Thursday, December 1, 2022

The Journey and the Destination: Part 02

The Journey/Destination discussion and the ways they are intertwined are worth taking a fresh look at. The first iteration was published on Sunday, March 10, 2013: The Journey or the Destination: Part o1.

Let’s reexamine the two notions, starting with the destination. What exactly is the destination? A kundalini awakening, you say. Okay… This blog is full of discussions on the effects — beneficial and harmful — that kundalini confers on those who attempt to cultivate it whether they succeed or not. Yes, I include harmful, in the sense of unwanted, painful, and stultifying experiences do happen on occasion — before, during, and after kundalini arousal.

Recently, seekers I’ve talked with tell me they believe kundalini will somehow usher them into a state of being that makes their inadequacies, anxieties, and dependencies disappear. Before I reveal the term they apply to this state, let me try to describe its qualities.

It's a state that insulates and protects, a state in which the seeker connects with the energy continuum whereby he or she receives all-encompassing grace, expanded consciousness, and limitless ability.

What follows, how the individual lives with it, once awakened, is not clear. Suffice it to say, that boiled down to basics it resembles a yearning to escape life’s toils and torments. Boiled down even further into one word, it’s exceedingly suggestive of the term enlightenment.

Don’t go all to pieces; I get it. You don’t like my definition, but we’re living in the real world where there’s very little escape. Instead, read Halfway Up the Mountain: The Error of Premature Claims to Enlightenment. Its title alone should be enough to convince you there’s not a lot of proof, much less an objective process, by which it’s possible to determine whether someone is or isn’t enlightened. If you get into the text, it just may help keep your expectations realistic, your feet on the ground.

Remember, Gopi Krishna searched for an enlightened being for a long time in India, the motherlode of spiritual endeavor and experience. He never found one. Even those who others claimed were “enlightened” refused the title, saying they knew nothing — much less nothing they might pass along to others. The best they could do was to tell their story and insist that it was unique to them, adding that each individual must find out for him/herself.

So what was my destination? Once kundalini awakened, where did I land in the energy continuum? Had I taken a great leap forward in terms of grace, consciousness, and ability?

First, let me describe what it took for me to activate kundalini, and to my complete and utter lack of knowledge with what had happened when I did, and how I learned to deal with it. Because, right off the bat, it started working on me. Where had my journey started? Where was I now, after this so-called awakening?

I begin with meditation at age 28. But that wasn’t the real beginning. I’m convinced it all  began when I was born. Some people, like me and Margaret Dempsey, are just born with the idea of a quest in the form of a journey they must take at some point in their lives.

Anyway, after a year of mediation, I went to France where I continued to meditate and live the expatriate life with all its frivolities and excesses. After a time, I began to experience sensations in my body that I knew were connected to my meditation practice, and it was taking me somewhere. There was a certain amount of physical suffering; I could no longer function in a populated surroundings; I needed to drop everything and concentrate on the meditation. I had no access to books on kundalini, even if I’d heard the term, which I hadn’t. I retired to a small village in the south, very remote, living a kind of gnostic lifestyle. No telephones, no Internet, no TV or movies. A basically analog world: Practice, Read, Walk, Eat, Sleep. People did that then — the ascetic hermit trip, like the Buddhist and Taoist monks who went to the mountains, almost impossible to do today.

I gave up my work as a gainfully employed film editor, my social life, my habits, the woman I lived with and loved. I stayed in the house, meditating and reading. For exercise I walked. I ate sparingly.

Up to that point, the journey had been one of abstinence: learning to do without: no alcohol, drugs, or sex. I found out later that sexual energy is used by the kundalini mechanism to awaken it by a process called sublimation, and that’s why I began to feel weak as the process unfolded, more and more sexual energy was diverted to the brain. Read about my experience in detail, the before, the during, the aftermath in Deciphering the Golden Flower One Step at a Time.

Like Gopi Krishna, I’d did it alone, making discoveries as the process advanced; I became my own best detective working in uncharted waters, writing everything down in a journal for future use. Up to then, I was doing the doing; once kundalini awakened, it began doing me. I had no control over it. It started to reengineer my body and has continued to do so over the last 50 years. There were insights into human physiology and a gradual extension of awareness.

During the Journey, I learned:

  • To live by myself,
  • I didn’t have to try to make others like me; in other words: I became comfortable just being myself,
  • To write clearly about metaphysics as previously unknown aspects of human physiology became active in my body and I could watch and learn from them,
  • Not feel I was missing something, that others were having more fun than I was
  • To live without addictions,
  • Metaphysical exploration is not escape.

After reaching the Destination and living with an active kundalini for over 50 years, albeit, without prior knowledge of or familiarity with kundalini, I’ve observed the following about this transformative energy; it:

  • Triggers autonomic self-healing capable of correcting neural defects,
  • Rejuvenate the body and retard the aging process,
  • Reverses self-destructive and addictive behavior,
  • Heighten and enhance consciousness to effect a release from karmic bondage,All violence is self-hate.

