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Calling all Kundalini experts

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Calling all Kundalini experts
Answer
3/13/18 5:25 PM
Please post your best Kundalini resources! I’m interested to learn more about the kundalini perspective ...

RE: Calling all Kundalini experts
Answer
3/13/18 9:27 PM as a reply to Anna L.
Hi Anna,

What did you have in mind? References? Accounts of experiences? Theories of what it is?

BTW, though it's generally called kundalini, I think the technical Sanskirt term is "prana", which the Tibetans translate as "wind energy". Which leads to that all purpose New Age trope, energy. IMHO people over use the word energy. I think it would help somehow if we could develop a more precise vocabulary around the phenomena.

               

RE: Calling all Kundalini experts
Answer
3/13/18 10:40 PM as a reply to Anna L.
Hi Anna, I am no expert but I have investigated them empirically. See: https://www.dharmaoverground.org/discussion/-/message_boards/message/7633943
for links...

Best of luck. I really hope we can find answers to this. FWIW, Daniel-San, Adam M and myself have found ourselves in this territory due to concentration practices. Not sure how useful that is.

Thank you very much for your interest in this! emoticon

RE: Calling all Kundalini experts
Answer
3/13/18 11:22 PM as a reply to Anna L.
Kundalini Shakti in Vedic tradition (where it comes from) refers to the first/highest manifestation of the the One/Unmanifested Source. It is beyond the Koshas of materiality, prana, lower mind and higher mind, it’s not prana, not even close. See Joan Shivarpita Harrigan’s books for the most in-depth treatment of this very misunderstood phenomenon.
There’s a Batgap interview with her on YouTube that you can search for a good primer.
If you’re undergoing a Kundalini awakening it is most simply a purification process just as spiritual development is, but on steroids and autopilot, that is best surrendered to. By purification I mean the ultimate eradication of the ten fetters and the long path to altruist and wise sainthood. As in all things, intentions matter, and like many heavy and deep tantric pursuits, the potential ramifications are very dangerous, so please watch what you wish for. K doesn’t play.

RE: Calling all Kundalini experts
Answer
3/14/18 12:31 AM as a reply to Anna L.
Thank you all! That gives me a great place to start. 

I am curious after speaking to people who have physical energetic experiences during meditation (feelings of "energy", "vibrations" etc.). This is not something I have personally experienced. I've experienced bliss states, but definitely no energy running up and down the spine or anything that's kept me awake at night. The closest thing I have experieneced is an itchy crown of the head! This went on for a couple of years and there was no physical reason for it. I used to absentmindedly pull at the hair there to get relief. I remember asking my hairdresser about it and she thought I was nuts. That seems to have passed now, haven't experienced it for ages. It occurred during a period where I was meditating a lot and having lots of A&P type events. 

I've read a small amount about and by Gopi Krishna, and I have also read a book about Tibetan "lung". The book about lung describes such a huge variety of symptoms, all of which correspond with contemporary definitions of "adrenal fatigue" and "burnout". It has been very "psychologised."

I'm interested to learn more about the yogic traditions as I practice Ashtanga yoga, which I love, but I don't feel anything happening energetically. Just a tonne of tightness, stiffness and muscle pain! 

RE: Calling all Kundalini experts
Answer
3/14/18 12:32 AM as a reply to Daniel - san.
Daniel - san:
Kundalini Shakti in Vedic tradition (where it comes from) refers to the first/highest manifestation of the the One/Unmanifested Source. It is beyond the Koshas of materiality, prana, lower mind and higher mind, it’s not prana, not even close. See Joan Shivarpita Harrigan’s books for the most in-depth treatment of this very misunderstood phenomenon.
There’s a Batgap interview with her on YouTube that you can search for a good primer.
If you’re undergoing a Kundalini awakening it is most simply a purification process just as spiritual development is, but on steroids and autopilot, that is best surrendered to. By purification I mean the ultimate eradication of the ten fetters and the long path to altruist and wise sainthood. As in all things, intentions matter, and like many heavy and deep tantric pursuits, the potential ramifications are very dangerous, so please watch what you wish for. K doesn’t play.
Thank you! 

