Nonduality: The Varieties of Expression

Do you feel you have lost your way?

What knows that, is the way.




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DISSOLVED, Tarun Sardana




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Jan Barendrecht


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Nondualism can and has been approached from many sides. A side that is rarely encountered is the side from Kundalini (K.)Expanding consciousness and the rising of K. are simultaneous. It can happen that other effects require so much attention that one doesn't notice this expansion. Enhanced sensitivity, visions, precognition, empathy can be such effects.
Another reason why expanding consciousness is masked is the power of magnification that K. can give to all experiences
(including one's feelings). The mood swings caused by uric acid are familiar to everyone but not recognized; K. can amplify
these swings beyond proportion, like from ecstasy to loneliness. On the bright side, these swings are the "flavor" of many a
devotional poem.

At times, attention will be fixed on either a block or a knot; these can coincide. When the passage is cleared and the knot ispierced, the expansion of consciousness seems to have made a major leap and there will be the dawn of aloneness, colored by the mind. Transparency of mind (no color) is the prerequisite to enjoy this dawn to the full; coloring by mood swings or
interpretation is like trying to see a sunrise in a cloudy sky.

A practice of Nirvikalpa samadhi is not required; K. will reach the crown chakra by itself. When the nadis of the crown center
are felt as if they form a crown, one is near to the moment that will be the same for everyone, independent of race, caste and creed: everlasting nondual reality. This doesn't have to be the end of the journey of K.; the simile of a sunrise indicates there will be a day of resplendid light; then the sun will set forever. K. will eliminate the conditions for living and by doing so, Herself, leaving Reality "in" a human body that is no longer subjected to the laws of nature.

How one will cope with Kundalini is entirely dependent on one's perspective.

1) If one has seen death in the eyes many times and has no fear, this is a
great advantage.
2) If one has been through (hard) times during which one sincerely wished to
be exempt from all feelings, this is a great advantage too.

Kundalini can do no harm when there is no more "will to live and enjoy",
when all conditioning is gone.

Purohit Swami comments:
"I asked a great Mahatma what would awaken the Kundalinee and he said:"
Renunciation, renunciation, renunciation"".
"It is a terrifying experience when the Kundalinee is awakened. The first
day the fire was kindled in me, I thought I was dying, the whole body was,
as it were, on fire, mind was broken to pieces, the bones were being
hammered, I did not understand what was happening. [...] During that period,
I could not sit in any posture, I could not stand, I used to lie down on my
bed and repeat the name of Lord Dattatreya".

The stages of K.:

1. The beginning of burning sensations at the second center (not on the
axis, but to the right).

2. The piercing of the heart center.

3. Reaching the top of the crown center. The mystical union/moksha/nirvana.
The electrical phenomena accompanying this event are of such a kind as to
cause immediate heart failure to the faint at heart. At this stage, it
appears that self, ego etc. never existed - they were a case of mistaken
identity. OM (the "alpha" from the bible) is "experienced" (it is more than
hearing) and one +knows+ how it will "end" (6.)

4. K. descending from the crown to the heart center on the right (the
"Heart"). The beginning of spontaneously going into nirvikalpa samadhi. The
crown center becomes the "home base" of K.

5. One remains "anchored" in nirvikalpa samadhi but the consciousness of
mind, body and senses is "added"; the state is called sahaja samadhi.

6. When the consciousness of mind, body and senses are completely
transformed into pure consciousness, the same electrical event occurs as in
3. and OM is "experienced" for the last time (the "omega" from the bible).
In this state, one is pure consciousness, still linked to a body. This link
isn't compelling because without the urge to breath one can leave the body
at will without the least pain. At this stage, being pure consciousness, it
appears that K. never existed (apart from consciousness).

The sequence taken is for one spontaneously awakened without a yogic
training. For those with a yogic training, nirvikalpa samadhi is possible
before 3. and this is the reason why Buddha warns against samadhis. To enjoy
everlasting bliss, one has to "arrive" at 3.

I am not convinced K. is a "bad" experience for everyone. For me, it was a
"great" experience because from my perspective, K. isn't a goal, just an
unavoidable intermediary. Several yogis had K. awakenings, far "worse" than
mentioned on the K. list but they were bearing patiently, knowing the "goal"
and that there is no alternative for K..

