Advanced Daoyin Qigong and Kundalini Yoga
orA Treatise on the Awakening of Fundamental Transformational Energies
By Koujiryuu © 2012 Not to be reposted without permission.ForewordIntroduction and Preface
A word of warning
Qigong SectionYin and Yang Theory
Qigong Theory Review
Kan and Li (Fire and Water) Theory
Exercise 1: The Little Orbit and Building the Cauldron
Exercise 2: Self Steaming
Fire Path, Water Path, Wind Path
Exercise 3: Wind Path Meditation
Exercise 4: Bone Breathing in the Spine
Exercise 5: Water Path Meditation
Exercise 6: Two Centers BreathingYoga SectionHindu Cosmology and Shaktism Theory
What is Kundalini?
Nadis and Chakras explanation
Exercise 1: Alternate Nostril (Lom Vilom) Pranayama
Exercise 2: Opening the Chakras Meditation
What is a Mantra? Mantra Yoga Theory
Exercise 3: Chanting
Where you should be by now and learning to let go
Exercise 4: Divine Light Meditation
Confirmatory experiences on the path of Kundalini
AppendixChina vs India vs Hermetic Science: Tying it all together
Thanks and creditsForewordIntroduction and Preface
Welcome to my final chapter on Daoyin Qigong.
This guide has been 8 years in the making. It first started off as an idea, the natural culmination of my other articles on Veritas, Beginning Daoist Qigong
and Intermediate Daoyin Qigong and Applications
. I had attempted to pen this guide at least twice before, never getting far, and had done an enormous amount of research on the subject of the fundamental transformational energy of the human body. Some of this research included my own personal study of Hermetic systems as written by Franz Bardon and Israel Regardie. Some of this research included hours of chat in the Veritas chat room on the subject, including a lecture given by myself and Prophecy, oh so long ago. Some of this research included talking on MSN messenger with Darkduck for hours about the nature of Fudoshin-ki
in Aikido practice and how that compares to Kundalini, Qigong theory and Hermetic science. Of course, some of this research involved me trying different systems of awakening transformational energy through actual practice, such as the Middle Pillar Rite and different kinds of Daoist and Buddhist meditation. A great deal of research was done over the years on ancient treatises like "The Secret of the Golden Flower" by Lu Tzu and "The Yoga Kundalini Upanishad".
Ultimately, though, I didn't attempt to write this guide until now. I felt that while my understanding and experiences with Yoga were good and authentic, I was lacking some of the higher aspects of Daoist Qigong theory. More specifically, my experiences with transformational energy were experienced from a Yoga paradigm and I had difficulty reconciling this with the Qigong theory I had learned. Whereas Hermetic Science echoed Yogic Theory very obviously and dramatically, the stoic and poetic aspects of Daoist meditation did not seem to align as well.
There were other reasons why I couldn't write my article until now. A big one was that I was busy living my life. I forgot about Veritas and just lived happily in Dao. However, the main one is that awakening transformational energy is a highly controversial subject within spiritual communities, and Veritas was not yet ready for what I had to say. The Veritas of 2004 is not the Veritas of 2012. The subject matter is very delicate and must be handled with extreme care and respect. I did not want to be responsible for causing a massive flood of questions concerning Kundalini, Kan and Li, higher transformational energy, and so on. Of course, I also didn't want to be responsible for people thinking they were having experiences when they weren't, and I didn't want to leave my colleagues and friends having to clean up a mess they don't know how to handle. A lot of questions stemming from these arts are difficult to answer, even more so for someone who has no experience with them. I knew I was going to probably be on hiatus for a long time, because I burned myself out writing articles, answering questions and helping people. I needed time to relax and time to grow.
Again. The Veritas of 2004 is not the Veritas of 2012. The community has only gotten bigger by the year, and the members have gotten older and wiser by the year. I can feel safe giving this information out because I know the culture is not a culture of power seeking or juvenile fascination with the occult, but rather one of finding truth, wisdom and spirituality. I also came to a realization that someone with only a passing interest in things like Kundalini Yoga would have no success with Kundalini Yoga. These techniques have often been hidden from the public throughout time because they were considered dangerous. Ultimately, someone without the proper mind set and devotion to these practices will not have any results, so I can rest assured I can give out these methods without risk to the public.
Another aspect of why I am writing this article has to do with what I believe to be destiny. That may sound far fetched or even borderline delusional to some- but this is what I truly believe. If I do not write an article on these things, and put the pieces in place for everyone, no one will. My research so many years ago, and now, is not just for myself. There are many on Veritas who already have experienced these processes. There are even some teachers who practice the methods directly and teach them behind closed doors. I can understand why this is, because these techniques are life changing and transformational. They are not a fad or a toy. However, it is a part of my basic nature to believe in freedom of information and sharing. As far as I am aware, there are no articles on these higher transformational processes on Veritas, and only a few random questions on the forums every so often. This is an area of knowledge at Veritas that is extremely lacking, yet I believe it to be so inherently fundamental to the progression of a metaphysical student regardless of the paradigm he or she follows. I said many years ago I would write this guide, and now I am. I feel deeply spiritually compelled to release this information for the good of mankind and to further it's evolution. I pray for all of Veritas, and every reader of this article, to find success in awakening to their true nature.
This article's first purpose is to instruct the reader in methods of Daoist Neigong (Internal Work) that deal with internal alchemy using the forces of Water and Fire to sublimate Jing to Qi to Shen. It's second purpose is to instruct in basic methods of Kundalini Yoga Pranayama, Mantra Japa, and meditation, for the reason of awakening Kundalini energies. The overall purpose of this guide is to develop a transcendental, high clarity energy that is centered in the spine and head. The techniques in this guide prepare the body for this transcendental experience of awakening spiritual energy in the Central Nervous System. The point of awakening this energy is for spiritual evolution, inner peace, greatly increased energy flow in the meridians and nadis, and to a lesser extent for the abilities that can come with such an awakening. This article approaches spiritual awakening from two different standpoints, and attempts to clarify the common threads between them.
As always, my guides are less about theory and more about actual exercises arranged in a natural progression to cause change in the spiritual self. I fully and wholeheartedly believe that anyone, regardless of race, gender, creed, or paradigm, can follow this progression and have the same success I have, as long as they have a basic control of energy and firm intention (Yi).
~Koujiryuu 7/27/12A word of warning
A word of warning to everyone reading this who has not already experienced spiritual awakening. These techniques have been hidden from the public throughout time and known only to initiates, monks, and ascetics. They cause an awakening of the true spiritual body, and with this can come many problems and physical symptoms. Yep, that's right, I said physical symptoms
. These can manifest variously as body aches, migraines, joint pain, constantly popping joints, sweats, tremors, rashes, and many other symptoms. In addition, full spiritual awakening can cause mental problems, such as mania, psychosis, paranoia, visual and auditory hallucinations, confused thoughts, slurred speech and many other symptoms. In general, these are a result of too much practice or too little practice. You are the Master of your own body, mind and spirit. These are not practices you can just use to experience awakening, and then stop. You must follow through even AFTER having an authentic experience and continue to practice and direct the Shakti (Female God-Force) or Qi generated from the lower body. If you do not, or if you practice improperly, any number of negative aspects of Kundalini can manifest as physical or mental symptoms. Beware of this and be mindful of yourself. I am not responsible for any symptoms you experience from practicing the techniques in this guide.
I am not a guru. I am not a martial arts instructor, and I am not an initiate of a Dao school. I will never charge money for teaching, nor would I ever willingly direct someone to something that would harm them. Nonetheless, my techniques presented here come from years of experience and research. If they weren't effective I wouldn't be writing this, and that's all that matters. I am doing this for the benefit of people who cannot find instruction elsewhere and can't afford books; nonetheless, I am writing it for the benefit of all, even those trained in a formal school, to record my personal thoughts and approach. I hope you can see how this guide can supplement your Qigong or Yoga practices. The Qigong section can be traced to Dr. Yang, Jwing-Ming, and conjecture of his students on his YMAA forums. The Kundalini Yoga section can be traced to Gurumayi Chidvilasananda, Swami Muktananda, Bhagawan Nityananda and the Siddha Yoga lineage.
Some may say that the theory or exercises presented here are incomplete. I would counter with this. There is a whole wealth of alchemical Daoist systems and a whole wealth of Kundalini Yoga systems. Within those many systems, there are many different individual instructors. With those individual instructors different approaches are favored and different emphasis are placed on specific techniques. Some schools of yoga focus on mantras and some focus on pranayama, but can still obtain the same results. However, no one approach is better than any other, and even individual students in these systems may have different personalized approaches that vary from their instructors. The summary of this, is that what works, works. This is an individual thing.
Further, I feel that while there are a ton of individual techniques in the Yoga Kundalini Upanishad, a lot of them may be unnecessary. In my own personal experience, detailed later in the guide, I was able to have success with Kundalinic awakening through three things: meditation on the Chakras, repetition of mantras, and giving myself up to Shakti. I feel that the techniques presented are adequate enough, refined enough, and a distillation of the essence of the Upanishad. I have taught others and helped them awaken the Kundalini using these very same entry- level techniques on numerous occasions. As any trained Yogi knows, there are thousands of methods of Yoga, and all of them can lead to the truth. What is presented here is just my own personal path. "Keep what is useful, discard the rest." -Bruce Lee
Now, for the subject of mixing traditions or cross training in the mystic arts. For some, this is considered taboo. There are so many parallels between Kundalini, Daoist Alchemy and Hermetics (Qabbalah). However, this takes a clear mind of discernment to understand and put together. It also takes tremendous dedication, time, effort, and practice to understand. If your mind is empty, your heart is pure, your intention is strong, and you have no attachment to a system, there is no reason you cannot use them interchangeably because the basic ideas are the same. The basic ideas are also the most advanced ideas when you have true understanding of concepts like the state of being of Brahman, Dao, breath control, Chakras and Dantien. It is not the empty mind that changes, but the method of controlling the empty mind. Just as leaves fall off the trees, only to be grown again, so can a true adept use different paradigms interchangeably with no risk to the spiritual self.
