140. Stuart Perrin

Stuart PerrinStuart Perrin, an American spiritual master of Kundalini Yoga who has been quietly teaching small groups of students around the world for the last thirty-nine years, and is a direct disciple of Swami Rudrananda, more commonly known as Rudi. Stuart studied six years with Rudi. In 1973, Rudi died in an airplane crash and Stuart was one of three survivors.

Stuart Perrin was born August 10, 1942 in the Bronx, New York. The first child and only son of Sylvia and Michael Perrin, he began his spiritual quest at the age of sixteen. Sitting at his father’s deathbed, he was shocked and awakened to a simple reality. “Why,” he asked himself, “is it the first time I’ve seen my father in such a profound state of inner peace? Why did he have to wait till the last moments of his life to be filled with so much love and serenity?”

Stuart realized he’d have to find someone to train him in deep meditation practice. His search for a spiritual teacher took him to Europe, Africa, Mexico and all over the United States. Stuart spent nine years looking for a master only to find him in his hometown, where he met Rudi, who trained Stuart in the fine art of deep inner work and Kundalini Yoga. “What did you see when we first met?” Stuart once asked Rudi. Rudi answered, “I saw my spiritual son lost in the universe. I pulled you in the door of my shop.”

Stuart’s training with Rudi was filled with profound and ancient teachings, “streetwise yoga”, humor, and more than a few swordstrokes to the ego. “See that weed in the sidewalk crack. It’s got more life in it than you,” Rudi once said to him while they were walking on a Manhattan street when Stuart complained to Rudi about his living situation. After four years of intense training Stuart became a teacher in Rudi’s lineage. Besides the formal technique of deep inner work, a technique that uses the mind and breath to strengthen the chakra system and build a link between the spiritual practitioner and Higher Creative Energy in the Universe, Rudi taught Stuart the necessity of using spiritual work in everyday life. “We must live here and there at the same time,” Rudi told him. “If we don’t master day to day living, we never work out our karma. We are never free.”

Stuart taught meditation at Rudi’s New York City center for two years. Then Rudi asked him to teach at a newly-formed meditation center in Denton, Texas. While in Texas, Stuart started meditation programs for hungry and homeless people, for people in prison and ex-offenders, addicts and ex-addicts, the elderly, high school students, and other people in all walks of life. He also initiated devoted disciples into the mysteries of inner work, and he, in turn, created new teachers of meditation.

In February 1973, Stuart and Rudi were in a plane crash in the Catskill Mountains, a plane crash that took Rudi’s life. “I never feel he is gone,” Stuart wrote of his guru. “When I wish to be with him, to learn from him, I just open my heart. He is there, sitting, smiling, sharing his teachings. The moment he died, I felt his soul pass into me.”

Stuart moved back to New York City in 1980 and continued his work as a spiritual teacher. He continues to train many more people, and has meditation centers in the U. S., Israel, and Brazil.

A well-known and respected author, Stuart has published The Mystical Ferryboat (1983), Leah (1988), A Deeper Surrender: Notes on a Spiritual Life (2001), Moving On: Finding Happiness in a Changed World (2004), an essay for Kundalini Rising (2009), and most recently Rudi: The Final Moments (2011)

Interview recorded 9/29/2012

Video and audio below. Audio also available as a Podcast.

28 thoughts on “140. Stuart Perrin

  1. Not having ever swam in the waters of Kundalini Yoga, I am very interested to hear what some of my fellow BatGapers, who have swam in those waters, feel about Stuart’s observations.

    TIA (thanks in advance).

  2. Fantastic interview! Thanks Rick and Stuart! It really helped me realize something I had been missing. Have moved much more into non-duality and presence lately, but you helped me remember that it’s important to ground that spiritual energy back into the chakra system for it to be truly grounded and present in interactions with others. Have felt so good today by focusing more on connecting in my heart and hara.

  3. Kundalini is nondual. Shiva/Shakti.
    Soyen Shaku, the first Zen teacher to come to America, said: “My heart burns like fire but my eyes are as cold as dead ashes.”

  4. Beautifully said Mike – ‘simple, natural, direct profound’..that’s the non-dual process of unfoldment which is just the Self revealing ItSelf to ItSelf..

