The words in the globe word cloud above are what you, our SDI community, shared that you received from your connection with Sikh Dharma International in 2020. Thank you for sharing!
In times of transformation, like these, we find our balance and strength anchoring ourselves with the Guru’s teachings, going inward through meditation and going outward in service. That is exactly what we did this year, true to our identity, Sat Nam.
Here are just some of the ways theSikh Dharma International community has served together to bring depth and meaning to the world in these times ofdisruption and uncertainty. From those of us working and serving at Sikh Dharma International, we feel deeply humbled and truly blessed to be in Guru’s service.We are grateful to all of you who have continued supporting our work and mission throughout this exceptional year and we look forward to working together to serve Humanity, by Guru’s Grace. Peace to All, Life to All, Love to All
Honoring Mother Earth
We began January 2020 with the focus of sharing meditation and prayer techniques with the intention of bringing healing and balance to the environments of our Sacred Mother Earth. We continued sharing 40 weeks of amazing teachings and practices centered around Honoring Mother Earth through ourblog posts, Facebook group and email subscription series . You can check this series out here.
Due to COVID-19 stay at home orders and the requirements to travel less and socialize more distantly, SDI pivoted to our new reality. Our Dharmic Education Department’s online LIVE class and event programming helped to keep the Chardi Kala spirit alive and well during the global pandemic.
And Harsimrren Kaur, Elahee Kaur & Jujhar Singh recited Kirtan Sohila each evening.
7th Annual Camp Miri Piri
Learning to Be Spiritual Warriors, so We Can Stand Strong through the Tests of the Times
Our 7th annual Camp Miri Piri event took place virtually; a truly chardi kala experience. Seventy-three Sangat members signed up from the following countries: Malaysia, Singapore, India, the UK, Hungary, Norway, Sweden, Spain, Germany, Estonia, the US, Canada, Mexico, Argentina, Uruguay, Australia and New Zealand. The esteemed teachers included Rajveer Singh (Malaysia), Sada Sat Simran Singh (Chardi Kala Jatha), Jagat Guru Singh (MPA), Shanti Kaur Khalsa (USA), Guru Prakash Singh (MPA) and Kawal Pal Singh (Malaysia). Click here to find out more about Camp Miri Piri.
SDI Academy Class at the e-Summit Online Winter Solstice Event
The vibration of the mantra is like the DNA of all creation, the essential sound at the very core of the Universe. These sacred words are the sound key that opens the lock to transcendent experience. They form a bridge between intention and manifestation. As we vibrate the mantra/shabad, our experience of the universe is created in that moment. The video recording of this workshop will be available shortly. Stay tuned!
Community Events, Connections & Outreach
Starting in March, with the requirements to travel less, socialize more distantly and stay at home orders due to COVID -19, SDI pivoted to our new reality. Our LIVE classes and events helped to keep the Chardi Kala spirit alive and well during the global pandemic.
With a Virtual Vaisakhi Kirtan Darbar
April 19,2020Vaisakhi 2020 was celebrated online with a Virtual Vaisakhi Kirtan Darbar. It included a combination of live and pre-recorded kirtan programs. Here is a video of the entire 2020 Virtual Vaisakhi Kirtan Darbar, which was streamed LIVE by the Sikh community of Southern California.
Earth Day Celebration
With a Global Week-Long Sadhana Honoring Mother Earth
In June, our Sikh Dharma Communities began meeting online regularly to compare notes on how we were dealing with the challenges brought by COVID, government restrictions and the concerns of protecting the Sadh Sangat while continuing to relate to Guru and the Gurdwara. Meetings continued through the year and included Sikh Dharma of Chile, Guru Ram Das Ashram in Millis, Raj Khalsa Gurdwara of VA, Guru Ram Das Ashram in Los Angeles, Hacienda de Guru Ram Das in New Mexico and Guru Ram Das Gurdwara in Eugene, OR.
In contrast to travelling on our yatra to India last year for Guru Nanak’s 550th Birthday, this year we stayed home, but came together virtually with Sangat from across the globe via LIVE community events. Our celebration programs included seven days of daily Japji Sahib Path, 7 days of Bhand Jammeeai Shabad and a twenty four hour Global Japji Sahib recitation the day of Guru Nanak’s birthday.
Roots of Sikh Dharma
We also hosted a special Roots of Sikh Dharma series. In this series, each program covers a topic to help understand the fundamental aspects of Sikh Dharma. Alternating presentations about Sikh history and discussion about Sikh practices or philosophy, the series focuses on the lives and significance of the Sikh Gurus after Guru Nanak. This Roots of Sikh Dharma program will continue in 2021. Click here to watch the video episodes.
Here’s a testimonial to the beauty of the experiences people are having:
“This was the first time our Sangat read in a Sahej Path. It was wonderful. A heavy rain fell down that Saturday in the evening after the Sahej Path. I prayed for a patient-lady who couldn’t walk, but on Tuesday she arrived to yoga class walking! Healed! We look forward for the next Sahej Path!”
You can read in Gurmukhi, translation or transliteration. There’s also a “Repeat Paurees 11x” option. New features of our updated Japji for the Aquarian Age App include selecting a language (English or Spanish) and daily reminders. Click here to download the Japji for the Aquarian Age App.
