An interview with Shiv Charan Singh

August 31st, 2020 led by Anna Maria Bosky
Listen to the whole interview HERE

Edited Transcript below by Paramjeet Singh (February 7, 2023)


Who are You?

Who I am is a tricky question. I am who I am. I feel like I’m the same person that I was when I was born and all through my life and now and will continue to be. I say person, I mean the same being. If I think back to any occasion, 5 years old, sitting in the house, looking around me, what I feel in me in the consciousness of my environment – people, setting – has always be the same, all the way through. That is one thing – who I am. 

But you might want more details. It’s not a mystery. What was my life before yoga? Basically I was homeless, living on the streets of Amsterdam and pretty close to death. And I had an experience, not easy to describe, that made it clear that there was still a life to live and service to do. And when I agreed within myself to that then I came to a vegetarian restaurant run by kundalini yogi sikhs. They might not call themselves that. I started to work in the restaurant and get familiar with yoga, mantras, kirtan, Sikh Dharma. That’s who I was before yoga. Certainly life for me at that point was not very motivating. 

I’ve done a lot of research, met different teachers, different teachings. I think I was becoming a bit cynical about life. But anyway, from a very young age, what is beyond life somehow interested me more. So even at 5 years old at a funeral, seeing people crying and having the feeling they’re missing something. And not really finding anyone to talk to about that. By the time I was in my late teens I read and studied a lot, I stayed in some monasteries, Buddhist monasteries, investigated what’s going on because not everybody is telling or they don’t want to know or they don’t want to talk about it. So I decided that what is beyond life is more interesting than life itself. And I had several experiences, out-of-body experiences, serious accidents, seeing my life passing before me. My experience very clearly indicated to me that I was more than this life. Which leads on to the topic of reincarnation. 

Not really finding much clue or sense of all this life, I decided to personally investigate the other side and to do that not by a rapid jump off a bridge kind of moment but slowly slowly. So I stopped eating for about 90 days and went through many different steps. And who can say if I went the whole distance or not? But what I would say is that I did have the feeling that I got the contact to the Light that is in everyone and behind everything and that made sense. And nothing else made sense. And in that moment I wasn’t even knowing if I was alive or dead. I simply said to myself: If I return to the world from this place then it’s to serve this awareness of this Light in everything and everyone. 


There is Something Beyond Life

[My other near death experiences] confirmed that there is something beyond the life we live. And that’s the basic point really. Having out-of-body experience during surgery, looking down on my body… very clear that I’m not just this body. I am not even this body. I am a being that inhabits this body. So that was very evident to me. That was when I was 17. I had a Kundalini rising experience when I was around the same age which nobody could explain to me. I had the feeling inside of me whatever you do don’t talk to a doctor about this. I had a serious car accident – all in slow motion – seeing the life movie. This was before I investigated it. And after that reading near death accounts of people they are all describing something similar. 

Even when I was 10 years old maybe I remember I was going out into the wood near the farm where we lived back in Scotland. We went to collect wood for the winter. I had this axe in my hand and then suddenly the whole panorama in front of me changed. And I was in a battle field. And there was people screaming, and heads rolling on the floor and there was blood… it was the chaos of a battle. Then I came out of that and I looked around, brother was there, sister was there, father was there – nobody else seems to have noticed anything. So again I didn’t talk to anybody about it – their going to think I am crazy. My life is full of such moments that tell me there is something else. 


We are living in a curtain, in a veil. And there some things way way beyond that we hardly can perceive. I understand generally for most people’s normal functional life that veil actually serves. If everybody could really see for a lot of people it would be too shocking or freaky or confusing. People would become very dysfunctional. So I understand there is a value or purpose in that veil. At the same time living life without any sense of what is beyond what we normally see and perceive is a very shallow and narrow life. That’s what I was feeling. This life doesn’t make sense unless it’s in consideration of something far bigger which I can say more easily now. But at that time I couldn’t find the sense of it. Given my experience I want to know what is beyond. Everything we perceive here in temporary. This body is temporary. Every object we have, every house we build, it’s all temporary. People call it illusion. I don’t agree with that idea that all this is an illusion because it’s temporary. The illusion is to think that it’s permanent. 

It is what it is. It’s an insult to the creator to say the creation is an illusion. But the creation is only the creation. And we perceive the tip of the iceberg. Then the danger of people getting into spirituality and meditate and all kind of things they get fascinated by some of the phenomena. Because the veil has many layers. They get fascinated a lot… like astral travelling, lucid dreaming, reading auras and all these kind of things. There is so many levels to that. Actually all of that is just temporary phenomena. When you die you don’t take your aura with you. So to give it any more importance than the physical body doesn’t mean much to me. It’s all part of the temporary domain. As easily as you can get lost and fascinated in the shopping mall of the every day life you can easily get lost in the spiritual circus of the first levels of what is beyond this life. 


Breaking out of the Cocoon

When we build up our projection of what is life all about, our belief, then our practical life becomes a reflection of that. And even if it has good intention… I was recently talking to someone who was healing and he had this moment of complete disillusionment. And it’s not wrong that he had, he’s very compassionate, very heartful person. So that motivated him to study and become a healer. But he had the fantasy also that he is the healer. What we might call saviour-complex. How much are we the doer and how much are we governed by forces that we don’t see. It’s not that we don’t have some free will but nobody knows the percentage that’s really yours of the free free free will. It’s extremely rare probably. If it even exists. We’re governed by media, we’re governed by history, we’re governed by karmic patterns, we’re governed by what’s written on the akashic records, we’re governed by planets, astro-forces, spirits and demons that are hovering around everybody… it can make a long list of forces that are actually governing everything we do and everything we think and everything we say. But we are not aware of that. So we live in the illusion that we are in control. And it’s a very hypnotic and convincing illusion. Even this idea of „if you believe it you can produce it. 

