Monday, January 19, 2015

Tao and Kundalini

I was playing Ma Jong in Beijing a few nights ago when a thought struck me. One of the other players told me that the Chinese people believe very strongly in luck. For example, winning at Ma Jong around New Year’s is a good indication of a lucky year to come. The Chinese culture plays a lot with the idea of luck.

Feng Shui, for example — the practice of arranging your home, office, and other parts of your life — is said to bring good fortune. I am reminded of baseball players and their superstitions. When a player refuses to shave during a hitting streak, or carries a rabbit foot in his pocket, he is trying to influence his luck. Some of the more common baseball superstitions include purposely stepping on or avoiding the foul line when taking the field, not talking about a no-hitter or perfect game while it is in progress, eating only chicken before a game, and drawing in the dirt in the batter's box or tapping the bat on the plate before hitting.

It dawned on me that the ultimate way to get the best possible luck according to ancient Chinese philosophy is to “Follow The Tao.” This is best articulated in Lao Tze’ s prescription for living a good life, his seminal treatise, the Tao Te Ching (Treatise on the Value of the Way), written about 600 BC. To a psychic, following the Tao is the ultimate use of psychic power. Following The Tao is a synthesis of helpful energy, the blending of our individual needs with the collective living energy of the world.

But if following The Tao is the best way to help ourselves, then the obvious question is: How? You first have to find it to follow it. So the first goal is to find The Tao. This is the great task of mysticism and morality, the occupation of monks and would-be wizards alike, to develop sufficient personal awareness to recognize The Tao, and then to follow it. In the Tao Te Ching, Lao-Tse homes in on some chief values that serve as a prescription for finding The Tao, and that also help us live a good life in harmony with The Tao.

In Indian thought, the awakened kundalini serves to increase our awareness of energy both within us and in the world around us. The tremendous increase in both the quality and quantity of prana flowing up the spine and into the brain serves as an energetic transmutor, enabling growth of the mind and spirit, heart, and body, such that the awareness of The Tao becomes inevitable and inseparable from daily experience. As such, the Path to awakening kundalini and the path to finding Tao are synonymous.

In the New Testament, Jesus says “…I tell all of you with certainty, unless you change and become like little children, you will never get into the kingdom of heaven” (Matthew 18:3, International Standard Bible). He also said, “The Kingdom of Heaven is within you” (Luke 17:21). These two passages show that Jesus was also talking about the path to kundalini awakening.

Throwing off of pride, acceptance of humility, and becoming like a child precedes the Great Awakening that is possible. Rumi writes about it in his poetry. St. John of the Cross wrote about it in The Dark Night of The Soul. All these paths are really different versions of the same path. If one could assemble all these spirits in one room, there would be very little difference between them.

Gopi Krishna’s Book, The Way To Self-Knowledge, is perhaps the best book written on this subject in modern time. In a book length channeled poem, Gopi Krishna writes about the path to awakening as the way to self-knowledge, describes the ways to open up the spiritual channel through meditation, prayer, and service, and relates these activities to the modern world we live in. Gopi Krishna also describes all the spiritual paths as one and the same, with the same ultimate destination, the increased awareness that comes from the activation of the kundalini.

When one awakens kundalini, one finds The Tao. When one experiences Being One With The Cosmos, one feels unified with The Tao. This is because The Tao is beyond duality. This path never forks.

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