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Stille

Germany
15 Posts

Posted - Jul 19 2018 :  7:04:56 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote  Get a Link to this Message
Hello everyone!

As the title states, I would really appreciate some advice/thoughts on my personal journey. I have read Yoganis writings up to main lesson 135. I didn't continue further, because I feel that I am not ready to take on more right now.

If this thread should be misplaced, feel free to move it.

My current and past situation: Meditation:

I started meditating about five years ago. Back when I was eighteen years old. At first I only sat down for practice once a week for five minutes. It slowly became more, so I went on to ten minutes. Eventually I meditated daily for more than two years (in the evening before going to sleep) and I have been meditating like Yogani suggests for four months now. I have never been practicing mantra meditation before. I usually indulged in mindfulness/awareness meditation or Tratak.

I already went through a lot of emotional and thought-related purification on my journey. I experienced all kind of soreness, unwillingness, selfhate, feeling-down, feeling useless, that practice is a waste of time etc., as well as the other side of the coin. Inner warmth, love, stillness, calmness, an expanding awareness, strong energy moving. I once went through a really special experience, where I started dissolving. At least that is how I would describe it. I basically had the feeling that "I" (my conciousness) was expanding more and more. I was literally growing, it felt like my body "boarders" were pushing outward and everything they came across stopped beeing seperated from me. Well, then I got so excited, it stopped

To shorten things up: Because I already have some practice with meditation and no emotional trouble anymore, as well as slow going thoughts which I can let go of easily 99% of the time I felt that I should progress from the "I AM" Mantra to the "Shree Shree I AM I AM", which felt good. I often feel like letting it go altogether which results in me sitting in utter stillness for a short while. When thoughts come back up I pick back up on the mantra. This is the way I currently do it. I was wondering if I should repeat the mantra back-to-back instead, until my mind gets tired of it. I don't experience much alteration of the mantra.

Sometimes I wonder, if I really am that calm and not bothered by emotions or if they just hide from my current awareness, someplace deeper within me. Also I am aware that I want to make more special experiences. I try to let go of all expectations in meditation but I think it sticks around to some degree. Any suggestions to help give myself completely to inner stillness?

My current and past situation: Pranayama:

I didn't do any pranayama before I started following the teachings of yogani. I didn't even know, what pranayama was. So I started with spinal breathing and since added yogic breathing, mulabhanda and sambhavi.

At first I experienced not much. That changed and I started experiencing strong energy moving inside me, up and down the spine. I sometimes felt heat and coolness, mostly coolness like wind brushing over the sides of my palms and most of all: the sensation of feeling a second body/me floating above my physical body. I always was gentle and pleasureable, never forceful or too much. I really like that feeling. I also can move this feeling with my imagination around a little bit. Like my imagination of turning my upper body around would cause it to happen. Besides that I know the experience of sitting awry/bend. I never physically sit awry or bend, it just feels like it. (I sit without back support on a cushion. I prefer this a lot over sitting with back support)

I also had a row of strong dreams after those kundalini experiences. I dreamt that I was sitting in meditation posture and an invisible hand grabbed me by my spine and ripped me forcefully out of my physical body. It was such a strong feeling, I instantly woke up from it.

After that followed about six dreams in which I had strong conflicts with members of my family. Between those I once realised I was asleep and felt myself vibrating crazily, like it is often described in out of body literature. I couldnt do anything though because as soon as I realised I was asleep I lost my waking concsiousness again and went back into non-lucid dreaming consciusness.

I always felt very little/nothing of kundalini energy in morning practices and instense/strong kundalini when doing it later in the day. Do you also experience such differences?

For the last two weeks I basically experienced nothing at all. I feel no kundalini energy at all, independent of time of the day. What I still feel is the strong sensation in the third eye region if you focus on it during sambhavi, but way less than at first. I assume this is a normal process but I am wondering if I should interpret this as a sign to go on and add yoni mudra kumbhaka / nauli etc. I sometimes still struggle with sambhavi because of the separation between attention and physical eye position. Not much anymore though, compared to the beginning phase.

I also went to a taiji-chi-gong class over the course of this semester. I strongly felt cool energy while doing it. It was never too much here as well.

What do you all think of this? What do you experience? I am longing for some exchange with people who also meditate on a regular basis.

Also: I am planning to go on 10-day vipassana retreat. Because I really want to experience my state of beeing in such an adventure. Plus I want to give the vipassana way of meditation a go. See how it works for me and how it feels different to mantra meditation. Do you think that this 10 day break from pranayama will affect things?

