Mutshat Shemsut Gianprem Kaur
Gianprem-Kaur’s spiritual growth began to accelerate soon after experiencing a prolonged period of weeping in a Kundalini Yoga class in New York in the early 2000s. It happened at the end of a meditation. As she wept, a copious amount of clear mucus ran from her nose. It filled one cupped hand and then the other. Still, she wept. A studio full of yoga students became one or two, lingering to speak with the teacher in the front of the room. She wept, still. Finally, the crying, ceased. After washing her hands she took stock of herself and realized that she felt really good, as if a weight had been lifted. She would know later that one or more of her chakras had become unblocked. She considered it a Divine occurrence.
However, it was when of elementary school age, growing up in the Frederick Douglass Houses on the west side of Manhattan, that she had an experience that would serve as a core, a guiding light that would serve her throughout her life. While walking home from church with her siblings and friends, she became aware of a sensation of almost indescribable joy and happinessthat began to fill her from within. The feeling was so intense that she had to stop walking in order to observe this inner curiosity. As her siblings and friends walked ahead, she stood in the middle of the sidewalk repeating aloud, over and over, “I feel so happy. I feel so HAPPY. I feel SO happy!”
She knew that it was not an ordinary happiness. She came to know later in life that it was an experience of pure bliss. Even though a child, from that day forward her prevailing thought was that there was more to this physical world than was readily seen. Other sacred occurrences also hinted at this. Years later, while standing alone in the bedroom of her first floor bachlorette pad, she heard a voice say, clearly, “We all know what we must do.” She knit her brows and turned her head to the left and right. The voice did not seem to come from above or from within her head. it was more like, right outside of her, definitely in the room with her. Still, she ran around the apartment looking for its source--outsideof the windows-- there was no one. She looked under the bed and in the other rooms. No one.
Subconsciously, she sought the origin of that first remembered experience, the bliss, and had many questions about the source of all things and who she really was, and had a strong desire to speak with God directly so that she could ask, uh, what’s really going on here? However, like others bogged down in this physical realm facing the challenges of maya, she strayed away from serious self inquiry of the spiritual kind, opting instead for more secular study and participation in the Black Power Movement as a teenager. She graduated Spelman College in 1978 with a B.A. in English, went on to earn an M.A. in Afro-American studies and an M.S. in journalism at Boston University; she earned an M.S. in Education from Lehman college and an M.S. in School Leadership from Mercy College. She had worked as a journalist for a Harlem newspaper as a teen, then briefly worked as a journalist for a large metropolitan newspaper as an adult. She got married, had children, became a public school teacher, went into work early, left late, paid bills and knew that there was something else that she should be doing.
Though she enjoyed teaching and loved her students, she observed that each year there was an increasing air of unhappiness among her colleagues and students. This was especially true in schools in under-served areas of the city. She had begun reading all manner of spiritual books and attending workshops and lectures on various topics regarding the world of spirit and the metaphysical.
It was Muata Ashby’s book, Egyptian Yoga, the Philosophy of Enlightenment, and its repeated mention of kundalini energy, that, in 1999 led to Kundalini Yoga classes here and there. A divorce had a traumatic impact on her and her children and she sought some relief. She began a more serious practice of Kundalini Yoga in 2000. She realized that the practice addressed every human emotion or commotion that one could name, and she saw her way of thinking shifting in very positive ways little by little. She was often the only person of color in her yoga classes. She lamented the fact that her people were missing out on an opportunity to experience the expansiveness and healing that a Kundalini Yoga practice offers. Then she met Krishna Kaur, a dynamic African American woman who had studied with Yogi Bhajan, the Master of Kundalini Yoga himself. Krishna convinced her to become certified to teach Kundalini Yoga. Gianprem flew from New York to Los Angeles every month for six months in order to achieve this, becoming a Level One certified Kundalini Yoga instructor in 2008. In addition to Krishna, she has studied with Gurucharan Singh Khalsa and Nirvair Singh Khalsa in Espanola, New Mexico, in New York with Sat Jivan Singh and Sat Jivan Kaur, and in Austin with Mehtaband Siri Bahadur.
Fast forward to 2012, Gianprem attended a presentation by Ras Ben, the African earthkeeper and innovative educator on the topic of the energy of gemstones and their metaphysical uses from an African perspective. At the end of the lecture she purchased his book, Rocks of Ages: The Anu Edition. Her eyes were drawn to Ras Ben’s web address. While perusingthe website she came upon reference to Kajara Nia Yaa NebtHet, a woman who offered classes in something called Ra Sekhi, a healing modality that, among other things, promised to cleanse the aura and energetically clear blocks. She thought to herself that here was another way in which she could help people to open up and become self-aware, so that they could heal, become their best selves, and work toward liberation while alive. In 2013 she flew to Oakland, California to take the training. She was attuned and given the spiritual name of MutShat Shemsut. MutShat credits Ra Sekhi with opening her up to a strong spiritual practice grounded in her ancestral roots. A blessing beyond measure, she is grateful for her connection to the Great I AM, the NETERU , ancestors and what she calls the healing collective, who work through her so that she may help others on their path—thereby fulfilling her mission.
MutShat Shemsut-Gianprem Kaur is a Ra Sekhi (Kemetic Reiki ) Sunu--a priestess in the Ra Sekhi Arts Temple. She is the owner of the wellness center, In Light Yoga and Health in the Bronx, New York where she teaches Kundalini Yoga and Ra Sekhi. In addition to teaching Kundalini Yoga and Meditation classes in the Bronx and Manhattan, MutShat attunes Ra Sekhi initiates, presents and hosts workshops and speakers on a variety of wellness topics, and leads ceremonies and rituals. She holds monthly community meditations at MMCC Beacon 142 in the Bronx. She is an artist. Her unique mixed media creations are infused with healing energy. She is the author of Meditations for an Evolving People due out in the fall. MutShat is available for speaking engagements.
MutShat strives to live up to the spiritual names given her:
MutShat Shemsut—Divine mother, she who follows divine order
Gianprem Kaur—God’s beloved Princess/Lioness of wisdom, who walks with an aura of grace and courage throughout her life