I wish I could re-write all the self-help articles out there that declare a simple change of mind-set is all you need to achieve your goals in life. They tell you how to change your mind-set for success, to lose weight, to grow old, to find love, to break destructive habits...
encouraging your mind to focus on the minutiae of life, to receive and earn more until all the good things of life fall upon you.
This new mind-set may achieve short-term gain, but ultimately the realisation soon dawns that all the adversities and challenges of life still remain. So how does this egocentric mind-set help us deal with life's ongoing issues? A mind-set that focuses exclusively on the riches and gains for the Self will never work. This will only bring anxiety, mental illness even.
The concept of Cherdi Kalaa is difficult to translate as it's more of a way of living and thinking, a little like the Danish term Hygge that describes how to bring cosiness and warmth into your life. To be in Cherdi Kalaa is the ability to rise above adversity, challenges and difficult times. It is to accept whatever is going on in our lives with gratitude and a neutral mind, trying not to judge it as something negative or positive but rather as something that was meant to happen. It is to use the power of the mind as a tool to live more gracefully and to be a force for good, to be of use to others in every action. Now this is where the cherdi kalaa mindset differs from that of the self-help articles, as it means we think of ourselves less and focus instead on how we can help others as a positive force in their lives and in the community. This is a complete change in the way we think, where we rush out of the house in the morning and all thoughts are on ourselves - getting to work, quickly, not letting the car in front move into the queue, irritated when having to stop at a pedestrian crossing, at the red lights, unwilling to slow down for cyclists. Our heads are down, avoiding eye contact because we are on a mission to meet the day's deadlines.
In Cherdi Kalaa you would do the opposite by letting the car in front move ahead of you into the queue, happily allowing pedestrians to cross the road, throwing them a smile as an additional moment of chardi kalaa. It is the small gestures of smiles, thank you's, holding doors, assisting with heavy bags that slowly nurtures a new way of feeling. Quite miraculously, life and all its complexities can then feel a little easier to navigate.
Surya kriya is a beautiful practice to stimulate our sun energy, helping us create the state of chardi kalaa, because as we all know, a few moments in the warm sun soon lifts spirits and brings a smile on the face.
14th November Kundalini online class:
Wah Yantee - Jai -Jagdeesh
Rakhe Rakhanhaar - Jai -Jagdeesh
Wah Yantee - Jai Chand & Grayson
Long Time Sunshine - White Sun
Angel of the Earth - Craig Pruess & Illyana Vilenski
Cherdi Kalaa - Snatam Kaur