The Chakras -Part 8

Transformation of the mind

AFTER seventeen years of persistent meditation on the Crown Lotus, Gopi Krishna had the following experience:

‘The illumination grew brighter and brighter, the roaring louder and louder, I experienced a rocking sensation and then felt myself slipping out of my body, entirely enveloped in a halo of light. I felt the point of consciousness that was myself growing wider, surrounded by waves of light.

‘I was now all consciousness, without any outline, without any idea of a corporeal appendage, without any feeling or sensation coming from the senses, immersed in a sea of light, simultaneously conscious and aware of every point, spread out, as it were, in all directions without any barrier or material obstructions. I was a vast circle of awareness in which the body was but a point, bathed in light and in a state of exaltation impossible to describe.’

For years afterwards he was ill, sometimes almost to the point of death. He had, he said, awoken the Kundalini up the wrong channel. Eventually this was righted, but he refrained from meditation, as the power worked best when left alone. This was in 1937. Today, more than thirty years later, his new awareness has stabilised and gradually matured.

Gopi Krishna used one of the conscious effort techniques to arouse Kundalini. Morning and evening, sometimes for hours, he sat concentrating his attention on the crown of his head. Here he visualised a Lotus in full bloom, radiating light. If his thoughts wandered, as they did time after time, he brought them back to concentrate on the image.
The Way of The Body

There are time-honoured methods in the path using the body. One of these is described as follows. In the Gheranda Samhita it says:

‘In the Muladhara is Kundalini of the form of a serpent. The Jivatman is there like the flame of a lamp. Contemplate on this flame as the luminous Brahman’ – that is, visualise a small flame at the base of the spine, and imagine it is an expression of God incarnate in you.

Another method it gives is:

‘Throw the two legs behind the neck, holding them strongly like a noose (Pasha). This is called Pashini – mudra; it awakens the Shakti (Kundalini).’

A practice Theos Bernard was taught is the traditional method of Shakticalana is to sit in the Bound Lotus or Siddhasana position. Inhale through the right nostril, lock the chin onto the chest and gaze forcedly at the tip of the nose or between the eyebrows. Imagine you are holding your breath in the Swadhishthana -abdominal – Chakra; now tense the rectum and pull in the navel. Before the tension weakens, breathe out through the left nostril and begin again. This practice must be gradually increased to an hour and a half daily until the Kundalini is felt to move like a hot flame up the spine.

Other physical practices are Bhastrika – forced expiration, hundreds of repetitions of Uddiyana and Nauli (moving the abdomen in and out with breath out) and standing on the head for three hours daily.
The Mystery of the Breath

All of these practices have to be thought of in terms of years rather than weeks or months. But one of the most straight forward and usable of these techniques is the Alternate Nostril Breathing.

Sit in the Lotus posture, breathe out, and close the right nostril with the thumb. The first and second fingers of this (right) hand should be on the palm. Breathe in through the left nostril to a count of 5 hold the breath for a count of 20, then close the left nostril with the third and fourth finger and breathe out through the right nostril to a count of ten.

Breathe through the right to a count of five and continue for ten repetitions. Increase repetitions over months, to 84, twice daily. If the held breath is easy, take it up to 8-32-16 or 10-40-20 or higher. But there should never be any struggle to retain the breath, it is the repetitions which are important. As the breath is drawn in, imagine the life force being taken in to the base of the spine. As the breath is held, imagine a flame of light arising up the spine to the crown of the head. As the breath is exhaled, the flame withdraws to the base.

TURNING to practices which are less directly aimed at effort arousal of the Kundalini, the power can be experienced as sound or light. This inner experience of Kundalini has given rise to a variety of practices. Some of the oldest and most widely used of those are Shabda or Mantra Yoga – and Dhyana.
Life Is Music – Music is Sound

The activity of Kundalini in us produces sounds. If you sit and listen to the sounds within the ear, you will notice, apart from any noises heard outside you, a background sound all the time within. This may be a faint humming or ringing, or perhaps a throbbing. Whatever it is, fix the attention on it and keep it there. If the attention wanders, bring it back, time after time after time. This stills the mind as our being becomes immersed in the sound. Thus a condition of stillness, of listening, of receptiveness is produced. When the conscious self becomes receptive then the superconscious self or overself can become dynamic, and begins to release its energies to our fertile being.

Gradually during the months and years of practice, the transforming influence released into our outer life, changes us. Also, the inner sounds we hear change. At times we may hear the voice of silence – or see our Master who gives us instructions and encouragement. Both the voice and vision are objectifications of our superconscious state, expressing to us through words we hear, or through the symbol of a great being. In this way the potential of the Kundalini is released into our life more surely and balanced than self direction.

THE meditation on light has a similar influence. Start by gazing at a candle. Gradually learn to close the eyes, and retain the image of the flame. Persistence and patience is obviously needed in all these methods. As the flame can be held with the eyes closed, dispense with the candle. Now learn to spread the light throughout the whole body, so one’s entire being is bathed in light. Here it is the light that works on one instead of the sound. They are but different symbols for the same power. The same applies about the voice of the silence and the appearance of the Master.

