12/13/2011

Kundalini Rising



I Love. Several years ago, I took up the challenge of defining my life’s purpose with a mission statement. My personal mantra since then has been “Embody Love”. As part of the challenge of living my way into that beautiful dream, I have been practicing yoga, meditation, tai chi, qigong, reiki, and feng shui.

The common thread throughout has been my desire to become a clearer channel for Universal Love, for the life energy we call chi (or ki or qi) that flows through us and around us on levels we are seldom aware of during our daily lives. My ultimate intention is to live in full awareness of my connection to and embodiment of Creator/Source/Spirit/God/Goddess.

About three months ago, I reached some sort of spiritual/bio-energetic
critical mass with these practices. I experienced something infinitely, intimately powerful that I am now coming to identify as a physical/emotional/mental/spiritual experience of kundalini energy rising within me.

Normally, this energetic potential hibernates at the base of the spine. There are those who meditate for years, preparing themselves and praying for this experience. Ironically, I had never made the connection that any of the energy practices I was engaged in would interact synergistically,even exponentially with one another.

The explosion of energy knocked me into next Tuesday. I felt like large, electrically charged snakes were crawling up my spine,buzzing with potential. My first thought was that I had simply gone insane.

When I could gather myself a bit, I began the ongoing quest to figure out what was going on that would affect body mind soul and spirit so radically and with such a bizarre, shifting galaxy of physical symptoms. This was mostly an internet
search at first, since I was afraid that almost anyone I talked to would be frightened for me and/or of me. Trusting this information to anyone else was really hard and embarassing.

Kundalini by most accounts is not at all subtle when it rises. It give you two options, really: say “yes” to the experience and hang on for dear life as everthing you "know" and rely on is thrown into chaos, or get metaphysically “bucked off” in ways that range from terribly confusing to devastating.

Some people who have experienced kundalini rising have gone on to become mystics, enlightened beings, saints, priests, healers, psychics, artists, writers, gurus and spiritual guides. To even picture myself in that kind of company is incredibly humbling.

Other people who have the process go sideways on them have become predators, charlatans, sociopaths, addicts, wannabe medicine people, schizophrenics, or just deeply and permanently detached from their moorings. To even picture myself in that kind of company is frankly terrifying.

My sense of humor has been a saving grace, and as long as I can hang onto it I know I will be alright. I laughed out loud when I realized that my past few posts have dealt with metamorphosis. I have been so fascinated with cicadas and snakes and butterflies all my life, especially recently, that I suspect my innermost knowing saw this coming long ago. There is also a fun element to serendipity/synchronicity now that I am grateful to have be more a part of my life now, even when it is hard sometimes to to let others in on why I am finding something so funny.

As I am getting a better grip on this “butterfly reality”, there is still a free-floating cloud of old bits of caterpillar thinking and behavior that no longer apply to be cleared out of my energy fields. Whole concepts no longer make sense to me, like fault and guilt and blame. The integration/cleansing process happens in fits and starts. By most accounts it will be months to years before things settle down, and then there is also the possibility that another metamorphosis will occur before the bigger one when I shed this human form.

I am more aware now of the increasing numbers of people going through something profoundly life-changing at this time. If it is not kundalini rising, it may be something similar. Some people are calling this the Shift, while others are not making the connection (yet), while others are waiting for more physical, global or religious manifestations. It is certainly Shifting me in the here and now.

At this time of maximal cold and darkness in this part of the world, I want to make an offering to the returning sunlight by sharing some of the things that are changing/changed within me. Although the symbols we call language seem less adequate than ever for communicating this kind of experience, I want to practice my newfound coherence.

This experience crosses all cultures and all ages, and I want to touch on the universality of it. I also desire to share what I am learning about the bio-energetic interface system we call chakras, and the ways in which the kundalini rising is affecting me on all the levels I am conscious of as it passes through each one.

It has been my very great fortune in the past couple of years to connect with four people who, unbeknownst to me at the time, have also been through the expereince of their kundalini rising. When I reached out to them, they were there in very timely and specific ways, ahead of me on the path, in a way that no one else I knew could have been. To my dear friends and mentors, thank you, thank you, thank you.

I am likewise so very blessed with good friends and family who have not shunned or abandoned me in the midst of all this chaos, but have been kind-hearted, loving, helpful, listenable, and have kept their sense of humor and patience throughout alternating periods of clinginess and need for space. I am humbled, I am grateful, and I owe so much of my current well-being to your nurturing and support. For loving me through this even when you don’t necessarily know what I am talking about, whether or not any it makes sense to you in the here and now, thank you, thank you, thank you.

And to all of you everywhere who are going through challenging and life-changing events of your own right now, I feel for you. I hope you make the time to enjoy the pretty lights, the warmth of your loved ones, and that you are able to side-step Babylon's consumer frenzy as much as possible.

At this time of Earth’s renewal may we all feel just how continually we are blessed. May we experience consciouness of a deep, strong, intimate sense of the Infinite Ocean of Light and Love surrounding us, permeating every aspect of our being, connecting us even across time and space to all those we hold dear.