This is not true for everybody, however. It depends on the individual and how long you have been training and practicing meditation. It takes spiritual intelligence that only comes with experience. If you have been practicing the arts for less than five years, I would strongly recommend you pick either the Qigong section or the Yoga section to work with and stick with the techniques in that section. Again, this is highly subjective and dependent on the individual
. If you are a simple person with limited experience in energy work, ask yourself this: Am I ready for this? If the answer is yes, then pick one path and stick with it. If, after a long time (perhaps a year or more), you have no groundbreaking transcendental metaphysical experience, then consider trying the other path presented. For the layman, though, I highly advise to pick one and stick with it.
Another big point I would like to stress is that these techniques are dangerous to youth. If you are not at least 16 years of age, male or female, you should not practice ANY of the techniques in this article. Your body is still going through puberty, your nervous system and brain aren't developed enough to support the energies released through these meditations. Even if you tried to awaken these energies, you would likely have no success. This is because your Jing is busy maturing your body through the puberty process, and will not move upward through the spine. Even if you are 16, if you have only been working with energy in general for a short time, you should not attempt these exercises. They are advanced and dangerous to youth.
I am not responsible for anything negative that happens to you as a result of improper practice. If you are true to yourself, moral, devoted to spirituality, and have a heart of compassion, you likely have nothing to worry about.
Caveat Emptor.Qigong Section
Yin and Yang Theory
Within my other articles, there is less mention of Yin/Yang theory and how it relates to Qigong. For the purposes of the later practices we are going to clarify what Yin and Yang are and how they affect the energy body on the whole.
In Chinese philosophy we have the primal forces of Yin and Yang. Yin and Yang are best described as polar opposites of one whole. Yin is negative current and Yang is positive current.Traits of Yin and Yang
Yang: Positive, Male, Heaven, Fire, Active, Light, Restless, Daytime, Aggressive
Yin: Negative, Female, Earth, Water, Passive, Darkness, Calm, Nighttime, Passive
Further, Yin and Yang manifest themselves in the world around us in 4 quantities: Yin within Yin, Yang within Yin, Yin within Yang, and Yang within Yang.
Put together, Yin and Yang make Qi. They also transcend Qi and make Dao. However, that's a little heavy, so I'm not going to touch that assertion. What is important to know, however, is that Yin and Yang comprise Qi, and when they are unbalanced this causes sickness of the body and mind. Thankfully, we have Qigong and various herbs and supplements we can use to balance Yin Qi and Yang Qi.
This is important information to know because the rest of the exercises in this guide deal with the processes of Kan and Li (Fire and Water) transformation and sublimating the spiritual essence. This directly alters Yin and Yang. However, do not make the mistake, Water and Fire are separate entities from Yin and Yang. Yin and Yang are not Water and Fire. Water and Fire are separate energies that are described as being Yin and Yang, but Yin and Yang separately are so much more. I hope that's clear.Yin/Yang balance and energy blockages
This section is for reference and deals with energy blockages and yin/yang imbalance in the practitioner and how to remedy them. This is good knowledge to have, and when you have more experience training your Qi you will be able to recognize and correct these problems.
- Energy blockages in the head can cause headaches, poor sleep, delusion, self importance, empty headedness, and incoherent thoughts.
- Energy blockages in the heart or chest cause things like self pity, self doubt, uncontrollable emotion, negativity, and negative emotions.
- Energy blockages in the solar plexus cause mostly anger, rage, outbursts, etc
- Energy blockages in the lower Dantien cause problems with sex or too much sex drive, problems urinating, and problems of the stomach and bowels.
- Energy blockages elsewhere (arms and legs) would cause mostly pain or poor blood flow, and sometimes weakness or nausea.
Additionally, there can be an overall dysfunction and imbalance between yin and yang that affects the energy system on the whole.
Symptoms of Yang Qi imbalance:
A feeling of rising heat from the Dantien, feeling hot, jumbled thoughts, anger, sickness of the stomach, mania, psychosis, paranoia, hyperactivity.
Symptoms of Yin Qi imbalance:
Trouble feeling Qi, feeling cold, passive-aggressive behavior, general apathy, lack of motivation, fatigue, lack of energy, depression, lack of thoughts (e.g. overly empty/quiet mind when not meditating).
Methods of balancing Yin and Yang and removing blockages:
- Alternate Nostril Pranayama from Yoga balances Kan and Li (Fire and Water), and subsequently Yin and Yang. This technique is simple enough that students of both the Qigong path and Yoga path can use it safely.
- The Microcosmic Orbit removes blockages and also balances Yin and Yang of the energy system, since the Governor and Conception vessels regulate the Qi of the rest of the body, organs and meridians.
- If you have Yang Qi imbalance, eat lots of fruits, vegetables and herbs. Drink a lot of cold water to cool the rising heat from the Yang imbalance. If you have Yin Qi imbalance, eat lots of meat (chicken and fish), nuts and protein. Also, drink hot liquids like green tea.
- For Yin Qi imbalance, do Qigong and Dantien meditation at noon for three days. For Yang Qi imbalance, do the same at midnight for three nights, or sunset if you aren't awake at midnight.Qigong Theory Review
Here is some information from the Qigong Study Group concerning the Three Treasures of Jing, Qi, and Shen to review.
Taken from my article, Beginning Daoist Qigong EX.
The basic theory surrounding energies in this qigong is as follows, written by an old friend (Mad Daoist).
...."Qi: I have decided to start my discourse on the topic of Qi. Qi, a concept originally formulated by the Daoists, makes everything in the universe, well, tick. It spins the galaxies, energizes the creatures of the universe, and makes plants grow. It is the very essence of life itself. To have Neiqi is to have life itself."
"How does one get their Neiqi, originally? There are many theories. Most think the Original Qi is received while still in the womb as a fetus. While theoretically not known how, it is thought that fetuses have an amazing ability to act as a cosmic battery, absorbing the very Qi of the universe into itself. Naturally, the Mother provides quite a bit herself."
"Neiqi runs along the human body in a series of meridians. There are twelve medical meridians, largely considered a Confucian, perhaps acupuncturist concept. Then there are the Eight special or Psychic meridians. They are mostly a Daoist concept. Of course, these two systems of lines cross with each other, borrow from each other, etc. [editor's note: Discussed in depth later.]"
"Neiqi is stored in the Dantien. Now there are three Dantien, Original Qi resides in the lower Dantian, post-birth Neiqi (qi gathered through water, qigong, and food) resides in the middle Dantian."
"Your level and amount of neiqi determines your general health. You accumulate neiqi through exercise, eating, sleep, herbs, etc. One method of exercise geared for neiqi cultivation is something known as Qigong, here in the west. There are many qigong forms, types, and lineages. Taiji has qigong properties, for instance. However, there is a raging debate going on for exactly what qigong is. What Chinese critics say is mostly true, many forms and exercises brought from China to here are immediately called qigong, when in fact they have about as many qigong-like properties as Richard Simmons' "sweat you butt off to the oldies", for example. One should always check before you call something qigong, for it is fast becoming dangerous waters."....
...."Jing: Neiqi is free-flowing and nice. It's good for health, meditation, etc. However, when put to use for martial applications, it falls short. However, neiqi can be converted into neijing, for the sharp demands of the Nei-jia. (Internal Martial Arts) Neijing will hence forth be called jing. Jing is at a higher frequency than qi- it's a lot more powerful. In the words of Waysun Liao, "Your opponent can feel your jing, but not your qi. You can feel your qi, but not your jing."
...."But I digress. Neiqi leads jing, it controls it. Once you can learn how to convert neiqi into jing, [discussed later] you can use it effectively against an opponent. Jing is far beyond the reaches of normal time and space. It's a power called down from the universe itself for use by human beings. Jing's only limit is your own yi. I'll get to that pretty soon."
"I think it was quite wise when a famous Ba-gua master compared jing to a Dragon. If you treat the dragon right, you can unleash it on your opponent, and the dragon will lend you his strength. Treat the dragon wrong, and it'll take a bite out of you. This illustrates the point that jing is not something to be played with, it's a real weapon, and should be treated as you would a knife or even a handgun. However, be careful with it, and it'll be your most powerful weapon."
"Furthermore, there are many synonyms for qi that you will encounter, from many different languages and traditions. Almost every human culture has had a word describing an all-pervading, universal life force. Some of them are: Ki, Prana (sanskrit), Orgone, rLung (tibetan), orenda (Native American, Iroquois), energy, life force, magickal current, ruach (hebrew), the Light, Holy Spirit (christian), spiritus (roman), Pnuema (Greek) and psi."
"The ultimate goal of this art and this guide is to develop a universal link with energy, and a feeling of strength in body, mind and spirit. The practitioner, through the presented exercises, goes from being just a person controlled by forces to a person in tune with and above these forces- at peace with his environment, where ever he happens to be."...
...We already understand what Qi is, the breath of life, spiritual energy; and we already understand Jing is vital essence, or spiritual power. We also understand Yi as being a unified spiritual intention to accomplish something with Qi. What, then, is Shen?
Put simply, Shen is at once your spirit or soul, and your consciousness and mind. Shen is what gives rise to your thoughts, your emotions, your quirks, your personality, and your intellect. However, it is also your spiritual consciousness, your very soul. Developing Shen is developing your mind through learning; yet it is also developed through meditation and forgetting knowledge ("unlearning"). This paradox is succinct, as Shen is many things at once. With focused Shen producing pure Yi, mountains will move for you.
Shen leads Qi, and Qi leads Jing, and Jing leads your opponent.
However, it is thought that before we were born or conceived, we were at one with Dao. The Three Treasures come into accord when we are conceived, and our pure soul splits into three separate, distinct forms. The goal of Daoist Daoyin (Tao-in) alchemy is to bring Qi into Jing, Jing into Shen, and Shen into emptiness, or oneness with Dao.
One of the most fundamental exercises in reunifying Qi, Jing and Shen is the Microcosmic orbit, which we will look at now.
So, what have we learned from the proceeding writing?
- Qi means "breath" and refers to universal spiritual energy. It can also be written C'hi and is pronounced "chee".
