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DavidC
19 October 2009, 07:47 AM
11 years ago I started doing Hatha Yoga and then Ashtanga based on Sris Krishnamacharya & Jois. I looked at Kundalini, Evolution, and Enlightenment and maybe read about chakras. Very soon afterwards I went through a very difficult life period in which things happened such as me not thinking intellectual college studies were very spiritual, and prana causing a few heat blisters on my feet and arm. One day in a half hour meditation I got into a state in which I realized atma-jyoti (consciousness) was real and beyond the body. People thought I was crazy after I got very into Zen, but that was not the only reason and neither was it that I was young and unwise. Later I studied Taoist Yoga, read many of the world's philosophical/sacred texts, talked to a transpersonal psychologist who knew about the rest of the spine nadis, and my realization consciousness was beyond the body was verified again in dreams in which I was conscious and nothing was there but my ghost and the real world slightly obscured by colourful 'fogginess.'

I read Gopi Krishna's The Evolutionary Energy in Man, Swami Sivananda's Kundalini Yoga and his disciple's Kundalini Yoga for The West, books by Ajit Mookerjee, Mary Scott, Lee Sannella, an in-depth one by a Laya Yogi who apparently did not practice ahimsa, and many others, and I skimmed and am in Woodroffe's The Serpent Power and Sri Venugopolan's The Hidden Mysteries of Kundalini.

I have been trying to read Jana Dixon's book http://biologyofkundalini.com/ . It says a lot of detailed, true but disturbing things about Kundalini activity/psychology that I would probably not dare to admit myself. It makes tens of nutritional and other recommendations. I wonder if anyone else has tried the recommendations. It is said the brain runs on glucose; sometimes I had to drink a lot of sucanat to do Yoga and meditation as well as school studies. I am a Natural Hygienist vegan and do not eat white sugar, so I do not think I was having too much sugar--I just needed it more than carbohydrates-- or maybe those change into glucose.

I just wonder what sort of lifestyle you have to have when you attain spiritual consciousness. It also seems you should be able to be ascetic and not worry about lifestyle details when most others have worse simple things to worry about.

However if anyone else has done this I thought the texts might be interesting.


atma-jyoti -- spiritual-light or the nature of consciousness
prana -- life consciousness
Kundalini -- has the root words 'pit,' 'coiled,' and 'burn.' all consciousness and especially in the spine (so called the serpent power) and brain. the most material of the seven Shaktis of consciousness. Mulaprakriti; Vach; creator Devi.
chakra -- 'wheel' or area where a nerve branches and the major ones are in the spine behind the glands or in head glands
Ashtanga Yoga -- either Patanjali's Yoga or rediscovered Hatha Yoga sequences with vinyasas
vinyasa -- motion connecting asanas in order to keep circulation and body heat up

Onkara
19 October 2009, 08:09 AM
Hi David
That is an interesting background you have. I have not been lucky enough to practice yoga or follow a strict diet.

I stayed away from Kundalini, simply as I was influenced by the idea that manipulating body energy may result in problems if not done with a teacher with sufficient experience and knowledge. My goal was also different. Hatha yoga appeals to me more in providing general flexibility and good health.

Regarding diets I think one needs to be pretty good at finding alternatives to meat and cooked vegetables to satisfy ones appetite on a Vegan or Vegetarian diet. I admire your strength of will and would be curious to be a fly on the wall in your kitchen at lunch time J

What I picked up on in your post is the “spiritual consciousness”. Is this a Yoga specific term, could you explain the term please? Or is it enlightenment (self-realisation) in the Vedanta sense of moksha; uniting with Brahman? I can offer some input along those lines if so.

DavidC
19 October 2009, 06:26 PM
Well, I would say spiritual consciousness is the seven principles, the five koshas, the three upadhis, and atma, but especially atma. The five and three are just simplifications, and they are listed at: http://www.theosociety.org/pasadena/sd/sd1-157.gif . The 'Esoteric Buddhism' list was actually first a Yoga or Hindu Philosophy list.

So for 'spiritual consciousness' I mean when you realize that consciousness and not only matter is real. Then somewhat you center your consciousness within itself rather than the body. The spiritual part would also specifically be atma and buddhi ('spiritual soul,') anandamaya kosha, and karanopadhi, the latter three of which are the same thing (on those lists,) Below that is mind. Some people, such as Western scientists do not think the mind is permanent, and some Buddhists that have not experienced meditation think it is the highest consciousness. Neither group really understands it, and then they are centered in their mind. Maybe the average secular person is also centered in their emotions, but it is part of the mind like buddhi is part of atma. Each of these pairs are on the same 'plane,' or the lokas (worlds) they are on are pairs.