    ….but it comes only to the Soul who is weary – bone weary of the pleasure/pain spinning wheel….and so we surrender to the sweet death of all we know ourselves to be – all that we thought we knew – all we cherished and held dear – all our concepts and philosophies, sadhanas and methods of seeking…

    The prayer that we sent hurtling through space – the one straight from the heart – which indicated our genuine willingness to die to the world in order to be born anew …is finally answered….

    Then Grace comes – not with bells and whistles – but in a form we can no longer deny…Love beckons to us – come rest here in Me..in the Silence of the Heart….you’ve suffered long enough my child…tears come…but they are tears of joy…we’ve come Home…

  5. Yes Uli – much burning – lifetimes of it – and the direct path or final path is by no means easy – simple yes- meaning uncomplicated – but not easy…much to be unloaded and seen through as Mother Shakti tests our courage and heart and sinew..but there is a final resting place – where suffering ends..and true nature reveals Itself..

    So the burning – how much and how long we wish it to go on – is entirely up to us…We can surrender to Grace or resist – and oh the many ways we resist – until we decide in a moment of clarity – that we’ve had enough…Then the battle that rages within, resolves – and the burning is no more..

  6. Joe (Miller) enjoyed Irina Tweedie’s comment about the ‘Path of Love’ being a bridge of hair across the chasm of Fire: He would quote that line, then laugh & add: “So burn, baby,bum!” …YOU ARE, in Reality, the Chasm of Fire Itself! – Richard Power, “True North”

    So the desire process itself becomes resuscitated, revived, reawakened in Consciousness, in Awakened Consciousness. And that Awakened-Heart-Force of pure desire is what discovers, what finds the Immeasurable Heart-Consciousness Itself. Once wanting is freed up from its fictions and its supposed limitations, then wanting will find the Well of the Infinite Light, Love and Bliss.

    You’ve probably been told the opposite, that desire needs to be eradicated and then you find the Infinite Consciousness. It’s all a question of perspective. When desire is full it also quietens, it becomes silenced. The self becomes silenced. The process of desire, though, is not extinguished through any temporary or partial or even absolute realization of the Transcendental Reality of the Self. Desire lingers. Desire continues.

    There is no experience, within meditation or within spiritual life itself that could ever satiate the eternal hunger of the human/divine being.

    There’s no difference between Awakening and suffering. The Infinite Consciousness continues to revel in desire long after Self-Awakening, after nirvikalpa samadhi – after full Transcendental Realization. The difference is that Consciousness now has gripped this body-mind that is full of the Love-Light and has Its way with that body-mind. It possesses that body-mind. Consciousness becomes the resident along with all the other relative aspects of the personality – the ego, the mind, the intellect, the senses, the emotions. So, all of those relative dimensions have adjusted themselves, surrendered themselves to the Presence of this Awakened Consciousness. And therefore, they fit in It. It doesn’t fit in them anymore. It is no longer metered out in specific instances of a life. It is now boundlessly present. It’s an ocean of liberated bliss, full and overflowing, uncontainable, unbearable. This is where the desire mechanism floats, in this unbearable-ness of feeling, of full feeling. – David Spero

  7. In Buddhism, bliss/rapture is frequently spoken of as an attribute of the more superficial but not the deepest levels of awakening. Here Barbara O’Brien speaks to this, in relation to the “four dhyanas/jnanas” —

    “In the first dhyana, ‘direct thought’ cultivates a great rapture that fills the person in meditation. When thoughts are stilled the person enters the second dhyana, still filled with rapture. The rapture fades in the third dhyana and is replaced by deep satisfaction, calm, and alertness. In the fourth dhyana, all that remains is pure, bright awareness.”

  8. Embracing the Snake…not escaping into dissociated “Nirvana”
    the next phase in evolution…

    “You see, the next step in evolution has nothing to do with creating super-philosophies, super-Beethovens or superelectronic machines. It has to do with finding PHYSIOLOGICALLY – because evolution is physiological – finding physiologically
    a NEW STATE IN MATTER – not in the pure Spirit.

    But then, you notice something quite extraordinary with the body (in fact, maybe with all life), which is that the obstacle IS the lever: To find a wall, to know there is a wall, is to be able to break through it.

