Kundalini and a malevolent presence

Andy W, modified 10 Years ago.

Kundalini and a malevolent presence

Posts: 59 Join Date: 10/13/10 Recent Posts
Hello DhOers.

(If you want to know why I'm posting on Christmas Eve, it's because it's the first time in ages that I've been able to do some serious sitting without feeling exhausted from work)

A couple of months ago Daniel Ingram diagnosed me as lurking around the early to mid A&P. I have no jhana experience, at least to my knowledge.

This evening I did some pretty hardcore noting. I am still easily distracted by thoughts, and sometimes by pain, but I can stay with the sensations enough to get pulses, vibrations, flashes and lots of cold, electric kundalini racing up my spine and making me shiver. I find that noting visual sensations is quite powerful: I watch the shifting colours and patterns behind my eyelids and this makes the kundalini get stronger.

I know that I need to throw myself into this with abandon so that I can cross the A&P and get onto the real stuff. But I notice this evening - and it has happened before - that I'm filled with a sense of dread, and feel a kind of malevolent presence at my back. This might be because the kundalini makes my hair stand on end - which of course we all associate with fear.

I have a bit of Christianity lurking in my spiritual history, and this weird dread can feel simultaenously like I'm about to give myself over to the devil and also like the fear of giving myself over completely to God, entering the abyss and hoping he'll catch me. I don't believe in either of these realities, but they seem to be a good way of describing the experience.

Has anyone else experienced this strange sense of dread as the kundalini goes into overdrive and the sensations pile up? And what should I do next to get past it?

Andy
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Beoman Beo Beoman, modified 10 Years ago.

RE: Kundalini and a malevolent presence

Posts: 2198 Join Date: 10/27/10 Recent Posts
Hmm just a guess, but maybe you are experiencing Knowledge of Fear? (6th nyana). A sense of dread would fit in with that... do you notice a decrease/calming down of visual flickering/expansion of visual field/feeling of loss of concentration or power before the dread appears?

As to what to do to get past it, same as with anything - observe the three characteristics of the sensation by noting, noting, noting.
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Tommy M, modified 10 Years ago.

RE: Kundalini and a malevolent presence

Posts: 1199 Join Date: 11/12/10 Recent Posts
I'd agree with Beoman there, particularly since you've gone through the A&P and will have no doubt started crossing Dark Night shortly afterwards so if you haven't been actively practicing vipassana then you'll possibly have meandered through this stage at a slower pace.

If you're getting Kundalini effects then you're almost certainly going through A&P during your sitting so the progression from there to Dark Night and onto Re-observation is perfectly natural. This would explain that sense of fear which is a characteristic of this part of the process and the only way to deal with it is to treat it like everything else which arises and passes. Note it, examine the Three Characteristics and move on.

Your old reality tunnel is causing that dualistic Christian hangover, surrendering to what's happening during the Dark Night is the way forwards. You can't "fight" this stage, it happens whether you want it or not so acceptance and awareness of what's going on during your practice i.e. noting is essential and will carry you through to Equanimity. It's not always easy but stick with practice as this will help you.

As for the malevolent presence, note this feeling and what's involved in it. See it for what it is, just a bunch of vibrations and sensations but don't try to intepret it while you're noting it. The thought that this "presence" is either God/Devil/Good/Evil is illusory and implies a duality which, once you've seen through these sensations, doesn't even exist! You can prove this for yourself and you'll see in real-time how we project these ideas and give them validity by mistaking them for being objective, seperate things.

The best advice I've ever seen with regards to vipassana practice is this: Did you note it?

Note, note, note and note at whichever pace suits your and you will absolutely pass through these stages. There's a lot to be learned during this phase so be mindful and don't beat yourself up if you don't make instant progress, accept what arises and realise that it passes just as quickly.

Good luck with your practice, hopefully this helps a little and welcome to the DhO! There are people on here far more qualified to offer advice than I am so if what I've said is a load of shite then there'll be someone else who can help.... emoticon

Tommy
Andy W, modified 10 Years ago.

RE: Kundalini and a malevolent presence

Posts: 59 Join Date: 10/13/10 Recent Posts
Hi Tommy and Beoman,

Thanks for the prompt replies. On the one hand, I'm not completely convinced that I have crossed the A&P. I can't point to any moment in my life where I have had a Big Experience which I could easily say "that was the A&P". In fact, I've always had a bit of mystic-envy of people who have had massive openings, and mine have never seemed to come. Plus there are things in the descriptions of the previous stages which I don't recognise, such as the 'laser like' attention that Daniel talks about in MTCB.

On the other hand, I do get the kundalini effects, and, looking back at MTCB on the Fear NaƱa does seem to describe the feelings I'm getting: the cold rushes up the spine are scary ("the willies" as Daniel puts it), but also weirdly pleasant too.

I suspected that your recommendation might be 'note it'. And I will duly do so. Roll on my next retreat in May!

Thanks for the advice.

Best
Andy
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Bruno Loff, modified 10 Years ago.

RE: Kundalini and a malevolent presence

Posts: 1094 Join Date: 8/30/09 Recent Posts
Andy:

pulses, vibrations, flashes and lots of cold, electric kundalini racing up my spine and making me shiver.


This is A&P symptomatology. You are indeed likely past A&P and getting to the fear nana. Note that you will likely revisit A&P many times, most people revisit every nana they've attained on each meditation session.

