Wednesday, August 9, 2017

Self-Realization Begins At Birth

Self-realization begins at birth; it is the journey as much as the destination.

Consider the words of Indian author, Tarun J Tejpal, cited at the beginning of Deciphering the Golden Flower One Secret at a Time:
"The greatest book in the world, The Mahabharata, tells us we all have to live and die by our karmic cycle. Thus works the perfect reward-and-punishment, cause-and-effect, code of the universe. We live out in our present life what we wrote out in our last. But the great moral thriller also orders us to rage against karma and its despotic dictates. It teaches us to subvert it. To change it. It tells us we also write out our next lives as we live out our present."
~ The Alchemy of Desire —Tarun J. Tejpal
The author insists that karma can be "improved." Whether it actually can or not, I don't know, but I lean toward believing.

I came to The Secret of the Golden Flower (SGF) through serendipitous happenstance. It was only after I started practicing the method that I realized its empirical value as a manual for activating Kundalini. Deciphering the Golden Flower One Secret at a Time pays homage to those ancients: Chinese, Tibetan, and Indian, who, during solitary, self-imposed exile, developed techniques for self-realization. I believe that my journey closely parallels theirs much more than it does the more modern, feel-good, New-Age Western approach so prevalent today.

It wasn't an ability to see beyond my circumstances that led me to start meditating. It was a combination of dire straits, detective work, and luck. But something in me blazed — some spark of self-awareness allowed me to find the right, and only, means (The SGF) to restore me to my perfect body. There was also a personality component: I’m resilient.

After a childhood accident, my body slowly imploded. As a consequence, my abilities in maths and music disappeared. The changes were physical, caused by interference with vital nerve conduits — the result of my refusal to tell doctors about the splinter lodged in my ankle. This is difficult to understand because most people live their entire lives with their bodies in a single morphological state. They experience normal growth, but do not lose faculties or abilities and do not change their base morphology.

My 1977 meeting with Gopi Krishna in Kashmir was my first encounter with a confirmed Kundalini practitioner/researcher. He got me thinking beyond the difficult-to-reconcile spiritual aspects of Kundalini. He got me wondering about Kundalini meditation as a scientific process and a Kundalini awakening as the result of an experiment — one performed in the laboratory of the body. A deliberate and repeatable experiment, the techniques for which, can be passed along. My books update the SGF for today's audience, making its teachings more accessible and more structured.

Gopi Krishna was the first person who understood my condition completely. And he provided practical information on living with Kundalini.

Kundalini practitioners are like the people in Close Encounters of the Third Kind — obsessed. They undertake a great journey, and like most explorers they want to share their experiences with others. I wanted to write my story earlier, soon after it occurred in 1972. However, much like Gopi Krishna, I felt I had to wait until the experience ran its course. Little did I know I would still be experiencing the after effects some 40 years later. Still, not a single day goes by without some concomitant due to Kundalini.

The changes wrought by Kundalini are:

  • Heighten and enhance consciousness to effect a release from Karmic bondage,
  • Increase psychic abilities, astral travel, OBE, as well as creativity,
  • Reverse self-destructive and addictive behavior, be a better problem solver,
  • Trigger autonomic self-healing, retard the aging process,
  • No longer fear death.

I have experienced most of them in one form or another, and this is a mere subset.

I was attracted to The SGF because of its stance vis-à-vis the real world:
"When there is a gradual success in producing the circulation of the light, a man must not give up his ordinary occupation in doing so. The ancients said, 'When occupations come to us, we must accept them; when things come to us, we must understand them from the ground up.'"
Living with Kundalini is something most people don't think about while they are trying to raise it. My method (GFM) takes about a year, but once raised, you have to live with it for the rest of your life. There is a long period of adjustment. Kundalini not only changes your metabolic and somatic systems, it affects how you relate to the world and to others emotionally.

