Kundalini Shakti in the West: By Dr. Harsh K. Luthar

Kundalini Yoga in the West


The notion of Kundalini Shakti is at the heart of yoga and is embedded in virtually all Eastern traditions regardless of the name or label that is given. If we carefully examine any school of yoga, tantra, or various traditions (Shakti, Shaivite, Kashmiri Shaivism), there will usually be some descriptions of Hatha Yoga, Pranayama, Kriyas, Mudras, Mantras, and different types of meditations on the Chakras (energy centers).

In the Shakti traditions, detailed descriptions are given of the various aspects of the visions of the Goddess that arise in meditation. Even in the school of Advaita Vedanta, which does not depend on the practices associated with Shakti Yoga, we see that the great scholar/saint Adi Shankracharya has written hymns to the Goddess who represents Shakti, the divine power.

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The Gospel of Jesus Decoded: Christ and Kundalini, Part 1 by Michael Bowes

Although it is referred to in many different ways the Kundalini Shakti plays a key role in all spiritual traditions.  The principles are the same, the effects are the same; but the words and symbols used to express Kundalini differ.  In the Judeo/Christian tradition Kundalini is known as the Holy Spirit, Living Water, Christ, the Anointing, the Word and by other terms as well.

But before exploring the details of Kundalini in the Judeo/Christian scriptures, I would like to introduce the subject by examining the authentic and original message of Jesus.  Continue reading

Kundalini Shakti and Enlightenment: By Dr. Harsh K. Luthar

Dear Friends:

Over the last three decades, I have seen the words Kundalini and Chakras (Energy Centers) become popular and enter the mainstream of conversations about spirituality. There is much hype surrounding these concepts and often people without much experience pose as experts and masters. If one can find a genuine teacher and the pure teaching, it helps a lot. Continue reading

Maya, Heart, Self and Nondualism: By Pieter Schoonheim Samara

The Self, Maya, and the Heart: The Fundamentals of Non-Dualism

Maya Samara

November 28, 1993

Maya mirrored (or reflecting on itself) = ayam or “I AM”

“Who is in my temple?

Who is in my temple?

All the doors open themselves.

All the lights light themselves.

Darkness like a dark bird

Flies away, Oh flies away.”


The concepts of the Self, Maya, and the Heart are the central themes or tenets of the Katha Upanishad and the Bhagavad Gita. Out of these and similar books (or scriptures) comes the philosophy of non-dualism or Vedanta.

Part I: Considering the concepts of Self, Maya, and Heart, as viewed from the sages

The Self:

According to the ancient sages of India, the Self is neither the body, thoughts, feelings, nor intellect, but rather all pervasive Being/Consciousness manifesting as the Heart in all beings, from which emanates the awareness of “I” and Knowledge of the Self, which includes the realization that all knowledge is in and from the subject-“I”, the seer, not the object.

“The individual self, which is Brahman mistakenly identified with Maya, experiences the gunas* which proceed from Maya. He, who has experienced Brahman directly and known it to be other than Maya and the gunas, will not be reborn, no matter how he has lived his life.” Bhagavad Gita, p. 103

“That in which the sun rises and in which it sets, that which is the source of all the powers of nature and of the senses, that which nothing can transcend – that is the immortal Self”

Katha Upanishad, p. 21

“The Self-Existent made the senses turn outward. Accordingly, man looks toward what is without, and sees not what is within. Rare is he, longing for immortality, shuts his eyes to what is without and beholds the Self.” Katha Upanishad, p. 20

Maya is the self-existent beginningless power of Brahman, the Self, which makes us imagine that the sense of “I” felt in the body and the related thoughts and feelings are the Self. In the Bhagavad Gita (P. 59), this imagining or delusion is stated like a dream:

“You dream you are the doer

You dream the action bears fruit

It is your ignorance

It is the world’s delusion

That gives you those dreams.”

“Every action is really performed by the gunas*. Man deluded by his egoism thinks ‘I am the doer.’ But he who has the true insight into the operations of the gunas and their various functions, knows that when the senses attach themselves to objects, gunas are merely attaching themselves to gunas, knowing this he does not become attached to his actions.” Bhagavad Gita, p. 47

“Maya” – The deluding potency of the Self

What I was able to grasp from this is that, as long as the mind is turned outward, the Self, which is all pervasive, is sensed only as an “I”-awareness in and limited to the body with its thoughts and impressions revolving continuously around a perceived and separate world. But when the mind is purified or made to enquire where the source of seeing, which is to say, the subject “I”, arises from, then the mind reflects the Self. The moment the Self is reflected in the mind at once the idea of subject-object and knowledge vanishes like a mirage. This vanishing is why the perceived world, the “I am the body” idea or “I am the doer” is called Maya, because the sense of being a doer in the world is apparently real to the outgoing mind, but when the Real Light of the mind is realized, the use of the mind has no more value, just as the use of the moon seen in the daylight sky of the risen sun, is of no value.

* gunas: The three gunas are: Sattva – purity; rajas – action; tamas – sloth or dullness

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Again, as long as the mind is outward bent, the individual soul takes itself for the body/mind and accumulates impressions about itself in relation to a perceived and separate world. The mind then tries to coordinate and correlate all it sees into a cohesive composite of impressions it holds to be its identity. At a certain point, though, it begins to become apparent that knowing, comprehension, understanding, or knowledge about one’s world, be it within one’s mind or apparently outside, is coming from within and is not separate, as one is otherwise conditioned to believe. This insight into how we actually know or perceive leads to the conclusion that the impressions we’ve made of the world are actually each individual’s projected idea about it, and not one universally accepted truth. The question arises, “Can these changing thoughts, impressions be all there is, all that I am, all that the world is?” The sages of the Upanishads are asked this question by those seeking permanence in their otherwise “transient” lives.

“To many it is not given to hear of the Self. Many, though they hear it, do not understand it. Wonderful is he who speaks of it. Intelligent is he who learns of it. Blessed is he, who taught by a good teacher is able to understand it” Katha Upanishad, p. 17

“Veiled in my Maya, I am not shown to many. How shall this world bewildered by delusion recognize me, who am not born and change not.” Bhagavad Gita, p. 73

“The Heart” – Hridayam

The Heart is the Self. The sages of the Upanishads, the Bhagavad Gita, and several other Gitas I found all refer constantly to the identity of the Heart and its location with the all pervading Self.

Significantly, the location of the Heart is intuited or inferred by everyone, as it is the very place we all point to when we say “I”. The realization of the Self in or as the Heart is said to sever the relationship between the Self and the out going mind forever, such that the relationship between the “I” and the thoughts and actions of the body are realized never to have been. At once, attention to the waking state of consciousness ceases, and the enquirer remains egoless, abiding in and as the Heart, observing impartially all states of consciousness as one emanation, as stated below:

“The ancient, effulgent being, the indwelling spirit, subtle, deep-hidden in the lotus of the Heart, is hard to know. But the wise man following the path of meditation, knows him and is freed alike from pleasures and pain.” Katha Upanishad, p. 17-18

“Smaller than the smallest, greater than the greatest, this Self forever dwells within the hearts of all.” Katha Upanishad, p. 18

“I am the Atman (Self) that dwells in the heart of every mortal creature. I am the beginning, the life span, and the end of all.” (Krishna to Arjuna)

Bhagavad Gita, p. 88

“The devoted dwell with Him

They know Him always

There in the Heart

Where action is not” Bhagavad Gita, p.59

“Both the individual self and the Universal Self have entered in the cave of the heart, the abode of the Most High, but the knowers of Brahman and the householders who perform the fire sacrifices see a difference between them, as between sunshine and shadow.”

Katha Upanishad, p. 19

“That being, who is the power of all powers and is born as such, who embodies himself in the elements and in them exists, and who has entered the lotus of the heart, is the immortal Self.” Katha Upanishad, p. 21

“That being, of the size of a thumb, dwells deep within the heart. He is the lord of time, past and future. Having attained him, one fears no more. He, verily, is the immortal Self.”

Katha Upanishad, p. 21

“Radiating from the lotus of the heart, there are a hundred and one nerves. One of these ascends towards the thousand petalled lotus in the brain.”

Katha Upanishad, p. 24

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These quotes state that the all pervading Self, as Brahman, is situated in the Heart, and from there light the body and the mind. To gain some clarification about the relationship between the Heart, the Self, and Maya, I’ve also quoted from the Sri Ramana Gita, which focuses on jnana or enquiry into the Self. (As an analogy, the Heart is to the body like the singularity of a Black Hole in the Universe. It represents the substratum, ground or basis behind all appearances.)

“The ‘I’-thought is said to be the root of all thoughts. In brief, that from which the ‘I’-thought” springs forth is the heart. (verse 3)

“The heart is different from the blood circulating organ. ‘Hridayam‘ stands for Hird ‘the center which sucks in everything’, and ayam, ‘this’, and it thus stands for the Self. (v 5)

The location of the Heart is on the right side of the chest, not at all on the left. The light (of awareness) flows from the heart through the sushumna (para nadi*) to Sahasrara (thousand petalled lotus in the brain). (verse 6)

“From there it flows to the entire body, and then all experiences of the world arise. Viewing them as different from the Light, one gets caught up in samsara. (verse 7)

“The Sahasrara of one who abides in the Self is nothing but pure Light. Any thought that approaches it cannot survive. (verse 8)

“The universe is nothing but the mind, and the mind is nothing but the heart. Thus, the entire story of the universe culminates in the heart. (verse 12)

“The notion that the seer is different from the seen is only in the mind. For those that abide in the Heart, the seer and the seen are one. (verse 19)

Sri Ramana Gita, Ch V, p. 26-27

It becomes apparent from reading all these Gitas that they all state that it is only due to lack of enquiry into the nature of the “I”-sense in the body and mind that the True identity of one’s self as the Self, with the all pervading, causeless, Brahman is not realizes. Once this enquiry is made the (para nadi) nerve referred to in the above quote from the Katha Upanishad, begins to resonate or pulsate “I as I” or “I, I, I, I, …” versus the constant grasping of attention to “I-this”, “I-that”, and so forth with each rising thought.

To paraphrase, when the sense of “I” becomes localized through single enquiry, the nerve referred to begins to radiate incandescently, and the whole body is outshined in a blaze of living Light, having no more separation from the all pervasive Brahman. (This is similar to matter that blazes when sucked into a Black Hole.)

In the chapter concerning the vision of God in His Universal Form, Krishna tells Arjuna, after revealing to him essentially what He, as the Self of all, Witnesses, states:

“Neither by study of the scriptures, nor by austerities, nor by alms giving, can I be seen….

But by single minded and intense devotion, that Form of Mine may be completely known, and seen, and entered into…”

Bhagavad Gita, p. 97

Krishna further states concerning the various methods of devotion that:

“Certainly, all these are noble: But the man of discrimination [between Self and not self*], I see as my very Self. For he alone loves me because I am Myself: The last and only goal of his devoted heart.” Bhagavad Gita, p. 72 [*my italics]

In the Sri Ramana Gita the points regarding this subject – the knot between the Self and the body/mind, and their final break were made in the most concisely to the point manner, as follows:

“The nexus of the body and the Self is called the granthi (knot). It is only by this connection with the Self that one is aware of the body. (verse 3)

“This body is insentient. The Self is pure awareness. The connection between the two is deduced through intellect. (verse 4)

“Enveloped by the defused light of pure awareness, the body functions. Owing to non-apprehension (of the world) in sleep, (swoon) and so on, the location of the Self has to be inferred. (verse 5)

“Even as the subtle forces like the electric current pass through visible wires, the light of awareness flows through a nadi (nerve) in the body. (verse 6)

“The effulgent light of pure awareness, taking hold of a center, lights up the entire body as the Sun illumines the world. (verse 7)

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“Owing to the diffusion of light in the body, one has experiences in the body. That center of radiation, the sages say, is the Heart. verse 8

“From the play of the forces in the body, one infers the flow of the light of awareness. The forces course through the body, each hugging their own special nadi. (verse 9)

“The particular nadi through which pure awareness flows is called sushumna*. It is also called atma nadi, para nadi, and amrita nadi. (verse 10) [*between the Heart and the brain]

“As the light pervades the entire body, one gets attached to the body, mistakes the body for the Self and regards the world as different from oneself. (verse 11)

“When the discerning one renounces attachment and the identification of himself with the body and pursues one-pointed enquiry, a churning starts in the nadis. (verse 12)

“With this churning of the nadis, the Self gets separated from the other nadis and, clinging to one nadi alone, shines forth.

“When the effulgent light of awareness shines in atma nadi alone, nothing else shines except the Self. (verse 14)

“He for whom the Atman (Self) alone shines within, without, and everywhere, as (clearly as) objects to the ignorant, is called one who has cut the nexus. (verse 16)

“When the light, withdrawn from all other nadis, dwells in one nadi alone, the bond (between awareness and the body) is sundered and the light abides as the Self. verse. 18

“Since such a one has no sense of doership, his karma, it is said, is completely destroyed. As nothing but the Self exists, no doubts arise for him. (verse 21)

“Once the knot is cut, one is never bound again. This is considered the state of power and peace supreme.” (verse 22)

Sri Ramana Gita, Ch:IX, p. 49-55

Another well known Gita is the Avadhut Gita, the only known work of the Rishi Dattatreya, who lived sometime after Krishna. Avadhut means high Renunciate or Perfected Man. To get an idea of the state of one who ever abides as his Self, with no awareness of the body, I’ve included a couple of stanzas of this Gita here, as well:

“Atman is not the Knower, Nor is It the known. It is not accessible to inference. Words cannot describe This Consciousness Absolute. The mind is lost in Its majesty. How can it be explained to thee? Space-like immortality-giving knowledge am I. (verse 11)

“I am the eternal principle. Free from attachment and aversion, free from imperfections am I, Fate and providence exist not in me. Eternally free from the sufferings of the world, Verily, space-like immortality-giving Knowledge am I. (verse 13)

“Maya is not my modification. Nor is its glamour mine. Deceit, hypocrisy, truth and untruth Have no place in me. Space-like, immortality-giving knowledge am I.” verse 18

Avadhut Gita, Ch III, p 25-27

The following are extracts from the Yoga Vashishta Sara, a condensed version of the Yoga Vashishta, the spiritual instructions of Vashishta to Rama, very similar to Krishna’s instructions to Arjuna, which also helps to get a feeling for the meaning of non-dualism:

“Nothing whatsoever is born or dies anywhere at any time. It is Brahman alone appearing illusorily in the form of the world.” Ch I: 23

“The Self is more extensive than space; it is pure, subtle, un-decaying, and auspicious. As such how could it be born and how can it die?” Ch I: 24

“O Rama, there is no intellect, no nescience, no mind and no individual soul (jiva). They are all imagined in Brahman.” Ch III: 25

“O Rama, the mind has by its own activity bound itself; when it is calm it is free.” Ch III 27

“O Rama, this enquiry into the Self of the nature “Who am I?’ is the fire which burns up the seeds of the evil tree which is the mind.” Ch V: 1

“How wonderful that in me, the infinite ocean of Consciousness, waves of jivas (individual souls) rise, sport for a while, and disappear according to their nature.” Ch VI: 8

“Knowledge is not separate from you and that which is known is not separate from knowledge. Hence there is nothing other than the Self, nothing separate (from it).” ChVIII:6

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Part II: Setting aside preconceptions and basic Western assumptions about the world

In order to be able to have some idea of what the concepts of Self, Maya, and Heart mean in relation to the philosophy of non-dualism, I’ve had to set aside several central preconceptions or basic views about life, myself and the world.