May stillness always be with you.


jusmail

India
462 Posts

Posted - Jul 20 2018 :  08:27:33 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote  Get a Link to this Reply
Welcome Still,

Great going so far. As wonderful as the experiences are, don't cling or desire them during meditation. Wish you the best during vipassana. Take care not to mix AYP and vipassana during that retreat. There could be loads of cleansing then.
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BlueRaincoat

United Kingdom
1486 Posts

Posted - Jul 20 2018 :  2:04:25 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote  Get a Link to this Reply
Hello Stille, welcome to the forum!

Your dedication to your spiritual progress is very touching.

Reading though your post, the one point that stood out, I thought, was self-pacing. Are you giving it as much attention as it deserves? And have you read the AYP lessons on self-pacing?

AYP is a powerful set of practices and mantra meditation is the strongest form of meditation there is.

Within a space of 4 months, you have taken up deep meditation, spinal breathing pranayama, mulabhanda and sambhavi. That is plenty. I think it is way too early to move to a longer mantra. The effect of practices is cumulative, each sitting adding to the previous weeks and months of practice. Wait a few months longer and see what the effect of your current yoga routine is.

Since we are on the topic of self-pacing, let me also drop one word of caution about the Vipassana retreat. Vipassana is a weaker form of mediation that mantra meditation, but some vipassana retreats include a certain amount of practice on the crown, which is risky unless you are advanced. It is a good idea to find out what technique they will be using before embarking on a retreat.

quote:
Originally posted by Stille
Do you think that this 10 day break from pranayama will affect things?


Yogani uses a metaphor about digging in the same place if you want to find water. On the other had, you are in the beginning stages of your journey. It is natural to have some curiosity about other systems of practice. There is nothing wrong with exploring, just make sure you stay safe, that is don't take up powerful practices too fast, and stay away from the crown till you are really advanced.

quote:
Originally posted by Stille
I was wondering if I should repeat the mantra back-to-back


We do not deliberately introduce pauses in the mantra repetition. So yes, the mantra is repeated back to back, unless it feels strenuous or uncomfortable to do so. "Easily pick up the mantra" when you realize you are off it, as Lesson 13 says. It is useful to read an reread the lesson every now and then.

quote:
Originally posted by Stille
I try to let go of all expectations in meditation but I think it sticks around to some degree. Any suggestions to help give myself completely to inner stillness?


Yes, easily return to the practice you are doing. Treat the craving for experience as any other thought. Don't fight it, don't try to banish it, just return to the technique you are doing at the time.

All the best
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Stille

Germany
15 Posts

Posted - Jul 21 2018 :  4:47:31 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote  Get a Link to this Reply
Thank you for your kind answers jusmail and blueraincoat.

I have read what Yogani says on self-pacing. But your post made realise that I have never regarded picking up deep meditation as a new practice, for meditation has become a natural part of my life. So I just regarded it as switching meditation style, not as a whole new thing. Thinking of it as a new practice makes it seem way more reasonable to give it more time to develop.

quote:
I think it is way too early to move to a longer mantra.


Do you think I should/can go back to the first version of the mantra?

I have also been thinking about pranayama. I think that I am missing the pleasant experiences I had from doing pranayama, which receded lately. For that reason I wanted to add more advanced practices to get them back, which ultimately is just craving for experience. Since I have realised that now, I can let it go / tread it as any other thought/emotion. Good that I posted here and ended up realising that
Adding new things never felt unconfortable though and I had no unpleasant experiences. This is why I don't feel like I have done too much too quick. I'll definitiley give it some more months though before adding new pranayama exercises.

Do you think I can add some of the more physical exercises or would it be wise to wait here as well?

Thanks for the advice on the vipassana retreat. I have never before thought about the "strengh" of differnt meditation styles and that there could be exercises on specific chakras involved, which I may do not want to open too soon. I will pay attention to not mix up vipassana and ayp. I even know a person, who happend to open her heart chakra prematurely. She wasn't able to integrate what she experienced into her life and ended up beeing overthrown with love for everything, unable to function as used to.
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SeySorciere

Seychelles
1148 Posts

Posted - Jul 23 2018 :  06:20:26 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote  Get a Link to this Reply
Dear Still,

With respect to your craving for experiences perhaps Lesson 329 will come in handy.
https://www.aypsite.org/329.html

quote:
Along the road there are some particular pitfalls of the mind that may jeopardize our spiritual progress. These are the kinds of pitfalls we'd like to address here, because they can have a bearing on our ability to sustain practices and continued progress on our path:

Infatuation with or fear of spiritual experiences.
Over-analyzing and over-philosophizing.
Overdoing self-inquiry or other yoga practices.
The illusion of attainment, or of having "arrived."
Denial of the need to engage in practices.
The non-duality trap denying the world.