I became aware of the energy continuum and my connection to all matter. Because I’d witnessed energy fields outside the body, I reasoned that we are part of the energy continuum, and therefore, death is only a different state of being.

I don’t belong to a church or follow a religion. I question everything I see, hear, feel, smell, or taste. I still made mistakes, sometimes the same old ones. I’ve continued doing what I did before kundalini, namely yoga and meditation although they really do me. I learned how the ego operates. Am I always able to foil its machinations? No! I’ve found that self-remembering complements kundalini. I watch what I eat and drink; I don’t use drugs.

Could any other means have removed the physiological blockages I’ve had to overcome? I doubt it. Have I acquired extraordinary powers, magical insights, or clairvoyance? Did I start reliving past lives? No, but I have experienced energy states that lead me to believe that reincarnation is a natural part of the cycle of existence.

And you know what, it’s no big deal because if there were millions of enlightened individuals scattered around the world, we might not be in the fix we’re in. Then again, we might be. There are no tales of enlightened beings banning together to address the world’s problems. That’s because those beings tend to renounce the world and everything associated with it.

I have not renounced the world. I’ve answered a kind of calling: to write a book, a novel that frames the Journey and the Destination as a protracted, yet positive process. It’s a novel that doesn’t degrade women, a witness to the folly of youth and the gradual arousal of self-awareness: Tales of the Tinkertoy.

Sunday, October 30, 2022


While writing Tales Of The Tinkertoy, I paid short shrift to political correctness and presentism, defined by Webster as An attitude toward the past dominated by present-day attitudes and experiences or, as pundit Bill Maher puts it, Judging everyone in the past by the standards of the present. I found it difficult to filter my experience through a set of informal guidelines that smother creativity and distort reality. Better to rely on the good judgment of readers to understand things were different back then.

Tales Of The Tinkertoy tells it like it was. It’s a story set in its own time—the 1960s. If nothing else, it serves as a historical reference, allowing readers to compare the present to the not-so-long-ago past and to appreciate the ways we’ve progressed and the ways we haven’t.

It's in this context that we meet Gus Mazur, a young man who’s making the same mistakes you and I made when we were twenty-something. It’s the sexual revolution, a time when the uptight standards of the 1950s were turned upside down. Gus deludes himself into believing sex with liberated women will ease his frustrations about the compromises he’s forced to make at work.

Ambitious, Gus has the brains to rise to the top of network television. Yet, as the only non-white producer at WBN, he’s ambivalent about an industry that values money over narrative, politics over truth. He chafes at being obliged to run civil rights and Vietnam stories that hide the truth from the American people. But the money is good and there aren’t that many opportunities “for someone like him.”

He tries everything short of a sex change in a frantic search for love. One woman is determined to set him straight. She gets her chance after Gus is waylaid in Chicago during the 1968 Democratic Convention helping him piece his life back together.

I might write something stupid like, Don’t read Tales of the Tinkertoy if you’re looking for spiritual guidance or tips on meditation—as if I didn’t want you to make the journey, and make no mistake, kundalini is a journey. And Tales of the Tinkertoy is a chronicle of that journy.

Whether you relate to nonfictional or fictional forms, check out the six books I wrote on activating and living with kundalini.

 Tales of the Tinkertoy is different; it's a case study in gradual awareness. When you finish Tales of the Tinkertoy, you can always dig into my six books full of useful information about kundalini.

Right now, however, here’s an opportunity to follow a young man as he moves from the profane to the sacred, experimenting. The answers are not always in plain sight; he learns to read between the lines. He backslides. His awakening hangs by a thread: will he find the Way? Will he take the path untrodden or will he remain tied to a life of materialism? Will he follow the breadcrumbs as the path widens?

I’ve been asked if it’s a kundalini book. I always reply it’s a kundalini inspired book.

 eBook now available on pre-order at Amazon. Print version to follow.

Tuesday, June 7, 2022

Kundalini Symposium - 19 June 2022

What is Kundalini?
You have within you a latent energy waiting to transform your life known as Kundalini. This legendary power is believed to catalyze spiritual evolution. For centuries, the secrets of kundalini have been guarded by masters and buried in esoteric texts around the globe. Many people teach kundalini yoga, but few have actually experienced a kundalini awakening.

Initiation into the Mystic Path
International Kundalini Symposium brings together some of today’s most prominent voices in the small pool of kundalini-awakened individuals to demystify this mysterious phenomenon. From personal accounts and yogic practices, to research and historical perspective, this compelling panel of speakers will weave together both the mystical and practical perspectives on the rise of kundalini energy to transform our lives and humanity.