You can manifest whatever you want to manifest.“ It’s a big lie. How many people have sat there and meditated upon what they want to manifest – year after year – and their not getting it. Somebody writes a book „How to be a millionaire“. So he’s a millionaire. But how many people who read the book actually became a millionaire? There are a lot of illusions around what control we really have. It doesn’t mean we don’t have some input but it’s not easy to get the right measure of what is really ours to do. And what’s the limit of that and how to do what is yours. This delusion comes and the person has been living in a cocoon. I also see that as important. I don’t see that as a problem. Butterfly has to have the cocoon before it becomes a butterfly. Something has to grow strong inside. I’m not out on the street to shatter people’s hypnosis. They probably couldn’t survive without it. There is a stage from the caterpillar to the chrysalis. In many respects I just feel like a witness. That people are where they have to be. In their delusion. 

Somebody came to me. And this was the moment. He was ready to break out. „What I thought it was all about is all falling apart. I don’t feel the motivation anymore.“ Because it was coloured by his idea of what it means to help people. And how much he is the helper. Rather than just a puppet in some way. That’s an exaggeration maybe but to what extent are we just puppets? Do we even know that? There had to be the breakdown of his idea of what life is all about. His sense of meaning and purpose had to be shattered. It’s a very critical moment. Some people can not easily pick up a life again after that. It’s like a midlife crisis in a way. For me it’s like: „Hey, lucky you!“ You’re on the edge to break out of your cocoon. Your going to have to make decisions that are really powerful now and they have to last you for the rest of your life. And you have to re-evaluate and redefine who you are and what the purpose is. It is not what you thought. And who you are in this big picture and the theatre of this world is not who you thought you are.  Are you willing to go there? If you are not you’re talking to the wrong person. Go and have a psychotherapy for the next 10 years or something. I am talking about radical adjustment on every level of your life. And that’s not for everybody. 

But for some people in their midlife challenge this is part of what’s going on. We build up strategies, we build up mechanisms, we build up habits and ways of thinking which are our way to survive. A protection. At a certain moment in your life that protection is a prison. What was holding you safe is now suffocating you. It’s got another layer on it and another layer and another layer. And it’s actually strangling you. Are you ready to break out of that? Is your inner sense of Self strong enough to do that? Because if you break the egg before the chicken is ready it’s not going to survive. If you break the cocoon before…  The butterfly should break it from the inside. So I am having a conversation with somebody about exploring „are you ready to break out?“. I’m not going to do it for you. There has to be some core strength. Something really for people to work with before they try to deal with that external shift there has got to be a building up of sense of Self. Self is independent of all the costumes, of all the drama, all the different roles. You have to get out of that „I am the victim“ or „ I am the controller“ or „I am the rescuer“, „I am the guilty one“, „I am a sinner“, … all these different things we put on ourselves. It’s a gift of the moment, a mutational shift because the butterfly doesn’t look like anything that the caterpillar did. So it’s a mutation of your being and your sense of yourself. 


How Much is Enough?

But in addition to this there is another thing going on. Often inside of depression is not only the lack of meaning but also a kind of melancholy, a kind of sadness. And that sadness has another story in it. We call that the longing of the soul. There is a sense of separation and there is a sense of an emptiness. And one wants to fulfil that in some way. So people use either different ways to medicate, to take away that feeling. Others try desperately to fulfil it and it ends up becoming something very compulsive or addictive. If you try to numb it, it keeps reoccurring. It calls your attention. It’s not meant to be ignored. At the same time if you try to fulfil it from the material plane… how much love is enough for someone? How much food or drink or tobacco or alcohol or anything is enough? It’s actually never enough. Because it contains in it again something that doesn’t belong to this world. It’s like a homesickness, nostalgia, melancholy for what is our true home. Again that’s not easy to deal with. People don’t comfortably find a way to express that, to live that. 

In Kundalini Yoga we have an expression: emotion to devotion. But then people think „religion“. Religion doesn’t have a very good reputation these days. So people are kind of stuck. The world cannot fulfil it and there is a resistance to anything to do with religion or God and dogma and rituals. And then we’re left with nothing. So basically we have a world that constantly tries to offer you new ways of fulfilment, new sensational experiences and workshops, new anything… Whether it’s on the material level – the new lover – „that’s the new person that I love now and who’s the answer to my heart“. And how long does that last? We just go on chasing from one thing to another. And the spiritual market place also does a pretty good job of promising you everything and delivering you very little basically. We just keep moving in more subtle ways but we keep manifesting the same addiction, the same compulsion, the same thirst or hunger. 

One might say „reach out“. That’s why religion has a problem these days because it was too much about „I go out there“. Which doesn’t mean that there is not some cosmic sense of intelligence. The sum of all what is – is beyond. But it’s also somewhere deep inside us. And the times we live in, the way we need to get to that is within. What that could be interpreted as… you know the yin-yang-symbol, the light is in the dark… Within my emptiness is actually a fullness. There is an answer within it itself. The problem is if I just sit in it, in the wrong way, without the right guidance, there is a certain thread that you have to follow to really get to the purity of it otherwise… in Yoga we talk about the central channel, right and left channel. If you go down one side or the other – either hysterical madness comes or suicidal depression is there like a black hole. How to go down? And where to go down to? Into that depth of Self to actually find the light in your being. In most cases we say that needs guidance. Whether that’s a practice, whether that’s the use of mantras, anything like that, or a teacher. It is not easy to find a teacher that will not take advantage nowadays. There is a lot of talk about teachers abusing students and everything. 

