Monday, October 12, 2020

More Science of Breathing

You’re invited to a foot race. You walk towards the starting line, only to be turned away. The people in charge move you back 30 yards behind the start. You look around. People are scattered all over the track, a large group at the starting line, a few runners twenty yards ahead of the line, one even 30 yards in front, a few standing with you. You turn around and see two runners twenty yards behind you and you say to yourself, “I’m not so bad off after all, now that I see those chumps.”

Footrace - Bilbao, Spain Dec. 20115

A race with people starting from various positions on the course instead of at the starting line is not capricious handicapping, it’s a simplistic metaphor for the breathing issues now plaguing civilization. As noted in the previous episode on the Science of Breathing, debilitating respiratory conditions are multiplying: COPD, asthma, infections like influenza, the deviated septum, pneumonia and tuberculosis, anatomical irregularities like malocclusion, sinus, allergies, and even lung cancer.

This hasn’t always been the case:

“Until the seventeenth century most of the great physicians and anatomists were interested in the respiratory muscles and the mechanics of breathing. Since then, these muscles have been increasingly neglected, lying as they do in a no-man’s land between anatomy and physiology.”
~ Breath - James Nestor, author.

Nevertheless, we’re now saddled with all kinds of maladies derived from breathing through the mouth and eating soft, easy-to-chew foods. Not all of us but a goodly proportion of us. And when we learn about the issue, when it affects us personally, that’s when we find out we’re 30 yards behind the starting line. Way behind.

“Most of us aren’t that sensitive. It’s much more common, especially in the modern world, to never experience full-blown, life-threatening stress, but to never fully relax either. We’ll spend our days half-asleep and nights half-awake, lolling in a gray zone of half-anxiety. When we do, the vagus nerve stays half-stimulated.

“During these times, the organs throughout the body won’t be “shut down,” but will instead be half supported in a state of suspended animation: blood flow will decrease and communication between the organs and the brain will become choppy, like a conversation through a staticky phone line. Our bodies can persist like this for a while; they can keep us alive, but they can’t keep us healthy.”
~ Breath - James Nestor, author.

Everyone breathes differently; some more efficiently than others. The reasons are partly physiological; partly psychological. Historically, the only sources for breathing guidance came from yoga and meditation literature.

“You cannot influence or control the heart rate directly; it’s an autonomic function. So, once again, you use a “handle” to accomplish it — diaphragmatic deep breathing, which, once you master it, makes your breathing more profound and more regular. What do I mean by more profound and regular? Profound means still, as in silent; regular means rhythmic.

“When you extend the belly, pushing it outward on inhalation and then pulling the belly in to expel air, you are embarking on a regimen of abdominal and diaphragmatic calisthenics. Starting this activity for the first time — whether sitting, walking, reclining, or lying down — you may feel a burning sensation. That is the muscles of the abdomen telling you that you are beginning to breathe correctly. Using the belly muscles is like pump priming, that is, using the handle of a pump (the belly) to activate the pump mechanism (the diaphragm).”
 ~ The Golden Flower Meditation website - JJ Semple, author.

Contrast the above with the following excerpt:

“Breathing is an autonomic function we can consciously control. While we can’t simply decide when to slow or speed up our heart or digestion, or to move blood from one organ to another, we can choose how and when to breathe. Willing ourselves to breathe slowly will open up communication along the vagal network and relax us into a parasympathetic state.”
~ Breath - James Nestor, author.

The two orthodoxies — physical science and metaphysical science — are coming together. So how do we get everyone, every breather, to the starting line? Can we wave a magic wand?

James Nestor wrote Breath only after gathering extensive information from a diverse number of sources and then fitting them together in an organized manner. His book offers many solutions, the first of which is to select an assessment procedure to tell you where you are — at the starting line, behind it, or out in front.

Once you have this information you can evaluate the methods for correcting your breathing disorder – the ones your assessment uncovered. The book proffers many of them.
Why should this matter to you? Why is correct breathing so important? You want to do this because correct breathing isn’t confined to only respiratory issues; it’s the key to a healthy body.

“The best way to keep tissues in the body healthy was to mimic the reactions that evolved in early aerobic life on Earth—specifically, to flood our bodies with a constant presence of that “strong electron acceptor”: oxygen. Breathing slow, less, and through the nose balances the levels of respiratory gases in the body and sends the maximum amount of oxygen to the maximum amount of tissues so that our cells have the maximum amount of electron reactivity.

“In every culture and in every medical tradition before ours, healing was accomplished by moving energy,” said Szent-Györgyi. The moving energy of electrons allows living things to stay alive and healthy for as long as possible. The names may have changed—prana, orenda, ch’i, ruah—but the principle has remained the same. Szent-Györgyi apparently took that advice. He died in 1986, at the age of 93.”
~ Breath - James Nestor, author.

Tuesday, September 8, 2020

On Becoming Self-Aware: A Mexican-American's Journey

Spirituality and the magical realm of spirits, both animate and inanimate, are as a big part of Mexican culture as tortillas. Yet, when it comes to self-awareness and higher consciousness, there’s a big gap in knowledge and wisdom among many Mexicans. My painstaking journey led me to this conclusion. As a first generation Mexican-American, I reflect on the imbalanced state of the world, and it’s clear to me that the indigenous peoples’ way of life is in accordance with the rightful direction of human evolution and, by extension, with the phenomenon that drives evolution — Kundalini. And yet, so few of us understand this relationship, much less choose to take an active role in realizing it.

