Kundalini Splendor

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Wednesday, September 29, 2004

Awakening Kundalini 

How can someone awaken his or her kundalini? This is a fundamental question, and the answers are complex.

Often, kundalini arises spontaneously, visiting persons with seemingly little or no prior preparation, arriving as a gift or blessing. Others strive for years to achieve awakening, to taste the bliss, with little or no success. Some live in ashrams, meditate faithfully, do yoga daily, and follow other strict regimens, all to no avail.

Kundalini is fickle, chooses whom it wishes to visit, as well as the place or time. Logic cannot account for its coming, nor linear thinking explain its continuing presence.

Some gurus apparently have the power to awaken the energies through shaktipat. Sometimes by a touch or the brush of a feather or even a look the aspirant is lifted to kundalini states. Some fall into bliss, some literally fall to the floor, some may gyrate in various physical postures, limbs flailing. Some may enter an ecstasy which lasts for weeks or longer. And some may experience painful physical and psychological symptoms which continue to plague them for long into the future. Again, the goddess is unpredictable, and outcomes uncertain.

What then, is one to do, if one yearns for this most profound experience, and has not found the way?

My suggestion is that the student prepare carefully so that when the day arrives she will have achieved a strong foundation for the new experience. In ancient times, this preparation included studying prescribed sacred texts (or listening to the guru's teachings), disciplining the body in various (often harsh) ways, and expelling all inner obstacles to attaining purity of spirit.

Today, there are other approaches. One of these is to read and study essential works of various serious spiritual authors (such as Carl Jung, Joseph Campbell, John Blofeld,Eric Neumann, and any number of other writers present and past.) Poets such as Rumi, Hafiz, Mirabai, Kabir, Rilke, Mary Oliver and others call to the soul. Studying ancient yogic and vedic texts is valuable. Meditation to calm and center the mind is also useful. One should keep the body in good health through common sense practices. And this is the time to deal with all unresolved psychological issues, the hangups left over from childhood as well as those which arise from the present. Kundalini has been described as the "roto-rooter of the soul," and any unresolved problems will present themselves dramatically during the awakening process.

Many tapes of sanskrit chanting or sacred music from various traditions are available. One should, I think, seek that which will elevate and not degrade the self, whether in reading or media or friends or close relationships.

And it goes without saying that compassionate action, generous sharing, dedication to the welfare of earth and all its beings is paramount. What would be the value of a bliss which did not include concern for others as well as self?

When I look at this list, it sounds a bit like preaching. I think the truth is one does not so much "seek" certain kinds of experience, as simply be drawn to them, naturally and effortlessly, for that is what most pleases. Each will choose her own path, each select her own form of progression, whether from books or association with others, or music, or movement, or service or creative activity, or whatever. "There are many ways of approaching the throne." You will know what is "right" for you. As Cambell says, "Follow your bliss," and thus (I think) you prepare for transcendence, with many "illuminating moments" along the way.

And--it seems that kundalini may be "catching." Sometimes the mates of awakened ones find that they too undergo similar transformation, if they are open to such experience. And today, as more and more people are being touched by the kundalini experience, the morphogenetic field is intensifying, thus permitting more and more to awaken, with greater ease and in ever increasing numbers.

One of the frustrations for those of us who have undergone the experience is not being able to give the gift to others. But who knows, perhaps each one of us is giving something of value all the time, just by our actions and loving presence.

In the Sufi tradition, yearning itself is an important initial stage of the spiritual journey. By yearning for the divine, one inevitably is drawn closer to that presence, and many believe that the divine also yearns for us

Wednesday, September 22, 2004

Kundalini and the Artist 

What is the relationship of kundalini and creative expression? Some believe that kundalini is often the hidden source of both inspiration and the vital energy which together enable the artist to transcend familiar human limits in new vision and insight.

When we look at the writers of the present as well as the past century, we see many who reached great heights in their achievements but whose works lit up landscapes which were desolate and void of meaning. Loneliness and despair, isolation and meaninglessness are key themes of the era. It is as though their brilliance brought them to the very edge of revelation, but kept them from making the final step into affirmation. I think of these as the finest exemplars of the "old consciousness", a refined awareness which has not undergone the transmutation wrought by the alchemy of kundalini.

