Once we feel ourselves to be the-one-who-is-experiencing we know who we are and the process of self-forgetting ceases. If we resist the temptation to focus on some familiar way of being we will lose all sense of who we are. We will be swept up in the freedom of existence, without any sense of being separate from it.
When we let go in this way we become vulnerable to subtle spiritual energies of awakening. As long as we are exclusively identified with the separate self and its sense of autonomous power, we are not aware of these energies. Once we relax our current sense of self a universe of subtle energies and vital forces appear.
These energies are known as Kundalini in the spiritual traditions of the East. As I understand it, Kundalini is the energy of awakening that, once activated, flows naturally along a path of optimal spiritual growth and awakening.
The second stage of surrender in our spiritual practice is to allow these subtle forces of awakening to guide us along our unique journey of spiritual growth.
In my own meditation practice I simply sit with the intention ‘to have no problem.’ No matter what arises in consciousness I simply allow it and embrace it exactly as it is. I rest in a prior assumption of perfect contentment. Often my mind is roaring and complaining as loudly as ever. I simply don’t make a problem out of it. I might see myself acting as if there were a problem – I don’t make a problem out of that either.
My practice is to sit and be perfectly content with my mind no matter how noisy it is. I am ready to sit in the company of my busy mind forever. I am free – free from the need for anything to be other than it is. I sit in complete recognition that the experience I am having – no matter what it is – is enough… completely, gloriously, fully, enough.
By resting in this deliberate state of perfect resolution I have done all that I can. The rest is not up to me. Sometimes an hour or more will go by and nothing will change. My mind keeps racing, but I am fine. I am ready for a miracle, but I am not forcing it or insisting on it. I am simply available for it. This is what meditation is to me.
Sometimes my mind will slow down into a deeply relaxed and satisfied space and my thoughts and feelings drift away. I find myself floating in empty space and the chatter of my mind is a distant whisper.
This peaceful state might continue for a long time and I am perfectly happy with this, but no happier than I am with my busy mind. My contentment does not depend on any particular state. I am happy with the way things are no matter how they are.
Sometimes in this restful place energy begins to stir. It might be a bodily sensation, or a burst of sound or light. At other times it is an insight, vision or intuition. These stirrings have a distinctive quality. They feel like they are coming from the depths of my being and the heart of the universe. They are gentle but unyielding.
I see these as the energy of Kundalini that has been awakened from slumber. When they arise I don’t do anything with them. I don’t try to encourage or discourage them. I don’t hold on or let go. I don’t try to remember them or ignore them. I simply remain present and available.
In a wonderful way the energy starts to move me. I have sometimes felt that it was reorganizing my cellular structure, or rewiring my nervous system. I have endured times of tremendous pain, heart opening bliss, and existential fear. Through it all I simply practice having no problem.
I meditated for the first time about thirty years ago. It has been a long and varied journey of awakening ever since and the energies of awakening have guided me throughout. First they supported me to leave a lucrative career as an engineer to give myself unconditionally to spiritual pursuit. Then they encouraged me to leave my new career as an educator and spend twenty years in an experimental spiritual community until I was supported with the courage to leave that behind as well. I have been guided into practices, retreats, insights, revelations and relationships. It has appeared to me in many forms. I have followed it imperfectly, but well enough to be brought into a life beyond my wildest dreams.
I simply want you to know that the subtle energy of awakening is real. It is a living spiritual intelligence and it is available to guide you forward if you have the courage to follow.