Too much energy

Liran Schour, modified 8 Years ago at 2/10/15 2:59 AM
Created 8 Years ago at 2/10/15 2:58 AM

Too much energy

Posts: 2 Join Date: 2/9/15 Recent Posts
Hello all,

I had kundalini awakening 10 years ago and from then I am strugling.
I now practice concentration by focusing on a single object (breath). I put my attention to the belly but I feel too much energy following my breath. The energy disturb the quality of the concentration.

Any ideas how to handle this?

Thanks
- Liran
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tom moylan, modified 8 Years ago at 2/10/15 8:03 AM
Created 8 Years ago at 2/10/15 8:03 AM

RE: Too much energy

Posts: 896 Join Date: 3/7/11 Recent Posts
howdy Liran,
welcome.  most of the people in this forum are guided by the book mastering the core teachings of the buddha which is available as a pdf.  in it some of the typical stages people go through while doing contemplative practices are listed in a formal way according to a particular burmese tradition of buddhism.

kundalini is the hindi or veda name for the stage labeled "the knowledge of the arising and passing away" and recieves a lot of coverage in the book.

its a good idea, if you want specific help, to be as specific as possible here.  one thing that's good to know are your goals.  you are obviously practicing for a re ason. you mention 'too much energy'..what does that mean? etc.

there are also sites offering help with extreme kundalini experiences like http://www.mudrashram.com/kundaliniemergencies.html

i hope this helps.
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Not Tao, modified 8 Years ago at 2/10/15 7:23 PM
Created 8 Years ago at 2/10/15 11:21 AM

RE: Too much energy

Posts: 995 Join Date: 4/5/14 Recent Posts
Hey Liran,

Something that has helped me is to realize that the "special effects" that come up while concentrating are equal to any other distractions, and to simply treat them the same way.  If your awareness blooms and it distracts you, just go back to the breath.  If there are enegry flows, just stay with the breath.  If there is restlessness or sleepiness, just go back to the breath.

I mean all this in a comforting way - not a "pay attention" sort of way.  There is nothing you really need to do at all.  It's a relief to realize that, no matter what happens, nothing is required of you.  You can just go back to the breathing and drop everything else.  The main purpose of this is to see what happens when the mind settles down and stops chasing after gratification here and there.  When you feel this energy and your mind wants to chase after it, it's exactly like thinking about work/school and getting worried, or trying to resist pain in your legs, or trying to tune out some loud people in the next room.  Truth is, everything is always moving and changing and vying for your attention.  So whatever comes up, you can just let go of it, and go back to the breath.  It's such a relief! emoticon

EDIT: I'll edit here that the awareness blooming isn't such a distraction.  I just followed one into jhana.  The rest is still true though (as far as I know, HA!)
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Daniel - san, modified 8 Years ago at 2/10/15 2:00 PM
Created 8 Years ago at 2/10/15 1:37 PM

RE: Too much energy

Posts: 309 Join Date: 9/9/14 Recent Posts
Not Tao:
Something that has helped me is to realize that the "special effects" that come up while concentrating are equal to any other distractions, and to simply treat them the same way.  If your awareness blooms and it distracts you, just go back to the breath.  If there are enegry flows, just stay with the breath.  If there is restlessness or sleepiness, just go back to the breath.

I think this is generally good advice, but I will also add (from eight years of intense experience) that kundalini (if that is what you are experiencing) is another animal altogether and (IMO obviously) is not just a simple A&P experience, one differentiating marker in that it lasts for many years on end. The link that tom provided, says specifically not to observe the breath when undergoing strong kundalini symptoms - it is down the page a bit but here is the actual quote:

Once you have grounded the kundalini

  • stop doing striking of the chakras or squeezing them (bandhas)
  • stop doing any hyperventilative breathing (breath of fire, holodynamic breathing, rebirthing, Bastrika, etc.)
  • stop doing any mantras on the breath; avoid watching the breath as a technique until the kundalini fire subsides—this can be several weeks to months
  • stop doing any mantras that awaken the chakras (chakra bijas)
  • stop doing kundalini yoga (3HO) if you are practicing it