Above all, kundalini brings us hope. In the moment of awakening, and through the tokens of love which follow, we no longer question but believe. We are renewed in the fires of our own inner transformation, and even if not all our questions are answered nor all our issues resolved, we no longer cling to despair and disbelief as the only acceptable responses to the human condition. We take off our armor of skepticism and exist with expanded vision, renewed certitude and hope.

Jorge Luis Borges (1899-1986)is one of the great master writers of the past century. His work is dazzling in its effect, and impressive as a giant accomplishment. A perpetual seeker, he never finds the "solution" he obsessively desires. His central image is the labyrinth (of mind, of spirit, of time and history) of which he is captive. This, along with never ending obsession with death and the brevity of human life, are his persistent themes. His vision is vast, but for whatever reason, he never relinquishes his despair.

Borges in His Labyrinth

"I am the one who never has unraveled
the labyrinth of time..."
Jorge Borges

He is the man poised
at the moment before illumination,
the blind man measuring his narrow walls
in quiet dignity,
cane tapping out
the endless lengths of brick.

Transfixed, we watch his incessant circling,
his dogged pacing of the intricate maze
whose every fold and turning are now worn smooth
through his repeated touch.
We marvel at his graceful bearing
as he searches for the magic door,
the key which will spring it open.

And something whispers,
"Oh, Borges, if you only knew."

copyright, Dorothy Walters

Ubi Sunt

Your preference was not to be happy,
choosing rather "to brood."
In this you succeeded admirably
mulling over historic deeds, eras, chronicles,
the entire alphabet of human acts
(including your own)
for good or ill.
In none of these did you find solace,
evidence of something more.

Rather, you thrilled to think
how nothing outlasts its time
and all is swallowed at the end
into the oblivion which is the common destiny
of kings and beggars,
broadaxes and manuscripts.

Elegies, laments--
these were your stock in trade.
The brevity of human life,
dread of your own mortal state--
they became your incessant notes
for sixty years and more,
until you finally died
at almost four score years and ten.

copyright, Dorothy Walters

Tuesday, September 21, 2004

Wherever You Are 

For years, my Texas friend Jeannine and I have kept in touch through e-mail and telephone conversations, sharing our spiritual and creative journeys and offering support to one another. We have each been grateful to have some other person to tell when unusual or even bizarre kundalini phenomena occurred, for these are often not the sort of happenings you would want to reveal to just anyone.

A few years ago, when her professor husband retired, they moved to a rural area near Austin. Oh, my, I thought, she will never meet anyone there who will understand her kundalini journey, or even have heard of the subject of kundalini.

How wrong I was. Jeannine has found, in this basically out of the way place, several kindred souls. In fact, she discovered two others who are also dealing with radical kundalini transformation (one an acupuncturist and the other an energy worker.) The three now meet regularly to meditate together in a simple but profound way. They merely hold hands and let the sweet energies circulate among them. Jeannine says it is one of the deepest and richest experiences she has had, and suggests that in our current stage of evolution, we are forming groups with similar travelers to enhance our mutual progress.

I think she is right. About twenty years ago, when I was living in near total spiritual isolation, I wrote in my journal (in a kind of channeled entry) that at first, the journey for each awakening one would be extremely lonely, for we would have few or no companions to accompany us along the way. But, as time progressed, more and more of us would experience kundalini awakening, and ultimately the phenomenon would spread rapidly to critical mass and the leap to the new stage of evolution.

As Jeannine commented, kundalini now seems to be occuring virtually everywhere, even in such unlikely places as out of the way small towns in Texas.

And, my early journal entry also foresaw the creation of "soul groups", spirits connected in fundamental ways, even though each participant retained a separate identity. And such bands are forming here and there, in various ways, as if some guiding intelligence were orchestrating the entire event.

Recently, I met with a group of women to organize our own women's spirituality circle. We began with a twenty-minute silent meditation. Usually, I get little out of this kind of meditation, and often sit more or less fidgeting and wondering how soon the session will be over. My subtle energies retreat in shyness, unwilling to manifest in such an unprotected setting.