When one transcends the mind or even illuminates it--which may not be enlightenment of wisdom--one sees the mind is not all that is. So, it is still an enlightenment of realization even if the person does not practice wisdom and virtue that is selfless. Even with illumination of mind ideas like Brahman make sense. Then one sees 'average consciousness is not all that is, so this consciousness cannot be all either' and 'there is a source of the universe and universes,' or at least 'now abstract ideas such as Brahman make sense in the illuminated mind.'

I was raised vegan so I know what alternatives to animal products there are, and veganism can include cooked vegetables. When one is focused in the consciousness often one does not think so much about what one should eat, and scientists have learned more about nutrients. In recent years chemical agriculture has decreased the nutritional value of food. Years ago I was reading kundalini-l listserv at http://www.kundalini-gateway.org/. People said things like spiritually awakened or psychic people have to be more careful about nutrition. Some even had the idea that in primitive societies the priests had to eat more meat. I do not think that is good, but if the brain runs on glucose and it suddenly uses more electricity, then maybe you must either eat better or give up meditation for the time.

I did not really do any Kundalini Yoga unless I felt I had to control the energy, and usually it was just gentle pranayama and realignment (important in Ashtanga Yoga) sort of like asanas. I even did less meditation, but I think the solution would have been to do more and maybe in a different way. One can do it without focusing on all the microcosmic energy in the body.

Spirit also means consciousness means intelligence, and everyone has Kundalini--it is said every atom does. I think it is okay to understand it and realize when it is at a certain level in the seven principles, five koshas, or upadhis, but of course one should probably not manipulate its energy for no reason. Some Yogis and Taoists do for some reason, but they also have different systems and one has to understand beyond those: until then one may not really know where it is in the upadhis/koshas/principles.

Days before or after my illuminating meditation I had electricity in the crown (because it has to go from the spine to head to light up and it keeps going up,) but I do not think that means I attained moksha. If someone had moksha they might not lose the illumination and more importantly (s)he would not be focused on herself/himself: she would live like a spiritual Master and someone that thought it was more important to do humanitarian projects than anything fun. Some people who are secular or have not had great meditation devote themselves to humanitarian projects. They may not have had internal illumination but they have some of the highest enlightenment of wisdom.

If you are still reading, Snip, one thing related to your last question for me is what do you think humanitarianism has to do with Brahman? (which can also be called Kundalini-Shabdhabrahman.)


kosha -- sheath (such as of consciousness within consciousness)
upadhi -- base (such as of consciousness that forms the matter/element for a subtler consciousness on the same plane.)
pranayama -- 'life doing' -- control of life consciousness such as with breath
Kundalini-Shabhabrahman -- energy-sound-supreme-divinity (shabdha is sound)

