One of the things you’ll run into is variations in chakra count. Some will suggest 5 or 9 or 14 or even 22. They may include the feet or other centers in the head, for example. This is because there are both major and minor centers, plus different ways of looking. Same reason the meridians are described a little differently than the nadis. It simply depends on how you’re looking and what you’re counting.
I describe 7 for several reasons. Primarily because this is the way creation becomes and using the principle as above, so below, it’s clear that this fits here. Also, unlike other chakras, the 7 are pre-created and are the ones met by the ida and pingala.
Towards the end, I describe why 7 in more detail. I also talk about how the 7 can be seen as 12 when divinity descends.
The biggest issue is the idea that the kundalini energy needs to be pushed. From what I’ve seen, that’s a bad idea as you can cook your nervous system.
Secondly, it is through spirit that we awaken, not through energy manipulation. It is perfectly possible to awaken before the kundalini is completely clear.
The better approach is to work on infusing transcendence and clearing our resistance. The kundalini will rise naturally when sufficient purification and refinement has taken place. I’ll review that shortly.
I appreciate that there are whole systems devoted to awakening the kundalini energy. But there’s big difference between techniques to clear and techniques to push. Kundalini may bring some flashy experiences, but that stuff can be a trap. In the original teaching I studied, these subjects were barely mentioned.
Some suggest the 7 states of consciousness correspond to the awakening 7 chakras, but this is not true. Self realization, the 5th state, already involves transcending the 7th chakra. The higher states are more the decent of divinity. More on this shortly.
Some suggest mind or ego or some other function is associated with a specific chakra. These are effects of a blend of energy, not a specific chakra. See above.
Some people describe the assent of the kundalini energy as a symptom of awakening. Really it is simply a symptom of awakening kundalini, rising prana in clearing channels. For some people, the clearing will be gentle. For others there may be some big flash. That just means it cleared more suddenly. Many people will experience only minor energy events. Twitches, warming, and so forth.
Also, the chakras often don’t “flower” sequentially from the bottom. I know people that were more or less backwards. It depends on where you may have been storing your resistance and where you give your attention. Some are clear above and blocked below, some the other way around. I discuss some symptoms or a little of how to tell in Part 4.
Some people may experience the energy “uncoiling” and rising the spine. Or simply a great deal of ‘fire’ in one area. But this is more about clearing. When the way is clear, it will flow smoothly.
It’s also important to understand that this is not just about clearing the main line. This is also about clearing the other thousands of energy channels. As with all growth and development, it’s not a tidy linear thing.
Some will suggest to you that you must conserve your kundalini energy because it’s limited in some way. Have sex, and it won’t rise to divinity. As I outlined prior, Hogwash. For one, kundalini is almost unlimited when its clear. For another, it will flow easily from one to another use, especially if the channels are fairly clear.
The issue with sex or food or anything else is quality over quantity. You want to consume with quality and you want to avoid over or under stimulating yourself too much. Moderation in all things.
Posture is another one. Good posture is healthy for the physiology. But it has nothing to do with subtle energy. Remember, the main line is straight whatever position you’re in. Comfort, not strain is the way to peace.
Some describe the energy flow as being blocked. This is rarely the case. The flow is simply restricted. Like blood flow in clogged arteries. Has to slow down or go around. Creates friction. Not flowing smoothly and freely through us.
Some suggest the intersections of the ida and pingala created the chakras, similar to the way the others are by the meetings of nadis. And there is a way to see it like this, but the higher view shows the 7 coming in first and the ida and pingala twining because of them. I talk about why in Part 5.
I talk a lot about resistance on this blog. How we hold or push against our experiences. These holdings are stored “physically” in our energy system. Some describe them as literal knots in the nadis. We can even experience them like this, as lump-like knots in places like the shoulders. Those muscles are pulling tight from energy stimulation.
In Sanskrit, the word for such knots is Granthi. However, this is often used to refer to primary knots in the main sushumna, even to 3 primary places they’re found. As this varies by person and there are many secondary channels to clear also, this approach is an overemphasis on certain experiences. I’ve also found that major blockages are often between chakras, not in the vortexes themselves. No hard and fast rules here. But you may become aware of a constriction, a crust, or some general muckiness to be cleared.
These knots can be formed for any number of reasons:
– physical injury
– emotional traumas
– psychological resistance
– any kind of incomplete healing
– drugs can plug things up
– poor diet
– pretty much anything excessive
– pretty much any kind of avoidance
– resistant beliefs
– the ego and identity structures
– karmic carry-overs, known as samskaras or past impressions.
In other words, much of our baggage, history and personhood is stored in our energy body. For most people, the bulk is held in the lower bodies but there are bits scattered all over. Some quite physical, some more subtle, like the identity.
One of the reasons people recommend meditation is because it offers the experience of transcendence. Another reason, and why I recommend effortless meditation, is that it brings a deep rest to the physiology, allowing it to relax, to let go of the holding. This allows the nadis to unblock and the energy to flow freely again.
At one point, I thought of karma and stress as synonymous. However karma simply means action. Stress is resistance, its opposite. However, the aspect of stress that causes us to repeat poor habitual behaviors is the mechanism that keeps us on what is known as the “wheel of karma”, the rotating cycle of repeating unresolved, resisted experiences.
We will have clearing taking place through any sort of healing process. Much of it will be like tiny shifts. But sometimes, we may feel tingling, heating or cooling of a specific area, muscle twitches and jerks, sudden brief intense emotions, and so forth. If a large blockage clears, we can sometimes feel discomfort while the cruddy energy moves out. That’s a good time to lie down for a few minutes to let any off feelings pass.
If you experience a sudden chakra opening, they can be quite powerful. Yogananda’s Autobiography of a Yogi talks about the awakening 2nd. The heart being the seat of the soul and pure love, can also be very profound. I’ll explore this more a little further on. Just be reminded that flash is not necessary and is not the important part. Flash just means contrast. Most flash arises because of a sudden change rather than a more gradual, smooth opening. That’s all.
After we do some serious clearing, there can be a sense of a lightened load, greater inner light, relief, more energy, and sometimes a sense of peace or happiness.
Next, let’s explore some practical understanding.