This time, something unexpected occurred. For the first time ever in such a setting, the bliss energies stirred and then bloomed into full ecstasy as we sat in silent communion. I realized that something quite special had happened. For me it was a break though experience, as if my bliss body had finally lost its shyness and was ready at last to "come out" in public.

Whatever is going on, Jeannine and I agree that we feel extremely blessed to be part of the process as it proceeds toward its own destined end.

Saturday, September 18, 2004

More on Kundaini and Evolution 

More on Kundalini and Evolution

Evolution as a general concept typically refers to physical evolution (Darwin) or else mental development (brain function). The next stage (as Teihard affirmed) will be spiritual evolution, a new way of being in the universe. Kundalini is, I believe, the mechanism by which this new state will be attained.

Of course, there have always been persons among us who were highly "spiritually evolved." Certain saints and seekers of all times and places have sometimes reached impressive heights in their spiritual development.

But frequently these "high achievers" in the spiritual realms have discounted or ignored the body (including the energetic body) in their efforts toward holiness. Indeed, often the central purpose of their exertions has been to transcend or overcome all physical or emotional needs.

Now, a problem arises here when we speak of the "body." There is the material body (often condemned for its "impurities") and the energetic body, sometimes called the body of light. This radiant shell encloses and enfolds the other, more substantial self. They exist in tandem, and are a close knit unit, yet many are unaware of the light body's very existence.

Kundalini acts as a switch or trigger to awaken the light body and bring it into consciousness. For the first time, one realizes that there is a way of knowing, of comprehending, of feeling which goes well beyond the limits of the five senses. Accepted concepts , familiar world views crumble or explode before the new revelation. One opens to the embrace of the divine in an unimaginable way. It is as if all one's atoms and cells are suddenly lit up, bringing ecstatic bliss of union to every particle of the being. The atom of self is flung into a new orbi, the ultimate quantum leap.

One realizes that he/she has been living in half a world, or perhaps a world of half truth. That what one previously accepted as "reality" was fundamentally skewed, that there are ways of feeling, of being, of connecting far beyond what anyone had dreamed. Now consciousness is more than mental activity (though one does not abandon mind.) Awareness is extended, as if an unsuspected door had swung open to reveal a "secret garden" within.

One senses at a deeper level. One feels both pain and pleasure as these originate at the cellular level. What before was coarse perception is now subtle, what was previously unknown now becomes one's habitual mode.

And the hallmark of the experience is bliss. Bliss comes not as a one night visitor, but a familiar beloved who arrives again and again, perhaps stirred by music, perhaps by the beauty of a natural setting, perhaps by the presence of a similarly awakened one. A sacred text, a mantra, a congregation of the devout--all can trigger the inner currents of joy.

And because one has opened so fully to love, one now loves in a new way. Everything one sees or encounters reveals its unique beauty, each face is like a variant of one's own. Of course, one feels renewed compassion for all that is, for one now perceives that the seeming external is in fact merely an aspect of one's own self. There is one world soul, one world being, and all are participants in its ongoing creative unfoldment.

This, I think, is the basis for the next stage of evolution--to know that "god" (goddess), the divine, the sacred, the immensity--is available as deeply felt personal presence. To realize that although our familiar notions of self are based on phantasy, we and all that is are connected in a most fundamental fashion as integral atoms of the vast indefinable real.

And this, I believe, is enlightenment--to know this reality of being as a lived experience, not merely something to be posited or discussed or arrived at through logic.

There are many stations on the way up the mountain. All are beautiful and all are significant. But there is a difference between those who know the mountain is there, and have experienced its intimate nature in "new consciousness" and those who remain oblivious to such vision , laboring still with the tools and perspectives of "old consciousness."

It is difficult and indeed perhaps not possible to persuade those who have yet to experience the "new awareness" that it exists as a reality and not a phantasm. But once one undergoes such transmutation, one lives in constant wonder and delight at the blessings it bestows.