In the West we are brought up to believe, as Descartes, after locking himself in a secluded mountain chalet for two weeks, that “I think, therefore I am.” This is to say that who I am completely depends upon my thoughts in relation to my body and the impressions I make about it in relation to each specific thing (or person) in a separate world. In other words in the West, the conditioning from birth is that “I am this body and the mind’s thoughts, etc.”

This means that I am conditioned to accept my self as always viewing the world in terms of judging, comparing, categorizing, separating, distinguishing, organizing everything as something separate from me. The whole way of thinking and perceiving in the West is one of collecting empirical data, so to speak, and analyzing it in relation to other things.

Thus, the whole idea of analyzing the analyzer, seeing the seer, hearing the hearer, or simply to put aside one’s identity and attention to thoughts and things and abiding as the part that sees, in order to “enter into” a perspective that has no basis in thought related identity, seemed like an impossible task. It was a task that required believing such a view possible, that others had realized it, and to somehow discard all the “truths” or impressions I was brought up to take for granted, in order to suddenly discover that there is another point of view, which in itself may be even more valid than the one I had accepted without question before.

In the West, we have taken Descartes’ idea to its fullest extent, as the basis for all scientific study, intellectual thought, even religious belief, where everything is considered and examined as being “apart”. We take “dualism” as being obvious. Even analysis of the mind is done by considering the thought content, the emotions, the behavior, each to be categorized, codified, classified and so on. In fact, the inner mind to the Western mind is still what the non-dualist calls the out going mind. Even the Western Mystics and New Age spiritualists are categorizing planes and stages and levels of consciousness, which to the non-dualist are all experiences of the out going mind, having no relation to the Reality they try to convey. In their Reality, all this perceived world of inner thoughts, feelings and impressions and outer sensory experiences is only “Maya”, a mirage, non-existent, like a reflection in a diamond. The diamond represents the ever present rock solid reality, unchanging, while the images, however real they may feel, because of their superimposition on the jewel are only that, images.

Thus, when I am forced to consider a whole new “way” (Tao) of perceiving, requiring the consideration of an “I” without a ‘me’ or ‘mine’, I find myself experiencing a pause, a space, as it were, between thoughts. The idea that one might be able to think and act with no sense of being the thinker, the actor, the doer – that one could simply abide as impartial egoless Being, free of thought, was a completely revolutionary idea. That all action occurs by itself perfectly, required, and still requires a sense of radical turnabout in all my preconceptions.

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Part III: The Philosophy of Non-Dualism

Dualism supposes that there is a subject-“I” and an object, the individual self versus the world, man versus God, a thinker versus the thoughts he thinks, and so on. But in the philosophy of non-dualism, these are all only concepts, ideas, or imaginings, which we hold to be real, only because of attention to them as they arise in the waking consciousness. According to the philosophy of non-dualism, as soon as the Self is enquired into, these “ideas” of a separate self just vanish. The ideas of a conscious mind, subconscious mind, unconscious mind, even superconscious mind to one who has enquired into the Self, are only that, ideas (concepts-images-impressions), having no real existence, apart from attention to them in the waking state. The idea of a waking state, dream state, and deep sleep, even the idea of a fourth state beyond, impartially “Witnessing” those three, again, to the non-dualist, are only concepts or ideas of the waking mind with its need for a fixated attention, or need to identify and organize itself around some idea, to establish an identity.

The non-dualist will state that this is the nature of the outgoing mind, but that when this mind is stilled, purified, and made to enquire of its source, the Self shines forth, the True Man emerges, these ideas become ruthlessly disregarded within oneself, and one remains abiding as Self only.

When someone asks how this can be, that the entire world and all one sees and believes about it are just a fiction of the mind, the non-dualist gives the following comparison:

To paraphrase p. 5-7 of Jewel Garland of Enquiry (Vichara Mani Malai), the non-dualist will say that just as in a dream one finds one’s self to be the subject of one’s dream thinking about and relating to all sorts of persons and events over what may seem to be a long period of time, but in reality, both the subject and the objectified world one sees have all been created by the mind in the dream, so too this waking world is all a projection of the Self. The non-dualist states that we seem to believe that we are a subject seeing a world and making impressions and reactions to what we think we are seeing only due to non-enquiry into that Self. Therefore, he states, as soon as we enquire into the Self, the subject-“I”, we take ourselves to be, with all its dilemmas, and the objectified world we project our relationship with, will all just vanish, like the dream, and we remain abiding as Self only, impartially witnessing all the states and planes and levels of consciousness, unattached, unconditioned.

There seem to be 2 paths, both which lead to one path:

One path one might call a path of purification of the mind, a path of the separate soul seeking Union with its Creator. As an outset this would involve a focus on virtuous acts, involving giving, caring, and unconditioned love, with an attitude that avoids selfishly motivated acts, or acts, where one is seeking reward or advantage, as found in greed, lust or hate. This is called Karma Yoga.

These virtuous acts then lead to a giving up of desires, giving way to a sense of longing for the feeling of stillness and purity of the mind, a sense of surrender to that feeling of totally placid, thoughtlessly alert brightness, which many may call the Spirit of God, a state absolutely free from all thought. With this is said to come a feeling of neither an inside nor an outside regarding the body, of beauty/perfection- beatitude. This is called Bhakti Yoga.

The mind becomes so still or pure that when one goes to sleep, the body is seen to go to sleep, and one remains a still witness. Apparently, this purity leads to one becoming awake at, what the Western world would call, the subconscious or unconscious states. The non-dualists also have a name for this – jagat-sushupti, which means waking-sleep, or one who is awake in or to his unconscious all the time, asleep or awake. They see the world within a field of pervasive consciousness from the perspective of the atoms that form it.

Yogis approach this purification similarly, but adding various physical and mental forms of purification, such as cleaning out their intestines, stomach, and nasal passages with water and special exercises, fasting and strict vegetarian diet controls, certain postures – called asanas, postures with movement combined with breathing – called kryias, exercises in concentrating the mind – called meditation, and various types of breathing regulation – called Pranayama.

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The idea is that with breath regulation, combined with a focus on certain nerves in the spine, gradually there will come a profound stillness leading to deeper states of awareness of the unconscious mind. This process is said to have its physiological equivalent of a bio-energy (prana) withdrawing from the outer nerves to the central nerve of the spine, the yogis call sushumna, and entering at its base rising through the spinal cord, uniting the individual soul with higher planes of consciousness, until the highest state in the “thousand petalled lotus” or Sahasrara in the brain is reached, and the soul experiences the Light of a million suns. The yogis say this is Liberation.

The other approach is called the Path of Self Knowledge of the Jnani. The Jnani says that all the planes of consciousness are always already lit by the Self only. He will say that the Self is always realized, but for the idea that it is not. He will state that while some purification of the mind is necessary to bring about stillness, once the Self, which is ever awake, is enquired into, all planes of consciousness vanish like a mirage, and only Self is seen. The nerve here referred to is not the sushumna, which rises from the base of the spine to the top of the head, but the para nadi (amrita nadi) rising from the Heart to the top of the head. This para nadi, jnani’s say, is an extension of the sushumna, which yogis will eventually enter to realize the Heart, when the question dawns, “Who experiences?”

The vision of the Jnani, when the Heart knot is cut, is of a light in the nerve between the Heart (Hridayam) and the crown of the brain (Sahasrara), and that these two radiate, while a flame is seen rising through the spine and through the top of the head. He sees the world, but there is no sense of someone looking or giving attention to it. He observes without attention or interest the thoughts rising up from of the Heart, appearing in the waking consciousness, like bubbles rising from the depths of the ocean appearing on its surface. He sees the world, as the Totality of Existence, neither inside or outside, yet apart from his Self. There is no longer a sense of doer, person, or “I” localized in the body or related to the world. There is no body. The mind is severed from attention, and thinking and acting continue motivelessly by themselves. The world appears as a film in a movie, where the projected light brightens, and the picture is “outshined”. (Spiritual Instruction, p. 10) The picture is there, but only Self is seen, abiding as Self, as Heart, radiating brightness everywhere within Itself. Because thoughts and actions relate to vibrations in time, he, beyond thought, realizes himself to be forever timeless, space‑like, the Heart, the Self of all beings, the Heart of Being Itself, Consciousness Itself.

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Part IV: Could the Teachings of Christ Really Be in the Same Tradition as the Ancient sages, Krishna, and others? Are the Teachings of Christ Actually Centered in the Philosophy of Non-Dualism? Is Christ in reality the all pervasive timeless unconditioned Self, abiding as the Heart of everyone, as Consciousness Itself? If Christ IS the Truth, as He says, shouldn’t His Teachings be examined to discover Who and What That Truth is and abide as That, rather than to seek out for remedies in this world? – as in “Go first to God (“I AM”) and all things will be added unto you.” Luke 12:31

There are many passages in the New (and Old) Testament, where, when the notion of the West, that we are all separate beings, centered in our identities as thinking bodies, is put aside, one is surprised to find that most passages are apparently referring to Christ as being the Self, and likewise He speaks from the perspective of an Avadhut, or as Krishna might speak, or another sage from the non-dualist tradition.

While in the Old Testament God states the Truth as “I AM THAT I AM”, in the West we have built Christianity around Descartes’ dictum: “I think therefore I am.” From, the point of view of a non-dualist, the first two of the Ten Commandments (Ex 20: 1-7) are extremely powerful statements. So, it is no wonder that in reading the words of Christ, as a non-dualist, the statements come out as being also very powerful.

The following are several quotes about Christ as the Self, in terms that are identical to those of the ancient eastern sages:

“All things were made by him, and without him was not anything made that was made.”

John I: 3

‘In him was life, and the life was the light of men.”

John I: 4

“And the light shineth in the darkness; and the darkness comprehendeth it not.”

John I: 5

“That was the true Light, which lighteth every man that is born into this world.”

John I: 9

Basically, these are descriptions very similar to how Krishna describes himself. Here the creation is not only created by Christ, but also all creation throughout all time, as “without him was not anything made that was made”. Who Christ is said to be is Life, and that Life was the Light (Consciousness) of “every man that is born into this world.” The darkness described is the mind, which cannot know the Self, the All Knower, and cannot see the seer, which lights it.

From these quotes and the quotes to follow, we will see that Christ is defined clearly as the Self of all, and that his teachings are to redirect each listener that can “hear” him, to purify the mind, or directly to enquire into and abide as the Self, or to admonish them to take their stand in the Truth and “abide in me”, the Self. Quoting a few passages, it will become clear that these are statements from the perspective of Krishna, or an Avadhut, or someone, who, having realized their Self, no longer has a sense of “I” in relation to the body or mind, but abides as and is “Consciousness Itself”.

“No man hath ascended up to heaven, but he that came down from heaven, even the Son of man which is in heaven.”John 3: 13

Here Christ states essentially that the Self is always realized. In John 3: 14-21 Christ elaborates on this theme of the “Light” further, as do many other of his passages. When seen from the perspective of a non-dualist, His passages are intensely strong, giving no ground for alternate ideas that there may be some reality to the world or some basis to the world or some alternate “Ways” or approaches. For example:

“I am the Light of the world: he that followeth Me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the Light of Life.” John 8: 12

One might think from reading these passages that Christ always speaks as the Atman and of the Father as Brahman, or as the Self realized being One in relation to the All pervasive and timeless Self. Just as Krishna tells Arjuna that he taught Aditia (the Sun), Christ states:

“Verily, verily, I say unto you, before Abraham was, I AM.” John 8: 58

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One can see from the way Christ always refers to the Father, as the doer of the miracles and all that He says, that regardless of His apparent actions, that He has no sense of being a doer, that all He says and does just happens, because He abides in the Father. Consider the following passage, where Jesus is speaking to the Apostles in John Ch 14:

“I am the Way, the Truth, and the Life: No man cometh to the Father but by Me. (verse 6)

If you had known me, you should have known my Father also: and from hence forth you know him and have seen him. (verse 7)

“Philip said to Jesus, ‘Lord, show us the Father, and it is sufficient for us.’ verse 8

“To which Jesus replied:

“Have I been so long with you, yet you have still not known me, Philip? He that has seen me has seen the Father; therefore, how do you say, ‘Show us the Father’? (verse 9)

“Believe you not that I am in the Father and the Father in me? The words I speak unto you I speak not of myself: but the Father that dwells in me he does the works. (verse 11)

“Believe me that I am in the Father, and the Father in me, or else believe me for the very works’ sake.” (verse 12)


“I and my Father are one.” John 10: 30

Explaining how his Truth is in fact the Truth of all, Christ states in John Ch 15:

“Abide in me, and I in you. As a branch cannot bear fruit of itself, except it abide in the vine; no more can you, except you abide in me. (verse 4)

“I am the vine, you are the branches…apart from me you can do nothing.” (verse 5)

In John Chapter 17, Christ prays to the Father on behalf of the Apostles, that He sanctify them by His Truth, and that they might be one with the Father, just as He (Jesus) is. Here, one can see that His state is always one with the Father. One is quite clear that Christ’s permanent abiding state, when He says “where I am“, is unrelated to the world. He asks:

“Father, I will that they also, whom thou has given me, be with me where I am, that they may behold my glory, which you have given me: For you have loved me from before the foundation of the world.” (verse 24)

The notion of Spirit, that He (Christ) and God (the Father) are one in Spirit also conveys the sense of the formlessness of Brahman (the Father), as well as our own Truth as spirit versus body:

“God is a Spirit, and they that worship him must worship him in spirit and in truth.”

