Advanced Yoga Practices
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Lesson 85 -
Enlightenment Milestones Revisited (Audio)
85.1 - Avoiding Premature Kundalini
85.2 - Kundalini Energy Addiction (Audio)
85.3 - The Rush to Ecstatic Conductivity (Audio)
85.4 - Is
Kundalini Dangerous? (Audio)
Date: Thu Jan 15, 2004 2:26pm
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: I firstly would like to thank you for the lessons which I feel
are very beneficial and the program you are putting out seems to be a good
one as it covers everything. I am following another yogi's
teachings which I'm
happy with, but forgot his kundalini meditation which I meant
to do weekly, so
your priceless teachings are truly filling
the gap that had been left
in my spiritual program. (I was working on my heart and crown in a way which
raises kundalini, but
not focusing on my kundalini directly). I'm
taking your exercises very slowly, only
been doing the first couple things and only once a day, as I had
a kundalini incident a few years ago which nearly killed me, worsening very
erratic heart beat, breathing problems, nearly knocked me out which each
surge and also partly paralyzed me during surges which lasted almost an hour
with the energy building up more and more each time. It was like a raging
river surrounding me ... weirdly,
running also outside my body ...
and right through my body raging upwards from spine level. A master helped,
saved my life in that incident by some how pulling the energy out of my body
during and between the surges (he may of been somehow converting the
kundalini energy into a different energy), and then tried to do some kind of
complete energy drain thing as a last resort, luckily that instantly stopped
the surges. I believe I would
be dead if it wasn't for him and his hasty help.
in big trouble. So needless to say I'm
more wary then I used
to be. My question is over a dream I had
last night, whichI'm
now wondering if it was a warning for me to slow down with my practices.
Should I just
if it was maybe triggered by kundalini? I dreamt I had
kundalini surges going right up my spine but the kundalini was running into
the inner top part of my crown (like the inside of the top of my head).
hit against it each time it surged up. In my dream it got rather tender in that
my head because
of that. Do you think Ineed
to be concerned and cut back a bit?
A: Thank you for your generous sharing. Yes, given what you have been
through, I agree you should be very conservative and measured in your
practices. Any sense of foreboding should be taken seriously. Not that you
should be "running scared" about your enlightenment process, which you
clearly are not. For each of us it is a matter of knowing ourself,
our limits, our opportunities for stable progress, and gauging our approach
to that. "Experience-based" is the watch-phrase around here. We will have
tools galore, and how we apply them will make all the difference. Each must
travel along their own time line, within their own capacity. It is a big
The goal of these lessons is to give each person the opportunity to sit in
their own driver's seat on their spiritual journey. Who else can sit there?
It is an unorthodox approach to the transmission of spiritual knowledge. It
is in the spirit of the rapid expansion of the practical applications of
scientific knowledge over the past few centuries. So much good has come from
practical applications of science, as we can see all around us. Is it
absolutely safe for everyone? No, it isn't. There will always be some who
will be at risk with the availability of powerful knowledge. Does this mean
we should not have cars, airplanes, electricity, or the internet? Do the
occasional risks involved in knowing advanced yoga practices mean they
should not be available to everyone? I hope not. How can the whole of
humanity learn to travel the inner roads to pure bliss consciousness and
divine ecstasy other than by doing it? This is the challenge. Astronauts
will eventually go to Mars and beyond. All of us will eventually join with
the infinite within us, and bring that experience out into every day living.
It is the journey of the human spirit to more -- always to more. We know
intuitively that we are infinite. There is no limit to what we can
Now, what about these kundalini experiences we have been focusing on lately?
Some have been pretty extreme. Are these necessary to reach enlightenment?
Can we get through without having to endure such extremes? Let's step back
for a few minutes and try and develop some perspective on kundalini
experiences, why they come about, and how they fit into the overall journey
to enlightenment. To do this, let's go back and revisit the lesson called, "Enlightenment
in the meditation Q&As.
In that lesson, we talked about three stages of enlightenment, sometimes
overlapping in our experience, each with its own particular characteristics.
The first stage is the rise of silence in the nervous system. Deep silence
is the essential nature of pure bliss consciousness. It is absolute
stability. Nothing moves it. It is like a solid rock foundation that comes
in under everything we are and do. It is the essence of who we are. It comes
primarily from meditation, and is the source of the inner peace and
unshakable security we experience as we advance along the spiritual path. It
is our immortal being, and its rise in our nervous system serves as the
foundation for all other spiritual development.
The second stage is the rise of ecstasy. This is prana going into a greatly
expanded mode of functioning in our nervous system. It is sexual energy
going up. It is kundalini. It is also pure bliss consciousness, deep
silence, in motion inside us. It is the expansion of sensory experience into
the ecstatic realms. This change is promoted by pranayama and other
techniques designed to stimulate prana into a kundalini awakening mode. It
is usually enjoyable. But sometimes the experiences can be extreme, i.e.,
kundalini problems. Why? More on that in a minute.