Such is the nature of the completed journey. As for the present, we are in the transition time, and few live stabilized in the final vision or goal. Many of us continue to labor, swinging between the extremes of bliss and pain, transcendence and despair, conviction and uncertainty. The process is a demanding one, as if a determined alchemist tried again and again to find the right formula to transmute the base metals of the ordinary mortal into the gold of the sublime.

Wednesday, September 15, 2004

Kundalini and Human Evolution 

Is kundalini the primary agent for the evolution of humanity to a new level of consciousness?

Before attempting to answer such a profound question,, we must first step back, think a bit about the implications, and introduce some qualifiers. By looking at the issue from various angles, we may be able to unveil the knowledge we are seeking.

Aren't there other paths to expansion of consciousness, perhaps to enlightenment itself?

Yes, there are many paths to higher awareness, to spiritual growth, and to transcendent states of being. All are valid, all are rich sources of inner development, all contribute immeasurably to the benefit of humankind. But kundalini offers something more, an additional factor which completes the mix and lifts the self to a stage of being not available through other approaches.

How does the kundalini state differ from more familiar "mystical consciousness"? Mystics of all ages report being infused with a sense of divine love, of sensing their own oneness with all that is, and of perceiving the unending beauty of the world which surrounds them.

Kundalini can trigger such states of mystical awareness, and these are for all purposes the same as those reported by the mystics of many traditions. Kundalini thus can include mystical awareness but it embraces more.

How is kundalini consciousness different from the kinds of expanded awareness reported worldwide, such as e. s. p., auras. telepathic communication, precognition, energy healing, sensing sacred earth centers, remote viewing?

Again, kundalini can include some of these capacities as part of the renewal process, but it involves a great deal more. (Some people think such abilities are themselves valid expressions of kundaini manifestation.)

What is the "something more" which kundalini experience provides?

When kundalini manifests most fully, the crown opens and the immensity flows in. This is an indescribably ecstatic moment, where the brain itself seems to be flooded with bliss. The sense of self surrenders to an awareness of a vaster, more comprehensive reality. The ego then confronts its own non-existence, and realizes that its sense of separate identity is a fiction, and that it exists only as a minute atom in an infinitely large, near overwhelming web of being. This reality cannot be adequately described, but it can be experienced as infinite divine love, which holds the human in its ecstatic embrace. From this point on, the lover within becomes a familiar feature of daily experience, something quite real, not a mere metaphor.

Kundalini now infuses every pore, every thought, every deep memory and held emotion of the initiate. There is a thorough inner cleansing, which may go on for months or years, as the human is remade physically and spiritually. Sometimes the reshaping process involves painful readjustment of the psyche and body as the self undergoes deep alchemical transformation.

Is the initiate now in a state of enlightenment?

Perhaps there are a few such examples of saints and others who have reached this exalted state. The vast majority experience significant progress on their inner journey, arriving at a more advanced level, but not that of full enlightenment. The evolutionary shift does not occur all at once for the individual nor for the group. It is an ongoing event, occurring at various speeds and manifesting in various ways .

Why can't one simply accept this realization intellectually (that we are all part of something greater) without undergoing such a demanding process?

Evolution is a tremendous undertaking. It is more than mind. It is soul in the fullest sense. One must experience it at the cellular level of body and in the deepest reaches of spirit for it to achieve its aims.

What are the other benefits of the process ? Are people better, wiser, more compassionate and loving? Are all their personal problems solved and do their lives become one unending experience of bliss?

Once one is filled with such evidence of a divine reality which holds humankind in its embrace, it is all but impossible to return to earlier states of disillusionment or despair. One knows in the most convincing way that such love and power are real, that divine presence is not an untested theory, but a truth which plays out daily in one's life.

What one does with this supreme gift varies with one's own interests and abilities. We are surrounded by people dedicating themselves to helping humankind reach this new level, many working with little concern for personal gain. They become healers, poets, teachers, and helpers of various kinds, committed to "bringing the treasure back home."

Are all kundalini experiences of the type described above?

No. Many kundalini manifestations (such as intense heat or muscle spasms) are symptomatic of the beginning stages . Sometimes the "awakening" is temporary, and disappears after the early encounters.