    Medical science and biology have “codified” the obstacles – they have crystallized and made the obstacles into laws – while they are only means. They are levers. If there’s a wall, it means there’s another side to the wall. If there’s an impossibility, there’s a possibility. It can’t be any other way. And so the greatest difficulty is to find out WHERE the wall is.

    But all those obstacles – those illnesses which appear to follow an irrevocable course, death, gravity, each and every one of our laws, so carefully codified and set as an obstacle, that is, as the indefeasible limits of our bowl – are, in fact, means.

    If you PRESS against the obstacle (you have to press against it), if you press against the obstacle instead of… instead of taking things naturally; if life STOPS being natural as you know it, if you pursue the obstacle everywhere, you can overcome it.

    And that’s what Mother did. Anytime there was a Law, an Impossibility – for her that “law,” or that “impossibility” did not exist. And it’s because she had the courage to break through all those… formidable imperatives, you know, which WEIGH on the body’s consciousness – all the obstacles, the “You can’t do this,” all that swarming death with its attractive medical masks – it’s because she had the courage to break through all that, to PRESS against all the obstacles, that she eventually got through, only to realize that the so-called laws were just our… way of mapping out a certain fishbowl, and that on the other side lay another possibility of being.

    Then you find deep inside the body something… very similar – surprisingly similar – to what you find at the summit of consciousness, in the great expanses, at the apex of the being – but you find it physiologically, cellularly…”
    “The first reaction of a body when given, say, a new kind of oxygen or a new kind of food – when faced with conditions other than those it is used to – is panic. Instant fear: everything starts to boil and bubble, to fall apart, to become disorganized.
    But this is exactly what has been happening in the world body for the last twenty years! There’s a feeling that everything is going awry, falling apart. Nothing works as it used to – nothing is natural anymore. It’s as if our entire mental system were completely rotten, as it were, and there’s no solution to anything. All the truths are falling to pieces. All the falsehoods masquerade as truths. There’s a feeling of living in a world that’s… completely coming apart.
    But why? Why is that so?
    It may just well be that a new Law, a new air, is filtering into the old human bowl and beginning to BREAK the meshes. So we cry for help. We are outraged: “What’s happening is just awful!”
    But what is actually happening?
    It’s just that the meshes are breaking apart. And they’re breaking apart everywhere in the world. Not because evil is coming out, or because truth (as we conceive it) is coming out. But because there’s truly a new air, a new oxygen, slipping in and UPSETTING everything – driving everything out of its false naturalness, out of its false good as well as its false evil.

    And absolutely everything is breaking down, you see! The truths as well as the falsehoods. Nothing remains standing anymore. But, look, when the first saurian or first reptile had to let go of its body and grow wings because the world was becoming suffocating – what happened? Something must have been shattered inside that reptile’s skin. It must have been horribly painful to be inside that saurian skin when it had to grow wings. Or even inside that fish, when it had to evolve from gill respiration to another mode of respiration. It’s suffocating to evolve to “another.” It’s excruciating. Everything is shattered, torn apart.
    The entire Earth body is being torn apart.
    That’s what is happening now.

    So if we believe that we are moving toward new unities, new worldwide fraternities, that we shall save the poor and make a better society, we are sorely mistaken, you see. We are not going to make better fish – we are in the process of making a new species.
    And then – at last – perhaps we will realize that that Spirit, that Light, that Joy – what we were seeking at the summit of consciousness, our eyes closed, in silence and retreat – lies in matter itself, that it is matter itself, and that such was the purpose of those thousands of years of suffering. We went from one cataclysm to another to force us gradually to discover our own secret – our secret IN MATTER.”

    “So there’s a hope – not just a hope, it’s even tangible – that what one dreamed of as a child on the seashore, what seemed so… at once so vast and so part of ONESELF, you know… When I looked at the sea, it wasn’t something “else” – that little wave wasn’t something else. I flowed with it, I… rippled with that little wave. I was that smell of seaweed…. It wasn’t something else, something other!

    At the end of all that suffering, we can find, in the body, what we knew as a child, and what we knew also on the summits of meditation. Then matter takes on its own meaning.

    The purpose of evolution is not to get out of it. The purpose of matter is not to give it up – it is to find its true secret. And its true secret has nothing to do with electronics. It has to do with a Joy in matter, a Consciousness in matter, a Power in matter that will enable us to LIVE differently, a truly divine life on earth.

