your attention span. Again, its done gradually and be persistent in your meditation. Don’t be too hard on yourself.

    take care

    G (MD)

  26. T says:

    I am still keeping up with the 40 day commitment! I havent actually had any real (or additional) challenges since i have started the 40 day sadhna (except the 16 hour day!six days a week! however this is an everyday challenge for the past three months which i still havnt completely gotten use to!). my schedule is a little different to others.
    1. Wake up at 5am
    2. Have a shower (normally a warm one but have a short cold shower towards the end…however am working on that … waheguru will give me strength to have a long cold shower!)
    3. Recite 5 banis ( Japji sahib, Jap sahib, Tvaprasad Savayiae, Chaupae sahib and anand sahib). Normally finish around 6.15am.
    4. Singing name of ten gurus with harmonim (Dhan hai Dhan hai Dhan hai Guru Nanak Sahib dhan hai…..). Normally go through our 11 gurus about three times.
    5. Singing Gurmantar with harmonium. (for about 15 minutes).

    So by the time i am finished its around 6.45am. get ready and eat in 15 min, start work at 7.30!

    However i do find that i often have to chase my wondering mind and bring it back to the feet of the guru. Also sometimes when am reciting gurbani (dont know if its the effect of kalyug, as my dad tells me), my head drops and i just fall asleep n then i wake up in a shock (probably given by the meharvan guru) n try to carry on with gurbani. I dont know if someone else expieriences that or not? may b its the long day and tiredness, but am not complaining about that i like the way things are:)

    Other than that its all good.I am NOT going to back up on this commitment because i know guru is supporting me. So any power that resists or challenges me cannot be greater than Gurus power.

    So everyone, stay strong, fight the challenges, ask guru for his suuport, have faith in guru and you will not only get through this challenge but many tougher challenges in life!

    Whaeguru Ji Ka Khalsa
    Waheguru Ji Ki Fateh

  27. Reema says:

    Sat Sri Akal Gurumustak,

    I have started doing Sadhna begining of this week. I wake up at 5 am, have a cup of tea, take shower and then start with meditation (Long Ek Ong Kar, Sahej sukh dyan) followed by reciting Japji Sahib.Then I do sudarshan kriya(breathing exercise). From this week I would start Sadhna with Yoga.

    Still my mind bombarded with million of thoughts when I wake up.I hope to desciplined my mind as the practice goes on.

    Should I not be taking tea until I finish my sadhna? Do we have do meditate with lights off?

    Regards.

  28. Reema: You should watch the most recent video that I posted (Mantra and Meditation) and the article I posted…which talks about meditation. I think it will answer some of your questions regarding thoughts and your mind filling with thoughts.

    Should I not be taking tea until I finish my sadhna?

    I personally don’t take anything with caffeine or other stimulants. The caffeine makes me jittery and makes my mind race. I think it is very likely that some of your racing thoughts could be related to the tea. Try waiting to have your tea till later (or not having it at all) and see if you notice a difference.

    Do we have do meditate with lights off?

    There are no rules in this area. Just do what makes you comfortable and allows you to have a meditative environment. I light a few candles for my yoga and meditation… but when I do my banis I turn on a light so that I can read on my Nitnem.

  29. Gunneeta says:

    I’ve had phases in my life when I’ve been able to wake up at Amrit wela without any effort and enjoyed every moment of it, and I’ve been in phases(a lot more) when I’ve woken up at 8-9am, feeling tired, groggy, and impatient. I’ve always known that making yourself uncomfortable at 5am is a lot better than making yourself uncomfortable the whole day. This 40 day pledge was the kind of opportunity I was looking for to break my indisciplined mode that has been going on for more than 6 months now!
    It has been difficult some days,but the discipline of waking up is gradually improving. Another issue that’s bothering me is that I tend to fall asleep inbetween my paath and then wake up with a “shock” as another reader puts it too, and feel guilty. I thought that cold shower might be a good idea to keep my drwosiness away, and did some research on its benefits. I came across this website http://www.earthclinic.com/Remedies/showers.html
    and was amazed at how many people benefitted from cold showers right from curing coughs to making you better equipped to manage cold weather to even beautiful skin and hair!! Inspired enough, I decided to go for it today – its today or never – and yes,as the cold water hit me, it was “Waaheguru Waaheguru” all the way as Guruka Singh ji had said! It literally takes your breath away at first, but slowly your body gets used to it! I don’t know about healthbenefits – it’ll be some days before I notice any major differences but yes, you are NOT going to fall asleep after a cold shower! Its quite refreshing! You also don’t feel so cold afterwards. And third, it gives you a psychological high coz you feel as if you have conquered some big battle with the strength of your mind. You start feeling fearless to some extent and are in a better mindframe to take more physical challenges, and that’s a good thing for a Sikh! So, feeling victorious today after having overcome a huge fear of cold shower, I feel upbeat and ready for my next shower tomorrow to keep my drowsiness away!
    Thanks everyone for holding hands in this pledge, the stronger ones are able to inspire the weaker ones also to move forward with them! Thank you MrSikhnet!

  30. Reema says:

    I live in eastern part of Canada where the winter temp is -30C for the month of Feb and it will go up slighty
    (-15C)in March. Would it be fine to take cold water shower in this extreme cold weather as I have to go to work in the morning.

  31. Reema: If the water is really that (-30C)cold…it might be a bit too cold to start with. You could add a bit of warm water so it is not that cold. You want it cold enough though to do it’s trick.

  32. Yasmine says:

    I had an amazing experience with cold shower, especially yesterday. I was singing the mool mantra, and the cold was intense. It was as if reality was falling away. Listening to the Indi Kaur album has helped me tremendously in working to merge with the bani. I want more her work.

  33. Kirpal says:

    Gurumustuk Singh and G
    Thanks for the advice. I am not taking any medication for ADD etc. I tried cold shower today. I am more awake ( in terms of focus). I should stop drinking tea soon.