Kundalini Splendor

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Wednesday, October 26, 2005

Divine Union 

My friend and correspondent Merrilee, who wrote the post above about her experience with sex and kundalini, has generously agreed to let me run the following excerpt from her ongoing description of her intense experience. In recent days, she has moved into a new stage. This stage brings a sense of union with the divine, through her awakened energies. Thank you, Merrilee, for sharing with us such intimate and sacred moments.

Yesterday I experienced - what - "ecstatic union with the Divine" is definitely one way to put it. This went on (with little time-outs when the "Chakra Chants" CD I was listening to switched to the next Chakra) for 25 or so minutes. It involved my heart, throat and third eye Chakras.

While I was sitting in a chair, my body was put in different, unusual positions, usually with my back arched and my head thrown back - didn't feel uncomfortable at all, but I think it would have under ordinary circumstances. During most of this, I experienced a profound feeling of love for, and of being loved by, the Divine and/or God and/or the Mother. The Divine entity kept changing. I felt myself melting and surrendering. I cried a great deal. I felt shot through with Divine love, pierced by it. And each of the Chakras, in its turn, felt physically present and under great pressure.

It was a little like I think I felt when I was 12 through 14 years old and wanted to be a saint. I remember I used to feel some kind of personal connection with God then, some kind of fascination and even a minor mystical connection, but this experience was much, much, much more intense, even as it was a little bit familiar.

I feel like my ego was sliced and diced somewhat, and I'm not quite as cocky as I have been in the past when talking to my Goddess Within. I have definitely done some more surrendering.

I must say, this is a fascinating path I'm traveling down...

Yesterday and today I felt inspired to do some Internet research on Christian women mystics. There are a whole bunch of them from the 12th and 13th centuries. I am convinced I was there, and perhaps I was a mystic back then. The beguines - independent, unmarried women living communally - have always fascinated me. Here is a link if you want to do a little reading:


(copyrighted material)

One of the more interesting mystics is Teresa of Avila,who,in her book "The Interior Castle," describes states of rapture which sound very much like kundalini.

Chapter Four of the section titled "The Sixth Dwelling Place" contains the following summary of its contents, saying it "Treats of when God suspends the soul in prayer with rapture, or ecstasy or transport, which are all the same in my opinion, and how great courage is necessary to receive sublime favors from His Majesty."

Tuesday, October 25, 2005

Wisdom from Walt Whitman 

Here is some "wisdom verse" from Walt Whitman, who reminds us that everything that ever was, all events cosmic and minute, have conspired to bring us into being. Each of us is a culmination of a vast process of prior happenings,an "apex" of the eternal.

And, I might add, I believe that the same holds for kundalini itself, that it is now manifesting in the world at this highly critical time,as the result of a lengthy and complex process, now manifesting more fully to move us forward in the evolutionary process.

[44] It is time to explain myself -- let us stand up. (from Song of Myself)

By Walt Whitman
(1819 - 1892)

It is time to explain myself -- let us stand up.
What is known I strip away,
I launch all men and women forward with me into the Unknown.
The clock indicates the moment -- but what does eternity indicate?
We have thus far exhausted trillions of winters and summers,
There are trillions ahead, and trillions ahead of them.
Births have brought us richness and variety,
And other births will bring us richness and variety.
I do not call one greater and one smaller,
That which fills its period and place is equal to any.

Were mankind murderous or jealous upon you, my brother, my sister?
I am sorry for you, they are not murderous or jealous upon me,
All has been gentle with me, I keep no account with lamentation,
(What have I to do with lamentation?)

I am an acme of things accomplished, and I am encloser of things to be.
My feet strike an apex of the apices of the stairs,
On every step bunches of ages, and larger bunches between the steps,
All below duly traveled, and still I mount and mount.
Rise after rise bow the phantoms behind me,
Afar down I see the huge first Nothing, I know I was even there,
I waited unseen and always, and slept through the lethargic mist,
And took my time, and took no hurt from the fetid carbon.

Long was I hugged close -- long and long.
Immense have been the preparations for me,
Faithful and friendly the arms that have helped me.

Cycles ferried my cradle, rowing and rowing like cheerful boatmen,
For room to me stars kept aside in their own rings,
They sent influences to look after what was to hold me.
Before I was born out of my mother generations guided me,
My embryo has never been torpid, nothing could overlay it.

For it the nebula cohered to an orb,
The long slow strata piled to rest it on,
Vast vegetables gave it sustenance,
Monstrous sauroids transported it in their mouths and deposited it with care.
All forces have been steadily employed to complete and delight me,
Now on this spot I stand with my robust soul.

(Once again, I am indebted to Ivan Granger's www.poetry-chaikhana.com for this entry. Here is Ivan's interpretation of the poem which I thought was especially meaningful. Thanks again, Ivan.)

