Saturday, November 28, 2015

Everything You Need To Know About Kundalini

Can one person know everything there is to know about Kundalini? And if so, is there such a person? For instance, the other day I ran across some online wondering about the use of Kundalini in provoking and treating abdominal pain. Of course, all aspects of Kundalini interest me, but here was one aspect I had never encountered and had to admit I knew nothing about.

Pasted images on gray wall
Gray #1
I realized there are other kundalini-related topics that I know nothing about because they are not part of my experience, all of which points out the danger of offering advice about specific kundalini topics outside the ken of the "advisor."

I know a lot about kundalini. Most is specific to my own personal experience, which, although it shares many similarities with the experiences of others, is unique to me. I also know about a sundry and varied list of effects that my awakening has set in motion over the last 40 years. Many effects have to do with the current state of my body and the physical changes in my body that kundalini has induced since my awakening. Because of the variance in the state and condition of individual bodies, these effects are rarely shared. I have never met someone who said that kundalini affected their bodies the same way it affected mine.

Tati Store Window
Gray #2
I know a lot about Golden Flower Meditation (GFM), the method I used to activate kundalini, a method I've taught for 20 years. Yet, each time I teach this method, I am confronted by new challenges, participants' questions that were never raised before, questions I'd never encountered or thought about. And I had to find new ways of describing a certain technique, either because someone raised the question or a better way of explaining the technique suddenly became clear to me during the explaining.

Above the clouds Rt. 299
Gray #3
So, to sum it up, I know about my experience, the effects I've experienced, and teaching GFM. Even among these topics, there are various degrees of knowledge — things I absolutely know by way of experience, things that are almost impossible to communicate to others, things that I've learned empirically or inductively. Things I learned deductively. Things I can extrapolate on, usually items picked up in conversations with other kundalini novices, practitioners, and/or adepts. Hypotheses derived from the various changes kundalini has effected on my body. Some are hypotheses related to visions or intuitive data that kundalini has brought to the attention of my rational mind.

Yes, kundalini is always working in the background, moving thoughts, emotional states, and physical conditions around, toying with consciousness, allowing me to realize things that, in my pre-kundalini days, I never could have imagined, much less considered real and actual possibilities. Things already here and things to come. Creative things. Positive, inspired and inspiring things. Evolution hard at work, striving to avoid an imminent world collapse, as we veer — no, rush headlong — toward a collective self-destruction.

PG&E Meter Board
Gray #4
So, why is kundalini important? Why should one limit comment on aspects of kundalini outside the range of the factors mentioned above? Because Kundalini is a biological expression of what Gopi Krishna termed the "evolutionary impulse." It is a subject so large that it cannot be "known" by just one person. It is also a means of changing the negative aspects of human nature and of jump-starting evolution. Its purpose is not to be trifled with...

Just as one engineer knows electronics, another knows construction, still another knows computers; kundalini has its compartments, its specializations, its properties. Whether this becomes a track worthy of further research is too early to tell. One thing is certain: each day I realize how little I know, and in so realizing I learn something new.

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Something Inside So Strong

Those who know music will recognize the title of this blog post as a lyric from the song of the same name by Labi Siffri. I'd like these words on my tombstone because they capture my whole life.

A couple of days ago, I received an email from a woman thanking me for writing Female Kundalini. She spoke about how my writing about the messiness of life had struck a cord with her. In turn, when I read her email, it struck a cord with me.

The spiritual path is messy; it messed with the life I would have had, had I never come into contact with this "other" world. It was this "something inside so strong" that chose my path; I was only along for the ride. Now I can look back, acknowledge, and co-operate with this "something," but for many years I was being chauffeured by the something, and the result of it was a messy life.

What do I mean by that? For many years, the more spiritual study and practice I got into, the more confusing and bewildering life became. I was dedicated to "something" I didn't understand, something nobody else seemed to understand, least of all, the people I encountered. As you can imagine, this combination made for a lonely life. Although if you knew me then, I don't think you would have noticed I was lonely. It is only with age that wisdom and understanding come. I now see and understand so much more than I did then. is telling is that I have nieces, grand-nieces, and a nephew. Some of them are grown up now. I have never given any of them a spiritual book of any kind for their birthdays or Christmas, which, for someone as dedicated to the spiritual, is an exercise in self-control. Why haven't I tried to, if not indoctrinate them, at least, familiarize them with spirituality? Because the spiritual life is an ordeal. From the moment there's a glimpse of that "something," it's like an unconscious, yet overwhelming force that cannot be denied. It's a heart response. But a heart response is not enough; there has to be the ordeal of purification.