Why are we hearing so much about kundalini now, when it was almost unknown only a few years ago?

We are creating what Rupert Sheldrake called a "morphogenetic field." Once the phenomenon is established, it occurs more and more frequently, and will become ever more prevalent as time passes. At critical mass, it will become the prevailing form of consciousness.

How do people who have undergone a significant portion of this process recognize each other?

Often through the vibratory level. They sense (in a palpable fashion) the energies of the other person, and often feel these as bliss in their own subtle bodies. (But not every person with beautiful energies has consciously undergone the kundalini transformation process, and vice versa.)

Once one has had such a taste of fuller awareness, nothing remains the same. The moment of awakening is the "moment which changes everything."

Kundalini restructures the nervous system itself. Therefore one hears with new ears, sees with new eyes, and feels with new impulses. In its ultimate and ideal expression, life becomes infused with wonder and delight. We feel at a more basic, essential level. And, because we (as a species) are already so highly developed in our left brain spheres of operation, we can fuse the disparates, logic and intuition, reason and ecstasy, intellect and delight.

Tuesday, September 14, 2004

Poems by Ivan Granger 

First, here is Ivan Granger's eloquent statement about the essence and impact of sacred poetry:

When asked why he writes poetry, Ivan says, "Poetry has an immediate effect on the mind. The simple act of reading poetry alters thought patterns and the shuttle of the breath. Poetry induces trance. Its words are chant. Its rhythms are drum beats. Its images become the icons of the inner eye. Poetry is more than a description of the sacred experience; it carries the experience itself."

All you gurus--

Beware the poet.
He sings
your praises,
spreading delightful
and not caring.

All you gurus--

Beware the scholar.
With devotion
he records
your entire history
when you have

All you gurus--

Beware the priest.
He builds
spired temples
on every green hilltop
only to house

All you gurus--

Beware the girl.
She casts her look,
hoping, terrified,
you will take the hook.

All you gurus--

Beware your wife.
She serves all
with eyes of compassion
on the softest seat.

All you gurus--

Beware the diligent disciple.
Ceaselessly meditating,
he has already tried
your back door.

Gurus, beware
these children
in your care.
They teach you
how much of you
is still there.

(copyright, Ivan Granger)


Yogis, you should
sit up,
stand tall.

Yogis, you should
keep that spine alert.

But hear
my bent secret:

All saints slouch.

God's lovers lean
into the divine embrace
and there
let the years pass.

Struggling for straightness,
your strivings shaken,

learn what true knowers know:

Effort clears the way,
but the steps
are already taken.

(copyright, Ivan Granger)

Monday, September 13, 2004

The Purpose of the Poetry Chaikhana (teahouse) 

Here is Ivan Granger's statement describing the nature and purpose of the poetry chaikhana website. He is the originator and webmaster of the site. (www.poetry-chaikhana.com)

"The Poetry Chaikhana joyfully shares the sacred poetry of cultures, religions, and spiritual traditions from around the world.

There is, however, a definite Middle Eastern theme to the Poetry Chaikhana. This is partly to honor of the centuries of vibrant, ecstatic, devotional, irreverant, and truly profound sacred poetry the region has given to the world. But another important reason for the Middle Eastern flavor of the site is in order to counter the miserably limited portrayal of Middle Eastern cultures and religion we are given in the West.

Although I am not a Muslim or Sufi, it is desperately important to remind the Western world of the rich spirituality the Middle East has given to the world. Perhaps even more important is that we in the West must remember how strongly European Christian traditions, particularly Christian mysticism, has been influenced by the sacred (and poetic!) traditions of the Middle East through centuries of cultural interaction.

As you explore the Poetry Chaikhana, notice the similarity of experience and unity of heart described by Christian saints, Sufi shaikhs, and Hindu mahatmas. While we must cherish the differences within each tradition, those who believe that there is something fundamentally irreconcilable between the spiritual traditions of the world are trapped in misunderstanding and have not yet touched the heart of their own tradition.

