As you continue your approach of tuning into finer and more subtle sensations within, you will begin to experience vibrations/sensations that are vastly different from those that you have been familiar with and “taken for granted.” In other words, because we have not allowed ourselves to feel deeply and to follow the trail of sensations to their very Source, we’ve cut ourselves off from subtle vibratory realms that have always been available to us.
The approach and idea is simple: focus upon and follow sensations to their point of subtlety. And what sensation do we follow? The overall resonance of all that we feel in the moment. You might notice that with this approach the “overall resonance” of feelings resolves to an awareness of its center point…a very subtle bubbling up sensation in the spine, or central core of the body.
There may also be an extremely fine awareness of a background/underground vibration/sensation/rumbling/resonance/radiance that seems to serve as a kind of support strata or “screen” upon which our experience of subtlety bubbles up from.
This background screen can be apprehended by the ego (our sense of self), but there is also a sense (intuited) of the wider “Observer” that is impersonal.
The little self seems to play on the surface of the wider, more expansive, unlimited “Self.”
The background resonance, when tuned into begins to “bleed” through into our familiar day-to-day awareness, and its subtle (but powerful) vibration affects the body/mind/psyche by an intense infusion of energy.
The body/mind/psyche goes into a swoon/contortion…along with an awareness of the “Impersonal Observer.”
For anyone who loves to dance, they usually know what kind of music gets their juices flowing. Their bodies seem to move on their own, in resonance with what they hear and feel!
We are music loving, dance loving creations! When we tune into the fine sensation that is activated inside of us upon listening to our favorite music, a doorway is opened to experience that “Aha! There it is (the ecstatic vibration)!” moment with the Bliss Resonance.
That “Aha!” moment represents a conscious connection with the very fine, microscopic thread of the Bliss sensation that can be pulled and followed to exquisitely deep and luxurious feelings in the body and especially the spine.
In this connection with the Bliss Resonance, the sensation in the body is like the finest silken thread being pulled through the spine. This is the thread that the archetype of “Spider Woman” uses to weave the very fabric of creation! Her needles move at the speed of Now to create all things!
I write these accounts with the hope that—to those of you who have followed this “thread” of “We Are Meant to Dance” thus far, that it may awaken your apprehension of this very fine energetic thread moving through the spine and limbs and that you have the somatic experience of which I speak.
In this experience the body is as a lightning rod so to speak, electrified by the ecstatic current moving through the field of the body. For those who resonate with these words, with the space that I speak from, understand that you are a mere hairbreadth away from that “Aha!” recognition of the sublime Bliss Resonance!
I seek to connect with those who, like me, feel they have been “charged” to hold and ground the Bliss Resonance for Mother Earth. Please contact me if you’d like to experience the ecstatic current in the spine. It is a free session that will be of great benefit for you whether we decide to work together or not.
Contact me here: http://manakastudios.com/contact.html
This post is a continuation of my last blog entry. A good friend and reader left insights and comments regarding my last entry that I feel are very important for any spiritual seeker to consider. The following is from Scott, (a fellow ex-monk from the same ashram we once lived in) from Skeptics Meditation followed by my response:
Thanks for sharing your thoughts on this topic. Having thought about this myself too, but somewhat differently.
I’d go further than the harms of “mental constructs of meditation”.
How about these unprovable “mental constructs”? Aum or chakras, Third Eyes, or Spinal Currents (kundalini serpents).
Failing to ever know for ourselves whether we really experience these we rely on the gurus, texts, and spiritual traditions which implanted the concepts in our minds in the first place. It’s a perfect recipe (dished up by the teachers) to never trust oneself, one feelings or sensations.
Thanks Scott, for your thoughts and insights. My approach and thinking around the “mental constructs” of Aum, chakras, third eye, etc is this: I have my physical body that is able to feel sensations. I also feel emotions like sadness, joy, anger, etc. I also know that I have what I call the “mind” that wants to make sense of the world. Concepts, such as “Aum” has a very different meaning for me now.
When I sing/tone Aum, I feel for the sensations that go from the back of the throat and ends at the lips. I tone it in a way that vibrates my nasal cavity. This has a particular sensation that feels really good. That “feel good” sensation expands the more I allow myself to feel.
It wasn’t always this way. Chanting Om had no real affect on me, at least not in a deep way. It wasn’t until I started throat singing, gutteral singing that I started to feel in a deeper way. Still, no real big shakes.
One day, for no reason that I can remember, I noticed how sensations had “underlying” sensations, very fine vibrations that I could feel. Not in my imagination, but really feel. This opened the way for me to explore subtle vibrations. In exploring fine vibrations in the body, I also came to feel exquisite “feel good” sensations.
