28 July 2013

Kundalini Experiences Within an Advaita Context

Many straight Advaitists are now talking of adding Tantra, Bhaktic, or Kundalini practices to their pure jnana talks because they have found just words alone are ineffective for most.  This includes the Facebook Advaitins as well as people closer to home.

As the story of my own three years of Kundalini experience may be relevant for some within the context of Advaita or that of someone on a Bhakta path, I’ll recount a little of it below.

I previously said on FB that the Kundalini snake ascended up the right spinal channel instead of the central channel, and all Kundalini phenomena disappeared as soon as I went to Mt. Baldy to study with Sasaki Roshi. Some Kundalini teachers have said if the Kundalini ascended in any channel except the central channel, it was a mistake.

My response:

Surely I can speak about the three years of Kundalini awakening and experience that happened to me back in the late 1960s.  The right channel was only the wrong channel based on something Jan Esmann said. For me, Kundalini ascended in the right channel, and it was painful, especially when it ran into my heart chakra.  It repeatedly got stuck there for most of six months or more, and was incredibly painful.  Even though the full body of the Kundalini snake could not rise through the heart during that period, some slender strands of energy did continue up my spine, into my brain and skull.

Later, the full Kundalini worm bore into my brain and upwards to a point at the top of my skull, and then penetrated through my skull into the space above.

At this point, the Kundlini began circulating downwards, through my face, into my heart, gut and root chakra. It arose in the root chakra, ascended into the brain, penetrated the skull and went outwards into the space above, and from there began a return circulation through my forehead, face, mouth, throat, into my heart, and downwards into my gut ending up again in my root chakra.

However, it was the other associated experiences which were most remarkable, not the actual Kundalini "snake" itself moving up my spine. I have no evidence that ascending through the right channel was wrong in any way.

During this two year period following ascension into my brain, I became extraordinarily sensitive to the earth's electromagnetic field, and to electricity in wires in the walls. I became very sensitive to the electromagnetics from the coils in the mattress. I had to sleep on the floor.  I had to sleep always oriented in a certain way to the earth’s magnetic field.

I could see in absolute darkness. It was as if I had infrared vision. A starless, moonless deep black night was as if it were a bright day for me. The moon's energy was cold and blue, and exposure to the moon’s rays seemed to pull the life energies out of me.  I had to hide from the moon’s rays around the time of the full moon.

 I could feel the life energies in trees, grass and plants.  I could “commune” with trees and plants, something I can still do today. I could “align” to their energies.  The same with animals; I could feel what it was like to be them and to experience their experiences.

I had a strong and sustained illusion that I had become a woman giving birth to a truth child. I literally felt the fetus and the birth process. Colors and sounds were vivid and stood out in marked contrast to the way I had experienced them prior to Kundalini.  All feelings were intensified also.  Everything was intense, because everything was now experienced thoughtlessly, without the filters of mind.

I was awash in uncontrolled energies everywhere, inside my body and outside in the environment and I felt assaulted and overwhelmed by them.  I didn’t know how to handle their intensity.

I did nothing to manipulate these energies, I only experienced them. My practice then was straight Ramana-style, self-inquiry, trying to find the origin of the I-thought.  This was my only practice.

Almost all of these Kundalini experiences disappeared the day I stepped onto Mt. Baldy, except for occasional movements in the spine and sensitivity to the energies in life forms. What happened then, almost from the first moment of formal sitting in the Zendo, is that I would go into a no-self Samadhi, a unity experience with the totality of the world, within minutes of beginning meditation. This continued for the entire three months I was at Mt. Baldy.  “I,” Ed Muzika disappeared, and “I” became the world: the trees, the sound of the wind, the blue sky.  I no longer had a body or mind; I was the entirety of space and of everything in space.  I was the totality of the world.

Thus, the subjective Kundalini experiences vanished, and in its place was the constant experience of space and unity with all phenomena within that space. At Mt. Baldy, I learned to go into samadhi almost immediately, and experienced that hundreds of times when there and thousands after I left. The Kundalini process as experienced then disappeared and became no-self, I am everything experiences.

I was well on the way to an identification of me or self with emptiness, the space inside and outside the body, and the phenomena of the world.  One more step was to come later with Robert Adams, which was to obtain a permanent identification with emptiness as a primary identification, and then with that which lies beyond emptiness, the absolute, the noumenal.

During this period I lived in a world of energies, of magic, where the walls and ceiling breathed and was alive.  Where everything in nature was radiant and had energies associated with it that gave it a sense of sentience, of personal relatedness to me.  In a sense it was all me, but none of it looked or felt like it did before the Kundalini experiences. The entire world was alive, sentient and interacted with me.

This is why I find Deeya and Myron’s experiences so enticing, because I lived in that world for three years, and can still feel it around them, once again: the world of magic and cocreation, where it and I were not separate, one experiencing the other, but of collaborative experience.

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