Friday, December 03, 2010
A valuable website:
An extremely helpful website on Kundalini (with answers to basic questions) is located at http://www.kundalinisupport.org/ Most of this website was contributed by Lawrence Edwards, Ph. D., who is a recognized master teacher of meditation as well as a Jungian therapist who is a world wide authority on Kundalini itself. I also contributed to some of the (later) sections on this site, particularly those relating to a feminist and/or lesbian perspectives.
I am going to post some of the sections from this site, even when they seem to duplicate entries already posted, because I feel that listening to more than one voice is extremely useful when we have questions about Kundalini awakening.
The following entry comes from Lawrence Edwards. Lawrence trained as a monk with Muktananda in India and the U. S., and wrote his doctoral dissertation on Kundalini. He is an invaluable resource for the Kundalini community.
FAQ’s about Kundalini and Kundalini awakening.
1. What are the signs and symptoms of a Kundalini Awakening (KA)?
For countless centuries Kundalini awakening has been viewed by yogis as the greatest blessing and the esoteric goal of all forms of yoga - hatha yoga, mantra yoga, laya yoga, raja yoga, etc. To understand the range of possible experiences that go with Kundalini's blessings it is important to remember from the outset that Her domain encompasses all mental and physical types of experience and all transpersonal and transcendent types of experience as well. Every dimension of our lives can reflect activity, called kriyas - movements of Shakti, the awakened energy of Kundalini - and many dimensions of experience that transcend ordinary waking, dream and deep sleep states of consciousness and ego-bound awareness. Ordinarily all of our experiences fit within the categories or waking, dream and deep sleep - the ordinary states of consciousness in which ego awareness, defined by identification with mind/body and the roles and relationships it inhabits, operates on some level. Thus we think of ourselves as awake or asleep, a man or woman, husband or wife, son or daughter, blue collar or white collar worker, etc., etc., as we identify with various aspects of the mind and body functioning in the world. All of which are ephemeral and reveal only tiny, fractured reflections of our true Self, like shards of a broken mirror reflecting a few brilliant rays of the sun. The Buddha said “as we think, so we become.” By identifying with the containers of consciousness – the mind and body – we have the experience of being those containers with all their limitations, suffering, desires, etc.
Kundalini is the power of the Self to know its Self in complete unity consciousness and transform these vehicles of Consciousness, the mind and body, to be capable of manifesting more than just limited ego awareness and lower instinctual brain impulses. In that process of awakening and transformation Kundalini runs Shakti - the power of pure Consciousness - through all the systems of the subtle body and physical body, healing, purifying, expanding, breaking through blockages and burning through karmas. Because each individual differs in their karmic make up, the subtle impressions, the samskaras, being worked on by the Shakti through kriyas, each individual will have their own unique experiences. To blame Kundalini for what karmas and samskaras our physical and subtle bodies contain is another game of the mind trying to avoid responsibility for the consequences of its actions - past and present.
Physical kriyas include shaking, trembling, involuntary movements, sensations of heat or cold, horripilation, spontaneous hatha yoga postures, spontaneous alterations in breathing - pranayama, rushes of energy, rushes of sensual/sexual/orgasmic energy, stimulation of sex organs and orgasms, cessation of sexual desire or interest, loss of appetite, food cravings, tingling sensations, sparking/electricity sensations, the feeling of ants crawling all over one's skin, roaring like a lion, spontaneous sounds chanted or spoken aloud, spontaneous mudras and dance-like movements, gentle swaying during meditation, rocking back and forth, heart racing or pounding, breathing coming to a full stop and staying still, and more and more. People write poetry, sing, dance, paint, draw, create in new and never-before expressed ways, all inspired by Kundalini's grace. The gentle movements, breath alterations, rushes of energy, feeling of heat and cold, tingling, sounds and mantras, and sexual stimulation are most common, along with euphoric, blissful feelings and expansive states of love and unity awareness.
Each of our senses can manifest the movements of Kundalini. There are visions, colors, blue pearls and every conceivable archetypal form to be seen. There are divine scents, exquisite sounds, supersensuous touch, and ambrosial tastes to be experienced as gift of Shri Kundalini.
There are also very rare but attention grabbing instances of people getting rashes, diarrhea, and various painful conditions, food sensitivities or allergies, and the manifestation of latent, karmicly held diseases or disorders surfacing to be released.
Kundalini works to free our consciousness from polarities, including bondage to attraction and aversion. So regardless of what comes up in the process of Kundalini sadhana one practices the inner posture of detached awareness, watching, witnessing, neither pursuing nor avoiding.
Every form of emotion and mental event can also be manifested as kriyas. One can laugh, cry, go into ecstasy, grief, fury, bliss, etc. etc. As with all kriyas, these are viewed with the detachment of Witness Consciousness, neither pursuing nor avoiding what is arising. NONE OF THESE EXPERIENCES IS THE GOAL. THEY ARE SCENERY ALONG THE WAY, GIFTS OF THE SHAKTI TO BE APPRECIATED AND RECEIVED FOR WHAT THEY REVEAL, BUT NOT TO DISTRACT ONE FROM THE GOAL. As long as there is an experience and an experiencer, i.e. an object and a subject, one is in a lower state of duality, no matter how alluring that experience may be. These experiences have a very real danger of inflating the ego as it attempts to possess them and identify with them. For this reason spiritual traditions have practices for keeping the ego deflated and grounded, which is part of the role of the teacher/guru/master, as well as teachings about not becoming overly fascinated by various transcendent phenomenon.
ANY KRIYA, PHYSICAL OR MENTAL/EMOTIONAL, THAT MAY HAVE MEDICAL, NEUROLOGICAL OR PSYCHIATRIC SIGNIFICANCE SHOULD BE CHECKED OUT BY THE APPROPRIATE HEALTH CARE PROFESSIONALS. I've seen cases where someone dismissed a symptom as a kriya and it turned out to the symptom of a medical or psychiatric disorder like high blood pressure, diabetes, bipolar disorder, etc. It's always worth having such things checked out medically even if it is only to rule out a possible problem.
To begin with read: Swami Muktananda: Play of Consciousness; Swami Tirtha: Devatma Shakti; Sir John Woodruffe: Serpent Power; Lawrence Edwards: The Soul's Journey (www.thesoulsjourney.com), Dorothy Walters: Unmasking The Rose; and there’s also a reading list on www.thesoulsjourney.com.
(by Lawrence Edwards)