Like so much of Walt Whitman's 'Song of Myself,' this chapter has a wonderful sense of the sacred tumult of life. He is especially meditating upon how all of life and the ages of the past "trillions of winters and summers" has led up to this moment, to this scintillating instant.

And it is in the present moment that he discovers himself resting upon the crest of the wave of eternity:

Long was I hugged close -- long and long.
Immense have been the preparations for me...

Whitman isn't interested in some sort of religious idea of perfection. For him, what is important is to inhabit the present ("That which fills its period and place is equal to any.") and to recognize in the present (and in yourself) the fulfillment of eons ("I am an acme of things accomplished...").

Yet, in the messy and sometimes "murderous" fullness of the present, nothing is static. The present continuously flows into the future: "...I am the encloser of things to be," "...and still I mount and mount."

The interesting thing is that Whitman comes to a realization that almost sounds Buddhist in its language. Fully present in the here and now, he sees back to "the huge first Nothing," and Whitman proclaims, "I know I was even there." He is not talking about some ancient event that he was present for in an historical sense. He is recognizing a fundamental truth of reality, that all of life and form is given birth from a living Void or Womb... and his awareness was there, and is still there now. In other words, he has discovered and is shouting out the realization that awareness precedes the world of physicality and form and time. That line, "I see the huge first Nothing, I know I was even there," sounds startlingly like the Buddhist koan or instruction to 'discover your original face before you were born,' guidance that can lead the practitioner to discover Nivana or the Nothingness that is the true foundation of reality.

In this mighty vision of reality, Whitman continuously asserts that everything has led up to the immensity of the present moment, and to the vastness of the one who inhabits it -- his very own Self. "All forces have been steadily employed to complete and delight me." And he can honestly proclaim, "Now on this spot I stand with my robust soul."

(copyright, Ivan Granger)

Wednesday, October 19, 2005

Poems by Kit Kennedy 

Kit Kennedy is one of my oldest and most treasured San Francisco friends. We met at a poetry reading many years ago, and began getting together to exchange poems, talk, and get to know each other better. She proved to be a delightful and inspiring companion. Our friendship has deepened through the years.

Kit is one of the most devoted and inspired poets I know. She has written, I'm sure, hundreds if not thousands of poems, all carefully crafted, and filled with beautiful, exquisite imagery. She writes a poem every single day, and her efforts have had impressive results. She has been published in numerous journals and anthologies, and is currently compiling two chapbooks. In addition, she is a well known reader in local coffee house poetry evenings.

Some hold that all creative expression derives from kundalini itself. Kit seems to confirm that theory, with her remarkable productivity and her never failing enthusiasm for poetry as a sacred process.


Warm August evening.
The hotel balconies and terraces
playground for dusky angels.

Miniature white lights spotlight
the lime trees. A succulent on each table
steadies itself to bloom

The plaza's central fountain,
four Chinese stone dogs spew water.
How private the public temenos.

Night comes forward from the workday
and palm trees and architecture
become vivid in a cosmic shadow-land.

Martha is in the deepest mystery
of any day when light melts into indigo.
Time shifts weight

nothing disturbed although a wave in China
nestles everywhere, accommodates Martha
as she reaches for a water glass.

(copyright Kit Kennedy; pub. previously in
"The Penwood Review")

Bunch of Purple Grapes

Like the silent aftermath
from church bells at dusk
this 40 year memory,
eating a bunch of purple grapes
on the back porch
first time I knew prayer
because it was real
fit in my palm
like a baby bird.
When I told my parents
they responded with smiles
but I saw into their eyes
polished so smooth,
when did they forget
prayer comes to those
with sweet cravings?

(copyright Kit Kennedy,
pub. previously in "The Penwood Review")

Tuesday, October 11, 2005

Kundalini and Sex 

Many people think of Kundalini as merely a way to intensify sexual experience, and some use it explicitly for that purpose. Kundalini is, of course, much more than a sexual high. It is, for me, a connection to the divine, embodied evidence of the reality of the creative forces of the universe, the energies which underlie who we are and how we connect to the larger reality.

However, Kundalini shifts our entire being into new realms, and sex is included as an aspect of that transformation. For some, sexual feelings are intensified in a pleasurable way. (One ancient text says that persons undergoing Kundalini awakening are, in fact, irresistible to others.) Others are said to lose all interest in sex entirely.

Clearly, the Kundalini energies are closely related to erotic energies. I have long thought of them as a "different" manifestation of the body's own "natural energies" , the latter now transformed and expressed as "spiritual energy" rather than "sexual energy" per se. My own descriptions of "rapture" or "ecstasy" referred to a diffuse sensation of pleasure flowing throughout the body, including (at times) the brain and in fact every possible region (hands, toes, cheeks, ears, for example).

One woman, after experiencing some initial awakening episodes, said, "Oh, now I understand. Kundalini is like sex, only different." (I think that sums it up quite well.)