It is good to be aware, when comparing your experience with Daniel's as described in MCTB, that Daniel has explored the territory with more depth than the great majority of practitioners. When one doesn't explore so thoroughly, and with the amount of concentration he has put into it, the features of different parts of the cycle will not manifest as clearly and cleanly as he describes.

---

If fear is very bad, it is a good idea to face it gradually. Go as far as you can go, then go for a walk, then in the next meditation session go a bit further, another walk/maybe sleep, then the next day a bit further and so on. Eventually one is so comfortable that one can stay with fear in relative comfort, so that one is OK with the fear being there, and when that happens, it will dissipate.
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Beoman Beo Beoman, modified 10 Years ago.

RE: Kundalini and a malevolent presence

Posts: 2198 Join Date: 10/27/10 Recent Posts
Andy W:
Hi Tommy and Beoman,

Thanks for the prompt replies. On the one hand, I'm not completely convinced that I have crossed the A&P. I can't point to any moment in my life where I have had a Big Experience which I could easily say "that was the A&P". In fact, I've always had a bit of mystic-envy of people who have had massive openings, and mine have never seemed to come. Plus there are things in the descriptions of the previous stages which I don't recognise, such as the 'laser like' attention that Daniel talks about in MTCB.


My first time through the cycles I also didn't have a big experience. even though manifestations of the Dark Night were really obvious looking back, I doubted I was there because I didn't have one big experience to point to. It is indeed confusing, but also very possible that you are getting into the Dark Night nyanas!
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Tommy M, modified 10 Years ago.

RE: Kundalini and a malevolent presence

Posts: 1199 Join Date: 11/12/10 Recent Posts
The A&P doesn't have to be a huge event, it just appears to manifest in a way which generally leaves an impression on the person experiencing it. There seem to be, from what I've learned from MCTB and through my own experience, some characteristics which are fairly universal each time it's passed through but not everyone will experience it in the same way.

Any effort to correlate these experiences with what we expect (through what we've read, heard or learned second-hand) from the stages of insight will lead to confusion and false conclusions. There are aspects of each stage which are universal and which allow us to be able to understand these maps but this doesn't mean that everyone will experience each stage with the same intensity or the same visions/raptures/emotions/whatever. Just because you haven't had some explosive awakening doesn't mean that you haven't passed through the A&P, and just because Daniel noticed "laser like" attention doesn't mean that you should expect to.

The reason for this lies in the fact that, regardless of levels of attainment, everyone's got their own style of writing and will present information in a way which they believe is most consistent with their own experience of those sensations. An Arahat may experience reality in a different way to anyone below that level but they may be unable to express themselves in a way which conveys that clarity. Not that Daniel's not clear in his writing of course, but remember that you're reading his words to describe something which may or may not be identical to what you experience.

I found that posting a pratice thread on here helped. Seeing how people like tarin greco deconstructed them and pointed out each stage in turn made a massive difference in my understanding. Seeing someone more advanced than you demonstrate these differences is invaluable and their advice is the next best thing to having a real-teacher so post your notes and see if anyone can give you any advice.

Basically, don't try to understand your past experiences based on where you're at right now. I've wasted time doing it and would rather save you a hassle and suggest that you focus on what's happening right now. Don't try and map your own experience to someone else's, it's educational to a point but can lead to wishful thinking and, as you've said, "mystic-envy" which is worth examining but serves no practical purpose on it's own.
Ona Kiser, modified 10 Years ago.

RE: Kundalini and a malevolent presence

Posts: 66 Join Date: 1/18/10 Recent Posts
Hi Andy - I don't post much, but had an experience so similar to what you describe (kundalini plus malevolent presence) once, I thought I'd add to the convo. It happened for a couple days in a row; post A&P I think. Being a bit mystically inclined for me it was quite clearly demonic, not just a feeling. I have to say the first day it happened I did my best to endure and note. The second time, I threw the damn thing out on its ass. There have been plenty more opportunities since to sit with fear and terror, so I think no harm no foul, drawing a line there to protect myself at that time. Didn't ruin my meditation forever or anything. At some point you have to find the courage to sit through these things. Sometimes, some days, it's hard to cope.

Either way, it will pass, and it will come again in other forms at other times, so you'll have plenty of chances to practice being courageous. Merry Christmas. emoticon
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Daniel M. Ingram, modified 10 Years ago.

RE: Kundalini and a malevolent presence

Posts: 3193 Join Date: 4/20/09 Recent Posts
I can't remember some of the early A&P events I had as they were not as spectacular as some of the others as I write about here:

http://www.interactivebuddha.com/theAandP.shtml

I agree with everyone else: probably Fear.

When I write in MCTB, as I said in there somewhere, I think, I wrote about things in wide and complex details so as to cast a broad net for what the various stages can look like. However, and particularly off retreat, they may unfold but without anything like what retreat-like attention can do to them, which is make them really complex, rich, and intense.

I have had A&P events that had no obvious build up, lasted maybe 3 seconds, and were gone (such as the one chasing the Watcher on the couch mentioned above in the essay), but they did what the A&P does anyway.

When the juice returns but there is fear, that's probably Fear, and the standard practice advice applies basically regardless of what it is, which is the great thing about vipassana: caveman stupid instructions that just need to be applied again and again.

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