[Kundalini (spiral, cyclic) plus sakti (force)] - Vajrayana and Chinese systems.
By Guardians of Darkness:
M. Slayton, D.D.
John Newton Chittenden, IV
[A Note to the Reader: This note has to be added for people who want to use this information to do something with their bodies. DO NOT try to "make" Kundalini awaken in your body or even mess around with it, e.g., to try to do tumo "to lose weight" or something similar. We will NOT be responsible if you read something here and try it out, or read something that gives you an idea to try something - and you end up really physically hurting yourself. This is no "it's spiritually dangerous" hype. Real Kundalini Yoga can be PHYSICALLY dangerous. It's not "meditation" or "transcendental meditation" at all. Nothing like it, but that IS what most people learn if they show up asking a Guru or Lama to teach them for a price. Nobody wants to be sued, so they teach regular transcendental meditation to people, most of whom can't even RELAX without going into a panic! There is no way such a person COULD learn Kundalini Yoga - and nobody would try to teach them. Even the Dalai Lama has said that you could put yourself into a coma doing this Yoga. YOU HAVE BEEN WARNED!]
Kundalini is also known as "Serpent Power." It is also known as Chi, or Ki.
First of all, Kundalini is not a god, or a person "out there" anywhere. Everyone has Kundalini energy inside of them. In most people, the Kundalini energy is inactive and only really does some basic kinds of automated things within and throughout the body and the organic matter that composes it. This is from a human view of things, because everything living is made of matter and has Kundalini energy within it, which is active to some degree no matter how small or in what way. Those more knowledgeable in occult matters will know this as part of Fohat, or the Fohatic Power, but we are keeping this basic. Fohat is the "metric signature of the universe," scientifically speaking, and in living matter that includes the Kundalini.
Someone wanting to "do" Kundalini Yoga is probably better off not doing or trying it. It is a lot better if one can begin to recognize what might already be Kundalini acting within the body and learn to flow more easily with what is happening or definitely recognize blocks in their flow (chakra blocks), rather than try to make or force something. Awakening the Kundalini in the wrong state, or in the wrong way (with blocks, chakra blocks), can and often does result in severe damage to the person trying to do this. No writing on Kundalini would be complete or valuable unless it specified this clearly. A person can very easily end up with a malignant or enfeebling disease or be rendered comatose by making attempts to "awaken" Kundalini. This is stated here as clearly as one might state that trying to fly an airplane without learning and experience would be dangerous.
This article is not focusing on doing anything to arouse this power, but rather to see what it is and what it is doing in the person. More people are already "doing" a small form of Kundalini Yoga than one might think, but by doing I mean that in the person the Kundalini power is more active than average.
While watching a movie or listening to some music if you have experienced a kind of tingle in your spine when you think to yourself, "wow this is really good!" or maybe you just had a thought almost out of nowhere that seemed to "touch" something in you which "excited" you or left you "inspired," that is an activity of Kundalini. The Kundalini energy itself has the distinct attribute of almost forcing bodily movement. Your whole body will convulse for example, or in the case of some really good music, your feet might start to move involuntarily as the music gets inside of you. This is Kundalini which is a bit active.
Another example would be people who dance for hours without getting tired, without their heart rate speeding up and without their getting out of breath - all of which can be scientifically measured. That would be an example of using Kundalini a lot more than normal since the effort is apparently rendered effortless.
In the normal state, Kundalini literally motivates all movements of living matter on some level, when you walk down the street for instance, the energy your body is ultimately tapping is Kundalini, although it passes through some other states before it actually reaches the part of you that "moves." Kundalini has a "seat," if you will, in everything alive, every tree, every person, every living thing. Chakra blocks cause internal damage, just as bad posture can cause internal damage.
High-energy type people are not necessarily moving with Kundalini at all. Low energy people are not necessarily not moving with Kundalini, either. Kundalini inspired actions, if correct and healthy, inspire others and give the general feeling of "soundness" or goodness. Many people who worry about a lot of things, or who try to suppress something about themselves are "high energy" people, or sometimes the depression from that repression makes them very low energy people. For this type of person, their energy is more intent on fighting the Kundalini flow within themselves (chakra blocks), and this is like a time bomb that will invariably explode if not corrected. People with a good Kundalini flow will usually make you smile when you are around them, or you will often feel a kind of "light heartedness."
In contrast, the serious and almost morbid tone of typical "busybodies" is not Kundalini in action. You can recognize these people by the fact that they seem to "need" to do something, even when there is nothing that really needs to be done. They can't sit back and relax. They get "antsy." Many of these people develop "stress related" symptoms, but these are not at all related to "stress," but rather are symptoms of the Kundalini energy beginning to "fight back" against one who is stifling it. Kundalini will always win such battles. If not corrected by someone who knows what is going on, whether consciously or not, such people go on to develop serious illnesses of mind and body. Believe it or not, even bacterial illness or those caused by germs that get into the body can also be caused by imbalance of the Kundalini due to stress-related lowered immunity, though certainly not always.