This means really taking on the ego "I," which isn't easy and is why I assert that so few do the requisite investigation that makes the difference in Awakening. The real purification is in confronting this separate and separative self which presumes itself to be different from SELF or from the field of Being. In order for any Awakening to be abiding and permanent, this presumption has to be investigated and exposed for what it is. Glimpses of the illusion of ego "I" from time to time are not enough.

We face an added urgency to recognize and deal with the ego "I" because the madness of the separate ego "I" threatens our world in ways and to a degree never before encountered. It is the responsibility of all of us who have awakened (or have a tacit understanding of) to the illusion of the ego "I" to be bold and create a movement of positive disillusionment with the ego "I."  This positive disillusionment with the ego "I" has to come about all at once in order to effect a new world order, one that is based on connection and union (which is our natural state) as opposed to the havoc and chaos being wreaked by the separate ego "I." Because of the level of entrenchment of this ego 'I' in the design of human being, this is going to take effort. But what's the alternative to the insane terrorism that magnifies the malevolence of the separate and separative ego "I."

I attributed the natural understanding I have always had to being right-brain dominant. In Female Kundalini, I write about my efforts to get validation for this view. Looking back at this was my way of keeping myself grounded. Seeing it as a right-brain phenomena and defining all realizers and saints as somehow being right-brain dominant was a way of continuing to function without being afraid. Looking back you could say that this way of thinking was disrespectful, but considering any other possibility while experiencing spiritual events and synchronicities would have been too frightening for my state of consciousness at the time. For many years, I attributed the things that happened to my being right-brain dominant and, in doing so, there was neither fear nor ego. How could there be ego if it was a "brain thing?" And so bizarrely, this rationale provided a refuge for me.

Perhaps, had I had a spiritual teacher or guru, I wouldn't have experienced the spiritual path as the ordeal it was for me. My spiritual authorities were the teachers I was involved with during my study of Buddhism. So, while there were some who provided answers, I met nobody able to perceive my level of heart consciousness...certainly nobody who was able to nurture it.

None of my teachers treated me in any way different to anyone else who was sitting at their feet listening to their words. On more than one occasion, I remember longing for some kind of recognition, which never came. Was this due to some lack of innate ability on the part of these teachers as to their states of consciousness? I don't know. Certainly, this type of perception — the ability to see into another's heart — is rare. Now, many years later, I am more aware, grateful my journey has progressed the way that it has, and happy that it's not yet over.

Thursday, November 19, 2015

Going Back To Basics

In the search for the pathless path towards greater awakening, sometimes we find that much is gained by going back to the basics of meditation. The search, particularly if it is done through the Jnana path (the path of wisdom and self-inquiry) can often lead to frustration as we periodically discover that we have again missed the mark, or question whether we have moved at all in our spiritual quest. And what is this quest all about anyway?

purity of the lotus flower represents the pratice of meditation

The other day, I went through a simple exercise which brought me to an awareness that everything is all right just the way it is: I am all right just where I am. And the striving, and the frustration that results from ego involvement in the awakening process, is perhaps the very thing that must fall by the wayside. What I found most surprising about this simple exercise is that it contains nothing that I did not know before. I learned nothing new, yet it was renewing. I would like to take you through this simple exercise. 

First, sit comfortably in a relaxed but alert position, back straight. Prop yourself up with pillows if necessary. Allow the ordinary preoccupations of the day to settle down and subside. Look around you. Is the place familiar to you? If not, no matter. Begin to cultivate a sense of yourself as being present in that place. You are here in this one space. The world, and everything else in it, the sensible world, is outside you, around you.

As you close your eyes, direct your attention to your body. What sensations are you aware of: breath, heartbeat, feelings in your back and backside as it presses against the chair or floor? Visualize your breath flowing into your nostrils down the center cavity of your body, down to the bottom and up again. Tie your consciousness to your breath and pay attention to the circular flow of the breath (down, around, up).  If you pay further attention, you'll catch a glimpse of something deeper, two things:
  • The experience (the muscle sensation of movements)
  • And the “I” that is experiencing it.

Now along with the muscle sensation of movement (the experience) also note the river of thoughts, images, emotions that are probably coursing through the front of your mind.  You may try to stop this mental chatter, but you will probably fail. All these thoughts, images, memories, ideas, plans, whatever, will continue whether you choose to let it or not. This is how the mind functions. But now again, observe two things: First, this functioning of the mind (images, memories, ideas, thoughts, plans) as the experience, and subtly in the background, the “I” that is experiencing them. As you continue, the most intimate feelings and desires will occasionally be there like images on a screen, accompanied by the “I” experiencing, watching, as they pass by.

