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KUNDALINI. Literal translation = pool of transcendence.

Kundalini in its traditional sense refers to the powerful force of sexual energy, or in the Tantras, the "inner woman." The symbol of Kundalini is a coiled serpent, often represented as a cobra, with three and one-half coils. She lies sleeping dormant in the root chakra at the base of the spine until she is consciously or unconsciously awakened.

The power is normally latent; and when awakened can be either beneficial or dangerous. Note: Kundalini Yoga, in modern times being taught all over the country, is a method of releasing and channelling the Kundalini energy. Some teachers fail to realize that the Kundalini is inherently sexual energy, and refer to it simply as 'energy,' which can confuse and hamper those wishing to release the powerful energy. Also, anyone who offers to "awaken Kundalini" and "open the chakras" for you immediately and of themselves, should be AVOIDED. Although this method can succeed, its results, in my experience, are universally destructive, confusing, disharmonious, and unpleasant. Whenever one is a passive recipient of anything; one is at the 'mercy' of the giver. And since Kundalini MUST be awakened within each man and each woman, and channeled by that man or woman, the awakening or so-called Chakra-opening is bound to mess with one's energy, causing physical and psychological problems, if done by another to one who is not prepared for the results.

I've heard an interesting theory about the "Kundalini of the earth," being the molten, liquid pool at the earth's center. The world-Kundalini is said to pulse at regular frequency; her more dangerous side being the cause of earthquakes and volcanos!

Kundalini is also called the "inner fire." Although she rests in the Muladhara, which relates to basic life energy, she moves first into the Swadisthan, the sex Chakra, also known as the male chakra or female chakra; believed to be the place where all which makes up one's male or female traits are stored.

All "Kundalini Yoga" relates to the channeling of sexual energy, whether it's explicitly referred to as such or not. The relationship between the Muladhara and Swadisthan is more one of existence/awakening, rather than any separate *type* of energy. Basic life energy, in Tantric thought, is inherently sexual, whether it is expressed that way or some other way.

The awakened power of Kundalini, while attainable during any ordinary act of sex, is fundamental if one wishes to elevate the sexual act from physical to spiritual. There are various ways of 'awakening' or 'rousing' Kundalini, including the sexual act itself; but the Gheranda Samhita gives details of one method:

"The great Kundalini, the primordial energy of the Self, sleeps in the sexual region of the body. She has a form like a serpent having 3-1/2 coils. As long as she sleeps, the individual soul is limited and true knowledge does not arise. But just as the key unlocks the door, so does Hatha Yoga unlock the door of Kundalini, allowing the Self to experience Brahman and attain Liberation.

Use a seated posture, such as Padmasana, Sikhasana, or any comfortable seated meditative posture. Inhale a complete breath (*see Pranayama text, on file here, for more details if needed*), seeing the vital Prana conjoining with the Apana. (*Prana = vital life energy, male/solar energy, which moves upward from the solar plexus region; Apana = bodily energy, female/lunar energy, which flows downward; their flowing together and merger is an essential part of many Tantric practices.*) Practice mahamudra, by contracting the anal sphincter, and see the vital breaths entering the central Great Axis at the region just above the base of the spine. By retaining the breath, the serpent begins to feel cramped and suffocated. She begins to stir. Then, fully awaken the Kundalini by repeating the all-powerful seed-sound HUM. Say to yourself SOHAM (*I am she*) and visualize yourself filled with Sakthi is ecstatic union with Siva. Draw up the Kundalini energy from the lower region, and contemplate the union of the pure Siva-spirit with the primordial Sakthi-energy."

A personal note: For me, at least, Kundalini does not move in a straight line. My experience in channeling the Kundalini energy upward at first resulted in frustration and physical pain, as the energy seemed to be 'bumping' against an impermeable barrier, rendering it incapable of rising. However, when creating a vortex, and allowing the Kundalini to whirl in a great energy-cone, she is able to pierce the barriers and rise. Picture a tornado-twister encircling the spine, with Kundalini at the 'eye' of the twister. This works for me; others may find it unnecessary or not as well suited as other means.

It's one thing to awaken Kundalini, and even to send her on her upward journey; but learning to consciously control the energy is a bit more difficult. Physical well-being is, if not necessary, at least greatly helpful. Thus, Hatha Yoga and Pranayama should be practiced regularly for a time, before channeling Kundalini is even attempted. The body and mind will become stronger and healthier, and the body/mind will move naturally and harmoniously, giving the practitioner a sort of instinctive understanding of the upward current and flow of sexual energy.

Physical exertion of any sort is said to awaken Kundalini spontaneously; even lovers with no knowledge of or interest in Tantra have experienced the Kundalini-power during sex at times. Physical exercise is also said to be effective. Personally, I find that after extremely long sessions of Hatha asana, progressing from the submissive-asana to the exertive-asana, the Kundalini is quite easy to tap and control.

As has been said of orgasm, 'you'll know if you've had one.' The Kundalini waking and rising is an unmistakable experience. A 'liquid fire,' hot and cold, electric, breathtaking, almost paralyzing! Visualization, awareness, and intent will assist in the proper channeling of the energy; eliminating the frightening aspects which are all too likely to manifest when someone else 'awakens Kundalini' for you.