Tribal Living
Mexicans do everything as a community (tribe). My cousins lived behind us and all the kids in the street came out to play. My tribe of family and friends were accessible to me daily. Family gatherings on weekends were a given and vacations were always with others. I knew I was safe and protected by my tribe. Because of this my childhood was blessed with much beauty and love. My tribe fulfilled my physiological needs, safety, and belonging which allowed my self-esteem to flourish.
Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs
Love and Belonging
My happiness wasn’t just a result of being surrounded by my tribe; it was the way our tribe interacted with others, complete strangers, and those in need. It wasn’t uncommon to have immigrants knocking on our door (which was always open) asking for money or food. They would tell us their crossing the border story and their reasons for attempting it: to work in the USA and earn money to send home. My mom invited them in and shared her homemade Mexican food with them, because of this, I don’t fear people in need. My father’s generosity was equal to my mother’s kindness. He was (and still is) the chief of the family and paid for all of us to enjoy life (including my cousins). Their noble qualities inspired me. 
Self-Actualization
No wonder I easily tapped into the beauty of the world within. I had a deep connection and oneness to “Source” and the spirit world. I had psychic abilities that allowed me to connect with the spirit world. Intuitive insights came daily. I felt tingling in my body; states of bliss and joy came easy. I felt an urge to be virtuous and honest. I trusted deeply in life, no matter the situation I found myself in.
This awareness did not last. My environment changed as well as my family dynamics.

Environment
With time, the neighborhood began to get “more” dangerous and I began to be afraid, but I still felt a deep sense of safety. I learned to run or hide when I needed to. During this time my parents divorced, I was 13. My whole world was shattered because my tribe had ceased to exist. A miasma of suffering and anger took over; I became an atheist. I moved around eight times until I got married at 24.

Moving around with my mom (who hadn’t worked before) made me notice that our homes were located near highways, factories, gas stations, on big streets, etc. in other words, environmentally unhealthy areas. Finding minorities living in poor environmental conditions is quite common. The psychological and physical effects of being in close proximity to these toxic environments are detrimental to the people.

Little is being done to rectify these inequities. The stressors of unhealthy diets, negative mental states, and anti-social behaviors stem from a lack of education, self-esteem, and well-paying jobs. Lack of awareness fuels most of the ignorance in poor communities.

Knowledge is Power
When I learned about globalization and what the USA does to “poor, undeveloped, third-world countries,” I realized that same pattern of oppression was being used to shape my environment. I understood that “free-trade” for the USA meant coercing other countries by using our power and weapons to take over those countries’ resources to the detriment of the local people.
“My job (as economic hit man), said my instructor, was ‘to encourage world leaders to become part of a vast network that promotes US commercial interests. In the end, those leaders become ensnared in a web of debt that ensures their loyalty. We can draw on them whenever we desire — to satisfy our political, economic, or military needs. In turn, they bolster their political positions by bringing industrial parks, power plants, and airports to their people. The owners of US engineering/construction companies become fabulously wealthy.’ 
“If we faltered, a more malicious form of hit man, the jackal (CIA), would step to the plate. And if the jackals failed, then the job fell to the military.
Excerpt From: The New Confessions of an Economic Hit Man. ~ John Perkins. Apple Books.
I understood that this was accepted because of religious and racist beliefs. These beliefs hold little awareness of our true purpose and are actually an expression of an overweening ego trip. A force that relies on economic hegemony and superior weapons to dominate those who are not like us or do not share our beliefs creates a false sense of purpose. We have only to look around to comprehend the depths of our moral collapse.

I felt the anger and rage of being oppressed and the lack of self-knowledge and self-esteem that comes with it. I believe this is why there is so much violence in poor communities. Yet I deeply feel that life does not have to be this way. I still do. So, in an effort to change this, I joined political clubs at school. That’s where I met my husband who told me that politics is not what’s going to end the suffering in the world — that only a mass movement to higher consciousness through its biological agent, kundalini, will.

I had no idea what he meant. Slowly, with time and lots of questions, I began to work on myself. I did a lot of inner healing, I stopped blaming religion, I stopped blaming the government, I stopped blaming my family, and I stopped blaming the world outside of me. Through the practice of releasing, forgiving others (especially myself), appreciation and gratitude for the little things, cultivating humility, meditating, practicing kindness and love, my awareness and perceptions began to change. Because of my practice, I began to have the courage to speak, to dance, to sing, to love, and to be seen. My connection to “Source” returned; I understood that kundalini is an evolutionary phenomenon that changes you biologically. Its goal is to make you a better person through its connection to “Source,” i.e., higher consciousness.
“The aim of the evolutionary impulse that is active in the race is to mold the human brain and nervous system to a state of perception where the invisible world of intelligent cosmic forces can be cognizable to every human being.
~ Higher Consciousness and Kundalini – Gopi Krishna
Now, when I look at the world, with its poverty, suffering, hate, ignorance and the negativity that comes with it, I realize that a lack of self-awareness had created these conditions. On the other hand, compassion and altruism are highly correlated to mental well-being and higher consciousness. Preliminary research findings from The Emerging Sciences Foundation and Stanford Medicine’s “The Center For Compassion And Altruism Research And Education” have done research in this area.

We see these noble qualities expressed by the founders of the major religions, because they provide guidance on our thoughts and deeds. This is why even with our advanced scientific tools, religion still grips the masses.