I think there are better sites with better info, this one is pretty good as far as being comprehensive and grounded in a well informed, yet somewhat Western, tradition. It also demonstrates how in depth this subject can get and the various types of arisings that may occur, from full to partial awakenings through various channels. My bodily formations were cleared through intense concentration work on retreat when my kundalini exploded, so it was a full awakening, in that it shot right up through the throat chakra and out the top of the head. As an aside, I didn't believe in any of this 'energy' stuff when that went down, knew nothing about chakras or nadis, and probably thought that kundalini may have been a tasty pasta dish that I'd never tried
The reason you see advice like this, as well as advice to eat heavy meals with lots of meat (tamasic foods) and to do very strenuous (grounding) exercise is because the kundalini process is meant to be a purification on it's own, and it can become very intense as the energy pushes through the body very much with a mind of it's own. It is a fire practice that is on autopilot ('fire' in that 'energy' is rushing upward in the body and continued mediation and pranayama etc intensify the fire and the purification symptoms).  
I actually wouldn't agree with all the advice quoted above, and it is a very individual process, and you can see what works best for you
My practice (I didn't make it up, I've done loads of research though obviously there is not a straight consensus on these things) is to surrender to the process while cultivating bare awareness and equanimity
What does that mean. For me, it is generally awareness of bodily sensations wherever my awareness goes in the body, which is many times in the hands and arms or in the heart center. I do not scan as Goenka taught, I believe my technique is the same Vipassana that Spirit Rock teaches which is in a different Burmese tradition, though I happened on it
Other things I find very supportive are cultivating the brahma viharas, metta meditation (however you do it) and taking care of yourself in general a very gentle way. It's always best to err toward moderation with an 'actual' kundalini experience, as the process itself is doing much of the work that some non-kundalini activated practitioners are doing mechanically. That is (obviously) only my understanding of course
There are lots of good posts here on the subject, a recent one that you may have already read - best!
: ladyfrog :, modified 8 Years ago at 2/10/15 3:26 PM
Created 8 Years ago at 2/10/15 3:26 PM

RE: Too much energy

Posts: 38 Join Date: 8/6/13 Recent Posts
Hi Liran,

i have found that to practice the jhanas at this point i need to keep the whole body in the picture vs. single pointed concentration at the nostrils etc.  I also am in some sort of multi-year kundalini process and single pointed concentration gave me a lot of discomfort.  For some good ideas on how to enjoy concentration practice while having a lot of energy in the mix you might google "With Each and Every Breath" a free PDF book by Thanissaro Bhikku which has jhana guidance but with energy channels/whole body as part of it.  The fireworks are maybe not as bright, but i am comfortable, concentrated, and can use the resulting states well for insight practice.

good luck to you,
ladyfrog
Liran Schour, modified 8 Years ago at 2/12/15 2:13 AM
Created 8 Years ago at 2/12/15 2:13 AM

RE: Too much energy

Posts: 2 Join Date: 2/9/15 Recent Posts
thanks for your reply.
I will read the book. After a long strugle during it I was diagnosed with schizoeffetive disorder. I realized that I need to start a practice that will build a stable base for me to continue handle this situation.
It seems that access concentration is my first goal. Although it is not clear that in a case of active kundalini deep concentration wont have any ungrounding effects. I will have to try caustiously. With the practice I do physical exercise like running yoga and swimming for grounding. Specificly during the concentration practice on the belly breath I feel energy flow upwards to my brain. It distracts my ability to focus. I thought maybe someone knows about a technice to handle this.

Thanks.
: ladyfrog :, modified 8 Years ago at 2/12/15 9:44 PM
Created 8 Years ago at 2/12/15 9:37 PM

RE: Too much energy

Posts: 38 Join Date: 8/6/13 Recent Posts
Hey Liran,

I was thinking you might first want to just look at the summary of Ajahn Lees method 2 by thanisarro bhikku which gives you a sense of what i am talking about wihtout having to wade thru a whole manual-  gathering concentration by keeping the whole body in mind. 
http://www.accesstoinsight.org/lib/thai/lee/inmind.html#method2

I don't do it exactly like that i am sharing it more as a guide of possible ways to work it- over time i have experiemented and found what works for me, but you can see a sense of how you can build concentration without causing stress/unecessary discomfort by focusing on one spot, especially in the head if that is too hot an area for you.  For this reason i'd avoid method 1 for now in the same article which is almost all focusing on points in the head.  i can do it now fine, but it would have been a disaster before i learned to make more space and comfort.

If you have awakened kundalini then take his instructions for "breath energy" to be the palpable sensation of energy in your body. 

For me the best think I learned to keep practicing concentration while having too much energy is to work skillfully with the discomfort (do i feel pressure/popping/pulling somewhere in my head?  then what if I imagine the breath moving through and way beyond that spot.  Feels better?  ok that's a trick that i can keep in my back pocket.  For you what helps may be different but in general i would guess broadening focus an building concentration will feel better. 

After first learning to take it easy and go for comfort, i can now do techniques that were completely unpleasant (more single pointed concentration) and just skillfully back off, or diffuse any big blocks - but it was a learning experience for me.  I have really comfortable jhana expereinces now and don't worry about what happens on retreat where it used to end in energy freakouts.  I am sure it could still happen... but its better for sure.  I wish much success in building your stable base - it sounds like a good plan.

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