Love the Teachings, Not the Teacher Part 2: The Teachings

March 23, 2020

The message of Kundalini Yoga and setting your own path.

The Message of Kundalini Yoga

Many people have asked me what my thoughts are regarding Yogi Bhajan and who he was as a man, particularly his sexual proclivities. To tell the truth, I have been processing these thoughts and reflecting on how to respond to this information for many years. As I wasn’t a witness to the events, I can’t reflect on actual facts. All I can say is that I believe the couple stories I personally heard.

Believing that the person who brought Kundalini Yoga to the West made poor decisions in his private life does not invalidate his teachings. After all, the core tenants of yoga and meditation — breath work, body postures, chanting — are ancient tools for self-healing and self-awakening. The bottom line is that these yogic technologies work, regardless of their teacher. I have seen their effects not only in others, but I have felt them personally.

There are a lot of great lessons in Yogi Bhajan’s lectures. As a full disclaimer, I have been inspired by many of these teachings. He spoke of universal Kundalini Yoga tools and philosophy that expanded beyond himself. By incorporating them into your life, as I have, you aren’t inherently endorsing the man or his scandals. You are using ancient technology to find your own path in life by establishing inner peace and balance.

My teachings are supplemented with my own knowledge and experience of Kundalini Yoga’s ancient tools, in addition to the benefits I have witnessed with my clients in therapy. I focus on yogic technology, which is supported with science, psychology, and even other religious beliefs. I focus on its ability to help people empower themselves.

In the end, I do not want to justify any misbehavior — so I don’t. Please note that I do not support Yogi Bhajan’s indiscretion in any way. In fact, as a result, my style of teaching has changed over the years as I have continued to process information regarding his misdeeds. I do not personally promote Yogi Bhajan as a man; rather, I strive to encourage my students and clients to build a relationship with their Self. When they can use Kundalini Yoga to shift their perspectives and cut through the inner chatter of an overworked mind, they can let go. In doing so, they can think with more clear and rational thoughts. This is the lesson I love to teach. It is the lesson that has been passed on through the ages.

As a Kundalini Yoga instructor and trainer, I believe we are here to help individuals connect to their own Self. We guide our students to recognize and utilize the power within. We teach Kundalini Yoga technology, but the technology doesn’t begin or end with us. We simply carry the message.

Setting Your Own Path

We are in a time of deep change, questioning everything from politics to religious organizations. We are learning that the old ways don’t work anymore. Even if this sort of growth is painful, it is necessary in order to revolve as a species — and as an individual. This is the time to confront challenges, embrace changes, and connect to the Self.

In such a tumultuous time, we must refrain from depending on others in order to find answers in life. Just as young adults have to mature and step into their own lives away from their parents, so do students need to step away from their teachers. Our responsibility is to learn from life lessons and to grow as an individual, not to rely on our mentors to keep us anchored.

We often look for perfection in people whose paths we want to follow, but the path we need to follow is created from the wisdom we can find within ourselves. Decide on your own destination and reach it by listening to your own voice. Others (like teachers) can inspire you or give you guidance, of course, but the power of deep inner reflection and questioning comes from within.

Yes, sometimes that reflection and questioning can be painful. But if we turn away from self-reflecting because we have an adverse reaction, then we are not growing. This is not the intended journey of the Soul. Life is beautiful and sinister, bitter and sweet. The technology of Kundalini Yoga and meditation helps us to travel the path in between, allowing us to mature as an individual spirit as we step into our own, self-realized greatness.

It is crucial that we persist and ask the hard questions. Question life, question your relationship to others, and especially question your teachers. Pause long enough to reflect without another person’s direct influence distracting you. Use your insight to resist following anyone or anything blindly. Find and experience the guru with your Self.