Up to now self-styled holy men and gurus have told us Kundalini was an esoteric process for raising consciousness. They’ve told us they could instruct novices and experts alike — as long as they were willing to pay. The problem is that classifying Kundalini as a means to “spiritual enlightenment” limits its benefits to a realm many people have neither the time nor the inclination to explore. What’s more, many people are put off by terms like “higher consciousness” and “enlightenment.” On the other hand, if they knew that Kundalini Meditation had therapeutic health benefits, they’d be eager to learn about it.

Says JJ Semple, “My students tell me, ‘Don’t give me something to believe in; give me something to DO! I want techniques for self-healing. I also want to awaken, to become enlightened.’” I tell them that, even with an aroused kundalini, awakening is a gradual process: “The ultimate aim of meditation is to become more and more conscious. Enlightenment, therefore, is becoming fully conscious, and I’ve never met anyone who’s accomplished that overnight.”

Perhaps, you don’t think there’s such a thing as “The Life Force.” You’d be mistaken. Our books on kundalini and energy cultivation techniques cover a variety of topics ranging from kundalini meditation to sexual alchemy; they feature accounts of  energy activation that can only be understood as the stirring of a life force energy. There is no other explanation.

All speaker and artist proceeds of this event will go to Operation Underground Railroad (OUR), a non-profit organization that rescues kids from the sex slave trade.

Monday, May 23, 2022

Meet Duncan Carroll, Kundalini Filmmaker

"After a long search I came across the autobiography of a man named JJ Semple, who detailed his kundalini awakening after following the method outlined in a little-known Taoist text called The Secret of the Golden Flower. JJ's account was refreshingly non-mystical. In fact, he seemed like the only person on Earth who'd had a spiritual experience and managed to keep their heads on straight.

"It was after meeting JJ that I decided to make a film about kundalini and the meditation he used to activate this life force energy, knowing, al the while, that the topic would be considered controversial."

This was the manifesto that followed my 2012 meeting with Duncan Carroll. His sincerity, and yet his insistence that kundalini be approached scientifically, convinced me he was the perfect person to handle the challenge of filming the effects of what is commonly referred to as a "kundalini awakening."

Listen to Duncan sum up the challenge in his own words.

The project needed an engineer, not a pandit or a sage—a person searching for truth, not followers. That's Duncan, a graduate of Carnegie-Mellon and an established software engineer, whose metaphysical experiences date back to childhood.

To this end he created a fundraising project Super Meditate Me that's already secured$145K in its drive to reach $500K.

If you're a person who believes there's more to life on Earth, that a higher consciousness rules  our universe and kundalini is a pathway to evolutionary progress, what Gopi Krishna called: the 'evolutionary impulse,' please consider donating to the project.

For more about JJ Semple's experience and work.

Sunday, April 3, 2022

Kundalini Pain and Headache

I recently had a consultation with JJ Semple and got invited to write about my kundalini process for this blog. First of all, I want to express my gratitude for this invitation.

I am not an experienced BFM practitioner and the even less familiar with any structured method of kundalini awakening.

Yet, my hope is that the questions, challenges, and obstacles that I experience in my personal process might  relate to others, so that we can  share practical research on the obstacles and challenges we encounter on our various paths.

A few words about myself: I am female, 35, living close to Berlin, Germany, in natural suuroundings. I am an author and bodyworker, focusing my research on embodiment, sexuality, health, mysticism and collective traumahealing.

Ilan Stephani

I had come across books about kundalini years ago, but I did not pay attention to this phenomenon until I experienced a series of violent, unexpected kundalini sensations.

Now, finally, I am focusing on a safe and sustainable approach to awakening kundalini.

The first topic I want to explore is the pain in the spine caused by kundalini activity, especially pain in the most upper part of the spine, around the skull joint.

All of my unexpected kundalini shocks had this one thing in common: a sharp pain in and around my skull joint, accompanied by headaches and contractions in my jaw.

From the first time onward, I was aware that this part of my body ached during kundalini activity because it was chronically tense and contracted. So far, I have not been able to release it in a methodical and sustainable way before experiencing another crisis.

When I checked with JJ Semple on this, he mentioned a contemporary dentist whose treatment for those blockages, uses Cone Beam tomography and a special oral device to reconfigure the airway chambers in the neck, skull, mouth, jaw, and head correctly.

JJ Semple mentioned that this treatment also resolves deep-seated unconscious breathing issues. Overall health is restored and crucial nerves and energies are able to circulate through the upper spine more easily, without chronic stress, friction, or pain.

While discussing this information with JJ Semple, I was reminded of a German method that I had studied years ago—CANTIENICA®.

As you can see on their website, the method does not address kundalini, it focuses on pelvic floor training, posture, effortless running, etc. Nevertheless, it's a process that might help me with kundalini.