These beautiful Tri-Fold Altar Cards stand up on their own and have been created to adorn your altar or sacred space with the intention of bringing prosperity, blessings and grace. Each card features one of our beloved Gurus and a section of Gurbani written by or in honor of that Guru, as well as more information about the benefits of relating to and meditating on each Guru and the accompanying Gurbani. This is a free gift from SDI. You only pay for shipping. Click here to view and order any of the seven altar cards now available.
Sikh Dharma Ministry
We are pleased to share some highlights from the Office of the Secretary of Religion for 2020.
In April 2020, we launched a one-hour enrichment video entitled: Trauma-Informed Seva in Disaster and Crisis: A Training Module for Sikh Dharma Ministers.” The program, hosted and directed by SS Dr. Sat Kaur Khalsa, includes interviews and modeling on trauma-informed seva demonstrated by SS Dr. Shanti Shanti Kaur Khalsa and SS Gurucharan Singh, Ph.D who are highly knowledgeable in this subject area.
A Resource for Grief Recovery
Dr. Sat Kaur and Dr. Shanti Shanti Kaur wrote a paper entitled, “A Yogic Model of Grief Recovery as the Integration of Change.” The goal of the handout is to guide individuals who are experiencing grief to recognize and assess where they are in the grieving process and to explore how grief can ultimately serve the process of transformation. The materials were very much appreciated by those who received them. You can view the grief recovery handout here.
New Ministers Take Virtual Vows
By Guru’s Grace, three individuals took their Sikh Dharma Minister vows during 2020. Due to the pandemic, these vows were performed “virtually” so that family and friends could safely participate as we maintained a cozy and sacred space for the ordination ceremony. The new Ministers ordained in 2020 were: SS Gururaj Singh (Brazil), SS Livtar Singh (Peru) and SS Charansev Kaur (Chile). Wahe Guru!
For more information about the Sikh Dharma International Ministry, please visit the SDI Ministry website
Global Leadership and Community Support
International Khalsa Council Meetings
The International Khalsa Council held both its Spring and Fall 2020 meetings online via Zoom. While missing the cozy in-person interaction, this necessary change actually enabled greater participation and inclusion from a broader cross-section of our global community. We were very pleased to welcome many ministers and members from our communities around the world.
The theme of the Khalsa Council meetings for the next two years is “Healing and Transformation Through Compassion, Humility and Service”. This is a time of deep reflection and an opportunity to learn from the past and to build our future together based on our shared values, our commitment to truth, and our mission of serving all of humanity.
Aquarian Leadership Course
SS Gurusangat Kaur from Brazil, taught a ten module Aquarian Leadership course for Khalsa Council members. This course was created by the Brazilian Sangat and is taught to Government and Medical Organizations throughout Brazil and was translated into English especially for the KC. We are grateful to SS Gurusangat Kaur for blessing us with these invaluable teachings.
Listening Tour Calls
SDI held a series of Listening Tour calls to provide Sangat members with a place to check in about their personal processing and listen deeply to each other.
The Sacred Practice of Dasvandh
Dasvandh is the Sacred Practice of Giving One Tenth of One’s Earnings to Higher Cause
Dasvandh, which literally means “tenth part”, is the tithing practice of contributing a portion of your earnings in the name of your Guru or spiritual source. The principle of Dasvandh is that if you give to the Infinite and Infinity, in turn, will give back to you. It is a spiritual practice through which you build trust in the ability of the Infinite to respond to the flow of love and energy that you give. This energy then expands ten-fold and flows back to you in abundance. Sikhs began bringing offerings during the time of the first Sikh Guru, Guru Nanak (1469-1539), the founder of the Sikh Path. Guru Nanak promoted the concept and virtue of Dasvandh in his bani. He said,
ਘਾਲਿ ਖਾਇ ਕਿਛੁ ਹਥਹੁ ਦੇਇ ॥ ਨਾਨਕ ਰਾਹੁ ਪਛਾਣਹਿ ਸੇਇ ॥੧॥
ghaal khaa-ay kichh hathahu day-ay. naanak raahu pachhaaneh say-ay. (1)
One who works for what he eats and gives some of what he has – O Nanak, he knows the Path. (1)
Guru Amar Das, the third Sikh Guru, started the formal tradition of a free kitchen and serving langar (blessed food) to everyone, as equals regardless of race, class, gender, faith and ethnicity. He called upon his Sikhs to bring a portion of their crops and earnings to share in the community kitchen.
During the time of the fifth Sikh Guru, Guru Arjan, the Sikh community fell upon difficult financial times. Sikh leaders became so concerned that they went to Guru Arjan for a solution. Guru Arjan knew the cosmic principle of Dasvandh would reverse the trend and multiply their prosperity. He instructed his beloved Sikhs, that the solution was for every person to donate one-tenth of their time and earnings to the infinite, therefore expanding their service and spiritual realm.
The Siri Singh Sahib promoted the power of tithing, by giving your Dasvandh, as a way to connect with your highest self. He said,
“Give to God what belongs to God. It is called Das-vandh: One-tenth of your time, income, thoughts, projection, communication, belongings and one-tenth of every act. Every act is blessed in which one-tenth belongs to God.” ~ Siri Singh Sahib – Yogi Bhajan