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  • Bill Ayling

Sat Nam

"If you want to learn something , read about it. If you want to understand something write about it. If you want to master something, teach it." Yogi Bajan

"The truth is that you already are what you are seeking". Adyashanti

John Lennon famously said that life is what happens when you are busy making plans and the past year or so have seen any plans or ideas of control gently wrested from my grip. If this conjures an image of Buddha sublimely surrendering in a meditative pose under a tree don't be fooled. The reality was more like ripping a favourite toy from a two year old. In retrospect, I can see my behaviours, emotions and dramas were far closer to the two year old or a stroppy teenager than an accepting Buddha.

Despite my best attempts to control the universe the time had arrived to accept that it is far too big, and the people in it far too many (and amazing), to be controlled. Although I had always known and often voiced this to be true, to finally accept that truth and live from it is a very different thing, and is still very much a work in progress.

As my ideas of how things should be became increasingly laughable in the face of how things actually are I was left with little option but to surrender to the flow of life. When surrendering to that flow it doesn't take long to realise that life has a much better idea of whats good for you than your preconceived ideas of how things should be. Life will work tirelessly to nudge you in the right direction. It is also fearless and uncompromising in its determination to help you realise your true purpose in this experience.

One small example of how life has helped to wake me up to the truth is a simple mantra. That mantra is SAT NAM.

While I was busy trying to organise the universe, life decided to take me down an unexplored side road which resulted in me teaching Kundalini Yoga. I viewed the teacher training course as a welcome distraction from "real" life, but never for a minute imagined that I would ever actually teach. As plans and ideas of control fell away I began to pay more attention to this unexpected addition to my life and this 'distraction' started to weave together many of the teachings and knowings I had spent years accumulating, organising, dismissing, accepting, dismissing, challenging and accepting once again. And so I now find myself teaching Kundalini Yoga

Yogi Bajan, who brought Kundalini Yoga to the West, said that to master something you must teach it. Now I am far from a master but my attempts to explain the power of Mantra and SAT NAM in particular pulled together so many different strands from my years of searching and allowed a visceral experience of the knowing to such an extent that I would like to share that insight.


Sat Nam can be translated in a number of ways but in its essence transmits the message "Truth is my identity". This, to me at least, condenses the majority of the teachings I have received from so many sources into two syllables. Countless books, endless workshops, meditations and it all boils down to realising Sat Nam.

Let me try to explain.

We are not our thoughts, we are not our feelings, we are not our past nor future experiences. These are all impermanent, ever changing and as such are not the truth of who we are.

The only unchanging truth about us is the awareness that experiences all of these expressions. It is the same awareness that experiences you as the five year old and you as the fifty year old.

That awareness has no quantitive qualities. It cannot be seen, smelt, tasted, touched or heard. We can never be anywhere it isnt. It is immeasurable. It has no boundaries. In other words it is infinite.

We are that awareness. That is our truth.

If that awareness is infinite and has no boundaries there can only be one awareness. For there to be more than one awareness requires a boundary.

If there is just one awareness it can neither be born nor can it die, for it would require a different awareness to experience the emergence or disappearance of that awareness. That awareness is eternal.

We are eternal.

In my class the teacher and the student are the same awareness experiencing itself through individuated aspects of itself. 

We are, in our essence, one.

This is the truth in SAT NAM.

Truth is my identity is acknowledgment of the truth of our being.

To live from Sat Nam is the embodiment of enlightenment and this simple two word Mantra is, in my humble opinion, our purpose in being. As the one awareness interacts with itself through our apparent separate selves it is confirming its own existence. The first Sutra of The Aquarian Age is Recognise that the other person is you.

How would the world be if we all lived with that absolute knowing. Who are you loving? Who are you hating? Who are you judging?

What are you looking for?

The truth is that you already are what you are seeking.



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