Kundalini is a rather individual experience that will differ for everyone. A
path of surrender means the heart chakra is opened first and surrender
without purity isn't possible. Generally, this results in K. being a pleasant
and blissful experience.

One has to differentiate between K. and prana. What
one experiences isn't K. but the flow(s) of prana (a form of energy) and the
effects thereof. This prana doesn't come out of nowhere; it is transmuted
from emotive energy (sexual energy being the main source).

The various
centers are connected with the unconscious and the conscious mind; when
prana activates a center, the unconscious content is revealed but not
necessarily in the form of knowledge; it can be any feeling. sound or vision
too. From here, things will depend on one's preparation. As surrender
"liquefies" (for lack of a better expression) the unconscious, prana flows
like water through a straight canal. Only the knots are perceived as a
resistance and the burden of self is becoming very "heavy" relatively
shortly before the union of Shiva and Shakti.

It is possible to force K. by shaktipat (transfer of prana) and this can
sometimes mean, the candidates aren't properly prepared (the homework of
purity in thought, word and deed). So it is possible there are obstructions
to the flow of prana and invariably it will be experienced as unpleasantness
or worse. It is also valid for those, having a spontaneous K. awakening, as
often they are not prepared at all.

Those without the proper frame of mind are likely to lose control, not able
to withstand the force to express the content of the (uncleansed)
unconscious. Only those with sufficient intelligence to understand their
condition can be properly helped - provided the helper is a jivan mukta or

Kundalini is just an aspect of the Self; being enlightened before K. is
"met", one cannot stray, experiencing that the current of prana flushes out
all the "dirt" and remaining passive to side-effects like siddhis. For the
other cases, it is difficult to see all secondary effects for what they are;
often, the side-effects are taken for real, with predictable consequences.

The transmutation of emotive energy is something every human will meet in
life, without knowing; many will do so when mourning or having suffered a
loss otherwise.

In transmutation, there is no such thing as fall-back; a
repetition of the path only occurs in the next incarnation and as a rule, it
will be simpler than it was in the previous life. So it doesn't come as a
surprise that there are K. awakened people in mental institutions and that
many have terrible experiences, attributed to K.

Strictly speaking, one
could have known; for millennia knowledge about K. has been available in
many cultures. One might say present day society has the wrong priorities
with the result that a high price is paid for ignorance...

As far as my experience goes, there were never "elevator" type risings or
sensations on the spine; burning sensations in the chakras were frequent.
Piercing the knot of the heart was like a "wrestling"; after that I had
visions and premonitions of having to die and being reborn. Being in a very
good health this was puzzling; this changed when the nadis on the crown
center felt exactly like a crown, reminding of the crown of thorns as
described in the NT. From then on (after the union of Shiva and Shakti), K.
remains in the crown center but descends from there to the other heart
chakra (to the right of the axis). This results in the "forced" form of
nirvikalpa samadhi; after some time it transforms into sahaja samadhi. The
journey this far was without any knowledge of spirituality or K; when I came
to my senses again, the first book I could lay my hands on was the Patanjali
sutras and it contained one comment, describing what eventually can be
"attained next" (for lack of a better expression) - It was in agreement with
what I knew. If this leads to the conclusion of many lives as a yogi, it
isn't correct.

Self is the Seer, mind belongs to the seen and chakras, knots, K.,
emotions, body-feelings etc. are part of the mind. A part that in the course
of time can be transformed completely. Only then, it will be clear that
there never was anything else but the Self. As a final note, I could add
that because Self is without a cause, it cannot be attained by meditation as
well. Although true, it is a useless statement because of the obvious
conclusion, meditation is as useless as untying knots. What has to happen is
the removal of a veil that seems to be real as long as one is conscious of
its effects, but appears to have been unreal (non existent) as soon as it
is transformed. IMO, anything that helps with the removal of the veil is OK,
including untying knots of chakras, as long as the goal isn't forgotten.

First, understanding that one's 'real nature' is independent of all states,
including waking, dreaming and deep, dreamless sleep. Then one can come to
the understanding, that everything that arouses resistance, dislike etc., is
part of a veil called (learned) interpretation.