In terms of what Kundalini is in the body, one might consider it very much like a "perpetual motion battery" of sorts, though please do not think we mean an actual battery. Not at all. This is an energy, and you will not be able to "see" it inside the physiology of the body, like in an x-ray or any such thing. PET scans would be able to monitor the brain and see what's happening when a person is doing Kundalini Yoga. It is like a source of prolific and immense power that is latent, or not fully active, but which releases very small amounts of this energy constantly (it is what enables you to move and be animated, therefore it is electrochemical energy). You can think of it like the two poles, positive and negative, and the farther they get away from each other the more energy can pass between them and be accessible. Slight awakenings or stirrings of Kundalini can be likened to the poles being slightly pulled apart and then put back again. A "thrill" or sudden burst of energy. Needless to say, if a person is not prepared for the release of a greater amount of this energy and the allegorical poles happen to be pulled too widely apart, or too suddenly, incredibly dangerous things can happen.
As far as "doing" Kundalini Yoga, it is not recommended. If one would like to get basic ideas of what this is like, here is a simple thing one can do to stir Kundalini just slightly, but once again it is repeated, do not attempt to do this on a greater scale. You have been warned, and we will not be responsible if you damage yourself.
All this previous refers to active but still-coiled Kundalini, or coiled Kundalini with chakra blocks.
This following refers to the uncoiled Kundalini and the Yoga where all the nerve centers (chakras) are uncoiled and set into functioning activity. NO TEACHER would teach this to a chakra-blocked person. These listed below are anatomical correspondences. However, it is not the key to or even an instruction on doing these yogas. Despite perceptions to the contrary and "books about" this, no one has or would publically reveal what one needs to do to actually initiate and continue the flow in doing the kundalini yoga, (which is not the same as the kundalini flow during a normal waking state as explained above). It is not done with visualization, as the many rubbish books on the subject might tell you to do. This yoga can not be done by "learning about" anatomy or yogic theories.
The psychic nerve situated in the hollow of the spinal column (Brahma-danda) is the chief, or median nerve (Sushumna-nadi) and interconnected by it are the psychic nerve-centers wherein are stored, like electricity, your vital force (Prana, which is like Bahu/Logos combined, coiled up).
1. Once the nerve centers have been awakened or uncoiled, beginning with the first or root-support (Muladhara) of the median-nerve, situated in the perineum, where the Kundalini is coiled, one gets Illumination.
2. The Kundalini power, having risen through the median nerve and uncoiled the root support, continues its upward course, penetrating and setting into psychic activity the second nerve-center (Svadishthana), which is the center or base of the sex-organ (if one experiences sexual arousal, one has done this wrong).
3. Then upward to the third or navel nerve center (Manipura-chakra), this opens up completely with the previous two open or uncoiled.
4. Then up to the fourth or heart nerve-center (Anahata-chakra). People with chakra blockages usually have this chakra closed. Closing the chakra enables them to "bury the pain and rage." By doing that, they split themselves in half so that what they think is far away from what they feel. This chakra now must open, completely.
5. Then the fifth or throat nerve-center (Vishuddha-chakra) must open.
6. Then the sixth between the eyebrows like a third eye (Ajna-chakra).
7. That opens and the Kundalini pushes upward – slowly - to the brain nerve center or Thousand-Petalled Lotus (Sahasrara-Padma), which is the seventh of these centers.
Then you no longer move upward slowly - you thrust or whoosh out, extremely fast, out of samsara or the illusion, whirling in what seems like a Vortex. If you do this right, then a subtle transformation is effected in which the “moon-fluid” or transmuted vital forces are psycho-physically all-powerful.
One “becomes” Vajra: i.e., you are Vajra, (feels like you are no longer a person with a body). You are the Vajra flaming in the boundless darkness. This is Kundalini Yoga.
The Illumination then descends to feed all parts of the body. The ascent of Kundalini generates occult power that is dark and light combined, but not dark or light as you can conceive of it (dark nights, sunlight, etc.) It is the Boundless Darkness (Nirvana) and light (Vajra) at the same time. One must be careful to go UP, one by one, each chakra in succession, and leave the chakras open.
The enlightenment one attains from this, aside from "Void/Vajra," are of the Five Dharmas (Wisdoms). Once one is adept at doing this, one can learn Siddhi: tummo, gyulu, milam, odsal, bardo, and phowa. The Chod is something quite different involving the towo "howler" forms of the Five Dharmas.
Here are similarities between the Chinese system and the Tantrik system. The Ren Mai is called the "Conception Vessel" in English. It actually runs from the perineum up the front center line of the body to the upper lip. The Du Mai is called the "Governor Vessel." That runs from the perineum up the back center line of the body and neck, over the top of the head to the upper lip. Chong Mai runs from the perineum, directly up through the spinal cord itself to the center of the brain, not in front or back of the body, but dead center, like Kundalini Yoga. This, Chong Mai, is the one that corresponds directly to sushumna-nadi in the Tantrik system. Chi is circulated from the Tan Tien up the the Du and down the Ren until they are clear. (Tan Tien is Kanda mula in Sanskrit, it is not one of the main chakras but is considered the center of gravity.) This circulating up the Du and down the Ren is the equivalent of clearing and charging chakras if that is needed before doing Kundalini Yoga. This process is called the "microcosmic orbit" or "small circulation." When this is done, chi is then brought up the Chong Mai. It is worth noting also that Chinese systems spend a lot of time on the Ren and Du before embarking on the Chong, if they embark on it at all.
This chart might be incomplete or inaccurate regarding terms. We never heard back from the person who gave it to us.