If you can remain in this quiet, relaxed but alert state, you may gain a deeper awareness of a sense of something very small growing in you — the experiencer.  Even though this “something small” has no volition or power of its own, it quietly observes and experiences all that passes by. If you look for this “something small” observer, you will find that it continually recedes further and further away.  There is no limit to this “I” that experiences. St. Francis of Assisi is noted as saying in this regard: “What you are looking for is what is looking.”

the rising sun, purity of the lotus flower represents the pratice of meditation

There’s a sacredness, a blissfulness, associated with this phenomena of looking for that which is looking, intuitively touching the experiencer. Once this blissfulness, sacredness is tapped into, one gains a sense of “presence” which can be known by many names. Some call it “Kingdom of God,” the light, wisdom, still or zero point. All these terms reveal different aspects of this Primordial Self, the experiencer.

An experienced meditator may be able to enter into this exercise with little difficulty. The biggest problem, however, one even an experienced meditator may continue to have, is maintaining this vigilance to his/her inner sacredness outside of meditation, which is most of the time. Pains in the body, past regrets, worries about the future, aimless daydreaming, endless striving, everyday pre-occupations and planning constantly interfere, acting as a whirlwind to keep us absorbed in the illusions of life that hide our True Selves like rain clouds hide the sun. The simple exercise of meditation is the only avenue to overcoming these obstacles.

Saturday, November 7, 2015

More About Death

"One other liberating experience related to OBE is that in fraternizing with death I discovered that it is only another aspect of life, another state of existence. For each one of us, death awaits, and this fact is an incitement to ask profound questions, relating to the unknown — paradise, hell, separation, or extinction. How can we find answers? OBE gives us answers through direct experience since I can enter and leave my own body, I can exist without my body. The death of my physical body therefore does not signify my end. I am able to think, feel, desire and act in other contexts than that of the physical world."
~ Akhena - Astral Consciousness: Out of Body Explorations (Life Force Books, 2016)

I second the emotion. Not only did I experience the same ah-ha realization apropos of death during an OBE (Out of Body Experience) at the age of 20, I encountered the same extra-corporal effect 15 years later after raising Kundalini. I was able to see inside my physical body, which led me to realize my being was more than my body — a series of ethereal body sheaths enveloped it.

These ethereal bodies are part of an invisible Energy Continuum (consciousness), which contains the past, present, and future of time and space, of which our biological form is only a limited expression.

At this point in the history of our science, we do not understand how the consciousness we deem a part of everyday life works, much less are we able to scientifically verify its metaphysical totality. But thanks to OBE, NDE, and kundalini, we can experience it. Verify it, no; experience it, yes.

In our present state, we talk of "losing and regaining consciousness" after getting knocked on the head or going into the operating room for a medical procedure. Mostly, we don't look beyond a very limited sense of consciousness. That is, up till now.

Meditation, yoga, mindfulness are changing this. As we pursue these various pastimes, disciplines, and practices and connect to a vaster sense of consciousness, we realize that death, like life, is a transitory state, and we are less afraid.

In 1947, when the poet, Dylan Thomas, wrote:
"Do not go gentle into that good night.
Rage, rage against the dying of the light."
He didn't realize that the light doesn't die. The clear light that shines at the moment of death is a beacon leading us toward the Energy Continuum, the entry into a recycling process and our next incarnation.

Was it this light that beckoned John Coltrane to knowingly record a tune entitled To Be just days before his death? What a querulous, introspective title for the usually high-octane saxophonist! A mournful tempo, featuring unusual instrumentation — Coltrane on flute, an instrument he only played once and Pharaoh Sanders on piccolo, not sure he ever played it again — the tune was mostly ignored by Coltrane fans, who were more engaged by his fascination with the innovative and frenzied Free Jazz trend at that time.
Relaxin between takes
John and Alice Coltrane

To Be is a long, slow piece that, for me, signifies the passing of the torch or the changing of the guard, a realization by the composer (Coltrane) that to be has metaphysical overtones — we come and go, pass and re-pass on this earth.

The head, featuring the flute and piccolo, is followed by a long Alice Coltrane piano solo; a Sanders, then a Coltrane solo. As Coltrane's line trails out — sort of expires — Sanders injects a lilting, melancholy phrase that reminds me of a warbling bird and has me visualizing the following scene in my mind's eye.

Pharaoh Sanders, trenor; John Coltrane, tenor; Alice Coltrane, piano & harp; Jimmy Garrison, bass; Rashied Ali, drums. Personnel for the album, Expression
Pharaoh Sanders, John Coltrane, Alice Coltrane, Jimmy Garrison, Rashied Ali
I see a man sitting in a wooden garden chair, holding a cold drink on the armrest. The camera explores his face and his surroundings. The flowers, trees. His shoes. The back of his head and neck. Over his shoulder, the armrest and the drink. The arm goes limp, the drink topples over, and his arm drops. We hear a bird, the camera finds it and we listen. Cut to the dead man's face.