Have you experienced an eradication of all ten fetters? 

RE: Calling all Kundalini experts
Answer
3/14/18 1:23 AM as a reply to Anna L.
Hi Anna, Try Spinal Breathing Pranayama (see aypsite.org) if you are looking for an awakening haha. There is also a practice inside the free ebook: Biology of Kundalini that is powerful as well if you want to explore. You can find that itch on your crown with this practice called Psychospacial Meditation page 412 - I am inclined to think that it will help  power people to jhanas quickly if they have no access yet. I found K dangerous at one point but am good friends with her now. Surrendering is crucial at all times, you can desire for understanding but NOT control.

Also it seems that Daniel-san (and most of us) does not want to eradicate his 10 fetters emoticon

RE: Calling all Kundalini experts
Answer
3/14/18 2:13 AM as a reply to Yilun Ong.
Thanks! 

Yes, fetters 1-3 not so bad; eradicating the rest is a big ask! ;)

RE: Calling all Kundalini experts
Answer
3/14/18 11:08 PM as a reply to Anna L.
Anna L:
Thank you! 
Have you experienced an eradication of all ten fetters? 
 
I should have prefaced my expert-sounding testimony by first saying I'm far from an expert emoticon
But…I have experienced temporary eradication of the ten fetters, which all adds up to a hill of beans as I’m currently well fettered lol. The awakening experiences of what can best be described to me as the Inner Guru, or Buddha Nature, were life altering occurrences, now memories. Those memories are cherished, and they gave me a taste of the possibilities of all this ‘nonsense’ that gets talked about over and over here on the DhO. Sometimes we make these simple teachings so complicated, this is a path of purification. More expert-sounding testimony ;)
I learned that when New Agers say ridiculous things like ‘I’m raising my vibration man’ (pass the joint) there’s actually something to that. It’s one thing to have faith in the dharma, but experience confers a degree of fearlessness. There's power in that and without humility and compassion it can be dangerous. It’s a tricky business this stuff.
Best with your practice. The itchy top of your head was the Sahasrara trying to get your attention. Or maybe you had an itch emoticon

RE: Calling all Kundalini experts
Answer
3/14/18 11:11 PM as a reply to Yilun Ong.
Yilun Ong:
Also it seems that Daniel-san (and most of us) does not want to eradicate his 10 fetters emoticon

LMAO emoticon 

RE: Calling all Kundalini experts
Answer
3/14/18 11:25 PM as a reply to Daniel - san.
Anna - you could be dealing with a bunch of crazies here (Daniel and I). We both had clear experiences that the universe interacts with us in unimaginable ways - crazy yeah.

If anone gets there, first order of thing is to find the humilty and self-worth (keep that in check) and surrender. Like really surrender... It's a joy ride though if you get past the unbelievable stuff happening to you (Who?!?!).

emoticon

RE: Calling all Kundalini experts
Answer
3/14/18 11:31 PM as a reply to Daniel - san.
Anna - you could be dealing with a bunch of crazies here (Daniel and I). We both had clear experiences that the universe interacts with us in unimaginable ways - crazy yeah.

If anone gets there, first order of thing is to find the humilty and self-worth (keep that in check) and surrender. Like really surrender... It's a joy ride though if you get past the unbelievable stuff happening to you (Who?!?!).

I'd contest Daniel's claim of "Path of Purification" in that free will is still the name of the game. KA will help you wipe stuff out, provide a clean slate for you to work on, but you can very well replace it with old junk or worse sh!t. If you really want to be enlightened, yes it will get you there but you have to put in the intentions and whatever part of 'work' fits in with the paradigm. Somehow our (deep?) desires got us entangled with the snake in the first place afterall...

emoticon

RE: Calling all Kundalini experts
Answer
3/15/18 12:03 AM as a reply to Yilun Ong.
Yilun Ong:
I'd contest Daniel's claim of "Path of Purification" in that free will is still the name of the game. 