For women, one result of awakening can be spontaneous orgasms, occurring at unpredictable moments. I have known several who reported this reaction, usually in moments of intense excitement for other reasons (visiting Machu Picchu, entering an art store with delightful materials, for example.) One recent correspondent says she is experiencing near constant orgasms, some quite small, others large, since her awakening. She is comfortable with her response, and feels the Goddess is in fact blessing her. Here is an excerpt from a recent letter written by her to a friend:

"...I'm not reading (these) forums very much because I'm spending a lot of time dealing with my Kundalini Awakening. There are some very hard parts to it, including tiredness, lots of kriyas (muscle spasms [including many, many spontaneous orgasms] which sometime occur at inopportune times), problems with concentrating, emotional and physical pain, itching [This is new - and not real fun!], too much energy, etc. I wish I could just go off to a retreat house or ashram for awhile, but that's not possible. At the same time, I am enjoying being a "novice mystic" and having a very definite and significant connection to the "Divine Within"...

...A lot of people think a Kundalini Awakening is all ecstasy and bliss, which is far from the truth. It's a life-transforming, mind-shattering, painful, confusing, disorienting experience, which, once it starts, can't be stopped, and which goes on for years and years and even decades.

My advice to people is be careful what you wish for - and, ironically, I didn't even wish for this because I didn't even know what it was until after it happened!

I am perhaps overemphasizing the down-side of my Awakening, in part because it's really hard to put into words the "mystical, magical" part. Let me give it a shot. Sometimes I feel really good, really high, almost manic. There are times when I feel tremendous love for and connection with all people, with all beings. Once or twice I have experienced myself as the Cosmos, the All-That-Is. And I have a very personal relationship with what Dorothy calls the "Beloved Within". I talk to Her (the Beloved) and She counsels me, reassures me, [I'm starting to talk to Her more and She to me, but She's not real chatty!] and, in the context of my many spontaneous orgasms, She literally makes love to me whenever I ask Her to.

I have done amazing and magical things with my Chakras. I can "play" each one of them almost like a musical instrument by sending energy through them, which leads to a feeling of pleasure and usually an orgasm. [What I just described is new as of yesterday!] Ironically, a few months ago I only half believed Chakras existed, and now they have become an omnipresent part of my reality. I have over 100 orgasms a day (yes, I counted them once, and the count was 144), i.e. the Divine touches me in a special way over a 100 times a day!"
(from Merrilee)

Each person's journey is, of course, unique. Some, alas, experience primarily pain, and must work through many difficult blocks to find their way to bliss. Others are enveloped in total bliss,wrapped in the arms of the Mother from the very beginning.

Tuesday, October 04, 2005

The Yearning for Transcendence 

One of the great constants in human experience is the longing for transcendence. We yearn for the moment which lifts us out of the ordinary,humdrum routine of our lives. Through the centuries, we have perpetually sought such heightened experience in a multitude of ways: ritual, drugs, song, chant, art, poetry, nature (the "natural high"), sex, and many other avenues. Yeats put it this way:

I am content to follow to its source
Every event in action or in thought;
Measure the lot; forgive myself the lot.
When such as I cast out remorse
So great a sweetness flows into the breast,
We must laugh and we must sing,
We are blest by everything,
Everything we look upon is blest.

(from "A Dialogue of Self and Soul"

Lisel Mueller, one of the most gifted poets of our time, describes her awed reaction as she listens to a concert of Shubert by the great pianest Alfred Brendel: she feels that she has been in "the nowhere where the enchanted live."

Allen Ginsberg, in his ground breaking poem "Howl," describes a different kind of "high."

...angelheaded hipsters burning
for the ancient heavenly
connection to the starry
dynamo in the machinery of night

Mirabai and other great ecstatic poets describe again and again the intense rapture which arises when they are infused with divine love. Here is a poem which I wrote some time ago which was inspired by Mirabai and her tradition:

The Besotted Follower

To dance in this field
of radiance,
what will I give?

My good name, long since
taken from me.
My tattered robe,
with mud for its hem--
o, no, haven't seen it for days.
Family, friends--all have vanished,
have turned their faces away.

Still, I dance,
moving this way or that,
following the inner currents,
celebrating the hidden bliss,
my lone partner
Krishna and his silver flute,
that music which plays only for those
willing to be shattered
again and again,
ravished by sweetness,
torn by that joy.

The sweet energies of kundalini, flowing in their purest form, beget a kind of ultimate rapture. This is a transcendence which carries the practitioner beyond any thought of separate self, or isolated identity. It confirms what we know in our minds but seldom experience in our bodies, that we and "IT," the god/goddess, ultimate essence and final reality, are of the same thread and cloth. This is our true nature, our destination and our destiny, the revelation at journey's end.

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