From this vision, while re-listening to this tune (To Be, the bird in the above scene), I imagine the death process and know that although the body dies, the essence that animates the body does not.

Monday, October 26, 2015

Kundalini and the Siva Lingam

The muladhara chakra at the base of the spine is the place of the Siva Lingam, specifically of the Siva Lingam called "Svyhambhu." "Svyhambhu" means self-subsistent, "that which arises without a cause." This refers to a physical reality. But how can it? The lingam is the phallus, the penis erect with desire. It’s a symbol of the male principal, a male principal that is present in women as much as in men. There seems to be a contradiction. How can the phallus be self-subsistent? How can the erect penis arise "without a cause," when the erect penis is the most conditioned of objects, evoked, aroused, brought into being, by touch, visual impression, smell, sound, taste, and, above all, by the presence of another person? And yet the traditional wisdom insists that it’s this very self-subsistent phallic presence at the base of the spine which awakens Kundalini.

Natalie book cover
In our squeamish, politically correct age, there’s a tendency to sweep this issue under the carpet by saying that the Lingam isn’t phallic, and that it can just as readily be symbolized by a hill or an egg standing on its bottom, or by any upright thing. But this is surely a cop-out, just as it’s a cop-out to say that the yoni, or female genital presence at the base of the spine, can just as readily be symbolized by a bowl or a valley or by any indented thing. Sometime in the future, researchers will prove the physical existence of both the Siva Lingam and the Sakti Yoni at the base of the spine, not as previously undetected bits of nerve tissue, but as quantum states, conscious particle forces, male and female, confined to the midpoint of the body. This can already be intuited in meditation, and seen at certain moments during sexual intercourse, when all the things that cause arousal— touch, sight, smell, taste, even the awareness of the other person — drop away as they are consumed by Kundalini, and all that remains is ‘that which is self-subsistent. When this happens during sex, the precarious clinging-to-self that causes climax is also consumed.

The Lingam is also found, in a different form, in the heart chakra, and in the forehead chakra. In the heart chakra it’s called the Bana Lingam. The Bana Lingam is the self-subsistent state at the moment when what drops away and is consumed by Kundalini is not just the touch, sight, smell, taste and awareness of the outer world (and other people), but the touch, sight, smell, taste and awareness of the inner world and of one’s own body (and of one’s self.) This comes with a sense of expansion and light.
Dance of the Itara Lingam
Crossing Over

The Lingam in the forehead chakra is called the Itara Lingam. "Itara" means "to cross over" or "to go beyond." The Itara Lingam is the self-subsistent state at the moment when it goes outside the body and mind into the cosmos.

Henry Miller said “You can’t argue with a stiff prick,” and got torn to pieces by feminists. If his “you” refers to a man overpowering a woman, then he deserved to be torn to pieces. If, however, his “you” refers to a man or a woman, confronted with this spontaneous arousal at the root of their being, then perhaps he was onto something.

Friday, October 16, 2015

Kundalini and Near Death Experiences

Over the years, I’ve read several articles about the similarities between Kundalini Rising and Near Death Experience (NDE). The similarities were not obvious to me until I read Anita Moorjani’s book “Dying To Be Me” which described her journey from cancer, to near death, and then to true healing.

Anita Moorjani book
Most people would look at life differently if faced with a disease causing death, only to return from that condition to full health. Anita described this return and the effect it had on her with imagery and description that impacts powerfully on the reader. But what surprised me most was its similarity to the life-changing experience of Kundalini Rising. While reading Chapter 12 called “Seeing Life With New Eyes” and Chapter 16 called “Infinite Selves and Universal Energy,” it was as if I was reading my own story.
Reading this book lead me to ponder the question: What is it about these two experiences that they should lead to a similar outcome or effect, even though they start at very different points? Let me summarize the conclusions of my pondering on this question:
1. Both experiences involve a surrender. Anita described this surrender as a “letting go,” and it wasn’t just a letting go of her body riddled by cancer and nearing death. More importantly, it was a letting go of all the conditioning, attitudes and human constructs created during her lifetime that kept her a prisoner (in a sense) to what she perceived to be the source of happiness, comfort and security. In her book, she affirmed many times that it was her previous attitudes, constructs and conditioning that were influential in causing the cancer in her body in the first place. This surrender, whether a NDE or Kundalini Rising, involves a life-death decision; and with that decision comes a willingness to:
  • let go of many of our deeply ingrained beliefs caused by a lifetime of conditioning,
  • accept what comes.
Anita Moorjani NDE

I experienced this life-death decision during my Kundalini Rising process, a willingness to accept full personal responsibility, to embrace the consequences of the decision, irrespective of the outcome. This “letting go” requires an insurmountable amount of trust. Where does this trust come from?
2. Both experiences involve an incredible outpouring of love or bliss, a sense of oneness and unity with all things, an encounter with the sacred. It is this outpouring of love and bliss, this sense of oneness that entices us away from our self-imposed prison walls that served only to create a sense of separateness.
 In Chapter 16, Anita starts out:
“During my NDE, it felt as if I were connected to the entire universe and everything contained within it; and it seemed that the cosmos was alive, dynamic, and conscious. I found that every thought, emotion, or action I made while expressing through the physical body had an effect on the Whole. In fact, in that realm of Oneness, it felt as though the whole universe were an extension of me. This realization has, of course, dramatically changed the way I view things.”

