Kundalini Splendor

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Thursday, August 28, 2014

Masculine vs. Feminine Approaches 

Recently I received a letter from a man who had read my account of my awakening experience ("Unmasking the Rose"), and felt I was "New Age."  I was quite surprised at this response, since my experience (like that of many others these days) was based (loosely) on ancient techniques and approaches, many of which are --to my mind--not "new" at all but rather rediscoveries of age old knowledge.  Indeed, it is correct that mine was an extremely self-directed experience.  I definitely followed the traditional path of the mystic, one who responds to her own "inner knowing" rather than a formulaic or previously prescribed method.

He himself is more comfortable with a tried and true procedure handed down through time--such as chi gong or t'ai chi--in which the student is carefully instructed in the proper way of "doing" the practice--how to stand, how to move, how to follow the model of the teacher.

He also felt that he was following "Eastern" rather than what he called "New Age" approaches."

The fact is that my journey has relied heavily on certain ancient Eastern sources--such as the "Shiva Sutras," "The Serpent Power" (Arthur Avalon), and the Upanishads, as well as the writings of Gopi Krishna, whose books are classics in the field of Kundalini.  However, no one of these has been my exclusive teacher.  Always eclectic in my approach, I have sought those passages that most resonate with my own experience.

I think indeed there is a dichotomy here, but I would phrase it differently.  Males are generally thought to be less in touch with their bodies, their inner feelings.  They are more comfortable with rigid disciplines, such as the martial arts and such.  They often repress any sense of the inner energies (blissful sensations), preferring to focus on the outer forms.  They sometimes speak of the need for a "container" (a guide). There are of course, many exceptions to this observation.

Likewise, females are thought to be more in touch with their bodies and feelings, whether of emotions or the movement of the inner energies.  Thus they are often more at ease with a more open, spontaneous system, the traditional path of the mystic of all traditions from early times.  They are comfortable with such sensations as bliss and ecstasy (see Bernina's great statue of Saint Teresa in rapture) and more easily acknowledge pain.  They are apt to follow Buddha's injunction to "be a light unto yourself" rather than relying on outside "authority" figures.  They are often the innovators of social change, rather than followers of traditional patterns of behavior (consider the impact of the women's movement in recent decades.)  Indeed, a major thrust of the women's movement has been to free women from the dominance of males in positions of power, whether in the home or in institutions of one sort or another.

Thus the one approach may be called the "masculine" and the other "feminine."  Fortunately, many today are recognizing the need to incorporate aspects of each into their own natures.

I recall the story of a man who lived in an ashram, followed all the prescribed procedures, did all the disciplines, and never (to his regret) felt the bliss. On the other hand, I recall a time when I was in a chi gong class, and was being corrected by the teacher on my movements (not exactly as they were supposed to be)--yet I felt flowing bliss with each posture.  When I mentioned this bliss to the teacher, she rejected the notion, since no such response was described in the ancient texts.

For me, bliss itself is the aim and end of the journey (assuming it rests on a solid foundation of morality, maturity, and intellect).  In fact, I wonder if the movements of all the bodily disciplines, such as hatha yoga, t'ai chi, chi gong and the like were not discovered by  persons who felt the sweet energies flow when certain moves were made, and from these devised a pattern for others to follow). But for many today, it is the technique rather than the inner response that is paramount. One is the way of the warrior who seeks control and strength above all, and the other the path of the mystic--whose rapture is itself the reward of the practice and a token of divine connection, as well as an affirmation of a core identity--"who I truly am."

One of the fundamental notions of many Eastern philosophies is that of

"Satcitānanda, Satchidānanda, or Sat-cit-ānanda (Sanskrit: सच्चिदानन्द) {which is interpreted as} "being, consciousness, bliss" ... a description of the subjective experience of Brahman... This sublimely blissful experience of the boundless, pure consciousness is a glimpse of ultimate reality."

Thus divine consciousness itself is seen as "bliss".  To be fully alive is to be in alignment with this very cosmic consciousness and to partake of bliss--then one is not focused on the right or wrong of the practice, but the delight of union with that which is larger than self.  In my view, to reject bliss is to reject God (ultimate reality).  And, of course, Kundalini itself is a principal path to enter this state.

And I think that all will enter this state of unconditional divine love at death, the state that so many describe who have undergone the near death experience.

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