(John 4: 24)

Apart from all Christ’s statements and parables about non-judgment (Mat Ch 7: 1-2; Luke 6: 37-42; John 8: 6-11), non-attachment (Mat 6: 40), non-anxiety (Mat 6: 25-34; Luke 12: 22-32), perpetual forgiveness (Luke 17: 4; Mat 19: 21-22; Mark 11:25), compassion (Mat 25: 34-40), humility (Mat 18: 4), and so on, which all relate to a discarding of attention to the world (“Take no thought for your life.” Mat 6: 25), probably the most profoundly direct instruction Christ gave concerning the teaching of non-dualism is from Luke 11:

“The light of the body is the eye: Therefore, when thine eye is single, your whole body will be filled with light….” (verse 34)

To a non-dualist, this is easily paraphrased as follows: The part of you that sees (the seer, one’s Self) is your true light. Therefore, if you hold the seer (subject-“I”) singly or exclusively (versus giving attention to thoughts) you will have illumination – or what some call the “enlightenment of the whole body”. This is the exact instruction of the non-dualists of the Vedanta tradition, with the same described outcome, as related above. (As if God’s First and Second Commandments weren’t clear enough in terms of having no images before the “I AM.”)

And as to the Heart: “The wise man’s heart is at his right hand, but the fool’s heart at his left.” Ecclesiastics 10: 2. And: “The pure in heart shall see God (“I AM”).” Matt 3: 8.

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Anyone in the east, coming to a similar conclusion about Christ, might call the approach of Christ the path of “sudden realization”, because his teachings are often in the form of commandments or statements giving no ground (room to maneuver). His approach permits no delays, no second chance, no outs, no remedy, no alternatives to the tribulations of the world. His way to God (the “I AM” of the Old Testament) is full of beatitudes and purity (Mat 5: 2-11), blessedness and love (Mat 6: 38-48). But those that oppose the Spirit “will never be forgiven” (Luke 12: 10, Mat 12: 32; Mark 3: 29) and “will be thrown into the outer darkness, where there is great suffering and gnashing of teeth.” (Mat 8: 12;14: 50; 22: 13; 24: 51)

In considering Christ as a non-dualist, like Krishna, or the Avadhut, the Rishis of the Upanishads, or one of the Buddhas, the approach might be stated as “radical” or “ruthless”. The reading of the New Testament requires a constant coming to terms with Christ’s life: His all knowingness of each person close or far away, now and in the future, how they will act, what will happen, when, and why; the constant ceaseless flow of power, where miracles fall from him, undirected. In the non-dualist texts, these are the powers described as God’s, to be all knowing, all powerful, and so forth. In Revelations, Ch I: 8, Christ tells John:

“I am the Alpha and the Omega, the beginning and the ending” sayeth the Lord, “which is, and which was, and which is to come, the Almighty.”

Many of the stories about Christ and the words He spoke are similar to stories we might read of Saints and sages in India, Tibet, and China, as found in “The Tibetan Book of Great Liberation” and Tibet’s Great Yogi Milarepa” by Evens-Wentz, “Autobiography of a Yogi” by Yogananda, “Ramana Maharshi and the Path of Self Knowledge” by Arthur Osborn, “The Ramayana” by Tulsidas, books about the lives of different Buddhas, or the 10 Sikh Sat (Truth) Gurus, and many other books one can find about the miraculous lives of these sages, Saints, Avatars, Jnanis, and so on. But what was special about Christ was the sense of awe-inspiring fierceness, the intensity of rock hard Reality that packed each moment, demanding … commanding perfection of everyone, now. For example:

“Be perfect as your heavenly Father is perfect.”

“I give you a commandment: Love one another.” John 15: 12, 17

“For I have not spoken of myself, but the Father which sent me, he gave me a commandment, what I should say, and what I should speak. And I know his commandment is life everlasting.” John 12: 49

As Christ repeatedly stated “If any man have ears to hear, let him hear.” Mark Ch 4: 23, again Mark 7: 16, etc.. This “hearing” is central to the entire teaching process of the non-dualist. In the “Lamp of Non-Dual Knowledge” (Advaita Bodha Deepika), Jewel Garland of Enquiry” (Vichara Mani Malai), “The Cream of Emancipation” (Kaivalya Navaneeta), “The Essence of Yoga Vashishta” (Yoga Vashishta Sara) – instructions of the Saint Vashishta to Rama, Shankara’s “Crest-Jewel of Discrimination”, and others, over and over again we see that the three necessities to realizing the Self, apart from the prerequisite of a “still mind”*, are “hearing”, “consideration”, and “perfect abiding”. Hearing is to understand the concept of the non-dual Self; “consideration”, to reflect inwardly: “From where do the thoughts arise?” or “Who sees?”, which includes a steady, even ruthless disregard of all rising thoughts, as “not this, not this,..” (“neti, neti,..”); and finally “perfect abiding” in the form of “objectless abiding as the seer” or as Ground (asraya) is to a Lightningbolt (Vajra Siddhi), until the Self flashes forth, as in “I say unto all, Watch!” Mk 13: 37. *“Stillness of mind” means “Be still and know that I am God (‘I AM’ Ex 3: 14).” (David, Ps).

Probably the best summation of the possibility, potential, or promise that Christ represents to the Western world is in his following statement from John 16: 33.

“These things I have spoken to you that in me you might have peace. In the world you shall have tribulations: But be of good cheer; I have overcome (conquered) the world.”

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Actually, not to see Christ as the personification of non-dualism is to turn all He says into demagoguery, to make him into another “zealot” of the time, the founder of a bizarre cult, of strange rituals based in fanatical superstition and myth, a revamping of paganism in monistic form. It seems quite obvious though in reading the first three parts (above) concerning Part I, the subject of the Self, Maya, and the Heart, as they relate to the philosophy of non-dualism; Part II, the nature of (Western) preconceptions that needed to be set aside in order to “enter into” the subject; and Part III, a discussion of the nature and experience of non-dualism, as a philosophical reality, that if we can “hear” Him Christ (the Vajra Siddhi Guru), ever abiding in and as the Father, may be one of the most profound Teachers of the non-dual nature of Reality and proof of its philosophy in terms of realizing the Truth of our own Reality as all pervasive Self!

Blessed am I

In freedom am I

I am the infinite

in my soul

I can find no beginning

no end

All is my Self

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Dissolving the Accumulated Blockages in the Subconscious Mind: By Pieter Schoonheim Samara

This is a yoga where numerous means have been developed and preserved over thousands of years to release and free up energy blockages. You may have heard the phrase from the Third Zen Patriarch, “When thought is in bondage, the Truth is hidden.” The Truth is that our individual consciousness is not different from the Universal Consciousness, which is the support and substratum of the entire manifestation of the apparent diversified universe in all its planes.

The accumulation of subconscious blockages:

The mind is like a movie film running frame by frame through the focusing lens of attention through which the undifferentiated light of the Universal Consciousness passes projecting the images onto the single, uncaused, unconditioned, screen of pure Being.

What has happened is that the sense of “I” (which is the seer) which pervades the body and lights the mind and the universe has become focused through attention to the images that appear in the mind, such that an idea or notion of an identity merges between the all pervasive single non-dual “I” and these images, with the result that the images are bound, and the mind fills up with, what we might call “takes” (using the cinematography term) of impressions of who we think we are, and we become bound by those thoughts and we come to believe we are those thought. The bondage becomes a habit of thought patterns that plays like a record over and over.

These impressions then locate themselves throughout the body and its magnetic field creating a weakness in the natural flowing voltage and sound current of the several centers along the spine, and, as a whole, in the brain and magnetic field or aura – each center related to nerve plexus, glands and organs. The result of this weakness is that the nerve groups in these centers don’t fire fully, such that some of the nerves atrophy and fire weakly. The related glands and organs,
loosing their natural voltage, then begin to accumulate toxins that crystallize in their capillaries, so that the voltage of these organs also becomes weak, the glands no longer secrete properly, and there is an overall mental and eventually physical loss of natural or inherent balance that becomes in the weakened light of consciousness what we take to be our identity.

An example of the manner in which impressions are stored throughout the body can be experienced when you sit quietly for a while, and you begin to notice thoughts immerging and with them related twitches or stresses in various parts of the body.

This illusory or contrived identity defines itself continuously in our daily thought patterns, through a kind of a self-talk just at and under the surface of our waking consciousness, constantly commenting on the events of our lives. There is a whole new psychology involved in simply changing this self-talk in order to change ones life, through planning, repeating and mentally imaging affirmations, called self-image psychology. This self-talk further influences the dreams we have related to the building of the identity around the mind’s ongoing attempts to bring all these images and takes into a unified identity. This process all happens at what we call the subconscious level.

Releasing blockages and dissolving the subconscious mind:

The purpose of yoga, from the psychological point of view, especially as it relates to the emergence of the True Man and True Woman, is simply to dissolve these subconscious blockages that have been stored throughout the body, with the result that the subconscious mind simply vanishes like a mirage, energy is released and flows freely once again, and only the single all-pervasive Truth is seen, again to quote the Third Zen Patriarch, “Infinitely large and infinitely small, no difference for definitions have vanished and no boundaries are seen.”

In order to sunder this bondage between the sense of “I” to thoughts and impressions, many postures and movements have been designed by ancient self realized beings to put expanding and contracting pressures from all conceivable angles and positions in systematic yogic sets that focus on specific centers and systems in the body field. These are combined with a number of powerful breathing techniques that purify and supercharge the bloodstream with oxygen, electricity and the other vital chemicals in the air. The charged and purified blood then flows into the areas are saturated with blood due to the pressure of the positions and movements, with the result that the nerves begin to charge and fire completely, the capillaries in the related organs and glands open and discharge their toxins, the cells discharge accumulated waste and vitality and life force begins to flow back into these centers.

Systematic practice:

Systematically, as one continues to come to the classes and eventually begins a daily Sadhana of ones own, these centers begin to build up a charge towards the natural voltage of these centers themselves, much like a battery of a car, but our physical vehicle has a number of batteries and the destination is always homeward bound to the source of Being. As the charge builds in the centers, heat is felt in the nerves as they purify, and then electricity and eventually the whole body and magnetic field become etheric, seen and experienced in the mind’s eye.

But it is not enough to simply build a charge, as these centers resonate with different frequencies that need to be tuned, brought into balance and harmonized in a process that completely releases the charge built up and stored through the practice of these yoga sets, which opens not only the higher centers, but also brings about the regeneration of the nerve of the soul – the sushumna. The sushumna starts at the base of the spine and goes to the neck, then through the passage to the crown and to the point between the eyebrows, called the silver cord, then from the point between the eyebrows to the crown, called the gold cord, and from the crown to the heart (where we point when we say “I” located the point 1/8th to the right of the sternum) – called the atma or para nadi, because, when regenerated, it resonates with the pulsation of “I.”

This harmonic resonation of the centers is accomplished through the practice of many different kriyas or specialized yogic actions that direct and channel the flow of energy, and Laya Yoga, which involves very specific techniques using sacred sound (mantra) to vibrate and open and release the stored energy in the centers. The charging of the centers, nerve channels and magnetic field (aura) is like tightening the strings on an 8-string guitar. The Laya yoga chants are like the tuning, playing and releasing of the spiritual music of the guitar, until the soundless sound of the pulsation of the “I” resonates everywhere and one experiences pervading light and being.

Ultimately the mind becomes very pure and clear as blockages related to thought patterns and images are simply dissolved, and the balanced resonance of the unified mind in harmony with the universal consciousness becomes ones prevailing pattern.

At a certain point, the energy flow and balance comes under pressure and this pranic pressure results in the mind being drawn inwards. As the mind is draw inwards, the heart (to the right of sternum) begins to pulsate like a graviton, and the feeling of the Singularity of the “I” begins to pulsate throughout the body field. At this time three force centers in the mechanism of the body begin to open. One of these is at the Kandal, between the navel and 4th vertebra, the center of chi, which regulates the prana throughout the body. The body has three major locks, and with the opening of the Kandal the lower lock pulls up and energy is released downward to the base of the spine from where it flows upwards directly opening the centers along the spine. At the same time, the centers in the brain also open, in particular the area of the hypothalamus, which opening allows the increasing flow of pervasive energy in through the crown, like the opening of the top of a jar so that the inner air and outer air become one.

The causal center that triggers these other force centers to open is the seat of the “I” sense Itself, in the heart (to the right of sternum). It is not the same as the heart chakra, but that place through which the sense of Being Awareness or “I” consciousness originates and permeates all the nerves of the body and through the atma nadi lights the images in the brain with the feeling of “I” consciousness. With this causal center opening the sense of “I” related to any images dissolves completely, as all images are “sucked into” the heart in a process that releases the realization of ever abiding single universal consciousness, wherein all other energy flows seem dim and inconsequential by comparison. This awakening experience is like going through the night seeing with the light of the moon. Then, as the sun of the heart begins to rise, even though the moon of the mind can still be seen, it is no longer needed for seeing, as “everything is clear and
self-illuminating with no exertion of the mind’s power.” (Third Zen Patriarch)

Kundalini Yoga

The entire systematic process of purifying and charging the centers (chakras), channeling the energy (prana) and awakening to the opening of the force centers is called Kundalini Yoga – an ancient yoga, or spiritual technology, that was traditionally taught in secret, but which Yogi Bhajan, Master of Kundalini Yoga and head of the Sikh Dharma of the West, began to teach openly in 1968, so that people of all religions and backgrounds could purify their minds in a completely dynamic and balanced manner, have an enhanced experience and finally “hear” the Truth their religion teaches regarding the One God, which hearing results in the sudden abiding in That Incandescent Truth.

