Seeing The Beauty Within At Sat Nam Fest
The Power of a Daily Practice Creates a New Level of Energy
By Julie Fustanio Kling
When I first came to Sat Nam Fest three years ago, I was skeptical and insecure. What is this Kundalini movement where everyone contorts their bodies for extended periods of time, often until they are laughing or crying out loud?
I was always drawn to the music and have found mantra soothing, so I just hummed along to the sound current and went inward. Looking within was hard. I was the one crying, berating myself. I was the one who needed to be held by the community.
“Keep up,” said Krishna Kaur after 11 minutes of vigorous cat/cow stretches on our hands and knees. “We have healing to do in our presence. Make sure every limb and every organ can do that.” She explained that if we can stay in the precious seconds of the present and be meaningful, our presence exudes loving and healing energy.
Whenever I came home from Sat Nam Fest, I felt uplifted for awhile, I ate healthier and I spread the love that I received. Until I didn’t.
As life swept me out of the Kundalini sound current and back into its frenetic pace, I avoided conflict, felt scared and questioned myself again. I forgot what Guru Singh told us: “Suffering is the acknowledgement that you exist. But Energy is infinite, everywhere, always.” When you bow in meditation, he says, you activate the hormones and peptides of faith. “Your guidance is there, you just need to rejuvenate the connection...when you breathe, you believe.”
This year, after cultivating a daily meditation practice, my breath came easier at Sat Nam Fest. The long “Saaaaaat Nammmm” (simple translation: Truth is my Identity) that we chanted at the beginning and end of class was easier to hold.
I got a little uncomfortable when Yogi Amandeep Singh told us to laugh (hahaha - the same sound we make when we laugh and cry) while bowing forward in rock pose. But instead of looking around the room and feeling insecure, I let go. “When you let go of the one who wants to know, suddenly you are here,” he says.
I was perturbed with the breathing in Jai Dev Singh’s class and then I felt blissful. He said that when you consistently use your breath to stabilize the energy in your heart, the bliss you feel shifts into energy.
“If you don’t express yourself you will punish yourself with guilt,” he said. “The energy you feel now pales in comparison to the energy that comes from a daily practice.”
I found myself more open to conversation with people and I met new friends, friends who are on the same path as me. Friends who I will keep in touch with and look forward to seeing again next year. Instead of just being on the receiving end, I was able to give my new friends advice because I have cultivated more love for myself through my daily practice.
“Loving yourself when you aren’t in your highest place takes the electricity out of guilt and shame,” Jai Dev said.
This year at Sat Nam Fest, I heard Tommy Rosen say the practice is what stops the inner conflict; I heard his wife, Kia Miller, say “We are never going to have everything we think we need to begin. Let’s just do it. We need to step into leadership in our lives.”
This year, I was the one squeezing the crying girls hand when we all came together with our heads facing the inside of the circle at the end of one of my favorite parts of Sat Nam Fest - Wah Khalsa’s Kundalini dance class.
Wah said when we are on our deathbeds we are not going to be thinking about the things we’ve collected. We will be thinking about what we gave back and how we showed up in our relationships, especially our relationship to ourselves. “Work is worship,” she said, echoing many wise voices that came before her. And worship takes work.
To learn more about Sat Nam Fest visit: satnamfest.com.