RE: Calling all Kundalini experts
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3/15/18 12:15 AM as a reply to Daniel - san.
LMAO! Of course it is and I do not take it very seriously at all! 

Love you mate... emoticon

RE: Calling all Kundalini experts
Answer
3/15/18 1:07 AM as a reply to Yilun Ong.
Back atcha Yilun emoticon 
I'm not sure how one truly surrenders while maintaining any sort of will, unless we mean something different by that term? The fruit of my practice has been realized through bare awareness, that’s where the magic happens. Setting an intention prior to a sit sure, we’re not fully Enlightened yet, but nothing resembling control during. Fear burns up, grasping releases, Brahma Viharas shine brighter as the fog lifts, without any of my will. Who wills what? Not my experience. I experience will as control, and I experience control as grasping, and grasping involves fear and avoidance, dukkha. That’s what I mean by purification, the purpose of practice, allowing natural increasing joy, compassion, equanimity and love. The ingredients of Emptiness. Total trust and abandonment. What else is all this for? Losing yourself in the show.

RE: Calling all Kundalini experts
Answer
3/15/18 3:26 AM as a reply to Daniel - san.
_/ \_ Off to try to do the same... It's a place of blissful abandonment indeed.

RE: Calling all Kundalini experts
Answer
3/15/18 10:06 PM as a reply to Daniel - san.
Hi Daniel-san,

Right, that's the Vedic rap on it. I have a difficult time buying into any particular ideology on the phenomenon though.

From 1998-2000, I went through a period where I could barely do a meditation retreat without feeling like the base of my spine was connected into an electrical socket. At the time, I was practicing as a Soto Zen priest, with tokudo ordination, but using the basic vipassana (Mahsi noting) technique together with a good deal of simple concentration meditation. I recall standing in line for lunch at a retreat where my back kept arcing and my visual field was blanked out by blue-white flashes. For a good part of that period, I had to meditate lying down because I couldn't sit with the amount of prana my body was generating, it was too painful. Some vipassana teachers would classify this as piti, but the difference between piti, as it is described in the Visuddhimagga, and what I experienced IMHO is like the difference between a firecracker and a hydrogen bomb, as I've written about in a blog post.

The acute phase passed, and I can't say that I experienced any purification more than before (in contrast, I feel experiencing a path moment had a big impact). But as I've mentioned recently in another post on this forum, I do occasionally get interesting phenomena (car alarms going off, poltergeist like knocking) when I do an extra period of concentration meditation for a few months, and I do get prana flows regularly during meditation. I've learned to visualize them channeling up through my crown chakra, helps to dissipate the energy.

But anyway, YMMV and if the Vedic interpretation works for you, then fine.