The awakening of the generative, organizational and dissolusionary force is known as Kundalini, which is simply another word for Awareness. The mechanism of the chakras, channels and force centers that is innate and inherent in every human being is designed to automatically resolve the individual consciousness into its universal Truth as soon as that individual consciousness begins to seek its source.

There is nothing mystical or secret about this yoga. It is a completely practical and scientific spiritual technology based entirely on experience. One’s initiation is accomplished by one’s self through one’s own sincerity, honesty and adherence to the practice, through Sadhana, through experience and the satsang or the ardent practice in a community of like-minded. The practice and teaching recognizes only one universal Truth consciousness within the heart of each person
and not any person or place or event as an initiating factor. The True Guru is, therefore, the Truth which is revealed inwardly through a systematic practice that is powerful and complete enough in itself that very quickly the Generative, Organizational and Dissolutionary force manifests and one awakens and abides as the True Man and True Woman.

While anyone that practices this yoga will naturally begin to have spiritual experiences and the dawning of Self-Knowledge (the discrimination between the Real and unreal) and True Faith and Devotion, there is nothing held as secret or hidden or mystical, as everything is taught and made available openly and presented in a clear, practical and scientific manner.

All this to say that one needs to come to the classes on a regular basis until one is able to develop a Sadhana on ones own. Better yet, if one comes to regular classes to gain some practical experience with the yoga and then comes to the Teacher’s Training course, when it is offered, then through teaching the yoga one will also be able to master it, while becoming directly linked into an organization of thousands of people around the world that practice and teach this yoga
and the spiritual line and source of these teachings.

“I have come to create Teachers, not to gather disciples.” Yogi Bhajan on teaching: “If you want to learn something, read about it. If you want to understand something, write about it. If you want to master something, teach it.”

The Right Path: Akal Purkh Illuminates Me: By Pieter Schoonheim Samara

Regarding what some call kundalini experiences: Actually, Kundalini and isolated Awareness (the experience of self-effulgent Awareness), are the same. There are movements of prana that have all sorts of phenomenal effects, but these movements, even when they move the body, are only effects of prana and not Kundalini, which is singularly different.

Here is an example of Kundalini: In the summer of 1973, the center on Pruess Road in LA was converted into a Gurdwara, and we were all dressed in white with our turbans waiting for Yogi Bhajan to arrive. When he did, some 45 minutes after the schedule, as he came through the doorway, he stopped and said that that morning God had taken away his vision and that now all he could see was the light of a million suns, and yet, there he was talking to us. This is the experience of abiding as That All-Pervasive Light, which sustains and supports the universe, which gives life and animates all living creatures. In effect he was saying: “Akal
Purkh illuminates me.”

(Listen to Liv Singh’s rendition of Yogi Bhajan’s 1968 poem: Adorned with Honor” from http://www.invinciblemusic.com, or go to: http://www.adityahrdayam.com/songtext.html. This poem is a good guidance regarding the right path.)

In summarizing the e-mail postings I sent, which referenced the radiant series: https://luthar.com/kundalini-yoga/, as you begin the practice and take up a Sadhana of the Kundalini Yoga that Yogi Bhajan taught, there is a process of awareness of the expansion and deepening of the experience of this radiance that is eventually felt throughout the body, until the pervading voltage becomes so penetrative and even that it exceeds the frequency of thoughts. Then you will notice that the focusing mechanism of the mind disengages and you feel the entire body within and to some expanse outside at once without focusing. With this comes a special knowledge that who you are is a “unit of consciousness” and not the mind and body, which, because there are no thoughts or reactive emotions surging through the body, becomes clearer and clearer. In effect the disengagement of the focusing mechanism effects a decoding of the impressions that make us think “I am the body” or “I am my thoughts, emotions and sensations related to a body separate from the world.” You experience: “I am the Light of my Soul.”

A kind of a Singularity begins to form, a Polarization of the magnetic field, and with that a unique awareness of an innate Intelligence reflected in the mind (Akal Takht – the Holy Spirit). This Intelligence has the sensation of Remembrance and pulses soundlessly without limitation “I” as “I.” The mind is completely gripped by this and inverts in a way that reflects the all pervasive Self, which “lights each one born in the world,” located in the Spiritual Heart (Harimandr – Temple of the Holy Spirit), what in Kundalini Yoga Yogi Bhajan calls the “Ik Tar” or “One Star.” This is because you have an experience of abiding singly in the Spiritual Heart as “I AM, I AM.” Thoughts cannot penetrate this. Physically, the major power centers of the body illuminate by themselves:

  • At the base of the spine is a piercing light.
  • At the crown an expansion of radiance and inward turning reflective consciousness,
    meaning that the purity is beyond the vibration of the reflection of thought
    impressions that we previously mistook to be “I.”
  • The Spiritual Heart (not the chakra) irradiates, as well the sushumna and paranadi
    (mind nerve) extension between these.

You might say that this experience within the body is like the movement of mercury in a barometer when the atmospheric pressure increases.

In this case, what has happened is that, through your sustained Sadhana, the awareness, frequency and voltage of one’s Self, experienced as a unit of consciousness (Atman), suddenly “impacts” the Awareness, Frequency and Voltage of the Universal Consciousness (Akal Purkh – Infinite Being – Brahman), and you abide as pure Spirit, which is the substratum of the appearance of the Universe, the same as the light in a TV (or movie projector) is the basis for the appearance of images projected on the screen.

The experience has a unique sensation (the Singularity of unconditioned Being) in which your first words might be Sat Nam or “I am the Truth” – an experience of Transfiguration of the Body and Mind into Pure Singular Pervasive, Unconditioned, Uncaused Spirit, That alone which is Real.

All this to say that, when you take up a Sadhana, and also read the holy scriptures of the Saviors Saints and Sages, who express this experience of abiding as Truth in their words and actions, then there arises a Remembrance that causes the discarding of attention to thoughts and images and results in singular abiding.
The practice of Kundalini Yoga speeds up the transformation from “I am the body and its thoughts” to “I am a unit of consciousness” to “I am the indwelling single pervasive Spirit.”

The various experiences of energy, visions and so forth that one might have along the way are just movements of prana, however purifying. It’s when the mind inverts and turns inward, beyond thought, impressions and images, when the mind is consumed by the Truth of your Awareness as Self, the Ground of Being, that you are experiencing Kundalini.

If this isn’t clear now, it will become clear as you continue to practice every day and this transformational process and this experience dawns on you. “Keep Up! regardless of circumstances.”

So, when you talk about activating the Kundalini, you are really talking about isolating and abiding as the Singularity of the all pervasive Self, which is who and what you always are.

This means that you now experience directly through and as consciousness itself and not the senses, which are always illumined by that consciousness, like the lens in a movie projector is illumined by the light within it. In you, the light, which is single and all-pervasive, emanates from the Spiritual Heart and lights the  body, mind and senses. When you are drawn to the source of that light, which, as described above, follows inexorably from the sustained practice of Sadhana, you pierce through the Heart and now abide as the Substratum of all.

Then your mantra or experience of vastness and solitude is:

Blessed am I
In freedom am I
I am the infinite
In my Soul
I can find no beginning
No end
All is my Self
All is my Self

What is the One Star, the Hrdayam?: By Pieter Schoonheim Samara

This Center in the Heart is that point within the body through which the Infinite Being animates the body with the light of consciousness and the sense of being, as “I.” Where the chakras can be compared to prism-like lenses of a movie projector providing interpretation of gross, subtle and spiritual images, the Heart Center is the pure light, like a self-effulgent screen, in that projector that gives the sense of identity and reality to the projected images appearing on its surface.

The Hrdayam / One Star is located in the heart itself. The physical heart is 7/8 to the left of the sternum and 1/th to the right. In that 1/8th portion is located the pacemaker or synod of the heart, which give the pulse or beat to the heart. It is the place where we point when we say “I.” In Ayurvedic medicine it is mentioned as the seat of consciousness. in the Katha Upanishad (and others), it is said to be that place from which all the nerves of the body have their origin, as well as a major nerve (the right Vegas nerve), which rind from this location to the crown center (the Sahasrara or thousand pedaled lotus).

It is not the same as the anahata chakra, which is the nexus of nerves and related glands and organs located directly behind the sternum, between the bottom of the sternum and nape of the neck.

The awakening of this Heart Center is the purpose of all religious teachings and the focus of all religious experience, where that experience relates purely to the spiritual, i.e., the purpose of yoga – to isolate the “seer” – the subject “I” through the relinquishment / dissolving of the limited idea that our identity is bound to sensations of the body and the tyranny of thoughts, impressions and images in the mind.

In the Bible: Ecclesiastics: 10:3, is stated “The wise man’s heart inclines him to the right, the fool’s to the left” In the New Testament, Christ says: “The Pure in heart shall see God (“I AM THAT I AM)”

The Hrdayam is called the One Star (Ik Tar), because it has a pulling force, like gravity, that sucks in and dissolves all thoughts and images from the mind, while at the same time, like the sun, It radiates living light that outshines all images. “Hrd” means literally “That which sucks in everything” and “ayam” – “This” and “Expansion” – together meaning the core of ones being or “Heart.” The Heart is the place out of which everything expands and is withdrawn. In terms of the realized experience, it is similar to a concept of a Black Hole, wherein one experiences the pulsing incandescent radiance of Being in the atma nadi between the Hrdayam (Heart) and Sahasrara (Crown), while attention is disengaged, so that no objects can be seen in association to the pulsing pervasive sense of “I” – felt as a radical force one might call spaghettification, as physicists describe the dissolution of particles and atoms being sucked into a Black Hole. Nothing remains, not time nor space.

In the Yoga Sutras of Patanjali there are 2 areas recommended to focus ones awareness in meditation. One of these is the crown center and the other, the self-effulgent light in the heart. While some mistakenly assume that heart means the anahata chakra, in fact, only the Hrdayam is self-effulgent. All other centers have their light from this one center, similar to the light in a movie projector (the Self), that animates (lights) the images through the lenses (chakras) onto the screen (of consciousness).

The Hrdayam is called the Solar Orb, because it is the source of being and consciousness (gravitation and light), and the Sahasrara is called the Lunar Orb, because it is the reflected consciousness in which the dimensions of the gross, subtle and spiritual universe appears.

When the sun in the heart awakens, the experience is like coming out of a stupor or amnesia. The sense of “I” – the seer, abides in Itself without attachment, clinging or attention to objects. Even attention to silence, stillness or a blank is relinquished, along with the identity to the sensations of the body and images, impressions and thoughts of the mind.

You experience a sense of single pervasiveness, timelessness, and unconditioned, uncaused being. “Nothing is separate and you cling to nothing. Everything is empty, clear, selfilluminating…” (from the 3rd Zen Patriarch: Faith Mind”)

The 2 poles of the heart (Hrdayam) and Crown (Sahasrara) blaze with light, and the nerve between (called atma, amrita or para nadi) radiates incandescently, vibrating with unstruck soundless sound. Simultaneously, you may see a flame, sometimes multi-colored, rising through the spine and the crown of the head. In Kundalini Yoga, the Mind Nerve. In Physiology, the Vagus Nerve that runs from the Spiritual Heart to the Crown.

Yoga is the union of the individual unit of consciousness with the all-pervasive universal consciousness – the infinite being. But this union is not of 2 separate things that have to be united, as the ever present Reality and Truth is that the infinite being lights each of us born in the world in the heart as the Light of our light, the “I” of our “i.”

As the mind begins to become electromagnetically still and balanced, there is an automatic inversion of the mind from outgoing reflecting images, to pure reflection of the Heart. We call this the discriminate facility (budhi), but it is the pulling force of the Heart that turns the mind inward. There is nothing outside of the Self, and when the mind reflects the Self in the Heart, there is a “hearing” – recognition (sravana/sunia), “remembrance” (manna) and “abiding” (niddidyasana) that resonates in a manner that attunes all the nerves of the body to the Heart, resulting in awareness of one’s Self as undifferentiated consciousness, where “inside – outside” simply dissolve and vanish like a mirage, “…everything is whole.” (Yogi Bhajan)

Sadhana, Ardhana, Pradhupati: By Pieter Schoonheim Samara

As you continue your daily sadhana, something new will begin to emerge, which Yogi Bhajan
calls ardhana, where the experience of sadhana seemed to take on a more etheric dimension,
and you begin to experience a sublimation of the minds outward flow of attention to the
changing polarities of the mind, as though there are periodic jumps in the overall atmospheric
pressure of the energy consciousness in and through the neutral body (4th chakra), physical
body (5th chakra), arc line (6th chakra) , auric body (pineal gland – crown chakra), pranic
body, subtle body, radiant body (energy pulses down through the tenth gate and up through
the crown expanding a golden hue radiance over 9 feet from the body).

The idea of raising Kundalini from the base of the spine to the crown, begins to become an
afterthought, as the overall satvic pressure seemed to open every system, from the Kandal to
the ida and pingala and sushumna, to the gold cord and centers in the brain, to the One Star in
the heart and right major vagus nerve to the Crown – as through there was a continuing influx
or infilling of what one might call a feeling of inward pulling (like gravity) and
expansive/pervasive light from inside and outside, even dissolving the notion of
inside/outside. Subject without a seer. Action without a doer.

All this to say that you shouldn’t feel surprised in your daily practice of Sadhana to begin to
notice similarly a sense of the pure indwelling light of your own infinite being, quietly shining
through the thoughts and images in your mind, as the sense of “I” disengages from attention.

These words will become meaningful: As you begin to find yourself abiding as single
unconditioned pure living light, “the screen upon which moves the kaleidoscopic picture
composed of mobile and immobile objects of the Universe” (from The Cream
of Emancipation verse 144) – the experience of “pradhupati” or crystallization that Yogi
Bhajan talks about – that over time prevails through the waking state (opaque), then the dream
state, as dream sleep becomes less (semi-precious gem), then the unconscious state, as you
awaken to the ever present awake awareness of the Self of Its Creation (gem state), and then
beyond, the Turya state – the purely crystallized consciousness, like a flawless diamond.

