Wednesday, January 18, 2006


Sat Shri Akal!

The meditation in our gurdwara was really good. To me anyhow.
It was a rather small group (lately we reached about 60 people) of only 20 people, but it was so "close" being in a small group.
President of gurdwara commitee welcomed everyone. I was happy to have him back in our midst, after being in jail for 4 months, on the false accusation that the money collected for a new gurdwara came out of "human trade".
The meditation was in alfabetical order, so first Bahai, Christians, Muslims and Sikhs. The theme was :"The Word" . We choose a part of Guru Grant Sahib on p.944.
It felt wonderful.
Though we had a major problem, on this blessed evening the heating refused to work and it was really cold and wet. So from one side of my spine the cold was coming up, but from the other side i felt the warmth of being in deep meditation. The warmth won throughout the meditation, but afterwards i was broken. My old bones gave a loud protest, so today i gave myself a quiet day.
After the meditation i invited everyone to give each other our peacewishes. I said not only the big worldpeace, but little everyday peace as well. I said "especially in our sikhcommunity" than my voice broke down, because i can feel i am still upset by the splitup in our sangat.
Shanti for all the people in the world, shanti for all the sikhs in the world.
Afterwards the sevadars offered chai and pakora's and indian sweets. It was late and they had to get up early, so they were great still serving. Thank you!

It felt really good!

Thursday, January 05, 2006

introduction on sikhism

Last Sunday i went to gurdwara. I did not go there since Octobre. In November i was in India (where i visited lots of gurdwara's), in December most of the time i was ill. But on Sunday i went and it made me really happy. It was good to be in the sangat again. In spite that it was only a part of my sangat. One group left to find a place of their own, not able to work out their problems. Anyhow they left. I was heartbroken, because in both groups i had good friends.
But i am a very faithful person, so i stayed in our gurdwara. I did not have reasons to leave and the whole discussion i thought was every sikh unworthy. I thought i never could be happy in gurdwara again, but i was!!!!!
So , i decided to plunge in again, though while i was in India, i was considering to take my steps back. So i accepted again to do the introduction program in and outside the gurdwara.
Next week i will introduce about 150 people on sikhism. What an honour!
On Monday and Wednesday i will welcome a group of around 50 students each, all of them are finishing their training as a social worker. In Belgium most people know sikhs because they ask political assylum. So most of the sikhs pass the social services of my country (support, housing, procedures etc...). So it is important that social workers are well informed on sikhism (why does a sikh look like a sikh? where are they coming from? what are they doing here? what are the basics of their faith? etc) There are a lot of prejudices on people that look different and the sikhs are not making it easier on being so different themselves (being amrithari, keshdari, sesjdhari, some being real political refugees and some illegal migrants etc). It will be a lot of talking and explaining, but if only one social worker has a changed attitude on the job, i consider this sewa succesful.
On Tuesday i have the intoductionprogram in a school where teachers are trained. Again i think this is important, since lately so many young sikhchildren are going to Belgian schools. When they wear patka's they face a lot of trouble ( that is if they can find a school that allows them to wear patka. In the changing political climate more and more schools seem NOT to tolerate any sign of religion). So it is good if their teachers are well informed and hopefully protect their little pupils.
When i was studying there was a very open, "leftwing" mind among the students (that was the flower power time. My God, i am getting old!) . What a contradiction with the atmosfere right now; most general thinking is going to the"right wing" now and this means that even teachers dare to say very racist remarks in the classroom. Leaving their pupils helpless under their attacks.

This month there will be an interreligious meditation again. This time we gather in our gurdwara (that is if nothing comes up to fail this schedule), so i am very thrilled to help prepare this event. I really hope that no one in our sangat feels that the visitors of all kind of faith, can not be welcomed in our gurdwara. It will be such an "unsikh like" idea to refuse people. This month's theme is: "het Woord" "The Word" . Actually i want to suggest for the sikhcontribution, that we meditate on: "Waheguru, Waheguru, Waheguru, Waheguru Jio".
On Gurumustuk Singh's blog was a very inspiring version from South America. I will suggest this, otherwise i will translate a little part of Guru Grant Sahib in Dutch to give as a deep thought before going into meditation.

So i am back! And i am happy to be there again. Actually i realise i missed it!