We are the true creators of our own reality, what we think and believe we manifest! This is how we influence each other and the world around us. The current state of the world is a manifestation that prioritizes the economy before our own health and the Earth. This, I believe, creates and promotes fear, materialism, dogma, fundamentalism, and hateful attitudes towards others.

A Simpler Lifestyle
True fulfillment comes from blending in with nature, celebrating life together, while becoming self-aware. Many people who undergo a Kundalini awakening understand this. Once in a state of Higher Consciousness, Gopi Krishna said that we need to “return to the field and farm.”

In his letter to a friend in 1753, Benjamin Franklin, one of the The Founding Fathers of America, shared an interesting problem encountered by the English settlers who were taken captive by the Natives:
“Tho’ ransomed by their friends, and treated with all imaginable tenderness to prevail with them to stay among the English, yet in a short time they become disgusted with our manner of life…and take the first good opportunity of escaping again into the woods”
~ Junger, Sebastian. Tribe, Twelve, 2016.
All of humanity is undergoing a process of self-awareness one way or another, driven by what Gopi Krishna called the evolutionary impulse. Nature is asking us to reconnect, to balance, and to evolve. I don’t know all of the answers. I do know that our current lifestyles, fueled by consumption and by putting the economy before our physical and mental health, contribute mightily to the current, sad state of the world.

Thursday, August 13, 2020

The Science of Breathing

What is the first action a newborn baby takes upon his or her introduction to life on Earth?

Taking a breath is that essential first action. Failing to accomplish that action means life is quickly over.

Moody Arcata Lake
Since activating kundalini in the early 1970s, I've wondered why so little was known about the science of breathing (if I may call it a science). Had I not learned how to breathe correctly, I would never have awakened kundalini. Had I not activated kundalini, my physical imperfections would never have been corrected. What I learned was the result of empirical research in the laboratory of my own body.

I learned breath is not only an important factor governing worldly accomplishments (ability at music or sports, for instance), it's the key to your adherence to the blueprint of your perfect body, the blueprint for your unique incarnation. What is this blueprint? It's a perpetually updating, mutli-dimensional plan for your embodiment that includes your physical as well as your energetic bodies.

At the moment of conception, the moment the sperm and egg collide, Consciousness creates a blueprint for hominization, a concept that even Catholics recognize as "the unfolding of a pre-existent pattern (blueprint), a making explicit of what is implicit." While in the  womb, the blueprint manages the hominization process, which, during this time focuses on maintaining symmetry. Even before birth, temporal forces can affect symmetry, creating a separation between the blueprint and your actual embodiment.
"Up to the moment of your birth, it stays one step ahead of your actual embodiment, carefully matching your anatomy to the three-dimensional form as conceived by your blueprint. At birth, this metaphysical superintendence sleeps, allowing the materialistic factors of heredity and environment to guide and manage your growth through life."
~ Deciphering the Golden Flower One Secret at a Time - JJ Semple
The key to preserving bodily symmetry, or adherence to the blueprint, is breath and breathing, an autonomic process that activates at birth. Up to that point the formation of the embryo, the fetus, and the physical body takes place in the mother's womb.
"From the moment you’re born, any one of thousands of stimuli — within or out of your control — can alter your growth, assuring degrees of deviation from the blueprint for your unique embodiment.

"After activating the Kundalini-Life Force, I was able to see the blueprint of my perfect body and compare it to my actual state. Amazingly, the Kundalini Life Force recognized a deformity and immediately began to correct it. I witnessed it slowly reshape my body to the exact proportions in the blueprint.
"
~ Deciphering the Golden Flower One Secret at a Time - JJ Semple
What is the purpose of the blueprint? The blueprint acts as a template overlay for your growth through life — a continuous indicator of your actual versus your intended form.

The key feature of the blueprint is its perfect symmetry. Every creature that breathes is meant to be symmetrical, from the beginning to the end of life. It's part of the evolutionary master plan, bequeathed to energetic life forms by Consciousness.

The blueprint and your actual form are not supposed to lose sync. But what you do to yourself and/or what is done to you during your lifetime can cause the two to go out of sync.

To maintain bodily symmetry, and through symmetry, synchronization with the blueprint, one essential apparatus must function as perfectly as it did at the moment of birth. What is this apparatus, this indispensable mechanism?

It's your ability to breathe correctly, in short, how you apply the science of breathing to your breathing.

That's right, the key to life is breathing. Before aerobic workouts in the gym, doctrinal dissertations, football games, personal wealth, marriage and divorce there was breathing. Consciousness wants you to be symmetrical; symmetrical beings are highly energetic beings, and, therefore, more productive. And, to evolve, you must be productive in the ways you manage your energies.

When I started looking for answers to my breathing issues in the late 1960s, the only information I found came from ancient, esoteric yogic texts. As a result, I started practicing the breathing techniques in The Secret of the Golden Flower — Golden Flower Meditation. Not only did I learn the mechanics of correct breathing, such as regularity, inhaling and exhaling, breathing through the nose, I discovered the pranic energy inherent in each breath, a phenomenon that takes breathing far beyond the mere exchange of oxygen and carbon dioxide.

As I worked my way through this meditation, I had the feeling there was a body of valuable knowledge I knew nothing about. Information pertaining to the anatomy of my breathing apparatus. After kundalini awakened, energy streamed into my skull and started pushing outwards against all the inner surfaces of my skull, especially my jaw where it appeared mandated to change the configuration of not only my jaw, but my teeth and my skull as well. This went on 24 hours a day, the intensity increasing and diminishing according to the time of day.

