07 December 2010

Hello Friends,

I have been traveling for nearly a month so haven't offered any posts lately but finally have returned.
It is true that many people awaken kundalini due to practices that use energy movement or healing modalities and for many other reasons, and without a clear understanding of what spiritual awakening is really about or without spiritual guidance the challenges of dealing with the energy can be more complicated. In addition even those who are seeking a spiritual awakening often have misconceptions about what this entails. Eventually it means the releasing of all formerly held concepts and perceptions and even the sense of a personal "me" who can be enlightened. No one really expects this so when it starts to happen it can be very disturbing, unless there is someone around for support who really understands it. Enlightenment is not an accomplishment to be added to the list of things we have attained in this life. It is what remains when all thoughts and personal goals are released and we begin to experience who we are without the personal mental world that has been accumulated since early childhood and is based on all our experiences, impressions, desires and disappointments.
Freedom is freedom from "me" which means we can live more fully as just presence in any moment. We are already doing this which is why so many teachers say everyone is already enlightened, but we are overlaid with all the personal phenomena which clouds are capacity to truly experience our natural self and the stillness/wisdom/love it has to offer.

It is not uncommon in meditation for the stirring of energy or the arising of energy to occur, sometimes with heat, sometimes with bliss, sometimes just energy moving upward through the body. This may be the opening of kundalini or another phenomena called prana-tattva where the pranic energies of the subtle body are just moving and reorganizing themselves. Regular mediation eventually impacts the subtle energy field, the chemical system and the brain, as if we are slowly restructuring our internal field in preparation for the awakening it can bring.
In some people challenges arise along with this energy such as the release of old memories or emotions, or disturbances in the digestion system or heart area; in others it can be smooth and pleasant and just a gradual opening. If you can trust the benevolence of the process and listen to your heart and not be overly concerned about any phenomena the process moves more smoothly.

I have another new blog site at shantiriver.wordpress.com if you wish more of my comments on the awakening process.

Blessings to all of you.

11 November 2010

Hello to my readers,
I have just begun a new blog focused more generally on non-duality and awakening, and I plan to keep a schedule of Ashland events and other programs I may be involved in on that site, so do check it out if you are interested in my ramblings. The address is www.shantiriver.wordpress.com.

This blog is a good place to send me general questions related to your kundalini process. It's helpful to me when you ask questions if you include general information about your spiritual practices, your age, and specifics about any particular problem you are inquiring about.
If you are interested in filling out a form for a personal assessment you can write to me through my website www.kundaliniguide.com and I will send you the form. I expect to be busy however until after the Christmas holidays so there may be a delay in doing the assessments until January 2011. I will keep up with blog comments and questions however on both blog sites.

I am beginning to explore the differences I see between enlightenment as it is said to happen in eastern traditions and as it happens to westerners, because I see many inconsistencies in the process in the way it opens here and the way it is described in eastern spiritual texts. I suspect this is because of the differences in how it is approached in the west, with little true preparation, without strong guidance, and within many distractions that are unavoidable in the typical western lifestyle -- work, family needs, the bombardment of media, the pace of life, diet, social pressures, etc.
In the eastern perspective one lives a very moderate life totally dedicated to hours a day of energy practices or meditation, within the context of complete trust and obedience to a teacher or guru, with a very bland diet and daily physical work within the setting of an ashram or monastery. I cannot say what the statistical odds of realization are in such a setting, or if they are any better than here, only that in such settings there is a projected gradual movement of the psyche toward an enlightenment that is stable, may include siddhis (temporarily), and leads to life of devotion, service, inspiration and/or peace. In the west people may have a glimpse of truth, for a brief or extended period of time, but generally this is followed by months or years of facing the internal tendency of the ego structure to reassert itself, to become engaged once again in all the mundane activities of the human struggle, and to enter into a resistance to being where one is. This resistance may take the form of regretting one has not stayed in what seemed an expansive and interconnected state of consciousness, or resistance in the form of wishing things were different in one's life. Sometimes there has been an illusion that awakening would make life perfect or oneself perfect, and one must see through this illusion before one can regain a sense of freedom. No matter the form it takes, most westerners will enter a long phase of seeing the separate self arise again and again, before awakening becomes stable.

29 October 2010

Dear Anshu,
You recently sent me an email inquiring about how to learn kundalini yoga.  I tried to respond but your email address did not work so I am sending my response here in case you read this blog.
 I suggest you contact the Bihar School of Yoga in Bihar for the name of a kundalini teacher in your area if you are wanting some kundalini guidance.  There is a man named Dr Dina Nath Rai in Lucknow who has the Kundalini Research Institute who went to the Bihar School and is a teacher and a psychologist there.I do not teach kundalini yoga but instead work with people who have had an awakening of the energy and want some help with some of the problems it can cause.  But if you have a qualified teacher there you should be okay with it.  Best wishes for your journey...
And to all Readers --
I have a new blog site called at shantiriver.wordpress.com that you might like to look at if you wish to keep up with my latest thoughts on spiritual awakening, kundalini, consciousness and similar themes.
I will keep this site for specific questions on kundalini but plan to write more extensively on the broader nondual process of the awakening of consciousness on the new site.

19 March 2010

Hello Readers,
For those of you in the Oregon area, if you are interested in the satsang programs and day-long intensives I hold please contact me through my email to be on my email list. I have also recently opened Shanti River Center in Ashland, where I hold regular satsang, discussion groups related to non-dual teachings (especially those of Adyashanti), Adyashanti video nights and other events.

Kundalini is really a process that deconstructs our identity, bringing up old patterns and disturbing places where we are energetically or emotionally blocked so that we can become more and more open to the spaciousness that we truly are. It is as if our energy field has awakened itself and now wants to reorganize the system so that we can know ourselves more clearly as pure spirit or consciousness or presence, living this life in a more immediate and radiant way. Although it can be strange, disorienting and fear-inducing for the little ego structure when all these changes take place, the long term impact can be great peace and joy and comfort with who you are, just enjoying BEING, rather than feeling compelled to DO and to ACCOMPLISH and take on all the demands of the old egoic drives. It is very helpful to find a community of people who share your spiritual orientation, or to just sit with in inner silence, seeking the common place of stillness which can be felt very deeply within community. A regular meditation practice -- a simple practice like just being present as stillness -- can be a great support during these changes, and if you are someone who just cannot meditate, then a walking practice somewhere in nature, just being present there, or practices like Qigong or Tai Chi which teach one to rest internally in movement can be a good substitute. Have faith in the blessings of this process and know it is simply your own deeper Self moving you forward toward a more peaceful and harmonious life, even though the journey may at times be difficult.

I recently contributed a chapter, along with 20 other people, to a book called "Kundalini Rising" put out by Sounds True. Look for it in your bookstores or order it on amazon.com.
I also have a few copies left of my book "Energies of Transformation: A Guide to the Kundalini Process" which is now out of print. Send me an email for information about ordering it directly from me if you would like a copy.

With warm wishes for your deepest realization of truth, Bonnie