The Ups and Downs…

I’m waiting for the latest video interview to finish rendering, so I was sitting here in front of the computer (how unusual!) listening to my mothers new CD, thinking about today and life in general.

In my life I have seen certain patterns and cycles in relation to my spiritual practice. I notice that I tend go through an up and down cycle. It’s not that I start doing "un-sikh" things, but not having a strong meditative practice all the time in a consistent way. For a few months I commit to doing XYZ every day…not matter what. At the end of that time period I keep going…but there is always something that comes up…and it fades off. I totally notice the difference in my state of being, happiness, calmness, energy, etc when I am in the "groove" with my daily practice. When I am not, I get more stressed out, react to situations/people easier, and am not as in tune with myself/intuition.

So, one might ask…if I get all these benefits and really notice the difference, why can’t I just keep at it? The thing is that it takes discipline and an extra effort to have a daily practice. Whether it is doing banis, meditating or exercising. It’s easier to just go with the flow with the happenings in your life than to have a commitment to yourself and do that practice EVERY day, come what may.

As humans we are motivated more by pain than by pleasure. Most people don’t take care of their bodies till they have big problems; Only then taking the time to deal with it. So…what I am saying again is that it takes more discipline to be in control of your mind. Guru Nanak said "man jeetai jag jeet"…. conquer your mind, and conquer the world. That is our challenge. A daily spiritual practice can help us meet this challenge.

So, my purpose was not to show you that I don’t always maintain a daily practice, but to show you that it is natural to have these challenges when trying to discipline yourself with anything. It is a learning process. Some have to go through it over and over all their life and still not get it. Every man who has achieved greatness in his life has gone through the most difficult time, full of doubt and pain. That is what makes them great.

So now is the time. Today is the day to commit to something. Me…and maybe you? Don’t say…I’ll do it tomorrow. I know very well how that goes (tomorrow never comes). I’ve been stalling for a while and spending too much time on this very computer. So…I’m committing to start up again tomorrow. If you like…join me!

Prabhu Singh is a good example to learn from. I’ll have to get some tips from him because he is rock solid with his daily practice.

Aside from the obvious things to do you, could also do some of these.

14 Responses to “The Ups and Downs…”

  1. Gurinder says:

    I willing to join with you to discipline myself! ITs true that tomorrow never comes! So, what is the plan? Lets work together and motivate ourselves and others.

    Gurumustuk, make sure outline the plan.

  2. ik singh says:

    Gurumustak, It’s so nice to hear that someone else has the same problem. I’m like that as well. But I think i actually have it figured out to the time of the year. From September to January…i find it very very very hard to do my daily routine. I know it’s not good, I know i don’t feel good when I don’t go through my routine, I know all those things but here I am not focusing on the Naam.

    I’ve tried punishing myself like takings something away that means something from myself if I don’t focus on the Naam. But it really doesn’t work because my daily routine has no meaning to it if i do that. I don’t find it fruitful.

    you’re right about Prabhu I really don’t know how he does it.

    It’s a struggle…these days it’s a daily struggle man!

    I just looked at the list of things on Sikhnet and i liked 7, 15, 16…but I still feel guilty about not doing my daily routine…
    i do think variety and changing the routine helps the monotony.

    But I think #7 would be a great sewa for someone like me to do and to be on the receiving side.

    Sat Nam!

  3. Gurinder says:

    I need 8hrs of sleep a night! and its been like this forever! Yes, few nights when I had to study for exams I might get 4 hrs of sleep but after the exams then back to 8hrs.

    I seems very difficult to cut down hours on sleep. At 9:oopm I’m wide a wake!

    One more thing. There is definitely advantage of doing early morning meditation before sunrise. We all know it is calm and peaceful and our mind is rested. But this is the part of the story!

    According to NASA scientists the electromagnetic radiation of the earth changes during the night time(more profound effects during 3:00 to 6:00AM and also earth tilts at a slight angle) it looks more like a comet’s energy. The electromagnetic radiation distribution around the planet is different during the night time compared with during the sunrise.

    These change in Magnetic gravitational force might also have impact on our meditation. Maybe this change creates RESONANCE across the planet and even the universe!

    Yes, we can meditate anytime during the day or night time,but it will have different outcomes.

  4. When you do something…whether it is a positive or negative thing you develop patterns and habits. The longer the habit is established the harder it may be to break that. So…it can take time to re-establish a good habit or break a bad one. That’s ok.

    Siri Singh Sahib Harbhajan Singh (AKA: Yogi Bhajan) taught that there are also specific periods of time to break old habits and develop new ones. So when we practice a yoga set, meditation or anything we try commit for a certain time frame.

    It’s one thing if you say…I’m going to do this every day….and it goes on forever in your mind. It’s easier if you have milestones and reach your goals. Give it try…even if you don’t believe in this stuff….set a commitment for a certain time frame.

    40 Days – To change/break a habit.
    90 Days – To confirm the habit.
    120 Days – The new habit is who you are.
    1000 Days – You have mastered the new habit.