Such pitfalls of the mind can hamper a spiritual aspirant at any stage along the path. Advanced practitioners are equally susceptible to be drawn off course, perhaps more-so when visited by dramatic experiences of the vastness of pure bliss consciousness, ecstatic bliss, and miraculous powers of one sort or other.


quote:
nfatuation or Fear about Experiences

Spiritual experiences come in many forms and, if we are utilizing effective yoga practices, such experiences will always be associated with purification and opening occurring within us. When experiences come, we will be inclined to think something about them. How we regard them will be a function of our understanding of the processes of yoga and the degree of presence of inner witness we have.

When experience is dramatic, when we are overcome with a large energy flow or a vision of our vastness and unity with all things, then we may become identified with the experience. A kind of infatuation can happen then, or even some fear about what we have gotten ourselves into, especially if the internal energy flow becomes excessive, which can lead to a variety of physical and psychological symptoms also referred to as kundalini symptoms.

If we have been approaching our practice from the point of view of our limited self, rather than from the point of view of the witness, we may become infatuated in a way that is similar to romantic infatuation. All infatuations do pass, of course, and in the meantime, we will be wise to favor our practice over the experience. When we are engaged in sitting practices, we can just easily favor the practice we are doing over visions or energy experiences that are coming. If we are in our daily activity, then we can just carry on with our work, whatever it may be If experiences overwhelm us to the point where we become fearful that we may be losing control of our life, then it can be helpful to stay engaged in life, particularly in activities that are grounding. These are physical activities, and activities that are about helping others. At the same time we can temporarily reduce the kinds of activities that stimulate spiritual energy flows, such as attending spiritual gatherings and too much spiritual practice. We have mentioned in many previous lessons that this temporary ramping down of spiritual stimulation is called self-pacing. Such regulation is a primary consideration in the AYP approach, where an integration of powerful practices is being utilized in a self-directed manner.

Infatuation will pass and fear will subside as inner purification advances and we find a natural integration of the divine within us in every day living. This is why it is best to carry on with our life, no matter what our spiritual experiences may be. Ultimately, enlightenment is about marrying the spectacular with the ordinary. What remains is spectacular ordinariness.



Sey
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BlueRaincoat

United Kingdom
1486 Posts

Posted - Jul 23 2018 :  08:28:01 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote  Get a Link to this Reply
quote:
Originally posted by Stille
Do you think I can add some of the more physical exercises or would it be wise to wait here as well?


Do you mean yoga asanas or a fitness routine?

It is certainly a good idea to keep fit.
A programme of asanas can be helpful too and there in not much danger to overload from them, as long as you keep the length of the asana session within reasonable limits.
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Stille

Germany
15 Posts

Posted - Sep 27 2018 :  10:10:01 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote  Get a Link to this Reply
Hello everyone,

I wish to give you an update and ask for your thoughts again.

It's been roughly two and a half months since my last post. Following BR's advice I went back to the 'I AM' Mantra and didn't add any new pranayama. Back in July I was already sitting in Siddhasana too, but I forgot to mention that.

As life happend, I got a spot on a 10 day Vipassana course in the Goenka style. Three days before the course started via waiting list. Deep inside me I knew already that I would get a spot, I don't know why I had this feeling but it turned out to be true. I decided to attend the course.
To say the least, the vipassana course was one of the most challenging and at the same time enriching experiences I made so far. For three days all I wanted was to run away until something inside surrendered. After that I had a much easier time, still a hard one though. I experienced unbelievably intense (but still pleaseant) kundalini. Lots of automatic yoga happend, like forcing my head into jalandhara for what felt like 15 minutes. I got a little worried, that it might be too much for me, which made me go to a personal meeting with one of the teachers. I don't know what I was expecting from that in the first place. All the teacher said that I should keep beeing perfectly equanimous, no matter what.

I am really glad that all went well for me. Especially since in the goenka style you focus your attention on the crown every scan. After six days I finally realised that I was still craving for experiences. Not just craving. I was such a deep longing desire. I was thinking about nothing else all the time, losing all awareness and falling into daydreaming stories about it. After I came to realise this ridiculous mental habit pattern I worked on letting go. And I think that was successful. I had the strong feeling of emotional craving leaving me, resonating inside my body and making me feel light again. Like taking weight off of me. The following night I dreamt a vivid dream which for me indicates the "letting go" aspect as well. On day nine I experienced that pain and suffering can be completely disconnected from each other. I was investigating the pain in this new state of mind and found that it is all sensations, down to just beeing vibration. On day 10 and for many hours on eleven and twelve too I basically was just high. High with love for everything and everyone from metta bhavara meditation. It first felt like nothing happend at all and some hours later it hit me like a truck.