Much later, I would learn from reading James Nestor's book, Breath, that the skull and its contents are malleable; they can reconfigure if the right solutions are applied.

I realize mentioning concepts like prana and pre-existing blueprints may sound crazy to some, but they are as real as the material world of the senses. And they have nothing to do with religion.

Kundalini, the instrument of Consciousness, corrected my physical imperfections, bringing my being into alignment with my blueprint.

What about people who have not activated kundalini, know nothing about it, and even if they did, would never believe it is real.


Trouble is, even if they did practice some form of meditation, there is no guarantee of a meaningful or successful outcome. Why? Because every kundalini experience is different.

Fortunately, researchers, not affiliated with any religious or spiritual belief systems, are now exploring many neglected aspects of the breathing process.

This is great news, a real boon to meditators and practitioners of energy cultivation techniques — a stark contrast to the limited sources I had access to. Today, the Internet makes vital information on breathing easily accessible.

The first item to catch my attention concerned a type of CAT scan of the mouth, skull, and teeth that reveals the condition of the breathing apparatus. These scans are done by special dentists and they show the effects of a lifetime of chewing on bad foods and breathing through the mouth. You might think the resulting data worthless in the grand scheme of things. After all, you chew, you breathe. So what's the big deal?

Most people take breathing for granted, and that's the problem. Given the many respiratory issues affecting the lungs that people today suffer from, a scan is the first step in informing the individual about his/her condition, be it the effects of COPD, asthma, infections like influenza, a deviated septum, pneumonia and tuberculosis, anatomical irregularities like malocclusion, sinusitis, allergies, and even lung cancer. 
Incidence of Respiratory Illness (70 years)

A scan also allows the dentist to devise corrective measures for treating and neutralizing respiratory conditions.
“All the modern skulls showed some degree of crooked teeth. Of the 5,400 different species of mammals on the planet, humans are now the only ones to routinely have misaligned jaws, overbites, underbites, and snaggled teeth, a condition formally called malocclusion.”
Excerpt From: James Nestor. “Breath.” Apple Books. https://books.apple.com/us/book/breath/id1487371974
Next month, I'll go into greater detail on how the science of breathing research fits in with the ancient traditions of yoga and meditation, and how the two can work together to facilitate kundalini work.

Thursday, June 11, 2020

Breathing and Covid-19

Previously, we examined the relationship between foods consumed and the Covid-19 virus. This post examines the effects that kundalini mediation breathing exercises have on the metabolism. Do they fortify it? Do these exercises prepare the body to resist the ravages of Covid-19?

The answer is: nobody knows and there is no way to prove whether it could...at this time.

Sure, you can imagine a clinical experiment where selected groups that have and have not practiced diaphragmatic deep breathing would produce results scientists can measure. We're a long way from being able to do this, both from an organizational and medical standpoint.

 
All we have is extrapolations and anecdotal accounts. Nevertheless, I believe that the Golden Flower Meditation breathing exercises I practice do protect me. Why? Because these exercises are the aerobics for the diaphragm. I have no scientific evidence to support this hypothesis, only the fact that while exercising, I'm able to breathe through the nose without gasping for air.
https://amzn.to/30CGbWv
A few days ago the NPR program Fresh Air featured a Terry Gross interview with James Nestor, a researcher exploring the many aspects of the science and art of breathing:
"You can think about breathing as being in a boat, right? So you can take a bunch of very short, stilted strokes and you're going to get to where you want to go. It's going to take a while, but you'll get there. Or you can take a few very fluid and long strokes and get there so much more efficiently. ... You want to make it very easy for your body to get air, especially if this is an act that we're doing 25,000 times a day. So, by just extending those inhales and exhales, by moving that diaphragm up and down a little more, you can have a profound effect on your blood pressure, on your mental state."
~ How The 'Lost Art' Of Breathing Can Impact Sleep And Resilience
As I listened to this interview, I was struck by how much it echoes the techniques of Golden Flower Meditation:
"When you extend the belly, pushing it outward on inhalation and then pulling the belly in to expel air, you are embarking on a regimen of abdominal and diaphragmatic calisthenics. Starting this activity for the first time — whether sitting, walking, reclining, or lying down — you may feel a burning sensation. That is the muscles of the abdomen telling you that you are beginning to breathe correctly. Using the belly muscles is like pump priming, that is, using the handle of a pump (the belly) to activate the pump mechanism (the diaphragm)."
~ Golden Flower Meditation website - JJ Semple

I've found a few practical things you can use to protect yourself if you're over 70 (remember, the Covid-19 virus is 15% fatal for +80 years):

Early warning: Get an Oximeter. It warns you before the virus symptoms appear.

Diet: Avoid carbohydrates. Deadlier infection rate for those who consume carbohydrates in large quantities.

Breathing exercises: There's no reason NOT to practice some form of yogic breathing exercises, using the diaphragm and the nostrils. The diaphragm is a muscle, just as important as the muscles you exercise in the gym, if not more so. Make sure the diaphragm "participates" in every activity, whether walking, yoga, reclining, exercising, or meditation — breathe through the nostrils as described in the Fresh Air interview cited above.

https://amzn.to/2AfXKAQ
Listen to it. And purchase the book. It's adapted for this day and age. In depth serious research on the lungs, the diaphragm, the nostrils, the configuration of the breathing mechanism, the importance of nasal breathing, and bodily symmetry — a topic I explore in all my books.

