This past weekend I attended Sat Nam Fest, a Kundalini Yoga festival in the California desert. Chanting mantra is a fundamental component of Kundalini Yoga and after almost four years of regular practice, I’m just beginning to scratch the surface of what these beautiful mantras mean. Most of them are in Gurmukhi, the ancient language of the Sikh religion of India (as opposed to Sanskrit, the language of the Hindu tradition, which is used in most other yogic practices according to this article).
On Saturday the last yoga class of the day was with Guru Singh, who had us all laughing and crying as we listened, chanted and sweated in the desert heat. During Shine I invite participants to try on the phrase, “I forgive myself” as they move through their day. Guru Singh had us chant “I forgive you” and guided us to direct it toward our parents, our ancestors, our children and their children, to anyone who had ever hurt us, to ourselves. He warned us that we would continue for longer than we might like but that point of discomfort would take us from simply saying the words to feeling them in our hearts.
It was beautiful, painful, uncomfortable and heart-opening.
We had our hands over our heads for much of our time chanting, which adds another dimension to the discomfort and ultimate release. You don’t have to do that (unless you want to of course), but I do invite you to play with “I forgive you” this week. You can whisper it under your breath to people as you go about your day. You might choose to say it silently to everyone in your life while you interact with them this week. Or you could sit for five, ten or twenty minutes and chant it out loud to see where it takes you.
If this mantra feels hard, or terrifying, or just plain awful, then pick one that feels good to you. “I forgive you” will be here when you’re ready for it.
Sending you love and a reminder that you are beautiful and you are enough, just as you are.