RE: Calling all Kundalini experts
Answer
3/15/18 11:30 PM as a reply to svmonk.
Hi svmonk,
I just read read your blog ‘Comparing Piti and Kundalini’, is that the one?
I’d say a couple things. I also experience still lots of discomfort and energy from this experience that happened to me over ten years ago, not much bliss or happiness. I’ve also realized that people experience kundalini very differently, maybe different types of risings, not sure, it’s tough to get too concrete with this stuff. 
It took me awhile to realize that any sort of effort in meditation involves stress, so directing energies and manipulation, and even concentration practices, were like games. Unfulfilling ones.
It wasn’t until I totally gave in that I started to experience relief. Sometimes the pain grew, so I’m referring more to relief from the second arrow. 
Once I started reading Dzogchen texts I started to see the things I had experienced clearly written about. Purification can refer to a number of things. For years I was playing energy games, thinking that a purified energy body equaled some type of purified consciousness, or was a goal of some sort. But that’s more subtle grasping. A purified energy body is the result of clean thinking, meditation and living, but not the goal, and my energy body has been clogged for years. Yoga, fasting and especially retreat length meditation clears the channels, and I’m looking forward to experiencing this effect of right practice in my future.
Real purification is more like Buddhism 101, a lack of grasping, the spontaneous and natural abundance of the divine abodes permeating the system. Compassion arising without intention, love, joy and equanimity taking more hold.
I don’t necesarily think Kundalini leads to these things any more than noting (or better yet noticing) thinking, thinking, frustrated, frustrated, distracted, distracted, but it is all an opportunity for increased self awareness, which also clears the channels (which certainly heavily correlate with awakening).
I’ve realized my Kundalini experience was different than many though because the teachings that resonate with me the most are the Dzogchen writings about the literal awakening of the Inner Guru. That is a hard experience to miss, it’s the awakening of the higher mind (Buddhi) in Vedanta, Buddha Nature in Dzogchen. My jaw dropped when I first read about this stuff, as it word for word described my experience. I never had blips. It’s an experience I haven’t stabilized, but I see the potential, and believe it can be done. 
The next stop in the Vedas past higher mind on the way to the non-phenomenal Source, is Kundalini Shakti, the first expression of Shiva in time and space. Moving outward there’s higher mind, lower mind, sankharas, vasanas and all sorts of nonsense before one gets to prana, which itself is one stop away from physical manifestation. So Prana = Kundalini? Not the case. Kundalini takes Prana under her foot and smashes it up like turning grapes into wine. All that crazy buzzy painful sensation is the pranic effect of kundalini dancing a number on your energy body. When the channels get cleared out the Kundalini force is still felt as subtle movement, but it’s far from uncomfortable. IME anyway.

RE: Calling all Kundalini experts
Answer
3/16/18 12:16 AM as a reply to Daniel - san.
Daniel - san:

I’d say a couple things. I also experience still lots of discomfort and energy from this experience that happened to me over ten years ago, not much bliss or happiness. I’ve also realized that people experience kundalini very differently, maybe different types of risings, not sure, it’s tough to get too concrete with this stuff. 
A skewed balance towards discomfort/amok energy (that is now surrendered to) than bliss IME. Huge lessons in removing aversion/attachment and acquiring equanimity from this.

It took me awhile to realize that any sort of effort in meditation involves stress, so directing energies and manipulation, and even concentration practices, were like games. Unfulfilling ones.
It wasn’t until I totally gave in that I started to experience relief. Sometimes the pain grew, so I’m referring more to relief from the second arrow. 
Pranayama seems to help for me though...

Once I started reading Dzogchen texts I started to see the things I had experienced clearly written about. Purification can refer to a number of things. For years I was playing energy games, thinking that a purified energy body equaled some type of purified consciousness, or was a goal of some sort. But that’s more subtle grasping. A purified energy body is the result of clean thinking, meditation and living, but not the goal, and my energy body has been clogged for years. Yoga, fasting and especially retreat length meditation clears the channels, and I’m looking forward to experiencing this effect of right practice in my future.
Real purification is more like Buddhism 101, a lack of grasping, the spontaneous and natural abundance of the divine abodes permeating the system. Compassion arising without intention, love, joy and equanimity taking more hold.
This is what I agree on the purification theory - we need to work on cleaning the mind ourselves though, no? What kind of yoga have you found beneficial? Any specific asanas? Qigong has the yinyang stuff, you might wanna try seeing a chinese physician and analyze the inbalance - take some herbs? I find that I have heavy winds by their theory. Just a thought.

I don’t necesarily think Kundalini leads to these things any more than noting (or better yet noticing) thinking, thinking, frustrated, frustrated, distracted, distracted, but it is all an opportunity for increased self awareness, which also clears the channels (which certainly heavily correlate with awakening).
It has been keeping me mindful for sure!

