January 22, 1934 – October 24, 2018
Dr Harijot Singh was born Sidney Zerinsky on January 22, 1934, and spent his early years in Union City, New Jersey. He was a gentle soul and loved being a friend to all.
Always a non-conformist, Harijot was drawn to many fields of study, leaning towards spirituality and natural healing arts. He opened one of the first health food stores in New Jersey in the 1950s before going on to study Physical Therapy at the Swedish Institute in NYC. He made his career in Manhattan, eventually becoming the director of the Swedish Institute as it transitioned into a professional school for Massage Therapy. He was instrumental in bringing professional standing to the practice of massage therapy.
For a time in the 1960s, he coached a teenage basketball team in Chinatown, NY – and while at the home of a Chinese team member he saw a wall chart of acupuncture meridians. Thinking it was a Chinese physical therapy trigger-point chart, he struck up a conversation with the father (translated by the son, as he spoke no English). He learned that the father, Mr.Young, was a doctor of Chinese medicine. This began Harijot’s love and lifelong study of this healing modality, as well as Taoism and Chinese history. He studied with Mr.Young for many years, learning Cantonese in order to do so. He finalized his studies and received Certification in the Practice of Chinese Medicine in Hong Kong in 1974, as one of the first Westerners to be certified. He ran a private practice in Manhattan while continuing his work at the Swedish Institute, where he met Seva Kaur.
He and Seva married in 1980 and they moved to Kent in upstate New York. They had two children, Satamrit Kaur (Bazil Zerinsky) and Siri Hargobind Singh. Seva introduced him to 3HO in 1981 at winter solstice. He felt a deep connection to the teachings of Guru Nanak and quickly built relationships within the sangat. Harijot and his family moved to the Española ashram in 1985, where he served the community as a healer for many years.
After moving to New Mexico, he opened a private practice in Chinese Medicine and Physical Therapy in Santa Fe. Much beloved by the community, he would walk downtown every day on his lunch break and talk with shopkeepers. He loved linguistics and made a point to learn enough of many languages so if he met someone from another country he could greet them in their own language.
Harijot was a gifted healer. His big heart, his compassion, and his unique ability to tap into innate health, reached deeply into his patients. Stories abound of the profound, life-changing healing they experienced in his care. Harijot lived his name, as God’s light shone through him.
He officiated Bazil’s marriage in May of 2018, when she and her fiancé John came from Greece. This meant so much to Harijot, to Bazil and John, and to all of us.
Harijot died in his home with his son Siri Hargobind by his side and daughter Bazil on the phone with him (from Greece) on October 24, 2018 He was 84 years old. He is survived by his son Siri Hargobind, his daughter Bazil Zerinsky, his granddaughter Maia and his ex-wife and friend Seva. He was a sweet man who touched many lives. He remains in the hearts of those who were fortunate to know him.
Seva Kaur Khalsa