… a thought making crooked all that is straight.

Posts tagged “Kundalini

Chakras: Sahasrara

Chakras are centres of energy which govern certain zones of the body; they convey energy between dimensions (or planes of existence) and are centres of subtle forces, the generation of prana (energy) and higher consciousness.

Sahasrara is located at the crown of the head or is sometimes considered to be above the physical body. Its lotus contains a thousand petals, of which five represent all the letters of the Sanskrit alphabet.  Through this chakra, universal existence, with no boundaries of “I” consciousness in the body, is realised.

Parambrahma rules this chakra, symbolised by the triangle of consciousness (called Veeja). This centre represents the overcoming of obstacles, and merging into the void, or the supreme light beyond form, an experience beyond description, according to most yogic scriptures and saints.

Meditating here enables one to cross the boundaries of creation, preservation and destruction so you can taste the sweet nectar (amrita) that flows in a constant stream from Sahasrara. One is no longer subjected to birth or death. At this state of awakening, individual identity disappears forever and one identifies with supreme consciousness. Remember that the deathless state does not mean one will never leave the body, but rather that the conscious mind merging with the infinite is achieved as a permanent state which will not be disrupted by the body dying.

Brahma

Chakra Structure

Chakras: Ajna

Chakras: Visuddha

Chakras: Anahata

Chakras: Manipura

Chakras: Svadhisthana

Chakras: Muladhara

Sat Nam

Seshat

Information source: Energies of Transformation, A Guide to the Kundalini Process, by Bonnie Greenwell PhD.

©StarofSeshat 2012

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Chakras: Ajna

Chakras are centres of energy which govern certain zones of the body; they convey energy between dimensions (or planes of existence) and are centres of subtle forces, the generation of prana (energy) and higher consciousness.

Ajna is located between the two eyebrows and is the source of two nervous flows, one through the eyes and the other through the mid-brain.

This chakra governs inner vision and the dynamic activities of will and knowledge. This “third eye” is associated in many cultures with light, inner knowledge, intuition and psychic abilities. Opening this chakra involves the integration of both the intellectual and emotional poles. When Kundalini reaches this chakra, consciousness transforms.

The goddess of Ajna is Hakini Shakti, with six faces and six arms. When she is red this indicates Kundalini knowledge is fully awakened; when white she represents a state of calm; when dark-blue she is about to proceed into a formless state. If seen as a mixture of white, red and black she is demonstrating a blending of the three gunas – sattva (harmonious consciousness), rajas (activity) and tamas (inertia).

Meditation on this chakra is said to bring visions of the highest truth and ultimately the wisdom of the Self, the highest knowledge. It is often referred to as the governing chakra for all of the others, and some yogis recommend concentration only on the ajna, or initially there, before awakening the energies of other chakras. It can affect the development of the qualities inherent in all of the preceding chakras, and enable an aspirant to reach a state of non-dual awareness. Complete mastery of the lower chakras is believed to be only possible once you have acquainted yourself with ajna.

Hakini Shakti – Ajna Chakra

Chakras: Visuddha

Chakras: Anahata

Chakras: Manipura

Chakras: Svadhisthana

Chakras: Muladhara

Sat Nam

Seshat

Information source: Energies of Transformation, A Guide to the Kundalini Process, by Bonnie Greenwell PhD.

©StarofSeshat 2012


Chakras: Visuddha

Chakras are centres of energy which govern certain zones of the body; they convey energy between dimensions (or planes of existence) and are centres of subtle forces, the generation of prana (energy) and higher consciousness.

The Visuddha is located opposite the throat in the neck. The lotus is grey or silver (sometimes a smoky-purple) and has 16 petals. These petals contain seven musical notes, poison and nectar and seven “calls” for the purposes of exorcism, sacrifice, fire ceremonies, self-determination, blessings and exaltations. This suggests the beginning of priestly or occult power.

The chakra is associated with the conquest of the ethereal state of matter and is commonly equated with the expression of creative activity and inspiration, as well as the capacity to receive nurturing, specifically the contact with the inner unlimited source of “grace”.

Energising this chakra may involve devotional practices such as ritual, prayer, chanting,  sound vibration and creative expression.

The god of this chakra is Siva in half-male, half-female form (Adrhanariswara) sitting on a white elephant accompanied by the yellow-coloured goddess Sakini Sakti with four hands. He is master of diverse knowledge; she reigns in the lunar region.

