“I believe and constantly teach that creativity is the antidote to the mental bankruptcy and emotional emptiness of the Technological Age. If you create something and you create every single day, you’re not going to feel the same level of emptiness that is crippling so many humans in modern life. We are born to create, so when we create we are happy and then we treat each other better. That in and of itself is revolutionary.”
-- Excerpt from “Invincible Living” by Guru Jagat
There are teachers and there are teachers’ teachers. We were fortunate to be able to ask Guru Jagat (who definitely falls into the latter category) some questions about what comprises her creative practice, and how she found her way to a spiritual path. Known for making the somewhat esoteric practice of Kundalini yoga accessible for a modern audience, the founder of RA MA Institute for Applied Yogic Science and Technology and author of Invincible Living, answered with her trademark clarity.
How did Kundalini enter your life?
Kundalini first entered my life when I was fairly young. I’d been doing some other type of yoga called Ashtanga and it was fine, but I was looking for a relationship with a teacher. I certainly feel like Kundalini was introduced into my life thousands of lifetimes ago, because I feel that I’ve spent many many lifetimes practicing in the dharma with my teachers, incarnation after incarnation. But in this lifetime I was about 21 years old and it was post 9/11 in New York. It totally changed my life within 25 seconds and the rest is really history.
That’s beautiful. Speaking of beauty, when did you first discover the divine feminine?
I was raised by an incredible mother and she was one of the first movement, body-centered psychotherapists in America, a dance movement therapist. Being reincarnated into a woman’s body and having an incredible mother, it was just obvious to me what was animating the power of creative flow through women because of the strength of my mother. And then of course there was Yogi Bhajan, one of the biggest feminists I had ever met, and his attention to training women.
What set you on your spiritual journey?
I grew up in a very progressive environment. We were just of spirit our whole lives. My brother was doing sadhana [a daily spiritual practice] by the time he was 8 or 9. He was getting up at 4:30 or 5 in the morning and taking cold showers. We had a conjoined room so I started getting up when I was like 7 with him and taking cold showers, and chanting and doing spiritual practice in the morning.
So it’s really a family affair and you came to it very early. Now as a woman and teacher where do you find peace? Balance?
The hours before sunrise are one of the most peaceful times for me. I love sitting and being with fire. Meditating with fire. In any way fire is an element that’s very important to me. I think the notion of balance is kind of a toxic notion. Anyone who is living a life well lived will be in many ways off one side or another because we live on a polarity planet. It’s kind this wellness industry idea that are supposed to somehow be finding balance and I think that that’s basically chasing the tale. I think the greatest balance is in the inhale and the exhale.
Balance as a toxic notion, that’s brilliant. How does creativity play into your practice?
Creativity is my practice. I’m an artist first and foremost. My whole life and the whole way I live my life and the way I relate to my life is creativity in action.
That’s certainly a philosophy we can get behind. As a teacher, students must often ask you for guidance. What is the best advice you’ve given?
It’s very dependent on the moment. It’s mostly about creativity, about creating, creativity being the fulfilment of this time.
Do you journal? If so, please tell us about your latest pen to paper session.
I’m a poet and a non-fiction writer. That’s my spiritual practice. I’m writing my second book right now. That’s a deep part of my practice, being a writer.