Sadhana and daily practice comprises

  1. KY exercises and kriyas
    • [Tappa – to generate heat and electricity on the body field]
    • What we’ve called the Yoga of Light that elevates the minds vibration above
      the frequency of thoughts and images, filling the nadi’s with energy
      consciousness (Prana) that has an effect like the tightening of guitar strings so
      that the whole body resonates and radiates

      • Meditations on radiance through short Kundalini Yoga exercises with a
        dynamic aspect of posture, movement and breathing, followed by a
        static aspect of watchful awareness of he flow of etheric radiance in
        and through the body
      • Meditation on the force of “will,” which produces a powerful single
        sense of Self, resulting from the persevering and enduring of long
        periods of stress in maintaining a posture, movement and breathing,
        followed by an equally long period of feeling the sense of abiding as
        single Self Witness.
  2. chanting mantra
    • [Jappa – to generate radiant/resonance that links the conscious mind to the
      pervasive Naad vibration of the universe]
    • What we’ve called the Yoga of Sound that takes hold of the 72,000 charged
      nadis, releasing their energy into a crescendo of radiance exponentially greater
      than the vibration produced by the Yoga of Light

    Tappa and Jappa together producing laya, i.e., expansive radiance that absorbs
    identity to thought and impressions

    Producing a decoding of the habits and impressions stored and bound throughout the
    body field and

    Substituting the re-imprinting of sacred sound of the mantra that links the body and
    mind to the unexcelled experience of simran/ Naad/ anahat (unstruck sound)

    • and
  3. slow controlled repetitive breath
    • Sanjam – resulting in simran, the attunement to the soundless sound of the
      infinite being

    Producing pratyahar – a singular stillness of “simran” from and within
    which thoughts and impressions are seen to rise and fall without the least trace or
    effort to grasp them or hold them within the mind’s power of attention

    • and
  4. Study – reading (without thought, conjecture or opinion, but just to “hear” (sunia /
    sravana) the sacred words of Saints and Saviors (Sat Gurus) describing their
    experience, recollection and abidance in and as the Self, that Light that lights each of
    us from and through the Heart (Hrdayam/One Star)

    • scripture, such as Jaap Ji, Jaap Sahib and other non-dual texts and Gitas
    • which results in the Self “hearing,” recollecting (as though coming out
      of an amnesia) and abiding in and as Its True Identity,
    • which we experience as our own Self
    • which we call the Nam
    • where hearing and recollection refer to the soundless sound of the “I”
      pulsing as “I” and abiding refers to cessation, final relinquishment,
      dissolution of ideas of seer and seen.
    • and
  5. the words of Yogi Bhajan about all this in your TT Manual and other sources.
    As your sensorial experience expands, these words read over from time
    to time will fill in with a new meaning and depth, and moreover that it
  6. is possible to become pure and in that purity “hear” the Truth. Pieter

A Proper Understanding the Active/Passive Aspect of Kundalini Yoga Practice

It is often said that Kundalini Yoga, as taught by Yogi Bhajan, comprises all systems of yoga.
This is meant more in the sense that the result and benefits of other systems of yoga gradually
and suddenly emerge into the experience of the Kundalini Yoga practitioner, such that one
will notice the emergence of a deep intuition of posture and prana, and awaken to the
experiences of shakti, laya, bhakti, gyan (jnana), which emerge spontaneously into
consciousness. While providing all the benefits of physical and mental health, fitness and
fortitude, Kundalini Yoga is entirely different in approach, practice, technique, benefit and
result than any other system of yoga. Kundalini Yoga is a Path towards direct experience of
the non-dual all-pervasive and single Self.

This article is to provide some clarification and guidance as to how to practice Kundalini
Yoga to realize the full physical, mental and spiritual benefit, while attempting to make it
clear that, even though the various aspects of Kundalini Yoga may seem somewhat like the
practices of other yogas, one should not make the mistake of teaching or practicing Kundalini
Yoga, as one might have learned in another yoga discipline, because the dynamics of
Kundalini Yoga are entirely different.

While other yogas often lose their direction – hatha becoming a “stretch and bolt,” martial arts
– a sport, bhakti leading to fanaticism, jnana into intellectual mind-games, daily practice of
Kundalini Yoga generates a relentless force field within the body mind and soul that turns one
to experience their True Spiritual Self, as a magnet turns to true north.

Through the daily practice of Kundalini Yoga, there is a gradual strengthening of the nerve
pathways and centers of the body towards the experience of an increasing electromagnetic
voltage that corresponds to the influx of the awareness of the universal energies that support
and sustain the body and mind, like the conversion in a house of a 110 voltage system,
gradually to a 220 voltage system, then to a 440 voltage system, where, by analogy, the
electric wiring, fuses and energy support systems are progressively strengthened throughout
the body field. The results are systematic, holistic, expansive, balanced and complete, where
Kundalini is experienced as an awakening of Awareness that brings about a total opening of
the systems of the body, through which the governors (energy control centers in the Kandal
[between the navel and 4th vertebra], the brain and the Heart), which restrict (like the surface
of a bubble) the sudden influx of the ocean of energy that surrounds us, are able to gradually
open the body’s energy channels to this ocean. Voltage throughout the body increases to
allow the infinite energy that supports sustains and pervades the universe in all dimensions to
emerge as our normal awareness. As a result of this systematic strengthening of the body
field, as energy increases it diffuses throughout the system, so that even sudden bursts, which
in other yoga practices may seem troubling, become no more that waves on the shore of an
ever widening ocean to the practitioner of Kundalini Yoga, as taught by Yogi Bhajan. There is
a shift in awareness from reflected consciousness (the moon of the mind) to direct
consciousness (the sun in the Heart), from notional “i” to the True “I” that is seamless. The
Guru becomes the inner divinity in one’s Heart, no longer the reflected images of the mind.

Kundalini in other yoga practices is something different, because the body and mind are not
prepared and adequately balanced, except in a monastic situation, and then under the careful
guidance of someone that has practiced that yogic system, who assists the practitioner in the
long and arduous purification process unique to that specific practice. Otherwise, there may
be sudden bursts of energy that become disconcerting to the practitioner who experiences
them, who then has no one to go to for direction. Thus, yoga / mediation teachers often tell
their students to disregard energy flows or to sublimate them, which in reality is like the
lifeguard at a lakeside resort telling someone, who is swimming with some discomfort in the
middle of a lake, to avoid the experience of water against their skin and wetness in the mouth.

In Kundalini Yoga practice there is acceptance and opening, not denial or rejection.

As the higher centers open, the devotion one feels, the deep inner longing, are for the ever
increasing experience purity, lightness and Truth that begins to permeate them, versus images
of devotion that often trap devotees into an imaged concept of God.

Shakti becomes Bhakti, and Bhakti becomes Gyan (Jnana), a realization of inner Wisdom and
Self Knowledge that is beyond thought and conjecture, beyond endless intellectual discourse
and argument, into which many other practices degenerate. The power of the discriminative
mind emerges, a Force of Intelligence permeates and rivets the body and mind to the Spirit,
and the pure mind inverts and reflects the True Self in the Heart. The ancient Sages and Yogis
call this the Enlightenment of the Whole Body.

Kundalini Yoga, as taught by Yogi Bhajan, is very practical. Innumerable sets of Kundalini
Yoga exercises, kriyas, mantras and meditations, with their origins going back thousands of
years, once hidden and imparted secretly are now provided openly, each with specific
purposes that culminate in the systematic strengthening of the energy pathways, centers and
governors, resulting in the simultaneous influx of the universal energy consciousness
pervading us. But there are basics that need to be covered in order to realize the full power
and benefit of a daily Kundalini Yoga practice, i.e., sadhana.

Invocation / Dedication:
Kundalini Yoga practice always begins with a dedication. Our life and being, our
consciousness is based on one simple component. Awareness. This simple Awareness is a
light that illumines everything. It is the subject-“I” to all objects. Its source is the substratum
of waking, dreaming and deep sleep. It is the support for the physical, subtle and causal
bodies. It is the consciousness behind the conscious mind, the subconscious and unconscious.
It is a self-effulgent screen within which and upon which everything seen and unseen appears.
While single and all-pervasive, it manifests in the Heart, the Harimandr, from there filling all
the nerves of the body and a major nerve up to the brain with the sense or awareness of “I” –
of identity. All that is required to awaken to the True Self is to hold onto this Awareness and
just watch. In Kundalini Yoga we begin with a dedication to apply this Awareness to our
entire practice and life. This is the Adi Mantra: Ong Namo Guru Dev (Day) Namo: In the
Name of the Creator, the Creative Force in the Universe. In the Name of That Inner Divinity
that takes me from darkness to Light,… i.e., I dedicate my awareness.

This means that throughout the practice the orientation is always to be aware, as follows:

Concerning the Awareness of postures and movements in Kundalini Yoga:
When there is a posture, movement or angle, it is also important that you s–t–r–e–t–c–h. For
example, if you are instructed that the arms are to be held at 60o, you bring them to 60o (not
45o to 90o) and stretch the shoulders, arms, fingers, opening the armpits. Kundalini Yoga is
the yoga of angles. The angle leads to a specific effect. By stretching, you will discover that
the exercise becomes easier and achieves its full physiological intent. The same for raising
legs, or arching. There needs to be an attention and awareness of a full and complete
execution of a Kundalini Yoga exercise, not necessarily to do a posture or movement to
perfection, as with some yogas, but to do ones best to perform the Kundalini Yoga exercise
correctly (and never to over exertion or strain, which might hinder practice later). A little
done right will enable you to do much more later. In time, progressively, you will find that
what you can do now for 30 seconds or for a minute or 2, within a matter of weeks it will be
easy to do these same exercises for 3 minutes, 5, 7, 11, 31 minutes. The stretching is the key
to holding a position for a long time, because it vitalizes the entire life system in each area.
Otherwise the body will feel like a dead-weight.

Also, in movements, begin slowly and feel the link of the awareness to the pranic radiance;
then begin to add breath. Then, to effect the electric charging of the body, begin to gradually
increase the power of the breath and the movement. The result will be that you will see a
tremendous difference in the overall experience and realization of the benefit of each
Kundalini Yoga exercise.

In Kundalini Yoga, awareness is the important factor to the practice. That’s why Yogi Bhajan
emphasizes that “Kundalini yoga is the Yoga of Awareness.” He doesn’t say the yoga of
postures, movements, angles, breath, bhandas, and so many other factors, but specifically
“Awareness.” This is because our Awareness is the True Self, and through the practice of
Awareness in a yoga that generates and deepens the experience of radiance, identity to the
limited mind dissolves, and the substratum support Awareness emerges – the Infinite Being,
and you abide as That.

Therefore, when we move into a posture and movement, we begin slowly, being aware of
every part of the body, of the stretching of muscle and ligaments, of the relaxation of all parts
of the body not involved in the exercise, so that the energy generated can flow directly to the
areas under pressure, and then to relax inwardly those areas under pressure, so that these too
will be able to fully absorb the energy flow being generated. The very directing of awareness
to these areas will also greatly expand the growing sensation of radiance that flows from the
muscles and organs, then deeper from the cells, then deeper from the atoms, and then even
deeper, as ever expanding radiance is felt that you eventually realize to be the Radiance of the
Self, the light of your consciousness.

Awareness in Breathing:
It is also very important that you learn to do the breathing properly. The basic breaths are
long deep breathing (yogic breath), breath of fire and suspension of breath (holding the
breath). But there are other breaths as well, such as kapalabati, canon breath and others that
have specialized applications in conjunction with posture and movement that result in a
unique effect that is exponentially greater and different than as practiced in other yogas.

Breath of Fire – whether one is sitting cross-legged with hands on the knees or arms
extended in front of the chest, hands clenched or other angle, the main focus is on the
rhythmic expansion and contraction of the diaphragm powered by the movement of the solar
plexus and navel, so that the air is felt deep in the lungs, in the middle and through the chest
area without using the muscles of the abdomen, chest or shoulders. This means that as you
enter lightly into this breath, once you feel the light flow of the breath and the beginning of
the emergence of a delicate pranic radiance, you begin to watch through the abdomen, the
sides, the legs, the lower spine, the middle and upper arts of the back, the solar plexus and
chest, the shoulders, neck and throat, the facial muscles, lips, jaw, eyes and forehead, relaxing
each and every area. Then you refocus on the light rhythm of the diaphragm, relaxing its
movement. The very application of this awareness to the diaphragm also gives it a greater
voltage and energy, so that you’ll notice that the power and movement, combined with
increasing radiance all through and around the body, deeper and deeper, becomes steadily
stronger. In this way, you develop the Awareness to practice in a manner that allows the
energy being generated to go to the actual areas under pressure from the posture or movement
and not to be dissipated in other areas that might be under tension or stress only because
awareness was not applied to relax and release these areas. Then the focusing of the energy
flow to the areas under pressure will bring about the greatest benefit.

This same approach should be used in the beginning and active part of every Kundalini Yoga
exercise, kriya, mantra and meditation.

Long Deep Breathing – in the Breath Awareness exercise, which is simply the practice of the
yogic breath, there are three areas one becomes aware of: The inhalation together with the
expansion of prana or feeling of radiance through the legs, lower middle upper part of the
body, the chest/heart, neck head, up through the top of the head and expanding outward
around the body field.

You inhale deeply down to the bottom of the lungs by allowing the lower part of the
diaphragm to unwrap and expand downward and out against the abdomen. Then, pushing
lightly down in the knees with the hands and pulling in with the hands against the knees, the
spine will arch, chest come forwards, shoulders back, chin come in slightly and neck stretch
upwards, slightly back at the axis and atlas. This is neck lock. Then “suspend the breath
forward in the chest, and you will feel the gradual expansion of the energy flow, as described.
With each breath more and more prana is stored in the heart, located it the 8th vertebra pranic
center. After 5 to 10 seconds (initially holding 5 seconds and then gradually increasing to
10), slowly exhale, squeezing from the top of the lungs downwards until, as sensation of
upwards contraction of an area just below the navel is felt. Then you will feel all the
expanding energy, the prana, withdraw and flow down from the centers in the brain and
higher centers, down into this area, which you just maintain in a contracted state without
pulling upward as with root lock, for 5 or more seconds. In this way, the prana is expanded
then together with the downward flowing apana, contracted. With every breath a greater and
greater radiance will be felt throughout the body, all around and deeply into the cells and
atoms of the body. Then inhale and hold the breath, come into neck lock, suspend the breath,
meaning there is no downward pressure at the throat on the expanding pranic radiance. Then
pull the root lock, which draws the accumulating polarity of energy in the Kandal below the
navel up into the spine and experience a flow of energy radiating upwards and out, expanding
in an ever widening field through the 10 Bodies – the chakras, throughout the aura, ark line
and radiant body. This is a key breath (prana) awareness exercise, often used between
Kundalini Yoga exercises.

