Poke, Provoke, Confront, Uplift --- Uh, when do we get to that uplifting part?

Updated: 2020-09-21 13:10:04

 

Yogi Bhajan summed up his approach to teaching in a manner that denizens of Madison Avenue envy to this day:

Poke, Provoke, Confront, Uplift.

He likened his pedagogical method to that of a forklift truck.

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To live as a Sikh is simple. It means no matter what situation you find yourself in, you uplift that situation. In order to uplift others, there is a technique. You can't just compliment people, and you can't just confront people. As Sikhs we are in Chardi Kala. But it's not just being in this state that uplifts others. So how do we bring that to others? 

Through Naam. The technique is be like a forklift. This means that you have meet each person where they are; In their frequency and their frame of reference. 

Meet them where they are in your frequency, words, and actions. Then you have to slowly begin the process to elevate. 

This process has 4 steps: Poke, Provoke, Confront, and Elevate. You can't just skip to the last one and expect to elevate someone. 

First, Poke. You probe. You do this to get someone to be real. Get them to break out of fantasies and rationalizations. Get them to the point of acknowledging the reality. 

Second, Provoke. You push them to the point of them wanting to change themselves. There is 2 things that the person might do. 1) they might shut up and face themselves, or 2) they might get defensive and begin giving rationalizations and excuses. In either case you move on to the third step. 

Third, Confront. This is where you challenge the person. You get them to agree to a simple action. For example if the person wants to get up in the Amrit Vela, you ask them to do a prayer the night before. Be consistent so the person can't slip out of taking a step to positive change. 

Fourth, Elevate. You leave it on a high note. This is when you say something encouraging and inspiring. 

 For example, you can tell the person that they have the power to change themselves, and uplift their lives, and achieve their destiny. 

This is a teaching technique that you have to practice and master by experience. 

Then it becomes second nature. It's a manifestation of your own prayer to help others. To really do this, you have to remove your ego, and just be fully present with that person.

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