Anita Moorjani quote

It is this outpouring of love or bliss, this call to oneness that becomes the source of trust that allow us to abandon all previous false notions of comfort and security to embrace the uncertainty of what is to follow.
3. Both experiences result in a whole new way of seeing and of being. The attitudes, conditioning, and constructs of the old self are now seen for what they are. It is as if an inner searchlight has come on, and what was previous looked upon as a concrete reality is now seen for the illusion that it is. A new way of seeing the world is born and the old way crumbles away. Mind-you, many of our old habits are still there, but with the guidance from our new searchlight, we more easily see them for what they are, and abandon what is unnecessary more quickly.
 Again, Anita describes it well:
“Becoming entrenched in beliefs that no longer serve us can keep us locked in a state of duality and put us in a constant state of judgement. What we endorse is considered 'good' or 'positive,' and what we don’t believe in is not. This also puts us in the position of needing to defend our beliefs when others don’t agree. And when we invest too much of our energy in defense, we become reluctant to let go, even when our ideas no longer serve us. That’s when our beliefs start to own us instead of the other way around.

Having awareness, on the other hand, just means realizing what exists and what’s possible — without judgement. Awareness doesn’t need defending. It expands with growth and can be all-encompassing bringing us closer to the state of Oneness.”

Anita quote
 As we become more mature in our experience of Kundalini Rising, we gain greater trust to work in cooperation with what seems like the universal life-force energy that permeates everything, including ourselves, and in recognizing and letting go of the constructs that no longer serve a purpose.
4. Finally, both experiences lead to greater authenticity and wholeness. As explained by Anita:
I'm most powerful when I allow myself to be who life intended me to be — which is why my healing occurred only when all conscious action on my past had completely ceased and the life force took over. I am always most powerful when I am working with life rather than against it. Each one of us is a gift to those around us helping each other to be who we are, weaving a perfect picture together. Realizing that I am love was the most important lesson I learned, allowing me to release all fear, and that's the key that saved my life.
 The release of Kundalini energy in the subtle body system undertakes the systematic process of renovating and restoring, not only of the subtle body, but the physical body as well. It not only gives us an awareness of our intended perfect blueprint, but also begins to slowly erode the obstacles that prevent us from attaining it.

Thursday, October 8, 2015

An Uncomfortable Truth....

I'm not going to prolong the anticipation by a long-winded explanation on the title of this blog post; I'm going straight to the point.

This world, this human condition realm of experience is not working out. There is no happily-ever-after or utopia here. All material efforts to make ourselves more, better, or different are doomed to failure. This is a tough assertion I make. I can hear the cries and protestations from the ego minds of those reading this post. Does this mean that we should give up on the spiritual ideals with its aspirations of love, higher consciousness, and enlightenment? Not at all. But it does demand that we stop being loyal to the wrong master. For this to happen, everyone has to become dis-illusioned with the ego and egoistic life. That's the central demand of spiritual life. But who wants to do this?
Kali Yuga prophasies
Kali Yuga Prophesies

We are living in what yogis describe as the Kali Yuga* where forces are at their darkest. You have only to look at what is happening in the world to see the truth of this. Millions of people being displaced, global warming, racial hatred, financial collapse, stratification of wealth, perennial war, rampant addiction. So why hasn't this manifest world worked out? Because ultimately it is an illusion. This is the uncomfortable truth, which all realizers get to at some point, albeit only when the consciousness reaches the profoundest level of insight, allowing the real spiritual journey to begin. Up to that point, it's a matter of egoistic striving to get somewhere, an ultimately fruitless and frustrating effort. How can I declare this with such authority? Because it's where I'm coming from.

Kali Yuga Depiction
I have made no secret of the fact that along with my path of devotion I also do transformative self-development training because these programs are all about gaining mastery over the ego. The seminar I am doing at the moment is called Causing the Miraculous or how to authentically generate a miraculous life.
There is no doubt that it is powerful, but the underlying message is that the world into which we have been born will never produce a miraculous life. One of the ideas that we are asked to "consider" — but only if it resonates — is that we are born into a world where "there is something wrong here." Something happens to us early on in life and we make this judgement, after which, there is something wrong with everything, either with myself, with others, or with life itself. If you look at any area of life deeply and dispassionately, don't you feel "there's something wrong here?" This line of inquiry takes real courage; it's not easy; it goes against all of our egoistic patterns. But just realizing and accepting it as fact — never mind resisting or fighting against it — creates an opening for something new and different.