After the retreat was over I slowly came back into day to day living. I took me several days to completely be in my normal mental state again. I was so confused about AYP and Vipassana too. In the end I (my heart) decided to stay with my AYP practice.

Following the weekend after I returend from retreat I had another very intense meditation experience with a partner. Making me feel a deep level of what I am, which I had not felt before. My partner helped me moving this part, this "essence of me" upwards. I couldn't "get out of my body" though because I was facing some energetic barrier on the top of my head. I had some really insightful and super crazy past weeks.

Because bhakti was driving me crazy (literally) I decided to try out yoni mudra kumbhaka. I told myself that im going to try it out and if I feel even the slightest discomfort I'll immediately back off of it. So I tried and experience made me really understand that yoni mudra is crazy powerful.

It went all well. I have been doing it twice daily, three repetitions for three weeks now. At first it felt really clumsy but that is smoothing out right now. I experienced overload three times because I extended SBP and DM way longer than I should have.

To sum it all up:

- SBP (mulabhanda, sambhavi, uyyaji, cold and warm currents added), 10 min
- Siddhasana
- Yoni Mudra Kumbhaka, 3 reps
- Deep meditation, 20 min, 'I AM' Mantra
- insight meditation / just observing, 5 min
- rest 5 min

This is what I am currently doing. Looking at it retrospectively I have to wonder myself why I didn't experience ridiculous overload. I deciced to stick with that routine for at least three more weeks or longer, as well as sticking with the first mantra for at least a year in total. I added the buddhist insight practice because it smoothes out the transition. It just felt right.

Bhakti is still driving me crazy quite often. Maybe I just have too much free time, as the lazy student I am.
There is one thing that bothers me though. I really do miss metta bhavara meditation. I know our equivalent for that can be samyama practice and I really want to try it out. Inner Silence is growing to be more stable every day. I just don't want to add more kundalini stimulating stuff right now. My current routine is fine - I do not feel any discomfort or anything else in my daily life. But I can feel that I have to wait for more kundalini stimulation or accept overload.

So does samyama stimulate kundalini energy? What about uddiyana and nauli? Right now im fine with what I am doing but I know that bhakti will push me harder in a few weeks. I never assumed that finding a balance, a healthy self pacing would be so difficult for me.

Thank you all for your advice. Especially the advice in july! Thinking about my craving for experience and letting go of it mentally enabled me to let go of it emotionally on retreat!

Much love ,
Stille
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jusmail

India
462 Posts

Posted - Sep 28 2018 :  12:07:48 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote  Get a Link to this Reply
Metta bhavana can be done outside practice sessions maybe over the weekends. Udayana and nulli stimulate kundalini.
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greymatter

USA
24 Posts

Posted - Sep 28 2018 :  01:54:41 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote  Get a Link to this Reply
Glad you are enjoying yourself. Don't stack on too many techniques at once, because they can cause initial pleasure and then overload weeks later. I remember when I was first reading the AYP books, I stacked on a bunch of techniques during the first few months, including samyama and amaroli (I dare ya). It felt great to release all those blockages, but later I felt emotionally drained from having to deal with ordinary life in the midst of a spiritual awakening. It won't kill you to experiment with samyama, but I guarantee, unless you were a saint in a previous life, you will get burnt out and simplify back to a shorter routine eventually. Also, the really difficult blockages take years of DM to purify, so after a while, even with all those techniques, the frequency of spiritual experiences will drop, but when they do occur, they are much more interesting and powerful. Thanks for sharing your experiences, it's interesting.
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Charliedog

1542 Posts

Posted - Sep 28 2018 :  03:04:11 AM  Show Profile  Visit Charliedog's Homepage  Reply with Quote  Get a Link to this Reply
Thank you for sharing your experiences Stille. Metta bhavana (loving kindness) is a beautiful heartopener. We can use it as the traditional meditation practice but we can also integrate metta bhavana moments in daily life, like jusmail said. If we do this consciously it might become a habit overtime and from there it will develop as compassion to all living creatures. You can spread loving kindness all around you. A great way to work with the bhakti overdrive you mentioned, give it away.

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BlueRaincoat

United Kingdom
1486 Posts

Posted - Sep 28 2018 :  09:54:54 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote  Get a Link to this Reply
You are looking for trouble, Stille.

We had several people on this forum with a premature crown opening after doing Goenka vipassana. Those who open the crown prematurely become unable to practice at all. Even then, the ensuing energetic overload symptoms can be so disabling that it becomes impossible to lead a normal life.