Attributing any special “spiritual” meaning to this visceral experience would just get in the way, as the act of thinking about it seems to cut off the deeply felt “feel good” feelings. I describe this as the “Bliss Resonance.” I use the term “Bliss” because in my experience it is a visceral experience, just as intense as sexual orgasm, just in a different area of the body, higher up in the spine. Ascribing otherworldly, spiritual meaning to the experience is not necessary, but words are required in order to convey the process.
Take the words, “Kundalini serpents” for example. Just words, concepts describing an energetic state of the body/mind…along with a lot of “spiritual connotations” that may or may not be scientifically provable.
For me it would remain just stuff of the imagination, heavy mental baggage if devoid of the somatic feel, the visceral experience of what feels like (to me) a coiling, serpentine movement of vibration/energy in the spine.
Now, to me, there is a very fine and interesting point that can be made here. Inquiring minds might say, “It’s all made up stuff in someone’s imagination! It’s not real. At most, it is just a sensation/vibration/feeling that is exaggerated to be something way more than what it really is. So f***n big deal!” And they would be correct in their assessment. The Kundalini energy is just a vibration, a sensation, a feeling.
Here’s the thing though…and I can only speak from my own experience of the sensation…and that is all anyone really has that can be of real significance: our own experience. From my perspective as an artist, it is as if my palette of paints went from a dozen colors to more than a thousand.
Likewise, it is as if my “palette” of perceived sensations in my body (especially the spine) went from a dozen to over a thousand, with the underlying and significant sensation being that of the Bliss Resonance, an extremely pleasurable and activating vibration that comes with an “Oh my f***n God!” exhortation. In other words, the experience leaves no room for conjecture, “Did I imagine that? Was that real?” Etc. Etc. It is like, if anyone wonders whether or not they had an orgasm or not, they definitely did not! 🙂
Anyway, that’s it for now. Thanks again Scott! Your comments, questions, insights are always welcome here!
I’m familiar—as most people are—with the emotional states of sadness, grief, joy, anger, etc. The wide emotional range of what it means to be human. Take joy for example. If we follow the sensations that move through the body, it seems to trigger a smile response upon our face, which also has a sensation. Now, when tuning into the sensation/vibration of joy in the body, the mind’s attention can easily follow and “attune” to the vibration. It offers a natural way of focusing the mind, relaxing the tight and distracted mind.
The body has the sensitivity to feel deeply and in this sensitivity to vibration, we can learn to use any feeling/sensation to go deeply into the body, to attune the mind—in resonance—with exquisitely fine sensations. What value does this have?
For one thing, it is a natural and simple way of focusing the mind, a way of releasing thought loops of worries and anxieties. Also, when the attention is focused upon sensations in the body, the natural pathway of attention, of mind, seems to be towards finer and more subtle vibration… and it is in this subtlety that the connection to the Bliss Resonance can be established.
I find it interesting that in all my years of meditation “practice,” my attachment (and rigidity) to doing technique “correctly” served as a mental barrier that would ensure my eternal inability to connect with the fine bliss sensations in the spine that the gurus spoke about.
In releasing the mental constructs of meditation and allowing myself to simply feel and follow the inner prompts of sensations, wherever they started (joyful, sad, angry, scary, etc.), I found that all feelings/sensations are connected to a deeply vast resonance that has an ecstatically “feel good” component.
It is a matter of getting past our inner gatekeeper, the thoughts/beliefs/assumptions we have regarding God, spirituality, techniques.
I like the feel of pen in hand, flowing upon a blank sheet of paper wire bound in my journal. I write, draw, doodle, play with words and forms everyday, not so much with intention to create pieces of art, books, blog posts, etc., but rather as a way to move energy in my body/mind.
For me, the purpose of journaling revolves around the connecting with, feeling, luxuriating in the creative life force in the body, experienced as a feeling of wholeness, bliss. The “mechanics” of writing, drawing is just a way to get energy moving…and what gets expressed on paper is a two dimensional representation of a multidimensional inner experience.
My approach to journaling is this: I use pen and ink so there is less likelihood that I would want to erase or edit what has been laid down on the paper. The contrast of black ink on paper seems to also evoke a sense of starkness and simplicity, which has a way of feeding my sensibilities.
I usually begin by writing out a simple question/invocation: “Dear Higher Self, what realms can I explore today?” I write this out with my right (dominant) hand. I then quickly change pen to my non-dominant left hand and write my response, without editing or judging what is expressed. At a certain point, when I feel it is the “right” time to do so, I’ll switch back to my right hand and begin drawing or doodling…again not editing or judging.
During this process I pay particular attention to the overall sensations of the body and whatever thoughts, feelings and emotions come up…without judging. For me, the main benefit that I find in doing this is in getting to that delicate balance point of fine awareness of the Bliss vibration in the spine. The process of writing and drawing then becomes less important, as the mind and body are vibrating in resonance with the wide ocean of the creative field.
