Friday, November 6, 2009

Kundalini: Spirit of the Present Moment

I am reading a great book right now called, The Inner Tradition of Yoga by Michael Stone. This morning I read a passage on Kundalini energy that I thought was brilliant; here it is:

"The central channel, or susumna, is associated with fire and the union of the ida and pingala. Pattabhi Jois calls the susumna nadi which runs from the center of the pelvic floor through the crown of the head, "the empty flute."

The term Kundalini, which has been fetishized and imbued with literalist interpretations (such as a purely physical feeling of tingling up the spine", reduces the essence of that process. "Kundalini" describes in metaphorical language the present moment that is curled up but inaccessible in every movement of experience in which there is even an ounce of self-image. We are not present because of karmic patterns, most notably greed, hatred and delusion." (Emphasis mine.)

I've never really heard Kundalini described or defined in this manner and I think it is brilliant. We tend to speak of the Kundalini energy as the energy of pure potential, "coiled and sleeping" at the base of the spine. Certainly, there is no greater pure potential energy than the possibility of been fully present in any moment without the veil of Avidya (ignorance) and Asmita (ego) preventing us from seeing and experiencing what truly is.

Burn a little Karma today. Do your practice, whatever that may consist of (asana, pranayama, Jnana Yoga, etc.) and then take it "of the mat" and into your life. Stay with the breath, stay in the present moment, and see how much of the pure potential in every moment you can fully realize.

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1 comment:

Yog Sutras said...

Good article on kundalini meditation. More information yoga types will available on