I have only studied the pelvic floor module and have not practiced it in quite a while. Yet, in a sense, I "embody" its basic principles so I am curious about how it might affect kundalini related issues.

The method reactivates and trains the inner layer of muscles in the body, the so-called autochthonous muscles that are normally function in the background beyond our consciousness and, therefore, do not get used in our cultural postures and habits. So, once again, as is the case of kundlaini, we are unaware of the dormant resources in our beings. And if the rise in breathing-related conditions such as, COPD, asthma, infections like influenza, the deviated septum, pneumonia and tuberculosis, anatomical irregularities like malocclusion, sinus, allergies, and even lung cancer are any indication, it's getting worse all th time.

It is as if we've been asleep and have not begun to wake up.

"Every joint and every bone is meant to have its place and have space. Your body can and even wants to provide space for every joint and bone, there does not need to be any friction or contraction." These are typical CANTIENICA® guidelines.

Since Benita Cantieni, the founder, cured her skoliosis with this work, it is used widely for recovery, dealing with back pain, knee pain, etc.

I managed to find some illustrations for this bodywork, the lengthening of the spine and the engagement of the autochthonous muscles here (sorry, text only in German). You can clearly see how the vision of a totally straight spine etc differs from our cultural norm of internal collapse.

With JJ Semple's hint in mind, I re-opened my books and looked for parallels to the challenges of preparing the nervous system on a more physiological level, the down to earth space that nerve channels utilize while the body is experiencing kundalini activity.

Indeed, I found a chapter in a German book where the CANTIENICA® founder describes how she sensed and intentionally moved one of the key bones of the skull (Os Sphenoidale).

She has developped a module for moving the muscles and structures around the face and skull, but as far as I could tell, this faceforming module focuses on creating a younger face and removing wrinkles.

It does not work directly with the cerebral nerves in "creating more space for every fibre, no matter where."

However, the founder´s writing about her discovery with the Os Sphenoidale is what encouraged me to transfer some principles of the method in order to focus more precisely on all those structures around my skull joint.

I will describe briefly what my practice looks like. However, I have clearly benefited from my past studies in the pelvic floor module of the method, as I am already familiar with the basic postures and inner pulsing of the autochthonous muscles.

There is a lot of instruction available for free on the website and the internet.

Here are some free basic video instructions, and I think there is more out there:

You might also find something in this workout list.* *

*Of course there is zero business connection between me and this method, I'm just sharing my research.

**I also ask myself if this method could help in terms of bodily symmetry and in releasing other pain centers in the body. For sure, this is only a thesis at the moment and requires much more research and testing.

So, before I dive into diaphragmatic breathing itself, my current "warmup practice" looks like this:

I sit down and look at the details of an anatomical model of a skull, trying to embody more of its amazing complexity and learning to sense it inside. I put special focus on the upper vertebrae and the anatomy of the cerebral nerves and blood vessels running through the basic opening of the skull.

POV: Human Skull from bottom

I then align my body with the lengthened spine, opening the joints along the spine by pulsing with the autochthonous muscles fibres (typical CANTIENICA® stuff as presented in the links above) and engage from there with the bones and structures of my skull joint.

I imagine different lines through my skull on the base level of my brain, mostly diagonal ones - and open the space in between in rhythmical pulses. I transfer the method´s principle of pulsing with inner muscles to pulsing with nerve fibres, as well, and simply stretch the length of internal lines in a rhythmical manner.

Of course, there are infinite possibilities for lines in this complexity, i.e., from my front teeth to the back of my mouth, etc. So I make some up to see how it feels.

To some extent, this is "faking it until I am making it," but I do sense that my body gets more familiar with this practice and becomes capable of moving these structures.

I also notice that my body calls me to focus on other areas around my head, i.e., the bones of my paranasal sinuses and eyes. This is especially fascinating because it causes a direct release in my breathing patterns that I was not even aware of—the fact that my breath was blocked before.

Due to this practice, my breathing now flows easier and with less noise. I also sense that I am breathing more efficiently, not needing the same amount of air for the same amount of energy. And it feels incredibly good and right in my paranasal sinuses, jaw and skull joint. I often fall into waves of release with yawning, tears and trembling.

It excites me because diaphragmatic deep breathing is such a strong parallel to the topic that the contemporary dentist focuses on. I will keep practicing and experimenting to see how it develops.

Of course, there is an infinite amount of new questions arising from this.

Could working on one's own come close to what the dentist is able to do in a body, actually changing the configuration of the breathing chamber? I have no clue.

Will this practice reduce the pain I experience during future kundalini activity? I do not know.

Could this body of work help others? I do not know either.

However, it does help me at the moment and it encourages me to keep going. If anything  resonates for you, I would love to stay in touch by exchanging research on this platform.