Daily Spiritual Practice
Sikh Dharma teaches that everything a person needs exists within himself or herself. We don't need anything outside. We only need to touch the waters of Divinity that live within us. And by experiencing that place, life comes into a perfect balance.
The very best time of day to experience your Higher Self is during the hours before sunrise. This time of day is known as the Amrit Vela - the time of Deathless Consciousness. Generally, those hours are from 4 am to 7 am. During this time, the mind is calm enough that we can meditate deeply. Life around us is still. We can connect with our own Infinity before the hustle and bustle of the day begins.
One way to approach your sadhana, or daily spiritual practice, is to wake up during the hours of 4 am to 7 am, take a cold shower, do some yoga and then meditate on the Sound Current of the Shabad Guru. This approach offers a holistic body/mind/soul work-out.
The cold shower is an ancient practice known as Ishnaan, which is said to cleanse the inner organs and improve overall health. Yogic exercises, especially Kundalini Yoga, balance the body and open up the subtle energy channels for the best and deepest meditation. The crown jewel of sadhana is to meditate on the Sound Current of the Shabad Guru. This chanting meditation guides the mind to experience and, through grace, eventually merge into the Divine Light.
Those who have taken Amrit meditate on the daily Nitnem Banis as part of their sadhana. These prayers were given by the 10th Sikh Master, Guru Gobind Singh, to completely cover and balance the energies of the body and to help clear the karmas. Some of these prayers are done in the early morning. Others are chanted at sunset or before going to bed.
"The greatest reward of doing sadhana is that the person becomes incapable of being defeated. Sadhana is a self-victory, and it is a victory over time and space. Getting up is a victory over time, and doing it is a victory over space. "
- Siri Singh Sahib Ji
There are also many Sikhs who practice the Aquarian Sadhana. After taking a cold shower, the Aquarian Sadhana begins with a recitation of Japji Sahib, composed by the first Sikh Master, Guru Nanak. It continues with Kundalini Yoga, followed by 62 minutes of chanting very specific mantras in a given order. For more information about the Aquarian Sadhana, visit the 3HO Website.
The ideal amount of time to practice each day is 2½ hours. This is one-tenth of your day given to develop your conscious relationship with the Divine. Practicing for a few minutes a day is a great foundation to build upon. Listen to your heart and do your best. Committing to doing something every day will help you establish a conscious relationship with your higher Self and give you strength to be victorious in every aspect of your life.
"Sadhana, daily spiritual practice, is the base, the foundation of all spiritual endeavor. Sadhana is your personal, individual spiritual effort. It is the main tool you use to work on yourself to achieve the purpose of life. It can be done alone or in a group. Sadhana is whatever you do consistently to clear your own consciousness so you can relate to the infinity within you. Before you face the world each day, do yourself a favor and tune up your nervous system and attune yourself to your highest inner self. To cover all your bases, include exercise, meditation, and prayer."
From The Flow of Eternal Power by Shakti Parwha Kaur Khalsa