The third stage is the rise of the experience of unity, where we see all as
an expression of the One that we have become. This is the joining of the
individual ego, pure bliss consciousness, divine ecstasy, and all that
exists in temporal existence. It is brought about as our center in pure
bliss consciousness is systematically encouraged to move beyond the body. It
is enlightenment, realization, the fruit of yoga. We live the reality of
"loving our neighbor as ourself." It becomes experientially obvious that our
neighbor is ourself. This has a big effect on our behavior, of course - a
positive effect with far reaching benefits.
There are advanced yoga practices associated with each of these three
stages. And there is a logical sequence in the evolution of these three
stages. At least in these lessons there is. Stage one, stage two, stage
three. Like that.
It is all about purification. If our nervous system was entirely pure,
somehow cleared of all the "seeds of karma" accumulated in our innumerable
past lives, we would be born enlightened. Then we'd be like
sitting around saying, "There's nothing to it. Just be aware." No
meditation, no hair-raising kundalini, no journey at all. Just bliss, bliss,
Well, most of us still have a lot of house cleaning to do. And it is not an
overnight job. It is not like hiring a cleaning service to come in for a few
hours and the job is done. Even with the best spiritual practices, it takes
years and years. Maybe lifetimes. No cleaning effort is ever wasted, as has
been discussed before. It's the one thing we can take with us when we leave
So, it is the process of house cleaning that determines our spiritual
journey, our experience. How we go about it makes all the difference. There
are some approaches that seem to start in the middle of the enlightenment
process. They start with methods for directly raising kundalini. What
happens? Kundalini sometimes moves. Sometimes she doesn't. If she does, it
can be up into a nervous system that is not ready, not purified enough. This
is premature awakening, and is the cause of most extreme kundalini
experiences. It is a tricky business, because someone may not have done any
kundalini stimulation in this life and still be susceptible to premature
kundalini awakening. Their nervous system seems to be wired for it. Maybe
they did these practices in a past life and now have to stabilize it. Who
knows? But there is no doubt that some are susceptible to premature
awakening of kundalini. You will know soon enough if you are. If you are,
you will have to be careful. Some others will zoom right through without a
hitch. We should all be so blessed. For most people it is a gradual
unfoldment, and advanced yoga practices are designed for that, not to create
an overnight wonder. Just steady progress.
The approach here is to do gentle "global" house cleaning first. That means
meditation, bringing up the silence, the pure bliss consciousness. Bathing
the whole nervous system in it. It is very effective cleaning of the whole
nervous system, and usually very gentle. Working on the first stage of
enlightenment, you know. Even so, if someone is susceptible to kundalini
problems, even gentle meditation can stir things up. Then the practice
should be moderated to shorter meditation times, more physical activity,
more grounding methods. For some people, just meditation is plenty.
Experience is the best guide.
If meditation is good and bringing in silence and peace, then spinal
breathing can be added. This focuses the purification more in the spinal
nerve, the sushumna, and a gentle course toward bringing up ecstatic
conductivity can be taken. This is a very gentle way to stimulate kundalini,
keeping her in the right channel, keeping her in touch with her polar
opposite, the masculine energy coming down from above on every exhalation.
Then if meditation and spinal breathing are smooth, more can be added. This
process of adding can take many months, years, or decades, depending on the
person. The experience will be the determining factor, not some arbitrary
schedule. And it should certainly not be directed by a reckless ambition to
find a super fast short cut to enlightenment. That is like going out on the
road with a car for the very first time and going 100 miles an hour. The
outcome of that kind of approach is well known to all of us.
Whatever the past has been in practices, that is the past. For better or
worse we have to live with the results of that. Today we can start anew,
making sure we have taken care of the beginning before we try and rush to
the end. If we cultivate the silence of pure bliss consciousness inside
until it is stable within us, we will have the best chance of a smooth
awakening of kundalini. That is, an ecstatic awakening instead of a horrific
one. Awaking kundalini is a step along the path, somewhere in the middle.
Raising kundalini is not the whole path. It is just the middle part.
Bringing up the silence of pure bliss consciousness is the whole path, the
beginning, the middle, and the end. Everything else depends on that. This is
why it was said early in the lessons that meditation will be enough if that
is all one is inclined to do, and it should always remain at the center of
our practices. For those who are ambitious, aiming to get the job done in
this lifetime, the other means are offered. But it is not recommended that
meditation be skipped, ever. It can make for a very difficult journey trying
to do the other things without a firm foundation in deep silence, in pure
How long should one clean house with meditation before stimulating kundalini
directly? It depends on the person. If the inner silence and stability are
good, maybe soon. For others, meditating easily each day for years or
decades will be a good route. It is a combination of your capacity and your
desire (bhakti) that will determine your course. Some will be conservative.
Others will be very aggressive. Just remember that Rome was not built in a
day. Find your time line, know your capacity, and take it one day at a time.
It is a long journey. There is no need to knock the wheels off the car on
the first lap around the track, or on the one hundredth lap either.
The guru is in you.
Enlightenment Milestones Related Lessons Topic Path
Crown Opening Related Lessons Topic Path
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