Finding Stillness in a Storm Around You

Finding Stillness in a Storm Around You

Yesterday evening I had the kids with me while my wife worked late, and for some reason my daughter Charanjeet was having "one of those days" and was crying incessantly about everything. It was like a marathon (with a few pit stops). It can be SOO intense when your children cry and "freak out." Lots of the times it is them trying to assert themselves, or get what they want. It’s as if they are experimenting with their ego and learning how to use it. As a parent this can be really challenging sometimes! The crying and screaming has a very strong effect on parents. Those of you who have kids will understand what I mean by this. It takes quite a bit of discipline and calmness to deal with your children in a neutral way without bending to their will, or having a meltdown during one of these "storms". They can be like tornadoes trying to suck you up to make you do what they want.

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This morning as I was thinking about this it made me also think about the many Sikhs that I deal with online who are very critical, judgmental and REACTIVE. Whenever something happens some people just lash out at others. Some perceived disrespect is done… and there seem to always be people who are ready with the pitchforks… ready to burn someone at the stake. It feels like such an old primal reactive nature (like the violence in Delhi in 1984), fueled by hate, and inner anger.

It’s as if these things are done to make the person feel better and give them "power" when they feel empty inside. Why is it some people’s habitual reaction to divide and attack? There are lots of things that I don’t agree with that other people believe, but I don’t go out of my way to tell them "what I think" and how "my way" is the correct way.

I think that actually, people see a mirror of what is already inside of them projected out onto others. When we hate, we see hate. 

I still don’t get why so many Sikh are so close-minded. Our Gurus taught that there is only One God and many paths, yet when someone does something "wrong" people react and kick them out. It’s no wonder so many of the youth don’t want to be Sikhs! There seems to be so little compassion and understanding. It’s "my way or the highway". "You either follow what I believe or you are wrong!".

Being a parent with kids, and just dealing with negativity and the reactive natures of some people has really allowed me to grow. Every time someone posts a negative comment judging or criticizing me, it challenges me. Initially when this happens I feel that gut wrenching feeling in my stomach/naval as I emotionally want to protect myself. The next thing is the feeling of wanting to react to them; as if they are trying to suck my energy and draw me into theirs. This is the challenging part of being non-reactive and not letting these things effect me.

When I was thinking about all of this I tried to imagine what the Gurus were like and how they would act. I can’t imagine one of the Gurus reacting in anger or pretty much any strong emotion that is reactive in nature. I imagine them still like a pond, not affected by whatever storm may blow by and by whatever people say. With anger coming at them they might smile back and share some inspirational words about God.

I personally strive to reach this type of stillness in my life, where no matter what people say or do, I am not affected by it. This takes a certain meditative mind and awareness to achieve. As Sikhs we are are learners and are, by definition, always be open to learning. It is when we become rigid in our thinking and actions that our "window" becomes smaller, and we limit our own opportunities for learning and personal growth.

My prayer today is that we all can keep our hearts open and see the God in each other, no matter what the perceived differences are. To love each other and treat one another with KINDNESS and compassion and not jump on people and criticize them because of something we feel is wrong or different than what we believe.

We as a planet of beings will never unite together until we learn to look beyond our differences and see that we are all one and that we are each a piece of the larger "Body". I am you and you are me. I look at you and see me. Love, compassion, acceptance, understanding, unity and forgiveness; these are all things that support the greater good, while the other negative things only bring us all down. Daya is the first quality of Khalsa. How do you recognize Khalsa?  By kindness.  That is the hallmark of the Gurus own.

16 Responses to “Finding Stillness in a Storm Around You”

  1. This is a great blog post. Very honest and open and full of wisdom.

    I would just like to say that I don’t think it’s necessarily our “nature” to lash out and react negatively to perceived attacks on our ego. I think it might be the function of the ego – the maya that deludes all aspects of life. I think our “true nature” is that stillness you mentioned the Gurus have. And it’s our practice to attain that stillness by meditating on God. It takes lots of practice to achieve this of course (and maybe even many lifetimes!), but mindfulness, meditation, mantra, simran and seva all help tremendously. To take a lesson from my previous Buddhist practice – we are already enlightened. The practice is to help us realize it. God made us complete. We just have to see through the maya into that completeness.

    Waheguru ji ka Khalsa
    Waheguru ji ki Fateh

  2. Gurvinder Singh (Northampton, UK) says:

    I truly agree with you Gurumusruk. Every time you put up any article you get many different responses. Some appreciate you, some remain content and few of us criticise you unknowingly the fact that whatever you publish is based on some form of real incidence, gurbani, experience etc. the most interesting part is when either you or Guruka Singh tried to explain its originality. Some of us do not know the real environment and our perception is so narrow preventing us to face the facts and at the same time pushing others to correct their point of view. I respect that you understand this and help others to aware them of reality.

