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Internet Lessons with additions,
For the Expanded and Interactive Internet Lessons, AYP Online Books,
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297 - Is an Awakened Kundalini the Same as Enlightenment? (Audio)
AYP Plus Additions:
297.1 - Yogani's Kundalini Experience? (Audio)
Life Stories - Yogani's and Yours (Audio)
Shiva and Shakti in Relation to Priorities in Yoga Practice (Audio)
Are Kundalini and Shakti the Same Thing? (Audio)
Date: Nov 17, 2008
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: Just what
in the world is this "kundalini" anyway? I meditated for many years and
never heard anything about kundalini. Along the way I had a spontaneous
kundalini awakening, never having heard of it! I came to gradually
understand what was happening, and I did conclude a few things that are
mistakenly believed about kundalini. I now understand that the breathing
stuff--the so-called "breath of fire", all of that nonsense, is not cause
but effect! I had all of the breathing things take hold of my physical body
and just sort of happen to me, during the initial few hours of rising. It's
not something you do to make it happen, it's something that happens after
it's begun. But since people have witnessed this effect, it has gotten
associated as a way to make kundalini rise, rather than merely a side-effect
of the rising. The other important misconception involves the relationship
between kundalini and enlightenment. They are not necessarily related too
directly. One can be enlightened without having kundalini awakened, and one
can have kundalini awakened without being enlightened. One need not
experience kundalini to experience God.
and thank you for sharing your perspective on kundalini.
Each of the limbs of yoga are both cause and effect, and all of the limbs
of yoga are interconnected within us. So one person's structured practice
may be another person's symptom. Personally, I'd rather rely mainly on
practices than on symptoms. That's why in AYP we favor the practice over the
symptoms. And, as you know, we have plenty of practices.
I agree with you that kundalini of the dramatic symptomatic kind is not a
prerequisite or ongoing feature of enlightenment. The drama of kundalini is
purification (the friction of awakening energy passing through obstructions)
and not the end result. However, the subtle characteristics of kundalini
that evolve to permeate the neurobiology as ecstasy and the refinement of
sensory perception are essential to enlightenment. You may not call that
kundalini. But it is, in fact, the eventual refinement of the flashy
versions of kundalini that some people experience along their path. It is
the emergence of our ecstatic nature, ultimately to be dissolved in
stillness. In AYP we call it the rise of ecstatic conductivity. That and
abiding inner silence (stillness, the witness) are the two pillars of
enlightenment. The equation looks like this:
Stillness + Ecstasy = Unity (enlightenment)
In AYP, we use deep meditation for cultivating abiding inner silence
Ecstasy (ecstatic conductivity/kundalini) is cultivated with spinal
breathing and other pranayama methods (including kumbhaka), plus asanas,
mudras, bandhas, and tantric sexual methods.
Rising stillness and ecstasy are blended together (in the equal sign),
with samyama, karma yoga, and self-inquiry. Each of these finds its fruition
when performed in stillness (presence of witness), which we call
"relational" in AYP. The result is "divine radiance."
Bhakti (divine desire) plays an over-arching role in all of this. Bhakti
is the fuel of all spiritual progress. Even the tiniest desire for growth
contains all of these elements of unfoldment within it, and stimulates them
Now, some will say that stillness is enlightenment, and others will say
that ecstatic kundalini is enlightenment. The truth is that both together
form enlightenment. It is the union of stillness (shiva) and ecstasy
(shakti) which brings an unending outpouring of divine love and the unity
experience in daily living, i.e., Oneness.
In AYP we also call it "stillness in action."
This process is inherent in the human nervous system and is universal.
Different paths emphasize different aspects of its development. In the end,
all the bases will be covered. It is a natural process, once it gets going.
Our job in daily yoga practices is to get it going and keep it going,
without overdoing it (self-pacing). Then we come to know what it is by
The guru is in you.
Kundalini Related Lessons Topic Path
Lessons Topic Path
Discuss this Lesson in the AYP Plus Support Forum
Note: For detailed instructions on building a
balanced daily practice routine with self-pacing, and the relationship of
ecstatic conductivity/radiance (kundalini) to enlightenment, see the
Eight Limbs of Yoga Book,
and AYP Plus.
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