The Concave Mirror

I use the expression of the concave mirror. The maya is a convex mirror. When you look at a convex mirror your head is very big, your ego is big and you see all the things around you, all the shopping, all the attractions. And it’s all saying: „Come here, come here. Come out of yourself. Look, bigger, better, more.“ It squeezes you out of your senses. And if I look in a concave mirror, 3 things happen: My head is very small, all the distractions are taken out, they are not available to me. They are cut out of my view. And my body is turned upside down. My head is now where my heart is. A healthy teaching, is something that will have you stop in your tracks and guide you to the you in you. So that you can find that and you don’t go down into the black hole. You don’t go into some hysterical sensation seeking. But you actually find you. But it is not an easy path. And it takes commitment if you really want to go on that journey to Self. It is a journey. 

One might say: who needs a teacher or a guru and teachings… let me just find the way. Many people have tried that and gone very crazy with it. Or nothing happens. We can only say „good luck“ to anybody who just wants to try it on their own. It’s like trying to swim the Atlantic on your own when there is an ocean liner you can get on. Which will provide you everything you need to guide you on your way. That’s also what community is about. Many birds can cross the ocean together. One on your own is not going to be an easy path. It’s not that the answer is on the altar. Not that the answer is in Krishna or Jesus or Buddha or Guru Ram Das or anything. It’s a question of whether they serve you as a mirror to find that consciousness in you. Buddha nature, Christ consciousness, whatever you want to call that. But if you relate to it in that way then it shall serve you to come to that. This is the point. 

It’s a paradox: You are what you are looking for. It’s like holding a torch and looking for the light. And it’s actually you. You have a light in your own eyes when you are searching for the light. How do I turn around and go backwards? And find the source of my own seeking? In most cases when we go seeking we actually lose the very thing we are seeking for. I am losing my own prana. My own light is being lost in the act of seeking. But if I could turn around and go to the source of it: Who is the seeker? Then you have a chance. In most cases this needs guidance.  


How to Build the Sense of Self?

Building is a tricky word. I will come back to that in a moment. There are several approaches. I think the most powerful one to just decide „I am.“ It’s to make that decision. And hold to that. I don’t know yet what I am, who I am, why I am, where I came from, where I am going and so on… this I don’t know. But: „I am.“ I have been, I am and I shall continue to be. Many things have changed and yet there is still „I“. There is a lot of talk about that because there is a very egoistic „I“ which obviously is challenged in different teachings. But I feel it’s a mistake when people go into such a teaching that says: there is no „I“, there is only The One. It’s very naive and maybe it’s not meant like that by the ones who say it. But people hear that and then they get into this „No I“. Give me the keys to your car! What are you asking…? Well, you said there is no „I“, so nothing is yours. I take it if you don’t want to be an I. I am an „I“ and I will take it. It’s just a game to play with. But suddenly you start thinking and say: Hey, wait a minute… I think we’re only seeing half the picture here. There is „I“ and there is „No I“. It’s neither true that there is only „I“ nor is it true that there is no „I“. It’s a kind of paradoxical scenario here. The „I“ that I have believed I am is very delusional. But to then discard the sense of Self is a big mistake. So, can I go with „I am“? 

Some use the mantra „I am that I am“. There is another mantra: „I am, I AM“ in the sense of the small „I am“ and the macrocosmic „I am“. However you want to phrase it can you settle for „I am“? Not qualified „I am this, I am that“ but just „I am“. You may not feel that yet or you may not feel it stable yet or you may not feel that you understand what that means or how to do that. Never mind. Can you accept „ I am“? Can you make a choice that that is the case? And over time is going to become clearer and clearer to you. If you don’t have that, then what do you have? Everything you have is temporary. You see through the temporary so you want to dissolve yourself into the cosmic Oneness. No problem. Go and stay in a monastery and disappear. Or… and this is what some people found. They went into a monastery for 30 or 40 years and they come out saying: „There is still me. I’m still here.“ „I had moments of merging in to the cosmic Oneness, transcendent and euphoric“ and whatever they want to call it, but at the end of the day I keep landing back in Self. So they walk out and say: „Ok, there is a Self.“ 

You can take 40 years in a monastery to figure that out… Like when I talked about death and my journey through that… It’s part of that. All the different layers of Self, all the illusions of Self, all the lifetimes of identification of Self all falling away and yet Self is still there. I understand if someone has not been through that journey it’s harder to work that out. What do you mean? How do I do that? And I wouldn’t advise anybody to go on a 90 day fast. One should never impose to others necessarily what they have done their own way. But I think it’s a simple choice anybody can make. Okay, I’m going to work with that, I will take that as an anchor point: „There is Self.“ And then start to redefine everything you live based on that understanding. And if you do that it will come to you. The Self that says „Thank you, okay, finally you’re coming back to the real you.“ It will honour you. It will reveal itself to you. We talk about crystallization which is where the „building“ comes into it. I am not sure of I would still go to that term. If I will go back though my history I can recognize in my early years how much part of me was still anchored in different events or stories with people. It’s really like fragmented. My sense of Self is fragmented. And that goes beyond just this lifetime. So rather than the term „building“ I would think more of „remembering, recollecting“, to recollect the fragments of Self. 


Recollect the Fragments of Self

It’s like strings to different parts of my stories. Undo those strings. Which means release all debt. Nobody owes me anything, I don’t owe anybody anything. I decide it’s finished. It’s over. There’s no story. I don’t need that parent to apologize or to acknowledge right or wrong. I don’t need to go to my brother and say I’m sorry. I release him. That is a big thing. I’m not saying that’s easy. And I don’t mean it in some spiritual abstract nicy nice. To genuinely do that and to sit with your singular being of Self, naked of all of that. You have to cross a lot of pain also. It’s a very hard place. It’s not a mental game. Some people judge certain mental spiritual practices as bypassing and I acknowledge that. 

