Sunday, May 15, 2011

Awakening Kundalini

There is a lot of interest in kundalini these days.  Mostly, I think, because of the sheer numbers of people who are experiencing such awakenings.  Many yoga centers are offering kundalini yoga as a regular part of their offerings.  There is a lot of information now on the web of others' experiences, and this fuels interests and awareness.  All good things, I think.  Based on my own experience thus far it has been the single most productive spiritual tool for actually getting the hard work done that had been left undone up until now.  I do feel, though, that some things need to be considered before trying to jump into the cosmic soup of your being.

I will give you some information on awakening in a practical way, but if you are new to this idea of awakening, I recommend that you understand what you are in for.  Once turned on, there doesn't seem to be any going back.  You are placed on a path in such an intentional way that you eat live and breathe it.  Are you ready for that?  Are you ready for this energy to be in the forefront of your awareness all the time?  Are you ready to lift off into the bliss of the moment only to realized you forgot half your groceries in the store, or somehow forgot those very earthly important tax payments that were due last month?  Its an adjustment, and you might begin to wonder if you have it all together. You are having to learn a new way to be.  Are you ready?  If you are, read on and know there is more information at the end that is nitty gritty...

Kundalini is not something you can redeem the warranty on.  There are no pay-backs in this.  When it is awakened, you have awakened a sacred fire that can burn sweet or burn hard.  Its up to you, really, how this experience goes.  You might feel it will go well for you while what your biggest problem facing you prior to an awakening is a powerful ego which will also blind you to the issues that wait for you (most notably how you will manage to dissolve and reform that powerful ego).  I say this because I thought I had spent years in self reflection and knew myself. I thought I had lived a pretty examined life up until kundalini struck like lightening in full daylight.  My ego, which was quite healthy, had hidden some of the reality from my awareness.  This resulted in a very difficult melting process (this continues to this day). I also had to face some things that had utterly escaped me my whole life, things I knew were there but were seemingly beyond my ability to wrap my head around.  Part of the problem was that I had lived in my mind and could no sooner wrap my head around them as I could fly to the moon.  I had to learn an entirely new way of being and approaching these things.  This amounted to a complete retooling of my being in many respects, all with a tendency to run out back when things got rough to rifle through the junk pile to find that old egoic or mental tool I had just months before tossed out so triumphantly.  This is a growth process, and some of it involves repatterning yourself.  Be patient.

Second, if you are honest with yourself, you will be surprised by what meets you in that place that is yourself. This process will come in waves, layers, and cycles. Kundalini will absolutely kick your butt if you seek to utilize the old modes of approaching internal stuff.  This process is in many ways foreign to what you have probably been used to.  Its as though you wound your way all the way up the corporate ladder for 30 years only to reach the top where the old man and woman who headed the entire corporation quite simply told you one day that all of the strategies you employed in your climbing of those illusory stairs simply weren't going to work anymore for the rest of your journey there. On that day, you might feel disillusioned, perhaps lost. Then, after so many years of having done things a certain way, you had to begin to retrain yourself all the way down to the atomic level.  This is just how unforgiving kundalini is.  It WANTS you, but it wants you entirely surrendered of ALL the stuff you have created here on this earth that does not serve higher consciousness or alignment to it. This is only so because now, sitting in that board room, you are being told that the way forward would be very different if you are to be the head of this company, and the people telling you this stark truth is your soul which is in truth a boundless indefinable being that exists in countless worlds, lives, and places.  And here you are, thinking you had it all figured out, now having to come up with a new strategy.  And this strategy will involve not just a behavior refit, but an atomic and chemical one. From bottom to top you will be changed by this thing, and at first it might feel as though something foreign is suddenly invading your body.  If you have issues with surrender, this one might give you some issues.

My point here is not to waive you off from moving forward with your journey. I am here standing at the gate of this magnificent garden welcoming you, but explaining that amongst the flowers are some thorns.  These thorns you will not just feel as a mere prick but might be something you will feel into your deepest regions.  The real truth is that the garden destination isn't a destination but a process.  You have seen the same garden your whole life, but this experience will change how you view and relate to it.

Here is what happens......

