I recently got to experience doing Simran in three different ways, the most common I do is on my own, sometimes I get to a Gurdwara where everyone is doing Simran in the Darbar together and lastly I did it with a friend at Amrit Vela, some sleepover that was!
So Simran, incase you don’t know or need a reminder is essentially meditation but it is also so much more. Simran is a remembrance of God, Waheguru, it’s an experience and it’s really hard to put into words. It can be calming, blissful and awakening to name just a few feelings doesn’t really give it justice, it is the experience of God, Guru. You just have to sit and experience it.
When I do Simran on my own in the morning
In the morning I get up get washed and dressed then do a few yoga stretches to start the day. I sit on my yoga sheepskin (but any floor or cushion is fine) put a blanket round myself and put on a track of Waheguru Simran from Soundcloud. My favourites at the moment are by Akand Jaap 2014 Gurbinder Kaur and Basics of Sikhi UK and Canada 2017. I then chant or sing along to Waheguru for at least 23 minutes, I close my eyes and absorb those words. I’m present, open and surrendered. Afterwards I feel more connected to Waheguru or you could say ‘a higher force’, I feel calm and carry that throughout the day, sometimes in a state Anahat, where the words are just there with no effort needed.
When you do Simran with a group
Simran in a group, especially if it’s in a Darbar full of people is wonderful. I’ll give you some examples, there’s a Gurdwara near me that I’m not sure if it’s the way the building has been designed (logical reason) or if it’s the people in the room and a lovely instrument that’s played that I haven’t heard anywhere else (spiritual reason) but the energy is alive, like it’s moving around the room. As if I can hear every person so clearly and all their devotion too, it really is incredible.
Another time at another Gurdwara, I went at Amrit Vela where there is Simran from 4-5am, a friend told me about it and Maharaja’s blessing I woke up excited to go and drove down the motorway at 3am, to sit and do Simran. He was completely right in what he told me, the whole energy of the carpark, building, Durbar and Langar hall was so peaceful despite being very busy. There I just sat and said Waheguru and it was beautiful, at 5.30 I ate Langar with my friend then drove home and had a nap. It was 6.30am and I had already been out! My whole day felt uplifted and I couldn’t pin point why, only Waheguru.
Doing Simran with a partner
By partner I mean friend/family member/life partner, essentially one other person. I experienced Amrit Vela with a friend while staying at there’s one weekend. We got up, did some stretches then started Simran, I was a bit hesitant at first, should we use a recording, that’s what I usually do? No, she said, let’s just do it and we can go through the different ways of saying Waheguru in Simran. So we did and I’m so glad! Using just our voices it’s as if I really took on the words, relied only on our voices and the energy just felt so pure. As it was early and raining outside we didn’t get to do Simran on the beach so opted for her floor space by the radiator. It meant we couldn’t use a fantastic tamborine I had borrowed, instead my friend threw up and down a small mala meditation ring in her hand and it made a great little noise.
Following Simran we did Japji and again I leant towards doing it with a recording, though my friend kindly encouraged me to do it without and just read the Gurmuki aloud as it’s one Bani I know well enough to. Sure enough we did that and both were such blessings to experience with nothing other than the voices in the room. It has made me feel more confident in the Gurmuki I know and trying out different styles with/without a recording. One morning recently no one was in the house so I tapped the tamborine against my hand, it was fun, doing Simran and making my own musical sound!
If you want to learn more, watch the video bellow about Jagraj Singh, founder of Basics of Sikhi, here he shares his story of Simran.