Saturday, September 22, 2012

What Is Kundalini?

There are many resources on the internet and in books that will give you perspectives on what kundalini is.  It is NOT a spirit, not a religion, not even a thing distinct from you.  It is instead, more verb than noun.  It is what we each are in potential.  This I have learned from direct experience with this incredible experience.

It has been described by some as a serpent power, two energies that move up an invisible set of channels along the trunk of the body where they meet in the crown or brain.  It is said that this force is latent and "stored" in the base of the spine until it is awakened. 

The reality, as I have found, is that this force has been described in most traditions by different names, in different ways and with different images.  When describing something that touches on the nonmaterial, it gets very hard to explain something that impinges or affects us here in a way that becomes physical.  

Activating this force is a powerful way to move a person into a greater understanding of their soul.  It is also something that should be approached with caution and care.  I like it to the roller coaster ride that does not ever stop.  You must be so ready within that once you get locked into your seat, you are ready to roll with what comes the rest of your life.  If you are this dedicated to this lightening path, then you may have what it takes.  It is a humbling experience.

In essence what awakening is involves the merging of opposites within the self.  This is done at first broadly and continues through a process that involves a continual purging or cleansing process.  Be you Native American or Eurpoean, Hindu or Muslim, it will not matter since this is a human experience.  It is true that once the process gets underway, you have achieved what many seek their whole lives.  the reason for using yoga has been realized.  You do not need yoga.  Nor do you necessarily need a teacher if you know how to be honest with yourself and look within yourself to see clearly what remains to be cleansed.  I have found that teachers wind up being more of a hindrance than a help during parts of this process.  If you feel you need a teacher, then by all means, seek one, but know also that you will almost always find a teacher who is nearly at your own level.  You need to be willing to entertain radically new ideas or possibilities in order to manifest an experience that will push you well beyond your familiar known bounds. 

Many traditions want to place their own stamp of approval on all of this.  The Hindu tradition has many beliefs about how things should be done. Theirs is a tradition.  I can say quite clearly that you do not need to go find a guru.  The reason why you are here having an awakening is because you are finding a way that you have have never known yourself before.  This moment is laden with a power of possibility so great that you cannot help but manifest your highest.  So why not shoot for the stars?  Why allow yourself to be laden by the weight of ancient tradition when we are now waking up without the help of gurus or postures or methods? 

As someone who has been going through this process of awakening with kundalini, I can offer my perspective, my experience as a primary source to you.  Awakening predates all religion.  It returns you to yourself.  It returns you to the universe and to your higher self. It is  as simple a thing as turning up the volume on feeling.  As this happens, the small things that you did not notice come into view, and what once was a modest life force current now pours through you in powerful surges that had simply never been known to you before.  This can be scary at first because its effect or feeling is so different, perhaps so unexpected.  However, if you know how to ride the wave with grace, what once felt turbulent will refine and become a joy, a blessing.  This energy also churns your dormant or hidden subconscious material in what can only be described as a process of inner cleansing of all old accounts.  It changes your life because the simple self you thought you were is suddenly littered with material there was no way you could have accumulated in one lifetime.  This leads to the realization that you have been at this a long time and you are just now waking up to the wreckage within that you have been carrying around, nearly unaware of.....and which this increase in volume and light that is kundalini is now conferring to your awareness.  It is here that you feel as though a giant work crew has been mobilized in your awareness and is beginning to clean up the mess starting over in the far left hand corner and working methodically, constantly, lovingly within you.  Sometimes the light has to be shone brighter in order just to see through the mists, and as this happens, sometimes the self feels like it will collapse under the scrutiny, under the sudden awareness of the weight of this hulking accumulation of what now is know to be lifetimes of working at this thing called life.  The old way of doing business has finally come to an end......and the degree of success is determined by your willingness to surrender to a process.  You effectively learn to get out of your own way. You surrender to it, you reach into an ancient emotion or state of being called grace.

The curious thing is that as this happens, what was hard becomes soft.  What was difficult becomes increasingly easier.  What once was veiled is not seen more clearly. The unknown becomes known as the self reaches into its karmic accumulation and plucks yet another barb from its side and learns that something beautiful is happening.  Some may want to ascribe methods and ways of going about this process, and some of them may work very well, but most who awaken find that there is a guru within.  As one keeps ones eyes on the prize and learns the devotion necessary to keep up with this tirelessly for years at a stretch, something changes, matures, refines, bit by bit.  Healing the separation that happened in our Garden of Eden, we begin to undo the centuries of wrong-thought or hard feeling, what some call karma, some call illusion, until things get better and better.  Because we each came to this in our own way, we each move out of it in our own way.  Compare if you want, take notes if you want, use any and every tool at your command if need be, but listen to what your insides are saying to you and do not be afraid to follow it at all costs. Even if it means that you lose something cherished.  If it was meant for you in the highest way, then it will remain.  If not, then it does not align with the divine that awaits you.