You grow up in this world, which is messed up to be quite frank.  Absent a good user manual, we have had to go on guesswork.  We are the children of a greater becoming, living our lifetimes here waiting for something.  Our biggest questions such as why are we here, our larger purpose, all can in some way or manner be informed by the experience of an Awakening.  This was what Jesus spoke of as the kingdom.  Its all around you.  Its in nature and its in you.  It begins like that mustard seed, and it reveals a larger world.  To reach the higher vibrational states that this experience can offer, there is a lot of "work" that needs to be done.  In the process of growing up you have been informed by the media and a culture that has some pretty messed up ideas about how things are. These reflect back to us some of our values. We are patterned with all sorts of things that we are told that matter.  Our appearance, our income level, our worth as individuals, as well as a healthy dose of violence, raw sexuality, and a pretty shallow consideration of how to better ones self. Even religions themselves have their own bite to take out of the cosmic pie in a way that is distortive of the divine truth of your own soul.

All of this patterning based on egoic control, self esteem, self image, spirituality, and all the rest, is based on a fairly low bar.  Granted, in this world there are some great teachers, and the world abounds with the opportunity to rise above the dross to know something more.  But by the time kundalini tends to hit, which in the mean is around the mid to late thirties and into the 50's.  Some awakenings have happened earlier, and some later.  But the point here is that by this time that the bell begins to toll, there is a lot of patterning that has occurred.  This has had its effect upon you biologically, mentally, emotionally, and karmically.  This all has to be undone, basically.  This may sound severe, but the reality of the situation is that ego does not go away, nor does your mind.  What does happen, though, is that ego and mind have to be used in the most natural way, which is to deal with some very specific issues in your life.  Ego is great for spotting other boats on the horizon and the mind can examine those boats and tell you what kind they might be, or suggesting some very basic things like the best method of approach.  The mind is a good tool for small things, but for grasping life, the mind and ego must be set aside.  As Osho has said so perfectly, life is a mystery which you must live. The mind and ego are tools that carry with them judgments and opinions, and these have nothing at all to do with the great ineffable realm that is life. By life I do not mean the cultures that reside within it, but rather what reality is, what BEING is absent your positions, beliefs, and all the rest.

Since kundalini begins to work out the things inside of you that has remained unresolved, you will be faced with somehow dealing with these things. Since kundalini brings some level of awareness of them, it will also bring an awareness of how these lower vibrational things (like hurt, trauma, guilt, and shame for starters) stand in dissonance with your higher vibrational awareness of being. It is this discrepancy that creates the pain in you which you will certainly begin to feel at some point in this experience.  Its hard to explain how it feels, but I have read many accounts of kundalini and when the experiencer begins to explain this part, I know just what they are talking about. Feeling the pain means you are still holding onto this unresolved knot or issue which absolutely lodges itself in your energy body in the same way a memory is stored in the brain or mind.  This, though, is not a memory but the PAIN or negative emotion associated with a memory from your past.  Its as though the memory is stored in your brain but the FEELING becomes lodged in your energy field, or the FEELING part of you.  You will feel it localized based on its history or vibrational rate.  In this way, as you remove this material, kundalini will teach you about how energy works. You wont learn this in a mental way, but hopefully in a feeling way, which is just as it should be.

When you get to this material, it might wind up feeling a bit like a fossilized thing, and you might feel at a loss as to how to deal with it.  This is because you have been so used to thinking everything through.  This is a problem that cannot be solved with intellect and reason.  it has to be worked out through something deeper.  It can only be resolved with the energetics of your higher self, or those parts of you which are beyond the earthbound paradigms.  It means feeling your way through it and learning how to forgive, to let go and move on.  This is only done by going through the briar patch of your soul, not around it.  Going around it will just leave the issue undone and waiting for you.  You will learn that these things all have their own magnetic reality and that as you drop the stuff that clutters your field, you will also begin to shift your world in subtle and overt ways.

