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Advanced Yoga Practices
Note: For the complete lessons, with additions, see the AYP Easy Lessons for Ecstatic Living Books. For the Expanded and Interactive Internet Lessons, AYP Online Books, Audiobooks and more, see AYP Plus.
Lesson 320 - Kundalini and Refined Sensory Perception (Audio)
New Visitors: It is recommended you read from the beginning of the web archive, as previous lessons are prerequisite to this one. The first lesson is, "Why This Discussion?"
About a year ago I went to a large funeral. The deceased was a man who generated strong emotions, both positive and negative, in people. I came to terms with him long ago. I was shocked when during the ceremony, the kundalini, or energy, rose extraordinarily intensely. So much so, I thought I would have to leave the room and lie down, but I managed to get through it. That has convinced me beyond all doubt of the subtle communication between people that we're usually not aware of.
Sometimes I go to an open coffee shop/museum that used to be a bank in the 19th century. Kundalini almost inevitably rises strongly there. I wonder if it's the spirit of the place, or the interest/curiosity in me from the four or five people who work there.
Today I went to a casual event in a non-descript, modern, public building. It was very relaxed, but I didn't know the other 10 participants. (It was to drink organic juice made from organic vegetables.) I did know the coordinator, however, and have a relationship with that person of a somewhat greater degree. I was astonished when the kundalini began rising very strongly shortly after arrival. It was almost certainly not the result of the place, the event, or the people I did not know. I wondered how likely it was generated by the subtle emotions of the person I did know.
Then again, sometimes I get those rushes sitting alone in my room working at the computer for no apparent reason. How much of this is caused by people or events in our environment, and how much just happens on its own?
I would be most interested in your observations.
A: Part of the kundalini experience is a refinement of sensory perception, which corresponds with the rise of ecstatic conductivity. In traditional yoga, this is called "pratyahara," meaning introversion of sensory perception. Along with this refinement we begin to experience our inner dimensions more clearly, and, at the same time, external environmental events will begin to affect us more deeply also, because our inside and outside are only different aspects of the one reality that we are.
This is how we become more empathetic as we advance spiritually. We "feel" what others feel, and are drawn more to "do unto others" as we would have others do unto us. Eventually we go beyond involvement in sensory perception altogether, to a constant divine outpouring, and that is true pratyahara.
The refinement of sensory perception also results in an increasing ability to perceive the finer vibratory quality of places, people, groups, etc., like the situations you described.
It is important not to get too carried away with these experiences, and continue to favor our routine of daily practice over our rising sensitivities and other "siddhis" that may occur.
So, carry on and enjoy the ride, but not to the point of being too distracted from the cause of your growth, which is practices.
The guru is in you.
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Note: For detailed instructions on building a balanced daily practice routine with self-pacing, and on the evolution of the stages of enlightenment, see the Eight Limbs of Yoga Book, and AYP Plus.
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