Most personal self-development training is aimed at transforming what we don't know into what we know. We think it's going to make us happier — by being better, cleverer, more confident, or whatever your thing is. 
"Kali Yuga is considered as the Age of Darkness. The Light primarily is lost, but not completely gone. It is hidden and veiled in the Kali – where the Dark Side rules! You can bring back the light in the world around you if you realize and remember the God-within you and by allowing the frequency to flow out of you. Even the people around you do not fully accept what you are saying; they will soon be uplifted by your silent consciousness.

"However, do not expect the people around you to like you or love you. The Kali Yuga within their egos is firmly instilled in their subconscious mind and they are threatened by your mere presence. The self-ego will not give up its power and if the individual unwittingly allows the denizens of the Phantasmal Hierarchies — in the form of addiction, tyrannical powers, alcohol, or drugs — to take hold, then eventually these parasitical entities will attack you."
~ The Truth About Kali Yuga That You Need to Know
* Prophesied attributes of and events during the Kali Yuga, according to Hindu scriptures:

   In relation to rulers:
  • Rulers will become unreasonable; they will levy taxes unfairly.
  • Rulers will no longer see it as their duty to promote spirituality, or to protect their subjects; they will become a danger to the world.
  • People will start migrating, seeking countries where wheat and barley form the staple food source.
   With regard to human relationships:
  • Avarice and wrath will be common. Humans will openly display animosity towards each other. Ignorance of the dharma will occur.
  • People will have thoughts of murder with no justification and will see nothing wrong in it.
  • Lust will be viewed as socially acceptable and sexual intercourse will be seen as the central achievement of life.
  • Sin will increase exponentially, whilst virtue will fade and cease to flourish.
  • People will take vows and break them soon after.
  • People will become addicted to intoxicating drinks and drugs.
  • Gurus will no longer be respected and their students will attempt to injure them. Their teachings will be insulted, and followers of Kama will wrest control of the mind from all human beings.
  • Brahmans will not be learned or honored, Kshatriyas will not be brave, Vaishyas will not be just in their dealings.

Friday, October 2, 2015

Does Truth Drive You Crazy?

A Kundalini Love Story
What are thoughts? Particularly the intuitive eye-openers that change one’s life? The place of Intelligence is in the heart, not the brain. Truth is first experienced in the chest region, not the head. This can be scary, because when Kundalini is first awakened, Her most immediate and explosive impact is felt in the brain and in the general area of the head — crushing pressure from the back of the head, needle-like darts of energy from under the face. The region around the chest and heart seems to get by-passed. This accords with the Tantra, which say that the heart center is difficult to open, and is first experienced as a “darkness blotted out by smoke.” Yet the heart is where truth is manifested, and where Intelligence awakens.

When the heart center opens a curious reversal takes place. The brain becomes still. The brain remains immensely alive biologically, but it floats, in a state of suspension that must have something to do with the effect of Kundalini on the cerebro-spinal fluid. Instead of creating thought — the limited, repetitive treadmill of what we think 24/7 — the brain is able to wait. In this state of suspension, packets of energy rise from the chest region. They can literally be seen coming, like tiny explosions from the surface of the sun, moving upwards from the heart.

Heart Chakra Goddess
Heart Chakra Goddess
The brain knows what these quanta of intelligence mean before it registers them as thought. There is great power in this state of neural suspension. Angry or fearful energy can be simply seen coming, left unregistered, and turned into free energy. Influxes of truth from the heart center can be allowed to flower into words and ideas. These words and ideas, however — and this is the problem — may well strike one, later on, as crazy. We may feel that they open us up to a reality we’re not used to and don’t want any part of. Truth that rises from the heart center and flowers into neural structures — these new words and ideas — can go against everything we’ve been taught, and everything that we think about ourselves. For instance:

1. Other people don’t exist. Other people are the mere product of my senses. This seems a horrible thing to assert, and not good for one’s career, social well-being, or love-life. In fact, it’s unforgivable, unless I accept the less easy truth that I don’t exist. I am a mere product of my senses.

2. My male body is female. It craves women because women are closer to its real center than it is. This one perplexes me so much that I’ve never been able to figure out how it works the other way round.

3. The universe pours out of my face:
  • I know that if I dare
  • Look at it, I’ll see her eyes.
4. I’ve just died, and come back to life, but I can’t remember it.

