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How I Found Sikhism (Blog of an Imperfect Pen)

Discussion in 'New to Sikhism' started by spnadmin, Feb 14, 2011.

  1. spnadmin

    spnadmin United States
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    an imperfect pen is a blog by "A white guy in Melbourne exploring the beauty of Sikh"


    How did I find Sikhism or how did Sikhism find me?

    About four years ago while working in mainland China I came across an interview on youtube by a white American Sikh called Guruka Singh. I can’t remember exactly what I listen to but it got me listening to other talks by Guruka Singh and other kindred spirits and before I knew it I was visiting mr.{url not allowed} almost everyday.

    In 2006 I made a trip to Hong Kong from Beijing and I remember wanting to find a book on Sikhism. I returned to Beijing with a small book on the subject and it was at this time that I started to recite the Mool Mantra. I began to read more online on Sikhism and added mr.{url not allowed} to my google reader. I also listened to the audio and videos on the site, especially ‘Why I am a Sikh Interviews.’

    In late August 2010 while working in Yunnan province at a waste water treatment plant, I had some time off so I travelled to Thailand and visited the Gurdwara in Bangkok everyday. I wrote a short piece on my blog titled ‘Gurdwara Revisited,’ which was also posted on {url not allowed} Gurdwara Revisited my first attempt to articulate my Sikh journey. It was at this time that I started to read japji in Romanization and start listening to renditions of it online. Returning to Kunming, Yunnan province, I met several foreign and Chinese travelers at an international hostel who had visited Amritsar. They all talked about their experiences meeting Sikhs and the Golden Temple.

    I wanted to spend more time in a Gurdwara and learn more about the Sikh way of life and it became more and more difficult to do that in China. One thing led to another and before I knew it I was in Hong Kong—Wanchai to be exact—spending almost a month at the Sikh temple washing pots and pans in the langar as well as serving food.

    I met some amazing people. I spent the early hours of the morning reciting Japji, in the evening I would attend the evening prayers, and before going to bed, I would read translations of Japji, Ardas and Kirtan Sohila. In the afternoons I would often spend an hour or so in the main hall where the Guru Granth Sahib was housed and listen to kirtan, something live, at other times, recorded.

    And this is pretty much how it all started, and the rest, as they say, is history. Much of my musings of Sikhism have found their way into a novel I’m writing called One Kitchen, One God. I hope to finish a final draft in the coming months.

    I have enclosed a short excerpt from the book below.

    I am moving towards something which I find difficult to express in words, but each time I bow before the Guru Granth Sahib, I am humbled and silenced by the grace of the Gurus. It is often said that constantly looking for new things can loosen the moorings of the soul. The Gurus understood this well, as have many others. The Guru Granth Sahib has given me glimpses of the most beautiful achor I have ever seen.

    This purpose of this site is to explore that beauty and share it with everybody.

    Take one step toward the Guru

    The Guru will in turn take a hundred steps in turn to welcome.

    That’s about as much as I need to say at the moment.

    Below is an excerpt from my book-in-progress One Kitchen, One God.

    Waheguru Ji Ka Khalsa, Waheguru Ji Ki Fateh.

    -peter micic

    ——-

    Puppi stood in front of a window in a huge room that rose up before him like a billowing cloud watching the sky turn into a purplish orange. Weary and exhausted, and without his horse, Puppi decided to spend the night in a lodge. It was no ordinary dwelling, but a prayer lodge of the Sufis. It was one of the few places that had remained undisturbed during the battles and local violence.

    From the window a garden enclosed by a number of small beautifully tiled buildings grew flowers to decorate shrines and statues and feast day garlands. It was also a sanctuary for prayer and meditation. The garden brought with it a sense of peace Puppi had forgotten he was capable of feeling. A carpenter was shaving a long piece of wood with a short wedge-shaped knife for a window frame on the other side of the garden. Watching the shavings curling from his sharp knife, his steady hands and elbow, Puppi was memorized.

    The carpenter looked up and smiled. ‘I’ll do your place next.’

    ‘I live in a mud hut,’ replied Puppi.

    It was about dusk and pilgrims and travelers gathered in the communal hall to eat. An old man with a white beard, thin and withered as a scarecrow ate his rice and lentils. A young man sitting next to Puppi had a scar across his right face.

    ’I’ve lost count of the days,’ said the young man as he finished his sweet pudding. ‘I’ve been accused of attempting to murder a government official and that charge is hanging over me now and forever. The police record has me evil from the start, born into a family of bandits, treated like some sort of scum or plague. I know this isn’t the kind of thing I should be telling a complete stranger, but something about this place makes me feel less troubled, more relaxed. And you make people feel at ease and you know it shines out from your very eyes.’

    Puppi’s didn’t know whether to take flight at that moment, but he was curious to hear the man’s story.

    ’I thought I had put this to bed a long time ago’, said the young man. ‘I’ve tried to nail it up, but it won’t go away. If we bothered to look at the shadows of darkness that obscures every human heart, we could begin to find a cure and discover that we are the real heroes not like those generals who return from wars and share their battle wounds with the emperor.’ There were depths of immense sadness in the man’s eyes, a darkness that resembled the frightening calls of crows that could at any moment peck blind and hollow a vulnerable and defeated man.

    ‘Thank you for listening to me sir. And forgive me for intruding on your own dark thoughts.’ The young man got up and walked out of the communal hall.

    Back in his room located at the end of a long corridor lit up by the glow of faint candles, Puppi wondered how many people the young man had told his story to. It was the sort of story that any man would have trouble putting to rest, just as stories of battles and bloodshed continued to be the most topical of conversation, discussed by military strategists, rulers at court, shared at family dinners and business transaction and even pillow talk among lovers.

    At this time of night everything seemed to stop moving except the evening prayers in the name of God, the Merciful, The Compassionate. At this time of the day, Puppi’s bedtime ruminations would invariably bring him to his own God. Staring at the ceiling, a poem by Rumi came to his mind:

    I met last night in stealth with Wisdom’s elder

    Begged him to divulge in full life’s secret

    This he softly, softly whispered in my ear:

    It must be seen, it can’t be told, keep quiet!

    The night was filled with stars and silence, but Puppi could not sleep.

    For attribution: Article was originally located at Wordpress under Blog of an Imperfect Pen. Original link no longer active.
     

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    #1 spnadmin, Feb 14, 2011
    Last edited: Jan 13, 2013
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  3. jsingh03

    jsingh03
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    hey dude long and awesome journey! xD
     
  4. dssidhu

    dssidhu India
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    It seems your blog has moved because this link does not work any more. dead link removed, with original kept for purposes of attribution to the original author/spnadmin


    Please advice. Thanks
     
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  5. spnadmin

    spnadmin United States
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    Thanks for the update. This does happen. Links go dry on the internet all the time. The reasons do vary. I have removed the link from your post so that it is not repeated. To contact the original author seems impossible at this time, and sad, because other essays are no longer available to us. At least we have the full article here at SPN, and the original reference.
     

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