SDI is excited to welcome you to take a dynamic new online course that we have created in cooperation with our sister organization, SikhNet. The course is titled, “Deepening Your Relationship with the Guru”.
It is a six-week online course that includes stimulating short videos, interesting articles, a discussion forum and weekly live video discussions with the course instructors.
This course is not simply intellectual in its approach. We have included experiential activities and the potential for you to carry this course out into your every-day life. This course is an opportunity for you to have a powerful experience and make real change. And it’s FREE!
We encourage you to watch this short video and then register for this free course. The course runs for six weeks beginning on April 14th. Don’t miss it!
There will be six lessons over the course of six weeks. Once a week (Friday/Saturday depending on where you live in the world), we will release articles, videos, journal exercises and quizzes for that week’s lesson. We request that you go through the lesson and complete the assignments within a week. Then, the following Thursday/Friday we will have a live webinar with the course facilitators to discuss the material from that week’s lesson.
We have structured the course as a blended learning experience.This means the course includes a combination of self-paced activities, and group activities. There are fundamentally four different aspects to the learning journey:
- Online articles to read and videos to watch that you will engage with at a time that is convenient for you.
- This discussion forum where you can post your comments, thoughts and questions, interact with the course facilitators and dialogue with your fellow course participants.
- Simple, reflective assignments for you to do on your own or within your local community.
- Weekly live webinars that you can join, hosted by our course facilitators, to answer questions and help anchor the experience of the lesson.
This is our flagship course for the Learning Center for 2018, and you are taking part in our maiden voyage. So there may be glitches along the way, and we ask for your patience as we learn together. We welcome your constructive feedback as the course unfolds, to help us improve it for the future.
An email will be going out soon that will list the exact time each week that the material for that lesson will be available for you to view. And also ask you which live webinar session (we are planning two per week) will be most convenient for you – where your location is in the world. So keep your eyes open for that!
Topic for Week One: What does “Guru”
Topic for Week Two: Shabad Guru and Pavan Guru
Topic for Week Three: Stages of Spiritual Development
Topic for Week Four: Selecting a Spiritual Practice to Connect with the Guru
Topic for Week Five: Connecting with the Guru – Doing Your Spiritual Practice
Topic for Week Six: Self-Reflection and Course Completion
We will also have introductory material for the course available for our course participants on April 6.
Thanks to all of you for your amazing response to this online learning experience. People from all over the world have registered, including India, the UK, Canada, the United States, Japan, Brazil, Singapore, Russia, the Netherlands, Spain, Pakistan, the United Arab Emirates – just to name a handful the countries. It is our honor and blessing to serve you all, and we look forward to beginning our first lesson in a few weeks.
What is Guru?
“The Guru is many things and can be experienced in many forms; or even without form. Guru is often translated to mean that which takes you from the darkness to the light. “Guru” is also referred to as a teacher, such as with a teacher of classical Indian music. But even when referring to such a teacher, it is understood that the Guru’s role is to train the student in all facets of being. In the full definition, Guru is an infinite resource of teaching, healing and guidance.
The spiritual path can be difficult to navigate alone. The role of the Guru here is to be the “boat” that crosses the treacherous waters, that connects our limited self to our infinite self; to be the “doorway” that opens our understanding to the expanded vision of the path forward; to be the “beacon of light” leading our ship to safe harbor. By the Grace of the Guru, the door opens – our ears open, we hear the call and we respond to it.
When Guru Nanak was asked who his Guru was, he said it was the Word, the Shabad Guru. A simple translation of “Shabad Guru” is, that Word which takes us from the darkness to the light. The words and sounds of the Shabad Guru are consciousness-changing elements that unlock the bounds that your ego holds over your higher self, that keep you locked in your Earth – thereby freeing your true self to soar in your heavens. When you vibrate the Shabad Guru you overwhelm the inner dialog of your mind to create Shunia – deep inner stillness. Shabad Guru uses the power of “Naad” (an entrancing rhythmic pattern of universal sounds) and the movement of your tongue over the pressure-points in your upper palate which causes actual change in your blood chemistry. The Siri Singh Sahib said, “As you vibrate, the Universe vibrates with you.” It is the actual reciting of Gurbani (the words of the Guru) which brings the formless into form; which gives the Shabad Guru a form.
Director of Dharmic Education
Pritpal Singh Khalsa is the Director of Dharmic Education for Sikh Dharma International and is a KRI-certified Lead Teacher Trainer of Kundalini Yoga. Pritpal Singh has released several music recordings and has performed and taught kirtan (devotional music) around the world.