Advanced Yoga Practices
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Lesson 287 - Crown Strategy and Kundalini (Audio)
Date: Tue Oct 24, 2006 3:36 pm
New Visitors: It is recommended you read from the beginning of the archive, as previous
lessons are prerequisite to this one. The first lesson is, "Why
Q1: Once we have been through the "testing the crown"
lesson (#199), and feel that we are able to keep our
attention focused on the crown, what happens next?
A1: It is suggested to be very careful with crown focus, as the effect will
be time delayed and likely more than we are bargaining for. "Testing" is not
something we can do for a few weeks or months and then feel confident to
stay focused at the crown at will. It is a process that will more likely
take years in a very gradual development.
One of the goals in the AYP lessons is to give folks a
good appreciation of premature crown opening and its consequences. Most of
the kundalini horror stories written over the past 40 years (at least) are
related to this. On the other hand, no one here is prohibited from exploring
their own nature, and the lessons attempt to keep the door open while
observing reasonable safety. So those are the two principles that crown
discussions are wrapped around in the lessons. I think with more tools and a
measured approach, we are finally moving beyond the kinds of unwieldy
kundalini scenarios that were so prevalent in the past, to something that is
much more manageable. It is, after all, our own nature that is manifesting.
So we ought to be able to come to terms with it and move forward with
reasonable speed and safety. And we can -- fairly gracefully too!
There is really no "formula" practice to be done at the
crown that can be recommended whole-heartedly, because each person has a
unique matrix of obstructions to be dissolved, and focused crown practices
of any kind will not be stable until the matrix is largely dissolved, which
can be done with the brow to root oriented practices already given. Going to
the crown is then left up to the aspirant, and the suggestion is to wait to
do it until ecstatic conductivity is sufficiently advanced so there can be a
good awareness of what is happening. That is why prudent "testing" is
recommended. And always keep in mind the time delays that are involved in
the cycles of ecstasy and letdown.
It is important to note that energy experiences in the
crown area (usually mirrored ecstatically body-wide) are caused by
"friction" from remaining impurities in the nervous system. So the energy
symptoms themselves (including ecstasy) can be taken as a caution that there
is more work to be done. With crown focus, energy symptoms can quickly turn
into roller coaster emotions and all sorts of physical weirdness. Yes, all
of this does stabilize later on, but the difficulty of the ride we take is
directly related to how aggressive we have been at the crown early on. And
it is not necessarily a shorter ride -- it can be much longer due to having
to come off a stable routine of practices to deal with the energy
dislocations. So, slow and steady (brow to root) will win this race 9 times
out of 10.
The best crown experiences are the ones that have gone
to dissolution into pure bliss consciousness, without negative
after-effects. This indicates body-wide purity. As with all practices, we
know it is good if we feel good in our regular daily activity afterward.
Once we get to that stage, then what? Well, nothing
much really. We just keep going with our stable practice routine (using
prudent self-pacing), and our regular life. Contrary to popular belief,
there is no place other than HERE that we have to go to -- no exit via the
crown to some other exotic dimension. Actually, the opposite happens -- the
ecstatic bliss (the exotic) comes in here from out there. That is the thing,
you know -- the divine process is not us going somewhere else. It is the
divine coming in through us into this life -- this ordinary life. It ends up
melting our heart in an extraordinary way and flowing out through our
actions. In AYP we call it outpouring divine love. That's it...
The crown is a sort of crossroad in all of this, one
that takes a long time to purify completely, because, to do so, everything
else has to be purified, and that cannot be done overnight, no matter what
has been promised. The good news is that all the purification we achieve in
the sushumna (spinal nerve) and throughout the nervous system with our daily
deep meditation, spinal breathing pranayama and other practices is crown
opening by proxy. When everything is purified and opened, the crown is open
too. In that sense all the practices we do are crown practices. We are just
being cagey about it to avoid unnecessary mishaps.
Q2: Thank you. Obviously I don't want to jump the gun
and proceed too fast, but at the same time I don't want to go too slowly.
This is why I say that I feel it is my bhakti taking me there, as I feel
that targeted crown practices would take my practice to a new level (much
like kechari does). I feel that I still need some clarification on this in
order to proceed safely.
Is it the case that at some point on the path everyone
must eventually go to the crown with awareness during practices in order to
proceed? I have been doing "testing" at my crown outside of practices for
several months now, with no adverse side effects (yet!). If I do incorporate
a period of crown awareness into my practices, after samyama and before
savasana (lying down), I would need to increase the duration of the practice
slowly. If I started with one minute during each series of practices, and
increased that every day by a minute up to ten minutes twice a day, would
you consider that to be introducing the practice slowly enough, given the
delays that can happen? Or would you be more cautious than that?
A2: Over time of stable practice without doing anything
beyond our basic AYP routine, the ajna (third eye) will naturally expand to
incorporate the crown, and this is the way the whole process can proceed
while remaining stable. It is not necessary to isolate the crown in
practices to accomplish this -- in fact, to do so is the most risky approach
and least likely to bring us home quickly and smoothly. In other words, as
long as the two (third eye and crown) are perceived as distinctly different,
favoring the brow will be the more prudent path. When the whole nervous
system is becoming gradually more advanced in purification, the third eye
and crown will merge energetically. There is little we have to do to promote
this, other than maintaining our regular daily practices. When this merging
occurs, then we will find attention in the ajna and crown to be more or less
analogous. Even then, we will find times when it is necessary to come down
due to large energy flows. This "coming down" is already built into our
practices, especially in spinal breathing. In addition, we have the
"grounding" methods discussed in lesson #69.
As for what to do between samyama and rest, it is best
if we leave that one to you. I am sure your bhakti will help you find your
way. Keep in mind that sometimes bhakti itself can use some self-pacing. In
the upcoming Samyama book, something helpful will be added near the end of
the practice session, but not as crown concentrated as is being discussed
here. We will continue to be very cagey about the crown, which is
essentially the same as the whole body and beyond.
Also, more about crown experiences on the edge (and way
overboard) can be found in the Secrets of Wilder novel, which is a story
about the experience of discovering this kind of integration of practices,
including mishaps that happened along the way, and what it took to get back
on track. It is a story of pioneering work with lots of ups and downs, in
contrast to the rather "routine" approach to cultivating enlightenment we
take around here.
We'd like for it to become routine. Then the door will
be wide open for everyone to do it. Practice wisely, and enjoy!
The guru is in you.
Related Lessons Topic Path
Discuss this Lesson in the AYP Plus Support Forum
For detailed instructions on building a
balanced daily practice routine with self-pacing, see the
Eight Limbs of Yoga Book,
and AYP Plus.
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