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40 Day Commitment: A Chance of Grace

By Bhavanjot Kaur

“For Westerners, obedience is a kind of slavery, a kind of hassle, kind of out of your chartered commission, out of your planned day. For Easterners, obeying the impossible is the test of our wisdom, our endurance, our grit, our virtue, our accomplishment, our achievement—a chance of grace. It’s just to prove to myself that I have done something. It’s an elevating experience.”
-Yogi Bhajan

I was introduced to the meditation called Tershula. At the end of my teacher training I went up to my teacher and asked what meditation I should practice upon completing this level of training and his response was ‘Tershula.’ I struggled, not with the meditation itself (though it is challenging), but with committing to practice it consistently for 40 days or more.

I have practiced many kriyas, meditations and mantras consistently over the last few years for 40, 90 or 120 days, but any time I started to work with Tershula it would always fizzle out for me and I would move on to something else. It was so unlike me, as I consider myself to be very disciplined and committed. I like to finish what I start.

With Tershula there was some kind of block deep within me—some mysterious rebellion, and I was not doing what my teacher had asked of me. A piece of me felt really awful about it and a piece of me felt very good and in control about it. Still, I knew deep down that there was something more to this duality, this resistance.

“Question: ‘Do you have to obey if your Teacher asks you to do something?’”

Answer: ‘No, you don’t. Nobody is after your blood. But just understand, a thing asked shall never be repeated. Nobody is lucky enough to be asked to do the thing a second time. That’s my experience. Normally, the circumstance occurs as an interaction between you and your Teacher. He’ll demand something of you, which, in his judgment, is for your benefit at that time. So you are standing before a judgment at that time. It shall never be repeated. Either you can accept it or you can deny it. That’s your choice.”
-Yogi Bhajan

I recall being told in my teacher training that Tershula was one of the only meditations that Yogi Bhajan taught twice. I finally decided to give Tershula a second chance and committed to practicing it for 11 minutes a day instead of the 31 minutes a day that I had tried many times before. I decided to go slow with this one this time so I could fully commit to a 40 day practice of it. 

I am grateful that I can share that I completed 11 minutes a day for 40 days. Upon reaching the 40th day and looking at the calendar, I was in wonderment of the solar eclipse that was happening the following day, moving from light to darkness and back to the light—just like the mantra used in this meditation, Har Har Wahe Guru. I was told that it is the mantra to carry us from darkness into the light. With this auspicious alignment, I decided I would ‘keep up’ and continue practicing this meditation with my next goal being 90 days.

“Normally as a human being, against the will and teachings of Guru Nanak, we remember our past and act it out today. That’s the tragedy we are all suffering under. My prayer and my hope is, let us welcome tomorrow.”
Yogi Bhajan

On the 41st day of practicing Tershula, the day of the solar eclipse, I came to a deep realization about why I resisted this meditation for as long as I did. It occurred to me that the Teacher who asked me to practice this meditation happened to be a male who was, to me, in a position of power and authority. It was brought into my awareness through practicing this meditation, that his suggestion—even though I asked for it—triggered a childlike response within me. I was avoiding doing what I was told because it felt like in some way, I was giving away my power.

My power had been diminished time and again with a painful childhood filled with many forms of abuse. It makes sense that a male figure in a position of power and authority asking me to do something would be met with my quiet defiance. I was responding to my Teacher under the old energy of repressed childhood fears that have been broadcasted over many areas of my life. This is a very profound awareness for me that has already served me in many areas of my daily life.

Tershula is the meditation for overcoming fears and phobias—in particular, the father phobia. Working with this meditation consistently is awakening in me a subtle awareness. A light is being shed on those dark spaces within that ask for my willingness to let go of yesterday and look to tomorrow with a chance of grace and a firm faith in God’s healing hands on all.

God has not gone, God is here. Thank God.

“Do you understand that I was the son of a great man, and I was a great man myself, yet when my Teacher asked me, ‘How fast can you go up that tree?’ I went up there. And he said, ‘When I come back, you will come down,’ and he came back three days later. Now, just understand what you can do and what you can’t do for three days and three nights straight up in a tree. When he came back, he laughed and said, ‘Hey, you have survived. Come down, let’s go.’

“He never even cared how it was, how I did it, and what happened to me. He never said, ‘You must have been miserable, I’m sorry I did it, I didn’t come.’ There were no apologies, nothing. He said, ‘Oh, you survived, come down, let’s go.’ So I came down, and went. But I learned in those three days more than I would have learned in three hundred years. First it was horrible, then it was terrible, then it was miserable, then it became fun.”
-Yogi Bhajan 

Bhavanjot Kaur is the owner and founder of Hamsa Healing Arts located in Centerbrook, CT. Bhavanjot is a Kundalini yoga teacher and Radiant Child Yoga Teacher. Bhavanjot is a Reiki Master practitioner and Teacher, Craniosacral therapy practitioner, Raindrop therapy massage practitioner and she also offers sound therapy with a 32" Paiste Symphonic Gong. Bhavanjot is a consultant for essential oils, medicinal mushrooms and CBD oil. She is mother to a delightful six-year-old little girl who overcame a rare childhood kidney cancer, which inspires her work with Lucy's Love Bus and the Connecticut Cancer Foundation.