Tuesday, 28 September 2010

Such a powerful energy....rests at the base of the spine

Today is my Kundalini yoga class. Kundalini is the eastern name given to the energy that lies dormant at the base of the spine. It is said to be coiled like a snake three and a half-times around the spinal cord. Even though I had studied Mahayana Buddhism for almost 10 years the idea of energy at the base of the spine was something I had never heard of. So when this energy rose naturally and spontaneously when I was on a 10 day silent meditation retreat in 1999 I had no idea what was happening. Afterwards I was and continue to be so in awe of this magnificent secret that the body holds and that's for all of us. This for me....is the energy of spiritual awakening if not enlightenment. I know what I was and what my spiritual understandings were before this energy rose and I know what I am now and what I underwent was a spiritual transformation.

And yet I am also a spiritual scientist who wants to investigate objectively what this energy is. At a certain level everyone has experienced it in its crudest form which is the energy of orgasm but experienced in a non-sexual setting it transmutes from the sexual to something much higher and powerful. The challenge becomes one of how to have this energy transmute. I believe that as the consciousness shifts from the left to the right side of the brain that this energy is going to transmute in a more intense way. Therefore, it is important to prepare the body to receive this by doing a certain amount of spiritual practice to strengthen the body. My experience of this energy is that it is not so much an energy as a fire that burns away a thin web of energy that separates the emotional from the mental resulting in a harmonious personality.

When this energy erupts and the body and brain is not ready to receive it what happens is what is called a 'spiritual emergency' and I assert that psychiatric hospitals have many people who have had this but nobody has known what it is. I assert that the only difference between the mystic and the psychotic person is who they spoke to. That is why when one first experiences this energy it is very important to know when to speak up and when to shut up. Because this energy activates areas in the brain that are normally dormant very strange thoughts, ideas can come and it was my training as a Buddhist to use the concept of the Witness which enabled me to integrate the experience into my everyday life. The experience shatters consciousness which is why adopting a witness mentality which is watching everything that is happening as a dispassionate observer is so important and then gradually the experience will be integrated. I remember in the early days of this experience feeling very manic having rapid and intense thoughts and having all kinds of conspiracy ideas and then a few days or a week later feeling very low. In medical terms I would have been diagnosed with possible manic depression. But throughout all of this I watched everything that was happening to me as an observer and gradually it all calmed down.

Hazel Courtney who used to be Health editor for a well-known newspaper experienced a spontaneous awakening which she has written about in her book 'Divine Intervention'. This is the most moving account of a spontaneous spiritual emergency that I have read and it's made more authentic because of how normal she apparently was before the experience. The energy will never rise though without some practice being engaged in beforehand which is why not doing any form of this yoga alone is so important. It is why I am now going to train to be a teacher so I can work with this energy safely and naturally. One of the first books I read after my experience was called 'living with kundalini' by Gopi Krishna and I resolved after that not to have anything to do with this energy. However I was drawn to yoga and had tried every kind but none of it resonated. Then I joined a gym and I couldn't believe it when one of the classes was a kundalini yoga class. With great reservation I went to my first class which I think I wrote about on either this blog or the other one I had and from that moment felt like I had come home. Since then a weekly kundalini yoga class is part of my lifestyle and now instead of being scared of this powerful energy I am now looking forward to working co-operatively with it.

But this has been a journey and I have been lucky in that my consciousness didn't have to shift from left to right for me to have this experience. It is my feeling and is something to be celebrated and looked forward to rather than feared that many more examples of people having this shift are going to be reported. There is going to come a time when the logic and rationalism of the left brain is not going to work...this will mark the most fundamental shift of all.....

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