Advanced Yoga Practices
Lesson 54 - Kundalini - A Code Word for Sex
Date: Mon Dec 22, 2003 2:02pm
“Kundalini” has become a buzzword in many of the innumerable spiritual communities that span the globe these days. It has within it all the elements that attract people – knowledge, power, mystery, intimacy, excitement, alchemy, romance, adventure, danger, ecstasy, and more. But what is kundalini, really?
Put simply, kundalini is our connection between sex and spiritual transformation. There are a thousand ways to describe this, but in the end it boils down to the expansion of our sexual function into the spiritual arena, i.e., upward through our nervous system. Some say it is a “transformation” of sexual function, but that implies we are leaving our current sex life behind. “Expansion” of sexual function is a better description. As we consciously encourage the spiritual dimension of sex, maybe we will leave worldly sex behind, and maybe we won’t. It is not for anyone to decide but us. It is our choice. Leaving sex behind is not a prerequisite for entering into advanced spiritual experience, not in these lessons, and not in life.
For thousands of years, the spiritual traditions of the world have tried to keep a lid on sex, usually to the detriment of their adherents, and sometimes with disastrous results. Why? Because sex is the greatest force in humanity. If it is not coaxed in a productive direction, it can be destructive. Lacking reliable means to enable sex for spiritual transformation, the tendency of spiritual traditions has been to try and squelch it. It is a fruitless endeavor, this attempt to squelch. The genie always finds her way out of the bottle. It is not possible to keep her in there for long. When she is not coming out to make babies, she is expressing in every other way through humanity – nurturing of the family, money gathering, the arts, philosophy, science, politics, empire building, charity, war, abuse, crime. You name it. Much of it is good. Some of it is horrible. For better or worse, it is all the expression of the life force in human beings, the expression of human prana. The great storehouse of prana in human beings is in the sexual anatomy. The key to spiritually managing sex is not in squelching it, but in giving it a natural channel to go in that will satisfy its evolutionary instincts. This takes some conscious doing. We need some more levers in the form of advanced yoga practices to facilitate the expansion of sex in a new and natural direction.
So far, we have skirted the issue of sex in these lessons. We have mentioned the “huge storehouse of prana” near the base of the spine. We have talked about prana being “drawn up from the pelvic region” during pranayama. We have described the beginnings of ecstatic experience as prana moves through the spinal nerve and spreads out through us. And we have talked about pure bliss consciousness brought up in meditation illuminating us with pure joy from the inside through our pranayama-cultivated nervous system. In all this we have skirted the word “sex.” We could continue to skirt it as we move into advanced yoga practices that directly stimulate our sexual function upward into greater manifestation in the process of spiritual transformation. But of what benefit would this continued skirting of the issue be? Certainly not to your benefit.
We live in a highly scientific age. Above all, we want to know the truth of things, so we can apply it to better our lives, and the lives of others.
Jesus said, “You will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.”
Don’t we know it? Look what science (the systematic application of truth) has done for us in just about every field of human endeavor. It is spectacular what humanity has done with truth so far. We have lagged miserably in only one area – the systematic application of the spiritual truth inherent in our nervous system. Success in applying spiritual truth immediately addresses the ethical and moral problems of the world, and the widespread feelings of emptiness and insecurity that affect so many of us, even as we live in material comfort. The stakes are high, and we can’t afford to skirt anything that has to do with applying spiritual knowledge in reliable ways.
So, will we be talking about sexual energy in relation to spiritual development? You bet. A lot is riding on it. We will do so in a dignified way. Consider it to be an extension of your original education about the birds and the bees. Now it will be about the birds, the bees, and the angels. Along those lines. As we get into it, there will be some amazing surprises. It is like entering a second puberty.
There is much more to be said about kundalini and the expansion of sexual functioning — about the inner dynamics of it. We will get into that as we review direct experiences. For now, let’s focus on letting that genie out of her bottle in a direction she naturally loves to go in, up into our pranayama-cultivated nervous system. It is her home, her temple. There is so much for her to do there, and we will give her lots of help. Besides wanting to give us a good housecleaning, she is looking for her lover there, and we will bring her groom to her. We’d better. She will raise all kinds of hell if we don’t. We will talk about that too.
We are speaking in simple metaphors here about a process that is embedded in our nervous systems, an evolutionary process that is completely natural. As we do a few specific things in our daily practice, nature will take over. The metaphorical language of kundalini is about nothing other than the inner dynamics of your own nervous system. So it is with the metaphorical language of every spiritual tradition. It is always about the human nervous system. The nervous system is the common link, the one thing that transcends all differences, the one thing that gives everyone equal access to the divine, regardless of race, religion, culture, upbringing, or station in life.
Everyone can sense the truth inside, how special each of us is. We are always on the edge of knowing who and what we are. It is so close, a part of us, but seemingly just out of reach. No more. If you really want to you can know the truth and be set free, just like Jesus said. The essential ingredient in this is your desire. You can open your gateway to the infinite if you choose to.
The guru is in you.
Note: For detailed discussion on the role of ecstatic kundalini in the enlightenment process, see the AYP Asanas, Mudras and Bandhas book. For sexual techniques for awakening kundalini, see the AYP Tantra book. Also see, AYP Plus.