Kundalini Splendor

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Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Subtle Energy, Subtle Feelings 

"Worldly power means nothing.

Only the unsayable jeweled inner life matters."


"The trick is to hear the music that is the body.
If we can do so, the meaning of the body can be transformed.
It becomes not a blind, silent, doomed machine
but a glorious composition,
a part of God's oeuvre... 'The Great Tone.'"

Meaning and Medicine, Larry Dossey, M.D.

When Kundalini first erupts, it is frequently like a huge bonfire, a volcano pouring out flame and lava, a great Beethoven Symphony or perhaps a marching band with heavy drum beats and loud cymbals clashing. Energies and excitement run high. One can perform at a higher rate than was previously imagined. The inner feelings--of joy, of strength, of pleasure of many kinds--rise to a crescendo. One enters a state of "glory" in which many revelations may occur.

With the passage of time, these intensities abate. One becomes more settled, more grounded, more capable of dealing with the new state with less frenzy, less sense of being totally possessed by a foreign (and fantastic) force.

Yet, having written this, I realize that these assertions are not entirely true. As the process unfolds, it changes constantly, and each new stage, each arriving sensation is in itself a kind of miracle.

Now, Kundalini can take many shapes, follow many paths. Some seek to utilize its power to develop physical strength, to achieve prowess in the martial arts. These "warriors" learn to defeat the opponent with the special energies they have mastered, or perhaps to smash wooden bricks through this near miraculous ability. The feats of the ancients are famous in various ways, including those of certain early day Tibetan monks who could (through the power known as tummo, likely a form of Kundalini heat) dry "sheets" with the warmth of their own bodies, this after they had been soaking in frigid streams.

Some utilize these sacred powers for healing others. Energy healers of many kinds, including shamans ancient and modern, seem to rely on Kundalini for their healing abilities.

Another gift of Kundalini, for those less athletically inclined, is the path of bliss (rapture, ecstasy). St. Teresa of Avila offered arresting descriptions of her own "raptures," which many later critics feel were manifestations of the Kundalini energy. The same holds true for St. John of the Cross, who is famed for his "love poems to God," which often carry a distinct erotic tone. For many, the appearance (and awakening)) of the Kundalini energies offers a profound inner path to "god," (the goddess, the divine, the unutterable, the unknowable.) We cannot define "god" but we can experience "him" (her, it, that, whatever it is called.)
As that wise one said, "Kundalini is god moving through your body." And that is exactly what it may feel like, for those attuned to path of sacred union.

And some utilize the Kundalini energies to enhance sexual pleasure--the early tantrics (and some later ones) were famous for their rituals dedicated to the arousal of Kundalini through sexual ceremonies.

And some feel they are chosen by the "lover within," who, in a very real, indeed quite literal sense, enters their bodies as sensuous currents of rapture or joy. Often the "bliss flows" are quite intense in the beginning, and can bring a sense of actual arousal. (As one person remaked, Kundalini is "like sex only different.") As time passes, indeed, as the years pass, the sensations become quieter, more "subtle" (less intense), but they may remain just as filled with bliss and joy, though of a more delicate nature. After many years, the sensations awakened may seem more like "light penetrating the body," but this, too, can bring one to a state of exquisite rapture. Just as certain tones are outside our usual range of hearing, and certain colors beyond our familiar vision, these vibrations seem to pass beyond what the human subject normally experiences. The vibrations seem to grow hligher and higher (and perhaps they are.) The sensations are now more subtle, more refined, but they still bring indescribable inner bliss.

Are such sensations still "Kundalini"? If not, what might they be? They are the product of an original energetic awakening which, like the initiate herself, has become progressively quieter, softer, more delicate, yet is still filled with the original nectar or bliss, which is itself a gift of grace.

Perhaps the answer is that the body (the subtle body, that is) simply learns to vibrate with a fuller range of receptivity, as if it now could see a wider spectrum of color or hear a greater range of sound (and in fact some inititates do develop precisely such capacities.)

We never know why certain "blessings" are granted to ourselves or others. Some practice for years, and never know the bliss. Some tumble into bliss at the opening moment, and never fully return to their former "blissless" states.

Whatever the explanation, the constant transmutations and permutations of the "visitations," (the times spent in the full embrace of Kundalini bliss)keeps life a constant fascination. No experience is ever repeated exactly. No moment is final, no process of opening signifies "completion."

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