Meditating on this chakra reportedly brings one to the threshold of great liberation.

Visuddha Chakra

Visuddha Chakra

See also

Chakras: Muladhara

Chakras: Svadhisthana

Chakras: Manipura

Chakras: Anahata

Sat Nam

Seshat

Information source: Energies of Transformation, A Guide to the Kundalini Process, by Bonnie Greenwell PhD.


New Age Gematria

Yesterday evening Kundalini yoga was on the study plan. I worked through the introduction to Jung’s Psychology of Kundalini Yoga (based on the seminar he gave in 1932) and took notes. By the time I had finished I was pooped so snuggled in bed with a Kundalini-lite book.

I bought it because I want to learn new positions, new hand mudras (which I love!), mantras, breathwork … well, anything new really. Some of you may remember me talking about it last year, and about some of the really appallingly sugary sound-bites that are sprinkled through the book, and the fact that apparently I should be wearing a turban whenever I do my yoga. Argh!

Last night, maybe because I was tired, I just became aware of all the numbers being thrown at me: pseudo-scientific statistics to give credence to some very dodgy dogma. I wondered if such numerical profligacy was an example of New Age gematria…

  • Women are 16 times stronger than men (oh, just don’t even ask!)
  • We are 15 % slaves to routine
  • 1 negative habit will automatically attract 4 sister habits
  • There are 2 guiding instincts in man – to improve his future or to block improvement of his future
  • There are 4 stages to sleep and a healthy adult only needs 5.5 hours sleep (my arse!)
  • There are 6 steps to prepare for bed (one of which includes running cold water over your feet … like I said, just don’t ask!)
  • And there are 2 things you must do every day – sweat and laugh

I was also slightly baffled at the author’s obsession with people going insane. [More numbers…] In the 1960s, out of twenty million young people [random!!], millions died, were permanently damaged or went insane from using marijuana. Later she says, “demoting” i.e. negative habits will make you a “physical wreck, mentally insane and/or spiritually defunct”. Some of my best friends are mad 🙂 but I do quite like the phrase “spiritually defunct”!

The page that finished me off for the night included advice for women (originally from a man, naturally!):

  • Make-up is evidence you are handicapped
  • Stimulants kill you
  • Do not jump out of bed like a hot potato (perhaps he has been smoking too much of that marijuana, I have never seen potatoes jumping out of bed, hot or otherwise)
  • Wash your hair with oil and yoghurt (nice)
  • And because god does not allow hair to grow on our foreheads, women should not have fringes

When I read such twaddle it makes me feel extremely contrary … in fact, right now I think I will apply full Goth-style make-up, make a strong cup of coffee … I may have trouble growing hair on my forehead … but I shall lounge in bed while jumping out at regular intervals like a hot spud to apply more make-up … It’s a picture, isn’t it? My left-hand path to enlightenment … or is that right-hand? Where’s a potato to ask when you need one…

©StarofSeshat 2009


Chakras: Anahata

Chakras are centres of energy which govern certain zones of the body; they convey energy between dimensions (or planes of existence) and are centres of subtle forces, the generation of prana (energy) and higher consciousness.

The Anahata is located between the two nipples, but sometimes slightly to the right of the sternum rather than directly over the heart.

It is associated with the conquest of the element of air and the sound of cosmic consciousness.

Many spiritual traditions identify Anahata as the primary chakra to be awakened in order to experience spiritual enlightenment: this is the place where upper and lower levels of consciousness energy merge, symbolised by two intersecting triangles. It also links the left and right sides of the body, Yin and Yang characteristics. These two interlinking forms create a cross which symbolically represents integration of these polarities.

Isha is the god of this chakra, seated on a black antelope or gazelle, a symbol of swiftness and air. Isha is endowed with complete yogic power, is omniscient  and omnipresent. He is white symbolising purity. He has three eyes, the third representing samadhi knowledge (right concentration). Meditation on his form banishes fear and strengthens concentration.

The lightning-coloured goddess Kakini Sakti, also with three eyes, is depicted in yellow holding a noose and a skull.  Concentration on her stabilises prana and removes all obstacles to Isha. When Kakini is red, it indicates that her power is being used to control pranic energy; when she is white, she is Isha-consciousness.

