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The Director of Training - Videos and Messages



KRI presents The Director of Training. In an intimate format, Gurucharan Singh guides you through short meditations and illuminating discussions around the mind, the heart, and the life of a yogi. Join him today—learn something new, experience your Self, and delight in the truth.






Becoming a Teacher



Meditation for Vitality & Stress


DOT Message Dec 21, 2007


Meditation for Stress




What is Kundalini Yoga




What are the benefits of practicing

Kundalini Yoga



Why is Kundalini Yoga different









Thanksgiving Yoga

Thanksgiving in the United States is the last Thursday of November. It has become a national, and even international symbol, of the possibility of peace and connection across our many differences. A witness to the kindness that necessity wrought, it created a yoga, a merging of polarities into a moment of union.

It is a good historical example for us all. The peace attained for that initial 3-day feast was brought about in part by leadership—John Weymouth and Squanto most notably—circumstance and the long traditions held by Native peoples to extend a hand to those in need. We can only imagine how awkward that could have been. The Wampanoaq Indians gave thanks, with a feast, five times a year to create community, bridge their differences and pray to the Great Spirit. You could say that the first thanksgiving had to have been tens of thousands of years earlier on this land. The Thanksgiving of 1621 captured the imagination of the United States near the end of the 1800’s as it struggled to create unity among its diverse immigrant populations; now we take this same opportunity to come together to meditate and celebrate all our many blessings.

To me, Thanksgiving is an act of yoga. Bringing together the polarities of our personalities and beliefs, for a time we become pragmatic and real with each other. We invite our shadow in; we don’t do battle with it. We recognize our polarity as our Self and we embrace it. When we do this, we create yoga; a stillness comes to the ego and the “diagonal path forward” becomes clear. These are the skills we learn in the Conscious Communication course. This union of the polarities, this acceptance of the shadow is an incredibly difficult thing for people to do without a deep practice of consciousness and self-awareness, or powerful cultural ceremonies that create the possibility and space for it.

Ideally, we each create a thanksgiving each day in our sadhana. We sit with our infinite self and parade the polarities of our mind and emotions before us. We invite them all in, redirect them, and elevate our being. Ideally this practice stays with us throughout the day, with and every thought. Every thought is an energy. Every thought creates a world. Every thought comes with shadows and facets. Being present, alert and aware within the polarities is the bounty of the thanksgiving table.

Challenges are always there. In1621, the pilgrims were used to smaller families and unfamiliar with the Indian custom to gather in large families for communal meals. When I lived in New Mexico I was always impressed by the openness and size of Native gatherings for thanks giving throughout the year. The pilgrims were overwhelmed by the number of families that came to share food and celebrate. They did not have enough food. The tribal leaders immediately recognized the miscalculation and sent members to bring all the extra food needed. So the thanksgiving feast was brought mostly by the Indians. And the problems that arose in the creation of that neutral moment were immediately solved. That flow often accompanies the challenges when we are in the space of the neutral mind and the open heart. Every day solutions are at hand, and we can find them if we are not fearful; we attract them if we are positive and can act on them if we are neutral. Such moments are often brief.

In the case of the 1621 Thanksgiving gathering, the peace rapidly devolved into fighting after a few short weeks. The new pilgrims believed that they did not need the help, the farming expertise or the generosity of the Indians, so they began to eliminate them. Smallpox killed a huge number of the natives; and in 1623 the pilgrim churches prayed in thanks that God had wiped out all the native women and children and affirmed their right to teach the true way and to prepare for the imminent apocalypse. This ideological fervor opposes the neutral mind and its capacity for refined thought and reason, and drives emotionalism and acts of violence. The pragmatic realism and acceptance that accompanied that original Thanksgiving feast slipped into the ideological fanaticism of some of the pilgrims. Within a generation, fighting led to the King Phillips War that eliminated almost all the native tribes in New England. Many were taken as slaves, and it was that initial slave trade that spurred the economic expansion of the slave trade we are most familiar with—between West Africa and the United States.

Squanto, who helped the settlers and risked his status to work with Weymouth, was taken into slavery and transported to the Caribbean. A merchant recognized his special training and got him to Spain. From there he went to England. His old friend discovered the situation and arranged for his passage back to New England.

Beyond our current Thanksgiving traditions, another legacy that emerged from the confluence of the two cultures: our constitution. About 150 years later, Benjamin Franklin invited the Iroquois from that area to Albany, New York, to explain their system of governance. From that conversation, a model was formed called the “Albany Plan of Union”, which was part of the inspiration for the articles of confederation and ultimately the constitution of the United States. The virtues found in the “other”, the apparent “shadow”, the “polarity” are unpredictable and frequently crucial to future possibilities.

There will always be great turbulence caused by the polarities of kindness and insensitivity; just as there will always be opportunities to act with excellence, integrity and courage; to be kind when kindness cannot be; to be compassionate when compassion is impossible; to be conscious, a source of light and miracles.

It is that moment of choice, that clarity of mind, and that courage of heart that Kundalini Yoga prepares us for. It is that thanksgiving, in our actions and in our hearts, that we celebrate this month and that we cultivate together.

Here is one of my favorite meditations to enhance this thanksgiving through yoga:

July 29, 1975
Special Class

Part One
Posture: Sit with a straight spine.

Mudra: Bring the right hand, palm down, in front of the Heart Center (not touching the chest). The right hand and forearm are parallel to ground. The left hand comes between the right hand and the chest, resting palm down on the back of the right hand; the fingers point away from the chest. Bend the left wrist toward 90 degrees; to create this mudra, the left elbow is tucked closely to the side of the body.

Breath: Long Deep Breathing

To End: Stretch the arms up, totally stretching for a few long deep breaths.

Time: 11-31 Minutes

Part Two
Posture: Sit in a comfortable, meditative posture.

Mantra: Chant the Siri Mantra 2 times on each breath (about 4-5 repetitions per minute). Accent is on each “Ek” and “Sat”:

Ek Ong Kar Sat Gurprasad Sat Gurprasad Ek Ong Kar
Ek Ong Kar Sat Gurprasad Sat Gurprasad Ek Ong Kar

Time: 11-31 Minutes

Happy thanksgiving!

Gurucharan Singh Khalsa, PhD

Director of Training

Kundalini Research Institute






More Messages from the DOT

Becoming A Teacher:

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Kundalini Rising:

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The Power of Immersion:

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Three Things I Learned in My First Kundalini Yoga Class:

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Stress: Know the Signs:

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The Adi Shakti Mantra and the Meaning of Sadhana:

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Stress Meditation:

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Behavior and Impulse:

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Our Cycle of Growth and Opportunity for 2007:

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© 2009 The Teachings of Yogi Bhajan