- Neiqi (naychee) is the original Qi from conception and controls and regulates Qi in the body
- Jing (pronounced 'jean') means "force" or "power", is separate from Qi yet born from it, and is developed through the neijia (internal arts like Taiji or Qigong).
- Qi and Neiqi are centered in the middle Dantien (dan-dyin) whereas Jing and Neijing are centered in the Lower Dantien
- A Dantien, or 'elixir field', is a spiritual center in the body. In most Qigong there are three- one in the 3rd Eye, one in the heart, and one 3 inches below the naval (respectively the Upper or Higher Dantien, Middle and Lower Dantien).
- Qi moves through the body in a series of pathways called meridians.
- Shen is at once the consciousness, the spiritual mind, your soul, and your intention.
The Eight Meridians (mei means channel)
Dumei: Beginning at the perineum and rising up the back along the center line of the body, this channel rises over the scalp and down the forehead and ends at the upper palate of the mouth. English reference: governor channel.
Renmei: From the tip of the tongue, this channel descends along the center line of the front of the body to the back of the perineum. English reference: conception channel.
Chongmei: This channel rises vertically from the pernium to the top of the head connecting the three dantiens. English reference: through-going channel.
Daimei: This meridian encircles the waist like a belt. English reference: belt channel.
Yangyumei: From a point on the dumei these channels travel bilaterally along the back of each arm, around the tip of the middle fingers, along the inside of the middle fingers to the point laogong. English reference: Outer-arm channel.
Yinyumei: From the laogong point of the palm, these meridans travel along the inside of each arm, curve across the pectoral muscles, descend through the nipples, and connect with the renmei. English reference: Inner-arm channel
Yangqiaomei: These meridians begin at the perineum and emerge onto the front of each leg. They descend the front of a leg to the point known as yongquan. English reference: Outer-leg channel
Yinqiaomei: From the soles of the feet, these two meridians rise up the inside surface of each foot, loop around the ankles, and ascend the inner thighs back to the perineum. English reference: Inner-leg channel.
Baihui: This point is on the top of the head in the very middle. It is the upper junction point for the chongmei with the dumei.
Laogong: This point is on each palm, where your middle finger touches your palm. This is where qi is emitted or drawn in.
Huiyin: This point is the perineum (under the testes) and is the junction point for Renmei and Dumei.
Yongquan: This point is on the sole of each foot. It is along a line between the middle toe and the heel, and is about two-thirds of the way forward from the heel. In martial arts, qi can be emitted in kicks out of these points.
These meridians are also referred to as the "Eight Extraneous Vessels".
This concludes the review of basic Qigong theory.Kan and Li (Water and Fire) Theory
"One of the major purposes of Small Circulation practice is to build up Original Qi at the Lower Dan Tian. Original Qi is created from Original Essence drawn from the kidneys, which mixes with and dilutes the Post-Birth Qi which comes from food and air. Post-Birth Qi, which contains undesirable products from the food and air, is considered Fire Qi because it has a heating effect on the body. Original Qi is considered Water Qi, and it is pure and cools down the Fire Qi. Diluting and cooling down the contaminated Qi is the first step in cooling down the fire in your physical body. This process will slow your body's degeneration. In the Fire Path, a practitioner usually learns to build or strengthen his Water Qi in the Lower Dan Tian (Field of Elixir) through abdominal breathing or mental concentration. When the Qi is built up to a certain level, the mind leads the Qi to circulate through the Conception and Governing Vessels.
" - The Root of Chinese Qigong
by Dr. Yang, Jwing-Ming, pg. 86
In Chinese Qigong theory, there are two types of Qi that are considered Yin and Yang. These are Fire Qi and Water Qi. Fire Qi, which is also known as Post-Birth Qi, is centered in the Middle Dantien in the heart. Water Qi, which contains your original Qi, is centered in the Lower Dantien, 3 inches below the naval. This is also the seat of Jing (Essence).
Furthermore, there are Ba Gua (Trigrams) that represent Kan and Li, seen here:
Water (Kan) is described as being Yin-Yang-Yin, while Fire is described as being Yang-Yin-Yang.
It is thought that the natural course these two types of Qi take is to burn and leak out. That is, Fire Qi burns out upward while Water Qi leaks out below.
By harnessing these two types of Qi in meditation we can cause tremendous changes to the spiritual body, as well as the physical body. We can use them to stoke the fire, and convert Jing gained from practices like Zhan Zhuang, into Qi, which will then circulate back through the meridians.
We can keep our Fire Qi from burning out, and we can keep our Water Qi from leaking out. This lengthens life and promotes health and well-being. At a higher level, we can learn to sublimate Jing to Qi and then raise this Original Qi from it's seat at the Lower Dantien, up the spinal cord, to the brain and Upper Dantien (the root of Shen). This is generally referred to as Brain-Marrow Washing. This results in a tremendous production of Qi in the body and a transcendental, physical experience. This experience is the goal of these practices.
Working with Water and Fire is a delicate process. As the two directly affect the Yin Qi and Yang Qi of the body, they must be balanced. This is the other goal of the practices, balancing the Yin and Yang Qi of the body through Water and Fire.Exercise 1: The Little Orbit and Building the Cauldron
This is a form of Dantien meditation.
Do not have sex while doing this exercise, this includes masturbation. This exercise aids in the creation of the Dantien. It is said you must practice this method for 100 days (sometimes, 105 days) without any sexual activity before moving on.
The point of this exercise is to develop and tonify the Original Qi in the Lower Dantien, which in turns affects Jing.
Begin sitting in a basic meditation position. Sit cross legged, place your hands on your knees or in your lap, sit up straight, tuck in the chin, and let go of any tension.
Begin to do some deep breathing, in and out through the nose, and focus your attention on the Lower Dantien in the belly.
a. Close your eyes and begin 'mula bandha' (squeeze shut the anus and lift the buttocks slightly).
b. Take a deep breath in and focus on Ming Men,
the acupoint below the second lumbar vertebrae, a point on the spine above the hipbone, 1/3rd of the way up the back. As you breath in, guide Qi using your Yi from Huiyin (perineum) to Ming Men along Dumei (Governor meridian).
c. Exhale and guide the Qi from Ming Men back to Huiyin along Renmei (Conception Vessel). As you can see, this is a vertical orbit around the lower Dantien.
d. Repeat 9 times daily.
The point of this exercise is to develop the Lower Dantien, but in a figurative sense we are building a cauldron (ding). If you wish to visualize, as you do the exercise see that you are forming a large stone pot with the quality of Earth in the area of the Dantien. This cauldron will hold the Original Qi in the form of Water.Exercise 2: Self Steaming
This exercise is the method for converting Jing into Original Qi.
This will also serve to alleviate pent up sexual tension from abstainment.
Again, begin with taking the seated meditation position. Relax. Repeat "Ham Sa" a few times and begin your deep breathing. Do this until you are in a Void mind state.
a. Focus on the Lower Dantien. Do deep belly breathing in and out of the nose. Attempt to perceive the quality of Water in the Qi there. You may visualize and focus on the Dantien being a sea of Qi. Feel the cooling, wet, and sticky properties of the Qi there. Repeat the word "Water" or "Kan" in your head as a mantra.
b. Now, using your Yi, guide the Water Qi in the Lower Dantien up the Renmei channel on the front of the body to the heart. Visualize the Water mixing with Fire there. In much the same manner as you did for the Lower Dantien, begin to focus on the Qi in the Middle Dantien as being a burning fire. Visualize flames. Repeat the word "Fire" or "Li".
c. Next, focus on both Fire and Water in the heart center. Breath in, breath out, and let them both lower down the Renmei vessel to the Lower Dantien using your Yi.
d. Focus on putting the Water in the Cauldron at the Dantien. Now, place the Fire Qi from the Middle Dantien underneath the Cauldron. You are going to boil the water (Jing and Water Qi). Spend a good amount of time focusing on the images of the cauldron, and the water there boiling.
e. Continuing to focus on both Dantien at the same time, the steam from the Cauldron rises to the Middle Dantien and cools the Fire there. This is a large release of Qi into the Conception Vessel. You will feel strong feelings of Qi and heat in the Lower Dantien and Conception Vessel. This is normal.
f. When you are finished, use the Yi to uncouple Fire and Water. Move the Fire from underneath the "Cauldron" back into the Middle Dantien using your Yi. Use your Yi to guide the released Qi into all of the bodies meridians. If you wish, you can do the Microcosmic Orbit for a few repetitions to disperse and distribute the Qi built up in Renmei.
Relax, stand up, and drink a cup of water.Fire Path, Water Path, Wind Path
Simply put, these are names for different circulations throughout the meridians.
The Fire Path is also known as the Microcosmic Orbit. This is covered in my other guides. This is Qi ascending in the Dumei meridian, and descending down Renmei. Qi moves up the back of the body and down the front of it.
The Wind Path is the reverse of the Microcosmic Orbit. This path is used to cool down the body when it becomes too hot. How do you know when it's too hot? Simple, if you have a lot of symptoms of overactive Yang, as described earlier in the Yin/Yang Theory section. In this path, Qi travels up the front of the body and down the back.
The Water Path is different. In this path, Water Qi travels up the Chongmei meridian in the center of the spinal cord, and down the front of the body in the Renmei meridian. The flow separates into Fire and Water at the perineum (Huiyin), with Fire Qi moving up Dumei and Water Qi moving up Chongmei and down Renmei.Exercise 3: Wind Path Meditation
This circulation is used to balance and reduce Fire Qi in the Dumei channel by cooling it down with Water Qi.
Warning: This method should not be done exclusively. It is only used to balance too much internal heat and Fire Qi. This is the reverse of the natural Qi flow of the body. If you begin to get headaches, cramps, have blurred vision, dizziness, or any other symptoms, stop immediately. You probably don't have overactive Fire and practicing this circulation is bad for you.
