I woke this morning early and my first thought was the book I bought by Paul Brunton yesterday about his search for super spiritual Yogis in India. I was keen though to read about whether any of the Yogis that Paul spoke to would say anything about what lies at the base of the spine. As the rising of this energy lies at the root of my spiritual experiences it is this I want to learn more about. Quite early on in his travels around India Paul met a Yogi called Brahma who was very reserved in speaking with anyone. Gradually Paul gained his trust and eventually Brahma he told him about the Yogic practices of body and mind control. It was what this Yogi said about the spine which I copy from page 96 that stirred my interest.
The Yogi said 'There exists a tiny hole inside the brain of man. Within this hole dwells the soul. There is also a kind of valve which protects the hole. At the bottom of the spine there comes into being the unseeable-life current. The constant loss of this current causes the body to grow old, but its control fills the flesh with new life and perpetuates it. When a man has conquered himself, he can begin to get this control by certain practices known only to advanced Yogis of our school. And when he can withdraw this life-current up his spine, he may then try to concentrate it into the hole in the brain. But unless he finds a master who will assist him to open the protecting valve, he cannot succeed. It is no easy task for ruin waits in ambush for the man who attempts it alone'
This paragraph is fascinating to me. I sense the immense power which is why I don't make any attempt to force the energy. Sometimes just before I sleep my body shakes which I recognise as the movement of this energy but it is never forced by me. It happens naturally. I don't know what triggers it and I never resist it. Afterwards I experience deep calm and relaxation.
In his book he speaks about meeting Sri Ramana Maharshi and the profound effect that meeting him had. He says on page 162 'The hall is becoming pervaded with a subtle, intangible and indefinable power which affects me deeply. I feel without doubt and without hesitation, that the centre of the mysterious power is no other than the Maharishee himself'.
He then goes on to describe strange sensations he experienced when in the presence of the Maharishee. He called it an experience of pure enlightenment. One day -sitting with Ramana Maharishi- Brunton had an experience which Steve Taylor names "an experience of genuine enlightenment which changed him forever". Brunton describes it in the following way:
I find myself outside the rim of world consciousness. The planet which has so far harboured me disappears. I am in the midst of an ocean of blazing light. The latter, I feel rather than think, is the primeval stuff out of which worlds are created, the first state of matter. It stretches away into untellable infinite space, incredibly alive.  (taken from Wikipedia)
What is amazing to me is that Paul didn't stay with the Maharishee. He had been given the ultimate experience. An experience I yearn for and yet he was still looking for more. I found myself losing interest in the rest of the book after he left the Maharishee. Mind you I haven't finished it and it may be that he ends his journey back with the Maharishee.
But in all of the interviews with the Yogis all are clear that the ultimate realization cannot be achieved without the guidance of a teacher, so my search continues..... I feel a bit cheated because it appears that all the authentic teachers are no longer alive.... It is a shame that I didn't know Paul Brunton when he was alive, particularly when he only died in 1981. It is interesting that he seems to have died a natural death. He never took himself away from conventional life to don robes and live half-way up a mountain. He took on the spiritual path without losing himself and as a result his writings have the same power and resonance today as they did when they were first published....