brain_edited.jpg

Kuṇḍalinī: Navigating the Lived Experience
A three day course of talks and practices

Dates and venue to be confirmed 

Day 1

Talk

A talk on how the experience of Kuṇḍalinī is framed across cultures.  We will look at the experiences people have had as a result of spontaneous Kuṇḍalinī arousals and how these experiences are received in western culture including religion and psychiatry.   We will outline some theories of the neurobiology of this phenomenon. We will also look at the subtle body according to the Indian traditions in yoga and meditation.

Practice

Gentle Yoga postures and light pranayama to relax and stretch the body to prepare for comfortable seated meditation.

A grounding meditation where we will scan the body and focus on awareness of the bones. This is a Buddhist practice that will bring about presence and mindfulness of the body.  We will also apply loving kindness to the body and the mind as a means to soften any agitation and cultivate self-compassion. These two practices are excellent starting points for a strong foundation in grounded compassion.

We will use visualisation techniques of the breath through the subtle channels for concentration, balance and purification.

 

Day 2

Talk

On day two we will discuss the evolution of Kuṇḍalinī in Ancient Indian traditions and the make-up of the psyche according to Samkhya and Tantric Philosophy.  We will explore the effects that a Kuṇḍalinī rising can have on the psyche and how this is framed in Indian ancient traditions with the support of yogic and tantric texts.  We will explore the importance of ritual and symbology framed by tantric traditions.  We will also unpack the meaning of the sun and moon in the subtle body mechanisms of Kuṇḍalinī in the body. These ideologies will be compared to the lived experiences of people who have been through spontaneous arousals or have triggered a kundalini experience through meditative practice.

Practice  

Gentle Yoga postures and light pranayama to relax and stretch the body to prepare for a comfortable seated meditation of traditional tantric Laya Yoga.  We will first examine the structure, feeling and essence of solids (earth), water, air, and fire.  We will apply our sensory experience of these elements to examine them in our bodies. As prescribed in tantric literature, we will dissolve each element into the tattwas (components that make up the self) until we arrive at unified open awareness. There will be elements of simple rituals to prepare for this practice.

Day 3

Talk

This talk will unpack how Kuṇḍalinī Energy is used within the Buddhist path for liberation.  We will explore the path laid out by the Buddha and how Kuṇḍalinī energy is used in Samadhi or Jhana type practices.  We will explore the 16 stages of insight and how the experiences of advanced meditators map on to the experience of a Kuṇḍalinī rising.  We will discuss how the Buddhists navigate some of the more challenging aspects which can arise as a result of this awakening.

Practice

Gentle Yoga postures and light pranayama to relax and stretch the body to prepare for comfortable seated meditation.

We will then practice loving-kindness meditation to lighten applying the mind followed by mindfulness of the breath.

We will use techniques for withdrawal of the senses before we practice concentration on the breath.  We will then start to concentrate our minds on the breath to cultivate access concentration (a preparatory state before jhana, Buddhist samadhi).  We will end with an investigation of the phenomena arising as passing through the body.

 

All the practices are drawn from a rich range of text relevant to the traditions discussed in the talk before the practice.  There will also be a handout of the ancient texts used as well as notes from the talk.