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The Sikh Chaplain ~ Part 3

This is an event we do twice a year at the hospital called "Blessing of Hands," where we support and honor the nurses and nurse assistants in their hard work. These were nurses lining up for the blessing in the Oncology unit.

I sat with a young man recently. He was in a traumatic car accident in which the car was totaled. He amazingly came out of it with little injury but was admitted for further tests. As with all traumas that come to hospital, the Chaplain visits making a Spiritual Care Assessment of their emotional and spiritual well being. Initially he shared he was doing all right, brushed it off as it was another day. When sitting with him, I asked some poignant questions about the incident and his experience and in a matter of minutes he came to his own "awakening moment;" he was in a near death traumatic incident. We spent the next 45 minutes unmasking the layers of fear, the what if's and the why's, and connecting about his mortality. It was profound. He is not a church going person but said he would attend church more often if these were the kinds of things that were talked about. We were able to connect deeply, and perhaps take advantage of a wake up call and process it healthily. I made a couple of visits in his brief stay at the hospital introducing more food for thought and listening as he shared his reflections. Beautiful experience.

This is one of many stories I have working in this field. It deeply moves me. These times of suffering, crisis, end of life, traumatic incidence, and seemingly random accidents are often the time when we are our most introspective, when the mind is least clever, and when we are real with our vulnerability. It is a time we reflect to our truer nature, where the veils are lifted to a purer sense of reality. It's as if a doorway to personal discovery opens wide, and a priceless jewel of deeper understanding, healing, and growth becomes accessible. They say a Chaplain's role is a companion for the Soul and I learned that Chaplains are the ones who are present during these precious moments to support the inner journey and the great healing that's available.

The calling in my heart came to fruition in this work and answers to my contemplative questions on suffering finally started to come. Sikhi is perfect for it too. We have a vast and dynamic spirituality, rooted in universal thought, and deeply connected to truth. This role of Chaplaincy gave me a venue to put into practical application our spiritual teachings of the Guru's. It gave me a way that I could apply our spirituality rather than create a new thought of spiritual psychology. This role has challenged me to not just think about teachings, but live the teachings, and merge with the profound insights of the Guru's applying them to our modern world and modern challenges.

Singh Sahib Amar Atma Singh Khalsa

SS Amar Atma Singh Khalsa is currently a Chaplain at Banner University Medical Center in Phoenix, Arizona. This series of five articles describes his journey and experience to becoming a Hospital Chaplain. Amar Atma Singh has a Master's degree in Traditional Chinese Medicine, and is a minister through Sikh Dharma International. He can be contacted at: [email protected]

SS Amar Atma Singh - Copy (16K)

The Doorway to Chaplaincy ~ Part II

Related Articles:

Searching for a Path ~ Sikh Chaplain Part-I

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