Something within the music of Snatam Kaur captured my heart the very first time I heard her sing. The lilting melodies and angelic chanting lifted my soul to reverie and God-bliss, leaving me wanting to know more about the young white woman in a turban who was able to move me so.
Questions crossed my mind…why was this blue-eyed woman wearing a turban? The pin she wore at her forehead with swords and a crescent…what did it mean? How could one so young, emanate so much of God’s love, causing me to feel so full of peace? I bought all of Snatam’s CD’s and listened deeply…and listened and listened, and am still listening. Through this listening, something profound within me has moved, calling me to rise and lift myself like she has. I didn’t know what she had done to bring herself to that kind of peace and bliss, but I was most certainly going to find out!
Reading all of the liner notes on Snatam’s CD’s, and going through her website, I came to understand that she had chosen a Sikh way of life. My very naive ideas and limited knowledge of that religion had not included people of European decent. Reading more, I found out that there were many like Snatam in this country and around the world. Who were they? Why would they choose what was to me, such a mysterious way of life and why would they be so bold and daring as to wear all white and turbans on a daily basis?
My nine year-old daughter and I attended a kirtan concert in Seattle with Snatam Kaur and GuruGanesha Singh. The experience was so powerful that even my daughter was profoundly moved. Something in the music…in Snatam’s presence and voice…and in the words she sang in Punjabi and Sanskrit, renewed something deep within me…a very old and intense longing for the kind of real connection with and experience of God, alongside others who were also reaching for the same thing.
Growing up, I thought that religion was something you did on Sundays for an hour, even though I felt the presence of God and the intense longing for connection in my heart every day. Learning about Sikhism at this point in my life, I find that one of the most striking things capturing my intrigue, is that the religion is their way of life…a choice to live and express the awareness of God twenty four hours a day, every day of the week, for the entirety of one’s life…at work, at home, at play. It is a commitment of oneself to God…a sacrifice of the self for the opportunity to connect ones soul with the Infinite…a deep and true conviction of the heart. This kind of commitment and conviction has always been missing for me in my religious life, and is been something I’m learning to grow into.
I’ve spent a lifetime studying the words of the great Masters, teachers, and Holy Scriptures from around the world. I am no expert on any of them, but in every one of them I find common threads of truth that weave together to form one great Truth…that there is a Divine Infinite and that the identity of this Infinite is only Love. I’ve found that this Love is consistent and certain, true in the beginning, throughout all time, true now, and forever will be true…in all things, in all ways, at all times.
This has been my knowing ever since I can remember.
I look forward to learning more, integrating more, marinating in more, and be-coming in God…more and more and more.
“Breathe my love, breathe my love, breathe in the quiet center…”
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