Tuesday, May 12, 2020

Will I Still Be Eating the Same Foods After COVID-19

To avoid misstatements, I need to be very careful in writing this post. It could be deemed controversial. I mean, to think that there might be a connection between the foods we eat and our susceptibility to the COVID-19 virus! What gall! Indeed, what heresy...

Welcome to the New York Times article that introduces this assertion — that contracting COVID-19 is somehow related to diet.
"But while diet-related disorders increase vulnerability to the virus, limited national attention has been paid to lack of access to nutritionally wholesome foods that can sustain metabolic health and support a vigorous immune system."
~ How Poor Diet Contributes to Coronavirus Risk-New York Times, Jane E. Brody, April 20, 2020
I don't know whether this is true or not, but I'm  glad someone's started the ball rolling. We need more attempts to correlate the non-medical factors surrounding susceptibility to the virus.

Outside a Paula Deen restaurant
We Are What We Eat

Why shouldn't metabolism be one of the factors that determines vulnerability? After all, are we not what we eat?

Not only can markers like "excess fat around the middle, hypertension, high blood sugar, high triglycerides and a poor cholesterol profile," and low blood oxygen measure health, the article seems to infer they also measure metabolism. I don't know if these elements constitute the totality of metabolism, but I do know that I watch mine, using them as two-way feedback that keeps them in a safe range.



If one is up, I eat a little less or more of that:
"The Pennsylvania-based Geisinger Health System created a food pantry in its Shamokin, Pa., clinical center that provides enough fresh fruits and vegetables, whole grains, and lean proteins to feed each family two healthy meals a day five days a week, along with weekly menus and recipes.
Among the first 95 members enrolled, there was a 40 percent decrease in the risk of death or serious complications and an 80 percent drop in medical costs per year, Dr. Andrea T. Feinberg and colleagues reported."
~ How Poor Diet Contributes to Coronavirus Risk-New York Times, Jane E. Brody, April 20, 2020

Sunday, March 22, 2020

The Biology of Kundalini

Activating Kundalini begins with biological transformation, using energy cultivation techniques to arouse the body’s hidden potential.

Since kundalini is a biological phenomenon, it needs to draw energy from a biological source in order to accomplish its purpose. That source happens to be sexual energy, the same energy source involved in procreation. How could it be otherwise? The energy used to create life is the same energy used in re-birth. What other source in the human body has the requisite supply of the necessary energy to accomplish a rebirth?
 

https://amzn.to/396gDSg
Nevertheless, each individual is configured differently which means outcomes do vary, not only on account of anatomical, genetic, and neurological differences, but also because the triggers responsible (meditation, tantra, shaktipat, drugs, etc.) for activating Kundalini vary greatly. Different triggers produce different effects. In fact, the rules that produce a variety of human shapes and sizes in the physical world also govern the multitude of metaphysical effects that kundalini produces.

It is an unpredictable physiological process. For that reason, you need to study the phenomenon before presuming it's appropriate for you at the present time. There’s also a commitment/dedication component. So, is it reasonable to dedicate your time and efforts to an unpredictable process that demands commitment?


Transformation is not a single event, but a stream of energy events, each one a challenge. So much goes into completing the process: inspiration, motivation, discovery, detective work, exercise, meditation — to say nothing of frustration, disappointment, and disinformation. Choosing a viable method is vital. The path is long, hard, and uncertain.

Up till now, there is no one method for shepherding a novice through the entire process that has a one-hundred-percent success rate. However, Golden Flower Meditation worked for me, resulting in a full-fledged, permanent kundalini awakening.

On the flowchart below you will notice two phases, what Ram Dass called the You do it! and It does you! phases. In the first phase, you do all the work. Whether consciously or unconsciously, deliberately or accidentally, you become inspired. Whatever! It’s up to you to find and manage the various elements. Motivation, detective work, decoding, practice are also up to you. It’s only during the last phase that things get really interesting, not that they’re uninteresting beforehand. But there definitely is a transition from the You do it! to It does You! phase.


Kundalini flowchart

To put the preceding flowchart in perspective, imagine a similar chart tracing the path of a typical American doctorate level education. The process is long — getting a PhD is a grueling process — but the information is readily available. Want to study chemistry? No problem. Ten thousand college catalogues at your disposal. Get good grades in high school, find a college that suits you and you’re on your way. On the other hand, informing yourself about secret teachings such as kundalini is not as easy. There is no approved curriculum, no regulating body, no accepted practices, no Secret Teachings for Dummies guidebooks. You’re on your own. All you have is your own inspired motivation, some hint that there is something out there — something for you. Beyond that you have no idea what’s in store for you. No idea that the overhaul you are pursuing is really a biological process. Golden Flower Meditation leads to a neuro-biological overhaul.

Through my practice of Golden Flower Meditation, I discovered the remarkable self-healing capabilities of the Kundalini~Life Force. My nervous system was stimulated such that the natural chemical substances of the body were recombined and used both to correct a deformity and also to induce a higher consciousness. After successfully activating the Life Force, this amazing energy source inventoried my entire body, immediately transmitting vital energy throughout the nervous system to the deformed parts of my body. What kinds of conditions are treatable? Any condition caused by damage to nerve endings or circuits.

