Kundalini Letters, Continued

This post was inspired by questions from Sohumm, who has graciously given his permission for me to share our conversation with you.

° ° ° ° °

Your reply brings a lot of clarity about Pranotthana and Kundalini and it seems that the mulbandha, jajandharabandha and uddiyanbandha are the key players.

They are. A true bandha (lock) occurs only spontaneously, at first and for some time to come, a bandha presents very intensely and dramatically. We are so clearly just the audience and not the performer that any remaining doubts as to our own ability to surrender adequately, are dispelled.

I so hope I’m not pestering you with my questions but I didn’t quite understand your last paragraph — “An awakened kundalini and the ascension of prana-kundalini is noted when events associated with chakras are sequential.”

You know that Kundalini is awake and pulling prana along with Her when your experiences are associated with the characteristics of the chakras in order.

Kundalini has to affect chakras in order because Her route is predetermined by Her passage through the central channel in which the chakras are seated, i.e., She must pierce the second chakra in order to get to the third chakra, and so forth. Meanwhile, prana can stimulate a chakra in any order and completely confuse us. The solution then, is to look at the sequence.

I have received a few indications that my kundalini awakened at Manipura chakra, rather than muladhara chakra, but it has still not moved to Anahata [the fourth chakra at the heart].

Kundalini will always awaken at the first chakra before moving upward. Either you just didn’t notice this because the awakening was gentle, or the awakening was what Swami Kripalu would call “partial”. I would not argue that kundalini does not ‘awaken’ at the third chakra … more fully, as this is a significant chakra also — it’s name, manipura, means Jewel City! However, when kundalini retires from Her job at the end of the day, She goes home to the first chakra.

I’ve written about the reasons why I believe my Kundalini awakened in Manipura in the post – http://sohumm.wordpress.com/2013/11/09/kundalini-experiences-part-4/. and, yes, the Jalandhar bandha and uddiyan bandha happened spontaneously too, along with the outer kumbhaka (predominantly).

The problem is, I left my practice in 2002-2003, when kumbhaka happened for a very long time along with a sinking feeling. After reading swami Sivananda and Satyananda Saraswati, I believe it could have been Kevala Kumbhaka happening…..

This is an excellent post. I hope everyone who is interested in kundalini and yoga will read it.

Kumbhaka occurs in the state of pratyahara. Kevala kumbhaka means “hold only”. In other words, there is nothing moving, there is only suspension — of everything. I described this in our last communication (see Kundalini Letters) but did not use its name.

These things become confusing not because of differences of opinion or experience, but because of the different ways they are spoken of. For instance, what is pratyahara in the Yoga Sutras, is mudra in the Shiva Samhita.

Could you please describe the “sinking feeling”?

…..do these events have any relation to what you meant by – “when events associated with chakras are sequential”? in the last paragraph of your mail?

The sequential nature of kundalini is not always easy to identify. Forward sequential movement rarely indicates that kundalini has finished with previous chakras. If kundalini is at work at the third chakra, She has to have already pierced the first and second chakras in order to reach it, even though they (the first and second chakras) have not yet been completely purified, evolved, and resolved.

The workings of kundalini are not easy to interpret. She is easy to awaken, and very difficult to get up-trended and passing through and evolving each chakra. It is not as simple, or as recognizable, as we would like.

Durga Ma

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5 thoughts on “Kundalini Letters, Continued

  1. “Could you please describe the “sinking feeling”?

    You see deeper states of meditations were like keeping a balance of keeping myself in what I call the ‘void’….in the state where I had no thoughts! not even of whether I was breathing or not! (there was no observer who would observe whether breathing was going on). Since there were no thoughts I couldn’t even know how long I would be in that state. But of course during the duration of my meditation this balance would disrupt many times and I would become conscious of my body or thoughts or breathing etc.. During some of these disruptions I would notice the time period of the suspension of my breath or Kumbhaka….so that’s how I would get an idea of how I was gradually stretching my limits. However, all my focus would still remain on maintaining that balance of remaining in the thoughtless state or the void where there was no thoughts at all…not even noticing or witnessing whether I was breathing or not….I hope I’m not being too vague here…

    Ok, so, during the incident in question, like always, there were a few disruptions in my balance during meditation where I noticed that I was not breathing. This was unusual as it had been going on a very long time (based on the usual duration of my meditation this may have been more than a couple of minutes…) but I didn’t feel suffocated at all which obviously which, although surprising, also started causing a bit of concern. However, still, as soon as a thought of breathing would come, I would immediately remove my attention from breathing and position myself in the thoughtless state!