In the Breath Awareness Exercise, you also become aware that in the suspension of breath
you will notice that the radiance felt in the chest extends all through the front of the body, a
kind of an infilling electric sensation that entirely suspends the breath and the mind. With
each breath, you will notice a sense of abiding singly as the seer, with less and less interest or
focus on the energy increasing throughout the body. The emergence of a sense of being
“empty, clear, self-illuminating, with no exertion of the mind’s power (attention).” (from faith
Mind of the Third Zen Patriarch) Thus, suspension of breath in holding the breath produces
an effect that is vastly different from the breath retention in other yogas.

By incorporating this in the way that Kundalini Yoga exercises are practiced, the body
becomes acclimated to the experience of greater energy flows, the mind becomes more
expansive, pure/satvic, inertia is relinquished, and your awareness grows in inward clarity and
expansion and the emergence of a deeper knowledge of who and what you really are, less and
less centered around the focusing of the sense of “I” identity, more and more simply abiding
in the consciousness of radiant, expanding being and the inward emergence of your True
Identity in the Infinite.

Awareness and Bhandas:
Learning the bhandas properly from the beginning is also important, i.e., mool bhand (root
lock), uddyana bhand (diaphragm lock) and jalandara bhand (neck lock). Bhandas are meant
to direct the easy flow of circulating energy during and after the completion of the active
portion of a Kundalini Yoga exercise. Eventually an automatic electromagnetic locking effect
will be felt, as the energy increases in the body. Practice makes this eventuality come sooner.

Each Kundalini Yoga exercise has a specific effect that can be felt in the radiance generated
and longer term deepening of awareness. Kundalini Yoga exercises are usually put together
in sets with a specific purpose or more powerful kriyas, which may also be part of a set.
In order to derive the full benefit of sets, kriyas, laya mantras and meditations, it is suggested
that a few kundalini Yoga exercises and pranayamas be practiced in preparation, in order to
activate the radiance throughout the body and charge and balance the channels, then the effect
of the sets, kriyas and meditations will be immediate and much more powerful.

An example would be to start with the breath Awareness Exercise, lead by the teacher.
This might be followed by bringing the palms of the hands together, with thumbs against the
sternum to begin the Invocation / Adi Mantra repeated 3 to 5 times, then inhale, hold the
breath, pull the root lock and 30 seconds later, relax the breath. When you exhale you may
feel a sensation of strong electricity moving through the spine and throughout the body. Just
remain entirely passive and relaxed and the energy will flow outward.

Then sitting, spread the legs wide and bring the arms up to the sides, parallel to the ground
pressing the shoulders back. In this exercise you slowly begin the lean forwards keeping the
spine straight, leading with the heart and not the head, so the head remains slightly up. Then
slowly start to stretch the arms forward, reaching and stretching the arms as far as possible.
Feel the flow of radiance as you move.

Then slowly come into the starting position. Be aware of the stretching of the ligaments and
muscles in the back and shoulders. With each slow forward and back motion, feel the
radiance expanding throughout the body. You may notice a certain brightness in the source of
the flow of attention between the heart and the brain. After 9 or 10 such stretches introduce a
long deep breath as you come straight, hold a moment, then exhale as you stretch forwards.
Again each slow motion will add pranic radiance. Then to increase the power and voltage
much further, begin to move through this exercise with greater power in movement and
breathing. You should begin to feel the radiance becoming electric. Then inhale and hold the
breath, pull the root lock and let the energy fill the body, expand upwards and all around the
body field. Exhale and lower the arms squeezing all the breath out until you feel the area
below the navel contract upwards. Repeat in the same manner as Breath Awareness Exercise,
several times, then inhale and hold again. Pull the root lock, feel the electricity flow through
the legs, torso, back, arms and through the head, then relax for a minute, and come sitting
cross-legged. The spine and back will be open and the Heart will be open from this exercise,
and the whole body will radiate.

The next exercise is similar to the Breath Awareness Exercise in the intent to irradiate the
body field. In this case one prepares for the practice of Kundalini Yoga exercises by bringing
the arms forward, parallel to the ground, hands clasped in Venus Lock and doing the Breath
of Fire. You begin lightly, then, as the prana begins to expand in the body, you will notice
that the power of the breath, both in terms of volume of air pumped and speed, increases
steadily throughout the exercise period. As you continue for up to 5 minutes, you will notice
that all the muscles of the body are relaxed and that the powerful motion of the diaphragm
itself becomes more and more effortless. A sense of clarity and electricity will begin to be
felt expanding up from the legs and lower part of the body to the upper areas until you feel
and expansion of this clarity and light filling the head and flowing out through the entire
crown area, radiating around the body. Then inhale hold the breath, pull the locks, hold for 30
seconds or longer, then exhale squeezing all the breath out until the area below the navel
contracts upwards. Keep the breath out in this way, without pulling the root lock, and all the
energy will stabilize into this area and polarize. Then continue with the Breath Awareness
Exercise, holding the breath in, then holding it out for 10 seconds after each inhalation and
exhalation, while the cells of the body decontract, absorb the energy and begin to radiate.

Next comes spinal flex – camel ride. Again, you begin slowly. Sitting with legs crossed,
holding the shins with your hands, then pulling the hands inwards, the spine arches straight
and the neck comes into alignment stretching upwards in an easy neck lock. You will feel a
releasing of energy all through the spine and flowing up through the top of the head, a clear,
yet blissful sensation. After a few moments completely slouch the back, pressing the back
arched spine back, stretching the nerves, muscles and ligaments that start to release their
energy. Slowly come into the straight position, pulling the spine straight, and feel the released
energy radiate upwards through the spine. Continue this slow motion several more times,
then bring in the breath, inhaling to fill the lungs as you come straight, exhaling back,
continuing slowly, feeling the radiance increasing even greater. At a certain point you will
begin to feel the sensation in the spine of a will to vibrate more quickly, which in turn
increases the power of the voltage being generated. In classes the teacher usually leads the
movement until the power and speed is felt, then students continue on their own. Then inhale
and hold the breath. Pull the locks, pressing the shoulders back, chest forward, suspending
the breath 30 seconds, or longer. Then exhale, again, as previously squeezing all the air out
until the area below the navel contracts upwards bringing about a polarization of the flow of
prana (radiance) throughout the body field. Again continue with the Breath Awareness
Exercise, as above, than sit still and relax, and feel the circulation and expansion of the
radiance throughout the body, inside and eventually outside.

The exercises that follow are to open the moon channel and sun channel (the ida and pingala
nadis). There are many variations, but here are 2 that open these channels in opposite ways.

The first is to come kneeling on the knees. Then extend the right leg straight to the right side.
Then raise the arms up by the sides until they are stretched up, arms hugging the ears, with
palms pressed together. The pelvis is pressed slightly forwards to keep a straight tension
throughout the spine. Then begin very powerful Long Deep Breathing, completely expanding
then contracting the lungs with every breath for 10 to 15 breaths, stretching the arms upwards
with each inhalation. Then inhale, hold the breath for 10 to 15 seconds, pull the root lock,
stretch the arms up, press the pelvis slightly forward and stretch the spine upwards. Feel the
radiance fill the body, then slowly exhale, bringing the hands down in front of the kneed,
bring the right foot back next to the left foot and come sitting back on the heels. Bring the
spine straight, stretching the neck upwards, shoulders back slightly, chest forwards and wait.
You will begin to feel a releasing of an electric current all along the left side of the spine, the
moon channel, up through the back of the left side of the neck, up over the left side of the top
of the head, to the point between the eyebrows. Wait, notice the flow of the energy, then
release your attention and remain passive (negative mind meditation). The energy will begin
to increase and expand all through the left side of the body, flowing upwards through the top
of the head and around the left side of the body field. Just wait, maybe a minute or 3. Then
repeat the same exercise, kneeling and extending the left leg out, arms stretched up, and so on
to affect the sun channel to the right side of the spine.

The second part of this ida pingala / moon sun channel cleansing is again to come up in the
kneed, but this time, you press the pelvis forward as far as possible, arching the spine back,
pressing the shoulders back, expanding the ribcage forward, then arching the neck and head
all the way back. Feel the radiance. Then slowly extend the left arm up stretching the arm
and the fingers upwards, as though to reach for a lightning bolt. Then twist slightly to the
right to put the right hand on the right heal, then over the right foot. Press the pelvis forwards
more, extend the left arm and fingers upwards even further and begin the Breath of Fire for a
minute. Then inhale deeply, hold the breath, pull the root lock, press the pelvis forwards,
reach up, arch the spine more, feel the expansion in the chest area. Feel the energy radiance
beginning to increase forcefully throughout the body field. Then slowly exhale, come sitting
on the heels, hands resting on the thighs, spine straight. You will begin to feel a powerful
radiance through the moon cannel, then expanding to all the organs on the right side of the
leg, torso, neck and head, with energy flowing powerfully upwards. Wait.

After 2 to 4 minutes, feeling the radiance increasing, then balancing, you can repeat the same
exercise extending the right arm up and left hand back to the left heal, to affect the sun

Now that the ida and pingala are charges and balanced, the exercise that follows is to open the
central canal (the sushumna) and the Heart, simple but powerful. I this exercise, simply sit
cross-legged. Bring the arms behind the back with the hands clasped in Venus lock. Bring
the spine straight, arms stretched straight, press the shoulders back to bring the shoulder
blades together, expanding the chest forward. Now inhale deeply, then lean forwards keeping
the head slightly up, leading with the heart, while stretching your arms up from the back as
high as possible. Hold for a few seconds, then exhale coming straight, again pressing the
shoulders back. And continue slowly 10 to 15 times, then when you come up, after inhaling
down, this time inhale deeper, using all your strength to press the shoulders back, clasped
hands pressing into the lower spine, neck extending and stretching upwards, pull the root lock
and hold for 10 to 30 seconds. Exhale completely, inhale immediately remaining with the
spine straight, again pressing the shoulders back, while pulling the root lock and neck lock 10
seconds. Repeat one more time, then very slowly exhale and bring th hands slowly around
from behind the back to the knees. Relax the breath. You will begin to feel a surge of e pillar
of light all through the spine, upward flowing through the top of the head, opening the central
canal of the spine (the sushumna) and the Heart. Wait for 1 to 3 minutes until the radiance
extends throughout the body through the top of the head and all through the aura.

The final preparation exercise is to open up the higher centers from the Heart to the brain and
the arc line. This is a very simple exercise. Sitting cross-legged, you reach your arms up 90
degrees, palms facing eachother. Then begin to stretch the shoulders and arms back, arching
the spine, opening the chest cavity. Stretch. Stretch the nick upwards and drop the head back
slightly, as though to look between the up stretched arms and hands. Begin a powerful Breath
of Fire for 3 to 5 minutes, all the while focused on the arching of the spine, stretching the
arms and shoulders up and back, expanding the chest. You will feel the radiance begin to
flow upwards through the neck and the chakras and governors in the brain and through the top
of the head, possibly feelings of bhakti and purity filling the mind. Then inhale, pull the root
lock and hold for 30 seconds. Slowly exhale bringing the hands to the knees and wait. You
will feel the radiance expanding throughout the body and flowing upwards. Just apply the
awareness to the flow, without direct attention, and the radiant flow will deepen and increase.

Try this series, as an example of what some might call a “warm up.” But in Kundalini Yoga,
what in other yogas and sports is called a warm up, is a preparation of the body and mind for
deep meditation on the radiance to be developed through every set, kriya and meditation.

There are variations of these after the Breath Awareness Exercise, but you are now ready to
experience the full benefit of a Kundalini Yoga set, kriya and meditation.

In Kundalini Yoga practice, while the importance of stretching may be taught, the breathing
and locks are somewhat different from hatha yoga practices, so it’s important to understand
how to do them so that the energy flows easily and correctly.

The Active and Passive Aspects of Each Kundalini Yoga Exercise:

Finally, it is vitally important to understand that each kundalini yoga exercise has an active
part and a passive part. In other yogas this is not the case. Each posture is a complete
exercise in itself, whatever the series might be or whether in a series (like a karate karta) or
single posture to corps pose.

But in Kundalini Yoga the purpose of the practice is to develop radiance (laya) and depth
(pratyahar), which is only felt in other yogas much further along in their practice.

In Kundalini Yoga you are maximizing and working directly with all the systems of the body
simultaneously – circulatory, pulmonary, endocrine, nervous etc. Each posture and
movement brings about a pressure in a specific area or system of the body. This pressure
means that the blood will saturate in that area. As powerful Kundalini Yoga breathing
techniques are combined with the postures and movements, these areas put under pressure
will have the strong effect of the purified and energized blood flow into that area. Initially,
this means that these areas, where the capillaries and cells open under the pressure of the
exercise, discharge their impurities and toxins in return for the vitality of the purified
energized blood flow. Moreover, these same areas begin to build a charge – a voltage.

Now, here is the important part to remember:
The body is like a car battery, only with many batteries working together. In a car battery,
there is water, and there are chemicals. As the chemicals are increased the voltage of the
battery also increases – 3 volts, 6 volts, 12 volts, 24 volts, are a standard we can buy at any KMart.
The body is mostly water, with some chemicals, whose secretion is the basis for the
maintaining of voltage generated in the body. (This is why it is said: You are as young as your

In the practice of other yogas, there is a gradual process in which the tensions and blockages
of the body are reduced and the mind begins to become still. The process accelerates with
increase practice and especially fasting and internal purification, such as (in the west) colonics
(versus Nauli Kriya for cleaning the large intestine).

