Can you describe the work of the I Am Foundation, for those who haven’t heard of it before?
We work with Addiction Rehabilitation Centers by offering Kundalini Yoga classes, workshops and therapeutic programs. One of the trainings we offer, is the one on Kundalini Yoga as a therapeutic tool in the treatment of addictions.
Right now, we have 20 implemented programs in Chile, and a few controlled experiences abroad. We will also be offering a diploma at the Catholic University of Chile.
Can you offer advice and inspiration to those who might like to start a similar project, but feel overwhelmed?
It is important to have a systematization, something that can be easily replicated, as well as clear sources of financing so that it can be sustained in the long term.
Can you share tips with our global audience on how to start a similar project in their community?
1. Clarify the purpose. Know what you want this project to exist for, and what need you want to cover, in order to know what actions must be taken.
2. Gather information and research if there are similar projects in the global Sangat. If someone is already doing the same, learn from that experience and find out what other leaders are doing in similar areas. Be clear about the current context and demographic data that can nurture the project.
3. Understand that even if it is a Seva project, it needs to have a business structure that financially supports the activities, either through a donation system or income from courses, among other alternatives.
4. Systematize: for a Seva to be expansive it is important to create a replicable system, which is updated in conjunction with the experience.
5. Dream big! This will help you keep alive the flame of motivation to move forward when things don’t turn out as you planned.
Do you encounter any challenges in running this program? How do you overcome them?
The challenges are part of the process . . . There have been hundreds! The understanding that you are serving, that you are an extension of the Creator and that you are doing it for a greater good, is what helps to keep the focus, to sacrifice certain things for a purpose that is more transcendent than personal conflicts.
Do you draw inspiration from Sikh Dharma when doing Seva?
Of course the stories of the Sikh Gurus, their service and devotion, are a constant inspiration. Also, to see the potential of others and inspire them to walk in their truth.
I Am Foundation is born out of inspiration, after learning about the rehabilitation centers created by the Siri Singh Sahib, Yogi Bhajan, the work of Mukta Kaur (U.S.) and Sat Dharam Kaur (Canada). We take their experiences and teachings, adapt them to the current context of our country, and bring it to those who need it most.
Can you share a high moment or inspiring story that you experienced doing this Seva?
With almost six years performing this service, it is difficult to choose a particular story, but a story that touched me a lot was that of a woman who decided to take the Kundalini Yoga Teacher Training program. Then she did her internship at the I Am Foundation, and now works at the Women Rehabilitation Center. She has been doing that Seva for two years now.
I liked to see how she managed to succeed, she is an example of what can be achieved and that people can find the tools to heal themselves and guide other people in the same process.
Editor’s Note: Due to the challenging situation going on in Chile right now due to COVID-19, all I Am Foundation classes and activities have been put on hold. I Am Foundation is working on putting together a lecture on addiction recovery in partnership with the Catholic University of Chile.
He has served as the President of the I Am Foundation since 2014. He runs programs and speaks up about the impact of Kundalini Yoga on addictive behaviors. He is chief professor of the Holistic Diploma of Addictive Behaviors at the PUC. He is an Addiction Treatment Specialist from the Super Health and the Beyond Addiction Systems. He has taught addiction workshops throughout Chile, Paraguay, Mexico, Uruguay and China.
Learn more about the I Am Foundation by visiting their website: https://fundacionyosoy.org
Do you have an “Aquarian Sevadar” in your community? We want to share their story.
Please write to us at firstname.lastname@example.org, if you have someone in mind who has an inspiring story to tell.