July 28, 2005 at 3:24 pm #6633
is there an equivilent in the inner alchemy/qi gong tradition to the experience of kundalini awakening as in tantric indian yoga? if so, how is this approached? i am a young (19 yrs old) former hatha yoga practitioner who went very far into the practice very quickly and found myself overwhelmed and in deep disagreement with the model it offers for the experiences i began to have – up up and away into total disassociation of consciousness. this does not seem to me to be “cultivation” so much as schizophrenia! so i have been trying to find some clues as to how the taoist tradition approaches all this, with the hope of finding a way to renew my connection with the universe without it making me go insane. 🙂
thanks and all the best,
dragonbonesJuly 28, 2005 at 6:54 pm #6634
I think the basic piece of the puzzle which the Taoist emphasize is the need to keep a strong connection with the earth. The human mediates a connection between heaven and earth.
Michael has said in one of the Chi Kung fundamentals course that the main reason he is a taoist and not a yogi, or hindu, or ….whatever, is the unique emphasis by the Taoist tradition of grounding or honoring embodiment in the physical. This concept is not emphasized and often wholly ignored or opposed by other traditions.
Kundalini awakening or symptoms of such are often viewed from the Taoist perspective as an excess of rising fiery energy going to the higher centers of the body, such as the third eye , crown, etc. The Taoist approach is to work with such rising energy by balancing in with descending energy.
By doing ChiKung and meditation with certain intention it is possible to maintain and strengthen ones connection to earth energy which can eliminate the excesses of Kundalini symptoms.
I won’t go so far as to give specific remedies for your situation as it is unique to you and not very well detailed in your post. The concept of grounding to the Earth and centering your energy in your personal center of gravity (Lower Tantien)is a good starting point. There are many practices which explore this concept.
Finally you say that you would like to have ” the hope of finding a way to renew my connection with the universe without it making me go insane”
In short I think the problem is not in making your connection with the universe, but rather to balance our your connection with the universe with a grounding in your body, your earth. Meditate on your center and connect it with the center of gravity of the planet.
CraigJuly 28, 2005 at 7:33 pm #6636
In addition to Craig’s post about grounding, another topic that provides individual coherency in the face of Vastness is the “deep-center”. Using the deep-center as the gateway method to Openness, lends power to your center such that energies are drawn into your core and then resolved into Openness / Light. That provides energetic nourishment, coherence and Openness. Its the skillful means.
Otherwise, if you just go deeply into the Big Open Places, their vibratory purity and power tends to disperse and disemble the subtle bodies. For people who never get deeply immersed in altered states, its not such a problem. But for those who have some natural subtle fluency, or are exposed to high level transmissions, its an immensely important key.
Plus what Craig said about heaven and earth.
The basic idea is to use forces larger than yourself to both nurture and transcend yourself. Welcome to Taoism.
Alchemical Taoism.comJuly 28, 2005 at 10:26 pm #6638
Beaing 20 years old, I can relate to you, dragonbones. We youngins have A LOT of energy and must be very careful to keep it balanced. Whatever these old farts are doing, its not going to give us the same results!
I suggest you check out the qi gong offered at dumai.org store, it is a very nice qi gong for balancing heaven/earth, man/woman, future/past and even life/death.
Rather than awakening the kundalini, in the tao we like to work AROUND the center, until the center naturaly opens. Concentrate on your feet a lot and massage them to bring down the energy. Hit you feet. Standing meditation–iron shirt will help a lot too. Find a good Universal Tao teacher. And rather than hatha yoga, look at Mantak Chia’s book on Tao Yin…the link section of alchemical taoism is very interesting…
Glad to see more youngins get into the tao, like myself…
Its a good age to get qi gong knowledge…lucky to have learned about he Universal Healing Tao.
Cya Later Dragon Bones! Welcome to life!July 29, 2005 at 3:13 am #6640
Here is a link to some articles that might help you to find your own answeres…
Helpfull Articles on meditationJuly 29, 2005 at 3:41 am #6642
I’d wait for Michael Winn to respond. I think he’ll have some good stuff to say.
Here’s my thoughts:
First off, grounding and the microcosmic orbit are extremely important. You don’t need great esoteric training in this.
Grounding is all about feeling the earth. Just feel it with the soles of your feet. Put your focus on your soles or on the earth below. This will bring your energy down (and bring earth energy up).