Anahata is the 12 petalled vermilion coloured lotus, representing: expectation, anxiety, endeavour, attachment, hypocrisy, infirmity, egoism, discretion, covetousness, fraudulence, indecision and regret. Meditation on this chakra releases attachment to all things the “heart” desires; by withdrawing the senses from worldly things. One is thus able to connect with the experience of bliss. Desires, attachments, expectations and emotions of the heart shut off the natural flow of bliss once it has awakened, and the emotional ups and downs which often accompany the experience of kundalini awakening may be related to the issues of this chakra.

This chakra has been associated with arthritis and respiratory problems as well as cardiovascular and hypertensive illnesses.

Balance in this chakra is manifested through the qualities of compassion, acceptance and unconditional love; imbalance is indicated by insensitivity, passivity and sorrow.

Anahata Chakra

Anahata Chakra

See also

Chakras: Muladhara

Chakras: Svadhisthana

Chakras: Manipura

Sat Nam

Seshat

Information source: Energies of Transformation, A Guide to the Kundalini Process, by Bonnie Greenwell PhD.


Chakras: Manipura

Chakras are centres of energy which govern certain zones of the body; they convey energy between dimensions (or planes of existence) and are centres of subtle forces, the generation of prana (energy) and higher consciousness.

The Manipura is located above the Svadhisthana opposite the navel.

This chakra is associated with Rudra, a god who represents the destructive principle of the universe (the world of mind). He grants favours and generates fear. The goddess associated with Manipura is Lakini Sakti. She is clothed in yellow and is described as loving the flesh of animals, having a breast covered with blood and fat dripping from her mouth.

The animal symbol is the ram, a sacrificial animal, implying the need to sacrifice passions and other strong emotions. It controls the element of heat and governs the digestive system. It rules the abdominal organs, especially the functioning of stomach, liver and large intestine. It is related to the nervous system above the lumbar region. Meditating on this chakra, in particular on the colour red within it, can help cure abdominal disease.

This chakra is the ten petalled lotus representing: shame, treachery, jealousy, desire, drowsiness, despondency, worldliness, delusion, aversion and fear. Concentration on this chakra engenders a sense of stability and centredness in the being, where the above qualities are acknowledged, mastered and transcended.

Manipura chakra - Lakini

Manipura chakra - Lakini

See also

Chakras: Muladhara

Chakras: Svadhisthana

Sat Nam

Seshat

Information source: Energies of Transformation, A Guide to the Kundalini Process, by Bonnie Greenwell PhD.


Chakras: Svadhisthana

Chakras are centres of energy which govern certain zones of the body; they convey energy between dimensions (or planes of existence) and are centres of subtle forces, the generation of prana (energy) and higher consciousness.

The Svadhistana is located above the Muladhara, at the base of the genital organ or in the centre of the lumbar region.

This chakra is associated with water, symbolised by a half moon and the god Vishnu, sustaining principle of the universe. It is usually red, sometimes white.

It is governed by the goddess Rakini Shakti (or Sakti); she is dark blue, with three red eyes, a bleeding nostril and four arms. She holds a trident, lotus, drum and chisel.

The animal symbol of Svadhistana is a green sea-monster, similar to a crocodile, representing dominion over the sea and hence the unconscious.

It has six petals representing the mental conditions of: neglect, insensitivity, credulity, suspicion, destructiveness and cruelty, as well as frustration, attachment and anxiety. Physically it governs the large intestines, rectum, kidney, bladder, sexual organ and testes. Imbalance in this chakra can be the cause of sexual problems, diabetes, kidney and bladder problems.

Meditation on this chakra will bring mastery of the elements, and relieve a person of egotistic feelings, petty impulses and desires. It helps to develop the qualities of equanimity and placidity of mind, as well as self-confidence and well-being.

Svadhisthana chakra - Rakini

Svadhisthana chakra - Rakini

See also Chakras: Muladhara

Sat Nam

Seshat

Information source: Energies of Transformation, A Guide to the Kundalini Process, by Bonnie Greenwell PhD.


Chakras: Muladhara

Chakras are centres of energy which govern certain zones of the body; they convey energy between dimensions (or planes of existence) and are centres of subtle forces, the generation of prana (energy) and higher consciousness.