Instead of becoming a vessel
on the waves of emotions, one becomes aware of their arising. This isn't
possible so well in seclusion. Thus, being engaged in daily life becomes
meditation itself. The exception can be work, requiring full attention; in
that case, there is the union of worker and work being done. When the work
is done, one will experience a kind of 'aftertaste' of the bliss of that
union. Be aware, be mindful.

If one knows the pitfalls, there is nothing against enjoying bliss. However,
one should ask oneself, what is the value of bliss so conditioned, that it
can only be experienced in retreat? The ideal is the jivan mukta, the
enjoyer of perennial bliss, independent of activity.

I consider kriyas to be preparatory. If the channels are cleaned, the
mind is pure, one's motives sincere, Kundalini will rise as an almost
invisible, powerful hydrogen-flame; the heat will be immense and one only
notices the piercing of knots. Under these conditions, the 'ride with
Kundalini' is a great joy.

I would define a non-meditator as one who has done what has to be done:
cleaned the channels, attained a pure and unwavering mind, rising Kundalini.
This is the 'formula for success'; one's activities won't get in the way -
it is my experience. The very thought that filling the day with meditation
could 'improve' things is a serious impediment :) On the other hand, I once
read in a book by swami Sivananda something like : "Although Sri Aurobindo
advocates to realize amidst society, he himself remained in a locked room
for twenty years" so it is always important to know if something is based on

The big improvement comes when daily life has become practice of meditation.
The way one is experiencing and interpreting experiences depends on oneself;
thus, daily life can provide a direct feedback. What seemed to be an
obstacle first, becomes a means for progress, when understood.

A little reality check first. Suppose, you suddenly hear a child, screaming
in agony. What would happen to the bliss and what would you do? The
perennial bliss is what one is looking for. It is without beginning or end,
independent of activity.

It is impossible to describe the Self. I am
realizing now that scriptures are more than vague about 'how to get there'.
If one's progression of K. is more than average, one will find out that one
is 'thrown into non-duality'. There is no choice - it just happens.

It starts with unavoidable nirvikalpa samadhis and finally the samadhi isn't
left - slowly the world is 'added' to it, in a different version - it is no
longer experience. Although body-feelings remain, they are no more than
'clouds' that never obscure the 'Light'. So I was not referring to samadhis
and the memory of it, but to a permanent state - memory is used for
'dialectic functioning' and nothing else. It is not memory as you are used

To give an example: If I step on a sharp pin and the pin enters the
foot, I can still feel it. The next day, I can remember having the foot
pierced by a pin. But there is no memory whatsoever of pain. Another
example: If you like salsa music, you will have CD's of it. If there is a
free concert in town, you go to enjoy it. If I say "I like salsa music" I
don't have CD's and I did not go to the free concert on the beach. Yet I
"like" salsa music. Until I joined the K. list I had assumed my K.
progression was 'normal'. It became evident that it isn't - apparently there
exists a kind of turbo mode. For me, 'getting into' the state of non-dualism
has been a natural, unavoidable process. There can be a reason for this: the
mental mode "think this, do that" was absent. My 'mental mode' has always
been: Think this, do this - think that, do that.

In modern language the process one is going through with K. could be called
elimination and substitution. What is eliminated is "self", to be
substituted by "Self, God, Goddess, Void (your choice)". Everything
connected to "self" too is substituted by its "divine" equivalents. So all
selfish love will ultimately vanish, only to be replaced by divine love that
shines like the sun, shining equally for all. This means that all
selfishness connected with one's emotions will vanish as well, the emotions
themselves remaining.

This state, with emotions, but no longer effecting self, is detachment. Only
after nirvikalpa samadhi, this state can be permanent. A mark of detachment
is the impossibility to remember one's feelings, as they no longer will
leave impressions behind. Detachment is positive; one is aware of love in
various of its divine aspects. Even this state isn't lasting; ultimately one
will be drowned in this love, becoming it and therefore no longer being
aware of it. It is complete detachment and the dilemma for the Sufi; being
almost addicted to the love of God it is very difficult to give it up.

The process of "eliminate and substitute" isn't gradual; the more one
(unknowingly) "opposes", the more discontinuous is will seem. Ideally, one
is only aware of "pleasant" K. side-effects, piercing knots and the fears
arising before entering samadhis; in practice, things can be very different.