On Kundalini

( Letter from Joan Harrigan)

I was blessed to be able to attend a teaching by H H the Dalai Lama.  It was based on a beautiful text he had written in a previous incarnation, The Blade Wheel of Mind Transformation.  It brought home the importance of slicing the ego through objective contemplation of the archaic mind stuff that still lurks, even after Makara or Bindu, in the deep recesses of our character and needs to be seen, acknowledged, disowned, and thus purged.  It is not an automatic gift that the psyche is purified with spiritual advancement.  We do not suddenly become virtuous or holy simply by reaching Makara!  The transformation of mind is a conscious project in which we must proactively engage with great awareness and sincere dedication.  This is the deep work of advanced spiritual life that we undertake as we also acclimate to the more rarified levels of awareness that we are increasingly accessing.  Without the inner work of mind purification, which is promoted in all spiritual traditions, our spiritual advancement is burdened by a karma laden psyche.  Our job is to help Kundalini Shakti do the purification.  She cannot do it without our support and active cooperation.  Contemplation and meditation increase our awareness so we can do this skillfully.  This is also why the great traditions provide spiritual direction for even advanced spiritual practitioners.

A recent satsang of Adyashanti's (an American Advaitin) that I attended in Asheville, brought home the same point.  He basically described how, even after a oneness experience, we must still do the work of incorporating this new awareness into our life as lived and eliminate the trappings of the mind that may limit our awareness of truth.  A psychological biography of Thomas Merton I just read also focuses on the need in the spiritual endeavor to process our psychological wounding.  It is our very wounding that may drive us to seek in the first place, and it is the healing of those wounds of this life and previous lives that reaching Makara finally gives us a good opportunity to accomplish.  With Makara, we have a foot hold, a base camp, so we can find the centeredness and inner peace to objectively see, disidentify with, and let go of our old programming.  Then with the useless stuff eliminated, we can ascend to the pinnacle and stay there for increasingly longer periods of time.  Of course, the same basic mental template will remain, with our cultural and personality imprint still apparent, but it will be healthy, clear, and functional enough to serve the One smoothly.  That is the goal:  that the mind stuff should not distract us from Reality.  Then, when we go through the lokas in a meditation or at the time of death, we do not get sucked into the pockets of the mind but go directly to the One, the Source, the Light and merge, one in One.
So, the inner work continues, as always, with the lovely knowingness of awareness ever present within and all pervading.  It is very sweet, even in the midst of strife and turmoil, and filled with the understanding that the influence of lower mind is reducing and awareness of Consciousness is expanding.  I believe that this happens not only in the individual but that it is also happening in humanity, please God, despite our horribly troubled times, as more and more people mature spiritually.