Selfrealization and enlightenment is love-bliss

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Questions about practice



: It's interesting... I feel like Shakti is who I am and John is just a very interesting part of the scenery:-) John is still here but usually I recognize it or him as just a phenomenon that is often noticed within me.

Jan: Yes, the Shakti is the Self. Stu is just a phenomena with which you have habitually identified yourself. Now you are on the path to Self-realization. The state you have entered is called "turiya" (the fourth state) or "witnessing". It is an intermediary state where freedom from identification has become somewhat established, but where one is not yet One with Self (unmanifest).

Q: If a person has reached a point where there cannot be any identification with non-Self, but there is still some kind of "I-ness" remaining, what would the best kind of practice be to go forward from there?

Jan: Totally letting go, which is surrendering. Surrender to Shakti or surrender to Freedom. As your shakti becomes more active and grabs you completely, this will become a selfevident practice for you. For now trust Shakti will take you there and awaken shakti more and more and merge with shakti again and again. Then bliss will arise and this bliss will be realized as Oneness of Self and Shakti. This bliss is not an emotion or a feeling, it is Absolute Pure Being. But to return to the first sentence: Observe the subtle I-ness for a while, then observe the observation. Notice this is pure awareness without a source. Don't look for an observer at this point, for there is none. Just BE. It will dawn on you that this is freedom.

Q: Was wondering if the crown should be open/radiating Shakti all the time, or just as the next step after you've brought Shakti into the brain?

Jan: Do what works. The important thing is to merge into pure being prior to identification (I AM-ness). You will learn with time and practice and experience. But with time your crown will be radiating 24 hours a day.

Q: Is there such a thing as willing the Shakti in and around the body to vibrate to a higher frequency, thereby causing an even more pleasent feeling? I think I was able to do this a couple of times.

Jan: Sure! But I suggest you surrender to Shakti, rather than manipulate it. Energyphenomena such as you describe are symptoms, not the goal. But if such a practice intensifies shakti and makes surrendering easier, then do it by all means.

Q: When moving energy upwards, should you be moving energy up all three channels, or just the central channel?

Jan: Just the central chanel. Inside the spine. Nevel pull kundalini up ida or pingala (side channels).

Q: I was wondering about the potential for kundalini going up the wrong channel beside the spine (ida and iingala).

Jan: It is there, but it is very, very unlikely to happen. I have never come across an instance of this. Gopi Krishna experienced this and went through hell. He solved it by doing a practice somewhat similar to the Shakti Pranayama mentioned under "How to meditate". Kundalini can send her prana into ida or pingala to a large degree, causing much heat or shivering, but it is usually no problem and balances itself with a little time. In such a situation, the worst thing one can do is panic and begin to fight the shakti, because that will create a block and prolong the situation. The best is to lead shakti into the spine.

Q: I am still unclear on the definitions of Kundalini and Shakti. Is Kundalini concentrated Shakti, or is it something different? I have imagined it as an evolutionary energy, like the energy of "pure potential".

Jan: Shakti is the creative aspect of the unmanifest Self. Shiva is the beingness aspect. The two are One. You as a person are a manifestation of Shakti out of your Self. Since you identify with the manifestation, you are not Self-realized but consider yourself to be the limited, manifest individual. As Shakti manifests this individual, she becomes "contracted" and this contraction is called kundalini. Kundalinishakti is the Shakti of the Self covered in layers of individuated thoughts and feelings (etc.). In fact these thoughts and feelings are produced, upheld and destroyed by kundalinishakti and so is the identification with them. Thus kundalini is the giver of ignorance as well as the giver of enlightenment. You could say kundalini is the primal individuation out of the oneness of Shiva and Shakti, which produces the ignorant state of I AM-ness upon which all other ignorance rests. Awakening kundalinishakti to long back to the union of Shiva/Shakti starts a process towards enlightenment that will go on and on by itself. Once kundalini dissolves back into pure being, Self-realization dawns and will never be lost. Then your life will be an expression of pure Shakti and no longer an expression of a limited flow of energy from kundalini.

Q: What kind of yoga or prana work do you think is best for preparing for kundalini?

Jan: Experiment with the Shakti-Pranayama for awakaning and arousing kundalini. Be comfortable with it and gradually extend the period you can do it without getting tense or losing your breath. If you can do 30 minutes right away, that is fine. It will take a few days and some experiemntation to get a habit of the right breathing rythm that suits you so you can do it uninterrupted for half an hour. After this do the Basic Meditation (consisting of three methods: body breathing, kundalini arousal and merging). I suggest 30 minutes pranayama and 30 minutes basic meditation. So one session is one hour. Two sessions a day.