It is my sincere hope that the Poetry Chaikhana will open your heart, inspire your mind, and elevate your spirit. May we all fall into the embrace of the Eternal One with ecstatic songs upon our lips!"

-- Ivan M. Granger

Thursday, September 09, 2004

An Impressive Web Site 

I have just discovered a wonderful website which presents spiritual poetry from the early times to the present. It is beautifully designed, and impressively organized. I highly recommend it to you. I'll be saying more about it in future.


Wednesday, September 08, 2004

The Ceremony of Flowers 

Busily building
their own small temples of joy
bright flags signaling
topaz, rose, cerulean blue
as if a scale of sound
had been tuned to color
as if color
had melted into what is heard
now their full throats sing
such hosannas they proclaim
everything dressed for ceremony
each one decked
with its own ribbons
and frills,
each sending forth
its own precise note.

copyright, Dorothy Walters

Tuesday, September 07, 2004

Something Is Happening 

I have four friends who are each facing serious health/physical problems. They are the folks I remember most in my prayers and meditations, for each has a special place in my heart. Two have been diagnosed with cancer, one suffered a major aneurysm seveeral months ago, and one is seeking to rebuild strength in her limbs which have been weakened from m. s.

Now, within the last two or three weeks, I have heard reports of highly significant improvement from every single one. The cancer markers are going down, the language and memory functions are returning to their previous states, and the bodily strength is returning. Now, I wonder, do these four have a magic formula, something in common which puts them on the recovery path?

Well, it is true that they are all highly intelligent and spiritually developed people. They all have an insight into the world and humanity far beyond the usual. But more than this, they are all people of great determination and will, not persons who give up easily or simply blindly follow "doctor's orders" when a problem arises. The two diagnosed with cancer both tried conventional treatment, and when that obviously was not working, they found help from alternative sources. In each case, they worked with M. D.'s who incorporated alternative techniques into their practice. One stressed aryuvedic formulas and the other focused on strict diets and cleansing rituals to detoxify the system and prepare it to regain its natural healing talents. These approaches often act more slowly than traditional modes. One has to be patient, to exercise extreme self-discipline, and maintain hope in the face of little seeming progress. But, for both of my friends, things did get better, and the results are most encouraging. Even the tradtional physicians report significant improvement in their readings.

My friend who experienced the aneurysm did not go into the usual cognitive rehabilitation program, feeling it might be inappropriate for her needs. Instead, she continued with her book discussion class (which she had herself been facilitating before), even when she couldn't remember the plots of the books by the time she reached the end. (The students carried the discussion for her.) Now she does, and the class continues to meet on an informal basis, offering her lots of encouragement and gratitutude in her role as teacher. She also does writing exercises with an old friend. Both recently lost their mothers, and Carol is working to recover her faded family memories. She is extremely articulate, just as before, one of the world's best and most perceptive observers, one of the most understanding friends one could imagine. (When you tell her your story, she "gets it," even if it is different from her own.) She has a Flannery O'Connor sense of humor, and a Mother Teresa dedication to helping others, and has been a major ispiration to thousands of students and friends.

The fourth heartening report is from dear Patricia, who gave me this site as a birthday present last spring, and who is becoming a nationally known presence. Once a long distance runner and marathon swimmer, she continues to swim an unbelievable number of laps weekly, and in addition has found a trainer to help her to develop more leg strength. She says he is amazed at her progress, and then adds, "He just didn't know how determined and dedicated I can be once I set my mind to it." She may have slowed down, but obviously nothing can really stop her.

So--what do these friends have in common? They are all creative people, seekers and not mere observers. They searched until they found the right healers and the appropriate techniques, and did not wait passively for healers to come to them. They were open, they were willing, and they were wise.

So here are the stories of four determined people. four amazing human beings who just happen to be among my closest friends.

(Note: I do not mean to discourage others who are not progressing as well, and certainly not to imply that they are doing something wrong, or just aren't trying hard enough. I simply wanted to share the good news from my personal circle. Indeed, yesterday when I did a little ritual of celebration, the sweet kundalini energies stirred in my heart once again, and I realized yet another time that we are all connected to one another and to it, and it to all of us. Some simply call it love.)

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