An ancient Chinese method is to sit and do nothing; i.e. do not attempt to get anywhere, achieve anything, or reach any special state of consciousness. Fix the attention on the middle of the brow and let the light circulate according to its own nature. That is, in sitting down for the practice, realise that the laws of the universe created you. These laws are complete in themselves, and if left alone, will come to fruition, completion, or self realisation in your own being. Thus, in sitting, you drop your own desires, and ambitions, and place yourself in the influence of the Law. The concentration on the brow is to steady the mind, to give it a centre. The rest is to do nothing but sit in the Law.
The Great Amen

MANTRA is, (for those who find it difficult to hear the sound, imagine the light or do nothing), an extremely helpful way. It can be used vocally or silently. Both are very powerful, but the vocal chanting of a Mantra is immediately potent. Again it must be used in terms of years not weeks or months. Growth is a slow process. Morning and evening, sit in a chosen spot for at least half an hour. Choose a Mantra and stick with it. The Shrimad Bhagavatam says: Seated in a secluded place, free from all disturbing thoughts of the world, one must first repeat in one’s mind the sacred word (OM) with understanding of its meaning. The word OM’ is one with God, and indeed is God. By this practice alone one gains control of Prana and the mind,

Om or Aum, is pronounced by opening the mouth, fully and letting the air out of the lungs making an AAAH sound. Then gradually close the mouth. This turns the AH into OOO, then MM. So we have AUM. It is not the meaning but the vibrational power that gives it value. Say it over and over, aloud or within.

Another wonderful Mantra is OM MANI PADME HUM. Again, as in the other practice, if the attention wanders, bring it back to the Mantra. DO NOT force the mind to stillness, just be aware of the Mantra. Some English Mantras are ‘Before Abraham was – I AM’, – ‘It is not in it – For it realises itself,’ and ‘I am that I am’.

Regarding the surrender method, this is known throughout the world. Perhaps it can be summarised by the Biblical phrase ‘Come to me all ye,. who are weak and heavy laden, and I will give ye rest’,’ Or ‘Be still and know that I am God’.

In this method we accept that we do not consciously know what is best for us – not knowing fully why we exist or where we are going. Thus we throw the burden of our existence upon life itself. Our will, our intellect, our sexual feelings and appetites, are released from the hold we have on them, and held out to Life to organise and direct. This is not like Orthodox Christianity where a preconceived morality or ‘goodness’ is lived up to. Here we become plastic and softened, so that Life can mould us according to what is innate in it. It is an. emptying of self, a swooning of self, as St. Teresa calls it, so that the divine in us may direct us and, change us.

In this way there is no attempt to get anywhere or awaken anything or be anybody. It is simply a being still while yet being active in the world. Abu Tazid at Bistami wrote: ‘Be in a domain where neither good nor evil; exists. Nothing is better for man than to be without aught, having no asceticism, no theory, no practice.’

But in the beginning of this practice, it is as if there is our personality or awareness, which offers itself and is acted upon – and there is that which acts upon it which men have given unaccountable names. These two are really one, but are seen as such only later. Shri Aurobindo says: ‘One commences in a method, but the work is taken up by a Grace from above, from that to which one aspires. It was in this last way that I myself came by the mind’s absolute silence, unimaginable to me before I had its actual experience.

It is important to realise that you may unconsciously hold the concept that to surrender means to become physically still and passive. Remember that for may people the surrender led to physical movement, making sounds, expressing emotions, dancing. So surrender needs to be done with the willingness to hold out all of one to be moved.

After his initial years of meditation, Gopi Krishna came to see that:

‘Contrary to the belief which attributes spiritual growth to purely psychic causes, to extreme self denial and renunciation or to an extraordinary degree of religious fervour, I found that a man can rise from the normal to a higher level or consciousness by a continuous biological process as regular as any other activity of the body.’

The energies of this higher consciousness in man and woman is a natural process. It is as natural as the arrival of teeth in the child, or sexuality in adolescence. In fact it is a continuation of the same process. But it seems as if this process of growth which extrudes the body, brings about human consciousness and personality, washes man up onto a sea-shore from the ocean of Life processes. For further growth, it appears that we must agree to go along with life – must decide that this is what we want – must cooperate with the process or else be stranded on the shore.

How do we do this? First recognise clearly that some process, some force, causes you to exist. You can call this what you wish, it does not matter, it remains what it is. Next recognise that this process that you are, causes changes in your life, and is apparent as growth and maturity. It does this by integrating your life and everyday experience.

Next, decide to go along with this process. Offer yourself as you are to it. Let things happen – allow changes to take place – sit in the Law. You will be shown the way.

This path does not attempt to crush the ego, the appetites, the instincts. Rather, it hands them over living so that they can develop to higher levels of expression, and reach towards fuller self-realisation in everyday life,

‘I said to my soul be still and wait without hope,
For Hope would be hope for the wrong thing.
Wait without love, for love would be love of the wrong thing.
There remains yet faith, and the faith and the love,
and the hope are all in the waiting.’

In all, to sum it up, say YES to Life!

Copyright © 1999-2010 Tony Crisp | All rights reserved