Sat Nam Dear Family,
“Can you please get out of your own way.” We were walking around the ranch on a rather crisp late morning in April in 1991. It was our beloved teacher’s habit and pleasure to walk and view his estate. It felt as if I were walking with a king and he was inspecting the grounds of his castle. It felt like that because that’s what he experienced. I loved living in his world.
Hearing his words of truth, I knew exactly what he meant. His statement needed no further interpretation. But, when he said it, it reverberated within me and made a big impact. I was currently involved in a business deal which required sensitive negotiations. He rarely bothered with business issues of mine. He left that up to me. He often helped on the human resource side of things but the rest was left up to me.
Negotiations in this deal was proceeding painfully. We were a long way from a deal acceptable to both sides. I didn’t realize it at the time, but I wanted to get even with this guy I was negotiating with. He had betrayed me so badly that I could never give him what he deserved during our discussions. I wanted to recapture what he had cost me. That’s not the way to negotiate. My attitude was, whatever this guy gets, he doesn’t deserve it. Vengeance was getting in the way of making a deal. I wanted revenge and that’s not how a successful negotiation is finalized.
As obvious as it should have been, I couldn’t see this impediment. I was stuck. And, as usual, I hadn’t discussed this situation with the Siri Singh Sahib. I thought it would work itself out, but it hadn’t. And now with his ‘morning walk words of wisdom’ he was showing me that he knew what was happening when I didn’t. How did he know? And, how did he know just what to say? Well, that’s why he’s the Siri Singh Sahib. He served his title with honor. That’s how he was blessed to know everything he needed to know.
It appeared to everyone else that his statement was in reference to something completely different. That didn’t matter to me. That’s how he often acted. He would use any excuse to say what he wanted. I was used to it. I was trained to look for another reference if the first one didn’t make sense. In this case, it was pretty obvious.
I didn’t need to reflect for long, I knew right away that he meant for me to drop the vengeance. See how a deal can be struck in neutrality. Of course, he was right again. How lucky we all are to have a true teacher who continually speaks words of truth. I am Infinitely grateful for it. Our job is to constantly be blessed to have the understanding to hear them!
I’m not saying that it’s easy to get out of your own way, At least it wasn’t for me. Especially when emotions and feeling are involved. It’s not easy, but it’s necessary in order to do what’s best, if that’s your goal. He taught me that if I want to do what’s best, I must get out of my own way. I must allow something greater to blow ME away. It’s an affront, a challenge, to your very core - your security! I was blessed to understand the sequence.
Anger, jealousy, fear, frustration and hate are insecurities which must be moved aside. Then there are your concepts of faith and reality and happiness….they also must be suspended. Everything you believed in is out of your hands and up to God’s judgement as to whether you can recapture a portion of your habits, or not. Otherwise, they block God’s flow of the true way.
Insecurities create doubt, and doubt creates karma. It’s very definable. ‘Round and round we go, spinning like a wheel.’ That last line was written by a creative and talented member of our sangat many years ago.
The point is, getting out of your own way may come in many shades of success, nevertheless, when you defeat each insecurity in yourself, making the right decision is no longer a problem. What a relief that is. The confidence to make the right decision even if it appears temporally wrong, creates a life of contentment.
If you’re willing to pay the price of humility, any and all of these insecurities can be managed. So, I made humility a game as if it were something I needed to move to the next level. It didn’t matter whether or not I liked it, I needed humility to move on and that was more important than anything. I practiced humility. Let me say this about humility. Giving up one’s ego over and over again is a hard thing to give up, but, when it’s given up, the experience of freedom is so overwhelming that you wonder why you were so stupid for so long. But, as I heard one time, “Stupid is as stupid does,” another reference, this time from a movie.
And, here’s the further beauty in his teaching. His statement was also the key as to how to use humility in order to ‘get out of my own way,’ There needs to be a replacement. Otherwise, without direction it’s too big a risk to take. Where will you end up?
His teachings were filled with references focused on the highest goals, the highest standards, the highest protocol. Please study them. You’ll see what I mean. And, that’s what you really want as a student, otherwise, you’ll be settling for less. Why bother? At least that’s my attitude. I know plenty of others bother, but I won’t allow myself or this dharma a view which has the potential to deflect focus away from our teachings. So I’ve moved myself out of my way.
I’ve replaced ME with the Guru’s teachings. That has make the transition out of my own way the blessing of blessings. When you step outside of you, and into the identity of the Guru, life becomes really worth living. Otherwise, hassle and hassle continue - perpetually! Practice Kundalini yoga forever; find where the teachings lead; follow that lead; trust that lead; surrender to that lead; serve that lead; love that lead; merge into that lead. This is Sikh Dharma at it’s core. ‘God and me, me and God are one.’ Stay tuned,
In the Humility of Service and Gratitude,
MSS Hari Jiwan Singh Khalsa
Chief of Protocol