Of course, you manage your practice the way you see fit. I just thought I'd say this just in case a time comes when we may feel sorry for not warning you.

Take care
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Stille

Germany
15 Posts

Posted - Sep 28 2018 :  12:44:41 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote  Get a Link to this Reply
I'm not doing any practice on the crown in my current routine, nor have I done since goenka vipassana. Even while I was doing the retreat I spend as little time on the top of the head as possible.

Maybe that point didn't come across clear enough: I do not plan on adding anything new right now. I just want to make use of my bhakti overdrive in some way and keep my current routine steady for some time.

As I don't experience any discomfort/overload short-term the only option left is that I could get overload in the long run. If that happens I will just back off for some time, like I would for short-term overload and see how I feel. As for the crown - do you think that my routine affects things even without any particuliar practice for that?
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BlueRaincoat

United Kingdom
1486 Posts

Posted - Sep 28 2018 :  2:50:54 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote  Get a Link to this Reply
Yes, your AYP practice is opening your crown by proxi. You may or may not be aware of it, but doing the global purification practices is also affecting the crown. At some point, you may become aware of spontaneous activity there. That is fine, but we do not practice directly at the crown until the system is very clean overall. This can take many years of yoga.

quote:
Originally posted by Stille
As I don't experience any discomfort/overload short-term the only option left is that I could get overload in the long run. If that happens I will just back off for some time


There is an unknown amount of risk in taking up practices very fast. We had somebody here, a very dedicated AYPer, who took up almost all the practices in the AYP book in less than 3 years. One day he found himself unable to practice even the lightest form of meditation. That was a few years back. As far as I know, he is still unable to do any sitting practices.

Remember that Yogani's advice is to err on the side of caution.
With all the devotion in the world, it takes time to integrate the changes. It can only be a slow process.

All the best
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Stille

Germany
15 Posts

Posted - Sep 28 2018 :  3:05:39 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote  Get a Link to this Reply
I knew that AYP does stimulate the crown indirectly quite often. Thank you so much for your words! I have the tendency to get really enthusiastic about spirituality, slowing down actually is hard for me. This is why posting here and listing to some words of caution is good for me.

Not beeing able to practice meditation actually is.. well, shocking. The thought alone gives me a really unpleasant feeling. I will think about all of this again.

What I am wondering about though is the difference of practice instructions for various traditions. In goenka vipassana for example you are encouraged to practice as much as you can. Every waking minute if possible..
There was never a word about beeing cautious mentioned. So they either let (determined) practitioners run into crazy overload or people aren't supposted to experience overload at all.

Thank you all so much!

Edited by - Stille on Sep 28 2018 3:17:23 PM
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BlueRaincoat

United Kingdom
1486 Posts

Posted - Sep 28 2018 :  3:55:32 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote  Get a Link to this Reply
quote:
Originally posted by Stille
slowing down actually is hard for me.


I know It is hard for everyone who has had even a faint taste of ecstatic bliss. Part of you wants it all now. But we live in this world and, after all, learning humility is a necessary part of our evolution. Grace will come when it is given to you, not because you are blasting your way through a dozen techniques. So we practise sensibly and surrender.

quote:
Originally posted by Stille
What I am wondering about though is the difference of practice instructions for various traditions. In goenka vipassana for example you are encouraged to practice as much as you can. Every waking minute if possible..
There was never a word about beeing cautious mentioned. So they either let (determined) practitioners run into crazy overload or people aren't supposted to experience overload at all.


I suspect that attitude originates in a culture where dedicating yourself entirely to spirituality can be a way of life. People who were burning with desire for enlightenment could become sannyasins. Others would feed them and if their minds were blown away, unable to attend to anything practical, there was no pressure to keep up a job and make a living. Eventually they burnt through their impurities and when the smoke cleared they returned to balance at a new level. But it must be a hard life. I can just about imagine what it's like to feed on just a bowl of rice when kundalini is raging. There were times when I felt I could eat a horse for breakfast. What is a bowl of rice going to do then? The energy would burn you out and the light diet will only intensify the purification symptoms. It must feel like some kind of hell.

Yogani has got the right idea. Progress at the pace at which you can integrate the changes brought about by your practice. There are times for most of us when some overload occurs, but we take steps to self-pace. No need to torture yourself.