Q: If during meditation your awareness and Shakti is pulled up into and above the crown chakra / energy radiating upwards, so that you percieve yourself as blissless Self above the body, and everything below as not Self... Is it better practice to remain like this, or better to instead merge with the bliss that is below-in the body ( to transcend it into paramananda )?

Jan: Up-down, above the body, inside the body... the Self knows no such distinctions. The sense of Self above the body could just be identification with the causal body, or it could be that your mental/astral bodies have simply left your physical body and you have a sense of an out of the body experience and relief, but no bliss. It is indeed better to merge with the bliss-shakti in and around the body. Also raise the shakti up the spine. And merge into the witness as often as possible.

Q: I have spent decades working on awakening. It intrigues me more than anything. I am aware that working with the mind or egoic thinking will not result in any truth, but it feels like such a good tool...

Jan: The mind is not a good tool for awakening. It is part of the problem. Having a strong mind myself I know the lure of models and systems. Use your mind to reject everything except awareness watching awareness and also except Shakti. If you awaken Shakti, things will progress more rapidly and the realization you reach will be blissfull, not just empty awareness. Whatever the mind can hold on to, reject that. What ever watches the mind, acknowledge that and practice merging identification into that. By and by you will be able to let go of identification alltogether and simply BE. When you get frustrated by the above practice, whatch your breath and let go.

Q: I love doing the meditations on your web site, and I feel you created a wonderful gradient by starting with becoming aware of the body. When I do the alternating meditations of body breathing and spine breathing the expansion and bliss become wonderful and the merge lasts for quite a while... but then it fades away and ego is back... I am wondering if this is because I begin to think about what is felt and the thinking maybe makes its own copy or version of this and from then on it takes over and I am only experiencing mind's usurped pseudo version of this love-bliss-expansion-floating... beingness?

Jan: As long as there is identification, there will be ego taking over again and again. You are not experiencing a pseudo-version of Shakti, but it is filtered through the body-mind complex and when ego takes over, one is left with the impressions and residual memory in the body-mind complex. But that is also good, because it will keep the Shakti working in the system.

Q: The first few days after receiving shaktipat from you, especially in the morning meditations, I had strong experiences of bliss, light, energy and distinct sensations of spontaneous risings of energy. The experiences of bliss I had were very powerful and in stark contrast to my regular personality, which is often timid and feels motivated by a sense of lack. Suddenly I realized how radically different my life would be if it was filled with this delight. Then I would not need to seek satisfaction from the outer world. Then I would no longer do this or that to get a bit of happiness. And this scared me, for who would then take care of things in the regular worldly life? Perhaps I would just live in a serene and blissful state and feel a strong urge to help others to reach the same state. I would become "saved" and "holy" in a negative sense. That scared me and limited the experiences somewhat.

Jan: Your concerns are understandable, but actually quite groundles. The bliss is of the Self, not of the world, so the joys and sorrows of the world will continue as before and will want to be handled as before. Of course ones perspective changes, but the world remains as it is and it challenges you and wants to be managed and taken care of. When you succeed in dealing with worldly matters, you feel happiness as before, when you fail, you feel disappointed as before. But behind that there is this bliss and at a certain point, as it develops, you become a witness to it all. Witness does not mean you do not care, it means you are detached, free. If you lived a life as a monk before the bliss, you will continue as a monk. If you lived a worldly life before, then you will continue living a worldly life. You don't suddenly exchange your personality with some radically different one. So you don't suddenly become "saved and holy". There are some who fall into this sillyness, of course, but it is generally those who do not have an awakened Shakti to guide them from within. If you feel into the Shakti, you are experiencing, at a time when you are in bliss, then you will discover it is incredibly humble and that the state of consciousness connected with it is very, very humble. At a point during the unfoldment of Shakti in you and as you, the Shakti might want to be shared, but it is not something you choose. If you try to be master over the Shakti and decide to play guru and give shaktipat on your own, then the Shakti will soon put you in situations where you will be humbled. Either the Shakti will retract from you, or you will find yourself in situations where you will have to face the fact, that you have merely constructed an ego-game around a divine gift within; an example of such could be that you give Shakti to someone, and they actually get all your Shakti and you are drained afterwards and experience neither bliss nor Shakti for many weeks afterwards, while those you gave it to, will have a high period for weeks that eventually fades away. Such experiences serve to show one that the ego is not the master of Shakti. This makes one humble and inspires one to surrender to the higher consciousness that is inseperable from the Shakti unfolding within. With this surrender it becomes all the more natural to have a deep and intense inner spirituality along with a completely mundane worldly life. Egotrips arise because of sudden intense experiences, but when higher states become stable, humility and simple living become natural.

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