The power of Kundalini properly channelled will transform simple Darwinistic instincts into a desire for transcendence. Kundalini pierces each of the six main chakras of the body, uniting finally the Siva/Sakthi at the thousand-petalled lotus chakra at the crown of the head, or in the 'aura' above the crown of the head. As she passes through each chakra, she swirls and changes color, taking on the hue of the chakra she has opened.  

Kundalini Yoga can be practiced alone or with a partner. The drawing-up of the sexual energy within one's own body involves creative and vivid visualization, of a purely spiritual, purely erotic, or combined nature. Drawing-up with a partner during the act of love, one must consciously concentrate not only on his/her own Kundalini energy, but on that of the partner as well. This experience leads directly to the destruction of duality; a feeling of Oneness with each other, and with Siva/Sakthi, and the three realms. Without mastering Kundalini, it is impossible for a lover, no matter how aroused or devoted, to penetrate the higher levels of consciousness during sexual union.

Concentrate on the Kundalini, not only when attempting to awaken and channel, but at many times during the day. Visualize the serpent, communicate with her intuitively, attempt to tap her energy via inward communication.

An interesting personal note: I've found that pains in the body are often related to a specific nerve/wheel directly within a certain chakra. This gives valuable clues as to certain blockages within the mind and the body; for instance, pain and discomfort at the lower back region may indicate a problem with sexuality, or with the ability to connect the basic life energy with the energy of sex. Mid-back or stomach pain may indicate an imbalance of one's 'power' or solar energy, etc. Kundalini is a great ally, not only in lovemaking, but in revealing all manner of things to s/he who has called her. Without exception, in my case, pains felt in the spinal region, but not specifically related to back strains, have psychic or emotional roots. Kundalini has often forced me to recognize, and work to overcome, them.

The Chakras have physical (as in nerve bundles) and meta-physical (as in psychic centers) properties. They contain subtle vibrations on a bodily and a mystic level. The Kundalini, as she passes through each Chakra, transforms it, much as the combination of two chemicals produces a change in both from a scientific standpoint. The impulses are transformed from one frequency to another. Kundalini herself is also transformed, becoming easily accessible and in some way, 'mating' with each chakra and the physical and psych-spiritual properties that chakra contains.

The use of drugs can stimulate and awaken the Kundalini; however, as mentioned above, this outside force, wherein one is passive and done-to, rather than do-ing, possesses dangers of improper channelling or allowing the energy to get out of control.

Spontaneous dance, such as Sufi dancing, whirling, and moving the body without particular set 'steps' to the rhythm of deep-based music, such as drums, bass, etc., can stimulate the Kundalini; as can the Orissi, which is an elaborate, learned form of dance performed by Yoginis; the remnants of ancient Indian temple dances.

When the experience of Kundalini is prolonged, it is possible to distill the energy, and store it within a specific chakra. The Kundalini stored in the heart Chakra will empower the emotions and give a feeling of powerful yet peaceful love. Stored in the solar plexus chakra, a feeling of hot, energetic 'male' power is accomplished. In the 'third eye' or forehead chakra, the Kundalini assists one to master non-physical 'seeing,' an element of Siddhi or occult powers. Also, Tantric tradition dictates that a subtle nerve runs from the heart center to both eyes, and that the distilled and captured Kundalini energy can be projected outward through the eyes, awakening the Kundalini of another. However, this type of awakening is not likely to last, unless the person who has been 'directed' pursues the channelling of Kundalini within him/herself. Tantra calls this process 'gazing,' and recognizes four main 'gazes.

'The *overthrowing gaze* is practiced while the breath is exhaled, with the eyes looking upward, toward the forehead or 'third eye.' The *subduing gaze* is practiced during inhalation, with the eyes turned to the left. The *conjuring forth gaze* is practiced upon breath-retention, with the eyes turned toward the right. Finally, the *petrifying gaze* is practiced with the breath steady, relaxed and shallow, the eyes looking straight ahead and straight through at the same time. In the west, such *gazing* is generally practiced by hypnotists and con men!

The gazes can be used, not only to overpower or attract another, but as solitary meditative techniques, moving breath and eyes, and conquering one's mind, rather than that of another. The use of these techniques can also consciously evoke a particular emotion in oneself, for a particular situation. Taoist and Tantric traditions teach that the eyes are directly correlated to the mind. For example, in order to control premature ejaculation, the Yogi is advised to either roll the eyes several times in either direction, or focus them upward, retaining the breath. This controls the ascent of fire from the solar plexus chakra and stabilizes the urge to orgasm.

"The sleeping Kundalini is extremely fine, like the fiber of a lotus stalk. She is the world-bewilderer, gently covering the door to the Central Great Axis. Like the spiral of a conch-shell, her shining serpentine form is coiled around three and one-half times; her luster is as a strong flash of lightning; her sweet murmur like an indistinct hum of swarms of bees. She maintains all beings in this realm by means of the breath, and shines radiantly in the cavity of the sexual region."



This page last updated: 02/27/2018

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