Edited by - BlueRaincoat on Sep 28 2018 4:01:56 PM
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Dogboy

USA
1569 Posts

Posted - Sep 28 2018 :  5:44:46 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote  Get a Link to this Reply
quote:
To sum it all up:

- SBP (mulabhanda, sambhavi, uyyaji, cold and warm currents added), 10 min
- Siddhasana
- Yoni Mudra Kumbhaka, 3 reps
- Deep meditation, 20 min, 'I AM' Mantra
- insight meditation / just observing, 5 min
- rest 5 min


Hello Stille

This is a solid practice. Yoni Mudra is one of my personal favorites; allow your level to gel awhile, more than a month. After it does, consider samyama. http://www.aypsite.org/150.html

Your SBP cleanses your shushumna (and Yoni Mudra your third eye) for your DM practice, where you surrender to/with/in the silence there, tethered easily to mantra. As you transition to Samyama and passing sutras (freshly colored by your dip in silence) the flow/surrender moves outward. This flow (for me via solar center) expresses for hours after I have left my seat. I share this echo with whoever happens to be in my 'circle of beings', coloring them as well Samyama teaches me to flow like the tides, and it is my opinion this 'offloading' tempers overload symptoms. What a relief it would be for you to share some of that strong Bhakti of yours?

Samyama brings our yoga into the everyday, so you are living yoga

edit:wording

Edited by - Dogboy on Sep 28 2018 8:45:18 PM
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Stille

Germany
15 Posts

Posted - Oct 04 2018 :  10:21:48 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote  Get a Link to this Reply
I have spend some time rethinking stuff. I plan on sticking with my routine for three months until next year and add samyama practice on first of january if all is going smoothly still. A new year's gift to myself

Meanwhile reading yoganis second AYP volume and patanjalis yoga sutras in english translation to satisfy my thrist for interlectual knowledge about yoga.

quote:
I share this echo with whoever happens to be in my 'circle of beings', coloring them as well. Samyama teaches me to flow like the tides


This sounds very wonderful. Living yoga seems like a nice state of beeing.



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Stille

Germany
15 Posts

Posted - Mar 22 2019 :  1:06:25 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote  Get a Link to this Reply
Hello all!

Last monday, exactly a year ago, I sat down for my first deep meditation. To celebrate my first AYP anniversary and to give you all an update to what I've been up to and what happend to me I decided to write this post.

My last report has been in October 2018. Since then a lot of stuff happend to me. For a better structure I'll be writing a short (or not that short) paragraph, describing each month. Be prepared for a long read.

November 2018

After I had asked for advice in this thread I spend some time rethinking my whole practise routine. I came to realise that I was doing all of the SBP additions only half way correct. As a consequence I cut out yogic breathing and sambhavi completely, which gave room to focus on learning mulabhanda wholeheartedly.
During that time I started experiencing some shaking of my hands in deep meditation. They would shake, sometimes a little, sometimes like crazy but during all of that my sense of I-ness was completely disconnected from the experience. I cognitively knew that those were my hands, and that they were shaking. But "I" was just observing, not being a part of any of it. It was like watching someone else move.

Some other time I was contemplating a topic regarding my future after university. I had done my yoga routine prior, on a weekend day during world meditation time. I was just sitting silently, giving some thought input, watching what came up. Then spontaneously my head began to circle left and right, moving forward and backward. It was intensive and kept going for a long time. All the while "I" was watching, no felt involvement of myself whatsoever.

I also experienced sleep in some different way. Often a part of my awareness would be concious, knowing what was happening. That part is just in the background, watching it all passively. It isn't engaged in anything, not strong enough to make me realise that I am dreaming while it is happening, and still - it is just there, watching. As a result I sometimes felt like I have not been sleeping for hours, even though I did and I felt rested.

December 2018

During december no obvious things happend. However the mantra changed a lot and not at all. It went from a very clear pronounciation to not even repeating words but a very diffuse and fading feeling on some days. On others it didn't change at all and sometimes it was hard to focus on. I experienced states of deep, unshakable silence and super clear wakefulness as well as complete distraction, being lost in thoughts for the whole time and everything in between. I also felt energy moving inside me way more often, especially during SBP. In early december I integrated yogic breathing correctly.

In middle of december I decided to learn the AYP Asana Starter Kit. I had been attending a weekly yoga class form university sport since end of september and I had the urge to do more asanas. I didn't do the asanas very often and I still do not do them daily. Rather a few times a week, once a day. But it is very convenient to have a routine memorized which can be done when there is the wish to do so.
I noticed that stillness rises during asanas and that pranayama becomes more intense when done after. Meditation seems to be deeper as well.

January 2019

In october I had decided to keep my routine stable for at least three months. All went reasonably well, especially since I had cut out stuff previously. I was thrilled to finally pick up samyama practice. I did that on first of January.

