Advanced Yoga Practices
Main Lessons

Previous  |  Next

Note: For the Original Internet Lessons with additions, see the AYP Easy Lessons Books. For the Expanded and Interactive Internet Lessons, AYP Online Books, Audiobooks and more, see AYP Plus.

Lesson 406 - Kundalini Conundrum  (Audio)

From: Yogani
Date: 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 This Discussion?"

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 temple.

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 appreciated!

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.

Sometimes the 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 kundalini conundrum.

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 systematically dissolving and transcending our resistance to the inner energy, which leads us forward into unending ecstatic bliss. This is what practices are for.

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 that simple.

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 the whole.

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

Discuss this Lesson in the AYP Plus Support Forum

Note: For instructions on building a balanced daily practice routine with self-pacing, see the Eight Limbs of Yoga book, and AYP Plus.

Previous  |  Next