yajvan
20 October 2009, 10:24 PM
hariḥ oṁ
~~~~~~

Namasté

kuṇḍalinī कुण्डलिनी - circular , annulate ; a noun of śakti
kuṇḍa कुण्ड- a bowl-shaped vessel , basin , pitcher or pot like a water-pot ; also a round hole in the ground for receiving and preserving water or fire like a agni-kuṇḍa ; is also a noun for of durgā.
Some talk of this kuṇḍalinī as a quiver (cala चाल moving) or of a vibration; others of a tingle, and some of spanda स्पन्द throbbing , throb , quiver , pulse , tremor , vibration , motion. From this there could be all different experiences i.e. stirring or churning, etc.That said, I must say I have been around this awakening of kuṇḍalinī for the greater part of my life. I also have been around others daily and for months at a time pursuing the ~same~ goals of unfoldment and spiritual advancement. In all this time I have never had a bad experience - I never have witnessed a bad experience of others. I have never been told from a reliable source of a bad experience that unfolded.
While I have heard all of my life there is a ~danger~ here, that awakening this energy/śakti may have dire consequences, this has never (ever, ever) been my experience.

Does that mean I am saying someone, somewhere will not have a dysfunctional experience? Nope. It is this notion of a 'bad experience' is so foreign to me and so remote a possibility ( for me) I do not have the least reservation of concern or caution on any practice I do to have this śakti rise up ( in me).

I encourage it (in me) and look forward to more of its awakening. Perhaps this is unpopular to some. There will be others that have a completely different POV on this matter and this is fine. Yet my views are different on this matter. Without this kuṇḍalinī from where does the cosmic dance of naṭarāj begin?

When thou begins to stur, thou unfolds the entire universe says Utpaladeva.

For me, let She who moves in kha क (khecarī खेचरी) be part of my every thought and action.

praṇām

DavidC
26 October 2009, 02:49 AM
[...]I must say I have been around this awakening of kuṇḍalinī for the greater part of my life. I also have been around others daily and for months at a time pursuing the ~same~ goals of unfoldment and spiritual advancement. In all this time I have never had a bad experience - I never have witnessed a bad experience of others. I have never been told from a reliable source of a bad experience that unfolded.
While I have heard all of my life there is a ~danger~ here, that awakening this energy/śakti may have dire consequences, this has never (ever, ever) been my experience.

Does that mean I am saying someone, somewhere will not have a dysfunctional experience? Nope. It is this notion of a 'bad experience' is so foreign to me and so remote a possibility ( for me) I do not have the least reservation of concern or caution on any practice I do to have this śakti rise up ( in me).

I encourage it (in me) and look forward to more of its awakening. Perhaps this is unpopular to some. There will be others that have a completely different POV on this matter and this is fine. Yet my views are different on this matter. Without this kuṇḍalinī from where does the cosmic dance of naṭarāj begin?[...]

I agree; I do not think I ever had a bad experience because of Kundalini--it was because of myself--because of changing from an agnostic semi-materialist viewpoint to a gnostic spiritual viewpoint. I think everyone undergoes challenges in order to become enlightened or liberated. Kundalini is just one of the main things or methods or totalities of the spiritual path.

I never really try to restrict Kundalini anymore because I also do not pay much attention to it anymore. Once I had kriyas--spasms which made me do various Yoga asanas--it is not necessarily bad, but I know sort of how to avoid that. If Kundalini-bodhana or Shaktipat happens to an agnostic of about 20 years old they can get obsessed with it and not focused on many other spiritual things they need to learn--like in the sacred texts and their application. It is said some people might spontaneously 'know' the sacred texts, but it is not an occurence one should become attached to, and the limited view without them is not such a great problem for me anymore after all these years of reading.

If Kundalini expands to light the Ajna chakra (like at the optic nerves on the pineal gland) then even if it is startling and goes back down one does not really try to raise it anymore as much as do other things. Of course it would be nice if I had the time, but I think it is more important to do academic and humanitarian things and learn any lifestyle changes to make in case I have time in the future.

Kundalini-bodhana--'Kundalini enlightenment'--ascent of Kundalini-Shakti
Shaktipat--descent of Shakti or when a spiritual Master awakens someone's Shakti by a touch or even thought

Eastern Mind
26 October 2009, 08:08 AM
Namaste Yajvanji and David:

David asked about lifestyle and how it relates to awareness rising in the spine. As far as I know, in order for this awareness to remain in a higher chakra, brahmacarya, or celibacy is a prerequisite. This is not to say there can perhaps be moments of insight, seeing light or colour within, etc. But for it to remain in a higher consciousness, because the sexual energy is the same energy as kundalini, it has to be transmutated into the spine.

Patanjali's classic restraints are also in order, such as remaining anger free.

A self-realised being whose awareness flows in the sahaswara needs as much effort to come down, as we do to go up. This being has to 'go out' in order to function at all in normal consciousness, whereas we have to 'go in' to get a taste of this nectar.

Aum Namasivaya

DavidC
27 October 2009, 02:58 AM
[...]As far as I know, in order for this awareness to remain in a higher chakra, brahmacarya, or celibacy is a prerequisite. This is not to say there can perhaps be moments of insight, seeing light or colour within, etc. But for it to remain in a higher consciousness, because the sexual energy is the same energy as kundalini, it has to be transmutated into the spine.

Patanjali's classic restraints are also in order, such as remaining anger free. [...]

Om Shanti,
You have said some interesting things, Eastern Mind, and the rest of you above. I am not so sure it was celibacy you meant rather than chastity, because a married person might be chaste but not celibate. It can be a challenge for young people to be chaste even if they are celibate.