The Microcosmic Orbit is WAY IMPORTANT in the Daoism practiced by the school represented on this board. You’re already familiar with the channel that runs up your spine. Recognize that there is a channel that runs down your front (third eye, tongue on roof of your mouth, throat, heart center, diaphragm, belly, pubic bone, perineum). This channel represents the great innovation of Taoism. You don’t just run energy up your spine into your head, YOU ALSO run it down the front channel.
In other words, the idea is NOT JUST to release it from your spine and run it up BUT ALSO to CIRCULATE it down the front. This is way healthier for you.
I tell you this not from book learning but from personal experience. There are a lot of other practices — but this channel (up the spine and down the front) is primary.
This too is VERY important. Circulate as much as feels good but end with a focus and collection of energy on your belly (traditionally at the dan tien, which is a few inches below the belly button and a few inches in). You should feel the energy collecting there (warmth, butterflies, electricity, etc.). Just focus your attention there and it will happen.
Focusing on the dan tien will get the energy out of your head and alleviate feelings of pressure and spaciness that you may be having.
OK that’s one view.
My other view is about sex. if you are celibate or sexually active but not ejaculating, then I would suggest ejaculating from time to time. Though Daoism and Hindu traditions prize celibacy (in order to generate energy) you need to be able to manage all the saved energy. If you are experiencing “schizophrenic” problems, all that bottled up energy is screwing you up. That is, you’ve stored/generated a lot of energy but not effectively transformed it. This is not something to be embarrassed about. This is a common problem (indeed, it’s one that I share). And since you are young, you have a shitload of sexual energy. So you can mess yourself up pretty easily.
So here’s my advice in summation:
First, if you are hording sexual energy I would suggest ejaculating once or twice just to alleviate the pressure.
Secont, during whatever meditation practice you do, I suggest you do two things:
1. Feel the earth and “release” energy into the earth.
2. End meditation sessions buy focusing on the dan tien (a few inches below your belly button). focus there until you feel something. Spin that feeling into a ball.
Do that for a while and let us know how you feel.
I just read this over and realized that I gave you advice as if you had all this energy stuck in your head and it’s not clear from your post that you do. So, if that’s not the case, let me know and we can talk some more. In any event, the advice I gave you is good for ALL CIRCUMSTANCES and CAN NOT HURT YOU.
Good luck. Write again if you need more info.July 29, 2005 at 5:05 am #6644
I’d like to second what others have said about relating to the earth, lowering the energy, and the microcosmic orbit is real magic for modulating your energy in a healthy way.
A note on alchemy.
In daoist alchemy (as in western alchemy) the idea is not to dissolve the identity into some vast mind, or to skyrocket out of your body into transcendental bliss, but to maintain clarity of identity when making any transition into expanded states, to be able to move in and out of various different states, a whole range of states–to cultivate a broad pallette of voluntarily accesible states of consciousness–which requires a patient balancing action, sober study, persistent and determined practice.
And in daoism, there is an initial emphasis on purifying your system, on getting grounded, on just plain getting healthy.
If by any chance you have been experimenting with using cannabis or stronger psychadelics (as I did when I was younger), and I don’t want to peg you unfairly or offend you, but I just want to say that they can result in an obscured view of what it’s like to experiement with altered states using meditation without drugs, making them (‘spiritual experiences’) seem like mind blowing ‘big events’ that sweep over you uncontrollably. Actually I find modern culture has partly taken up this view in general, vaguely. This is unlike what is aimed at in daoism, or even in most well thought-out and correctly taught traditional meditation systems, which are actually more about introducing the more unstructered, deeper levels of psyche/reality to the (well thought-out and wholesome) structuredness of the conscious mind. In other words they are NOT about cultivating states of ‘disassociation’.
SimonJuly 29, 2005 at 12:13 pm #6646
Hi there Max.
One Caveat for our new friend Dragonbones.
While there may be some useful information at the site of the self styled “Meditation Expert” it should be pointed out in all fairness that this information has little to no connection with Taoism.
If you are new to this Forum you will not be aware that there is an ongoing effort by a couple of participants to convince others about the invalidity of Taoist practices.