Now, for some good news.  Your being is boundless, and it can attract as much as you believe it can attract.  If you need certain resources they can show up at your door moments after wishing for them.  I say this only because this has happened in this fashion in just this way for me so I know it can work this way.  Now how others' experience this, I cannot say.  I can only speak to my own experience.  I know that if change happens, it can have a noticeable effect on your life in a very immediate way.  You may find people who before were treating you a certain way are no longer treating you in the same way.  If you dropped a certain karma that attracted a certain kind of behavior from them (and you) this will dissolve quite quickly.  And for those who happen to be caught in a similar karma as you who are in your life who do not themselves change, it means they are holding onto something that quite simply no longer is an issue for you.  This, though, does feel to me to have an effect.  If someone tends to blame you for problems that dont really belong to you but are their own unexamined junk, there will be something missing from the equation when you let drop the karma that made you the scapegoat in these kinds of relationships. With all of this being at its core energetic, it has an effect.

Being emotionally honest with yourself is a first important step in grabbing hold of the tail of this thing.  The tiger whose tail you will have a hold of will be the tiger that is made up of your own demons, so having a clear-eyed inventory of yourself is important in my experience.  The other is a willingness to not know how to solve a problem but to simply surrender in the moment in a way that is unconditional.  Only in this way will you move through that briar patch of your personal life.  Think about your relationships. Which ones give you the most challenges?  Where you rub the most against others is where its best to look for the nitty gritty issues that will most likely face you in an Awakening.  Are there things from your past that you have not been able to forgive? Regardless of how you feel about this issue in your past, being able to forgive the person or event or situation in a complete unconditional way is the true way of dissolving the karma that will make this thing pop up in an awakening.  By bringing yourself to a more surrendered place first, you will be able to do a lot of the work before the tiger begins to whip itself around to give you a seeming snarl.

The way through this, quite honestly, is the path of unconditional love.  If you can feel into this place within you (and it is surely in you--it is your divine birthright), you will be more prepared. If you forgive something in your life while still feeling any residue of emotion or investment in it as a victim or a hurt person, this residue will remain until it is cleared from your being.  Kundalini is an uncompromising teacher.  Either you are there or you aren't  Not being there isn't a judgement put upon you by the universe, its more like a gravity.  It just is.  Its how things are ordered, how energy works.  You can't buffalo the universe.  The universe, though, is boundless love, and its waiting for you when you have disrobed of all of your pretense, all of your postures, your karmas, and issues.

When you come to this thing utterly naked of your conditioning and willing to be shown this great "something more," will you understand the incredible gift that this has afforded you.  As you move along this path, though, you will be afforded glimpses as you get closer and closer to the gate that contains this great and lovely garden of your soul.  And there, in that moment, you will enter, and while there will still be briars, it wont matter any more that they are there.  You will have accepted them unconditionally as part of this life.  You cannot undo what has been done to you nor what you have done in this world. What makes the difference is the unconditional love that we bring. This becomes the only real way forward.  And as this realization is reached in your deepest cellular memory, you will be free.  You will have overcome the world.  You will have entered the kingdom.  Since this is a growing experience, we continue the process of refinement.  Layer by layer this takes place within you, so be patient.

Kundalini will go where you go.  If you move into fear or anger, it will move there with you. As you drop the negative, you will create more room in your being for the bliss that is life.  Still, there can be some yo-yo action that happens.  This is not to say you wont have dark nights of the soul.  This is not to say that you wont feel bamboozled by this thing.  This thing, though, is you.  Its a very individual journey, often a private one.  You might even feel what the purpose is, and what I can say is that this is about getting to a better place within ourselves.  Kundalini is not out to get you, so its best to trust that its got your best interests at heart and apply as much grace and surrender as you can.

Piece by piece, you will begin to see the world changing from one that was viewed through the distortive lens of hurt and trauma to one that is viewed through bliss, love, and joy.  For as hard as this can be, so can it be as easy as you make it.

Understanding this, realize that kundalini IS you.  Its not a thing outside yourself. It may FEEL this way when the energy comes on strong, when you break the dam that is holding your awareness of it back. You are perhaps in a way bridging the energy of the conscious with the subconscious. 