I often come back to challenge myself and make sure this is real. Not just clever books, words you can read out of any spiritual bestseller. It’s a very profound work in yourself to strip everything down and release all those stories and release the people from any debt. And it’s an exercise that needs Japa as you have to repeat it over and over again. To be really deep and authentic with it. As you do that your Self comes crashing in on you, actually, which also can be shocking. It’s a strong intense experience in your body. In your nervous system, your glandular system to call you back to you. You could then say it’s a rebuilding of yourself but it’s mostly a recollecting. Then the challenge is to stabilize that. And that needs pressure. Any discipline one has in life, exercise, sleeping, diet, yoga, meditation serves to put a pressure on you. Because you’re not outlooking for something for yourself. You’re actually reversing that. And through that discipline you’re constantly containing yourself. The parts of yourself come to fuse together. And we call that „making the diamond“. And it will happen like that. 

People will find it for a while and think I got it, I’m stable, I’m good. For example when you stay in an ashram or with the right people. And you step out the door and within weeks and months it starts to fragment again. In the blink of an eye. Mind is fast and Maya is strong. We start to fragment and disperse our Self. To stabilize requires this constant japa (repetition) of returning. Return to Self. Return to Self. Return to Self. Which you are not going to do if you don’t choose that there is a Self. Left hand is your relation to you. Right hand is for the world. Often you see in Buddha the left hand on the heart, in the lap and the right hand is a gesture for the world. Some blessing, some giving-ness. Left hand on the heart: „I choose that I am.“ Over and over. 

Discipline is good to ground that in very concrete things. I am here in this physical body. And this physical body needs exercise. It needs food. It needs rest. It is an animal body so it has a sexual energy or force in it. And it needs hygiene. Start on that level even. I may not know what is right but I know what is not. Eliminate to illuminate. My life changed a lot before the things I started to do by the things I stopped doing. The Maya tells you Yes Yes Yes, Do, Do, Do. What do I have to do. Rather that stop doing. But if I stop doing what do I do instead? There is a vacuum. And in that vacuum there is Self. That’s the challenge that people have. So mostly people need an alternative. That’s why there are a lot of options. Okay, don’t just sit a round – do yoga, don’t just sit a round – do Tai Chi,  don’t just sit a round – go jogging, take a walk. A healthy kind of alternative is one that doesn’t pull you so much out of yourself. Like the practice of yoga, it’s physical exercise but you’re contained in yourself. In Kundalini Yoga we’re not just doing the physical work but we stay very conscious of the breathing and the rhythm of the movement and listening to the sound of the breath as a mantra. So all the focus is here. I am doing but I am not walking out on the streets looking around, taking photos. I am occupied internally while I exercise my body. 


If I don’t take the second plate of food that I don’t really need what am I doing instead? Go on my phone, go in the chat, have a cigarette, I need a coffee… or: I am just present. And that means you got to be with you. It doesn’t mean you close your eyes and get into some inner… no. You’re present with you. Conversation is going on, you feel what’s in the room but you stay in relation with you. And if that’s not comfortable which for most people is not, your going to take a second plate of food or a dessert, or a coffee…Staying with Self requires that you stop doing things. Stop watching TV until 3 o’ clock in the morning. 


I am not the cause of your discomfort


People asked when did you start to be a vegetarian. I was eating vegetables since I was probably 6 months old. Mashed carrots or whatever. So I’ve always be a vegetarian. Question is when did I stop eating meat? When did you start growing your beard. I never started growing it. It started growing when I was a teenager. But then I shaved. What changed is I stopped shaving. And by stopping that something happened. What are you prepared to stop doing? It can be very confronting. How are you going to take that confrontation? Do you have an alternative? Very simple tool if anybody is willing to go for it: Any mantra from any religion, any spiritual teaching, it doesn’t matter: just put it in your breath. Even if you just take the word „relax“. Inhale Relax. Exhale Relax. Choose any word. Choose love, peace. Something inspiring to you. Inhale it, exhale it. Or inhale the first half, exhale the second half. So you got something to be occupied with. Rather than just sitting there, I’m not going to eat another dessert because I know I shouldn’t but I really want to… Everyone eats and you’re the odd one and that’s another problem for people. No I’m not going to go to the party. You start pulling back to yourself. By doing that you are the odd one. You are the strange one. „Are you okay? Are you depressed? Do you need to see a doctor?“ Whatever. And people feel uncomfortable. Because you’re not supporting that game. I am as I am. You’re going to have a laugh on me because I’m not supporting your game? Can I be okay with that? You can laugh, you can be afraid of me, you can feel insecure, anything. But I will not take that personally. I will not assume that I am the cause of your discomfort. 

This is a very big one. People are so concerned or disturbed. You learned this from early age on: Look at what you’re doing to your mother. O, I am doing that? No you’re not actually. She has an anxiety problem and she can’t deal with it and she’s putting it on you. But you are innocent enough to assume „it must be me“. You take it on and then every time somebody’s looking at you you think: what’s wrong with me? You take it all as if it’s about you. She’s giggling because she’s uncomfortable. She’s looking at you because she doesn’t understand you. And maybe she’s curious and would wish that she could understand you. Maybe she’s jealous, maybe she wishes she could be like you. There is a hundred reasons why anybody might be behaving the way they do. But the way our true being has become clouded with all those layers is I interpret it as „it’s something negative about me“. And I’m looking for approval. Then I over-perform in the world that someone might tell me that I am okay. Which fundamentally means I don’t believe that I am okay. It’s a package. And only you can set you free of that. 

The whole world, angels, demons, aliens, spirits could all come and tell you: It’s okay. You are okay. Stop trying to prove that you’re okay. Stop worrying about what people say about you. But if you do not choose it tomorrow you will ask again „am I?“ And I say: „I am.“ Same two words. One is a big question mark you put on yourself. Am I good enough? Am I loved? Am I accepted? Am I worth it? Turn it around: „I am.“ No discussion. I can’t do that for anybody. I can tell it to you. I can tell it to the whole world. But you are the one who has to say: „You know what, I will choose that.“ And the day you really choose it, there can be no going back. The world won’t change. It will still behave as it is. Now somebody is laughing that’s an reminder: I am. Because I have decided everything will be based around this.  


