Advanced Yoga Practices
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Kundalini Conundrum (Audio)
May 28, 2010
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
Q: I'm not a practitioner of the AYP system yet. I've been
going through a kundalini emergence for some time with a multitude of
disconcerting symptoms. Recently, I've noticed an intense ringing in the
ears. While I've certainly experienced ringing in the ears before (kundalini
has been active for years), including changes in frequency, left ear and/or
right ear stuff, and all manner of aural phenomena, the past several days
I've been experiencing a high pitched ringing of the ears that is not going
away. It doesn't change. It's there when I'm sleeping and when I'm awake.
During this time (last week or so), any type of practice brings out so
much kundalini that I am basically unable to function in any normal sort of
way. I'm certain that the ringing will pass ... however, do you think this
is related to maybe the throat chakra or the ajna chakra?
I ask this
because I believe the ringing is related to the muscles of the temples, the
points on either side of the eyes. I had Shiatsu massage recently (which is
one way to get the kundalini really revved up) and I found through the
massage that there was a dysfunction with the muscles and prana at my left
As this "issue" has been released, the ringing in the ears
began. I've had some seriously bad migraines in this time span too (which I
have only very occasionally). What is the connection there between the
temple points, and my ears? Is this an ajna issue or a vishuddhi issue?
I am very interested in moving ahead aggressively through all of this
discomfort to a new level as soon as possible.
Any input is
A: The symptoms you describe will pass. Remedial
measures that can help can be found in Lesson 69. What
is even more important is what your practice is that is giving rise to these
excesses. If we are wisely engaged in practices on the front end, we will be
much less likely to have these issues occurring to such extremes on the back
end. So it is suggested to take stock of your practices, and how they may be
exacerbating the situation. Without prudent self-pacing of our practices and
lifestyle, we can be in these excesses for a long time. It is not necessary,
and not particularly progressive for our spiritual evolution. Certainly not
very efficient. The time we spend retrenching from overloads is the time we
could be spending in balanced practices.
Beyond the principles and
practices of self-pacing discussed in the lessons, it has never been much
about the symptoms of kundalini here, though there have been plenty of
symptoms over the years. But they pale in comparison with what we can find
through a balanced practice.
First and foremost, it has always been
about cultivating abiding inner silence in deep meditation and samyama. With
that, the energetic aspects find fruition sooner rather than later, and with
much less disruption. Certainly much less angst.
specifics of intense kundalini symptoms may demand our attention to the
point of distraction from our spiritual path. A strange irony. We might even
be inclined to hang on to such symptoms, because we want to know what is
causing them, and we may think that more energy symptoms represent more
growth. Not so. But it can become that all-consuming, particularly with
limited presence of the witness (inner silence). Then we may find ourselves
stuck in a kundalini lifestyle, which could also be called a
No matter how long we are in it, a symptomatic period
is only a transitional stage, one that we'd like to bring to its natural
refined condition of loving ecstatic bliss as soon as practical. Then we can
get on with the real business of enlightenment, which is the unending
outpouring of divine love. That is stillness in action, our inner silence
flying on the wings of mature ecstatic conductivity and radiance (kundalini)
for the benefit of all. This is a condition of rising unity non-duality.
Until we are able to move through this transition with relative smoothness
in abiding inner silence, we will be wise not to press too far ahead with
the energetics of kundalini.
The energetics are not the primary
source of this fruition. Abiding inner silence is. This is because
self-awareness (Self-knowledge) can never be found through
identification with the objects of perception. Only in the rise of pure
bliss consciousness and its expression in (as) the world. Kundalini is a
facilitator of this, not the underlying cause.
So, rather than
focusing on symptoms (energy) too much, I suggest focusing on having a
well-rounded routine of practices and daily activity, with self-pacing
applied as necessary. It isn't about the symptoms, or
figuring out the "scenery" physical, mental or emotional. It is about
favoring a sound meditation-centered practice routine over the long term.
This will greatly shorten the interim stage of kundalini awakening, and make
for a much smoother ride.
All of that said, the symptoms you mention
are related to energy accumulating in the head and throat. There are
components in AYP that can mitigate this, but they are part of the whole of
our practice, and not necessarily "magic bullets" in themselves for dealing
with specific symptoms. That is why I generally offer a broad view of
practices first, because symptoms are seldom resolved by focusing on the
symptoms themselves. If we push in one place, it will often pop out
somewhere else, sometimes with greater force.
Global practices like deep meditation and spinal breathing pranayama will
therefore do a much better job, assuming we are not so overloaded that we
cannot practice at all.
Self-pacing any causative practices and
grounding in daily activity are the first orders of business with too much
energy in the head. If there are no known "causative practices," then just
ceasing spiritual attention entirely can help. That means keeping busy doing
non-spiritual things for a while.
If you want to know exactly what
these particular symptoms mean, neither I, nor anyone, can tell you for
sure. The symptoms of purification and opening in each of us are as
unfathomable as the karma behind them. We can talk all day about what this
or that sensation means, what the chakras are doing, etc. In the end, it
isn't about the symptoms. It is about
dissolving and transcending our resistance to the inner energy, which
leads us forward into unending ecstatic bliss. This is what practices are
As far as additional specific measures AYP can offer, chin pump
is good for balancing/integrating energy between the head and the rest of
the body. If we are meditating with mantra, solar centering can help a lot.
Under certain circumstances, targeted bastrika can help, but that one has to
be approached carefully, because it can take us in the opposite direction
toward more energy. All of these things overlay on the core AYP practices of
deep meditation and spinal breathing pranayama. No
individual method mentioned is guaranteed to produce the same kind of
results it can when taken as part of the whole.
We all tend to
identify with our experience, and that identification can perpetuate the
situation. It is, after all, identification of awareness with thoughts,
feelings and physical sensations that keep us bound up in the first place.
All spiritual practice is about unwinding identification of self with the
objects of perception, including with an ongoing kundalini situation.
We will be in it until we are able to look beyond it in stillness. It is
The cultivation of abiding inner silence is the
best way I know to do the unwinding, followed by an intelligent approach to
ecstatic energy awakening (the wings of stillness in action), samyama
(enlivening stillness outward), self-inquiry (when we can do so in
stillness), and so on.
So if you are looking for a progressive
approach through all this, there is one here. But it cannot be done in
fragments and/or inconsistent practice. It takes an embracing of the whole,
and methods that address the whole through daily practice over a long period
of time. Along the way, the specifics are taken care of by the awakening of
From my experience, this would not be a good time to act
aggressively to reach a "new level." It is counter-intuitive, in that what
we have learned in our culture is to press ahead at all costs to reach our
goal. But it is not applicable in this sort of situation. In yoga, pressing
ahead, attempting to "break through," particularly when we are energy
challenged, will usually land us in more trouble. In situations like this,
we find that less is more. As we learn to let go, then the openings will
happen without the stresses and strains caused by human striving. There is a
time to strive and there is a time to let go.
It's your call of
course. Just sharing a few hard-earned lessons. Many in the AYP community
have been through similar scenarios, and you will find the phrase "less is
more" coming up fairly frequently in these writings.
We all need a reminder on that from time to time, especially when the bhakti
is surging and we are on fire for that final dash. There is no such thing in
yoga. The final dash is not a dash at all. It is a letting go. When the
urgency and symptoms have reached a seemingly unbearable
level, that is a clear signal that less will be more, and when it is
good to slow down and let go. We might be amazed by the result.
The guru is in you.
Related Lessons Topic Path
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For instructions on
building a balanced daily practice routine with self-pacing, see the
Eight Limbs of Yoga book,
and AYP Plus.