The Tantric texts speak of two subtle channels that lie inside the susumna nadi, the central spinal channel, one inside the other. They must have something to do with the passage of Kundalini through the cerebro-spinal fluid. The first is called the brahma nadi, and the second, even subtler channel is called the citrini nadi. They are the conduits of upwards-rising, pure consciousness, the pathways of intelligent energy as it pulses upwards from the heart.

When heart energy flowers in the brain, the things we think seem crazy. This is why Kundalini teachings are traditionally accompanied by danger warnings. The risk of insanity is real, particularly as pertains to fantasies of self-aggrandizement. Stillness is essential. The state of neural suspension, of letting intelligence rise from the heart, must be carried over into everyday life so that we remain balanced, even when we are facing difficulties.

In Sanskrit, the forehead chakra is called Ajna. Ajna means “command,” not in the sense of rigid control, but in the sense of maintaining our balance as crazy truths keeps striking us.

Saturday, September 26, 2015

Is Kundalini Worth It?

This blog and hundreds like it, many books, websites, symposiums, and gatherings focus on the topic of Kundalini. To what avail? What sort of impact is the discussion and buzz around this topic having on society at large, if any?

What does "worth it" mean in relation to a topic like Kundalini? What kind of value can be placed on it? A monetary value? Another kind of value? Religious? Spiritual? Educational? Ontological? Philosophical? Biological? Esoteric? Evolutionary? Sociological? Medical?

What if there was no such thing as Kundalini? What if there was no such thing as Major League Baseball or the National Football League? No such thing as banks? Life insurance? Museums? Libraries? Could we do without them?

Hnad to mouth
Food is an Essential
Could we do without gardens? I don't think so. Food to perpetuate life is an essential, not only for the present population, but for the future of humanity.

And what about the others? Are any of them necessities?

Tomorrow is Sunday. Suppose there were no NFL games? Could we survive? No NFL, no banks, no insurance, no TV, no museums or libraries — we'd still be here on Monday.

No Kundalini, however, and come Monday, life on earth would start grinding to a halt? Why you ask would something that I've never heard of have such a profound impact? An impact similar to the disappearance of food, say.

Quite simply, although Kundalini works behind the scene, so to speak, and is not widely known by most of the world's population, it is not only the driving force behind evolution, it is responsible for each and every person's — whether alive today or in the future — unique bodily substantiation. What does the term bodily substantiation mean exactly? In this context, it means the formation of your body from the moment of insemination to the moment of your birth.

This is not a belief system; it's biological fact: do away with Kundalini and you do away with humanity. In one fell swoop we're back to the dawn of evolution. How can this be true? Well, as our bodies take shape in the womb from one day to the next, something has to be responsible for our bodily substantiation. And while scientists don't know what it is, people who have succeeded in raising Kundalini do. They understand that evolution, as well as the formation of living organisms, is powered by Kundalini energy. Kundalini exists for a purpose.

If it didn't serve a purpose, evolution would have eliminated it. That's how evolution works; it gets rid of unnecessary traits or functions.
"The Indian mystic Osho said, when the quantum physicists, with their new methods, went from the world of matter to the subatomic world, they went - without knowing it — from the physical to the etheric plane. According to Osho, if you go deep in the physical body to the microcosmic level, there is a more subtle electrical body called the etheric body. The etheric body is sort of a blueprint of the physical body. In the etheric body, also called the emotional body, feelings, sensations and thoughts exist as waves while they exist as particles in the physical body. At a certain level of attention, the waves and wave packets at the etheric level collapse into particles at the physical level. This is, of course, a quantum mechanical process."
~ Quantum Mechanics and the Etheric Body
Like food, Kundalini in one of the essentials.
The Seven Chakras
The Seven Fundamental Chakras

So, yes, Kundalini has an underlying, essential evolutionary purpose. But, that said, do people have to know about it? Can't we prosper and lead a merry ol' life, just by having it just run in the background like an app on your smart phone that counts the number of steps you take everyday?

That may have been true in the past. Kundalini could just toil away in the background, but today our survival is in doubt. Faced with so many threats (environmental, mass migrations, war, terrorism, hunger, disease, economic collapse, corporate greed) our continued existence is imperiled. We must take an active role in evolution. And that, perhaps, is why so many books and blogs on spiritual topics are being written today...because biological processes like Kundalini, that were formerly unknown or ignored, are now essential to our survival, and the evolutionary impulse is serving them up to us on a conscious, elemental level.
"Unfortunately, most human beings are not plugged in. They are trying to generate their own power. So they eat five times a day, but still they are tired most of the time. It is a struggle to keep life going. Energy is not just in terms of physical energy or activity, energy is in terms of life. Existence is energy, isn’t it? The basis of existence is energy. If you know that basis, it is like knowing the foundations of life. If you understand the ways of the energy, you know the whole mechanics of creation. So if you are plugged in, you know what the power is, what it can do and what you can make out of it. You are plugged into an endless source of power – that is what is Kundalini."
So, while Kundalini has worked behind the scenes during most of human history, because of its importance in the energetics revolution (yoga, meditation, mindfulness, etc.) now taking place on earth, it is now coming to the fore. Its intrinsic value has not changed, but what we know about it and the way we approach it has.

Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Mobilizing the Energies of the Subtle Body

I’ve enjoyed reading books by Lama Yeshe on the subject of tantra. He speaks simply, with great wisdom, but with reasonable caution as to the use of tantra to mobilize the energies of the subtle body for healing and regenerative purposes. As he would describe it:

“Any path utilizing the powerful and potentially destructive energies of desire can be dangerous. If followed improperly or with a selfish motivation, tantra can lead the misguided practitioner into realms of greater mental and physical suffering.”
The mental and physical suffering that Lama Yeshe is speaking about here, I assume, are the everyday sufferings we all experience as we get caught up in our own obsessions and illusions.

The purpose, as I understand it, for mobilizing the energies of the subtle body is to erode and dismantle the influences of the ego, to bring us to that state of equanimity where we become less driven by our obsessions and illusions. Can we, through tantra, become more indifferent to the influences of pleasure or pain, loss or gain, praise or blame, fame or shame? Can we become less obsessive in following what we perceive to be attractions or in avoiding at all costs what we perceive to be our aversions? This only happens as we diminish the influences of “ego."

When mobilizing the energies of the subtle body, always in the back of my mind are the questions: “What is my underlining intention for doing so? Is it for the purpose of spiritual growth and of becoming less attached, or is it for the purpose of seeking enhanced pleasure, greater and greater bliss for bliss’s sake? The three tests of the Sutras, for me, provide the means to discern my intentions:
  • Am I better able to renounce the things of the world as the source of my overall happiness and well-being? Do I see these things for what they are?
  • Is my attitude of service and concern for others increasing in its multiplicity of forms?
  • Can I better experience the impermanence of exterior things in order to more fully embrace the “absolute” that lies beyond “self,” but nevertheless remains mysteriously united with “self.”

This “absolute” is a state of being we all have and possess. We are created in the nature of the absolute. The trouble is that it is covered over, obscured by the clouds of illusion of the ego. Just as the clear light of the sky cannot be seen when obscured by clouds, the blissful presence of the “absolute” cannot be experienced when obscured by the deep, penetrating conditioning of the ego.

When I keep my intentions in their proper order, the mobilization of the energies of the subtle body can and do lead to spiritual regeneration and growth. These blissful energies can disable and transcend the ego and its attachments to enable us to experience the fourth dhyana where all sensation ceases and only mindful equanimity remains. This is the realm where both suffering and pleasure are extinguished, where sorrows or worries no longer exist. This is the stage of the beginning of pure mindfulness.

As I mentioned in a previous post, these energies can be mobilized through five types of activities: vibrations generated through:
  • Breath,
  • Physical movement,
  • Visualization,
  • Sound,
  • Touching or stimulation.
In my years of practice in Christian Meditation (pre-kundalini), my focus was primarily on repeating and listening to the sound of a mantra. My focus was on the silence, stillness, and simplicity of meditation. Any attention given to activities other than repeating the mantra were discouraged and minimal. For example, we were told to sit in a comfortable position, back straight, feet flat on the floor, breath normally. In other words, let your attention to everything else go. Just repeat and listen to the mantra. I attribute my kundalini rising to this simple practice over many years.

However, my post-kundalini activities include components of all five of those vibrational activities described above. So I’m not sure what effect these additional activities would have on those who may have not experienced kundalini rising. But they have certainly enhanced my post-kundalini years, and have led to many changes.

For the methods that I use to mobilize the energies of the subtle body, please refer to my post entitled The Four Dhyanas.

I have found that one of the most significant of these activities is sitting in a siddhasana posture. Siddhasana is often described as the perfect posture. It involves crossing the legs, sitting with the perineum firmly on the heel of one foot. This seat provides stimulation of kundalini energy upward through the nervous system, ultimately, creating a constant flow of ecstatic conductivity throughout the meditation practice.

The story of the wood worm illustrates how this takes place. The worm comes into birth through the wood of the tree in which it resides. Yet it is this same wood that it consumes in order to re-generate itself. It destroys that which gave it life in order to generate new life. The subtle body’s blissful vibrational energies, mobilized under the right intentions, although impermanent in themselves, provide the means by which we can de-rail and dissolve the very thing that they are prone to create in order to generate a new level of consciousness where all sensation ceases and only equanimity remains.