The way kundalini is activated is by dissolving division in the self.  Period.  If you don't understand what this is let me give you some examples.  A lingering old hurt or pain or shame in you will cause you to be divided inside. I don't think most people think about it this way, but it IS the way.  Here, we are getting down into the very root source of your energy system.  You don't notice it more than likely, but now is the time to notice and understand. You also hold beliefs that limit you because they divide you.  Lets take a look at a few for illustrations sake. You love intimacy.  You love how this feels.  But you actually feel shame and loathing whenever you make love. You feel somewhere inside of you that there is something about it that makes you feel what you are doing is not in your highest.  You were just being weak by giving into that desire. This is perhaps one of the most common beliefs.  And it absolutely divides you. Powerfully.  Either you understand this or you don't.  If you don't, then belief has you and you simply will not be able to get what it is I am offering you.  You have to change your beliefs.  If you do not, you will remain divided.  If you remain divided, the energy cannot rise.  It only rises when both channels of energy in you are unified.  You have to provide a good conduit for the energy to become aware within you.  It becomes aware of you as you become aware of it. 

But wait.....I am not telling you how to raise kundalini, am I?  Where are the techniques?  The methods?  Hang on. No method will ever help until you become ripe. The only way you become ripe is to do the work that you need that will allow you to so ripen.  Ripening is what you do through INTENTION. So you have to INTEND that you are going to take the next step. It can be an utter mystery what you will find. Those who found a new land did not know what they would find, yet still got there by intending to go and not be concerned with getting lost.  If you do that, you might as well go home and take up crossword puzzles because this is not for the feint at heart.  You have to know this is for you. Is it? 

Dissolving division in you will create a space for this energy to rise.  Will this alone be enough to cause the energy to come on?  It did for me. When I forgave myself of an old lingering guilt I felt, I could feel how I had been carrying a heavy burden around for years.  It occupied so  much worry and shame for me that it effectively was using up a lot of my vital force and energy. It was also serving to shift my focus.  Once I did away with this small shame I had about not doing enough for the world, I felt 80 lbs lighter.  And this feeling persisted and kundalini began to slowly awaken from that time forward. But does this mean it will cause you to awaken?  No.  This was what worked for me, but it also points to how important not being divided is. If you have conflicting beliefs, work on them. Become more natural in your belief. Your body is not bad.  Your desire is not bad.  This was all promulgated by a paternalistic desire to control the masses via belief.  This effectively locked up peoples' ability to tap their own font of inner bliss.  The way to kundalini is not around the tabboo but THROUGH it. I told you that this was not for the feint of heart. If it is divine, it will persist.  If it is not, it will be transmuted or dissolved within you.  

Work on relationships.  These are other sources of division. This will help you a lot. 

Now. The energy. 

Your body is made up of two halves. These have two currents of what could be called masculine and feminine.  You can see this reflected in how your body is put together.  You are symmetrical, and these two sides have long been thought as being male and female. Even the hemispheres of the brain have had sexual attributes accorded to them.  The right brain is intuitive, creative, and is able to see the forest, the big picture.  The left brain is linear, concrete, and allows us to see the individual elements, the trees instead of the forest.  We know that when we are most creative its not just the right brain becoming active.  Its actually BOTH sides.  The brain moves into a whole state and works together instead of seeing one side or another.  This is the division, you see.  Even in thinking and feeling ESPECIALLY since this is what helps drive kundalini.  No method....just a WAY of being inside you.  When you are at peace within, you are not feeling division. You have settled down all these many parts of you.  You are able to see all sides.  You feel compassion, empathy.  This is what this state of unity brings within.  

