According to yogic writings and oral tradition, the force of Kundalini is raised through specific meditative exercises.
Kundalini-experiences are understood using the structure of the Hindu chakra system, the psycho-spiritual energy centers along the spine. According to Hindu tradition the Kundalini rises from the root chakra up through the spinal channel, called sushumna, and it is believed to activate each chakra it goes through. Each chakra is said to contain special characteristics. The chakras are any of the nerve plexes or centers of force and consciousness located within the inner bodies of man. When the Kundalini Shakti unites itself with the Supreme Being (Lord Shiva), the aspirant gets engrossed in deep meditation during which he perceives infinite bliss. In raising Kundalini, spiritual powers (siddhis) are also believed to arise, however most spiritual traditions see these phenomena as obstacles on the path, and encourage their students not to be distracted by them.
Spiritual literature also describes instances where Kundalini is said to be activated by a practice called shaktipat. Shaktipat is a form of direct transmission of spiritual energy from a yogi to a student. The most common form is as simple as a touch to the third-eye area by the yogi, at this point wisdom, prana, or both are transferred directly to the student.
Contemporary spiritual literature (and the field of Transpersonal Psychology) recommends only to engage in these practices when guided by an accredited teacher, or with thorough psychological preparation and education in yoga or all of these. Any form of intense contemplative or spiritual practice without appropriate support is considered risky and in some cases even dangerous. Traditional teachers of kundalini meditation also warn neophytes of the potential dangers of experimenting with kundalini Yoga techniques. Without the proper checks and balances of a whole system of practice, (some claim) simply raising energy is as foolish as it would be to raise electrical energy without any method of release or grounding. A growing body of clinical and psychological literature notes the growing occurrence of meditation-related problems in Western contemplative life.. Among these we find the "Kundalini Syndrome" (see below) and different forms of "wind illness" described in the Tibetan tradition.
Kundalini | Sources |Western interpretation | Kundalini Yoga | development | physiology
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