I invitied Kathe Forrest/Siri Kirn to submit a Guest Blog introducing her new book, Keep the Change, Simple Practices for Lasting Transformation Using Yoga, Meditation and Journaling, as it relates to us who are challenged with a chronic and critical illness. Thank you for introducing us to this yogic tool, Kathe:
“One part of sadhana (daily spiritual practice) should stay constant long enough for you to master, or at least experience, the changes evoked by a single technique. Each kriya and mantra has its individual effects, although they all elevate you toward a cosmic consciousness. Learn to value the pricelessness of one kriya, and all others will be understood in a clearer light.” -Yogi Bhajan, from The Aquarian Teacher
Throughout time and space, the number 40 has proven to be a key to initiate and maintain transformation. It’s also been a formula to help a person be able to withstand trauma and upheavals and gather strength for all that life throws at them.
The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort and convenience, but where he stands at times of challenge and controversy. -Martin Luther King, Jr
In the book, Keep the Change, Simple Practices for Lasting Transformation Using Yoga, Meditation and Journaling, there are several examples of peoples’ experiences with a 40 or 90 day sadhana – or longer! Their spiritual journeys include themes such as understanding the male/female balance in relationship or opening up your prosperity or how to overcome health issues, i.e. chronic and critical illness.
Keep the Change explains the how, when and why to “keep up” your yoga and meditation practice, and also details the process of journaling through the course of the commitment.
Keeping a record of your experience – be it your accomplishment, feelings that surface, barriers or blocks, joy, bliss, etc. – is another technique to unlock the mind and nurture self-awareness.
“Sometimes you ask, Which meditation will work out? Every meditation will work out! ” ~ Yogi Bhajan
Each and every one of us has a genetic code, a pattern that makes us unique, and because of that distinction, there are a myriad of ways to perform and relish the 40-day sadhana. Some of us may choose 31 minutes of chanting or a 3-minute pranayama (breath awareness exercise). Another idea to practice for an extended time is to not say a negative word about or to anyone.
Along with other people’s testimonials in the book, Guruatma shared her experiences of applying the yogic tool of a 40-day sadhana to her recuperative process after a life-threatening disease took her down for more than a decade:
On performing a 40-day sadhana while recuperating from a grave illness as shared by Guruatma:
After an extended period of low-dosage chemotherapy (5 yrs), high-dosage prednisone (11 yrs) and taking many (about 20) other Px drugs, my nervous system was shot – I WAS A WRECK and felt like a walking, open wound still fighting on the war front. Even though I thought I was insane to do it, because I knew I would definitely suffer to even TRY, I committed to 40 days of the 3HO Kriya to Balance and Recharge the Nervous and Immune System. It’s very hard for me to hold to the discipline of 40 days as discipline and balance are life-long issues for me. My experience of this yoga and meditation kriya was that it cooled me down and definitely put me back together again – that’s why I named it “Humpty Dumpty Kriya”.
It was super-challenging to hold my arms up, so I started with 3 and worked my way up to 11 minutes. The end of the exercise is where you have to work the hardest; over time, I could feel things adjusting and coming into balance in my systems. This was no magic trick – I had to kick-butt and somehow, the ‘umph’ that I needed to do the exercises was provided therein.
It promises to slowly and steadily build a very strong steel-like stamina in you, and that is exactly what it delivered. I extended the 40 days many times, until I felt I could afford to stop doing it. It safely brought me back into life. I really don’t know what else on earth could have pulled off that miracle, and I am forever grateful for the gift of that particular yogic tool. It brought me back into life, and this is now what I coach about – what you Can Do!
Another meditation that proved to be very powerful in my life was called Deep Memory of a Past Projection from book, The Mind – Its Projections and Multiple Facets by Yogi Bhajan PhD with Gurucharan Singh S Khalsa, PhD. So, here I was, brought back to life to find myself PROFOUNDLY DEAF! and no longer able to listen to music, with numb feet (peripheral neuropathy) and all kinds of other unbelievable-to-me, life-altering conditions on my plate. WHO WAS I??? if I could not be the singer and the runner and the everything-else-that-I used-to-be? All my energy was totally sucked into that irresistible memory of my past identity. Just like the book says, I was “tempted, hypnotized and distracted” by my attachment. So… whatever is removed from your life (i.e. husband, job, hearing, etc.) and you need to know who you are now, what your focus is now – this meditation will help the past elements and past projections drop.
It was a terrible time in my life; I felt totally disoriented, desperate, depressed and REALLY MAD! I was alive but jet-lagged from life as I knew it. I seriously questioned why I was alive, and I demanded God to SHOW ME! what could possibly be the justification for hanging out on earth any longer in this condition. This meditation felt SOOOO SOOTHING to me; it has a breath pattern that I just loved doing! Thanks to repeating this meditation for many 40-day cycles, I was able to pick up and walk forward – it did the trick and I was able to drop the past, much to my surprise.
Its effects linger, even after all these years – it lives and breathes with me. Because I am late-deafened and have a memory bank of 43 years of normal hearing, when I wake up in the morning, my consciousness automatically downloads and presents to me the memory of being a hearing person, but I soon find out that I’m still deaf.
This meditation is my forever-anchor – it provides me with a yogic tool that is always ‘under my belt’. It helps me absorb that shock of waking-up so that I am able to move right into coaching myself, “This is who you are, today, Guruatma; you can do this – ‘keep up’ and focus on the gratitudes!”
My soul’s purposeful fulfillment depends on finding this platform to perch on; it keeps me in the reality, and I get to forever practice not relating to anything that limits me.
Thank you for the opportunity to share this precious and powerful technology, Siri Kirin.
Kathe Forrest/Siri Kirin is featured on the 3HO website this month in a short podcast –
Submitted and written by: Siri Kirin/Kathe Forrest, Certified Hatha and Kundalini Yoga Teacher, Author of Keep the Change, Simple Practices for Lasting Transformation, & CNC (certified nutritional counselor), MH (Master Herbalist) Nutritionconsults.weebly.com
Featured Image: Kathe Forrest/Siri Kirin and Guruatma – December, 2013
Guruatma serves as a mentor for those who suffer from chronic or critical illness, as well as their family members. To inquire about or schedule a one-on-one session, click here: http://yogic-tools.com/services/contact-us/.
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