Fall in Love – love is already there

If you can’t freely chose „I am I, no matter what“ then no other choice is honestly a free choice. It’s a fantasy of free choice. And even that I respect. We are rehearsing to be choosers. We pretend to be choosers. Because one day you might get to the point where you can freely choose. It’s all practice. 

God is blessing me right now. God is loving me right now. Fall in love – love is already there. Why don’t I go down – exhale into the heart – for God is loving me right now. That’s an abundance, that’s a fountain. The cup is full and overflowing it has no limit – within there’s no limit. I choose me and acknowledge „I am.“ That longing is to feel that „something more than me“ in me. 

Purpose can become exterior projection: I want to become a healer, a teacher, etc. Point of life is to be a point – a point of light. Come to your point and let the light of your being radiate from there – everything else is self evident. Take all else away until all becomes self evident and you come to Self. Let it breathe you. Let your Self be The Self – the micro self contained in the macro Self and sit in the very heart of it and let it flow

We are all enlightened in a way but not liberated. Nobody has not seen the light – the maybe just don’t remember. But we are not free of all the influences of the maya. Liberation is to be set free, enlightenment is to have a sense of the light.


Kundalini Yoga has served me

Kundalini yoga served me in many ways but I didn’t have the language to stabilise it and to invite others towards that same experience. Having that technology (not just Kundalini Yoga), having that language, the Teachings of Guru Nanak, the Sikh Gurus, have really put into words for me many things that I have sensed but didn’t have articulation for. Guru Nanak said it better than I ever could.  So for me it was very helpful to find both the tools of yoga, of breathing, connecting the breath down to the navel, linking to the sound current of mantra, very stabilising really. And then learning a lot. 

Through yoga I learned about diet, ayurveda, how to be in my body, how to carry the body, how to be sensitive to the body, what it needs, how to put it in a state of deep relaxation which is very recuperating, rejuvenating. And opening up the breath, oxygenation of the bloodstream, working on the glandular system. A lot of our emotional experiences are related to glandular states. So being able to know you can change your glandular chemistry in your own body and when you do that you change your emotional experience. Yoga helps that a lot. Kundalini specifically because it explained to me what I didn’t know it was Kundalini. When I was 17 I felt fire burning up through my spine coming out the top of my head. So much energy that I was running through the streets all night long. I couldn’t stand still with it.  All I know was I had a voice saying don’t go to the hospital, they lock you up.


Devotion and Power


Here is an interesting thing: Many people get into spirituality… their past experience drive them there in some way. One common story is people who experienced abuses of power. Sexually or physically or psychologically. Experienced or witnessed close to home. Parent to parent or siblings or bullying in schools. It doesn’t feel right. That doesn’t make sense. Why is that happening? That can can one on a search of humility, of spirituality of gentleness in life, not wanting to be powerful. Cause power abuses. And on the one side it leads a lot of people into bhakti approach, a devotional approach to spirituality – and that’s fine. But it’s only half the picture. But then people are not sitting in their power. And others just want to raise the kundalini, experience the shakti but don’t want to put it in service of something higher. There’s no bhakti. So me it was very important that kundalini combined with bhakti gave me a way of feeling you can be empowered. Not power over anybody. But I can come back into power. And the bhakti and the guiding principles of the teachings are a reminder of how to use that power and not abuse it. As a teacher we use that expression „Power to empower“. Master of Self, servant to all. So it’s not an abusive power. 

Many people just meditate from the neck up. What’s wrong of getting into this body? It’s not an evil thing. Humans have done terrible things in these bodies. Service is also done through the body. Religion has given birth to the greatest sinners but also the greatest saints. It’s for each one to be as conscious as you can. It’s okay to apply the technologies. It’s okay to come back into strenghth. But yes it needs guiding principles to what you then do with that. But not to take our history and leave ourselves weak. It’s an oscillation – culture – counterculture. The counterculture is no more real that the culture. It’s no more authentic. Whatever the counter culture is of any form – whether it’s the punks of the 70’s or the hippies of the 60’s – whatever it is. It’s all counter culture. It’s only a pendulum swinging. Where is really the authentic I am? It’s a meditation for life to reflect upon that, to take a reality check with yourself. But at least what I wish – if anybody is hearing this – I’m giving a perspective to start reflecting differently about the things. And maybe that can help to find a balance in your life. 


So what about the Numbers?


Because of my experiences already as a teenager I was researching a lot of occult things. Kabbala and tarot cards and numerology was all part of that. So I already had a background. So I already sensed – many different teachings and they all make reference to number. So what about the numbers? Not saying I had answers straight away. But this was my question. But I also saw a lot of manipulation, I saw how gullible people are. You can take somebody’s hand and say I can read your hand. O this line, that cross there means this and that. And the person will absolutely believe you. You can tell anything if you are convincing. We all are actors in the life. It actually horrified my how gullible people are. I didn’t know the word karma by that time but I knew this has consequences if you do this with people. When I am reading cards… What do I really know? The book says that card means that and then my own mind adds to that. So I sit in front of you – o it’s the hermit card – that means you are this or that, you have to do this or that – ah ok. And they will go and do it. And you know what – this is very disturbing. My journey into death and back was also in a way wanting to escape that. I don’t want to play this game. I don’t want to play this everyday just survive and compete with your neighbours about the bigger car, the bigger tv etc. I don’t want that. So I go into the occult and I find they’re playing the same games in heaven. Full of egos, full of manipulation, full of stories, full of lies. I don’t want nothing to do with that. 

