Advanced Yoga Practices
Lesson 125 - Kundalini Heat
Date: Sun Feb 22, 2004 3:00pm
Q: I’ve been studying Kundalini for some time now, and have been feeling a great deal of internal heat due to the Kriyas and meditations. However, recently I read that the part of the head (Shushumna) that was once soft as a child, needs to soften again in order for the heat to be released, otherwise the Kundalini experience can be painful. The way this is supposedly done is through Tummo Reiki? Can you shed any light on this for me? I have curtailed my meditations and my Sadhana for a few days now, which I so did not want to do.
A: I am not very familiar with reiki methods so am not able to comment much on Reiki Tummo, other than to say it appears to be a more aggressive method aimed at raising kundalini, beyond healing-style reiki. So perhaps it is a cousin of other yoga systems aimed at raising kundalini first — which brings me to your situation.
As you know, in the lessons we go through practices for “global purification” of the nervous system before we go much for stimulating kundalini directly. These include deep meditation and spinal breathing. With these as a foundation, the risk of kundalini difficulties is greatly reduced. Of course, we’d all like to compress the time scale of reaching enlightenment, so we press ahead, and sometimes even skip the prerequisite global purification methods. Some traditions even skip them!
If you are running into too much heat, it can be obstructions in the nadis and chakras, and premature awakening of kundalini into those areas of your nervous system. Using only the old methods can be a long, slow and uncomfortable grind to get through. Make sure you review lesson #69 on kundalini symptoms and remedies.
Besides inner obstructions there is another reason for heat, and you should consider this one carefully, because many kundalini traditions miss it. That is the matter of balancing the rising and descending pranas (shiva and shakti) in the spinal nerve. Traditional kundalini yoga uses mudras and bandhas for this, but these are often not enough. Spinal breathing can do wonders for balancing the rising and descending pranas, and in some cases can end uncomfortable symptoms immediately.
Metaphorically speaking, Shakti is seeking her mate, Shiva, everywhere in our body. She purifies (housecleans) as she continues her hunt for Shiva. If he does not show up, she will get more and more frantic and raise all sorts of trouble inside us. If we gently bring Shiva down into Shakti’s realm of the nervous system in spinal breathing, the two will be able to join in all the places where Shakti is looking — in every nerve and cell inside us. This is the metaphorical explanation of how spinal breathing works to stimulate and balance the pranas in the nervous system.
Also, with inner silence, the witness, all of this dynamic activity inside the nervous system will be much more manageable. Don’t forget that the witness is not touched by any of this stuff going on, yet is in charge of it all via the bhakti connection. Pure bliss consciousness is our platform of “Self” that enables us to choose the divine desire to enter kundalini experience. Being established in Self/witness also enables us to manage much better whatever we might run into as we go through the dynamics of raising kundalini. Inner silence, by definition, is deep permanent global purification in the nervous system. This is why meditation is the first advanced yoga practice, and remains the core practice throughout the lessons. With inner silence, everything else can be like a cakewalk. Without inner silence, everything else can be like jumping off a cliff into an inferno. That’s how it is.
Whatever your other practices are, if you make sure you are doing meditation and spinal breathing on the front end, you should find some relief on the heat. Once the balance between ascending and descending pranas is achieved through spinal breathing on an ongoing basis, we have the ability to do much more kundalini-wise with much less chance of difficulty. Our progress will be more and our discomfort will be much less. In fact, doing right practices can turn the journey into an endless joyride of ecstatic bliss. And we don’t even have to feel guilty about it, because that is the way our nervous system is designed to operate. It is an ecstatic bliss machine. Everyone has one of these. Oh my gosh, let’s not waste a minute getting them all in good working order.
As for the fontanel on top of the head, it is not my understanding that this is a kind of pressure relief valve for kundalini going up. The popular model of kundalini going up and out the top of the head is an over-simplification of the process. Rather, there is a joining on every level in the body of the two polarities that exist within us. On the physical level it occurs in the chest where ascending and descending pranas meet. From there it goes up the spine into the brain, then back down the front, and again back up the spine, and so on in an endless cycle. It is part of our new spiritual biology. With adequate global purification and balancing of the inner polarities, all of this occurs with little heat and a lot of ecstatic bliss. So it is an inner closed cycle of union, rather than kundalini blowing out the top by herself — Blowing kundalini out the top could happen, but that is taking the process in the wrong direction, and is not very healthy. Better to cultivate the inner lovemaking, and the rest will happen quite naturally, and quite pleasurably.
What does go out the top is a flood of radiant healing energy as a by-product of the inner joining of polarities. This comes later and is not experienced as heat — ecstatic bliss is what it is. Shiva and shakti energies joined into something new, corresponding with the third stage of enlightenment — Unity, divine love flowing through the nervous system and out to everyone — One flowing out as love within One everywhere. In the Christian tradition it is called “Christ.”
Whether the fontanel opens physically or not I don’t think is a primary issue. Maybe it will happen, maybe it won’t. If it does, it will be a natural outcome of the process of enlightenment, not something we have to worry about too much at this stage. The fontanel is over the pituitary gland, which is said by some to be the seat of higher consciousness. In the center of the head is the pineal gland, which is our receptor of divine light. Above the pineal is the corona radiata which turns up into a cup shape (which can be clearly felt and observed with the inner sight) as energy goes up. It is the sahasrar, the thousand petaled lotus.
So we have the point between the eyebrows where a lot of ecstatic energy is stimulated in and out with spinal breathing and the other advanced yoga practices, the fontanel with energy going in and out mainly due to the illumination of the pituitary, and the sahasrar, above the pineal and spine, putting out a huge fountain-shaped aura. Things get pretty busy up there. Then, inside the brain, there are the dynamics between the pituitary and pineal (third eye activation) through the ventricles, down into the medulla oblongata, and connected all the way down the spinal nerve to the perineum/root. So many ecstatic energy dynamics are going on in the head. Some day, spiritual neuro-biologists will sort it all out for us. In the meantime, we have to keep going with advanced yoga practices that will purify and open our nervous system, so the neuro-biologists will have someone to dissect. Only kidding!
These are exciting times for sure. I wish you much success on your