The Muladhara is located at the bottom of the backbone between the anus and the testicles or cervix. It is identified with the four-petalled lotus, representing: supreme happiness, innate bliss, the bliss of union and the bliss of bravery, strength or power. It is said to reflect the crown chakra which is why it also conveys an element of bliss.

The Muladhara is associated with Brahman, the creative principle of the universe. It holds the body in its physical form and hence in creation. It is the foundation and support of the chakra system. When functioning correctly, it is associated with security and self-preservation, the element of earth, the colours of orange-red and the sense of smell.

It is symbolised by an elephant with a black stripe around its neck, representing the earthly qualities of strength, firmness, balance and support. Its mandala symbol is a yellow square contained within a circle, and within the square is a blood red triangle expressing sexual excitement.

The Muladhara influences  the rectum, kidneys, accumulation of sperm and the sexual organs, as well as bones, skin, flesh, nerves and hair.

Anger, lust and greed are controlled by meditating on the Muladhara. Grief and depression are signs of this chakra’s imbalance. Meditation on Muladhara also controls attachment to luxury, deception, pride, envy, selfishness. Release of energy in this chakra is often explosive and can lead to feelings of irritability, psychological instability, erratic sleeping patterns, or extreme passion, being overly talkative and easily enraged.

The goddess of this chakra is Dakini Shakti (or Sakti) – the energy of creation. And the kundalini energy is said to lie coiled three times around Muladhara.

dakiniDakini Shakti

See also: Chakras: Svadhisthana

Sat Nam

Seshat

Information source: Energies of Transformation, A Guide to the Kundalini Process, by Bonnie Greenwell PhD.


Introduction to Kundalini Yoga

Yoga is essentially an Indian tradition that can be traced back to the third millennium BCE. Tantrism is a religious and philosophical movement that came about from the fourth century BCE. Tantrism differed from other Hindu and Buddhist teachings in that it represented an anti-ascetic countercurrent to the mainstream. It rejected the caste system and reassessed established values. Tantrism is a celebration of the body which is viewed as the microcosm of the universe. According to Eliade (Yoga, Immortality and Freedom) “for the first time in the spiritual history of Aryan India, the Great Goddess acquires a predominant position … We also recognize a sort of religious rediscovery of the mystery of woman.” Tantrism insists on the holiness and purity of all things, so the “five forbidden things” of Indian philosophy were integral to tantric rites: wine, meat, fish, parched grain and sexual intercourse. In so-called “right-handed” schools these are used symbolically in rituals; in the “left-handed” schools they are used literally. Naturally the West with its prurient attitude to sex has leapt astride this idea and imagines sexual acrobatics and pornographic orgies. In spite of Tantra gaining interest in the 1960s on the wave of sexual liberation, it is not used for the liberation of sexuality per se, but for liberation from the cycle of rebirth.
Tantric yoga, also know as Kundalini yoga, presented something new to the West: a technique for the development of higher consciousness. According to tantric philosophy, the body is made up of a series of chakras linked by channels. This is meant less as a literal description of the physical body, than as an idealisation of the subtle body to guide the yogin’s contemplation. In conformity with the tantric idea that the body is the microcosm of the universe, physical aspects such as the sun, moon, mountains were connected with the chakras, which then were to represent these subtle elements. Deities reside within the body and the spiritual student must connect with this deity within. The Kundalini power itself is represented in the form of a serpent coiled around the spine. Kundalini is the primordial energy or Shakti. The aim is to awaken Kundalini through ritual practices and enable her ascent through the chakra system. Blissful union follows the ascent and far-reaching transformation of the personality.

Bibliography:
The Psychology of Kundalini Yoga, Notes of the Seminar Given in 1932 by C.G. Jung, Edited by Sonu Shamdasani.
© starofseshat 2008


The demonic in me

In Arthur Versluis’ The Philosophy of Magic he writes:

 

“There is one aspect of invocation that must be reiterated: the difference between expulsion of the demonic and invocation of the daimonic… the invocation of devic or celestial influences implies the expulsion of the lower, bestial or demonic creatures which ordinarily inhabit the mind of man – the demons of desire and hatred… Each time we manifest desire or aversion, we are bringing to life, signing a pact with, one of the demons of ego.