The first time I did it I could really feel stuff moving inside. Intense pressure started building up at the point between my eyebrows and afterwards I felt mentally exhausted, even though it felt good. I experienced something like shuddering everytime I released a sutra into silence. There were no negative feelings or bodily movements. Inner silence had become pretty strong lately.
I continued samyama for two more days and got pretty irritated on day three. I stopped doing it for a while and picked it back up a few days later.

Fast forward three weeks. I noticed a lot of engery movment going on inside, mostly movement inside the spine, feelings like floating in samyama, the shuddering feeling everytime I released a sutra, prickling in the spine etc but nothing irritating and I always felt good during daily activity.

Middle of january, during Yoni Mudra Kumbhaka, I was focusing on the point between the eyebrows as usual. The point then grew more intense gradually and started glowing until it was shining as bright as the sun, radiating light off of it. This flaming ball of light was pulling "me" towards it and I felt that I could "enter" it but everytime I was breathing out, tracing my spinal cord downwards it lost some intensity. When I was breathing in, it came back again intensely. I didn't enter it.

Two days later, during samyama, the head circling motions started again. I had seen the glowing point very faintly in Yoni Mudra before. The head circling kept on going for a very long time, quite intense and fast. It literally felt like it would never stop again. I didn't feel like I could stop it if I wanted to. I had been trying to surrender completely before the motions set in and I just continued surrendering to it, which made it even more intense.
The clarity and silence afterwards were breathtaking. The night after I woke being sexually aroused very (!) strongly. But the arousal wasn't located in the gential area at all. Instead I felt it in the middle of my spine, pulsing and throbbing like crazy. A very weird experience.

February 2019 up until now

Fast forward again. The movements continued and turned out to be a permanent feature since end of january. They started to occur in deep meditation already and went from gentle head circling to intense and fast head circling to whole body shaking and jerking seizure like movements in every part of my body. Never ever did I experience anything like this before. I self paced accordingly, only doing SBP and DM. In early february I went on a short journey with some friends and used that occasion to self pace more strongly for I was shaking still. For five days I stopped doing anything besides DM, which I didn't do every day on vacation. In fact I only sat one real sitting during my journey.

The shaking continued after the journey and I self paced some days and went on full routine for some others. Usually skipping samyama when self pacing. Somewhere after my vacation I had an experience.

I was doing spinal breathing pranayama, really feeling movement inside. I had been feeling it really strongly up to 2/3 of my back in the previous months, losing the feeling when I tranced higher up to the eyebrows. Then suddenly something inside my back, at that 2/3 point, literally exploded/shattered into a thousand pieces, resulting in an crazy orgasm. Sitting on my cushion I had such an intense orgasm occuring right at the point in my back, I even started moaning a little. My body started shaking and jerking, shuddering, prickling, pulsing and throbbing feelings running up and down my spine. All the while complete stillness in my head. No genital involvement. It went on for a while and afterwards I lay down for 30 minutes until I felt like getting up again, only to lie down another 40 minutes in my bed. While resting I had more jerkings and involuntary movements occuring. Since that experience I can feel the energy moving up higher and in places where it hadn't been before.

Soon after that experience I woke in the middle of the night, feeling energy rushing inside me and keeping me awake. Making me tired and unmotivated the next day.
My dream life became very active in general. Every big release during practices was followed by dreams of old conflicts, energy phenomena etc. I dreamt about seeking advice from a buddhist monk about AYP, about finding a kundalini stimulating crystal etc. I experienced new sleep phenomena, like becoming aware, finding myself looking downwards on my body from the ceiling. Then that perception instantly crashed down into my normal bodily perception just to repeat itself multiple times. For I have been lucid dreaming for years nothing of that wondered me much or scared me. I once got lucid in a non-rem sleep stadium, very aroused again. Tried doing SBP which resulted in some rushing energy upwards while jerking into wakefulness/waking my body.

At that time I had been reading Daniel Ingrams "Mastering the Core Teachings of The Buddha", which I consider a very good book. His writings gave me a lot of confusion regarding AYP and the stages of insight as described by him. For this reason I was reading threads in this forum for hours but eventually achieved piece of mind again. Just reading his book caused head circling motions to set in.

Sometimes after practise routine my perception was different. I was walking around like a robot, doing things driven by an inner force. Seeing "yourself" cutting vegetables while not doing anything is pretty wild. I felt like running or dancing at times. I once wanted to walk to the right but my body walked to the left and then I just stood there wondering how to control my legs. I fixed most of those slightly negative occurences by extending rest period.

current situation:

Even though I went through some intense experiences in practices and during nightly sleep I usually felt (and feel) good during daily life. It took me two weeks to realise that samyama practice was giving me irritablity and other negative symptoms (even when not done daily). I haven't done any samyama for a month now and am currently not doing yoni mudra as well for I stopped doing it last week because I was ill. Im completely healthy now again but it caused me irritability on tuesday after picking it up again, followed by a dream questioning my old and shameful behaviour towards overweight people. Maybe I'm going to pick it up in a few days again and check it out.