  3. A very heartfelt and honest expression. It is this kind of deep reflection and wisdom that is engendered by meditation, by the conversation with the soul. There will always be storms, friction, duality in the world of maya, but as we know, “it is not the life that matters, it is the courage you bring to it.” Love has many facets and when we see the “other” as ourselves, even in the face of anger, fear and distrust, we truly rise to be Khalsa and to live as the Gurus exemplified in their lives, with compassion, courage and commitment.

  4. Baljinder Kaur says:

    That was very beautifully written.

    A Gurbani ttuk came to mind whilst reading it….

    sukheeeae ko paekhai sabh sukheeaa rogee kai bhaanai sabh rogee ||
    One who is at peace, see’s everything in a state of peace, one who is diseased see’s everything as diseased

    Apologies for the inacurracy of translations

  5. Harjinder Dhillon says:

    Very true, an awesome article

  6. Mohanpal Singh says:

    Gurmustuk you are very creative, all your blogs and writing are good. I tried your translator in 2 languages Hindi & Thai , it translates word for word, but when someone reads the translation it is funny not the way it should have been.

  7. Ravinder Singh says:

    Guru Fateh Jee,

    Beautifull article Veer jee. Inside, it has got a deep moral. Can you please tell me, where i can download this music. Its so soothing, i love it. I will look forward to your reply.

    WAHEGURU JEE KA KHALSA
    WAHEGURU JE KE FATEH

  8. Amrita Kaur says:

    I really enjoyed this post…especially the insight on “how the Gurus” would deal with such a situation. I can relate to the gut wrenching feeling and wanting to protect myself; more often than not in the past years I have lashed out when provoked, and thinking I have done well by doing so (all i think in my mind is howww daree so and so, its the ego I have!)… In the end, it just had more negative effects, and created more drama. I think it is important to distance ourselves from those who will bring that into our lives, because it is not always easy to deal with them provoking us. Going back to children screaming, oh i can really understand you right now! Sometimes my two younger siblings start fighting like cats or dogs! Or even, my youngest sibling continues to pass side “peanut” gallery comments when I am having a serious discussion with my mom! I have to learn to step back and give it perspective…

    anyway thank you again :)
    sat nam

  9. Satnam Sandhu (UK) says:

    A very postive, deep & educating article and showing right path to uneducated people like me. Keep up the good Work.

    Wahe Guru Ji ka Khalsa
    Wahe Guru Ji Ki Fateh

  10. Kamaljit says:

    Very well written… You are always inspiring people like me. I personally really appreciate your articles… Keep up the good spirit!!

    May God always bless you!!

  11. Roopinder says:

    came back after a long time, saw this post and it touched my heart.
    Regardless of what others say or do, please continue the good work.
    There are many like me who value this site and your thoughts.

  12. gurbinder kaur says:

    Vaheguru. Having met you I can honestly say you are a calming influence on everyone around you Gurumustuk Singh. You truly have a calming aura and a ready smile. Criticism and hate can be hurtful, but we must always remember that jst because it’s said or directed at us it does not make it true. Maharaj blesses every soul, but few are fortunate to see maharaj in every soul they meet and hear maharaj in every heartbeat. To emulate the Gurus’ calmness and serenity is what we should all strive for, as you do. Blessed may you remain. Akaal.

  13. satvir kaur says:

    Vaheguru fateh,
    What a beautifuly written article,i appreciate your thinking Gurmustak thats what we all need and you have expressed it so beautifully,keep up your spirits,may god bless you.

  14. Pavan Kaur says:

    I really appreciated this articel among others as well :D
    It really reflects the kind of thought process that I sometimes go through and how I personally try to think of our Gurus and how they might act in situation of which I need guidence on. As a teen right now I may not relate to the “storm” as being screaming children but I do understand. But the issue I have or that I need help with if anyone could lend some extra guidence is how to stay at peace when one has to deal with great duality. My parents are divorced so I constantly am at ends with trying to make either one happy or follow either ones guidence which ends up really twisting what path I should follow. At times it is hard and it feel as if I have two different side to me. Everyone in a while I come to my centre and feel at peace but the cycle seems to be slowly fadeing and I do not want to lose my way on the path.
    What should I do ?

    Waheguruji Ka Khalsa
    Waheguruji Ki Fateh

    • sadhak says:

      Daily sadhna can help you. Ask guruji to guide you. Love yourself, accept yourself and forgive yourself. Love others, accept others and forgive others. Koi nahin bura! It's karma!

  15. Sikh Kara says:

    I really appreciate you efforts