    But we have to use the right means, UNDERSTAND the process. We have to understand that all the chaos we are going through right now is not the bankruptcy of civilization, not the bankruptcy of morality, not the bankruptcy of religion – it’s nothing like that. It’s the bankruptcy of the old fish in order to MOVE ON to its next plenitude.”

    Then everything has meaning.”
    ” In 2006 Satprem had sent a note to Kireet Joshi in which he wrote: ‘I have reached the goal’. What was the goal that he referred to? Was it the completion of the process of physical transformation or fixation of the supramental consciousness into his physical consciousness?

    That I don’t know. Previously also he wrote to me that he had achieved the goal. What I know is that the supramental Light had come into his body. In his entire body there was a peculiar radiance. That I’ve observed.”

  9. Mila
    That’s true – the essential realization of Self is deep satisfaction, calm and alertness – but it isn’t dry if the heart is awakened…It is the fullness of the heart that lends juice to the embodiment….The non-dual realization of resting in one’s true nature – the final samadhi which is lived eternally – includes all previous realizations -so that all can be lived simultaneously…We hopefully don’t sacrifice the peace or the love or the joy or the compassion -born of earlier realized aspects of being -for the ‘sterility’ of what is…rather that – all arises and is included in what some might call the ‘ecstasy’ of what is..

  10. Mike –
    You answered your own question – If one has passed through the fire – AND come to final rest – with the mind no longer spinning – an important distinction – there are no trips or flights of fancy left to take…Reality does not include fantasy worlds…Divine Mind, as opposed to mortal mind, is omnipresent…It doesn’t leave the premises to daydream….

    The last vision I had, was sitting with Pamela at the moment when final realization occurred 12 years ago – Maharishi appeared, followed by who I presumed at the time to be a line of masters – (old bearded men) one by one rising and dissolving in the mind’s eye – each growing larger for a moment and then disappearing…then nothing…

    As far as energy – it can still get heightened if I close my eyes and sit in the Silence for a time, or am in the Presence of another transmitter or group…which I try to avoid these days..as the body has grown too sensitive for more input..Even Braco, who I adore, and was curious about – was way too much heat coming in..

    Neelam told me that Papaji used to say – that the K works on the subtle body till one’s dying day…not with manifestations of the obvious kind that are indicative of the way upward – like kriyas or mudras or visions etc – but on a deeper level – the process continues to unfold through no conscious manipulation or intention….

  11. Mike –
    The Shakti is involved in ALL realizations…How could it not be – We are that energy..

    If the body is not included in this – the realization is purely mental fantasy…but it is true that some bodies do not experience it as fully as others…either not as sensitive or perhaps only a sliver of the energy passes through the gate…enough to give a glimpse of Reality, but not the full bodied version …

    In any case you don’t have to worry, having been initiated by Muktananda and now with a teacher from Ramana…all is well..

  12. yep, a long history of implanted fear…

    Snake says to me, “You only have me as a reference point and I am your own energy!”

    I suddenly see that as I was growing up I was taught to take everything else as a reference point but never my own energy! Everything else had some value but never me! (…)
    Snake says “All the reference points you have learned in your life have now disappeared! Feel my energy as a part of the Universe. This part is always in contact with all the other parts of the universe, there is no separation!”
    I see that I have always been in touch with this part but that my awareness was glued to everything else but this. That was the separation! I ask snake what it needs from me and he replies he needs for me to love him.
    I immediately feel fear. I realize there was always fear of loving the snake, sometimes overwhelming fear. I see an inmense history of people being taught to fear the snake. I see the bible: there is a tremendous fear of loving the snake. But then I see that you can never love another person fully until you have loved your own snake, for everyone has a snake!

    “That is the separation. Your inability to love me!”

    I become fully aware that the snake that I had so feared had always been in the right side of my body! …

    Snake says, “Because people fear the snake instead of loving it, it get loose and is very destructive!”

    I then experience that there are in fact two snakes: one in my left side that is very fearful and the one in my right side that is very powerful. I realize that I have always identified with the snake on the left side and that I have been terrified of the snake on the right side. I then realize that the fear on the left side is also love! When it pulls back and retreats it is fear, but when it goes forward it is love.