Take your basic meditation position and meditate to a Void state.
a. Close the eyes and look upwards. Begin mula bandha and lift the buttocks.
b. Focus on the Lower Dantien and inhale, bringing Qi from the Dantien to the Baihui point on the top of the head up the front of the body in Renmei.
c. Exhale, and guide the Qi down the back of the body in the Dumei vessel to the Huiyin point at the perineum, and back into the Lower Dantien.
d. Repeat 5 times and see how you feel. Feel out the Dumei meridian in your back. Does it still feel too hot? Is there too much Fire Qi there? Look inside yourself and decide.
e. Continue the circulation 5 more times, but no more than 10 times total in any one sitting.Exercise 4: Bone Breathing in the Spine
This method is used to prepare for the Water Path circulation.
This exercise should be done laying down on a firm surface.
Meditate with eyes closed until you feel a Void mind state (Beta wave) and a connectedness with your Qi.
a. Begin to do deep abdominal breathing while focusing on the Lower Dantien, and the Huiyin point between the legs.
b. As you inhale, use your Yi to fill the 8 vessels of the body with Qi. Take Qi in through the top of the head (Baihui), the palms (Laogong) and the feet (Yongquan). Exhale, focus on the Huiyin point.
c. When you feel as if you are full of Qi, focus on Huiyin and the coccyx (tailbone). Begin to condense the Qi into the coccyx. Breath in and condense the Qi of the body into first the bones, and then the coccyx and perineum. Exhale and relax your concentration.
d. Repeat this process 9 times.Exercise 5: Water Path Meditation
After some time condensing Qi into the coccyx and bones, you will be ready for this technique. A good way to tell is if you have an abundant amount of strong Qi in the lower body at Huiyin. This Qi will seem to vibrate, it will be dense and sticky when observed and it will tingle. In men, the testicles will tingle in meditation. In women the stomach and Huiyin point will tingle.
After enough energy has been collected in the Lower Dantien and associated acupoints through the previous exercises and the micro and macrocosmic orbits, there will be quite a buildup of strong, magnetic Qi in the lower body. This is Original Qi (Nei Qi or Yuan Qi). It is also Jing. However, since we have stored and sublimated a great deal of Qi in the Lower Dantien, it is like a coiled spring, waiting to be released up the Chongmei channel, and the natural flow of this energy is to go up the spinal cord to the brain.
There is a whole subset of exercises called Xi Shui Jing that further builds on this energy, but I am not going to include any of them. They are sexual in nature and limited to men only. For this reason, I don't use these methods, because in the long run they aren't necessary for Brain/Marrow Washing. However, if you are interested in them, they are detailed in the book "Qigong: The Secret of Youth" by Dr. Yang, Jwing-Ming.
The key to this exercise is to let go and give yourself up to a higher power. This can be Dao, God, Brahma, the Universe, the Higher Self (Atman), or any number of deities from varying religious tradition. The key here is faith and belief that there is something out there greater than you, and capable of causing fundamental transformation on a spiritual level.
I would suggest bathing before this practice, wearing white or orange, and burning some incense to help attain the proper mind state. I use Nag Champa or Native Sage or Sweetgrass but you can use whatever you like.
With that said, we will begin. Take a seated position, and meditate to a void mind state.
a. Breath in and focus on Huiyin and the Lower Dantien. Exhale and relax.
b. Connect with the Water Essence of the Lower Dantien by focusing on it, repeating a mantra, visualizing water, and so on. Begin mula bandha.
c. Make a mental affirmation to yourself that you are going to raise the Original Qi and Essence from the Lower Dantien to the Upper Dantien. Now is the time to say a prayer and ask your God to assist you in awakening transformational energy.
d. Use your Yi to activate the Lower Water energy, focusing on the tailbone. Inhale. Exhale and focus on the Baihui point at the top of the head. Feel that there is a magnetic attraction between these two acupoints. If you wish, you can visualize Divine Light coming into you through the head, reaching down to the tailbone, activating it, and pulling the Qi up.
e. Continue this meditation, going deeper and deeper. Do not resist anything that happens to you. You may feel a physical force making you crane your neck backwards and look upward. You may have urges to adjust your arms and back, making the vertebrae pop loudly. You may begin to start speaking in tongues, you may feel very hot (especially in the spinal column). The key here is to go with the flow, become a blank slate, and guide the energy movements with your Yi.
f. Take as much time as you need, inhaling and exhaling, while working with the Chongmei channel, until you feel the Qi from the Dantien rise to head as a raw magnetic force of creation.
g. After you are finished and satisfied something has indeed happened to you, shift your focus. Inhale and bring more Qi up the spine in Chongmei, exhale and cycle it down Renmei to the Lower Dantien again.
When you are finished, slowly get up and collect yourself. It would probably be a good idea to stretch, after my experiences I did and a lot of my joints and bones popped and cracked. Drink a glass of water.
I wish all of you success with this method. Stay devoted.Exercise 6: Two Centers Breathing
This is a technique to help you focus and control the transformation Qi released in the prior technique.
Begin in sitting meditation until you reach a state of gnosis.
a. Focus on the Lower Dantien and Upper Dantien at the same time. Inhale and exhale while doing deep abdominal breathing.
b. After some time, when you are fully aware of both centers (and probably the Qi in the center channel), began to focus on the Qi in them.
c. Deep belly breath and using your Yi, condense or compact the Qi into these centers. On inhalation, you compress the Qi into these centers. Visualize it as a ball of light that keeps getting smaller and smaller. On exhalation, the Qi spirals around the Dantien.
This concludes the Qigong path.Yoga SectionHindu Cosmology and Shaktism Theory
"Neither being (sat) nor non-being was as yet. What was concealed? And where? And in whose protection?…Who really knows? Who can declare it? Whence was it born, and whence came this creation? The devas were born later than this world's creation, so who knows from where it came into existence? None can know from where creation has arisen, and whether he has or has not produced it. He who surveys it in the highest heavens, he alone knows-or perhaps does not know." (Rig Veda 10. 129)
Hinduism is a rich and complex tradition intertwined with a great deal of philosophy. In Hinduism, all beings are incarnated into a cycle of death and rebirth (reincarnation).
To attempt to convey all that is Hinduism is impossible and beyond the scope of this document. I am going to keep things as simple as possible, here. However, a basic idea of the most important Gods of Hinduism is necessary for the knowledge of the fundamental theory behind Kundalini Yoga.
Hinduism asserts that there are 33 million Gods, all an expression or avatar of the Ultimate Being, called Brahman. Brahman is at once the Creator of the universe, God himself. Everything and nothing. Beyond existence, yet existence itself. In many ways, this parallels the philosophy of Dao.
Further, another common God in Hinduism is Vishnu, the Protector of the Universe. Vishnu has ten Avatars, or physical incarnations of his existence. Two of these are important among all others, and they are Krishna (of the Bhagavad-Gita) and Rama (of the epic, the Ramayana).
For our purposes, the most important deity is Shiva- the Destroyer. Shiva tends the Universe in between cycles of death and rebirth. When our current universe ends, it is because of Shiva; and in the periods in between he manifests and tends the Void. Shiva is an ascetic Yogi and the God of Yoga. Though he is the Destroyer, he is compassionate and taught people Yoga in his incarnations. There is an aspect of duality here, which brings me to..
Shakti- the Mother of the Universe. Shakti is Shiva's wife, the Divine Feminine aspect of the universe. In Shiva and Shakti, we see a duality, which is very similar to Yin and Yang. "I am Manifest Divinity, Unmanifest Divinity, and Transcendent Divinity. I am Brahma, Vishnu and Shiva, as well as Saraswati, Lakshmi and Parvati. I am the Sun and I am the Stars, and I am also the Moon. I am all animals and birds, and I am the outcaste as well, and the thief. I am the low person of dreadful deeds, and the great person of excellent deeds. I am Female, I am Male, and I am Neuter."
- Devi-Bhagavata Purana
Shakti is the Divine Feminine and Kundalini and Goddess of the Universe. She is energy of the highest vibrational quality. It is this energy (prana) that pervades the universe, our bodies and minds. Shiva and Shakti are both manifestations of Brahman, and hence, two halves of the same coin. Further, Brahman, Vishnu and Shiva make up what could appropriately be called the Hindu Holy Trinity.
The basic idea here is that these Gods are all manifestations of the supreme being, Brahman. Brahman is God and Brahma is God's existence, also variously called the True Self, the Higher Self, the Guardian Angel, and many other names. We have a personal soul called Atma, which by it's nature is a lower manifestation of Brahma, but is our separate, personal, independent consciousness. Part of the goal of these Yoga practices is eliminating obstructions, impurities and obstacles that prevent the Personal Soul (Atma) from identifying with the Higher Self (Brahma). When one has experienced the Higher Self, one becomes detached and experiences inner bliss in meditation and day to day life. This awakening and reidentification with the Higher Self is the goal of Kundalini Yoga.Nadis and Chakras explanation
Chakras, or wheels, are spinning discs of energy (prana) in the body. They are envisioned as flowers, each having petals, and distinct properties. In the healthy body, it is thought that the Chakras spin counterclockwise with prana. In an unhealthy body, it is thought that they slow down their spin, stop spinning, or even spin backwards, depending on who you talk to. The important point for our purposes, though, is to know they spin counterclockwise.
The Chakras are:English name - color - location - Sanskrit name - number of petals
Root Chakra - Red - Base of the Spine (coccyx) - Muladhara - 4
Sacral Chakra - Orange - Sacrum (3 inches below the naval) - Svadhisthana - 6
Plexus Chakra - Yellow - Solar Plexus - Manipura - 10
Heart Chakra - Green - Heart - Anahata - 12
Throat Chakra - Pale Blue - Throat - Visshudha - 16
Third Eye Chakra - Indigo - In between the eyes - Ajna - 2
Crown Chakra - Violet (some say white) - Top of the entire head - Sahasrara - 1000
The Chakras are on a column, called the Sushumna nadi (channel), which is roughly equivalent to the spinal cord.
Intertwined around the Sushumna nadi are the other two major Nadis, Ida and Pingala. Ida and Pingala start at the Third Eye Chakra and go down around Sushumna in a spiral pattern to the Root Chakra. Ida and Pingala are considered masculine and feminine, fire and water, and a major source of the bodies' prana through the nose.