If we didn't inhabit bodies, there would be no material attachments, no negative emotions, war, greed, pride, fear, pain, etc. Kundalini makes us feel we should be rid of these things. But however petty, selfish, imperfect, or foolish the world outside may seem to us, despite living in a body primed with Kundalini energy, we are still human. At the same time Kundalini is developing greater consciousness, we must not neglect real world obligations.

I have worked hard at developing a foolproof method for activating Kundalini — one that works for every individual. Nevertheless, we are all different. Some people, try as they might, are not able to activate it. Not only must matter (psycho-sexual fuel) collide with essence (primal consciousness), the collision must take place in a kind of Quantum event that determines success.

It will take critical mass to vet Golden Flower Meditation, or any other method for that matter. Are we on the right track to achieving critical mass? I think the numbers show we are.

There are many types of Kundalini awakenings: deliberate, permanent, temporary, accidental, casual. Gopi Krishna's and mine were permanent, but that doesn't mean we were set for life. Kundalini only provides fertile ground for continued spiritual development. Nothing is automatically granted; the work is never done.

The aftermath is just as problematic as the actual awakening. So are the reasons and the motives for undertaking the activation process in the first place: you should have a good one. It's not a casual or frivolous undertaking.

I believe I was lucky in that respect. Forty years ago when I activated Kundalini, I had never even heard the term. Unlike many today, I wasn't looking for extraordinary powers; I was practicing a breathing method, hoping it would help me find myself and repair my body.

Once activated, everything came together. It's been that way ever since; it's the gift that keeps on giving — once you realize you have to surrender to its power.

I don't regret my past. I was lost and now I am found. In fact, living a self-destructive life taught me to be empathetic, to put myself in the place of others. In this era of narcissistic self-aggrandizement and self-absorption, empathy is an indispensable human quality.

I didn't know what I was doing. Headstrong trailblazing, perhaps, but my ignorance allowed me to press forward without second-guessing myself. And it just so happened that the method I discovered — the Backward-Flowing Method — doesn't allow the energy to travel up the wrong channel in the spine.

If you think about it, there's always a first time, always someone out on a limb, doing it on their own. I am one of them. I didn't realize until later that I was using my body as a laboratory. Yes, there are pitfalls, but as Gopi Krishna pointed out there are very few people — even in India — who could answer his questions about Kundalini with empirical authority. Yes, you can do it with supervision, but how do you know the person supervising you knows more than you do? And suppose you do encounter problems, how can another person really help? Are they sufficiently realized to exert some magical power or will they simply comfort you by talking common sense? In the end, each person has to find the techniques that work best for him/her. It's not like dancing or cricket where coaches can correct improper form or posture. We're working with inner space where self-observation plays an all-important role.

There are systems that work and systems that don't. There are systems that work for certain people, but not for others. At the beginning supervision is useful, but many Gurus tend to have something else going. If that something else involves the cult of personality or money grubbing, then it's not useful.

The SGF talks about sexual sublimation, Gopi Krishna talks about it. So do I, and many others. As for my process, I didn't say, "I'm going to sexually sublimate." I simply started breathing correctly. The sexual component was a seamless by-product of my breathing. Once you master Diaphragmatic Deep Breathing, you feel an energy build up in the lower belly. At this point, you command the energy to change direction, which draws distilled sexual energy up the spine to the brain. My book, The Backward-Flowing Method: The Secret of Life and Death explains the process in depth.

As for why it’s so hush-hush in India, Indian friends of mine tell me that Gurus talk about Kundalini in terms of religious doctrine, thereby excluding those practices that are inconsistent with their doctrines.

Americans are caught up in an opposite paradigm. To raise Kundalini, there are thousands trying everything from harmful drugs to intensive Yoga to drinking exotic tinctures to questionable Tantric practices. Gurus/Teachers, whatever their origin, are territorial, out to protect their own domains. Sadly, there's very little collaboration, very little sharing of information as challenges are encountered and new techniques come to the fore.

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