So what about the methods?  I know, you want to know about methods. First is breath.  The only thing breath does is it calms you and tells you that you are calm.  Then you are.  When you are calm and your mind calms down, you have less chatter in your head. Its more possible for you to then feel more deeply into your depths. And this is where it comes.  So try breath.  The method will seek to help you to visualize the feeling of energy rising up within you.  It is not coincidence that many awakenings can involve a third eye opening prior to the rising of the energy.  Perhaps you have felt your third eye activate.  There is a pressure there, maybe it feels like you have something pressing there.  Maybe like a dime has been placed there.....the sensation is like a pressure.  So what to do? Well, stop thinking what you should do.  If you do that, your energy is more focused.  Now place your attention on the third eye. Just put it there.  Go through your day putting your attention there.  Calm down some,  let your awareness be more focused and put your attention there.  The thing is not to try to DO anything.  All of this is deeper than even doing.  Its being. You are beginning to activate the light body and the only way you are going to do that is to bid this energy you don't even know to go there. You do this through intention and focus. I know all the while you are thinking "I have no idea what it is I am doing or even looking to do....except to maybe raise this energy which I know nothing about..."  Of course.  You don't know it.  But because its YOU, if you are ready, it will come. Eventually, it will come when you are ready. The idea goes, you are drawing the energy upwards from the root by focusing on the crown or third eye.  For me, I often had third eye activations over many years.  It was easier for me to activate the third eye.  Maybe it was how visual I was, but many others whose accounts I have read have also discussed how their third eye opening spread into something more.  the pressure built until it was like the head is in a vice.  Thought strong, this never hurts.  Its perhaps slightly alarming or unusual....but nothing more than that. If its taking place this way, then something powerful is happening.  You are most likely stirring the depths in the process.  Does it mean that kundalini rises as a direct result?  Understand that this is based on this batch of material in you....where you have been....what you have you feel.  You are kind of rewinding all of that stuff to get yourself untangled by this material in you.  But all of this WILL have an effect. You are rewinding, wearing away the stone.  All methods will be used to remind you what you may not yet fully realize....and so you imagine, you create an image of this energy rising upwards.  

Clearing the chakras could also help. Focusing on these energy centers can help them to activate more.  Will it work for you?  Wear away the stone, I say.  What ever method you use, realize it is mean to create a feeling calm and centering and the idea of something rising.  So kundalini meditation might work.  In my own awakening, I had no practice per se, so these methods are not absolute.  As a result of this, it could be said that knowing your truth beyond your karma is where this energy lies. What is your essence?  Feeling into this is I think the thing that motivates you spiritually, that provides you with the oomph for getting you where you need to go in your search. 
By learning how to let go instead of piling on more ideas and conceptualizations, you get closer to the essence of all of this. Most of the visualizations involve using elements like swimming in water or taking baths which may all work if they get you feeling more open and relaxed. The best thing is to imagine energy flowing through each chakra, flowing through perhaps like water and clearing out all blocks.  Go one by one.  Let the water swirl in, around and then shoot out from the front of you.  Then bring in this force of water into the next and do the same thing.  Think of it like washing your hands or enjoying a bath.  Keeping it simple is the best way at first.  Just keep going up the chain and imagine purifying and cleansing. Breath deeply as you do this, feeling breath taking in this flow and then the flow being expelled. Think that with each flow you are clearing.  You will be sending a powerful message to your subconscious that it should work on doing this, and where your intent goes the rest of you is likely to go also. Another method that can also work well is to practice moving energy work.  Learning Qi Gong (also spelled Gung) is a very effective way to clear the energy system of blockages.  It may not bring the energy upwards, but it can have a very good effect on your energy field, which will increase energy flow.  

The essence of any practice will be to know that you are not separate from the universe.  You think you are, and this is what your awareness has done; it has built itself up as individual but this is only part of who you are.  Sages call this the "illusion." Actually, I don't think that way.  I see it as a creation for us to learn through.  But regardless, you have another part of you, and this part is in everything.  In the energy that you experience as JUST you, this energy touches upon all other energy in the cosmos. This is where the practice begins.  You do not have to know yourself as everything, for you are this.  Your awareness weeds this sense out.  Absolutely.  Its less that you aren't one day able to feel the universe and another that you can't.  You already are, and you merely have to get the point, to understand how this works. The best way, then, usually means looking within.  This is where the blocks to this sensing are installed. You are going to go from a finite consciousness to a wave.  This is fundamentally two very different things.  

So ask yourself.....what is it that keeps you from feeling this togetherness of everything?  Say then to yourself as you focus inward that you are part of everything else, from the inside out not from the outside inward.  the secret of how all this works by finding your insides.  IF this world is illusion, or a creation, then everything "out there" is for your benefit to see AS the creation.  If you shift to what is within you, then you experience what is yours as the universe. Its a small point and perhaps even a confusing one, but it all begins within first.  remove the blinders there, and the rest falls away. 

Each chakra corresponds to a different aspect of awareness of energy. Its as though there is this octave of sound that is energy and you con't know it all by hearing just one note.  Its seven of these notes, and each will give you a different feeling.  Each chakra is a looking glass into the infinite, this universe. Taken together, you have a fuller range of knowing or experiencing directly this flow of energy. 


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