Additionally, within Kundalini Yoga there is a concept known as Tattwas
, or elements. The Five Tattwas are the Five Elements of creation. These are Earth, Water, Fire, Air, and Ether. These Tattwas correspond with the lowest five Chakras- Earth for Root, Water for Sacral, Fire for Plexus, Air for Heart, and Ether for throat. The Third Eye and Crown Chakra are said to be beyond these elements, or a manifestation of a combination of the elements. Some systems of Kundalini yoga focus on these forces in meditation and bind aspects of each element to the Chakra using intention and visualization. Since I haven't used this method personally, I'm omitting it, but it should be noted that the these Tattwas exist. Students of Kundalini may wish to seek these methods out on their own, and integrate them with the practices here, if they find it helps them. Also, the Mantra we'll be using (talked about later) invokes these Tattwas by it's nature, so specific meditation on the individual Tattwas may not be necessary.What is Kundalini?
Kundalini literally means "coiled" but it could more appropriately be termed 'coiled fire'. Kundalini is the human's Shakti, which rests undisturbed in most people in the base of the spine at the Muladhara Chakra in 3 1/2 coils. The Kundalini energy is seen as a fiery, sleeping serpent or snake.
Awakening this energy leads to great personal achievement and experience of transcendental states. Through the practice of Pranayama, Mantra Yoga, and meditation we learn how to arise the dormant prana in the base of the spine, make it flow in the Sushumna nadi, and bring it through each chakra to the top of the head. In the process, three Granthis or "Knots" are broken. Think of these like knots of cord in the Sushumna nadi that restrict the flow of prana in most people.
The first knot is in the Muladhara Chakra (Root), it is the Knot of Brahma. This blocks the flow of Kundalini from Muladhara upward to the other Chakras. This knot is related to attachment to desire and lust. The second knot is at the Manipura (Plexus Chakra), it blocks the flow of Prana from the Manipura to Anahata Chakra (Heart), and it is related to stifled actions. The last knot is the Rudra (or Shiva) Granthi, this knot blocks the flow from the Ajna Chakra (Third Eye) to the Sahasrara Chakra (Crown). It is related to bondage of thought, impure thoughts motivated by the ego as opposed to thoughts that are free of worldly attachment.
As you practice Kundalini yoga, slowly these knots come undone, and the Prana in Sushumna is made to flow higher. When you have your first Kundalini experience, it would probably be due to the untangling of Brahma Granthi
- this marks the beginning of a transformational process, with a long path ahead.
On another level, Shakti in the form of the sleeping Kundalini serpent travels from the base of the spine to the top of the head, the Thousand-Petaled Lotus or Sahasrara chakra, where Shiva awaits her. This marriage of Shakti and Shiva in the Chakra leads to inner bliss, transcendence, liberation of karma, and spontaneous identification of the Personal Soul (Atma) with the Universal Soul (Brahma). It is through this we begin to know and become our Higher Selves.
It should be noted that there are many, many techniques of Kundalini Yoga other than the ones presented here. These ones eventually worked for me, but they might not work for you. You may feel more comfortable learning from a Guru or a book on the subject. I truly believe that the exercises here worked for me, and can work for anyone, but I'm not the ultimate authority on the subject. I feel that my exercises are simple enough for anyone to be able to do without being abstracted by many unfamiliar Sanskrit words and terminology. They are simple, they are few, but if the mind of understanding and devotion approaches them, it will find success. If you are interested in more methods to supplement the ones here, I suggest reading the Yoga Kundalini Upanishad, found here.
In fact, I would suggest everyone interested in this path read it, to gain better understanding of the core practices.Exercise 1: Alternate Nostril (Lom Vilom) Pranayama
Sit cross legged with your back straight. Use your right hand for this. Reach up with your arm and put your hand in front of your nose. Grab the right elbow to support it with the left hand. Now, pinch your nostrils shut with your thumb and index finger and make the rest of the hand into a loose fist. Pinch them gently, just to seal off the airways. This is the basic position.
Now, let go of your nose so you can breath through it. Press down with the index finger to seal the left nostril. Breath in deeply through the right nostril for 4 counts/seconds in your head (one one-thousand, two one-thousand, three one- thousand, four). As you breath in, you want to take in energy through that nostril and focus on the Root Chakra. The visualization is that of inhaling fire, which goes down the nadi and ignites the Root Chakra. The is simply to guide the prana in a spiral pattern through the nose and down the back to the tailbone. Make sure you don't just visualize, you need to actually MOVE the energy with your mind and trace it's movement down the nadi.
So, close off the left nostril with the index finger. Breath in 4 counts through the right nostril. Hold for 2 counts. Unplug the left nostril with the index finger, close the right nostril with the thumb, exhale for 8 counts VERY slowly through the left nostril. Your lungs should be empty at the end. Now, inhale for 4 counts through the left nostril (still keeping the right one closed with the thumb) and visualize this energy as frigid water going into the nadi, guide it with your mind to the root chakra (the Root Chakra is always the focus). Hold for 2 counts. Open the right nostril with the thumb, close the left with the index finger, exhale for 8 counts.
1. Close left nostril with index finger. Inhale through right for 4 counts. Pause for 2 counts.
2. Open left nostril with index, close right nostril with thumb, exhale through left nostril 8 counts.
3. Inhale through left nostril 4 counts, pause for 2 counts.
4. Close left nostril with index finger, exhale through right nostril for 8 counts.
5. Inhale through right nostril again still keeping the index over the left.
Do 27 repetitions of this daily. 1 repetition is 1 full breath through each side, so the what I explained step by step above constitutes 1 repetition.
This pranayama is very powerful with the accompanying focus. The cycle of positive/negative energy being taken in and directed to the Root Chakra serves two purposes: one, to build up a large amount of prana there, and two, to activate Kundalini energy in the kulakunda. This pranayama should form the core of your practice.Exercise 2: Opening the Chakras Meditation
This exercise is used to energize and "open" the Chakras.
Lie down flat on your back, probably on a bed, with your arms out to your sides, palms up. This is called Shivasana, or the "corpse pose".
Begin to meditate, breathing in through the nose, out through the mouth. Meditate until you reach a void mind state and a connectedness with all things and your energy.
a. Focus on the Root Chakra at the base of the spine. Begin to chant out loud, "om" (ooohhhhhhhhhmmmmmmmmmmmmmm, over about 5 seconds), and let this mantra energize and vibrate through the Chakra. Focus on the color red. Use intention to spiral the prana around the Chakra counterclockwise. As you continue to chant "om", visualize a red flower blooming at the base of the spine. Continue this, taking note of any feelings at the Chakra, until you really feel that the Chakra has become active.
b. Move on, focus on the Sacral Chakra below the belly button. Begin to chant out loud, "om", and let this mantra energize and vibrate through the Chakra. Focus on the color orange. Use intention to spiral the prana around the Chakra counterclockwise. As you continue to chant "om", visualize a orange flower blooming at the sacrum. Continue this, taking note of any feelings at the Chakra, until you really feel that the Chakra has become active.
c. When you are ready, focus on the Solar Plexus Chakra below the chest. Begin to chant out loud, "om", and let this mantra energize and vibrate through the Chakra. Focus on the color yellow. Use intention to spiral the prana around the Chakra counterclockwise. As you continue to chant "om", visualize a yellow flower blooming at the plexus. Continue this, taking note of any feelings at the Chakra, until you really feel that the Chakra has become active.
d. Again, focus on the Heart Chakra in the chest. Begin to chant out loud, "om", and let this mantra energize and vibrate through the Chakra. Focus on the color green. Use intention to spiral the prana around the Chakra counterclockwise. As you continue to chant "om", visualize a green flower blooming at the heart. Focus on the idea of unconditional love blooming at the Heart center. Continue this, taking note of any feelings at the Chakra, until you really feel that the Chakra has become active.
e. Next, focus on the Throat Chakra in the throat. Begin to chant out loud, "om", and let this mantra energize and vibrate through the Chakra. Focus on the color light blue. Use intention to spiral the prana around the Chakra counterclockwise. As you continue to chant "om", visualize a light blue flower blooming at the throat. Continue this, taking note of any feelings at the Chakra, until you really feel that the Chakra has become active.
f. Moving on, focus on the Third Eye Chakra between the eyes. Begin to chant out loud, "om", and let this mantra energize and vibrate through the Chakra. Focus on the color Indigo (purplish blue). Use intention to spiral the prana around the Chakra counterclockwise. As you continue to chant "om", visualize an Indigo flower blooming at the Third Eye. Continue this, taking note of any feelings at the Chakra, until you really feel that the Chakra has become active.
g. Finally, focus on the Crown Chakra around the top half of the head. Begin to chant out loud, "om", and let this mantra energize and vibrate through the Chakra. Focus on the color Violet(purple). Use intention to spiral the prana around the Chakra counterclockwise. As you continue to chant "om", visualize an Purple flower blooming at the crown of the head. Continue this, taking note of any feelings at the Chakra, until you really feel that the Chakra has become active.
h. With all the Chakras active and spinning, try and put your focus on all of them at once. Continue to just breath, and experience the prana generated through the Chakras in the spinal column (Sushumna). There is no goal here but to experience the generated prana and the associated feelings. You may pass to a dream state and have visions. You may even experience spontaneous Kundalinic or Pranic awakening and a strong magnetic feeling creeping up the spine.
i. When you are finished, go back through the Chakras in reverse order and see them closing. Focus on each in sequence from the Crown back down to the Root. Visualize a flower of the appropriate color closing back up, and use your intention to slow the flow of energy until they are not fully active.
Stand up, stretch, drink a glass of water.What is a Mantra? Mantra Yoga Theory
What is a mantra?
Simply put, a mantra is a power word in Sanskrit capable of causing spiritual change. Sanskrit is the ancient language of Indo-Aryan peoples and of the Brahmin priest caste of India. It is also, for our purposes, the language of Yoga, and the language of spiritual change.
