The Oath of a Kundalini Yoga Teacher

“The Oath of a Kundalini Teacher: “I am not a woman. I am not a man. I am not a person. I am not myself. I am a teacher.” ~ Yogi Bhajan

I have a confession to make. I struggled with The Teacher’s Oath when I started my Kundalini Yoga Teacher Training. When I first heard it, I rebelled. What do you mean I’m not a woman? If I’m not a person than what am I? And if I am not myself, then who is me? I didn’t get it and it confused me immensely. Who was this guy to tell me that I’m not me? Can you say “resistance?” How about that for a great start?

In this article, I’ll explain about The Teacher’s Oath and what it means to me now compared to my first impression. I’ll also touch on the key ethical responsibilities a KY teacher has in terms of service to students, personal conduct, and roles. And finally I’ll bring in my relationship to the teachings and to the source of the teachings.

Gurmukh Kaur Khalsa, of Golden Bridge in Los Angeles, says that, “as Kundalini yoga teachers, [we] take this [Teacher’s] Oath. It sets the precedent as to why we are there and what we are to deliver: these sacred teachings. Our purpose is to deliver the student to himself-not to the teacher. We are there to inspire the students.”

How do I feel about The Teacher’s Oath now? It is about uplifting humanity! Yogi Bhajan gave the Teacher’s Oath as a reminder to keep our ego out of our teaching and to always respond with what is in the best interest of the student. He is trying to teach us to “shine the soul of the student,” not to shine our own egos. It is about being a messenger of the teachings; being a vehicle and letting it flow. The Teachers Oath reminds us to be the teacher and to uplift the soul of each student.

Hand-in-hand with the Teachers Oath are the ethical responsibilities a KY teacher has. These responsibilities are three-fold. First, is ethical responsibility in terms of service. As a KY teacher it is essential to keep the purity of the teachings and to teach them in a way that is selfless. It is the teacher’s responsibility to connect students to the flow of the teachings and to elevate the student to the awareness of the Infinite within them.

Second, is ethical responsibility in terms of personal conduct. This is about walking the talk and teaching by example. It is also about relating to the spirit, soul, and essence of a person, not their ego. Additionally, the teacher-student relationships are to remain professional. Personal conduct is to be of the highest caliber and always from a place of deep care, respect, and concern for others.

The third and final piece is ethical responsibility in terms of role. As a KY teacher you need to let go of your identification with your own success or failure. In this role, a KY teacher needs to identify with “being a teacher” as an infinite task. It is about being mindful of the students (ability levels, never being harassive, honoring all belief systems, and keeping confidences). In terms of the role as a KY teacher, choose right over wrong, ethics over convenience…these are the choices that measure your life (not just your teaching experiences). Travel the path of integrity…for there is never the wrong time to do the right thing.

To close off this discussion, it is important to bring in what my relationship is to the teachings and the source of the teachings.

My relationship to the teachings is one of respect, consideration, love, appreciation, gratitude, and service, always, at all times, regardless of my particular momentary feelings and opinions, because that is the attitude I need to have toward my very Essence.

As for my relationship to the source of the teachings, it was difficult in the beginning. As a pure Sagittarian, I am often desperately unhappy in regimented situations as I tend to become bored and restless, and I also resent authority. So, to come to this type of spiritual teaching that is based on the tradition of a guru transmitting the wisdom was an interesting choice. I know that, typically, people surrender to the guru to lead the way until you have the discipline of the pure teachings. It all shifted into greatness once I started to trust my teacher and surrender to the experiences. Now, KY is a proven step-by-step system to walk my own path. It is all LOVE…pure LOVE. I surrender my ego to my soul. I came to explore the knowledge and didn’t know that the knowledge would start to explore me. It was about the wisdom of yielding to, rather than opposing, the flow of life.

I get it now…just as Mark Ciaburri claims, “My whole being moves toward these teachings. I love what I am learning, and unlearning.”

┬ęCopyright 2010 Kundalini Yoga With Sharlene Starr. All Rights Reserved.

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Jobs For Retirees – Finding The Perfect Retirement Job

Working After Retirement

Now I’m living the dream and while I enjoy the freedom of not having to work, working is still a part of my life. Work still provides some positive things that I need and I don’t know how to turn off the work ethic that took a lifetime to develop.

The big difference is that now, I’m not committed to 40 hours a week, every week. Most of the retired people I know are still working in some capacity. It’s just something we do.

But the question most people ask me when they begin thinking about retirement is “Why work after you retire?”. An old friend of mine had one of the best answers. He said “You can sit on the porch for only so long.” He was 80 when he took his last part-time job.

The question I always ask is “What do you want to do after you retire?” and there may be several answers to that question. The decision will generally be based on how financially secure you are going to be after you retire. For some of us, working, even part-time, will be a reality. How many seniors do you see working in restaurants and department stores?

So, what is the perfect retirement job for you?

The Perfect Part-Time Job

The perfect retirement job might be the one you have now. Except on your own terms. I know several people who retired and agreed to come back to work on a part-time basis for their former employer. They get to use their vast store of knowledge, work shorter hours with people they already know and get paid pretty well for it. A win-win situation if you can get it. The place to start is to find out if your company already uses part-time employees or make an offer to your company to provide valuable services after you retire.

If you have technical experience, you might explore consulting as a part-time job. My consulting work started shortly after I retired in 2009 with a phone call from a company asking if I could help them out with a short term project doing exactly what I did before I retired. I’ve been working four to six months a year ever since.

There are several other possibilities for part-time work that you could consider;

Do you like to drive and travel? Recreational vehicle dealers in your area might have a need for someone to transport motor homes from one dealership to another. Check with your local RV dealers and offer your services as a driver. Some might require a class C driver’s license, but the rewards of being paid to travel to different parts of the country in a luxury motor home might be worth the effort.

I know a retired guy who used to drive cars between auto dealerships in his city and another who delivered cars for Enterprise car rental. This type of work is a little more difficult to get into because auto dealers usually have someone on staff deliver cars. It doesn’t hurt to ask and it might result in a unique part-time job.

Uber, the ride sharing service that was started on the internet a couple of years ago offers opportunities to generate some additional cash. I don’t know what the pricing structure is, but it should be easy to sign up for and generate some extra cash. Another big benefit for a retiree, you get to work when you want to and on your terms.

When most people think about a part-time job, the first thing that comes to mind is a low paying structured job where you report to a place at a certain time, put in some hours and get paid. This works and has been the norm since forever. But, the real key to finding unusual ways to earn extra cash is to look around, watch the news and see what is happening in the world today.

If you see something unusual that interests you, check it out. It might just be the perfect part-time job.

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