    Both snakes rise up in me and meet deliberately face to face in the middle of my forehead.
    This powerful meeting vibrates throughout my body and it comes to full focus right in the center of my forehead. I recognize this animal! It is the Sisiutl from Mexican simbology: the single snake with two heads.
    It embraces the universe and comes back to meet itself face to face. I realize Sisiutl is both the symbol and the energy of wholeness…

    “Into Wholeness:The Path of Deep Imagery”, Eligio Stephen Gallegos, PhD

    “The Primordial Power and the Supreme Brahman are identical. You can never think of the one without the other. They are like the gem and its brilliance. One cannot think of the brilliance without the gem, or of the gem without its brilliance. Again, it is like snake and its wriggling motion. One cannot think of the wriggling motion without the snake, or of the snake without its wriggling motion. These are two aspects of Reality: Purusha and Prakriti. He who is the Purusha is also Prakriti. Both are the embodiment of Bliss.” – Sri Aurobindo

  13. Thanks for your reply, Jill — though perhaps a kind of “sterility” is heard, in how I express some of these ideas in writing — that’s not at all my experience of the process. Maybe some compensation going on, in response to seeing how in many instances I’ve been seduced by the sweetness, bliss, rapture, ecstasy of the prana, shakti, qi, expanded states of consciousness, whatever …. in a way that’s not been productive. So now my “edge,” if you will, has to do with discerning pleasant bodily sensations (latched onto as belonging to a separate “me”) from the infinite, eternal Awareness within which these arise and dissolve …. and which has its own, much more deeply satisfying (nondual) bliss & sweetness.

  14. I gotcha Mila…and I wasn’t referring to your writing as sounding sterile – far from it – but many who arrive at the ‘what is’ experience – and many Buddhist writings in particular – sometimes make the non-dual realization seem rather dry – so I was just making the point after reading the O’brien discourse, that everything is included in final realization..that the move into deeper appreciation of being – leaves nothing out..especially the heart of the matter..

  15. There is something about this process that is akin to “digestion”.

    The feeling of non-differentiation and ineffability at times could feel like a solid block of “stuckness” an “uggh”, but I can’t tell exactly what it is, except bodily it’s not completely pleasant. There is no thought associated with it. Don’t know if it’s something physiological, or in the general environment … (e.g. watching the elections, wondering about the “soul” of this country, maybe something having to do with sadness or depression … (?))

    Someone once said “eat your Kryptonite”. So I do. No rush to resolve it or change it. After a few hours, I can feel it starting lift. Lightness and freedom returns. The body seems to have it’s own rhythm in dealing with things.

  16. So true Ernest – the body has its own wisdom…I found the process of the shakti weaving it’s way through the maze to be cyclical over many years – except it wasn’t on a discernible schedule…

    Sometimes it would just be felt as heaviness or sometimes it was painful – sometimes it lasted for hours sometimes for days – then it would lift of its own accord mysteriously…

    I gave up trying to figure it out – and concluded it was just doing it’s work clearing the system of both psychological and physiological debris – and if we try to attach it to something – some idea of why it’s happening – we just prolong the agony…It’s just part of the spiritual journey….so you were wise to let it be

    I found just as you did, that after a bout of YUCK, there was always a deepening or expansion…so all to the good..

  17. Good to know that the ultimate realisation is not dry. I must say I do find the idea of ‘no imagination’ a little scary, given its connotation with poetry and beauty in my mind. I’m keeping my fingers crossed and trusting that the ultimate’s got it covered! Anyway, thank you Jill, I always look for your input on this forum and I really value your contributions.

  18. Thank you Dany – that was sweet of you…and please don’t be concerned about my saying there’s ‘no fantasy’ in Reality…I just meant that true inspiration has never been ‘ours’ anyway – so I can assure you that inspiration and creativity continues unabated after the fact….

    Truly, the finest art and poetry has always been brought into being when the ego/mind stepped aside and let the Divine do the work….and this realization leaves the door wide open for that..

    I quite agree – who would want to live in a world without beauty…..Certainly that would not be in the direction of evolution, so no worries…..
    Love to you..

  19. Lively interview, Stuart sounds like a sweet man who has seen and been through quite a lot.

    At the same time I’m not entirely convinced to what degree the interview has revealed anything new on what is being currently perceived as Tantra?

