Have you ever woken up early to do Simran on a beach to the sunrise? If you haven't, I assure you the early morning wakeup call is worth it. I was invited to attend a Simran at Spanish Banks by the University of British Columbia Sikh Student Association. Simran is the act of meditating on the Nam, or the ultimate creator, in the Sikh religion.
We arrived at the beach at the crack of dawn. As I prepared my camera, the students laid out the sheets where the baja (aka harmonium) and tabla (aka Indian drums) would be placed. I took off my socks and felt the cool wetness of the sand. As I waited for my feet to adjust to the temperature and texture, I took in the scene before me.
I noticed how quiet and calm my surroundings were. The only sounds were the rhythmic movement of the ocean and the seagulls' cries; we were all waiting patiently for the sun to rise and to start our day together. Looking toward the east, I could see the first rays of the sun kissing the sky. The sun spread hues of pinks and oranges above the buildings in the far distance, which appeared black in contrast with the awakening sky.
We all sat on the sheets with our socks off and heads covered. As the music started playing and the harmonious chanting of "waheguru" began, I began videotaping. However, as the Simran progressed I found myself unable to focus on videotaping and instead settled down with the other students.
I felt as if I were cocooned in a spiritual bubble suspended in time. The more I repeated "waheguru" the more stress I felt leave my mind and the more connected I became with my surroundings. My spirit was awakening with the rising sun. It was an out-of-body experience beyond words. Nature truly is our greatest gift.