by Snatam Kaur
The sun was beautiful, shining warmly on the Los Angeles neighborhood nestled between the two busy streets of Fairfax and Beverly. I was using some free time between recording sessions on my upcoming children’s album to take a walk. One of my favorite things to do is look at houses and lawns. It’s a fascination for me, really. I love to see beautiful homes and gardens, and in LA there are so many that it is just pure entertainment. As I walked, I was enraptured by the beautiful white roses climbing up white picket fences, the perfectly manicured lawns, the fancy gates with pathway lighting, the exotic orange flowers that look like flamingo heads, and the beautiful windows and stone-laden driveways. I wove in and out of the quiet streets for quite some time, feeling serene and meditative, and then I took a turn and suddenly found myself right in the middle of one of the busiest streets in LA. What a shock.
There was traffic whizzing by, people dashing in and out of shops, cars honking, and garbage pails overflowing. Everything seemed sped up. I decided to enjoy the city vibe for awhile and went into a few shops, a shoe store, an Italian gourmet shop, and an incense shop. It was all quite fun, noisy and loud.
Then I turned the corner again and returned to the quiet neighborhood, which was just a block away. A man helping his daughter ride her tricycle passed me, and the birds were chirping. It was fascinating how the neighborhoods could change so quickly from one space to the next. I began to think about this and realized that we as human beings have the power to project our energy as we wish and to create the space around us. The chaos of a busy street just a block away can be completely forgotten in a quiet peaceful neighborhood because that was the intention and projection of the residents.
In our own lives, we have the power to create our environments through our intentions and projections. The power of mantra is just that: through these sacred vibrations we are able to project the inner essence of our beings into our lives and in this way change the space around us.
Yogi Bhajan gave us a beautiful mantra in English. We are putting it on the children’s album I am recording, so I’ve been singing it quite a bit lately. The words are: “I am the Light of my soul, I am beautiful, I am bountiful, I am bliss, I am, I am.”
These words are so simple, and yet so powerful. Many of us believe that there is a Divine energy guiding us, but to believe that this Divine energy is actually inside of us is a profound realization. My meditation lately has been to reflect on the beauty of my own soul, to sit in relation to it and be with it. I began to realize that my soul has come through for me many times, and has led me to do great things. Yet somehow I wasn’t relating to it as much as I could. I found that meditating in relationship to my soul and honoring its presence within me is very refreshing. It gives me a deeper awareness and appreciation for my soul. I believe that the soul is inside each of us, vibrating and, in essence, waiting for us to relate to it. We tend to think of so many things outside ourselves, and to define our lives by looking to the outside. I am finding that the true beauty of living this life is to be in the presence of your soul, to recognize its divinity, and to live in its grace.
This positive affirmation of Yogi Bhajan’s is incredibly empowering. “I am beautiful, I am bountiful, I am bliss” are such positive affirmations. Some people find it hard to say such positive things about themselves. If you are anything like me, you are your own worst critic. In concerts we sing this affirmation, and sometimes GuruGanesha playfully challenges the audience, “Even if you don’t believe these words, just this once, pretend that you do, and see what happens!” While meditating on these words, I began to be aware of what I was saying, and the more I stopped focusing on my thoughts, and just went into the feeling of the words and allowed my mind to be still, the more the words had an impact. For me, the vibration causes a shift inside me on a very subtle level. So I’ll keep meditating, and let’s see what happens! Every day is different. I feel that the most powerful way to heal ourselves is through the words that we say to ourselves. I believe that there is no one else on the planet who has a more powerful effect on you, than you.
So I invite you to chant this mantra, this beautiful English mantra given to us by Yogi Bhajan. He knew the power of words and masterfully put these words together. The effect is very deep. Enjoy.
I am the Light of my soul, I am beautiful, I am bountiful, I am bliss, I am, I am
Snatam Kaur singing "Gobinda Hari" live in concert: