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Lesson 269 - Leapfrogging to Samyama Practice
Moving Inner Silence Outward
Date: Sun Jul 3, 2005 11:44 am
New Visitors: It is recommended you read from the beginning of the archive, as previous
lessons are prerequisite to this one. The first lesson is, "Why
Q: When last I wrote, I had awakened my kundalini and my meditation was a
turbulent, dramatic, passionate shakti affair. And I was complaining about
the bliss, which struck me as distraction. And I'd just recovered from a bit
You explained (in lesson #258)
that I needed to work more on the shiva half of the equation. So I put in
months of meditation and pranayama, seeking balance, but remaining much more
on the shakti side of things. I'd get some stillness, but the resultant
sacred feeling would ignite my shakti, the aftermath of which would be
peaceful stillness ... which would re-ignite my shakti yet again. And so on.
I felt like a spiritual lava lamp.
Then I lapsed in my practice for a month. While the interlude was a real low
for me, there was a silver lining: when I resumed, kundalini had gone
dormant, so I could work in stillness without the fireworks. For the first
time, I was able to get to a stillness so deep that my metabolism slowed
down; hardly breathing, heart beating quite slowly. During one session, I
really managed to penetrate samadhi, after I had the uncanny sensation of
someone very alive and close touching my forehead - not to give shaktipat,
but to give yet more stillness. I don't fully understand it, but I loved the
I've since reawakened my kundalini. And some meditation sessions are quite
still (though always with a sizzling undercurrent), though others are more
Wagnerian (though always with a still undercurrent). And the stillness is
working into my life - I'm getting unflappable. I walked soaked yesterday
through a huge downpour with no umbrella and it felt utterly unremarkable -
the frantic dashing all around me couldn't touch me. Like that. Everything's
as good as anything else.
But this underlying stillness has retarded my bhakti. I do not care one iota
if I get enlightened or not. I've lost my spiritual thirst to move forward.
Everything's as good as everything else. I've turned into a yawningly
complacent poppa bear.
1. Have I simply bounced too far the other way - too much shiva and too
little shakti? My feeling is not; kundalini and shakti are alive, I feel
that shiva/shakti are starting to reach equilibrium, and, if anything,
shakti's still a bit stronger. So ... is my new blase (though not apathetic)
attitude toward further practice a natural plateau?
2. Because of my previous over-doing, I've been staying very simple in my
practice: 10 minutes vanilla pranayama (with mulabandha and sambhavi) and 20
minutes vanilla mantra meditation (in simple cross legs) all this time. I
decided not to add siddhasana, thinking it unwise to cultivate yet more
energy from the root. And I'm guessing that what's happening is that I'm
flagging in my self pacing (I'll bet you don't see much of that!), and need
to add practices to soup things up. Does that sound right?
If so, what to add? I feel attracted to expanded mantra and samyama
(separated by a few weeks, of course), but that'd be skipping far ahead.
Bastrika would be nice (I'd like to refine a bit in the purification), but
first I'd need yoni mudra kumbhaka and chin pump. Should I indeed just take
on siddhasana, which is, after all, the next step in AYP? I'm reluctant to
because I'm not sure more raw energy in practice is what's needed right now;
I'd like to work on broadening and refining, and add on siddhasana when the
energy I'm moving in pranayama starts feeling inadequate. If no definitive
advice occurs to you, no problem, I'll just do what comes naturally!
A: It sounds like you are doing just about right. Keep in mind that the
basic integrated routine you have now exceeds what most kriya, mantra or
hatha yogis do. So, whatever plateau you are on is still shoveling out eons
of karma underneath. Even when we do not seem to be moving, we are ... which
is to say, the "blase" is just a temporary phase. It is inner silence coming
up and standing somewhat separate from external activity, including thoughts
and feelings. In time, inner silence (Self) is perceived as the activity
itself. Nothing blase about that. And totally peaceful and free at the same
time. As the old saying goes - "In the world, but not of the world." At the
same time, we are the
As for what to do next, it is okay to soft-pedal advancement in the hatha
techniques (siddhasana, yoni mudra kumbhaka, kechari, chin pump, bastrika,
etc.) if you want to stay more on the shiva (inner silence) side for a
while. When you do move forward with hatha methods again, I suggest you take
it pretty much in order. Siddhasana can be done very lightly, so does not
have to be "all out." It can be eased into gently over many months, which
should not be a problem for someone with hatha yoga skills. You'll know what
On what to do now, I think it is too soon for a mantra enhancement. You just
got going with meditation again. Give it 3-6 months and then see. A mantra
enhancement is really a huge adjustment, taking at least that long to settle
in, so when you do a mantra enhancement, give it that much time at least
before taking on another one.
Regarding samyama, as it says in lesson #150,
that can be taken on when there is some inner silence coming up, assuming
the meditation routine is stable. That is the main prerequisite. You have
that now, so maybe consider samyama as the next step. Give samyama 3-6
months before tackling a mantra enhancement also. It is okay to ease into
more hatha methods before then if it is comfortable, but give samyama at
least a month or two without playing with anything new.
Samyama will begin to move inner silence out into external energy
expressions in thoughts, feelings and the physical environment. The blase
will begin to unwind
everywhere, but not in a raw kundalini way -- not usually. More of a moving
inner silence kind of thing. A very unique and wonderful next step for inner
silence. It can be physical also (you might "shake" or "hop" a bit), but not
usually like a raw kundalini experience -- generally deeper and more
refined. Samyama cultivates all three stages of enlightenment at the same
time -- inner silence, ecstatic conductivity and unity.
So, maybe try leapfrogging to samyama. Then, a little later, look to
proceeding with next hatha steps. Then, once samyama is stable and hatha is
on a reasonable even keel, consider a mantra enhancement. These are just
suggestions. It can be done in any reasonable order that works for you. This
is just some perspective on a possible path forward based on where you are
Above all, always go at your own pace, and have fun!
The guru is in you.
For detailed instructions on building a
balanced daily practice routine with self-pacing, see the
Eight Limbs of Yoga Book.
For detailed instructions on samyama
practice, covering multiple applications, see the
AYP Samyama book.
Also see AYP Plus.