Coming to Kundalini Yoga and the connection to the Japji of Guru Nanak, that connection somehow really spoke to me. Then learning the connection of the 10 spiritual bodies which is the yogic technology, the lives of the Gurus and the Mul mantra of Guru Nanak. And seeing that connection I saw there is a way to come back to number that has integrity in it. That gives me a new way to relate to this. And a way to share that to people that is more – not that I do it for you, I do the reading for you – but I give you the means that you can come to your own balance and harmony. It’s a longer story than that but Yoga and Sikh Dharma gave me a way to be with that. 

Pythagoras has said an interesting thing: If you don’t know numbers you don’t know anything. If you only know number, you don’t know anything. So I interpret that in my own phrase: study life through numbers and numbers through life . And the sense also that if there was no number there would be no life. If there was not number 2 I wouldn’t have two nostrils, two eyes, two ears, two arms, two legs, two kidneys. I wouldn’t even have a left and right side. Symmetry wouldn’t exist.  If 2 doesn’t exist neither does 3 or 4 or 5. If 3 doesn’t exist you don’t have 3 dimensional. I would be flat on this wall. I wouldn’t be projected into space. If 4 didn’t exist there would be no four chambers of my heart. My DNA chain has 4 proteins. It wouldn’t exist. So take out number is like you took out the entire background of life. Everything would fall apart. So this speaks to me very strongly. 

And every religion wether it’s the ashtanga, eight limbs of Patanjali, the eight fold path of buddhism, the eight trigrams in the I ging. If you didn’t have eight this couldn’t exist. So you can go into 7. There 7 main chakras. All the teachings actually – take the number out of it – take away the trinity – where is Christianity? Where is Brahma, Vishnu, Shiva? Numbers is kind of an essence in everything. It’s more abstract. You can’t see a number. It’s not the form. If you make a form of three maybe in another culture it’s three lines or a triangle. The form is not the number. … It’s fingers it’s not the number. And if you take out the fingers can you still see the three? The number is invisible itself. 

Though I have my personal path with Guru Nanak and Kundalini Yoga I find that numbers are something completely universal. It’s a little harder to study because of the abstraction. But if you start to get it, it could serve you a lot. People say what can I do with numbers? And I say it’s not so much what you can do. Numbers are doing with you already. But rather when you learn to listen to them, recognize them when they appear then they can guide you. I use the title let the numbers guide you. The difference that I make: man-made magic or the magic that made man. There’s a magic that made man. If I tune into that magic life comes into harmony. It’s actually incredibly simple. 

People come to [Karam Kriya] class and say it’s so mental and intellectual. Actually it’s highly intelligent. It’s so intelligent that it’s actually utterly simple. I tried it. I was teaching my son when he was five years old. He got it. Because his thinking was still simple. Come along an adult with all their layers they don’t get it. Most simple thing. The essence is simple. Out of it comes complexity. But the essence is simple. 


What is the essence of each number? 

1, 2, 3, 4, … That is the essence. 

But can I say it in another way?

1 I exist – sleep
2 I exist in time (gap) – dream
3 I exist in space (affirmation) – fascination of maya
4 I am becoming conscious (mobility, movement, opening) – beginning of waking up 

5 senses (threshold between the inside world & outside world)

The higher numbers are more subtle. 

6 is like a silence which could be fear because I thought I knew but now I don’t know. It can also be faith. The unknown is not my enemy. There can be silence frozen, dark silence, heavy silence, paralyzed silence or the silence which is suspended and alert and present. I’m moving beyond my 5 senses. That links to intuition.

7 is a new level of fascination because you do get inside and you do see beyond the threshold of the 5 and then you start to see the spiritual panorama. So the 7 can be that fascination. It can also become judgement because now you can see things you didn’t see before. It can become very scientific. A stage of superiority. We call it a platform. That stage in meditation where people say I’m learning just to be the observer. Unfortunately many people think that’s the end of the road – it’s not. It’s a stage on the way. But an important one. But many people stop there. They don’t go any further. 7 can be like that. Just to learn to be the witness. Of your emotions, of the thoughts that spin around in your mind. To get stuck there can produce a kind of cynicism. I’m no longer an actor in the world. I’m just a witness and then I see connections that other people don’t see. And you become kind of ironic and cynical in the life. Can be. Each number can have a dark or light side, karma or dharma. 

8 normally represents infinity. When you also start to realize the limits of your own observing mind. And you realize even there is a veil. And even the way of looking has an impact on the results.  On what comes back to you. And you start to want to clean that out. It’s another level of cleansing and clearing. There is more to life than what I thought. And a curiosity about that. And a fear – o it’s big. That’s like the number 6 stage. And number 7 is – oh I get it. And then number 8 is like – no you don’t. There’s another level of cleansing to do. We go into what the Buddhist would call „pure mind“. So going really into cleaning out, cleaning out, cleaning out, cleaning out. The danger there is if you run too fast too quickly with that you’re also cleaning out the sense of Self. And you’re going into the dissolution of Self. It’s one thing to dissolve the false understanding. It’s another thing to lose the Self. And the opportunity that’s given in life: To be your Self. There are several critical stages along the way. But this happens when you really get lost in just purify purify purify. I am clearing out the very possibility of Self. 

It’s a long road and number 9 is the last of the 9 digits. That implies patience, resilience, endurance, perseverance and if I say calmness I mean two things: calm like when you realize the road is long, there is no hurry. Just calm down. Slow and steady is okay. Go step by step. And the other meaning of that is if you really reach to that 9 then an incredible peace comes to you. Calmness becomes a state. On the one side it’s something I need to cultivate: calm down, relax. So I keep coming back to that. But on the completion on that road of the soul if you would take a circle and you’re 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9 – it’s like you’re back home. As you might do when you arrive home you sigh of relief. It’s good to be home. Relax. And that doesn’t mean you leave this world to be home. It’s an interior state. You’re back with your original nature and with the One who created you who’s in you. So, coming back home to Self. And finding that calm and that tranquility and that peace in your Self. 

