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Kundalini Meditation

Kundalini meditation must be practiced under the strict guidance of a spiritual teacher.
Kundalini, a Sanskrit word literally meaning “curled up like a serpent”, refers to the reservoir of cosmic energy lying dormant in each individual at the base of the spine until it is activated, as by Kundalini meditation. Upon arousal, this energy is said to rise upwards like a serpent through the spinal channel (called the “Sushumana”) and the seven Chakras (Chakra is a Sanskrit word literally meaning “wheel”) or the “centers of psychic force” along the spine, which, in the physical body, closely correspond to any of the nerve plexuses, nerve ganglia and endocrine glands.

The concept of Kundalini meditation originated from the ancient Indian philosophy of Yoga. The practice of Kundalini meditation involves one or more of the following: strict yoga postures (meant as an aid to maintaining physical fitness); intense breathing exercises (meant to increase the Prana or the life force); contemplation; and chanting of Mantras. (Mantra is a Sanskrit word meaning “a verbal formula composed of a word or a phrase” that is chanted repeatedly during meditation or prayers for invocation of a god/goddess or a magic spell.)

In the religious context, the arousing and awakening of this stored serpentine energy through Kundalini meditation, when engaged in the right way under the guidance of a spiritual teacher, is said to bring about an altered state of heightened awareness, enhanced levels of sensory perception, deep peace, a blissful feeling of ecstasy and oneness with the supreme universal consciousness, and an effortless flow of knowledge of the self and the universe.

Thus, Kundalini meditation is basically a contemplation tool to achieve arousal and awakening of the Kundalini energy. Though Kundalini meditation is strictly associated with the Hindu thought and philosophy, the resulting spiritual experience finds many parallels in the mystical and Gnostic traditions of other religions too: for example, the “pneuma” of the early Christians, the Holy Ghost phenomenon of the contemporary Christians, the torso-rocking prayer of Jews, the whirling dervish of Islam, the flowing movement of Tai Chi, to name a few.

As the Kundalini energy successively passes through the seven Chakras, it energizes each one of them by removing any blockage there, thus releasing the full potential of each Chakra with its special characteristics, and in the process conferring spiritual/paranormal powers (referred to as “Siddhis” in Hinduism) to the practitioner of Kundalini meditation.
But spiritual teachers advise their students not to get hung up on these powers as they can hinder the process of spiritual growth.

As mentioned earlier, Kundalini meditation must be practiced under the strict guidance of a spiritual teacher if you want to experience positive outcome. Experimenting with Kundalini experience outside of the religious/spiritual context or engaging in Kundalini meditation without a clear understanding, without consideration and deliberation, and without proper psychological preparation involving intense rumination and reflection about the purpose of your seeking a Kundalini awakening experience, can lead to negative ramifications.

Kundalini syndrome refers to the negative effects of improperly practiced Kundalini meditation. The prominent symptoms can include feeling tremors or other involuntary body movements, changes in respiratory function, feelings of unusual heat/cold, feelings of tingling/vibrations/electricity in the body, headaches and pressure inside the head, persistent sexual arousal, psychological upheaval, stress, depression, and intense mood swings. These may be interspersed with few moments of bliss and deep peace. For total bliss and enlightenment, look for a credible spiritual guru.

By Claire Faregreen

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