The most fundamental, original mantra is Om. Om is the seed Mantra associated with the highest Chakra, the Sahasrara or Crown Chakra in the head. Om is a name of divinity and the Word of Creation, the pravana mantra, the source of all Mantras. This is why we vibrate the mantra Om in the previous exercise at every Chakra: It is the source, and the Mantra of the highest Chakra. Thus, by vibrating Om at the lower Chakras, we awaken them on the highest level using the seed Mantra of the highest Divine Chakra, and have a chance of awakening primordial currents of Kundalini in the process.
In Mantra yoga there are a few different levels of progression in reciting the mantra, ordered from lowest to highest:
* Speaking the mantra without purpose. This is the lowest level of reciting a mantra. Because there is no intention, no faith and no purpose behind the Mantra, it could be said to hold no power, and is just another word, as if I said any random English word by itself.
* Reciting the mantra with purpose and understanding. This is the next progression in the order. This occurs when the nature and meaning of the mantra is understood on a fundamental level. This includes the concepts behind the mantra, the true meaning of the mantra, and the energies it is directing.
* Vibrating the mantra. This is when the ideas behind the mantra are understood, the mantra is said with a clear and loud voice, and the mantra is drawn out so the syllables have time to vibrate. This vibration causes energetic change in the Yogi. This combines the previous understanding mentioned above with the power of the voice as a method of focusing intention.
* Vibrating the mantra internally. This is when the previous is done but without voicing the mantra. Instead, the mantra is vibrated internally in the inner ear, and combined with intention and focus, this is potentially the most powerful method of vibrating a mantra.
Mantra Japa:"Mantra japa was a concept of the Vedic sages that incorporates mantras as one of the main forms of puja, or worship, whose ultimate end is seen as moksha/liberation. Essentially, mantra japa means repetition of mantra, and it has become an established practice of all Hindu streams, from the various Yoga to Tantra. It involves repetition of a mantra over and over again, usually in cycles of auspicious numbers (in multiples of three), the most popular being 108. For this reason, Hindu malas (bead necklaces) developed, containing 108 beads and a head bead (sometimes referred to as the 'meru', or 'guru' bead). The devotee performing japa using his/her fingers counts each bead as he/she repeats the chosen mantra. Having reached 108 repetitions, if he/she wishes to continue another cycle of mantras, the devotee must turn the mala around without crossing the head bead and repeat.
To attain single-pointedness of mind, repetition of mantra's can be done in the following ways:
Mantra Yoga (chanting)
Vaikhari Japa (speaking)
Upamsu Japa (whispering or humming)
Manasika Japa (mental repetition)
Likhita Japa (writing)
It is said that through japa the devotee attains one-pointedness, or extreme focus, on the chosen deity or principal idea of the mantra. The vibrations and sounds of the mantra are considered extremely important, and thus reverberations of the sound are supposed to awaken the Kundalini or spiritual life force and even stimulate chakras according to many Hindu schools of thought."
So, for our purpose of Kundalini yoga, the mantra we will be using is:
Om Namah Shivaya ॐ नमः शिवाय
Om Namah Shivaya (pronunciation ohm-nah-mah-shee-vah-yah) has no literal translation. If we were to direct translate it, it would be something like:
"Om and Salutations to Lord Shiva"
However, there are many other translations and meanings to this Sanskrit mantra.
"Om and Salutations to that which I am Becoming."
"I bow to the inner divinity within me."
It is this mantra we will be reciting in an attempt to raise the dormant Kundalini from the Root Chakra."Namaḥ Śivāya is the most holy name of God Śiva, recorded at the very center of the Vedas and elaborated in the Śaiva Agamas."
"Na is the Lord's concealing grace, Ma is the world, Śi stands for Śiva, Va is His revealing grace, Ya is the soul. The five elements, too, are embodied in this ancient formula for invocation. Na is earth, Ma is water, Śi is fire, Vā is air, and Ya is ether, or Ākāśa. Many are its meanings."
"Namaḥ Śivaya has such power, the mere intonation of these syllables reaps its own reward in salvaging the soul from bondage of the treacherous instinctive mind and the steel bands of a perfected externalized intellect. Namaḥ Śivāya quells the instinct, cuts through the steel bands and turns this intellect within and on itself, to face itself and see its ignorance. Sages declare that mantra is life, that mantra is action, that mantra is love and that the repetition of mantra, japa, bursts forth wisdom from within."
"The holy Natchintanai proclaims, "Namaḥ Śivāya is in truth both Āgama and Veda. Namah Śivāya represents all mantras and tantras. Namaḥ Śivaya is our souls, our bodies and possessions. Namaḥ Śivāya has become our sure protection."
—Satguru Sivaya Subramuniyaswami
This mantra corresponds to the first five Chakras on the Sushumna nadi. For this reason, it is most appropriate that it is used to raise Kundalinic forces from the base of the spine, as it resonates on each Chakra up to the Third Eye (Ajna).
It should be noted that one should not attempt to use Mantras other than "Om Namah Shivaya" and "Om" in practicing Mantra Yoga. Without having Mantra-Diksha from a Guru and being initiated into a Yoga lineage, it is dangerous to chant long, more complex Mantras because of the risk of improper pronunciation. It is said that chanting Mantras incorrectly can cause you to incur karmic debt. If you believe in this sort of thing, be warned: just stick with the Mantra I'm giving. There is a great deal of power in it, which should be sufficient to awaken Kundalini energies if you are devoted and sincere in your practice. Leave any others you find alone unless you speak Sanskrit or are under tutilege from a Guru.Exercise 3: Chanting
In this exercise, we will use our newfound power word to stimulate the dormant Kundalini.
Lay on your back, on the ground, in Shivasana (corpse pose). Arms to the sides, palms up.
Meditate until you reach a void mind state, with all the associated feelings.
Now, focus internally on the Root Chakra with your attention.
Begin to speak out loud, "Om Namah Shivaya". The words should vibrate and have meaning. "Ohhhhmmmmmmmmm naaaaaahh maaaaaahhhh sheeeeeeee vaaaaaaahhh yaaaahhhh". The inflection should be monotone. Vibrating the mantra should take about five seconds. Remember to focus on the Root Chakra, and take note of any sensations there. Don't forget to breathe- inhale, and speak the mantra as you exhale.
If anything begins to happen to you- physical symptoms like the neck craning back, shaking, convulsions, the eyes rolling back in the head, or anything else outside of your control, go with it. Don't fight it. This is natural and a sign that Kundalini is stirring. You may feel a strong magnetic pulse fluid rise up the spinal cord. You may begin to hallucinate. All of this is natural, and if you fight against it, you are only restricting yourself.
After some time, you may or may not have success with chanting the mantra. It can't be forced. The key is to stick with it. It takes time. When you feel you are finished for the day, regardless of whether you had an experience or not, stand up slowly, stretch and drink some water.Where you should be by now and learning to let go
By now, you should have been doing Alternate Nostril Pranayama, the Chakra meditation, and Chanting the Mantra for some time. You may or may not have had experiences with Kundalini. The key is to stick with these practices and continue to do them all daily. Just doing one alone is not going to get you anywhere.
Ultimately, this is a manner of learning to let go. You cannot force Kundalini to awaken. This is something that can take a month, or something that can take years or even a lifetime!
A big part of this is chanting and letting go of everything besides the chant, and just focusing on the Root Chakra. You cannot use your intention to awaken the prana. This is where the issue of Divine Grace comes into focus. There is a time and place for everything- will you hold on to your ego, or will you step out of the way so something miraculous can happen? When God decides you are ready to awaken, you must realize this and step out of the way. You must learn to surrender yourself at the very core of your being, and continue chanting, before anything will happen. If you are an individualist or egoist this will be very difficult. However, it is said that when you say "I", God says "I". When your Personal Soul (Atma) is in the way of the Higher Self (Brahma), nothing can happen, because you are impeding your own evolution. There cannot be two- you must surrender and allow Divine Grace to enter you. It is just that simple.Koujiryuu's experience
My experience with Kundalini yoga began at age 17.
At the time, I was incarcerated in a Juvenile corrections institute, where I had about 5 hours a day alone in my room with nothing to do. I had been incarcerated for a little over a year, and every day I practiced Qigong and meditation, as well as the Tibetan Five Rites Yoga I learned from a book my Mom had before I went in.
Anyway, one day in the library, I saw a book I had never seen before. I wasn't sure what it was. I picked it up and took a look. In retrospect, I'm not sure what book it was, other than it was by Gurumayi Chidvilasananda. I think it may have been Transformation Volume 3
. It was over ten years ago, so I cannot remember fully.
The book detailed the experiences of the devotees of Gurumayi Chidvilasananda. It had a lot of stories, poems, and descriptions of strange experiences with Kundalini energy. It had a lot of unfamiliar concepts and words in it. The book didn't have very many practical techniques I could use, but it did have a lot to say about the mantra, Om Namah Shivaya, letting go, and experiencing the power within.
I had heard of Kundalini before but I didn't know anything about it. I had done Qigong for 3 years or so at this point, as well as meditation.
Taking what little practices I had, descriptions in the book of the Nadis, the mantra, and faith, as well as a lot of free time, I decided to practice the methods and awaken my Kundalini.
I practiced chanting, pranayama, the Five Rites, and meditation for about 4 hours a day in the evening. I certainly had a lot of time to kill, and I didn't expect much in return, because my knowledge of the practices was limited to what was in the book... I drew my own conclusions.
Anyway, one night after having practiced for about a month, I had an experience. It was late, probably around 10pm, and I was chanting the mantra quietly, so as not to disturb others. I had already done the Opening the Chakra meditation, and was in a deep trance. I chanted quietly, but became frustrated, as nothing was happening. Suddenly, I had an epiphany: I needed to let go of expectations and give myself up to the Kundalini...
I continued to chant, while focusing on the Root Chakra, but with a different mind set. I felt freedom in the purest sense, like nothing I had felt before. I felt totally at peace with myself and my surroundings. I felt very surreal, as if I was not locked in a jail cell at a boys school, but somewhere else entirely- at once inside myself, yet everywhere in the cosmos. I felt a very strong, magnetic feeling in the back, then I saw a blinding light, and a blue pearl in between my eyes. I felt a strong light that I can only describe as being Holy enter my Crown chakra through the top of my head, travel down the back to the Root Chakra. I felt a tremendous condensation of energy there, an intense heat and a strong tingle. My gonads began to tingle strongly. My neck began to move back on it's own, as if I were looking upward- my shoulders lifted off the ground, my buttocks felt pushed down, my eyes rolled back in the head, and I felt a strong liquid force come out of the Root Chakra, and slowly move up the back to the top of the head. I had a vision of Gurumayi smiling at me and touching me on the forehead.