Then, as the energies of the body are used less and less towards the incessant pressure of
thinking and identity encoding, imaging, impression taking and so on, there is a build up of
unused kinetic energy, that begins to fill through the body, so that the body begins to lose its
inertia, becoming satvic pure, transparent, blissful, easing into the ever-present oneness of the
yogi’s surrounding.

Awareness to movement and eventually prana, as in Kundalini Yoga practice, is a key to the
expansion of this kinetic energy in other yoga practices, what in Buddhist meditation and
martial arts is called “Mindfulness.” This is because that simple awareness through which we
experience the inner and outer world is really the light of the Infinite Being. When the mind
becomes pure and still, this light of awareness, through which we experience the inner and
outer world, sinks into its source, and illumination flashes forth.

In Kundalini Yoga, the posture/movement (always practiced with still awareness) combined
with powerful breath creates this purification in various areas of the body directly, and with it
comes an electrical charge to these areas. To support this electrical charge, and this is the
very important point to remember in your Kundalini Yoga practice, the glands secrete very
specialized chemicals. The charge or voltage generated directly impacts the glandular system
causing the glands to secrete so that this charge may be sustained and maintained. Chemical
electric pathways open. Once the active part of the Kundalini Yoga exercise is completed, the
passive part begins. The reaction of the glandular and nervous system to the vitality of the
bloodstream impacting the specific areas of pressure brought about through the posture or
movement takes some time to complete. The time period depends on the duration of the
exercise and other dynamics of the body’s ability to circulate the secreted chemicals.

Therefore, you have an active aspect of each Kundalini Yoga exercise and a passive aspect,
which must be experienced for the exercise to achieve its full benefit!

In the experience of the passive aspect of a Kundalini Yoga exercise, initially, there is the
sensation of decontraction of the cells and muscles and ligaments in the area. Then comes the
sensation of opening and radiance. Then the radiance begins to balance with all the other
organs and cells of the body, strengthening the magnetic field of the whole body, bringing it
into balance with the area affected in the exercise. And you begin to feel a previously
impalpable sensation of “electric radiance” / “transparent electric” – which grows and expands
(and brings about a deepening) through each progressing Kundalini Yoga exercise (and kriya)
that make up a set, and then progressively building from set to set.

At the end of each set, usually before a meditation, we allow the body to go into a deep
relaxation, yoga nidra, through which all the energies compacted in various areas of he body
may finally release, merge, deepen, effecting an entire systemic new increased voltage plateau
in the body, so that gradually you will become aware of the inner and outer radiance

In Kundalini Yoga, we usually diversify the sets practiced in order to bring about the opening
of the cells, glands, organs, nerves and systems in every area of the body.
Typically, the passive part of a Kundalini Yoga exercise is as long as the active part, but what
you are looking for is a sensation of the radiance circulating and rising through the body to the
crown and beyond, which indicates the balancing of the electromagnetic field is complete.

Typically the Yoga Nidra is 10 to 15 minutes.

Purification of the subconscious:
The body is a mechanism that stores the impressions of who we think we are. (The body is
like the hard drive for computer storage, versus the brain as the RAM/cache
storage.) Because the impressions are stored in the body structure, we call it the
subconscious. With Kundalini Yoga practice, the electric chemical balance of the voltage of
the body increases to bring about a system wide vibratory frequency that is higher – more
subtle – than the frequency of thought vibration, so that your sense of identity begins to
become clearer and clearer, less linked to thought and sensation. No longer drawn to this or
that reactive thought or imbedded compulsion, but open single clear awareness of the
pervasiveness of consciousness throughout the body field (i.e., the ten bodies).

At the lower voltage level of the body, the mind’s focusing mechanism of attention needs to
be used to see and know. It moves through the darkness (unawareness) of the body/mind field
like a flashlight used to see on a dark night whose light grips each arising thought, sensation,
impression in order to compare or merge with the sense of “I” inherent in the light.
Sometimes more is seen. Like the waxing and waning of the moon cycles, the mind becomes
brighter (feelings of love, compassion – satvic) and dimmer (feelings of hate, distrust,
judgment – rajasic, tamasic).

Many people have no real sense or feeling of the energy radiance that pervades and sustains
the body, i.e., their own life force, let alone that this force of Life is actually the Light and
Life of the Infinite Being that denotes the single sense of “I” in the body. We focus to each
part of the body and feel that part of the body.

But with Kundalini Yoga practice, in particular a daily morning sadhana, the overall voltage
of the body begins to become the same as, even greater than, the voltage of the focusing
mechanism of the mind……..

The result of this is that you begin to lose your experience of the need to focus, i.e., direct
attention, as your awareness now simultaneously encompasses the whole body! You realize
yourself to be the single seer of the whole body and the radiant field around, which you
actually experience without focusing.

Kundalini Yoga practice includes the use of mantra and meditations.

Mantra in Kundalini Yoga is much different in effect and impact than with other yogas,
because through the practice of what we might call the “Yoga of Light,” as described above,
the “Yoga of Sound” is amplified. With the Yoga of Light, the whole body begins to
resonate. When you add the Yoga of Sound, the sound amplifies throughout the body, and
has the unique and special effect of integrating the energy that has been systematically stored
from each Kundalini Yoga exercise. It’s like playing a regular guitar versus playing an
electric guitar, where the reverberation increases with the amplitude of the voltage. But with
Kundalini Yoga, the very use of the mantra also increases the amplitude of the voltage, so that
you have a leveraged effect. Part of this is due to the effect of the sound causing a breakdown
of subtle blockages of energy flow. Part has to do with the effect of releasing of energy stored
in areas of the body from practicing Kundalini Yoga exercises. And, with the use of mantra,
the glands also secrete to support and sustain the increasing voltage. You may practice a
Kundalini Yoga set for an hour, and feel the radiance throughout your body and mind, and
now you practice a mantra, and within 5 minutes the energy is so tremendously greater, and
yet at the same time easy flowing and expanding, that there is no comparison.

While there are kriyas to benefit every part of the body and every aspect of the mind, and
kriyas to activate the energy channels and control governors between the base of the spine and
crown, there are also special kriyas and meditations to trigger the opening of the Spiritual
Heart (not the anahata chakra) and the Pathway of the Self between the Spiritual Heart and the
Crown. The Radiance felt here is both inward pulling and expansive, all absorbing and
pushing out from within and between the atoms of the body. Time and space lose there
meaning altogether. Stillness, radiance, pervasiveness, and all notions are relinquished.

Once you are able to “hear” the soundless pulsing of the “I as I,” the radiance takes on a
different characteristic that inwardly reflects the Truth (Sat), giving the continuous sensation
of Remembrance of your True Self single and pervasive and Abiding as That.

Kundalini Yoga meditations have a very specific purpose of opening the gate to the Infinite
Spirit, which is to say, to subtly dissolve the remaining idea that the notional sense of “i” we
feel as myself in the body is separate or different from the True “I” of which our notional “i” is
only a reflection in the mind of the Temple of the True “I” in the Spiritual Heart.

As the mind becomes pure and satvic, there emerges a sense of a clear Force of Intelligence,
that pervades the body field, but is felt initially in the area of the brain, wherein you feel the
question arising, without a thought formation, of inquiry into where the sense of seeing
arises. As the inner intensity increased, you feel a pulling force in your Heart (not the anahata
chakra), initially like a magnet, and then like a graviton, transfixing the body and mind as one
in Spirit, where inside and outside vanish, and “Everything is Whole” (YB)

Yogis call this force of intelligent awareness the budhi or discriminative faculty of the
mind. The emergence of this discriminative faculty is because the mind is experienced to be
radiant, clear, pervasive and still. Abiding in that stillness and pervasive field of radiance,
which has no here or there focus, the experiencer Itself amplifies Its own Intelligence to ask
“Who …? And suddenly something new happens, which we can call Yoga – Union. A
Hearing, Recollection and Abiding. You hear and experience with a deep inner clarity that
draws your sense of “i” powerfully inwards to a remembrance of who you are behind
everything. Yogis call this experience Turya.

You feel as though a sun is rising in the Heart, and with it that the moon of the mind is less
and less needed to see and know, even though it may appear in the crystal blue sky. The
notions of here and there become meaningless, and you abide in the recollection of your True
Identity, the Ground of Being, as though coming out of an amnesia.

Initially, this “hearing” (sunia, sravana) is felt like a pulsing of “I as I” – like the striking of a
tuning fork that reverberates as a soundless sound, or like a self-effulgent pervasive screen
upon which everything emerges into appearance, only the images on the screen are seen from
their perspective of the undifferentiated whole, and the idea of separateness simply dissolves
from the conscious field.

In Kundalini Yoga, the evolutionary/involutionary practice taken as a whole is called One
Star Spirituality, the One Star being the Reality in the Heart that expands Light of Being
outward while drawing the self inward to abide as one’s True Self. The True Guru within us is
experienced as sound and light that subtly draws us inward to awaken to our whole Self.
While Kundalini Yoga is not a religion, with daily practice the words in the spiritual texts of
all religions will be heard, and you will feel the force of your True Self awakening to the
meaning within the sound of the words, like being called from a sound sleep.

All this to say that, if a daily sadhana is taken up and you practice the breathing and locks
properly, and you practice each Kundalini Yoga exercise, kriya, mantra and meditation
understanding that with every active part there is an equally important (more important)
passive part, then fear, imbalance, and everything related will pass and you will experience
your True Whole Self. “Wait, be patient, relax, consolidate integrate, be You…” Yogi Bhajan

Just practice, practice the right way, and keep up, and “everything that is good will come to
you.” (YB) Sat Nam

Basic Kundalini Yoga Breathing: By Pieter Schoonheim Samara


In our classes here in Bangkok, before we even start the class with Ong Namo Guru Dev Namo we always practice several types of Long Deep Breathing (LDB) and Breath of Fire (BF). Quite often students come to the class somewhat disjointed, frazzled, tense, agitated, our of since, so that a few Long Deep Breaths followed by Breath of Fire will make the blood alkali, sooth and charge the nerves and steady and balance the electromagnetic field and the mind. While some may wait to teach the various locks for a later class, we teach the locks as part of the breathing before every class, because the locks regulate and direct the flow energy/consciousness (prana). Even a very light set done with correct breathing can be so powerful that it is important that the locks are learned and applied from the beginning.

The set is comprised of the opening salutation / mantra. Here we usually do the long Ong Namo version, in which each of the 5 sounds are made with a single deep breath, after 3 to 5 repetitions we inhale hold the breath and pull the root lock (Mul Bhand), then slowly relax the breath. This often puts many of the students into an electromagnetic grip that gradually subsides and dissipates through the body and mind. The mind is now perfectly still and prepared to simply watch the Kundalini Yoga exercises without thought or inclination of being the “doer.” We call this approach “Applied Awareness.”

Then to the specified set with rest periods after every KY exercise or Kriya or after 2 or 3  short KY exercises. Maybe because of all the KY classes taught in gymnasiums, where people come for a workout, KY classes have tended to become more of an aerobics of one to the next to the next without a break or very little break. But the rest period in KY is as important as the exercise period. When the breathing is understood and done properly during a KY exercise,
blood saturates into the area and nerve/energy channels that the KY exercise puts under an expanding or contracting pressure. After a few minutes the capillaries open and relax under the pressure and the clean vibrant fresh (molecular) air, brought in from the lungs to the heart and out through the arteries, fills the cells with oxygen, hydrogen, nitrogen and the other elements of the air, and accumulated waste and gasses is removed and discharged through the
veins to the heart and out through the lungs. During the exercise, the cells of the glands and organs and nerves of the body become pranicly charged, and the body needs to have a rest period to assimilate, process, store and balance the energy. Glands secrete and vitalize the blood, and these various types of pranic energies need to flow throughout the body to be assimilated and stabilized within the magnetic field.

During this relaxation period, students will become aware of and feel and experience for themselves the flow of prana, which is missed if one goes from one KY exercise to the next without some break. Not only this, but due to this allowing of the prana to flow and balance, the electric charge in the nerves and organs becomes much stronger and deeper with each successive exercise.

Sometime we joke here about the level of electrocution one felt during and after a set and meditation, because with this resting period, the prana is allowed to accumulate and in the process; it permeates every part of the body to a saturation point. Spiritual and psychic centers open by themselves and deep intuitions rise into the consciousness. Yogi Bhajan relates many wonderful benefits to the practice of certain sets, kriyas and meditations, but, if the practice is not done correctly, these benefits will not accrue.

When we go to sleep, the energy in the body increases filling the body with light. This light then withdraws into the ida and pingala, then into the sushumna and to the brain and down to the spiritual heart (not the heart chakra) where the prana merges in infinite undifferentiated light, and the body and mind are restored.

With the practice of KY, where the rest periods are included, the student begins to become aware of this pranic flow, such that it begins to become a natural expanding experience from KY class to KY class. You begin to become consciously aware of the levels of energy/consciousness that we formerly lost consciousness to when falling asleep.

In Reality the body – the Universe, in all its dimensions is bathed in and appears within the Infinite Field of Awareness of Light – always. With the practice of KY this Light emerges into the student’s consciousness until the grip of the thoughts and sensations and impressions of the mind dissolves and we say Truthfully, “I am Light.”

The KY set is usually followed by a Laya chant (mantra) and/or meditation. The KY set creates the effect of an amplification of the electromagnetic field, which is often felt as some kind of etheric pranic pressure. This pressure is released and resonates with a tremendous power throughout the chakras and spiritual centers, including the aura. The effect is often so powerful that one feels as though the sun has appeared in the spiritual heart, penetrating from behind the veil of the mind suffusing everything with Light.

The end of the set and meditation is necessarily followed by an extended period of relaxation – 10 minutes or longer. It’s like entering a new program into a computer and the computer needs to reboot for the new programming to take effect.

This whole process of reprogramming is to bring the awareness to the point where it no longer reflects the old images, but reflects it’s single Self. It’s as though through this “programming” process, the individual PC is linked to the universal Server, and in the process we become linked “yoked” to and unified with everything, not just as an idea but as a living continuous experience.

