A Record of Journeys
Articles and FREE Exercises Below
During a Kundalini Yoga Class you can expect pranayama (breathing exercises), warm ups, asana (physical postures), mantra, relaxation and meditation. During my classes I often also incorporate the Gong during the relaxation.
We always begin the class by tuning in with the mantra:
Ong Namo Guru Dev Namo
Ong=Creative Vibration of the Cosmos
Guru=Inner or outer wisdom (sometimes personified as the teacher)
Then we do the mangala charn mantra:
Aad Guray Nameh Jugaad Guray Nameh Sat Guray Nameh Siri Guru Dayvay Nameh
This is a mantra for auspiciousness and protection.
We then often do some pranayama exercises. Prana is the vital energy connected to the breath and yama means to control or balance. In yogic philosophy mind patterns (samskaras) are seen as being connected to the breath, so when we balance our breathing we help to calm and balance the mind (Chitta).
During the class we then go and do some warm-up exercises, often those specifically designed for Kundalini Yoga.
Then we move onto a Kriya. A Kriya is a series of exercises that has a particular purpose and effect. In the wider Kundalini tradition these could be spontaneous but in the Kundalini Tradition as taught by Yogi Bhajan we practice specially designed Kriyas that have a certain, predictable effect. The Kriyas may work on particular parts of the body, like the digestive system, lungs or glandular system.
After practising the Kriya we go into a time of relaxation, often accompanied by the symphonic Gong.
Then we practice a Kundalini Meditation.
At the end of the class we close with the long time sun song. The words are:
May the Long Time Sun
Shine upon you
All love surround you
And the pure light
Guide your way on
We then chant three long Sat Nam’s to end the class. Sat means truth and Nam means identity. So when we chant this we are seeking to unite our personal identity with the truth.
A typical class will last one hour and fifteen minutes. After the class you will feel more aware, rejuvenated and stretched in the body and spacious in the mind. I am currently running classes in Bristol, Bath and the South West.
I remember reading about a recent visit of a Kogi Indian Shaman to the West. He was spending time with a group of westerners and was due to give a teaching. After probably thinking about the most useful teaching he could offer, he simply said these words “Look after the food and the water”. The group had probably been expecting some kind of mystical elucidation of the deeper levels of imaginal reality but he simply pointed to a kind of environmental necessity. In his mind he might have thought something like ‘what use is deep spiritual teaching about the non-physical world if we don’t even have these fundamental things in place, i.e. the protection of the food and water’. Of course we, in the modern world often live far removed from the simple reality of these things. We, as whole, rarely draw our own water from the springs of the land, and we rarely grow our own food from the land. The factual reality of our deep interconnected dependence on them often escapes us. As an aside though, recently after running a meditation workshop at a Neolithic long barrow and subsequently drinking from a local spring, I had the most incredibly elevated lucid dream experience.
So, hopefully when we begin to explore the kind of narratives below, as well as stimulating our imagination, they will help us weave our way back to the simple imminent environmental interconnected reality of the elements.
I remember one time I was in a lucid dream and I found myself standing in a river. I asked to meet a water spirit, which had a good intention towards me and had wisdom etc, and I was met by a wonderful force. I could not see it with the eyes of my dream body but the whole energy of the lucid dream began to change. It was similar to the sensation that marks the beginning of a journey on magic mushrooms. Everything began to pulsate, with joyful, radiant waves of expanding energy. I was taken up into the energy and I began to stream through the river with the water spirit, immersed in wonder rainbow colours.
Another time I was in a lucid dream, and I began a special chant for the Undine/Water Spirit that I had previously channelled in physical reality. Some of the words within the chant had, at least at first for me, no conceptual meaning. But after researching one of the words that came to me, I found it was an old French word that meant ‘protector of men’. This gave me confidence in the channelled chant/mantra and I often began to use it in waking reality. When later I began to chant it in the lucid dream the dream landscape began to swirl and change and a symbol appeared near to me. Often when we reach out to and connect with beings that exist on a different level of reality to our own, we are greeted with this kind of symbolic, telepathic response. The symbol that came to me was of a question mark written in sand. Later when I reflected on the symbolism of this I felt that it connected to various things. Firstly it was a suggestion of a question ‘Yes, what do you wish to know?’ and also a question of ‘what will these later symbols later mean?’. So it was both asking me ‘what’?, and also ‘what’ do you understand by these things that will know come. The symbolism also connected to the story of Jesus in the Gospels where he is writing in the sand on the ground and the women taken in adultery is brought before him. He is asked what he feel should be done with her, and he responded in an earth-changing way ‘Let he that is without sin cast the first stone’. In this symbol of the question mark written in the sand there was also the question for ‘Have you forgiven the women that have done wrong in your life?’.
Next came an image of a card wrapped as a gift. In Indian/Yogic tradition the Nagas or the class of being more commonly known in Western Esoteric Tradition as Undines, are often seen as beings who sometimes act through the bestowal of gifts of wisdom. For instance, some of the deep Buddhist Wisdom texts, such as those by Nagajuna, were said to have been gathered as gifts from their realm. After I approached the gift-card I opened it and a series of other objects appeared in sequence in my hands. It would be easy to reveal what these images were, but something symbolism and gifts are only meant for the receiver. Interestingly after receiving these gifts from the water elemental spirits, the level of the dream changed and I was transported down through the ground and I found myself in a different scene. I was by a water pond surrounded by buildings and then later entered into a church. Recently I was at a Steiner Training School and I recognised the landscape, with the pond and surrounding buildings from this part of the lucid dream. How physical reality sometimes catches up with what the Soul has already seen…
In general the way that communication is delivered in lucid dreams, and out of body experiences is fascinating. Sometimes telepathic messages may come through as paintings, picture books, or in one I remember ‘writing’ suddenly appearing on a cake before my dream eyes. Messages and symbolism can also continue to filter through normal dreams as well. I remember that after doing a lot of work to connect to Undines and Naga’s, the guardians of the water element, I had a dream where people were riding on the top of huge Dragon like creatures. As the animals swung around, someone commented that the riders should be careful as one of those tails could easily take someone’s head off. A cautionary note about connecting to such powerful energies.
However much though we dream into the imaginal realms, it is always worth remembering that simple piece of spiritual-environmental advice. “Look after the food and the water”. If You would like to learn more about working with the energies of nature in your meditation check out the book The Initiation by Tom Llewellyn