I felt incredibly happy and liberated. I felt the force of the Shakti/Shiva marriage as an inner bliss pervading the Crown Chakra. Eventually, my body relaxed, and I still felt a tremendous amount of prana in my spinal cord (which is there to this day). I ended up laying there, meditating, until I feel asleep. I woke up as a different person. The next day, all day long, I would turn my head to the side and my neck and back would pop and crack audibly, and I would feel currents of energy in my spine.
This experience was so incredibly powerful and peaceful, and felt so right and natural. Regardless of whether or not you believe it, this is something sacred to me. There is no exaggeration or hyperbole here, just the subjective truth of my experience. I am sharing it with you to illustrate a major point, that I've outlined before: you must have unwavering devotion and let go of the personal ego to attain transformation. The whole time I practiced over the course of that month, I was so focused on controlling my intention, and awakening the energy myself, that I missed the point: you must let go and give yourself up to your Higher Self.Exercise 4: Divine Light Meditation
This is a culmination of all our previous exercises into one method to (hopefully) attain Kundalinic awakening.
Before doing this exercise, bathe yourself. Burn some incense. Put some devotional music on, or a white noise recording. Do anything you can to assist the process. Wear all white or orange.
Begin lying down in the corpse pose position.
Meditate until you reach a Void mind state.
Now, begin to do Alternate Nostril Pranayama, focusing on the Root Chakra. The key here is to guide a large amount of Prana to the Root Chakra for the purposes of activating Kundalini.
Take as much or as little time as you need, doing the Alternate Nostril Pranayama. When you feel ready, move on.
Continue to meditate.
Go through the "Opening the Chakras" exercise, using "Om Namah Shivaya" in each Chakra. Remember to focus on the prana spiraling in each Chakra, and visualize a colored flower blooming for each.
After your Chakras are open, move on.
Focus on the Root Chakra and chant out loud: "Om Namah Shivaya". What does this mean to you? What is the nature of existence? Does God exist? These are questions you must ask yourself.
Continue to focus on the Root Chakra while chanting. Pray, and ask God, Shiva, Shakti or whatever higher deity you believe in to assist you.
At some point, the intense chanting and focus on the Root Chakra may or may not cause sensations of Kundalini activity, if you are personally ready for it and are truly devoted.
Regardless, ask your personal deity to help you again. Voice this prayer out loud. Now, visualize and feel a bright golden white light coming down into your body through the top of the head. This light is the essence of God or your chosen deity. The light is pure love and energy of the highest vibrational quality. It energizes the Crown Chakra and moves down the Sushumna channel to the Root Chakra, and activates Kundalini.
At this point, let go and continue chanting. Don't expect anything to happen. Don't impose your intent on the energy in the spine or chakras. Quiet yourself, give yourself up and watch while you continue to chant.
Again, If anything begins to happen to you- physical symptoms like the neck craning back, shaking, convulsions, the eyes rolling back in the head, or anything else outside of your control, go with it. Don't fight it. This is natural and a sign that Kundalini is stirring. You may feel a strong magnetic pulse fluid rise up the spinal cord. You may begin to hallucinate or have visions. All of this is natural, and if you fight against it, you are only restricting yourself.
You must let go and give yourself up to God.
When you have an experience and are finished, thank your higher power. Thank your Higher Self. Say a prayer. Continue to meditate and perceive your new-found energy source. When you are satisfied with the experience, stand up slowly and stretch. Pay special attention to the neck, back and joints. It helps to move the head around in circles or side to side.
I hope this method has the same results for you that is has had for me. Most importantly, now that you've had this primal experience, give all that love and light back to the world. Do something to help someone. Create. Write poetry or paint. Do something nice for your family. Give back to the community, and Veritas.Confirmatory experiences on the path of Kundalini
Here is a list of confirmatory experiences on the path of Kundalini yoga.
The first set of symptoms are more physiological and mental. These can manifest as illness, although not all of them are negative things.
The second set of effects are almost entirely positive and come from the Yoga Kundalini Upanishad. These effects can variously be described as samadhi, or a non-fixed integration of the personal consciousness with the universal consciousness in meditation as a result of Kundalini practice.
It should be noted that unless you have experienced a great deal of these symptoms or effects simultaneously in day to day life as well as in meditation, you may not have awakened Kundalini. I don't doubt anyone else's experiences because I am an honest person, and I would expect my readers to give at least some credence to my own experience. Just take note, if you've had a real experience you will know it. Don't make the mistake of thinking you've had it when you haven't. From Biology of Kundalini
Muscle twitching, cramps or spasms, shaking, trembling, limpness, rigid- contraction, facial contortions. Itching, vibrating, pricking, tingling, effervescent bubbles of bliss. Tingling/throbbing in left foot and leg is one of the main signs that Kundalini is active. Hot or cold changes in body temperature. Shooting currents of energy or heat. Zigzag or double helix of energy up the spine. Prana flow in the central nervous system. Pulsating sensation in the sacrum. Involuntary laughing or crying, deep sighs. Abdomen may flatten toward the spine. Contraction of visceral organs. The anus contracts and is drawn up (bandhas). Purging or constipation. Bad digestion. Chin may press down against the neck (neck lock posture). Eyeballs roll upwards or rotate. Eyelids may not open despite effort to open them. Left eyelid flickers, then towards the end of the awakening the right eye may flicker. Tongue rises to the roof of the mouth or stretches back. Repetitive popping sensation in the sinus above the palette. Body may twist in all directions. Body may bend forward or back, or roll around on the floor. Spontaneous asanas and mudrus. Breathing constriction, heaviness or contraction of diaphragm. Unusual breathing patterns, tendency to belly breathe, emphatic out-breath. Racing heart, expansion pains in heart. Feeling of levitation or intensified gravity, radical grounding and associated lethargy, Chronic Fatigue. Body sense might expand to feel huge or small. Strange aches and head pressures, headaches. Clenching jaw. Yawning, excessive sleep. Inability to sleep during hyperactivation; Hyperactivity, need to constantly walk or exercise. Dry throat, great thirst. Feeling headlessness, mindless, giddy, heaviness of head like one is wearing a helmet. Build up of pressure at the head, neck, spine, thorax and eyes. Paralysis during Samadhi or hypnogogic states. Numbness and pain in limbs, especially the left foot and leg. Numbness on the left scalp and down into left face, with drooping of the left eyelid. Years of pain in the throat (thyroid) or in the left foot or shin prior to the awakening. Loss of strength in the arms during rapture and heart expansions. Psychokinetic interference with electrical equipment. Smell of roses or peaches eminating from the skin.
Inner visions and lights, flames, geometric shapes. Visions of deities, or saints. Dream-scenes. Inner sounds, celestial music, bird sounds, animal sounds. Buzzing or humming in the ears. Inner voices. Spontaneous mantras. Speaking in tongues or foreign languages. Smell of perfume arises. Transcendental vision, everything illuminated scintillating, vibrating. Dreams and visions in transcendental vision. Atom bomb dreams. Temporary loss of eyesight.
Love with no object arises. Devotion. Sublime gratitude. Uncommon compassion and understanding. Tolerance and patience for "What Is." Enormous faith accompanies the bliss. Transcendence of reactive patterns, social conditioning and egoic habits. Intense sexual arousal without provocation. Intensified sexual and sensoral pleasure. Feeling of gaseous bubbles arising from reproductive organs, champagne pelvis. Feeling of radiating ambrosial bliss, an aura of nectar. Heat, sweat. Strange activity and bliss in different areas of the head at different times. Sensations of blissful honey moving through brain, spine and connecting heart to other parts of the body. Traveling bliss, or pervasive bliss, rapture. Spontaneous sexual ecstasy with no stimulation. Increased ESP, precognitive dreams, telepathy. Bio-location of loved one through heart's navigation. Alchemical preparation for future unknown events, ie: translocal transtime development. Linear time transcended. Feeling of entire life reaching a nexus point in time. Heightened senses. Hyper-sensitive. Field of self widens, peripheral awareness increases. Exquisite awareness of one's environment and others. Ability to affect energetic states and promote heart expansion in others via sympathetic resonance.
Deep questions and answers arise. Spontaneous mystic poetry that writes itself. Important insights, eurekas. Scientific and creative solutions. The Herald of the Muse appearing as a sound or voice in the upper right-brain field prior to the emergence of information. Increased creativity and expression. Intensified understanding. Finer focus on "the most important thing." Compulsive need to write.From the Yoga Kundalini Upanishad:
"Experiences On Awakening Of Kundalini"
"During meditation you behold divine visions, experience divine smell, divine taste, divine touch, hear divine Anahata Sounds. You receive instructions from God. These indicate that the Kundalini Shakti has been awakened. When there is throbbing in Muladhara, when hair stands on its root, when Uddiyana, Jalandhara and Mulabandha come involuntarily, know that Kundalini has awakened."
"When the breath stops without any effort, when Kevala Kumbhaka comes by itself without any exertion, know that Kundalini Shakti has become active. When you feel currents of Prana rising up to the Sahasrara, when you experience bliss, when you repeat Om automatically, when there are no thoughts of the world in the mind, know that Kundalini Shakti has awakened."
"When, in your meditation, the eyes become fixed on Trikuti, the middle of the eyebrows, when the Sambhavi Mudra operates, know that Kundalini Shakti has become active. When you feel vibrations of Prana in different parts inside your body, when you experience jerks like the shocks of electricity, know that Kundalini has become active. During meditation when you feel as if there is no body, when your eyelids become closed and do not open in spite of your exertion, when electric-like currents flow up and down the nerves, know that Kundalini has awakened."