This is not a race.  There is no expiration date.  You have infinity spreading out before you like a vast sea.  You are here to do two big things: know that you are divine and to find fulfillment in wherever you find yourself.  There is a lot of talk about 2012 nowadays, and I find this to be largely unproductive because underlying it is a current of fear.  Fear of missing the cosmic bus.  But there is no here but a construction of ideas and energy.  And who creates this? Certainly it was created for us, but clearly also is the emerging fact that we are in a co-creative role as we were made in the image of the deity.  We come from that and to it we will return.  This will not be a going but a simple realization, wherever you are, that you are connected into a cosmos that is divine.  Surely there is great change afoot, and if all 2012 is is a marker for this period of shift, then great.  But don't fall for the fear because fear limits you, suggesting some final end.  the end is the beginning and the beginning is the end, no?

 You are infinite in scope and you are eternal. You are meant to, wherever you happen to be, to begin recognizing who you are deeper down.  If this is not a race, then you are free to drop the old awareness you have lived with for so long and consider there is another realm within you that you have up until this time simply not tapped. But this is not a place or a time or anything outside of you. It isn't a date or philosophy or edict.  It is simply what you are.  Be still and know.  If it tells you that you need to live simply, ten do that.  If it tells you to live in the world as it is in order to accomplish what your soul seeks and craves, then do that.  Some say that you have to give up things in order to be spiritual, but stronger is the person who can use the wealth of the world like the toys of a comsic child without fear, without attachment to greed and jealousy, but instead to help move mountains in service to his or her brothers and sisters.  The spiritual is not found just in someone resting and meditating in a cave in India, but also in boardrooms and hostels and restaurants and factories.  We can take what was less than perfect and bring the inspiration to be more perfect and beautiful, and in our own way help bring what is ours to bring.  The teachers say you have to give it all up because of the temptations that money and wealth and fame offer, but this does not mean that you cannot use these as tools to achieve great things.  Invariably the spiritual leader does not need things as s/he is provided them.  But there is always something providing them, and in providing them, they can be used.  With billions on the planet, it is not possible always to bring a message to the masses in the old way.  So we use what our world offers us in joy, in wonder, in awe. 

It is so simple that we miss it. It is a secret buried in plain sight.  There is an old Hindu story that tells of how the gods decided that the best place to put the key to the universe was in the soul of humankind because that was a place where they were least apt to see or to look.  This is a journey to realization, and it really is just that simple.  The realization brings you an almost overwhelming sense of bliss, joy, and good feeling over what you are deeper down.  But we are like beings who have drilled down 100 feet into the crust of our beings and never found water and thus decide there is simply no water there. But a torrent runs just beneath those 100 feet, and so this requires that you dig just a little deeper.  What you are digging into is feeling.  What you do to awaken is you dissolve the things that have kept you divided. It really is just that simple.

Kundalini is a word and the same phenomenon has emerged in numerous cultures across the world.  This is not something you get into a posture and induce.  If that were the case anyone doing kundalini yoga would have awakened by now.  It is not sought, but you may feel as though you are a seeker, but awakening comes at that place where you stop seeking and begin learning how to feel and be different. Perhaps it is pursued until the day you find it.  It is not outside of you but is in the spirit of the world and runs like blood in every vein.  When it "rises" in you, all that is happening is your own awareness of what has always been rises. If you can understand this one simple precept, you will begin to see that the world is brimming with this energy all around you and the universe changes in a significant way.

There are even rules some have made for kundalini, but the curious thing is that as soon as you do that, make rules, someone comes along and explains how that old idea just isn't true.  Perhaps this is merely the march of human understanding down through time as we fine tune all of it, and I suppose in the end keeping ourselves like a solid island that can float on the sea and go where it must is the way the human mind needs to be.  Solid, but able to flow with the tides and currents of those things larger than itself.  Take the good, but always discern.  Buddha spoke of the middle path and what he meant was that the efforts of the Hindus in starving themselves or mortifying the flesh did not bring about enlightenment, nor did other practices. As he sat under a tree, he found it.  No guru, mo method, no teacher.  Just like the Van Morrison song from the album of the same name entitled "In the Garden."  And this is often how it happens.  You awaken to what you are. 

There are many practicioners who believe or who will say that you MUST have a teacher and you MUST do morning prayer and meditation a certain way if you are ever to perfect yourself.  Well, we here in the West don't have time for that.  Having spent many many lives in the east, I am giving the West one final chance.  And I woke up this life.  And I can tell you, no, there is NOTHING that you MUST do when you awaken......although some things are much more helpful if you do them, such as learning the art of surrender.  But the moment someone say you must do something is the moment when someone comes along and shows the world that this is just not so.  In fact, I fully expect someone to make a comment on this very post.  We will see how it goes, shall we?

