David Welch: So my second question is around mindfulness. How would you describe the present moment or being present.
Guru Singh: Well, the present moment is the current slice of all time. Which is just a sub-division of space. So the present moment is the current slice of space-time in which you are aware. And what is passed through that observing point we call the past. And what hasn’t passed through it we call the future. Being awake or being present…true presence is fifth-dimensional, which means you can navigate space-time. You can move forward in time. You can move in other ways in space. My first teacher, Paramahansa Yogananda…his teacher, Sri Yukteshwar, was able to bi-locate. If you read Autobiography of a Yogi…he was able to teleport himself. He could be in one place…teleport himself to another. Paramahansa would say, “you were just here,” and he would nod his head, yes. And Paramahansa was skilled in some of that. Perhaps not all of that. But when he brought it to the west, he was probably told, like my teachers in Mexico told me…that you can’t make a circus act out of this because in India, that kind of stuff was known and revered, but in the west, that kind of stuff is completely unknown and it would become a spectacle.
He subdued that because he knew the moment they started showing those capacities…it’s all about the circus. It’s all about the celebrity. But in India, particularly in those days, the people that were around Sri Yukteshwar…they were respectful. They were devotees. So, they weren’t going to go in all this craziness. Even in Autobiography of a Yogi, Paramahansa gets scolded by his teacher for causing a spectacle. But the fact is…that’s fully awakened…that’s full presence. Not only it’s capable of being in other locales, but it’s also capable of leveraging the power of other locales into this moment. And that’s why a person in that presence…there is a full spectrum of that presence. I mean, you and I are in that presence. We aren’t in that fuller presence. But we are in the pathway towards that. That’s what the awakening is. That’s what the path of oneness is. That’s what the path of presence is.
DAVID: So, this present moment is so precious, and to me when I drag the past into the present moment and I’m looking through that filter…now, I’m not really in the present moment anymore…I guess I am, kind of, technically.
Guru Singh: Look at it this way…what do you think of your hand? Precious?
Guru Singh: The hand grew out of your arm. Correct?
Guru Singh: But if you are just in the hand you are just in the hand. The arm is what created the hand. It’s what holds the hand. It’s got a lot of support there, doesn’t it? And there is blood that passed through the hand that is now moving back to the heart, but that blood is equally important. But, it’s the past, as far as the hand is concerned. So that’s where we get to the disarray around the present moment, the past and the future. Now…includes all of those. Just like the true sacredness is all of your body. Not just your hand. But you can focus on what we call the present moment. Just like we can focus on the hand. We would focus on the hand, if we were doing something with the hand. Knitting or drawing or something. We might focus on the hand. But what is truly now includes all the past and all the future. All of the present moment. That is the now.
But what you are talking about is what Yogi Bhajan would call the Biforcation of the past. Breaking it up into parts. And our tendency is to focus on the nasty things. The dire things that happened. Because our brain is trained to focus on danger. That’s how it allowed us to evolve. So when we think in the past…again, we are talking in particles here. The present moment particle of the total now. We will often relate only to the dire components of the past. And the way those support the present moment distorts the present moment. You need to relate to the total past and the total future. All of this is opening up the assemblage of now. Because if you get any part of it. It becomes a distortion.
DAVID: So get back to the present moment. In the present moment, if I’m not careful, what I do is I bring all my memories, so, I’m seeing the present moment through my remembering…trying to name and judge and all these things. How can you be in the present moment without judging, without comparing?
Guru Singh: By embracing all of it. Consider it…that they are all your children. If you don’t embrace them, they will become louder. And so, you embrace every part of that. Yogi Bhajan always said, embrace to erase. As you embrace, they deliver their message. The container in which the content arrives is the gnarly thought, or the this, or the that…the judgment, or whatever it is. That is all the container in which the content arrives. The content is just the blessings of infinity. But the container can be gnarly. So, you must embrace each one of these judgments…each one of these thoughts…each one of these sensations. Embrace them. It dissolves the gnarly nature of the container…absorbs the content. The content becomes fuel.
He would speak about the bread fruit. Bread fruit grows on trees in mango forests. Bread fruit is a very healthy, healing fruit. But it has think, sharp spines and a thick shell…not a shell, but it’s a casing, like a mango casing. And in order to get the fruit out of the casing, you have to take the casing off the tree. Well, that is like your judgment. That’s like the thoughts, the feelings of the past. Then you have to embrace that. And the way you embrace that is you peel off that gnarly fruit and you recycle it. You recycle the gnarly casing. Which is that embracing. Then you consume the breadfruit itself. And its healing, medicinal qualities go through, out your system.