    I second Jill in her insightful responses to Mike’s questions from the previous page. If time permits would love to add to the exchanges on the Energetic Transformation and the true meaning of Tantra.

    For now, here is in relation to the subject of burning


  20. Wow – ‘unchain the heart’ indeed – the source of it all – beautifully said Snow..

    and Vama – we all welcome your expertise on the energetic transformation..

  21. Thanks Snow and Gill for painting a very rich picture of the ultimate. Snow – was your spiritual progress halted during the time you were taking medication? I have migraines which feel related to Kundalini. I take medication for them but am reluctant to take anything heavy duty to prevent them altogether in case it interferes with my spiritual progress. What do you think?

  22. Greetings to all. Thank you Jill & Snow.

    Before sharing some further insights into the whole business of transformation, I’d like to bring few quotes as valid points of departure.

    ”…I’ve read that Kundalini Masters no longer experience kriyas, mudras, strong pulsating energy, big visions, because they have passed through the fire and the merging of shiva/shakti energies and rest fully in Stillness…” – Mike

    ”…I wonder about the other wisdom traditions, where sages don’t seem to talk about Kundalini, or any version of it. There are of course others who have, but more it seems who don’t. Does it mean they were not enlightened/Realised/Awake? Or they did go through it but didn’t realise it? Maybe it’s not necessary after all?” – Mike

    ”The Shakti is involved in ALL realizations… How could it not be – We are that energy.. If the body is not included in this – the realization is purely mental fantasy…but it is true that some bodies do not experience it as fully as others…either not as sensitive or perhaps only a sliver of the energy passes through the gate…enough to give a glimpse of Reality, but not the full bodied version …” – Jill

    ”The Primordial Power and the Supreme Brahman are identical. You can never think of the one without the other. They are like the gem and its brilliance…” – Sri Aurobindo via Uli

    There are two main reasons why Kundalini is not spoken of by some traditions or teachers openly. First and foremost is because of the very essence of ‘what it is’ which when not harnessed properly is like a nuclear power – at once limitless & deadly.

    Second reason is rooted in the provenance of that term and how it come into the collective subconscious at least when speaking of the cultures that flourished on the Indian Subcontinent.

    The stand Swami Lakshman Joo (perhaps the greatest tantric guru of the 20 century) took in relation to his response to Lilian Silburn’s (world’s authority on Tantric studies and Nondual Kashmir Shaivism in particular) wish to publish ‘Kundalini – Energy of the Depth’ is point in the making.

    Despite the fact that Lilian Silburn have spend 25 years on Kashmir plato with the Swami, in Lakshman Joo’s eyes the scholar was not fit to share such book whence he never gave the blessings, saying that such knowledge cannot and should not be passed in the form of intellectual transmission.

    The main reason was that Lilian S. did not undergo the actual process whence her understanding, no matter how profound, was limited to the intellectual grasp born of dichotomized nature of all thought processes, not on the unifying nature of cognition which only an awakened Shakti can bring about.

    Well before the term Kundalini has entered the spiritual discourses of India it was known as Vak, or Para Vak when referred to as Supreme Shakti beyond manifested form. The closest etymology of the term Vak is Logos in western spirituality.

    There is no entry (merging) into Spirit unless Logos ‘speaks’ to you.

    Vak was mentioned in Rig Veda along with Brahman as the cause of all that exist or beyond existence. It was a closely guarded secret of the priests in all ancient cultures, from Egypt, throughout Asia to China.

    The time of major social changes (in India) has coincided with Spiritual Renaissance when the hierarchical structure was shuttered and the priestly cast was no longer privileged to the autonomy on spiritual knowledge. That’s when Tantra gained its independent status, along with many other Nath schools of Yoga (too many to name it here).

    During and since that time Tantra became increasingly associated with many (prior to that era) unacceptable in the polite society practices. The association of Tantra with the ‘lower path’ (mainly referred to the yogic methodology of forcibly awakening and ‘riding’ Kundalini) and the term Kundalini, is so strong that most hindu teachers avoided to use that term in their addresses. Yogananda, Sri Aurobindo, Maharishi Mahesh Yogi and many other teachers preferred to word it differently as to dissociate from that way too colorful, naked and ash-covered crowd.