I’ve realized my Kundalini experience was different than many though because the teachings that resonate with me the most are the Dzogchen writings about the literal awakening of the Inner Guru. That is a hard experience to miss, it’s the awakening of the higher mind (Buddhi) in Vedanta, Buddha Nature in Dzogchen. My jaw dropped when I first read about this stuff, as it word for word described my experience. I never had blips. It’s an experience I haven’t stabilized, but I see the potential, and believe it can be done. 
Can you recommend some good reads?

The next stop in the Vedas past higher mind on the way to the non-phenomenal Source, is Kundalini Shakti, the first expression of Shiva in time and space.
What is that?

Moving outward there’s higher mind, lower mind, sankharas, vasanas and all sorts of nonsense before one gets to prana, which itself is one stop away from physical manifestation. So Prana = Kundalini? Not the case. Kundalini takes Prana under her foot and smashes it up like turning grapes into wine. All that crazy buzzy painful sensation is the pranic effect of kundalini dancing a number on your energy body. When the channels get cleared out the Kundalini force is still felt as subtle movement, but it’s far from uncomfortable. IME anyway.

Mine gets blissful when cleared or during the mornings, she may decide to start another wild run a short while later and usually at night though.
Thanks Daniel! emoticon


RE: Calling all Kundalini experts
Answer
3/16/18 5:24 PM as a reply to Yilun Ong.
Hey guys, just a quick thank you. There’s so much great info here for me to go through and digest. I’ll have a closer read through today! 

RE: Calling all Kundalini experts
Answer
3/16/18 10:29 PM as a reply to Daniel - san.
Hi Daniel-san,
I just read read your blog ‘Comparing Piti and Kundalini’, is that the one?

Yep, that's the one.

Regarding kundalini or prana, my Mahamudra teacher calls it prana. I think the Mahamudra perspective on purification is best expressed by this citation from the Aspriration Prayer of Mahamudra from the the Third Gylwa Karmapa:
The ground of purification
is the mind itself,

     indivisible cognitive
clarity and emptiness.

     That which purifies
is the great vajra yoga of mahamudra.

     What is to be purified
are the adventitious,

     temporary contaminations
of confusion,

     May the fruit of
purification, the stainless dharmakaya, be manifest.


RE: Calling all Kundalini experts
Answer
3/17/18 1:40 AM as a reply to svmonk.
svmonk:
Regarding kundalini or prana, my Mahamudra teacher calls it prana. I think the Mahamudra perspective on purification is best expressed by this citation from the Aspriration Prayer of Mahamudra from the the Third Gylwa Karmapa:
The ground of purification
is the mind itself,

     indivisible cognitive
clarity and emptiness.

     That which purifies
is the great vajra yoga of mahamudra.

     What is to be purified
are the adventitious,

     temporary contaminations
of confusion,

     May the fruit of
purification, the stainless dharmakaya, be manifest.



Nice one shargol. I’d submit that Kundalini is in fact the stainless dharmakaya manifest, the sambhogakaya, the actual purifying(ied) force itself.
This is like the cessation v. fruition discussion going on in the other thread. Dharmakaya would be cessation, and Kundalini/Sambhogakaya would be fruition. Of course this is just for fun, and the cross traditional mapping is a can of worms, but we may be getting warmer.
For the proper Vedic/historical definition of Kundalini, check out a good summation starting just after minute 12:00

https://batgap.com/joan-shivarpita-harrigan/

Kundalini being likened to prana is clearly one of the most widely (and tightly) held misconceptions, albeit for an understandable reason. I attribute the misunderstanding to the fact that an active kundalini experience will have one experiencing massive pranic manifestations and movement. But ride that out, past the craziness and fireworks to the stillness and (sometimes) bliss, and what’s left over is the actual Kundalini life force, basking in the glow of a job well done. It’s a purificatory action on the mind and body, from burning up thoughts to destroying actual physical ailments, and everything in between. It’s the same effect and maybe even practice as dwelling in Emptiness, or non-duality - pranic channels are what’s purified by the Kundalini Shakti, not what she is - no effort required or allowed emoticon