DAVID: How would you quiet the mind?
Guru Singh: I wouldn’t.
Guru Singh: The question is, “how do you quiet the mind?” And the answer is, “you don’t.” You go to where the mind is quiet. There is no question deeper than “how do you quiet the mind?” There is just a description. The mind is forever noisy. But as I’ve said in class, the base coat of all noise is silence. The base coat of all color paint is white. The base coat of all other emotions is joy. So you go to the base coat. What guides you to the base coat of silence? The noise. Follow the noise.
DAVID: So in meditation one just observes or is present with…
Guru Singh: Yogi Bhajan said that in meditation…if it’s not full of noise and garbage, you are not meditating. And he is addressing the population. He’s not addressing awakened beings…addressing awakening beings. And Awakening is a noisy process. In the awakening stages of life, we are observing the noise and diving through it to arrive at the ultimate silence. In the non-awakening stages of life, the sixth graders, the fourth graders, the fifth graders, the pre-schoolers…they are just bouncing off the noise. They are creating games out of the noise. We are observing the noise. We are diving through the noise to arrive at the absolute call of silence at the base of the noise.
DAVID: How does one dive through?
Guru Singh: You are doing it. With every mantra that you do. With every pranayam that you do. That is what you are doing. If you want non-Yoga terms…every swim that you do…every walk that you do…every climb of a mountain…every communication with a child…every enjoyment of an animal. There are all kinds of Yogic and non-Yogic…every posture…every chant…every breath exercise. And the thing is, when you do the dive, you can’t focus on the dive because if you focus on the dive, you will be searching for a result. You won’t get it. And you’ll lose interest in the dive. You just have to focus on the mantra. Just focus on the things that you know.
DAVID: Those are all doing. How about the non-doing? The meditation? Just sitting and being? And then eventually the mind just goes quiet…
Guru Singh: No, the mind never goes quiet.
DAVID: I’m confused about the diving into silence. How do you get to the silence then?
Guru Singh: By doing or by being. I call, sitting in calm…motionless…meditation-doing. That is doing. There is so much doing inside of me. My heart is beating. My blood is flowing. There is a lot of doing going on. There is no way to just be.
DAVID: Let me get to my third question. What are your thoughts about climate change…the preservation of the planet and the future of humanity?
Guru Singh: I have one thought. Those of us that are of an Awakening stage in life, better get our asses in gear. The destruction of the planet is in full gear. And that is caused by those that are not awakened enough to realize the consequence of their actions. In other words, the school is in full session. But the teachers and the principles haven’t shown up. The students are all here. And it’s people of our level of awakening that have not fully shown up. We’re sort of hiding behind the scenes. We need to get completely involved. And that is going to be the answer. We’ve got about 63 years to do it in.
DAVID: So, there must be some kind of balance between individual awakening, awakening the collective self and my going out into life…
Guru Singh: It’s all the same. Because working on yourself just makes you more present whenever you go out and interface with anyone. But also, working on yourself gives you greater and grander ideas. People like Deepak and Eckhart…bringing us all together. Working on yourself gives you those ideas. Because you are a producer. You produced Peaceful Warrior. You produced Awaken.com. That’s the nature of your nature. You are an accumulator of things. When you produce a movie, you accumulate the story. You accumulate the crew. You accumulate the directors. You accumulate the actors. You are an accumulator. That’s like a giant electro-magnetic field. That’s who you are. That’s who you have always been. Ever since you got into Kundalini Yoga, you have been a little bit frightened of that nature. And people have been critical of that. You get in the midst of a working group and you get some push back. Because you are an accumulator. You are a magnetic field. And I always stood on the side and let you know that I was in full support. I was never in critical posturing. Because I knew that what you are looking at are two different worlds.
Now, in this session, I am saying to you…begin to unravel and expose a peace that was in you already. Begin to unravel your trepidation of being as powerful as you are. I want you to hold the feeling you are having right now. And I’m taking you into the next room. So, stop your recorders while still in that sensation.
David Welch: is the founder and CEO of Awaken Global Media and Chief Editor of AWAKEN.com, producer of the award-winning movie “Peaceful Warrior,” and a member of the Directors Guild of America and Screen Actors Guild. David is a master practitioner of Neuro-linguistic programming, a certified Kundalini Yoga instructor and has a continuous, committed daily yoga, meditation and Qi gong practice.
Editors note: Guru Singh is one of my primary teachers.