Patanjali said, “Yogash citta vrtti nirodha”, which means, “Yoga is the cessation of the modifications, or fluctuations, of the mind.” This is a little piece of the truth.
Kundalini is the spiritualizing force of the cosmos that everyone has within themselves. When one is ready, with shaktipat or hanihah, it can awaken. On a spiritual fast, 90% of the people experience this purifying awakening. In 1975, I took a spiritual intensive with Swami Muktananda in which he gave shaktipat. His way of doing this was usually to touch someone with a peacock feather. However, with me he blew into my mouth, so that his full prana went into me. As it began to move my system, I saw each of the chakras. The second and the fourth chakras lit up. Each chakra had petals, and I received the full anatomy of that. It went further from the heart and up into the throat and into the 3rd eye and finally burst through the crown. When the kundalini is awakened, it is working inside you. It is reorganizing your subtle body.
There are 72,000 nadis. Nadis are the spiritual nervous system. The junctures where the nadis intersect make chakras. There are three central nadis – the ida, the pingala, and the sushumna. Generally, the kundalini comes up through the sushumna. This is the central channel, and, as the kundalini travels upward along this channel, it releases and burns up samskaras (stored thought forms, emotional and psycho-spiritual traumas). This is part of the purification that goes on. Literally, the kundalini is transforming you. Living the Six Foundations for spiritual life fuels this process.
As I came down from this mystical experience, a little voice told me that I should learn to live and eat in a way that supports the kundalini. I adopted the live food diet because it is the most powerful diet for feeding the kundalini. Live food clears the nadis. Meat, fish, chicken, and dairy clog the nadis. I grew to understand this because in 1976, when we started the first kundalini crisis clinic, I began to see people self-medicating with meat, fish, and chicken. If people were having trouble, they would eat meat three times a day, and if they didn’t eat meat and dairy, the kundalini would get out of balance. This was before they came to me. I saw they were clogging their nadis. This was a very helpful observation, because then I had more than just a theoretical statement. It really works. If you want to slow down the kundalini, eat meat, fish, chicken, and dairy.
As I did more research I discovered that the Bible promotes a vegan diet in Genesis 1:29. God gives fruit bearing seeds and the grasses and herbs of the field for our food. This is a live food vegan diet. The female Taoist masters of the 11th century said bigu, which means that if you eat grains you can’t walk on the Jewel Pond. The Jewel Pond in Taoism is where the enlightened women walk. They were making the statement that even grain, aside from meat, fish, chicken, and dairy, blocks the flow of the Divine energy. They taught that cooked food blocks this flow.
The Vedic masters also followed a live-food diet. This was mostly vegan with a little dairy. They intuitively knew that this was how to get their B12. The dairy was minimal to avoid clogging the nadis. (Because we have high quality, vegan B12 supplements available now, there is no need for dairy.)
The Kundalini energy moves up, and there is a merging. Shiva and Shakti, or Aba and Ima, become one. Shiva/Aba is the male. Shakti/Ima is the female. We go from separation of the energies within us to becoming one integrated whole. This happens in a variety of ways.
Mostly when I was in India, but also when I was in Petaluma, California, I would do the fire ceremony and the energy of Lakshmi would come. Lakshmi is the goddess of spiritual life and abundance. So, there I was, in the forest, not thinking about Lakshmi and just meditating, and she appeared in physical form, as if totally real, and we merged. This merging was not sexual, but, rather, a physical, emotional, and mental merging. For me it was the final integration of the male and female energies.
People have their biological sexual identities and their gender identities. According to some, there are 31 different gender identities, but, truthfully, the personality is a case of mistaken identity. Your gender identity or your sexual/biological identity are not who you are. We are not our bodies. We are not our minds. These have nothing to do with what the reality is. People may be focused on gender identity but from the point of view of liberation, this is not spiritual truth.
Part of the spiritual path is unifying the male-female energies within ourselves, and this happens naturally. Our minds get in the way. We get theoretical. We have our belief systems. But it will happen naturally that the inner male and female become one. In yoga, we talk about Shiva and Shakti being the two sides of the same coin.
As commonly taught in yoga, meditation quiets the mind, but this is not the full truth in any way. It is through meditation that there is an inner transformation of your physical and subtle bodies. That’s what meditation is about. It creates the energetic space where that transformation happens. The path of liberation requires that oneness to happen. It is an integration within our psyche. The male and female split is a psyche-split. The He-Adam and the She-Adam are always one, but we’re not always conscious of that Oneness. Through meditation conscious Oneness eventually happens.
The energy flowing upward is a precondition for liberation. It is very important to surrender to the process, because if we have an idea of how it’s supposed to be, those expectations get in the way. All ideas block the process. The key is to allow it to flow rather than to try to stop it. Kundalini is transformation.
May everybody be blessed with this understanding.