  5. Gurinder says:

    If I wake up 4 0clock in the morning then I might feel sleepy all day long and not be productive in my work.
    Also, What time should I start to wake up in the morning so that I build a habit rather than doing for few days and then fall back to old routine.

    This is the hardest for me because I have created really BAD habit of sleeping in excess of 8hrs!!!

  6. One thing which I think makes it hard for people is that they try to make too much of a change too fast and can’t maintain it.

    So, my approach is to start slowly and build over time. Find something that you can definitely do and start from there. So..if you are wanting to start doing banis. Start with one or two banis (whatever you can handle). Or even do a few of the pauris of one bani every day for each day (till you complete the whole bani).

    I feel that it is better to be consistant and regular with doing less things…than trying to do too much and then stopping.

    Also…when I get up at 4am for meditation I normally take a little nap after the Sadhana (practice).

  7. Gurinder says:

    Thank you for your input and dispeling darkness!

    Tomorrow is DAy one of early morning meditation for 15minutes!

  8. Gurinder: that is great :) Today was day one for me. Arjan already gets up early…so was happy to see me join her this morning.

  9. Gurinder says:

    I keep on updating on my meditation twice a month!

    I was wondering if anyone out there would like to join this task, so we could keep motivated each other.

  10. Guruka Singh says:

    Guruinder Ji – Re: 8 hours sleep a night…. I’ve found it’s a question of shifting my cycle to get up a little earlier each morning and go to bed a little earlier each night, until a new habit is established. Now I wake up every morning between 3 AM and 4:30 AM no matter what time I went to sleep. That’s because I have a 35 year habit of doing my sadhana and my body just knows when to awake (no alarm clock necessary.) I remeber one year on my birthday (New Year’s eve) we were up late because everyone threw a birthday party for me with music and dancing and ice cream and pie, etc. As I went to bed, I prayed to Guru Ram Das Ji and said” Guru Ji, get me up to do my sadhana tomorrow.” At 3 in the morning I heard a loud car horn blaring continuously. It not only woke me up, but everyone else in the ashram too. Some druken fool didn’t make the curve and had wrapped his car around a telephone pole right outside our window. He walked away unhurt. His car horn got stuck, and we all got up and had a beautiful sadhana. So praying and programming yourself… i.e., REALLY wanting to rise in the Amrit Vela, makes the universe respond so that you can do it.

    You are right about the electromagic field of the earth. Sleeping at right angles to the earth’s magnetic field (head and feet aligned east and west) makes it easier to wake up. When the Sun is below the horizon at an angle of 15 degrees (Amrit Vela time) then you get to “surf” the rising solar energy and it will launch you into the day on the crest of that wave. That’s why we get up and meditate at that time (2.5 hours before sunrise.)


  11. That was very interesting Guruka…thanks for sharing!

  12. Gurinder says:

    Guruka singh
    Thank you for your input. Definitely ,I will try your suggestion of building a new habit! I see life passing by and it seems very hollow and empty. I would like to explore universe with the Grace of guruji.
    Only one thing can travel at the speed of light or even faster that is soul! Since it is non-physical.

    I have high hopes but I have wasted my life sleeping and sleeping.

    Since I began my regular gurdwara at ram das (L.A), I was struck by the discipline that sangat had overthere! I told myself I have been born in sikhi with grace of guruji, but I have been shifting sand or churning water everyday of my life.

    I inspiration from everyone over there and began to do Kundalini yoga, which strengthens our body to do meditation even better and more clearer.

    I thank God to send Harbhajan yogi to this world, so we could also feel the fragance and nectar of truth!

    Again thank you for your input!

  13. Gurpreet says:

    thats wikid i didn’t know that about the earth’s east and west side how it helps out. so how do u figure it out? I am at a new place at the moment, and dont know where east or west is the apt is so confusing.

    this blog is soo inspiring. i was thinking about this today, and was kind of telling my self that its all Guru Ji’s grace if He wants me to do naam simran, sadhna, and nitnem and all other things He will; need His grace(now it seems like an excuse, is it?). I see that i do need to deciplen my self, which i used to but stopped after a while. Deciplen is what Guru sahib ji told us to keep, and i forgot about it.
    Thank you all me big bros and sisters:D
    great help.
    i was longing for sangat, and was complaning to waheguru today for not giving me sangat of Gursikh. umm was wrong, just didn’t look at the gifts he has given me(internet my own laptop, and blogs to read from to share ideas and learn).
    those 30 ideas really helpped me! will start on doing meditation for 40 days….today, yes can’t say tom(its 12:30) starting with atleast 10-15 mins.
    All of you are so inspiring. Will do ardas as well so I can get up at the right time!


  14. Re: Sleeping at right angles to the earth’s magnetic field (head and feet aligned east and west) makes it easier to wake up. The lines of force of the magnetic field of the earth run North-South. When you sleep that way, your magnetic field gets in resonance with the earth’s magnetic field and it makes it harder to pull out of sleep. When you sleep with your field at right angles to the earth’s field it’s easier to wake up. Just try it and experience it for yourself. You’ll see.