Mark Harris (Gurumukh Singh)
Gurumukh Singh Harris, has been involved with 3HO since 1971. He first was trained as a teacher in Phoenix at Nanak Dwara, and lived for a short while at Hargobind Sadan in San Rafael, before moving to Los Angeles, where he began his long association with Krishna Kaur. Under her inspiration he has developed workshops exploring the intersecting African roots of Yoga and Christianity, particularly Black Liberation Theology. Developing sadhana and meditation music with African musical influences, (Samba, bossa, reggae, mbira, marimba, gospel, jazz, rock, and folk) has been an extension of his work in founding one of the seminal New Age / World Beat bands Rhythm & Bliss, Taiwo - Taste The World, and helping create the Krishna Kaur Band. Currently employed as a college professor teaching Addiction Studies and Ethnic Studies, he is concerned with promoting any technologies for the liberation of the human spirit.
Rhythm & Bliss’ performance praxis was based on Kundalini Yoga, operating musically from the 1st to the 7th Chakras using rhythm, lyric, and the Sound Current to produce healing effects on audiences from 1977 to 1994.
Later, after retraining in 2008, I began working from the direction that Yogiji provided a group of African-American Kundalini Yogi’s in the 1970’s, that Kundalini Yoga originated in Africa, Gurumukh began a thought experiment / praxis. If Kundalini Yoga, and yoga itself evolved prior to the building of the pyramids, what if Ieshua / Jesus had access to it? The practice of Kundalini Yoga develops siddhi’s, which from a non-yogic point of view, look like miracles, but could simply be applications of higher law or science. In its original cultural context, Kundalini Yoga would have had limited access. In the 21st Century, who should have access to technologies of liberation, and what could be developed along those lines for the 21st Century? What if Martin Luther King, Nelson Mandela, or Angela Davis were or had been Kundalini Yogi’s? What would they do with it? The spiritual technologies of people of color have not simply focused on individual personal spiritual liberation, but also liberating people from systemic oppression as well. African-American Kundalini yogi’s have long been engaged in creating culturally specific addiction treatment services, intervention and prevention services for youth, martial arts, health food businesses, HIV / AIDS prevention and support.
The practice of Kundalini Yoga develops siddhi’s and in the 21st Century, perception of hidden systems of discrimination, is a siddhi in itself, albeit not in the classical yogic sense.
To that end I developed a workshop for Summer Solstice 2013 called the Yoga of Intersectionality.
Certainly the development of the 12 senses is part of that. The twelve senses are the 5 physical senses plus the 6th sense which is simply the undifferentiated signal input of the seven classical chakras, or as they are referred to in Africa as the 7 spheres of Ra. The caduceus associated with medicine, originated in Egypt as symbolizing the serpent power, with the twin uraeus (winged cobras) crossing at 5 centers, gazing at the third eye, and uniting at the crown. Until one learns to separate the chakral signal paths and discern where the signal is coming from become a mishmash, of noise, rather than signal. Without proper filtering through appropriate memetic constructs, signal becomes noise, and noise can drive you crazy. To dampen the signal, people turn to addictive substances and processes. Tuning and focusing the signal is a learning process, hence my continued research into the healing aspects of music, meditation, yoga, or simple interaction with natural systems like wind, water, silence, the desert, outer and inner space.
When you combine the concepts of Intersectionality with Yoga, you have the Yoga of Intersectionality. That is, there are in American culture intersecting systems of discrimination based on perceivable human differences, that remain invisible if you are a member of a privileged group which benefits from the system of discrimination. Much like the caste system in India, there are castes in America based on an acronym I title
C.R.2A. 3S.H. (Calalang, Harris 2003) or ClassISM, RaceISM (Religion, Spirituality), Addiction, Ability, Age ISM’s, SexISM, HeterosexISM. Systems of discrimination cause trauma, which is often stored in the subconscious, or generates anger or depression, or various disease processes. Yoga gives us a potent tool, for centering on the mat. But off the mat, we need to understand what we are dealing with in order to transform ourselves and others.
PTSD Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, happens to an individual. MGT, Multigenerational Trauma, happens to a people and the trauma is passed on within DNA, much like instinct. Unlike instinct, which has preprogrammed unconscious response, trauma is processed incompletely, in flashbacks, and emotions. Like a downloaded spiritual revelation, you don’t necessarily know what it is, until you are ready to consciously integrate it.
There are human ethnic genomes whose survival circumstances breed psi-sensitives, particularly in response to oppressive conditions, where overt communication would be dangerous.
This is also a capability recognized in diverse sexual and gender expression hence the Native term two-spirit, or the English term Queer. The ability to blend the Visible and Invisible Worlds. Once that talent was once recognized and trained from birth. However, with war, slavery, conquest, genocide, and chemical warfare in the form of alcohol and other drugs, the psi-talent which attempts to be expressed, is pathologized as insanity.
Kundalini Yoga is a potent tool for liberation and resolving such past trauma or samskaras (karmic vibrations from the past), as well as freeing the psi-talent to be utilized creatively for social liberation and transformation.
In any case, in my application of the teachings, and the work I do in communities of color, as well as the addictions community, this is the approach I utilize. Blending Kundalini Yoga with what I call Radical Afrocentric Aramaic Primacist Liberation Theology, Critical Race Theory, and Jazz. I work from the notion that Ieshua was a yogi, whose teachings in his original language, are a potent meditational tool, as well as action guide compliment this years theme: Realize the Other Person is You.