Kundalini Splendor

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Friday, April 13, 2007

A Secret Tantra: Poems of the Inner Journey 

I am currently working on a new poetry book, tentatively entitled:

A Secret Tantra: Poems of the Inner Journey

This morning, I wrote the following as a possible introduction to the book. Many general readers are not familiar with tantra except as it is offered in workshops purporting to "teach" this ancient technique, or perhaps they have not heard of it at all. Thus, this introduction tries to explain some of the ancient practices. For advanced students (and some readers of this blog) this information will already be quite familiar.

I describe my "morning practice" partly to answer those who want to know, "What do you actually do?" It is a fairly intimate account, but I have become accustomed to sharing personal experience with readers in my efforts to spread knowledge about the inner energies.)

Each of us is on a journey. It is sometimes called the journey of life, or the journey of the soul. We are, whether we know it or not, striving to reach a destination, which is the same for all of us. That destination is called by many names: Home, the Source, Heaven, God, Goddess, Being, Reality. Or perhaps Paradise. Whatever we name it, it is the ultimate goal of the spirit which lead us forward, through this life, and perhaps others past and future. It as if we know that our origin is elsewhere, and our lives are devoted to our return.

Tantra, like many other once esoteric topics, has recently emerged into the larger consciousness. Though it is often depicted in purely sexual terms, tantra is in fact a highly complex topic, with many variations and modes of approach. Sometimes, indeed, it is employed in specifically sexual practices, in which each lover envisions his/her partner as a god or goddess. At other times, inner visualization (of such images as the famous figure of the god and goddess in union, known as the yab-yum) may be employed.

But there is yet another form of tantra which is focused on the energies themselves, when sexual aspects are not involved. This is my own form of tantra. Many years ago, I experienced an abrupt and unexpected kundalini awakening. In a single moment, my life was transformed totally. At first, the energies I continued to feel in the days and weeks thereafter were intense and ecstatic. For years, I followed a simple ceremony (a little yoga, a little mantra, a bit of mudra, perhaps some background kirtan) to awaken this flowing bliss and experience a sense of union with the beloved withing. Each moment was infused with a sense of the highly sacred, a purpose far beyond mere personal pleasure. Now, my practice is even simpler. Here is what I did today:

First I took a hot shower (this opens both the physical and energetic body wonderfully, and it also helps my chronically sore shoulder. Then I went into my living room, wearing little clothing, and bowed before my Buddhist Thangka. (I am not a Buddhist, but I feel a special affinity for this sacred image which graces my corner wall. This Buddha has a very feminine face and I think of it as female rather than male. It could easily be either.) Immediately, I felt a sweetness flow within. Each time I bowed, the bliss flows repeated. (I thought of the Jews bowing at the Temple Wall in Jerusalem, and the Sufis who bow in rhythm as they repeat their Ziker.)

Ultimately, I ran my hands in circles a few inches in front of each chakra. Each time I felt the exquisite vibrations awaken again. This feeling is not passionate nor intense. It is a soft rapture, extremely subtle and tender, as if the body were being stroked by long stemmed flowers.

This is my time of love making with the divine. It is not the fiery energies of early kundalini. It is not a wild ecstasy. it is like the echo that follows in the mountains, once the great thunder peal has passed. It is appropriate for who I am at this later stage of life, like a delicate aftertaste.

Apparently, some little known groups of Kashmiri Shaivites follow a similar spiritual practice. I have not met any of these. My own experience is what has come to me through the years. I regret that I cannot offer it or teach it to others. It arises from the primal source of the Great Mystery, in which we all are enfolded, and for which we constantly yearn.

However, "something is indeed happening." More and more people are experiencing major spiritual awakenings, including spontaneous kundalini arousal. Increasing numbers are finding their way back to source, as we together create what Rupert Sheldrake has called a "morphogenetic field," in which each repetition of a process becomes easier for those who follow. Indeed, divinity is contagious, and we are together weaving a network of splendor even in the midst of great planetary ahaos and despair. This is our hope, our necessity for redemption. One observer said, "Kundalini is god (the goddess) moving through your body." May we all open ourselves in the highest way to this universal force of love.

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