"When you meditate, when you get inspiration and insight, when the nature unfolds its secrets to you, all doubts disappear, you understand clearly the meaning of the Vedic texts, know that Kundalini has become active. When your body becomes light like air, when you possess inexhaustible energy for work, know that Kundalini has become active."
"When you get divine intoxication, when you develop power of oration, know that Kundalini has awakened. When you involuntarily perform different Asanas or poses of Yoga without the least pain or fatigue, know that Kundalini has become active. When you compose beautiful sublime hymns and poetry involuntarily, know that Kundalini has become active."
From these symptoms, numerous conclusions can be drawn.
The first conclusion we can draw is that there is indeed evidence of Kundalini phenomena being a tangible and real experience. The mind states and inner bliss associated with Kundalini yoga have been written about by the sages over millennia, and the experience of transformational energy causes higher mind states in meditation that can be viewed objectively as being positive and having similarity among adepts. Furthermore, some of the physical and metaphysical symptoms of Kundalini energy have been reported by people who don't practice meditation- I have read accounts of people in bad car accidents or who otherwise experience head and neck trauma accidentally activating Kundalini energy in the Central Nervous System as a consequence (Here is one example: http://www.kundalini-
gateway.org/awaken/a_gloria.html). Many of these people have never meditated in their lives and are not spiritual at all, or are spiritual but have no training in Yoga. I too have suffered head and neck trauma, as well as eye trauma, before I had Kundalini experiences. To be specific, I landed on my head trying to do a back flip on a trampoline, and I messed my neck up doing a side-kick on a heavy bag. Both of these happened when I was 15 and required me to see a chiropractor for months. Why, then, do people with head or neck trauma experience activation of energy in the CNS and all the signs of Kundalini awakening? This is something I cannot fully answer, but it is worth further discussion. This is subjective, but I personally believe that Kundalini is a fundamental aspect of the human experience, one that is only enabled by karma. This is the only conclusion I can draw.
The second conclusion we can draw is that Kundalini energy and the symptoms of it's awakening are dangerous. Meditation and activating the CNS energy in the spinal cord has life-altering, dramatic consequences. Like anything in life, it has it's negative and positive consequences. Some of these symptoms are physical, some are mental, and some are spiritual. However, many of the negative symptoms simply won't manifest as long as you take care of yourself and your energy- stick with your practices. Branch out and find new methods of practice. Do something creative. Volunteer. Give back the Light you have awakened in yourself. Realize you are a conduit for something greater and positive. When these things are continuously done, you won't experience any of the negative effects of Kundalini, only the positive ones. It is when the energy is left alone that it becomes stagnant. You must always be mindful of the flow of energy in the spine, and treat it like you would a child- with care and respect. The best way to do this is through sadhana (spiritual work), and focusing your attention in meditation.
The third conclusion we can draw is that Kundalini energies are potent and have many far reaching consequences. Some of these symptoms and experiences are paranormal in nature- leaving the body, seeing other places, knowing the thoughts of others, seeing visions, hearing inner sounds, spontaneous psychokinesis, healing others with energy and so on. These are powers called "siddhis". Considering that Kundalini energy and awakening is a deeply personal, and (when practiced with a right mind) deeply spiritual experience, I am not going to discuss siddhis except to say that these abilities are made easier by Kundalini energy. They are not the goal of the practice, and someone seeking only siddhis through spiritual practice is indeed corrupt and will be very lucky to get anywhere. There are more than enough resources on Veritas about developing such abilities if you choose to, but on the path of Kundalini you may find that you just wake up one day, able to do them. You may also lose that ability later. Personally, I think the conclusion here should be that any power in the material world is potentially useful, yet also abusable. The material world is a passing thing. The spiritual world is not. Turn inside yourself in meditation and question the nature of the world around you, and the nature of the higher creative consciousness. You'll see very quickly that the goal is not powers or abilities but self development and evolution. Anyone who cannot see this is not genuine to themselves or others and is essentially confused about the nature of existence and life. Any true spiritual teacher would tell you the same things.
The fourth and final consequence is that Kundalini has a tremendous effect on one's life. Ignoring any negative physical symptoms, which usually come from accidental awakening by untrained people, we see that Kundalini work teaches us to give ourselves up to a higher power. It is a philosophy and training of letting go, stepping out of the way and letting something greater take over our lives. Does this mean we lose our personality, our Freudian ego, and our individuality? No, absolutely not. What is means is that the positive aspects of our personality are reinforced while the negative ones can fall to the side. Training Kundalini is like polishing a dirty pane of glass in the Mind's Eye- it is only when we begin to get the glass clean, that the Light can shine through. We are still ourselves, but we bring purpose, creativity, immense energy, and wholeness into our life. The negative aspects naturally fall away.
Ultimately, many questions will arise. It is up to the reader to decide if they want to train in these methods or not. However, it is the opinion of the author that this energy and it's awakening is almost entirely positive when approached with the right mind set.
It may be of benefit to readers to see a modern psychological stance on Kundalini awakening, part of which can be found here.
Namaste. (I bow to the light within you)AppendixChina vs India vs Hermetic Science: Tying it all together
In my research, I have come to understand that awakening spiritual energy is a fundamental rite of passage for the adept regardless of paradigm. The following serves as a comparison and compendium of knowledge about this awakening and how similar different approaches are to each other.
It is variously understood that Hermetic Science was an ancient Egyptian practice that spread from the Egyptians to the Hebrews. In some circles it is even claimed that Hermetics derives from ancient Indo-Iranian mysticism from Mesopotamia, the Sumerians, and Zoroastrianism. Ultimately, there is a lot of missing history here, and the basis of the philosophy can be attributed to Hermes Trismegistus and the Hermetic Corpus. Hermetic Science emerged alongside early Christianity and Gnosticism, and after falling out of favor, survived to the modern day through secret orders such as the Golden Dawn and Rosicrucians.
What is blatantly obvious to anyone who does the research is that methods of metaphysics spread around the world, and independently developed systems influenced each other. This spread is due to the Silk Road leading from West Europe to India and eventually China, the Middle Kingdom. One can only imagine what treatises traveled from the West to India and China and vice versa, and what influence these texts had on the holy men who came in contact with them. It is basically impossible to say which system took what from what other system, but it is probably safe to say that Indian Yoga had a lot of influence over both Hermetics (Qabbalah) and Chinese (Daoist and Buddhist) methods.
So, then, in Hermetics there is a practice called the Middle Pillar Rite. In this rite, various Divine names are used to activate the Sephirot on the Middle Pillar of the Tree of Life. This causes a rising of Divine energy from the Earthly Sphere at the feet (malkuth) to the Heavenly Sphere (kether) at the head. This can produce many symptoms in the initiate that are similar to and align with symptoms of Kundalinic awakening as well as Daoist methods of neidan cultivation.
The Hermetic Tree of Life has two pillars, Masculine and Feminine, JAKIN and BOAZ, and a third Middle Pillar between them both. On JAKIN we find three Sephirot (Fruits) and on BOAZ we find three Sephirot. On the Middle Pillar we find five Sephirot with elemental affiliations, from bottom to top- Malkuth (Earth), Yesod (Water), Tiphareth (Fire), Daath (Air), and Kether (Spirit or Ether). Malkuth is between the ankles, Yesod is below the naval, Tiphareth is in the heart, Daath in the throat and Kether at the crown of the head.
Now, obviously, these parallel Qigong and Yoga systems almost directly! When inspected, we see that JAKIN, BOAZ and the Middle Pillar align with the Yogic Ida, Pingala and Sushumna Nadis almost perfectly. The Middle Pillar itself aligns with the spinal column nadi of Sushumna well. The difference is in the double-helix structure of the Yogic Ida and Pingala Nadis, whereas the pillars go straight down. However, both Ida and Pingala, and JAKIN and BOAZ possess Yang and Yin attributes. In Qigong, it could be said that these channels parallel the meridians of Dumei, Renmei and Chongmei quite well, except for the front to back alignment of the meridians as opposed to side by side.
When we look further at the spiritual centers of Chakras, Dantien and Sephirot, we see parallels too. The four highest Sephirot on the Middle Pillar align with the Chakras thusly: Yesod with the Root Chakra, Tiphareth with the Heart Chakra, Daath with the Throat Chakra, and Kether with the Crown Chakra. Additionally, Yesod aligns with the Lower Dantien and both are the element of Water. Tiphareth aligns with the Middle Dantien and both are the element of Fire. And Kether aligns with the Upper Dantian and is the seat of Spirit, which in Chinese thought is also true, as the Upper Dantien is the seat of Shen!
In conclusion, it is undeniable that the parallels between all these mystic traditions, and their similar rites of raising transformational energy to the head, have something in common. Who can say who borrowed what from whom or what the influence of each was? Ultimately, though, we can agree as students of different systems that the fundamental transformational forces harnessed through each are similar and life changing. Whether you practice Qigong, Yoga, or Magic, the paradigms have striking similarity in some ways and marked differences in others. Studying and finding these things out for yourself, trying new methods and being open-minded, we can grow and learn about ourselves and the nature of our systems.
If you wish to see more of this discussion, I refer you to another article on Veritas: The Middle Pillar RiteRecommended Books
The Root of Chinese Qigong by Dr. Yang, Jwing-Ming
Qigong: The Secret of Youth - Da Mo's Muscle Tendon Changing and Brain Marrow Washing Classics by Dr. Yang, Jwing-Ming
Lesser Kan and Li by Mantak Chia (take this one with a grain of salt)Alchemical Taoism.comSecret Fire: The Relationship between Kundalini, Kabbalah and AlchemySwamij's website
Yoga Kundalini Upanishad
Kundalini Rising: Mastering Creative Energies by Barbara Condron
Tao Teh ChingThanks and credits
Thanks to everyone that made this possible. I couldn't have done it without you.
General thanks to:
Darkduck (For all the discussion we had back in the day about this topic and Aikido)
Everyone from The New Mystics for our discussion on these things back in the day in #qi
Silver_Archer (Yoga and Shaktism section)
Rawiri (Yoga section)
Prophecy (Yoga section)
kobok (Consistency editor)
mystic (Neigong section)
This concludes the article.