Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Does Activating Kundalini Make You a Happier Person?

Recently someone sent me an inquiry, "I've read your kundalini books and I'm beginning a meditation practice. But the question that keeps popping up in my head is: Does activating your kundalini make you a happier person?"

Overlooking for a moment the semantics behind the expression "happier person," I'd respond with a resounding YES, in the sense that Kundalini makes you a different person. What you want to make of this different person, how you want to mold him/her still depends on your basic character. All Kundalini confers on you is the opportunity to meet, perhaps for the first time, the elusive, real YOU.

By stripping away denial and evasion tactics, an active Kundalini allowed me to focus on the weaker aspects of my character. What I decided to do with this opportunity was up to me. But at least I now had focus. The stage was set for work.

This work can be extremely constructive, especially as concerns addictive or self-destructive behavior.

It's so easy to be cynical about change, self-discovery, and spiritual transformation; even Oprah Winfrey faces ridicule from the conventional press when she talks about her personal journey: "Ms. Winfrey shared no secrets, but she did repeat some of her most familiar, if impenetrable, platitudes, including "my personal journey is to fulfill the highest expression of myself here as a human being.'" Lack of understanding is rife. This language says more about the NY Times writer than it does about Oprah's sincere expression of self-discovery. So be ready for doubt, ridicule, and misunderstanding.

The advantage Kundalini gives you is that the body becomes an ally. You are functioning at a higher vibrational frequency. At frequencies where drugs and alcohol no longer hold any appeal. The body begins to resist harmful substances. This is a place to start — at the bottom (the physical level), an enormous advantage when you realize the hardest thing in life is taking the first step, especially when it means starting at the bottom.

Maslow's pyrmid of needs

Each stage in the pyramid is attuned to a different frequency Yet, only by starting at the bottom can you can build a solid foundation — one stage at a time.

"Self-realization begins at birth; it is the journey as much as it is the destination." Eventually you realize there is no separation between the journey and the destination. Kundalini gives you a place to start. It wipes the slate clean in that you are now functioning at a higher vibrational frequency, affording you an opportunity to insure that the journey is upward, providing you a vantage point for putting things in perspective as you move along.

What does "starting at the bottom" really mean? How did it work in my case? When I wrote about starting at the bottom, the tried-and-true Maslow diagram popped into my head as a ready example of start and finish points. I began to think about the diagram I created in The Backward-Flowing Method: The Secret of Life and Death, a diagram that explained my journey, that it didn't just happen in a vacuum, that there was a karmic dimension to it — a vibrational dimension.

The search for self-discovery

As you can see, this diagram's first stage Search for the Secret Teachings is characterized by exploration. In my case, it meant discovering and taking up Yoga, not as readily available in the 1960s as it is today. My path followed the Maslow diagram to the extent that it provided me with a way of harnessing the power of the body — a feeling that I had to stop abusing it and get it working for me.

When I first started out, I had not the merest iota of self-awareness. I didn't really know what I was doing or why I was doing it. I just practiced the poses. Little-by-little, however, things started to percolate upward. During my practice I noticed that my breathing exercises produced rumblings in energy centers throughout my body — sensations I had never before felt, which, as I continued to practice, became palpable and real. I had awakened a sleeping subsystem. I realized that breathing — an autonomic process I had always taken for granted — was the key to the changes taking place in my body.

Breathing became the center of my practice. Not only during my practice, but in every other activity: walking, driving, lying in bed. Little did I realize. More is less. Breathing is more powerful than any physical exercise.

Where my exploration differed with the Maslow diagram: I failed at the Belongingness & Love Needs and the Esteem Needs stages. Had I been obliged to master these steps before attempting the final stages in Blocks Two and One of the Maslow, I would have been condemned to perpetual failure. Only by jumping ahead to the Need to Know & Understand stage was I able to eventually succeed (reach the top of the Maslow pyramid) and ultimately work my way back down to Block One to complete the work on the stages I skipped.

My diagram jumps from the Physiological Needs stage to the Need to Know & Understand stage and then continues to the top. It completely ignores the two steps at the top of Block One of Maslow. So what, you say? The point is you don't have to follow an order. It's not set in stone or in a diagram. Whatever gets you vibrating at a higher frequency. The important thing is getting there, and that entails a journey and a beginning — starting out and finishing. The sequence isn't as important. All roads lead to Rome.

I chose Yoga, and it led me to study my breathing and the realization that breathing was the key to everything. And kundalini meditation became my vehicle for breathing in a controlled and systematic manner.

As for the notion of a "happier person," let's just say that if we concern ourselves with happiness, we're a long way from understanding the nature of life, and therefore, probably on another path. The Buddha said Life was suffering, and he prescribed a path to deal with it. Does mean happiness gets lost in the shuffle? That when you get to the Transcendence or the It Does You! stage, you have somehow, mysteriously reconciled the two — Transcendence and Happiness? It means that as long as we inhabit bodies, we will suffer if we base everything on the pursuit of happiness, which, a Buddhist might say, is an illusion. So, in relative terms then, doesn't Oprah Winfrey's statement of devotion and service ("fulfill the highest expression of myself here as a human being") ring true to both the Buddhist and the Christian approaches? To be more aware, to make better decisions, to treat others as we would be treated? If a Kundalini awakening figures in somewhere along the way, so be it. If not, there are many paths and many roadmaps.

1 comment:

  1. "Self-realization begins at birth; it is the journey as much as it is the destination." Eventually you realize there is no separation between the journey and the destination.

    Great post. That description above hits the nail right on the head.