Number 10, because the completion 1+9 is 10. Number 10 is from that: light. Be a point, then become a point of light. Number 10 is that radiance of light. Light everywhere. Light within, light all around, light in everyone. 

11, 10+1. God and me, me and God are One. So even through the Zero of the 10 you’ve zeroed all the false nature of Self and yet there is still a point because a circle is made of an infinite number of points. And you are one point on that infinite circle. You are a part of. You can never be apart from. There is no outside really. We have our little „you’re not in my group outside thing“ but there is no real outside. We are in – something that has no measure to it. And so when you relax into that: I am a part of, I participate. 


The Date of Birth

Everybody has all the numbers. The 10 Spiritual Bodies. Everybody has all. Since numbers are numbers wherever we find them they can have some significance. Telephone number, house number, social security number… But the number that stays with you from beginning to end is your birthday number. You can’t change that. You can change your name, your house, your phone number… many things you can change. So those numbers [of your date of birth] have quite a strong impact upon you. And it’s not just one number. It’s the day you’re born, the month you’re born, the year you’re born, the century you’re born and the addition of those – each of them have a different meaning. It’s too much to go in detail now. It’s simply meaning those numbers are more predominant in your life. But all numbers are there. You are made of all the 10 as you have 10 fingers. 


Purpose and Opinions

Sometimes I say it like that: Why do you get up in the morning? Life lives in me so I live life. I participate. Simple. „I need to find my purpose“ is like a carrot in front of the donkey. Up to point. Then, oh oh, I am sabotaging, I am seeking to hard, so a new level of purpose comes. Then that becomes another level of illusion. That dissolves. If you don’t dissolve. You are and so: life lives in me, I live life. I don’t even think purpose anymore. I abandoned this idea of purpose, that I need a purpose. But I don’t tell other people you don’t need purpose. That’s either very depressing or confusing or paralyzing or they start to feel like „I can do whatever I want“ because it’s all free and noone needs purpose. Then they really don’t get it. Someone starts to abuse their children, sleep with the neighbours… What are you doing? „O, my teacher told me, it’s not me, it’s God who is doing everything. There is no I. Whatever God makes me do I do.“ So I can not possibly acknowledge the reality of that. Not ready. Not gone through the clarity, this fantasy comes in. And somebody’s doing whatever the fantasy say and says God is making me do it. Pure mind, clean it out, clean it out. You can not imagine the distance you have to go for the cleaning. 

Same about opinions. People ask what’s your opinion about this and that? Why do I need an opinion? You need me to have an opinion because you got a problem and something in you wants some angle – and an angle is an angle. If I bend my finger I have an angle but now it’s not on the highest point. When it’s straight you have the bird’s eye view. You see from the highest point. What is this? But what do you think about that? O, I have to have an opinion about that? If I go over here I see it like this. If I go over there I see it like that etc. I can have an infinite number of angles. But what is this? Can I be with that? Why do I need to have an opinion? I don’t need an opinion. But I respect everybody’s need for opinion, angles, purposes, missions, whatever they have to do. 


Everybody has all the numbers. The 10 Spiritual Bodies. Everybody has all. Since numbers are numbers whereever we find them they can have some significance. Telephone number, house number, social security number, password number. But the number that stays with you from beginning to end is your birthday number. You can’t change that. You can change your name, your house, your phone number… many things you can change. So those numbers (of your date of birth) have quite a strong impact upon you. And it’s not just one number. It’s the day you’re born, the month you’re born, the year you’re born, the century you’re born and the addition of those – each of them have a different meaning. It’s too much to go in detail now. It’s simply meaning those numbers are more predominant in your life. But all numbers are there. You are made of all the 10 as you have 10 fingers. 


Can you share some techniques to practice at home?

Breathing, yoga, meditation, diet, take care of your diet, sort it out. Every day do exercise. Learn to do deep relaxation. Learn to lie down and let everything go. And use the exhale. People tend to be holding in too much. Breathe out, relax. Over and over again. Connect the breath to your Nabhi (navel point). You watch a baby breathing and the belly is moving. And they rest on the exhale. Come back to that. Come back to the exhale. Come back to relax. This is mechanic. You have to learn to use it mechanically.   

We spoke about debt. Nobody owes you. There is no compensation. Whatever you think someone has done wrong to you. Nothing they can do to compensate. Whatever you think you have done wrong on anybody. You can’t make up for it so don’t even try. I don’t mean a flippant careless thing. There is a fine line between careless and carefree. Become carefree. 

Stop thinking so much. Be occupied. Read books of wisdom. If your going to think, think right. You sit down thinking and going round and round over the same thing. Read scripture, read wisdom books, read Buddha, read from the parables of Jesus, from Guru Ram Das, Guru Nanak read.

I got body: I got a human heart, I got a voice and I got a mind. And these three things have to come together. Your communication to others, communication to Self. And they should match. Any communication I have with you I have with me. Any communication I have with me and I wouldn’t speak it to others, why would I speak it to me? Why am I going to some internal trip? Inside and outside should match. Conscious of your communication, conscious of your thoughts. Why you’re thinking that? Do you notice how many millions of times you’ve been through the same replay, the same movie? Do you realize how much energy you’re losing? Energy lost mentally nevermind through physical. 

Act! Is there something you can do today? Do it! Take action. Get out of „I should“, „I have to“, „I must“. It’s a tragic way to live the life. There is no „should“. – „Yeah, but I have to pay my bills.“ No you don’t. „Yeah, but then I end up living on the street.“ So what? „I don’t want to live on the street.“ So then you want to pay your bills. Don’t say you have to. Own it. Chose it. Take responsibility. Stop saying you have to do anything. You do what you do because you want to do what you do. And if you don’t want to, figure out a way to get out of it. It’s not easy. You can’t drop everything today. Start. Work it out. Initiate in some way „I don’t do this anymore“. Start finding a way. Be strategic. I don’t want to be drinking this much. Maybe you need a therapy, maybe you need to stop hanging out with these people, maybe… find a way. Is there something you could do today? Could you take a walk? „Of course I can talk a walk.“ Then go and take a walk now. „oh, you mean just like that?“ Yeah, why not? Confront yourself like that. Do what you can. A little thing day by day. You’ll be surprised. They say in the Tao the journey of a thousand miles starts with one step. Every day. What today can I do? Not „should I do“. And at the end of the day: „I did what I can.“ Not: „I should have done that…“ How are you going to sleep well?