    Then there was again a disruption in my balance but this time along with noticing the suspension of breathing I noticed another sensation in my ‘consciousness’. You see, I don’t know swimming and I have never drowned too in reality (though I have taken a dip in a river and know that weightless feeling when you are in a river). But I have drowned in one of my dreams and remember how I went down i.e. rather than going straight down I moved in a side to side direction while moving downwards. What I mean by the sinking feeling is that I was feeling weightlessness and actual sensations of my ‘consciousness’ sinking down within my body as if drowning in water (even accompanied by those side to side movements while going down). Now, while sitting in a padmasan, that feeling should have stopped when I had sunk till the base of my spine …but it kept happening….ok, I know I’m sounding too vague here…I’ll try again…

    So, I noticed that I had not been breathing for a very long time (based on the number of disruptions when I noticed my breathing, though I didn’t feel suffocated at all, at any point of time) , there was complete darkness in my closed eyes, and I felt my ‘consciousness’ drowning as if my body was in an endless ocean (complete with that feeling of weightless that you witness in water)! So, the only thoughts in my mind were : “I am not breathing” and “I am sinking”…so, in effect by sinking feeling I meant “sinking in water”….I wonder why I wrote such a long passage then 🙂 (sorry if wasted your time)


  2. “They are. A true bandha (lock) occurs only spontaneously, at first and for some time to come, a bandha presents very intensely and dramatically. We are so clearly just the audience and not the performer that any remaining doubts as to our own ability to surrender adequately, are dispelled.”

    I know exactly what you mean here! This was most evident in the case of Uddiyan bandha where I was clearly the audience not the performer. Not just that, the way Uddiyan bandha happened spontaneously cannot be done voluntarily. I’ll try to explain why. You see, if one tries to force air out of their stomach and squeezes their stomach upwards and inwards towards their spine then that motion or movement is a ‘pushing one’ i.e. pushing the air outside, using your voluntarily/skeletal muscles thereby squeezing the muscles outside (voluntary muscles are in action here). Whereas in my case, it was ‘pulling movement’ or a ‘suction effect’. What I mean to say is that the muscles in abdomen and thorax contracted involuntarily similar to the effect when smooth muscles contract (like what happens in the case of stomach cramps or peristaltic movements of the bowel where you are not doing the contractions voluntarily…they happen on their own and you have no control over their happening). In effect, the process was similar to pulling the handle of a syringe to suck the air out (as if the air was being sucked to a source outside my body)! During Uddiyan bandha, the smooth muscles were operating!…and the action was not painful at all! But I can never do Uddiyan bandha voluntarily the way it happened spontaneously. I wouldn’t even try doing that because the effect would be totally different if I try to do it voluntarily!

    So you are right, during the Uddiyan bandh (particularly) I was completely the audience….not the performer and this was definitely something that had the maximum effect on reinforcing my belief that the spontaneous movements or asanas during meditation were not just random body movements!


    1. Thank you for this information, Sohumm. It is always a pleasure to read your experiences, and a joy to see someone doing sadhana seriously. Now all that is needed is to become more free of worldly duties!
      Durga Ma


  3. Thank you for visiting my blog and thank you for this post. I appreciate the information here. I started kundalini meditations and breathing about a year ago and have felt a mass in my tail bone for most of my life. In my meditations, occasionally I felt movement, but it always returned to the mass at the root chakra. Perhaps it is just not time.

    I’m glad you’re here and blogging. Thank you again.


    1. That’s what kundalini does: return to the basal plexus (root chakra). So maybe it is already working for you. To get far though, you will want to resort to surrender. Otherwise, it can be a hairy ride!
      Durga Ma


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