After some time the students are brought back from their yoga nidra (yogic sleep) with a few deep breaths, then rotating ankles and wrists, then rubbing the palms of the hands together and soles of the feet together, followed by taking hold of the knees and rocking forward and back the spine. Then, sitting up cross legged for a minute. This is followed by raising the arms straight out at 60o with the tips of the fingers curled in (not the fist), thumbs up and feeling the prana flowing in the spine, through the top of the head, through the heart and arms and around the body’s magnetic field. Then Breath of Fire for 2 to 3 minutes. Inhale hold 30 seconds, then, still holding the breath, put the thumbs together over the top of the head. Then making tight fists and pressing the thumbs together with some pressure about 4 inches before the forehead, while leaning forwards slightly and bringing the prana to the third eye (Ajna chakra). Then relax the arms and meditate for a while.

The class is finished by chanting long Sat Nam, which is to place the palms together at the sternum level, inhale deeply, chant “Saaaa…t, Nam,” where the “aaaa..” continued until the breath is nearly finished, and ending with “t… Nam” This is repeated several times as the students are made aware of the sound of the “sss” and “aaaa” vibrating through the spine and throughout the body.

Then everyone inhales, pulls the root lock (Mul Bhand), holds the breath suspended in the chest for 30 or more seconds, then slowly exhales. Some may feel an electromagnetic gripping in the posture, as the mind becomes perfectly placid and pervasive.

Many students will continue to stay and remain unmoving, engulfed in meditation in that etherically still pervasive pranic state, watching the flow of prana, free of any thoughts or inclinations.

After, we have Yogi Tea.

One question that might be asked. If this is what the students experience, what does the teacher experience. Something quite extraordinary happens to the teacher. Before the KY class, while beginning to think about the set and meditation, the teacher will feel the flow of prana related to the KY exercises as he/she goes through them.

When the teacher sits before the class, a liquid light flows up through the body filling the teacher’s mind, like a stream of polarized etheric energy. The teacher’s mind becomes very still and he/she seems to lead the class from an intuitive space. Become a KY teacher and see what happens.


Just a brief explanation of what happens physiologically when practicing Kundalini Yoga exercises and kriyas.

The once side of the heart receives the vitalized blood from the lungs, then pumps the blood out through the arteries to the capillaries of the organs and to their cells. The cells take in the vitality from the blood and discharge toxins, waste and gasses, which travel back up through the veins to another chamber of the heart, which pumps the blood through the lungs, where the impurities are discharged and vital air recharged into the blood, and so on. This process is explained in detail in various Kundalini Yoga Manuals, as it reveals a key to how and what Kundalini Yoga is all about and provides the understanding of why these Kundalini Yoga sets and kriyas combined with proper breathing are so effective.

The postures and movements create an expanding or contracting pressure on certain areas of the body that causes the blood to saturate the organs and glands, which with the nerves expand under the pressure opening more and more to the vitality of the blood.

To vitalize the blood, it is necessary that the lower part of the lungs, where most of the blood
sacks are, is expanded.

The diaphragm comes down behind the ribs and wraps under, below the lungs. When you expand your breathing downward, the lower part of the diaphragm expands downward and out pushing against the abdominal muscles. Pressing the diaphragm down, you should feel the sense of its distention all the way below the navel and to the sides above the pelvis as the abdomen comes out. The abdominals remain relaxed, as the diaphragm does the breathing.

In a long deep breath, while expanding your breath downward, the diaphragm will naturally expand and distend forward. First you feel the expansion of the air filling the lower lungs higher and higher until there is a sense of suspension that continues to lifting the rib cage from the lower solar plexus area to the shoulder clavicular area, without the slightest exertion of the muscles of the rib cage.

As an assistance to this experience of the diaphragm, you sit cross-legged on the floor with the spine straight, hands resting on the knees, breath in consciously expanding and compacting the air downward to the lowest part of the lungs. As the air is filling in, you press your hands inward against the knees towards the hips and slightly downward. This causes the spine to arch forward and rib cage to open and lift without any exertion of the muscles in the
ribs. (Try it.)

As you continue to inhale, pressing the air downward, the middle and upper parts of the lungs will become completely full. Then bring the shoulders back and exhale compressing all the air out of the lungs from the top downward, so that the lower ribs (solar plexus) and abdomen (the Kandal, behind the navel area) contract. This is one long deep breath. It can be done easily and smoothly or with force and power.

Either way, it is the diaphragm which generates the expansion and contraction of the lungs. You can feel the extension of the diaphragm when you breath inward slightly and suspend the breath, which gives a unique sensation without reference to inhaling or exhaling or holding.

With this kind of breathing the blood’s chemistry changes dramatically with a few breaths.Before we start a Kundalini Yoga class, we will take several long deep breath, maybe 10 or 20 in different sitting positions, as a means to cleans the energy channels, such as the ida and pingala, charge the nerves so they resonate and clear the mind of distracting thoughts. In this way the mantra dedicating one’s practice at the start of the class will have its full effect.

For example, try this to cleans the channels before a class: Sitting straight, as mentioned above, you stretch up your left arm straight beside the left ear, palms facing inwards. Then you raise your right arm, with the right thumb covering the right nostril fingers pointed straight up like antenna. Then begin long deep breathing, stretching the left arm up so that pressure is always felt in the armpits and upward reaching arm. This also opens all the vertebra along the peripheral nerves on the left side of the spine, allowing blood to saturate this entire area. Continue long deep breaths 10 to 20 times (or more), then inhale deeply and
completely, hold the breath by pressing the shoulders back and suspending the breath forward in the chest, turn the eyes towards the top of the head, tongue pressing the pallet, pull the root lock expanding the chest, and hold for 30 seconds (or more) without strain.

During this breathing and while you hold the breath, with a slight attention, you will feel the ida nadi or moon nerve (that cools the body), an energy channel from the point between the eyebrows (left lobe of the pituitary) up over the left side of the top of the head and down the back of the left side of the neck and left side of the spine to the base of the spine. You may even be able to consciously follow the flow of energy in and down the energy channel as you
inhale and up and out, as you exhale, which draws in and deepens the mind into a penetrating stillness.

Then, keeping the left arm straight, slowly exhale through the left nostril, and after few moments gently lower your arms and hands back to the knees.
Sitting straight, you will feel an electric current along this ida nadi, that will become stronger as you sit, while stilling the mind.

After a minute or 2, begin the same breath on the opposite side, which will cleans the pingala nadi, or sun nerve (heats the body), an energy channel from the point between the eyebrows (right lobe of the pituitary) up over the right side of the top of the head and down the back of the right side of the neck and right side of the spine to the base of the spine.

When you notice how this simple Kundalini Yoga exercise has this dramatic effect, even for many students very first class, then you also realize and understand that this same purification process occurs in every Kundalini Yoga exercise, kriya and meditation, as it relates to the creation of a pressure on the glands, organs and nerves, where such pressure causes the blood to saturated the area under pressure.

You will feel your life force, and as the glands purify and secrete, vitalizing the blood, the electric feeling will deepen and become almost liquid and pervasive.
There are several types of pranayamas combined with certain angles, mudras, pressures that generate a similar effect.

Even though we are not aware of it, the body field generates and is in the midst of tremendous levels of energy. The sounds and images we hear and see in the mind are the creation of the movement of atoms that vibrate on a molecular level.

The same energy that powers the atom, forms and binds the molecules to create the cells of  the body and regulate the entire continuous manifestation of the body and mind as a constant single intelligent support and substratum.

As we continue to practice Kundalini Yoga, gradually the cells charge and we begin to become aware of this energy as consciousness. The yogis refer to prana as an intelligent force of light that begins to become brighter and more pervasive than the typical firing of actionreaction thought patters, emotions and moods.
We find ourselves no longer gripped by the identity to these inherent tendencies, and we begin to feel and become aware of ourselves as this intelligent pervasive light. The body seems to become spacelike – transparent and free, like a light in a projector, turned up to become brighter, as it passes through the reel to reel ongoing movie of impressions and drama, appearing on a screen that fades to white.

Over time, especially if one remembers to relax between Kundalini Yoga exercises to allow the body to readjust to the discharging of waste and recharging of the cells, and the balancing of the glands, organs and nerves, the energy levels deepen to the point where the encoded patters of the mind in all the cells and molecules of the body field are outshined, and you feel the pervasive light shining through you from within, between and behind the atoms of the body. All this to say that, if one practices the Kundalini Yoga exercises and Kriyas, Laya chants and meditations with still watching awareness; if one practices the long deep breathing, as outlined herein with the energy locks (Bhandas) when required, the outturned mind will egin to reflect the single pervasive Living Light penetrating from the core of Being, and you will recognize yourself as That.

Once one is able to do Long Deep Breathing, which is to say, to feel the complete expansion an contraction of the diaphragm and lungs without the need to feel that the abdominals or ribs are involved in the breathing process, then the Breath of Fire comes naturally and easily.
More on the Breath of Fire later ….


The main thing for breath of fire is that it is done properly, using the whole length of the diaphragm going evenly in with pressure on the navel and solar plexus, and out, where the lower, middle and upper areas of the diaphragm project out.

To feel the inhalation aspect of the outward distending diaphragm, you might want to try to sniff some air in and feeling it through the lungs evenly, suspend the breath, as though you were still inhaling, but without the continuation of the filling of the upper clavicular area, as with LDB.

You should feel a sensation all along the diaphragm, that may even be felt in the face, brow and crown, like a radiation. Then compress the diaphragm inwards, without squeezing the air out completely, as with LDB or, moreso, kapalabati at the navel and solar plexus.

After doing this sniffing in, suspension and contracting back a few times, so that you can feel the length and breadth of the diaphragm and like one side of a board that opens evenly in a bellows, begin to expand and contract the diaphragm rhythmically, then begin to add more speed and power to the breath, evenly expanding and contracting.

Often people will do the breath of fire using just the upper area of the diaphragm, and even try to use the rib cage and shoulders to act as a pumping mechanism, or they may focus on just moving the navel, or they may mistakenly pump the navel with an inward force, relaxing the breath on the inhale, similar to kapalabati. None of these is correct or a substitute for breath of fire done, as described above with the even full length of the diaphragm expanding and contracting rhythmically with increasing power.

The speed and power of the breath of fire depends on the capacity and development of the student / practitioner. Some may take quite some time to get it right, others will get it right from the beginning. Others will get it right, but it will take time to be able to do the breath with speed and power.

All this to say that so long as you are aware that everyone is doing the breath properly, the rhythm power and speed are up to the practitioner’s capability. It’s better to do it right and develop the right breathing habit than do it wrong, and not receive the full benefit of the leverage that breath of fire brings to the kundalini yoga exercise, set, kriya, meditation.

In our classes here in Bangkok, we start the classes first with an exercise in long deep breathing, which also assists in discovering the fill length and capacity of the diaphragm and then we do an exercise, variations as described above, in breath of fire.

As these 2 pranayamas are the prerequisite for gaining the full benefit of kundalini yoga exercises and full vibratory effect of mantras, we practice these first. It also brings the mind into a clear state of awareness, as the blood becomes alkali with the long deep breathing exercise, and electric from the breath of fire. With the mind still and clear, it becomes much easier to watch the flow of awareness towards the movements and positions in each kundalini yoga exercise and link that awareness (which is the universal consciousness pervading and shining within each of us) to the breath, which in turn further amplifies the flow of (cosmic)
energy into the areas of the body put under pressure by the posture, movement or position of the exercise, or kriya, so that you begin to feel the radiance and flow of prana throughout the body and through the arc-line and aura…. merging with the all-pervasive consciousness.

At the end of the exercise in long deep breathing and breath of fire, inhale deeply and hold the breath. The root lock and neck lock should be applied, as when you do these pranayamas correctly, there will be a great flow of energy prana circulating throughout the nervous, circulatory and glandular systems, and the locks channel the energy into nerves and centers that are able to carry a higher voltage easily, namely the ida, pingala and sushumna.

As you know, root lock is the tightening or pulling in of the anus and sex organs to lock the anal sphincter muscles, while pulling in on the navel (arching forward the lower spine), which creates a triangulation effect in the area between the navel and 4th vertebra, called the Kandal, which regulates the energy in the body. From the Kandal, the energy will automatically flow to the base of the spine and upwards through the spine. In the beginning people don’t feel this flow, but after a while the energy awareness is strong enough that you do feel it naturally.

The neck lock involves pressing the shoulders back and the chest forward, which converts the inhalation holding the breath to a suspension of the breath, in particular when you also bring the chin back slightly and extend the neck upwards by sensing the atlas and axis (top 2 vertebra) and pulling them back and up with a slight pressure, keeping the head straight. If you do this properly, the suspended breath will circulate, flow downward to the root lock and circulate easily up the spine towards and through the brow point and crown. Just a note that the pulling in of the chin and pulling back and up of the atlas and axis is slight, not forceful as we sometimes see a soldier at attention. When the neck lock is done in this way, you will also feel the shoulders, which you have pressed back, also arch back and seem to lock downwards. Try it and you will see what is meant here, and feel the difference, if you haven’t been practicing root lock and neck lock in this way.

These locks are important to assist in the easy smooth flow of the prana that is generated and released when you do long deep breathing and breath of fire properly as a pranayama on its own or in any position, asana or movement, or with any meditation or chanting of mantras, where the release of vibratory energy can be even greater.

When the electromagnetic field becomes balanced and strong, the lower spine will arch forward pulling from within, the chest will come forward with an inward pushing pressure, and the root lock and neck lock will pull into place with a magnetic sensation automatically, and the whole body will fill with light.

While this is a long answer to a simple question, it is important from the outset of kundalini yoga sets, kriyas and meditations, to breath properly and execute the locks properly.

One other area of importance, is that as the energy is so much greater, when you practice properly, it is even more important to be sure that between each pranayama or kundalini yoga exercise that you wait, pause and let the energy make it’s complete release in the pressured areas related to the exercise, and then completely circulate so that the glands can secrete, nerves settle with the restabilizing of the prana and the magnetic field balance. Then you will also receive and experience the full intended benefit of the kriya and set and meditation you practice. The difference of effect from pausing between exercises and not, is enormous. You will feel the whole body radiating terrifically. Many students, including the teacher, will want to stay on long after the class and meditate in the deepening stillness that by itself draws you into the seer, until you suddenly realize your Self as the screen upon which and within which everything appears.