This process can be experienced while typing at the computer, but for me the tactile feeling of pen and paper make it easier for me to feel deeply within myself.
When listening to music, tune into sensations and observe how the body responds. There might be certain postures and movements that it naturally assumes, along with certain “micro movements” of the spine, fingers, etc. Pay deep attention to the subtle sensations along with any thoughts or emotions that may come up.
Like in the practice of any “technique,” if you approach the above without deeply feeling into the sensations, the mind will begin to quickly wander from its connection with the subtle vibrations.
Tuning into the “Life Force” moving through the spine is like connecting with music. Just as music can hold the body/mind in its resonance, so the Life Force (felt as Bliss) holds the mind/body in its dynamic vibration.
Mind then becomes like fingers of the hand. Just as fingers/hands can hold and grasp whatever it latches onto, so the mind can latch onto feelings, sensations in the body. The mind can hold/embrace such subtlety of vibration in its attention, playing/dancing with sensations that are like micro-threads of finest light being pushed and pulled through the body and brain. The experience of the body is then like a most delicate feather vibrating in a gentle wind!
This post describes a way of using the body’s fine sensitivities to connect with subtle energies in the spine. For practitioners of Kriya Yoga or Kundalini Yoga, the following process is one that I have found to be a simple entryway into the spine and spinal currents.
The use of visualization and mental imagery has great power when integrated somatically with the sensations that arise in the body. For example, when visualizing energy in the spine, it is fairly easy to “feel” the nuances of vibration when the body is allowed to adjust in fine micro-movements to the inner prompts of sensations. In other words, “going with the flow.”
Any posture will do to help you feel the spinal currents: a slight twist of the spine coupled with deep feeling. The gently held tension builds up the energetic field. As you feel the bubbling sensations that arise, the mind finds an easy focal point upon the energies that seem to grow automatically. With the intensity of focus and the heightening of energy, the change in the frequency range of the body also shifts. As resonance changes, so the mind/consciousness changes, going deeper into the subtle vibratory realms of thoughts and feelings. Meditation then becomes a process of distillation, a refinement of energies, thoughts and sensations into their essences, which then seem to move like a kind of nectar through the bodily field. The experience generates a Bliss response.
As you familiarize yourself with this energy, the mind can focus upon any part of the body and feel its connection with the subtle spinal currents. For example, when focusing upon the fine energies in the hands, their movements and mudras become extremely powerful in their capacity to connect with currents in the spine. This is not difficult when we just allow ourselves to feel and luxuriate in the gentle waves of sensations.
Energy (Prana) grows/expands in the bodily field the more we allow ourselves to experience/feel the sensations that arise. The body then helps the energy along by “squeezing” it through the fine channels of the spine. The natural movement of this energy stretches the body upward, elongating the spine as though a powerful magnet lifts the spine and head. A kind of dynamic tension occurs and the balance of tension/relaxation engages as a way to prolong and deepen the Bliss experience.
At a certain point, the body seems to require a shift in posture as a way to release the buildup of energy and as a way to prevent physical exhaustion. The capacity of the body to receive greater and greater “voltage” of this energy increases and the body becomes like a conduit of Divine Energy that expands in resonance with the wider field of “sacred space.” The mind shifts with the heightening of energies…it rises and moves with the radiant waves, with the pulsations of the heaving Ocean of Spirit!
The dance of tension/relaxation that occurs in the field of the body, especially in the spine, becomes a push/pull/squeeze of sensations. Again, this is done with fine micro-movements and ultimately with no discernible movements at all. The mind/body is then experienced as a kind of geometry that is connected intimately with sensations and postures…a pattern of Creation, a radiance of Spirit!
The resonance of the body shifts as you allow yourself to “just be” in your meditation “practice.” The idea of “practicing” meditation falls away as you tune deeper and deeper into the experience of the energetic field, allowing the awareness of its magnetic current to expand naturally and easily. In this way, meditation becomes a doorway or portal to the Divine Current, a great releasing of self to the dance and radiation of Spirit! It may outwardly look like quietly sitting, or it may look like a whirling dance of ecstatic movement. In utter stillness or ecstatic dance, the inner experience is a total abandonment to the Blissful Current!
It is interesting to note that in my serious “practice” of meditation (Kriya technique), my seriousness and adherence to the strict discipline of meditation would ironically and ultimately be the “wall” beyond which I could not, for the life of me, seem to be able to go beyond. I derived a lot of satisfaction and sense of peace from meditation, but after years of “practice,” it became a static routine.