Awakening is much more like falling in love.  It is like coming alive.  It is found in the spark of inspiration and leads to a constant state of inspiration as if some on switch has been flipped and then left on.  They called it the "resurrection" at one time but very few understood what it meant. They speak of people being as though they were dead living as "normal" people but upon the stirring of the spirit, they are as though awakened into a new life.  This reveals a very different take on some fundamental Christian precepts that may well have been misunderstood from the very beginning, and got related to a man being crucified instead of dealing with a still deeper teaching that some of his disciples sought to explain but whose gospels were hidden in those desert sands of Egypt for so long (the Nag Hammadi).  This is just how much contrast there is between the life before kundalini and the life after kundalini. And it changes your physiology too.  It pushes for change so that you may enter into a holy life, a life where the spirit of all moves around you and through you.  It is not the holy life of the church fathers or of anyone from any religion.  Religion is human made and this is the pure distillation of the divine being conferred upon your own spirit.  It has no one voice or one brand.  It is all life, all things, and no simple part is devoid of it and cannot be expunged or kept out entirely.

Awakening is passion, love, awareness, connectivity, awakening to a new sensory world within you, and a brilliant light that shines its presence upon you in such a way that you cannot hide anymore from the things that keep you separated from the divine flow that is in all things.  It is also one of the most challenging experiences of your life for how unrelenting that it can be.  Talking about it prior to knowing it is often like speaking about life on another planet.  How do you even do that?  Your eyes will be opened, your ears will hear. It is so simple you will wonder how you missed it.  And you will be ready when you are ready.  If you are seeking this, leaning into it, consider that you are seeking to ripen yourself like a fruit in the sun.  Let this ripening happen and when it is time, when it is perfect for you, it will happen.  You might be meditating, or someone might tap you on the shoulder.  You might be driving (this happened to me) or you might be standing  outside just watching the world happen (this happened to me also).  It will happen when you are ready.  And to make things go more smoothly, my recommendation is to take stock of your life and all the things that BUG you and consider that what BUGS you is connected to your karma.  THAT.  Then, work on softening those feelings.  If you need to forgive someone, do so.  But above all, live your life and be ready.  Just BE perfectly here and now and FEEL all that you are.  the most important thing to do is not some posture, but loving yourself, learning to care for yourself as the fountain of life force that you will become.  Instead of being empty and seeking to be filled, seek to first be full so others may be filled by the inspirational sight that you offer as another blissful soul on the planet. 

So, for you, what is kundalini?  How does it help you strike to the center of all that is your soul's worth and wonder in the world?  Does it crown you or bring you low?  Does it chasten while revealing a new kind of truth?  Did it change how you saw the world?  Yourself?  Your pride, your joy, the very contents of your life?  Did it bring a new yearning into your life so that nothing else mattered like it did, setting your heart afire for all that is of the spirit?  Did it leave you dumbfounded and lost?  Did it move you a nudge enough to realize you knew the truth all along?  Was it a whip like force of passion making its way through your body, and did it take you as its own, or were you promised to another?  Did your very world get changed by it?  Does the air now breathe your great secret?  Does your soul now yearn for things you never knew existed?  Do you find yourself revisiting the golden days of childhood and reflecting back into your heart what you seemed to have missed?  Is all of this returning something essential and entirely beautiful to you?  These are my questions for you because I think we need the world that is waking up to say "we are waking up" as those who are themselves in the predawn hours of the big wake-up for the world.  Wouldn't it be great if that was just how it happened?

So a little Van for your day.  Its a shaky video, I know, but its the best live recording of the song I have heard to date.  It details an experience he had in a garden in Ojai California.  Note that the woman he was with "was a violet color as you sat beside your mother and your father."  She glowed with the radiance of intuition as her spiritual mother and father were present upon that awakening....

Blessings To You!


Sivamjothi said...

Actual place of Kundalini is not at end of spine... please read this .... Hidden secrets are revealed...

who is guru? how guru helps? in the way of siddhas

The meaning of the word deekshai is initiation. When a human does become a real
human being? If one gets father and mother is not human being!

Only when he gets guru he is human! With human body, he obtains maturity in the mind, becomes a real human only after getting a gnana guru.

More details

Him said...

Thank you for your comment, Sivamjothi. If you read through this blog you will see that it is largely about awakening which is also called by others kundalini. While I do feel that teachers are important and very useful, most of what I learned in the beginning was directly from the experience itself. This is because kundalini bears gnosis or knowing into you, through you. This does not suggest that teachers are not important, for they are, but the single most important guru I have found is the one within. And I very much emphasize this on this blog because I want people to think for themselves, to ask hard questions. Always listening to the guru in each moment, life becomes like this when you awaken. If you need to know something, it has a way of coming to you quickly.

Thank you for your interest in the blog and for your comments as well as your links! I did not see this comment pending in my comments pile so my apologies for not getting to it sooner....