Am I still having movements? Yes. I did not have a single still meditation sitting in the past 8 weeks. But the intensity of the movements went down significantly. I currently experience gentle torso rotations, and most of all pressing my head onto my chest. Sometimes I have head circling motions but not very often or intense. The mantra is refining as im used to it.

I do feel energy flowing, sometimes stronger, sometimes not at all. What is new is that I can feel the mantra falling down inside me through different Chakras in a slightly tickling motion as well as energy rising upwards form the perineum. Sometimes I perceive some kind of cloudy body above myself. I often experience involuntary movements very similiar to Taiji-Qigong during resting period. My hands are just moving up and down my body, mostly in the middle of it, sometimes pressing on spots for a while or circling there. Those movements involve the top of the head as well. Recently my hand stayed there for very long and started patting the spot for a while. Yesterday it was doing circles on my belly.

Do I have plans regarding my spiritual practises?
I just want to do my SBP and DM at the moment. I don't really know what is happening to me. Maybe it is some sort of prolonged kundalini awakening taking place? Or just a lot of channels opening up?
I also don't know if I will pick up Yoni Mudra again or stop doing it and instead try gently adding Sambhavi. My eyes are going upwards on their own quite often lately.

I really liked samyama and I am looking forward on doing it again. But maybe in two to six months. Besides samyama the only thing I consider doing is using a mantra enhancement. But I will not do that until I've reached 1,5 or 2 years of AYP. Since I started my AYP journey using the first mantra enhacement for two months until I got adviced not to, that would be somewhere around Christmas.

Besides that the thought of attending the AYP retreat in germany is going through my head. I don't know if I should do that (and if I can afford it ) for it would be very intense. But that is what retreats are for, aren't they?

To sum up: my life is going very well. I am feeling good during daily life, I recently fell in love with a girl (so not much brahmancharya going on at the moment ) and I managed to fix all my delayed university stuff (which happend during my unmotivated samyama period).

What do you all think of my journey? Do you have any adivce/questions? Do you have/Did you have a lot of automatic movements as well? What do you think am I experiencing in terms of kundalini language? Does it even matter?

If you made it to this point, thanks! And keep in mind: all of those fancy experiences are not necessary to make progress.

Much love to all of you

Edit: spacing

Edited by - Stille on Mar 22 2019 1:49:29 PM
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Dogboy

USA
1569 Posts

Posted - Mar 22 2019 :  2:52:26 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote  Get a Link to this Reply
Hello Stille

Thanks for the update. It seems you are opening a lot of pathways, and good for you that you self pace and proceed cautiously. As prana flows freely the need for extra practice and enhancements is less (Yogani terms this the flywheel effect). Do not worry about the automatic movements, I get them often during shivasana in my weekly asana class, the intensity will ebb and flow, as will your lucid dreaming. The drill is to witness, acknowledge, and release.

Overall, it sounds as if many positive things are happening in your daily life, which after all, it the true gauge of the effectiveness of our practice. You also seem more confident in your relationship with your yoga, another sign you are on the right path.
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Stille

Germany
15 Posts

Posted - Mar 30 2019 :  5:10:53 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote  Get a Link to this Reply
Thank you for your words Dogboy. I have been thinking about them and my relationship with yoga and you make valid points. Especially the flywheel effect occuring is very obvious but I did not notice myself.

I still have a lot of questions regarding the AYP concept of explaining spiritual experiences but those are not pressing issues (anymore). I might open a discussion thread here sometime.

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Stille

Germany
15 Posts

Posted - Jun 04 2019 :  11:25:12 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote  Get a Link to this Reply
A few weeks ago I changed my ayp routine a little after listening to my inner silence/guru.

I felt that I need to swap out yoni mudra for samyama and so I did. I also feel like I should support the automatic yoga my body is doing on it's own as soon as I start letting go into the mantra. It does jalandhara bandha and dynamic jalandhara (among various movements, stretchings and sometimes even full asanas) very often and I am wondering if doing dynamic jalandhara without practicing yoni mudra is any good.

The full routine would then be abbreviated asanas (not allowed to do sports right now for I had been severely sick) SBP with mulabandha, sambhavi (still learning) and yogic breathing, followed by dynamic jalandhara, meditation, samyama and resting peroid. I do not consider adding dynamic jalandhara right now but in a few months time for I picked up samyama not too long ago.
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