    At the same time, and since the sacred knowledge by than was in danger of being miss-used by simple folk, the tantric masters have excelled in an elaborate expositions aimed at conveying and covering what deemed for few initiates. (The same approach could be found in Shamanic, Tao, Zen & Sufi lineages)

    This kind of trajectory could be seen in most spiritual traditions where the need to transmit the knowledge from heart to heart was often accompanied by rites and rituals to substituted the real deal.

    What most tantric teachers in the west unaware of, is that Tantra originated in the Atharva Veda. (Just an additional note) The whole spectrum of Indian spirituality could be traced back to the light of four major Vedas: Rig, Yajur, Sama and Atharva. Rig Ved is largely accepted to be the oldest text based on the oral transmission composed anywhere. At the same time, there is an evidence that Atharva Veda is the oldest as its hymns were composed by the first and the oldest rishis, Atharvan & Angiras.

    Atharva Veda also gave birth to Vedic Medicine (Ayurveda), art of combat and above all else mantric science. It was/is that most strictly guided of all the vedas where Tantra ‘escaped’ and gained its own independence in the lore of that respective tradition and beyond.

    Tantra emphasizes the need for energetic transformation, because the all-pervading nature of Awareness could only be actualized via the power of its potentiality.

    Shakti is that limitless potentiality in a given form as a particular vibration of any given expression of that potentiality.

    Tantra, ‘tan’ – to stretch, span or expand. A string can only vibrate and make a tone by being ‘stretched’, ‘extended’ or ‘spanned’ to a point of tension. Whence tantra is a kind of tuning of a spiritual instrument of the body to allow the synchronicity of sound into celestial symphony.

    Unless that power is unlocked to itself there is no possibility of cognition as the creative tension between Awareness and the Energy emanating is One and the same.

    More specifically to Mike’s questions. Not everything subsides even when one (the Shakti) has completed its human charted orbit within. The process just becomes so increasingly subtle that we could say there are no obvious kriyas or visions. Yet even the sages quiver occasionally with the waves of magnitude the human body barely able to withstand.

    Interestingly enough mudras have accompanied beings like Ramakrishna and Ramana. My own experience is that the very subtle facial mudra such as ‘buddha’s smile’ come on naturally as soon as the body retired from physical activity. (Not to be mistaken for much more intense grimacing of the facial kriya which years ago kept me indoors from entertaining my neighborhood.)

    Equally true is that even among those of us in whom Kundalini traversed the full spectrum of manifested (elementary) layers of creation, out into the realm of Sat-Chid-Ananda and back into the Heart… will still experience variety of the phenomena all depending on the individual capacity of the nervous system to absorb that creative tension – as play between Pure Awareness and its Luminosity (as Shakti).

  23. Snow – thank you for sharing in such trust and openness.

    Medication and K is a big theme in its own right. I just want to remind what have been shared at the start of my 2-nd talk with Rick:

    Shakti is Consciousness in its dynamic expression. Shakti expresses itself as Prana and Kundalini -Simultaneously. Dormant, stirred or awakened Prana Kundalini conducts all affairs in the house. Again, when rising it’s no longer Kundalini but Prana Shakti – it’s no longer coiled (we use the term freely, still good to know the difference).

    Furthermore, all functions in the body/mind are being checked by the respective prana(s). Vashishtha Yoga says: ” all dis-ease is born of the improper movement of prana in the body”.

    If Kundalini and Prana are the same, on awakening Prana should do its best to restore the harmony at home. Paradoxically that’s not the case, well not until everything has been turned and churned in the body. And awakened prana is that churning that transforms the entire physiology.

    Medication often drives K into deeper tissues, into the much more subtler channels where the prana would have to burst open sooner or later to carry on its process of gradual withdrawal.

    Your experience with sexuality as pacifying factor is very telling. Kundalini we should also add expresses itself as sexual energy – always. The only difference at a later stages is that the sublimation takes places not necessarily on the level of the respective organs, but in the much subtler region, perhaps where the senses themselves gain their power. Until it sublimates at the heart level.

  24. Mike ~ good points. Is Kundalini as energy culturally imprinted into our subconscious and our experiences therefore are conditioned by our genetic provenance? Many have pointed to that as an evidence of being so based on clinical observations. My own experience is perplexing, perhaps because of the genealogical lineage being too varied. Yet certain experiences were so ‘hindu like’ that made me wonder if there is an archetype somewhere that transcends the immediate layer.