The reason the true magus – in the vernacular – ‘consorts with demons’ is to expulse those inner forms of ego. Every instant, every day that one lives without having expulsed those demons is a day lived in a tacit pact with them…For these reasons, the popular image of the magician as one who ‘consorts with demons’ is at once ironic … and accurate…”

This passage struck a chord with me, not least because it was a topic I was discussing with a friend not too long ago. He said that anything in your life which controls you instead of you controlling it, is demonic and calls for some kind of exorcism. That in itself resonated as I feel that I am undergoing an exorcism of my past at the moment which is freeing me physically and mentally. I know a couple of people who have confided in me that they are scared of their own alcohol intake that it is potentially problematic and yet they do nothing to change the situation – this could be classed (according to the above definition) as a form of demonic possession. Compulsive eating is demonic as the sufferer of this condition is most definitely under the control of the disorder, not the other way around. The uniting thread seems to be compulsion, a forcing of our will away from the middle path, often away from what we know is good for us: a compulsion to self-harm through excessive food, excessive alcohol, dangerous relationships or >insert your chosen ‘sin’ here<. Although I know that some people may get their knickers in a twist about me suggesting even indirectly that their ‘weaknesses’ are demonic and they are in need of an exorcism, I hope that they can overcome the knee-jerk response (which may indeed be the inner demon recoiling at being uncovered!) and consider the concept. I find the idea of almost personalizing the compulsions within very interesting. We can often recognise the compulsion, the end-product as it were, but not know the origins which is why we throw ourselves into therapy or compulsive repetition of our errors – so easily one demon can become legion within us if we don’t deal with the original intruder; after all, once demon number one has settled into the comfort of an entrenched ego, why wouldn’t he send out a general invite to his mates?
Yes, I am being flippant, but the concept still holds and it is helping me compartmentalise a mess of feelings inside me. So once the demon is identified, the question is, what to do? I think that is a personal decision, and I would not give a generalised answer to that when someone may take it as law and run with the idea right over a cliff (metaphorically speaking … although isn’t that what Jesus did with the devil whose name was ‘Legion’?). I am still pondering the nature of my demons, and bizarrely the thought of them doesn’t scare me. Colin Wilson wrote a fantastically interesting novel called The Mind Parasites – creatures that have colonised the minds of all men [sic] and who control the fate of mankind by remaining hidden in the depths of the unconscious. After reading that book you never look at the dark, quiet corners of your own mind in the same way again! But where as these parasites frightened me, the concept of the demonic doesn’t. I am keen to know them, because once known, once I have their name, I will be able to oust them from my being and I find that a very positive thought; just as once I admitted that my illness was psychosomatic, rather than clasping a sweaty hand to my forehead and curling up in victim mode at the wasted years and torments of my own mind (!) I felt hugely rejuvenated and empowered. Real chronic physical ailments are sometimes manageable but never curable. By admitting the potential psychosomatic origins of my illness, I have unleashed a flood of energy and uncovered some dark corners with the light optimism: if it is in my mind, then I can conquer it and be well. If the compulsions are demonic, I can know them and expel them. Of this I have no doubt.

The other aspect to this concept is that ego and habit energy is the resting place and breeding ground for such demonic energies. So logically, a two-pronged attack both on ‘knowing your demons’ and on breaking down ego and habit energy would be the most successful. I feel that the last month when I was riding on an artificial high (as genuine as it felt at the time, it was un-real), I was actually surfacing the wave of my ego. It felt good, it felt great, if felt compulsively, addictively wonderful – like too much chocolate, too much coffee, too much sex. And ultimately it was ‘too much’ of everything, it took me away from the middle path and I lost myself in ‘feeling’. I brought a lot back from the journey – there are things I learned – but it showed me once again how deceptive the path of ego can be. We think we are being true to ourselves, when actually we are living a fantasy.

So there are a few essentials for me that come from the concept of the demonic: as Dion Fortune indicates in her book Psychic Self-Defence, the greatest protection is being very grounded in this life, being grounded enough to give a belly laugh at a good film. I am finding my Kundalini yoga supremely grounding; it is what broke the cycle of flying high-higher-highest and brought me gently back to earth. I am now incorporating a minimum of two meditation sessions a day, where I can tune back into myself and check how far I have strayed off the Beauty Path. And this new moon I shall be beginning some ritual work to face my demons. I have Sobek to my left and Anubis to my right, and I am more than ready to stare into the mouth of Apophis. May Osiris bless me and my path. It’s time to know the demons, and really know my Self.

© starofseshat 2008