I cannot claim to have no bias. I only wish Max would cop to his bias when making such a posting as this, especially in light of the fact that the initial inquiry was in regards to the Taoist approach to the issue he raised.
With Respect and in the hopes of fairness and openness in this forum.
CraigJuly 29, 2005 at 2:41 pm #6648
thanks to all for aiding me in this inquiry.
i will add a bit more detail about my situation and what i am looking for. its a long story, so i’ll try to stick to a few important points.
-i’d practiced yoga asanas and such for a couple years, but last fall i became very serious for a number of reasons (essentially i was trying to return to a celestial homeland i remembered in my very early years). i intensely practiced. for six months i intensely practiced yoga asanas, pranyamas, and kryias, whilst cutting myself off from social contacts, engaging in regular meditations/contemplations, studying religious texts, and following brahmacharya (celibacy). the more energy i retained, it seemed, the greater perception i had of this “place” i sought to return to. also, more and more life seemed to be a passing phantom, truly a dream. and so, compelled by such observations, i looked into buddhism, particularly dzogchen and their dream practices. i felt i was ready to return to this wellspring of all realities, whence and whither it all flows.
surely enough, in feburary of this year, it all came bursting upon me. i was shortly scared to death. first, explosions at the base of my spine, shaking and shuddering in the pelvis, like an invisible churning animal was waking up from its slumber. i saw flashes of white-blue light, my whole body electrified. i would walk into a room at the light burns out. i became sensitive to things i can’t imagine… a sense of incredible power, unbelievable, alien. there are huge pulsations at my root and in my testicles… spasms throughout my body… a feeling like cool tingling water as been pouring down over my brain. if i practiced any pranyamas and/or bandhas (yogic energy locks), this force would literally shake me off the floor. i felt like it was ripping through me. everyday was like a psychedelic experience, my sense of self flitting in and out, all around… my senses being disconnected, disjointed… i felt i was at the cusp of real annihilation. no sleep at night, loud sounds, strange beings in the room. huge amount of energy in the legs and root of torso. also, regular “tingling” in my testicles. no peace. terrified. unbelievable fear and sense of dread. sense that i’d ruined my whole life.
i quickly realized that i was not well-integrated in my intent, and still had a lot of “worldly” business and experiences left to pursue. i also understood that the idea of annihilation as the highest purpose of existence is wrong – it doesn’t take into account why it all happened in the first place.
one of the first things i did was, reluctantly, ejaculate. i have since stopped any kind of retention or celibacy. i also got myself back involved in the world, friends, relations… cooking for people, playing music, gardening. slowly i learned how to avoid the manifestation of this force by way of my intent. if i do not focus on airy “spiritual” matters, and made sure i had no hidden motivations for this kind of power to come to me, it seems to leave me alone.
-since then, the manifestations have been mostly less extreme, with a few exceptions. those are incidents of tingling at the crown of my head and fading out of space and time. this has been extremely disassociative when i have allowed it to happen, taking weeks to recover from.
-somehow, however, in all this – i seem to have overcome (at least reacting to) the basic fear. as much as i dread the states that could shred me to bits, i don’t fear them like i first did. for i realize some deeper is always there.
-i feel myself experiencing something of a yo-yo effect, in that each time i am rocketed up “into the clouds”, i must crash back down to earth. this creats a great disturbance in me, and a feeling of deep disconnection and disassociation. i want to find a way to be here on earth without repressing awareness of what is beyond, yet without flying off into it at the expense of my earthly existence and heart.
-i call the yoga system schizophrenic because i believe that it seeks separation of qualities that must coexist – i.e. the goal of samkhya philosopy – to totally disassociate purusha from prakriti. of course i am talking more about the yoga of pantanjali, but i think tantric hatha tradition of kundalini seeks the same thing just with the body and its energies more explicitly embraced as a tool.
i am attracted to what i have know of the taoist approach as it seems to possibly have as its aim not a disassociation of primal qualities, but rather an integration of them. in other words, not the severance of heaven and earth, but the unification of them. i am also attracted to this tradition because, as has been pointed out in this discussion, in contrast to yoga, it actually offers a means to bring the energy back down. it seems much more balanced.