How does GFM work? Correctly implemented, the active Kundalini triggers a process known as sexual sublimation that distills seminal fluid, or cervical fluid, in the case of a woman, and draws this distilled extract of sexual energy up the spine into the brain. This kicks off autonomic self-healing mechanisms that use the nervous system to revitalize neural related disorders. Normally, GFM has little effect on degenerative diseases such as cancer, heart disease, or stroke. However, by practicing GFM and eating more pure raw foods, the body is less likely to degenerate.

What if there were a mechanism in the body capable of revitalizing the brain and the nervous system, of counteracting the ill effects of neurological degeneration? That mechanism exists. It’s known as Kundalini Shakti  — the vital energy responsible for your incarnation. To avail yourself of it in later life for creative and for healing purposes, I practiced Golden Flower Meditation. It’s not the only method, but it is one I found to be permanent, voluntary, safe, repeatable.

At the moment, Kundalini Shakti is in hibernation, waiting for you to activate it. A popular explanation, really a misconception, says that if kundalini is not awakened, it is dormant, completely inactive. If that were true, we’d all be dead. Kundalini has a maintenance aspect, Prana Shakti, which is always functioning. It’s actively at work on you now, maintaining your autonomic functions. The life force has two aspects: Prana Shakti maintains your basic functions such as blood flow, digestion, and breathing; Kundalini Shakti fosters self-healing while opening you to higher consciousness.

Thursday, January 23, 2020

Morality and Kundalini

Because we exist in an energetic universe, there is nothing to prevent an immoral or dangerous person (by society's standards) from activating kundalini. We can only hope that, once active, the impact and the immensity of kundalini experience will, at a minimum, steer the person towards a respect for the Golden Rule.

Don't believe we live in an energetic universe as opposed to a moral one? Think about the origin of each: the source of the first is Consciousness; the origin of the second is man-made religion, an activity devised by man for the purposes of social cohesion.

Consciousness does not take sides; it's the driving force behind evolution. It judges mutations: beneficial, harmful, or neutral, without getting involved with particularities. It doesn't function as the Judge Judy of evolution, ruling on whether a given human interaction is fair or not.

Religion depends on social cohesion and civility. If these moral forces implode, as they have over my lifetime, what will replace them? We've already seen the rise of authoritarian tendencies.

https://amzn.to/38zJfmY
The Merry-Go-Round of Life (courtesy of RP Bradley)
More empirical proof can be witnessed by the way we treat one another. We've mostly thrown the Golden Rule to the dogs — this basic religious teaching is no longer observed or practiced, even lip service to it is rare.

You see evidence of it everyday. In drive-by shootings, in random attacks, Internet bullying, fake news, violence against women, economic inequality, racial hatred, whack-a-mole wars.


Can kundalini jump in and quick start human evolution or do we have to wait eons of evolutionary space/time before the brain's most grievous characteristics are eliminated — its mammalian characteristics?

If you consider that we evolved from one-celled animals to what we are today, it is logical to assume that, given a similar amount of time, we will, once again, change forms many times over. Short-sighted animals that we are, many among us, believe that we have reached a state of perfection, that we can evolve no more. Quelle arrogance!

It is impossible to project exactly what formal changes human beings might undergo. Nevertheless, if I were to guess what that form we might take, I'd first ask myself which mutations cause the most problems as far as human life is concerned?

I'd have to answer: the body itself, the source of all our problems: war, materialism, money, overwrought emotions (jealousy, hate, pride, rage - ten commandment stuff). If we were to ultimately evolve into "bodiless beings," these issues become moot. This may sound crazy, but it is consistent with evolutionary purpose and process — in that evolution eliminates harmful mutations.

Am I hypothesizing that the human body, which some of us worship, which every one of us would like to worship, is an evolutionary mistake? Kundalini tells me that there is more to me — to everyone of us — than a body.

There's a lot of mystery and confusion around kundalini, what Gopi Krishna aptly termed "the evolutionary energy." It's become a hashtag, a meme. If you activate it, you half expect it to solve your problems and change your character. Not so. If you're a bad person, you alone can change your attitudes and personality. Kundalini can provide the objectivity to see things as they really are, but it can't change your behavior. You alone can do that.

Religion, on the other hand, is so much opinion and polemics. The challenge is to bring back that part of it common to all religions, the one moral activity under each individual's control — the Golden Rule.

Thursday, December 12, 2019

Awareness and Consciousness

If consciousness is the pervasive, intelligent energy from which all things emanate, what exactly is awareness? Is it a localized expression of consciousness within a living creature? I say "creature" because animals and plants are aware — although, perhaps, less self-aware than humans — yet probably more aware in and of their natural surroundings than we humans are.


A person's senses are less tuned to their surroundings because civilization offloads various tasks to specialists: food cultivation and gathering, security and protection, habitation and sheltering come to mind. Not having to do these things, the things we take for granted, actually dulls our overall awareness, making it more difficult for us to be, or to become, self-aware.
"To become different from what we are, we must have some awareness of what we are… Yet it is remarkable that the very people who are most self-dissatisfied and crave most for a new identity have the least self-awareness. They have turned away from an unwanted self and hence never had a good look at it. The result is that those most dissatisfied can neither dissimulate nor attain a real change of heart. They are transparent, and their unwanted qualities persist through all attempts at self-dramatization and self-transformation."
~ BRUCE LEE - Bruce Lee on Self-Actualization
What role does awareness play in our lives? Is it necessary? Is it a quality or a skill we can learn or acquire? Is it incremental? Something we can gradually snuggle into? Something that connects us to higher consciousness? Something that illuminates and enlightens? If so, how do we acquire it? How are awareness and self-awareness related?