1/29/2011

Transformation



I Love. Now in the impossibly warm air of a late-January thaw, I love to picture my cicada friends biding their time below the iron ground, and I begin to dream of summer. One of my greatest pleasures during warm summers nights is to indulge my inner naturalist by prowling through the trees with flashlights hunting for cicadas. By day, I love to attempt to lure them to me, to watch them change direction in mid flight or mid-crawl by snapping my fingers in imitation of the female wing-flicks. The mating songs of the males delight me so much that I must pause in order to let the sound of summer shimmer over me when I hear them. But most of all, I love the story of their profound and secret transformation.

It begins in the summer. After mating, a female annual cicada uses a dagger-like ovipositor to cut slits into the bark or a tree branch and then stitch them full of eggs in lines as neat and perfect as fine crewel work. Once they hatch, the rice-sized young fearlessly bail over the side of the twig into free fall, landing softly on the earth and immediately digging downwards into the earth until they encounter a good root for them to feed from. They excavate a small lair adjacent to that root, which they defend with the ferocity of teensy territorial dragons from all other organism, large or small, that dares to encroach. Baring mishaps with moles, they remain here gorging themselves for a year, or two, or four (and up to seventeen years for the periodical cicadas), molting several times to accommodate growth spurts and the fat that they will be living from later. Finally, when conditions are almost perfect, they construct a tunnel to the surface and carefully clean it from any debris that falls in, sometimes forming a small chimney, biding their time and gathering their strength.

On the perfect summer evening, between the prime feeding time of their daytime and night-time predators, the thumb-sized, dark nymphs clamber out, often synchronizing with many of their siblings to improve their odds of success for what is to follow. Sometimes they spiral out away from the hole as they get their bearings, sometimes they march directly to the nearest tree or sometimes fence (or even unwary human) to begin the urgent upward climb. They may stop a foot off the ground or twice the height of a woman, and the perfect spot allows them to securely set the pinchers of their large, strong fore claws into the bark so that they are not easily dislodged. Their flexible exoskeleton dries quickly and becomes quite brittle. Their dark backs begin to bulge, and along the midline just below their heads, a precise split zips open to admit the wing buds, the square head with two bulging eyes on the corners and three tiny ruby red proto-eyes in the front. The legs pull from their gummy sheaths, and are held carefully out in the air to dry. The emerging cicadas work their way further out of their former skins by periodic subtle undulations of the thorax and abdomen, and the rumpled wing buds begin to pulse with green ichor.

When experimental tapping lends confidence that the legs are sufficiently hardened, the eclosing cicadas reach out and securely grasp the front of the shell that only twenty minutes previously was the exoskeleton of their head and thorax. Then they wriggle their abdomens the rest of the way out of the confining, chitinous girdles. Already their shiny plump bodies look too large to have emerged from the hairy, papery husks.

Clinging there at an angle perpendicular to the ground, the veins pump and wings unfurl in minutes from crumpled cellophane to a flat, celadon-veined, opalescent splendor. Luminous fairies by moonlight or flashlight, they brave the night at their most vulnerable as their new wings and skins harden and their distinctive tattoos first brighten into their most colorful and then darken slightly into opacity. Then they fold their wings over their backs and climb higher in search of the friendly leaf cover that would have impeded their eclosure an hour earlier.



In their adult form, cicadas do not eat. Their stiletto straw mouthpart enables them to sip sap from twigs and thus remain hydrated. The tree sugars may give them some quick energy, but for the most part they are now dependent on fat stored during their years under the earth.

Males seek specific heights in certain trees and vegetation, and begin their first adolescent croaks in just a few days. Very soon their full-throated song of passion emerges, a distinct one for each of the many type of cicada. These are the very sounds of summer. The females respond with wing flips, crawling or flying towards the irresistible throbbing of the singing. The males seek out the source of the wing flips, the sweetest sound in the world, homing in between each chorus until they find the females. They are so fanatic in their quest that they may be lured in by snapping one’s fingers in a certain way, Their passionate embrace may last for hours, locked tightly to one another, oblivious to all else. Finally, the males move on to advertize for more females, while the females begin the hunt for the perfect branches on which to ovideposit.

Every June, my ears are straining for the thrill of hearing the first cicada of the summer’s chorus. Though certain types come out earlier or later in the summer, a couple of weeks to a couple of months is all the time a cicada has above the ground before the hour comes to give back to the earth. . Song is life for male cicadas, even thought they risk death with every chorus. They will continue to sing and even attempt to mate after losing their abdomens to predators or fungus. They will continue to sing as they lie dying on their backs. The song is All.

As the weeks pass, they wind down like pocket-wateches, their songs becoming briefer, more querulous, deeper in tone, until finally their energy is completely spent and their bodies simply cease to move.

The next great change is more profound. It is the inevitable incorporation of their adult forms into the bodies of squirrel, bird, tree, sow bug, soil organism or raccoon. This is the ultimate transformation, into something utterly other, the great comingling through which we are ultimately all related.

They are never really gone. Their great song outlives them. Even now I can hear them singing in my mind at night. I smile, picturing them in their tiny underground caves. I pull the covers up in the snug winter's nest of my bed and go back to dreaming of the balmy nights of early summer and transformations to come.