-i have read a little about movement of qi, etc. and the microcosmic orbit… but i have never read about qi shaking people uncontrollably, for example, or expericing utterly altered consciousness. when i experienced the kundalini phenomena, it seemed to me something different from “prana”… although accompanied by its manifestations. in my limited knowledge of the taoist inner arts, i might say it seemed more like a movement of/between jing and shen. i have felt energy move through my body and have can sometimes circulate it crudely… but this new force i have experienced seems to be something almost uncontrollable if called upon. even if i am able to bring it back down, calling it “up” can create a very unstable situation.
– hence i am reluctant to “try” anything without a close relationship with an appropriate teacher (which i have not found yet). it seems a lot of practitioners (whether of yoga or qi gong) talk of techniques for things that are very serious when there is power and sensitivity behind them, but since they do not have such sensitivity themselves, they have no idea what they actually are about. i have seen this all the time in yoga culture. what i experienced this past year was kind of the shift between these two sides… when the techniques actually start to *work*. i once compared it to the experience of peddling around on a bicycle and suddenly finding yourself in a racecar. every move you make has much greater reprocussions!
thank you again, and i hope these words of mine contribute constructively to our exchange.
-dragonbonesJuly 29, 2005 at 5:53 pm #6650
…e-mail Bill Bodri over at meditationexpert.com and tell him you are a friend of mine and copy and paste what you posted here in the body of the e-mail.
-PlatoJuly 29, 2005 at 7:22 pm #6652
Yeah. And if you get an answer I’d be interested to get it posted here. Would be cool…July 29, 2005 at 11:32 pm #6654
Sounds like you have been experiencing the Kundalini. The HT system teaches ways to prepare for it and as gradual a progression. The ancient Taoist, through generations, learned ways to integtate the divine nature in usually safer ways than the practices you learned. Yet, no matter what, when one faces this, it is unriviting and can bring on intense fear as well as a direct understanding of the immense power. Like you seem to have realised, overcoming fear is essential. Fear is the basis of our ego.
Yes this is different from prana or chi which can be directed. Yet, in time one can learn to surrender to this force as well as interact with it in a harmonious beautiful blissful way with out disassociation.
The advice to connect with earth sounds good to me, however, you may also find helpful information and support at:
Best to you,
MattJuly 30, 2005 at 12:14 am #6656
Dragonbones is searching in “hope of finding a way to renew [his] connection with the universe without it making [him] go insane.”
The link is my recomendation that in my personal opinion will help him to find the answer.
You wrote: ‘With Respect and in the hopes of fairness and openness in this forum.’ If you hope of ‘fairness and openness’ on this forum, why are you raising this post then? Let the gentleman to decide for himself what is considered to be a Taoist path.
I believe this fare enough…July 30, 2005 at 3:24 am #6658
I dont know about brodi. But I do know that learning a lot of chi kung movements is good and will fix the chi with internal alchemy. Also you might want to check out the Dance Of Shiva dvd, search it on amazon..
I got started like you in much the same way with kundalini psychosis at a young age…been there done that…gotta learn tai chi chi kung bagua and all, it takes time…trust the 1July 30, 2005 at 1:19 pm #6660
I have been watching the posts and awesome information has been exchanged. I do however agree that if ones preference is towards or against a specific practice it might be best to inform the other person just so they know all is above board and then they can make a decision for themselves.
I have checked out the kundalini sight as posted earlier. It does have some useful information but is also, in my opinion from my short excursion with them, quite cultish. However for some that is the way for their time. They are also quite involved in $$.
When I first started I flew higher than a kite for over a year and I had a taiji/taoist/qigong “master”. He did try to ground me with hourly conversations but it did not do much good. Well, now as I think back on them they do now but not then. I believe that grounding to the earth, having the energy flow thru the earth, grounding the feet to the earth helps so much it cannot even be stressed enough. I was never taught the grounding at all. However Dr. Jerry A. Johnson has some good techniques that he uses in his medical qigong practise for cleansing, for grounding that are awesome. They use these techniques before the healing practices and are very effective. They are tried and true exercises. No hocus pocus, no magik!. Just effective. He is on the web. His exercises are listed in his huge medical qigong book, however I do believe those exercises would be accessible online.
I guess too that one must remember that dao is universal, it does include yoga, it does include weightlifting, it does include calisthenics and it is up to each of us to king of drift within those. But still some things are just known to work and should be used.
You must be logged in to reply to this topic.