Right thinking. I don’t mean right-wrong. Wrong has the only meaning: Whatever puts you out of harmony. Not wrong like some judgement of a crime. Whatever puts you out mentally, physically, emotionally – Stop it!

There is no How. No is the How. Say No to something. There is not so much power in Yes. If you haven’t got the power of No, you don’t have the power of Yes. Yes, I will do this… but did you say No to that? Because when that comes knocking on your door… off you go. Because you did not say No to that. The child first learns negative, than positive. Child is unhappy, uncomfortable – makes a noise. Feed it, bathe it, get the wind out, change the nappy, whatever, child is happy, quiet. Something not right – noise. First is negative. And then it learns to affirm: I want this, I want that… The Yes comes. But who taught it to say Yes Yes Yes? Yes to what? We say Yes to a whole lot of things. It doesn’t make sense. 

It’s challenging. I do not deny in any way, I can express it, I’ve learned, thanks to the Teachings, to express it very articulate, very clear, very profoundly, in a way you can’t not acknowledge it. It’s so clear. But to act it, to live it, to actualise… nothing more hard. I totally agree. Nothing more challenging. And we live in a time of Kali Jug, the dark age, and the Maya has the upper hand. 

People think „I have a problem“, „it’s me who is struggling“, „what’s wrong with me“. Hey, don’t you realize, you’re in a domain right now that’s like walking through treacle… we’re in mud until our necks. And you’re saying „what’s wrong with me?“ It’s the context. We’re living in a very difficult time. So don’t think you’re the problem here. But take the challenge. Ok, difficult time but I will not go under. I am. And I will honour that. And I will find a way. And that (Maya) is not congruent to „I am.“ So, say No! And don’t mind what the people say. I learned that from Guru Nanak: never mind the opinion of other people. It’s the first thing that will sabotage you. What my mother might say, what my brother might say, what my friend might say, what anybody might say. 

Find your No. Eliminate to illuminate. I go to the supermarket. I want to buy a pineapple. There are 40 pineapples all in a beautiful tray in front of me. I don’t know which one to take. Start to eliminate: not, not, not… Identify all the pineapples that you will not take. And if there’s one left and it smells good, take it. If it doesn’t smell good, no pineapple today. Going down the isle… Oh look at all that… biscuits and sweeties… No. Not today. Move on. If you don’t have the power of No: „I just take a look.“ Just take a look or you’re going to go buy?

I can recommend to people: Do find a practice. Do find a path. Why say Mantra? Let’s say Hallelujah. It’s a Christian mantra. It’s not just any mantra. It’s a very powerful mantra with a very deep meaning. It has effect. And it connects me in to all the saints and Christians that have chanted this mantra. If I say Huk Ala Bahu I start connecting into the whole Sufi lineage. It’s not just any mantra. Otherwise use these affirmations of English words that you can connect to. But when you want a mantra you have to say why am I going to chose this mantra? What am I connecting to? Do I want to connect with that? If I start chanting Om Mane Padme Hum – am I Buddhist now? Do I honor Buddha nature, do I understand what this mantra means? What its lineage is? It’s incautious to put it out of context. 

Yoga is good, whether it’s Hatha Yoga, Iyengar Yoga, Ashtanga Yoga, any kind of Yoga. Exercise is good and Yoga is probably one of the most efficient exercise systems in the world. So hey yeah – go to yoga. 

I’ve given a lot and I wish people well. Practice as they can. For their own benefit and in their own way. But if you are going to go and do a practice – go and commit to really a practice. And you might move on. Maybe you start with Hatha Yoga and then find your way to Kundalini Yoga. Or the other way around. But start with something. Go to Tai Chi if that’s what’s in your neighbourhood. If your good at it and you know how to do it you take a walk and you breath 4 steps in 4 steps out. When you move the body in rhythm with the breath you already start to recharge. Most of our movement is not coordinated with the breath. In Kundalini Yoga we do a lot of that: coordinate movement & breath. And when you do that coordination things start to line up. 


What do you feel is your mission in life?

Carry on as I am. 


Do you have any recommendations of books?

No. Go to the book shelf and see what’s falling in your hands. 

That’s what happened to me. I was running through the streets and ended up at the steps of the library 8 in the morning and finally could rest. And then I walked in. And who would say that in the library shop in the city of Aberdeen would jump into my hand the Tibetan Book of the Dead. I said: Ok, why this book has come on me? So I borrowed it, took it home and I read it from the beginning to the end. And in the middle of that scripture and the commentary I could hear my soul saying: „I am a reincarnated entity.“ At that moment everything in my life from 0 until 17 years old made sense. And until that it had make no sense. The book landed in my hand. Nobody recommended anything to me. 

Trust what comes to you but be open. Say to you: Yes I want to study, Yes I’m interested in more. Yes, I accept that there’s more to me that I realize and there’s more to life than I realize and I want to know and I am available. Have that attitude and be open. Go to any book shop. Even nowadays in the airport or railway station there are very profound books there. People’s biographies and their life stories, self-help books, development books, you can find it all. And if you can’t chose start to eliminate to illuminate. Which one will you not buy today? Start eliminating. Spend an hour in that shop. Who cares? Either you walk out with nothing or one book comes in your hand. Trust it. 

Come back to Self.