When I was on kundalini-l someone mentioned methods people can use to feel sexual energy but maybe not waste it (it would be embarassing to describe in public.) However another thing is if you meditate regularly then one day you can assuredly feel ecstasy all over. Actually I think it has to do with one of the medium-sized spine nadis but not the smallest one within them all. When consciousness ascends in that one you transcend ecstasy and reach an enlightenment free of attachment to feelings. Afterwards if you think that you should get attached to such feelings again then it does not necessarily last.

Has anyone else had that experience? (I mean of Kundalini illuminating Ajna in sitting meditation and never rising back there again even if you meditate so every day for a month?)

I am still curious if anyone read Biology of Kundalini and if they think a diet either in it or elsewhere that is beyond veg*anism helps, but I will try to read more of the book someday. I must have attained something in my past lives to be born into a vegan Natural Hygienist family, and I am not sure there is anything else in that book I really need to know (maybe.)
It is among those I would recommend for people who did not pierce Ajna, but as the saints/sages say, ahimsa and service to humanity are the key ideas beyond any intellectualism/meditation.

Eastern Mind
27 October 2009, 08:16 AM
I am not so sure it was celibacy you meant rather than chastity, because a married person might be chaste but not celibate.

I meant ceibacy, complete celibacy. No semen leaving the body ... period.

But within my version of our religion, we have two paths ... sannyasin/monk/renunciate and householder. The householder duty is to remain celibate before marriage, and chaste after marriage.

Aum Namasivaya

DavidC
27 October 2009, 02:10 PM
I meant ceibacy, complete celibacy. No semen leaving the body ... period.[...]
Aum Namasivaya

That is what I meant. Here are some OED definitions.
celibacy '1. abstaining from marriage and sexual relations for religious reasons.'
chastity 'the practice of refraining from sexual intercourse.'

So, as you say, a householder could be married (not celibate) but chaste--unless they want to have a child: the only reason to not be.

Eastern Mind
27 October 2009, 04:17 PM
Namaste David.

I'm sorry you misunderstood, but to me chastity is loyalty within a marriage. It means that sexuality only occurs between married partners, and for other reasons besides to conceive. It is also used as a bonding element of love for the good of the family. Pleasure, in other words. It keeps the family united and happier. This is not to say that married couples should 'breed like rabbits' for lack of another term. There should also be self control. I know some sampradayas say sex should only be for procreation purposes, (ISKCON, I believe) . But that is not what I believe. I think its plain unrealistic, and leads to other problems when the devotee doesn't except their own limitations. ("If he/she doesn't get it at home, they'll just go elsewhere") comes to mind. At this level to deny that you have an instinctive mind is somewhat peposterous. Perhaps for a few high souls, yes, but for the average person its a lie that leads to other problems. Sex or the lack of it can cause so many problems.

Aum Namasivaya

DavidC
03 November 2009, 12:31 AM
I'm sorry you misunderstood, but to me chastity is loyalty within a marriage. It means that sexuality only occurs between married partners, and for other reasons besides to conceive. It is also used as a bonding element of love for the good of the family. Pleasure, in other words. It keeps the family united and happier. This is not to say that married couples should 'breed like rabbits' for lack of another term. There should also be self control. I know some sampradayas say sex should only be for procreation purposes, (ISKCON, I believe) . But that is not what I believe. I think its plain unrealistic, and leads to other problems when the devotee doesn't except their own limitations. ("If he/she doesn't get it at home, they'll just go elsewhere") comes to mind. At this level to deny that you have an instinctive mind is somewhat peposterous. Perhaps for a few high souls, yes, but for the average person its a lie that leads to other problems. Sex or the lack of it can cause so many problems.

Om Shanti,
I am not sure what you mean by that I misunderstood and then you said 'but'--as if I had not misunderstood: a colon would have sounded more clear there. Chastity as loyalty sounds reasonable and familiar, though it is not the first definition in OED.

Indeed the Middle Way is best, but this is a thread about Yoga. If two Yogins married and were devoted enough to liberation they would probably restrain themselves--unless they tried certain Tantra as part restraint (as opposed to complete indulgence) or part spiritual practice.

I see there is a much more in-depth Kundalini thread in a forum section that includes Tantra discussions. It would be interesting to discuss without too much of a viewpoint or with all the viewpoints. I have suggested some more forum sections but I do not know where else would be good to discuss Kundalini... maybe the Paradvaita section, though I am not quite sure what that is: I suspect it is relativist advaita but if so I hope not too relativist.

Mana
09 June 2011, 02:04 AM
Namaste

To add to this already fascinating discussion, I should like to say that I find Prana to be more visible whilst I am chaste, however much is to be learnt of its nature through sexual intercourse if it is loving.
Any reference to chastity regarding kundalini is in my mind a reference to restraint. As kundalini awakens the outwardly apparent energy can be attractive it may raise the energy in others, restraint is required not to abuse this. Restraint is required so as not to be overwhelmed by either the ego or Maya.

Yoga is the science of joining, conciousness is one; by this we are all related by this we are all joined.

Om Shakti

sarangi dasi
12 June 2011, 04:53 AM
........
I just wonder what sort of lifestyle you have to have when you attain spiritual consciousness.
..........

The lifestyle of such revolves around forgiveness and compassionate acts.