When we think of awareness, we might cite spatial, temporal, directional, and emotional as types of awareness.

Let's start with the spatial variety, a quality many people seem to lack even a basic sense of. Is that bad? Depends on how it affects you. In Paris, some streets are narrow and crowded: people walk directly into each other without thinking anything of it. They don't even try to avoid one another, leaving foreigners mystified. "Why don't they watch where they're going?" is a common reaction. Part of it may be cultural: the French don't respect lines; they cut right in and no one complains. What makes it even more startling to the outsider is the lines are long, but unlike, say, an American, they don't think cutting in is unfair. Welcome to Germany, where people respect lines and form them automatically.

Something I've noticed recently: in American grocery stores — the ones with narrow aisles — some people allow their carts to block the aisle, heedless that someone else is trying to pass. I try to figure out what's in the back of a person's mind when they block the aisle. Is the person making a statement on a subliminal level: "I'm not getting enough attention. If I block the aisle, people will notice my new hairdo."

Spatial awareness is a very basic form of awareness: you in relation to objects, animals, and people. I don't know which is worse — getting upset when someone blocks the aisle or letting it get to me. I compare this type of lack of awareness to being out of sync with the circadian rhythm; both are the result of an inflated sense of self-importance, which, itself, is the result of being over-civilized.

Which brings us to emotional or psychological awareness, the antidote for our detachment from nature and our self-alienation — the notion that when you block the aisle, you are aware that you are doing the blocking, and that someone is being blocked. This is the self-awareness, the self-remembering, that Gurdjieff and Ouspensky wrote about — being aware of self and other at all times so you can control, not only your conduct, but also your emotional response to every situation — what pathfinders like Gurdjieff and Gopi Krishna recognized as the doorway to the energy continuum of higher consciousness. 

If you stay at home, never go out, your life consists of the remote control and whatever's in the fridge. Once you step outside, however, you're in the world of emotional responses and self-awareness.

Growing up, I didn't think about self-awareness. Nevertheless, without my realizing it, my first thirty years were a quest for self-actualization and one of its offshoots — self-awareness. Everywhere I looked, every door I opened led to failure and further bouts of self-destructive misadventure, but I kept looking.

Then, one day in 1971, I began a meditation based on The Secret of the Golden Flower — without any foreknowledge or expectation of an outcome, either material or immaterial. No dreams of illumination, no fantasies of enlightenment. No Facebook, no Internet, very little word of mouth, it was a much different world back then. I was on my own before anything happened and when something did, I was still on my own.

https://amzn.to/356i7uy

What happened was kundalini, not an awakening so much as an earthquake that shook my body and unleashed a multitude of autonomous and autonomic resources that started to retrofit my body. Here "Retrofit" is used in its dictionary definition: an act of adding a component or accessory to something that did not have it when manufactured. Of course, kundalini was present, but like a computer program that includes a secret feature to be activated at some future date, it was dormant. It did not have to be added, only awakened.

All of which, at the same time it revitalized my being, revealed to me the self-awareness I had so vainly sought.
"This body of ours is something like an electric battery in which a mysterious power latently lies. When this power is not properly brought into operation, it either grows mouldy and withers away or is warped and expresses itself abnormally. It is the object of Zen, therefore, to save us from going crazy or being crippled. This is what I mean by freedom, giving free play to all the creative and benevolent impulses inherently lying in our hearts. Generally, we are blind to this fact, that we are in possession of all the necessary faculties that will make us happy and loving towards one another. All the struggles that we see around us come from this ignorance… When the cloud of ignorance disappears… we see for the first time into the nature of our own being."
~ DT SUZUKI - What Freedom Really Means

And through this self-awareness, I became aware of the consciousness that is the Mother of all things — truly the gift that gives on giving. I was folded into it. And why not?

It's in us and all around us. Ready for us to become absorbed, assimilated, integrated into It free of charge. Yet, just as Suzuki warned us, our connection to it is tenuous and fragile. To not avail ourselves of it carries with it difficult-to-avoid, dangerous tendencies, so ably described here by Bruce Lee.
"There is a powerful craving in most of us to see ourselves as instruments in the hands of others and thus free ourselves from the responsibility for acts that are prompted by our own questionable inclinations and impulses. Both the strong and the weak grasp at this alibi. The latter hide their malevolence under the virtue of obedience; they acted dishonorably because they had to obey orders. The strong, too, claim absolution by proclaiming themselves the chosen instrument of a higher power — God, history, fate, nation, or humanity."
 ~ BRUCE LEE - Bruce Lee on Self-Actualization
There are ways of avoiding these ensnarements; mine happened to be the unwitting result of kundalini meditation that, during the time I practiced it, never once did I encounter the term "kundalini," proving, once again, that labels don't much matter.

I didn't have to work at cultivating awareness; it was byproduct of the consciousness (as manifested through kundalini) that took over the superintendence of my being.
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Sometime soon, spirituality and science will intersect like two atoms in a particle accelerator, a quantum event.

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Friday, November 1, 2019

Why Didn't Judy Sing Judy?

The creators of the new movie, Judy, made a conscious choice NOT to use her singing voice. Rather they used the voice of their star, Renée Zellweger. That's like using Ronan O'Sullivan Farrow's voice in a Frank Sinatra biopic. God forbid...

