Travel the Light with SiriOm Singh

One of the first things that spiritual teacher and Kundalini Yoga instructor, SiriOm Singh, asked us to do in a workshop, was to clap for ourselves. With a wry smile, he said that our clap for ourselves was ‘tentative.’ Then, the thirty of us, clapped for each other. Such a simple act produced feelings of joy, happiness and unity.

 

SiriOm explained that the essence of the workshop, called Yoga of Drumming, was to enhance communication with ourselves and each other and to open to the creative process.

Though his methods were many – clapping, repeating mantras, drumming on our bodies, singing to his drumming, breathing – each time our aim was to balance the right and left sides of our brains and find our individual and group rhythmns.

By tapping into the sound current of our hearts he assured us that we could create a holy sound of love, beauty and peace. Ong Namo Guru Dev Namo was the first mantra that we repeated together. We were opening our heart chakras to “uplift ourselves beyond the human experience.”

For many, the experience of the workshop, was joyful but also embarrassing. There we were clapping on our thighs and knees to remove toxins and stored pain from the body. There we were making strange childish faces as we pronounced simple sounds like “aah.”

Once we got past the embarrassment we found feelings of being grounded, alive, authentic, uninhibited. In facing each other, in pairs, we reached a place of intimacy where masks could drop and many people in the workshop felt a natural urge to tell each other “I love you.”

Teaching yoga since 1999 in the USA and internationally, SiriOm, seems to be on a mission to help people know their true selves. “So often in life we are given mirrors – in the beginning they come as our parents, telling us how we should be. But our parents are just a springboard, as adults we need to evolve into our own selves, ” says SiriOm.

Though SiriOm knows it takes courage to be who we really are, sound is what he believes can help us to know ourselves. “We all have our own vibration. Our task is to learn how to listen to that vibration.” Even a simple hum, which vibrates vital structures in the brain, can bring us to a neutral place where conflict and angst disappear.

 

Once we connect to our authentic self, which SiriOm says, lives just below the navel, we automatically connect to our curious, playful, uninhibited ‘child within.’ Discovering the child within his adult body, was the key spiritual defining moment for SiriOm, “to surrender myself…to let love come in and love go out.”

And it was like children that we clapped, sang and revealed how we were feeling in the workshop. At one point, drowned in the sound of thirty people chanting, I really let go – ‘aahing’ and ‘eehing’ with all my vocal power.

And how did I feel? Totally connected to the moment, without a mindfull of thoughts and intimately connected  to my partner in the group and the group itself.

Feeling the support of others is important to SiriOm’s work and it is exemplified in the kirtan evenings that he leads.

Kirtan, traditionally used in India, is the art of devotional chanting. The leader chants a phrase and the audience repeats it. It is a meditation with music and the mantras used elevate, even transform the singers. At our workshop we chanted Sat Nam (which means Truth is in Your Name) to increase self esteem and we sang these words from Yogi Bhajan:

Travel the light
Spread the light
Be the light
Live light.

Any mantra, chant or prayer is a way to communicate with God, the Beloved, so says SiriOm. His favourite mantra is Wahe Guru Wahe Jio which means ‘Great beyond description are the blessings of his name.’

After the workshop, I asked SiriOm if he could have one wish what would it be and this is what he said; “For there to be peace on earth in every crook and cranny – in every rock, tree, flower, man, woman, child and beast. That each one of us may be beings of light, hugging heart to heart.”

For more information about SiriOm’s workshops and devotional events, visit http://www.bhaktihouse.org/ or email him or his wife, Ayala Shimelman, at onespiritliving@earthlink.net

Travel The Light is SiriOm’s inspiring new CD of heartfelt mantras which I recommend.

Essence Of Life online magazine, June 2007 http://www.eolife.org/article.php?aid=c7b17482dcf13a9a6b5701746357b131