Friday, November 27, 2009

She Sikhs

I am fascinated with Hinduism and Sikhism [pronounced Seek-ism] because both faith practices are based on meditation as the tenants of their beliefs. Meditation is an important health practice as my health coach has always told me.

Per my last post Rekah told me about a Sikh temple closer to my home where I could continue my meditation education without having to travel an hour away to the most popular Vedic temple in Los Angeles.

Today I drove by the temple to pick up a schedule of meditation classes/worship services.  After I grabbed a few flyers, I was asked, by the nicest man, named Singh, to fill out a contact sheet so I could be placed in the database in order to keep informed of the events.  And then I was asked if I liked Chai tea and Indian food and was invited to stay for a meal.  True to form, not being able to resist delicious smelling food, I stayed.  I was hungry and didn't want to be rude.  The aroma was in the air throughout the temple.  Singh carried my plate to a table where three other men where already eating.  These men were very accommodating, asking me if I needed anything more.  My lentils were extremely spicy and tasty.  I needed more bread called Paratha to cut the potency of the chillies.  Ching was kind enough to bring more Paratha/bread.  The Chai was homemade on the premises and the chai flavor was overpowered with the flavor of cinnamon without being sweet.

Here is an easy recipe for Paratha/bread.

For my entire visit, I was treated wonderfully by 5 strangers who welcomed me and my many questions with open arms in that Aunt Bessy from the South kind of way.  'Child please sit on down and let me fix you something to eat!'

Other than Singh and Ching, the other men did not really speak English, so we broke bread with smiles and nods.  The other men were much older with white whiskers and facial wrinkles filled with the character of 40 years of journeys.  I restrained myself from hugging all of them, graciously bowed out of the dining area thanking them all for their hospitality, collected my shoes and continued my afternoon.

If I would have displayed too much affection I believe I would have been perceived as someone who is not used to kindness.  Plus their culture is to embrace everyone on the planet as God's children.  Sikhism advocates the pursuit of salvation through disciplined, personal meditation on the name and message of God.

Sikhism is also similar to Christianity in that there is a Holy Trinity:

  • Naam Japna: – A Sikh is to engage in a daily practice of meditation... by reciting and chanting of God’s Name.
  • Christian comparison - read the bible daily.  Study to show yourself approved.  Meditate on His word day and night.
  • Kirat Karni: - To live honestly and earn by ones physical and mental effort while accepting God's gifts and blessings. A Sikh has to live as a householder carrying out his or her duties and responsibilities to the full.
  • Christian comparison - abide by the ten commandments.
  • Vand Chakna: - The Sikhs are asked to share their wealth within the community and outside by giving Dasvand and practising charity (Daan). To “Share and consume together”.
  • Christian comparison - tithe your time and money to where you are being spiritually educated.  Your church home.  Help the needy.

The Sikh Gurus tell us that our mind and spirit are constantly being attacked by the Five Evils – Kam (Lust), Krodh (Rage), Lobh(Greed), Moh (Attachment) and Ahankar (Ego). A Sikh needs to constantly attack and overcome these five vices.  

The Mul Mantra: [pronounced mool]

  • there is one god
  • whose name is truth
  • god is the creator
  • and is without hate
  • god is timeless
  • god's spirit is throughout the universe
  • god is not born
  • nor will die to be born again
  • god is self-existent
  • by the grace of the gurus
  • god is made known to mankind.
The Sikh Gurus taught the Sikhs to develop and harness positive human qualities which lead the soul closer to God and away from evil. These are: Sat (Truth); Daya (Compassion); Santokh (Contentment); Nimrata (Humility); and Pyare (Love).

Because I could not have said it better myself, to quote Lance Steinhibel a freelance writer for Enoch Magazine,
"If Christians believe in love, then we have to love everyone, even those who believe in different gods. Because honestly, why would anyone want to hear about our God and beliefs, if we don’t even care enough to care about theirs?
Every response was some variation of, “other religions are wrong, so why should we have to coexist with them?” They were missing the point of it all, and it drove me crazy. They missed everything about loving one another as yourself, kindness, and understanding. I’m not saying every religion is right, but what I am saying is that if you ever want the opportunity to share with someone the love of Jesus, you must be first be open to hear what they believe in and what matters to them. Look at the life of Paul in the New Testament; he knew exactly what all the other religions were doing in that time, and what they believed. It’s not about who is right, and who is wrong. It’s about showing people love and respect for what they believe in and what they are passionate about. That doesn’t mean you have to agree with them, just respect them."

Coexist bumper sticker uses religious symbols to promote tolerance.
I don't have to agree with anyone else because I have chosen to believe what I believe for my own life.  But with the loving spirit of Christ, I must show love and respect.  Maybe even friendship.  How 'bout that?

Peace out until next time.
AYP1501039 - Fingers in a peace sign


  1. Hi Dale,

    First of all - LOVE the new blog header. You're quite beautiful.

    I was totally engaged in the text of this post. Until you changed the color of the font (just before and after 'coexist')and I couldn't read that part at all. Remember, I sit near, not at my computer display, but it's 22 inches.

    I truly believe that your posts on this blog don't need to be fancied up with colored text. They TOTALLY speak for themselves. Let me know if you change the font color so I can come back and read the part I missed.

    Even where 'COMMENTS' and 'POST A COMMENT' are, it's hard (although not impossible) to read.

  2. Easy to read now. So much better! Now we can focus on what the words say...and they say so much!

  3. Beautiful, Dale. God has no fences. We are like the spokes of a wheel. We may be coming from different angles, but we are all heading in the same direction,to the center. There is truth in every faith. There is a big difference between religion and spirituality. I don't believe that rules are necessary. LOVE is the answer to everything.

    Wonderful idea for a website!

  4. I learned a lot from this post. And I do love the picture of you in the header!


Be authentic