What does this have to do with kundalini?  Investigators such as Gopi Krishna have written about the effects of a kundalini awakening, not only on those who meditate for it or those who are spontaneously struck by it, but also as it concerns people of genius, who, they believe, appear to have been born with an operational kundalini. By that I mean the energy centers that ordinary people must cultivate, either on purpose or accidentally, are already functioning at birth in people of genius. As of yet, how this works, no one knows.

https://youtu.be/UFITLxanHoU
“Look For The Silver Lining" - sung by Judy Garland in Till The Clouds Roll By (1946)
These writers have cited Walt Whitman, Einstein, Maurice Bucke, Tennyson, Wordsworth, Goethe, Nietzsche, and Schopenhauer as examples of genius so extraordinary that some advanced aspect of physiological evolution must be at work in their beings that allows them unequaled mastery in their field, combining the ability to focus with special insight into the nature of things. This faculty manifests itself in many ways.

How did they come up with these names? Why the list was restricted to thinkers and philosophers I don't know? Nevertheless, I'd like to broaden the list to include, not only to great intellects, but also writers, athletes, artists, singers and musicians.

No mention is made of how geniuses — of the academic sort — conduct their lives. Whether: they are happily married. Have hobbies. Pay taxes. Have lots of friends. Are moody. Are on good terms with their children. Mistreat their servants. Have an addiction.

The same is not true for the second group — a sample of which I nominate: Willie Mays, Thelonious Monk, Charles Chaplin, Frank Sinatra, Mozart, Edith Piaf, Fyodor Mikhailovich Dostoevsky, Aretha Franklin, Stanley Kubrick, and yes, Judy Garland and a select few others. Their celebrity, especially for those who've lived in this era of mass media scrutiny, fed their various urges, co-opting and overwhelming them.

Celebrity  becomes notoriety. Not for all, of course. But genius does not necessarily equate to stability, not for Mozart or Judy. Personal relations and personal affairs are often mismanaged or neglected by geniuses. Still, we wonder at their uniqueness, their one-in-a-million virtuosity. There's a big difference between average and genius. A gaping chasm that director Rupert Goold did not dare to cross. According to Internet commentary, he forced Renée Zellweger to use her own voice because he believed pantomiming and lip syncing would destroy the spontaneity of her performance.

That's like using someone else's voice in a Aretha Franklin or a Barbra Streisand or a Ray... uh-oh, Charles biopic? Hmm, hasn't that flic already been made? Didn't his performance win an Oscar for Jamie Foxx? Didn't he lip sync to Ray Charles's original music? Wasn't the result edited in to perfection? Didn't the fact that director Taylor Hackford made performance and music fit together seamlessly make it the best musical biopic ever? Can you imagine substituting someone else's voice? I can't...

Sadly, Rupert Goold thought the lip-sync challenge too great for Judy, making an idea for a good film ho-hum. Yet, he even wrote into his script the most important factor in a musical picture: In the beginning of the film, the Louis B. Mayer character tells teen-age Judy that what sets her apart from Lana Turner and Ava Gardner is not glamor or beauty, but her unique voice. Evidently, Goold didn't want to follow his character's evaluation. (PS. I think she's both beautiful and glamorous.)

https://youtu.be/L5vDFFiU_Os?t=1819
Judy Garland sings Little Drops Of Rain on The Jack Paar Show (1962)
It's not Renée Zellweger's fault; she has a pleasant singing voice. But she not the genius Judy Garland was. Nowhere near, and it shows. Her voice lacks Judy's emotional power and color, and that doesn't even count its beauty. 

That's why Ray was so good. That's why La Vie en Rose, the Edith Piaf biopic, was so great. The producers used the real person's singing voice, not some imitation.

Viewers, vaguely familiar with the real Judy Garland, might be charmed by Zellweger's performance, might also be charmed by her pleasant voice, willing to let her performance overshadow the music. Real music lovers, however, cannot. Why not? Because the real Judy's voice is the only authentic element that connects any spoken or visual depiction to the real Judy Garland — her voice, with its color, its quivering vibrato, perfect pitch, powerful crescendos, and breathless tremolos.

https://amzn.to/34pOtjg


These people might also defend the director's choice, say I have no right to criticize such a wonderful performance. They be wrong on that count...and, and probably unfamiliar with Judy Garland's body of work. You can't compare Zellweger's voice to Judy's, especially if you've never listened to Judy sing. 

What's more, didn't Judy have a hard enough life — exhaustively sensationalized in this interpretation — without having her legacy adulterated?

Here's an incisive comment on La Vie En Rose that sums up the musical biopic discussion:
“Piaf's magnificent, emotional singing is fully complemented by Cotillard's balls to the wall performance. Heart and soul are in total sync here and Cotillard manages to age astonishingly well. This is a terrible tale of a child grotesquely abandoned emotionally by her parents. Piaf's will to live is inspiring even in the face of self-destruction that makes Judy Garland's own battles with alcohol and drugs seem minor in comparison. The parallels to both women are hard to ignore. The rest of the cast is first-rate, and the film beautifully evokes the eras covered in her life. Best of all there is the great Piaf recorded legacy which is well-handled here. There's no sense that Cotillard is not singing and that's a testament to the skill that suffuses this fine film. Excellent.”
~ IMDb Movie review - La Vie en Rose (2007)
In spite of their personal issues, geniuses like Judy always give more than they take:

Click below to view some of Judy's most iconic performances.