Looking back at those years, it is very easy now to see that I was needing to lighten up… a lot… a whole lot! Now there are many positives that can be derived from being strict and disciplined… It’s just that my narrow focus on technique became a rigid barrier to the openness and fluidity required in order to “feel” the delicate and subtle Bliss currents. I was so intent on “finding God” and “getting into the spine” that I missed Her gentle touch during the many times that She tried to get my attention. I was so busy doing my “108 kriyas” and six hour meditations that I did not know how to recognize her voice, nor did I know how to respond whenever She invited me to “come out and play.” I learned well to hide behind my meditations and discipline.
Connecting with the Kundalini Bliss currents in the spine is in some ways like learning to ride a bicycle… once you learn, you never forget. The point is in getting to that place wherein you viscerally “know” and can “feel” the connection, the sensations that seem to arise from the deepest primordial feelings connected with pleasure, survival, fear, love, etc. We already are familiar with these sensations. It’s just that we humans, for the most part, have forgotten how to “dance” with Kundalini… we have also forgotten how to “be” danced by Her.
This is where “lightening up” comes in… releasing rigidity around the many layers of beliefs and assumptions that we may have about God, Guru, spirituality, techniques, etc. These beliefs may be perfectly beautiful and fine, but the idea is to allow a wider space, a beginner’s mindset in order for expansion to happen. Kundalini seems to require a very large field of play wherever She shows up!
When She does show up, perhaps as a gentle sensation in the spine, it is helpful to relax and “pay attention,” to feel deeply. This may all sound quite obvious, but the idea is to “follow subtlety,” to follow the finest nuances of vibration and sensations as they move in the bodily field. As you learn to apprehend finer and finer sensations, you also learn that the entire body can be thought of as a “Bliss Generating Machine.” You then have learned to dance with Kundalini and to be danced by Her!
I understand how it can be a little (or very) scary when one is unable to awaken from a lucid dream that is uncomfortable for whatever reason. This usually happens to me if I am sleeping in an unfamiliar setting (like while traveling), or if I’ve eaten something heavy before going to sleep. It can also be anything that causes inner discomfort, such as unresolved personal problems.
Dreams seem to be a way for our unconscious minds to communicate to our waking, conscious minds. For example, respiratory problems might show up in our dreams as bugs that crawl around our throat or chest areas. While struggling with bronchitis in the past, I once had a lucid dream in which I was belching and spitting fire that took on the form of bugs and all types of creepy crawling things. It certainly got my attention!
There seems to usually be a message in our dreams, something that is symbolically getting through from the unconscious mind. I believe it is important to pay attention. We may also be short-changing ourselves by trying to “wake up” from dreams that are scary or uncomfortable. Of course, we would also not want to continue helplessly down a dream path that is morbid and painful. Rather, by changing our focus and resonant frequency during an unpleasant lucid dream, we enable ourselves to change the quality and direction that it takes. There have been times, however, that have been so uncomfortable (as in nightmares), that the remembrance and wherewithal to chant or pray had somehow eluded me during the dream. The theme that comes to mind is the “old hag,” and “demon” archetypes that threaten to take over or “possess” us. In these types of dreams, the experience of primal fear is terrifying and paralyzing. We wake up shaking and afraid of the dark.
I have received many inquiries from individuals wanting to know how to wake up from these scary dreams and even how to prevent them from happening. My answer can only be from personal experience: I have always awakened from them, not so much from anything that I remembered to do during the dream, but rather because they seem to run a certain course, and then they are over. It is interesting that in the preponderance of lucid dreams that I’ve had, the memory and habit of relaxing and doing all of the necessary things before and during scary lucid dreams have served me well. There have been, however, the occasional dream in which my memory and “practice” of calling in the spirit guides and asking for help during a difficult dream is totally forgotten/obliterated, as though I’ve been plopped down in a nightmare with no known comfort or possibility of extrication. Even the sense of Spirit and Love seem to have been wiped clean from my memory banks! Thankfully these types of dream experiences have been few and far between. It is like being thrown into a black hole or pit wherein the sense of God/Higher Self and its memories of Love and Beauty do not exist. It is a very strange and fearful dimension! Afterwards, I ask myself, “What was that all about?” “Why was I shown such a place?” What came up for me are the words “Humility” and “Gratitude.” Humility in the sense of understanding how little I truly know of myself… and Gratitude for the blessings of having had the experience of Love and Beauty, something not to be taken lightly or for granted.
As far as waking up from the usual lucid dream, what has been helpful for me is the directing of the attention to the spiritual eye center and repeating a prayer over and over. I do this not so much as a way to awaken physically, but to rather shift the tone and direction of the dream to one that flows more easily. In most of the lucid dreams that I find myself in, if I’m feeling uncomfortable in any way, it is usually because of an energetic blockage that has formed somewhere in the “Field.” It then becomes a simple matter of moving the energy along by prayer and breath.