    Yes, some traditions don’t have such exact term for it as the Tantric lore, yet if we accept the intimate relationship of Shakti being one with Prana, than perhaps some cultures only used Qi, Chi or whatever stood for the functions of the Vital Force.

    You’ve mentioned Tibetan Tantra, on each of the Indian Tantric deity (various shaktis with specific field of influence) there is its equivalent in the Tibetan one. Kali stands for Ma as the goddess directs the vital breath and guards the access of K unto the Sushumna channel.
    Similar story must be with Tibetan tradition, yet I suspect it (the essence) was much more strictly guided even if with the help of geographical location.

    My own experience of working with people, who have shared there very unique awakening stories and how it was triggered, shows what a flax we live in today. Women are in the lead, I must say, on every man I’ve met and encountered there are five or six women awakened in most amazing of circumstances. Female body has greater capacity to carry prana not to mention adaptability to hormonal changes.

    Like in your case many who have been awakened in the past, 10 or more years ago live in a slight suspense especially when medication was/is involved. If yours was an intense awakening, at such an early age it’s a scary experience. I was born with the symptoms and learned to adapt early, my mum used to seat on my legs to stop from contorting the body from kriyas, so that I’ll fall asleep.

    The re-awakekning, further awakening, or else known as reactivation of prana is not uncommon. Interestingly enough, the second time around its mostly grants the very mature experiences as the psyche had the chance to adopt and if the nervous system is oiled enough, body has adopted as well on the cellular level, it’s the most desirable and enjoyable time. The Shakti often expands in one massive succession, but without the jerks and the flashes of electricity. It’s much smoother and much deeper kind of expansion, the second time around.

  25. ”…If there are certain shifts/experiences/visions that are considered part of the Kundalini unfolding (ie. Blue Pearl perhaps) , if others don’t pass these same signposts or markers (if you will), are they missing something? Off course? Not fully awake yet? It’s a fun aspect of the journey to investigate…”

    Mike, the answer to that is in the way certain traditions emphasized or chose to emphasize certain experiences above others as marking points. Again, this kind of exchanges were very much an area of a very private dialogues between the teacher and the student. I don’t think the teacher used to announced out loud, ‘hey are you seeing this and that’? More like close up encounters, with eye to eye, heartbeat to heartbeat contact – experiences where shared and interpreted mouth to ear if need be.

    I did have most of the so called classical stuff going on, but learned it post-factum, simply because I knew there’ll come a time when these would have to be related and not just on the level of ”eh, ah”, I wanted to be versed and familiar with the jargon.

    So ‘Blue Pearl’ is indeed a very precious experience especially when it grows before it gobbles down all existence.. one could say that was the fusion of the left and the right, where all the cortexes are waved by Gamma. Yet many are confused about the ‘seeing’ of Nilshwari. It’s not the specks of indigo blue scattered around like stars, nor the patches of deep blue color. It’s distinctive as it gives an immediate sense of deepest peace and eternity, spot of shimmering electric-blue not larger than a dot… It comes out of the pitch black sky of meditation which many buddhist mistake for Shunia.

    Is it a must to go through? I don’t know. Kabir wrote of it, so are many other saints of that part of the world. Having been at Siddha Yoga you know how much Muktananda spoke and wrote about it. Personally, its very soothing experience, to just shut the eyes and be in the presence of that light. But when it explodes it’s another matter all together. Universe explodes in your head and you’re lost in that indescribable bliss… until something else takes place for you to find the ground to stand on.

    That said, I’ve never logged for any of these experiences, and perhaps it helps to not to expect but allow anything to take place on its own. Whence some traditions simply avoided the grounds for speculation. Tantra on the other hand is aimed at rapid progress and perhaps in that there was this need for more explicit, physical and meta-physical experiences to allow introspective perspective on the process accompanying the transformation.

    Does it mean not being fully awake if not having these kind of experiences? Not necessarily, one could be well awakened yet the velocity of the process is subjected to the soul’s trajectory whence the work is being done at some other planes before the more ripe experiences will manifest on the path. On the other hand there are some more or less definitive ways of knowing if awakening is not fully took place, by closer examination where certain markings are quite telling.

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