kundalini

Exploring Theravāda's connections to other paths. What can we learn from other traditions, religions and philosophies?
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form
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kundalini

Post by form » Sat Sep 30, 2017 8:36 pm

Anyone practice this?

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phil
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Re: kundalini

Post by phil » Mon Oct 02, 2017 8:27 am

Hi there

I'm very interested in yoga as a health practice but the only connection to Dhamma that I see is that there can be an appreciation that physical energies contacted/developed through yoga could be used for the purpose of more diligent practice. On the other hand, there is the danger that one could become attached to the idea of the Atman, which I would say differs from nibbana in a kind of desire-rooted way - thhe notion of a universal sacred Self is much more easy to be misled by than nibbana in its subtlety and difficulty-to-graspedness. (On the other hand, the unconditioned Atman of HIndu seems closer to nibanna and different from the atta that the Buddha teaches about because there is not of an ignorance-rooted belief in it being an self (ego?) that can control phenomea, from what I can see.) Just my opinion, and probably not worth speculating about. It is something I have wondered about.
Kammalakkhano , bhikkhave, bālo, kammalakkhano pandito, apadānasobhanī paññāti
(The fool is characterized by his/her actions/the wise one is characterized by his/her actions/Wisdom shines forth in behaviour.)
(AN 3.2 Lakkhana Sutta)

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Coëmgenu
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Re: kundalini

Post by Coëmgenu » Mon Oct 02, 2017 12:17 pm

If the practitioner considers that the śakti is empty, does kuṇḍalinī become Buddhist? :sage: :spy:

Is making something 'empty' all it takes to make something 'Buddhist'? :sage: :spy:

:stirthepot:

:anjali:
神足示現者,
世尊隨其所應,而示現入禪定正受,陵虛至東方,作四威儀,
行、住、坐、臥,入火三昧,出種種火光,青、黃、赤、白、
紅、頗梨色,水火俱現, 或身下出火,身上出水,身上出火,
身下出水,周圓四方亦復如是。

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L.N.
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Re: kundalini

Post by L.N. » Mon Oct 02, 2017 2:54 pm

phil wrote:
Mon Oct 02, 2017 8:27 am
... the only connection to Dhamma that I see is that there can be an appreciation that physical energies contacted/developed through yoga could be used for the purpose of more diligent practice.
My experience is different. Yoga can be helpful for practicing bringing mindful awareness and concentration into the realm of physical motion, and recognizing that practice includes the moments between poses, the moments of rest, and the strong determination to remain mindful for the entire yoga session, even the water breaks. It is not traditional sitting meditation, but neither is most of life. I met a Theravada monk who taught that the body is the nature home of the mind (or words to similar effect) and incorporated basic yoga movements into warm-ups for sitting meditation practice. Words like "anatta" and "nibbana" are just words/concepts/mental constructions until we experience reality just as it is.

In another context, I heard a meditator describe kundalini as the opposite of vipassana practice. However, I felt there was some intersection. I am not yet persuaded that I am wrong, but do not feel strongly about the topic.
Sire patitthitā Buddhā
Dhammo ca tava locane
Sangho patitthitō tuiham
uresabba gunākaro


愿众佛坐在我的头顶, 佛法在我的眼中, 僧伽,功德的根源, 端坐在我的肩上。

jmccoy
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Re: kundalini

Post by jmccoy » Mon Oct 02, 2017 4:15 pm

Kundalini is about "doing stuff" with breath, mudras, bandhas, etc. Vipassana is more passive in comparison and about mindfulness or attentiveness.

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L.N.
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Re: kundalini

Post by L.N. » Tue Oct 03, 2017 2:39 am

jmccoy wrote:
Mon Oct 02, 2017 4:15 pm
Kundalini is about "doing stuff" with breath, mudras, bandhas, etc. Vipassana is more passive in comparison and about mindfulness or attentiveness.
Yes, I think "more passive in comparison" rings true in a way. The "doing stuff" differs in detail, as I understand it. Ruth Denison knew a thing or two about bringing mindful awareness to doing stuff.
Sire patitthitā Buddhā
Dhammo ca tava locane
Sangho patitthitō tuiham
uresabba gunākaro


愿众佛坐在我的头顶, 佛法在我的眼中, 僧伽,功德的根源, 端坐在我的肩上。

form
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Re: kundalini

Post by form » Wed Oct 04, 2017 6:51 am

In the suttas, there are many examples of followers of other sects who have good concentration and behaviours, shortly after meeting the Buddha, they attain high state and even arhantship.

form
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Re: kundalini

Post by form » Wed Oct 04, 2017 6:54 am

Kundalini Is the energy that is purified from libido and seats at the base of the spine. It extends upwards in a helix manner. Supposingly, awakening it at the wrong time and wrong sequence could lead to dangerous side effects.

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Javi
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Re: kundalini

Post by Javi » Fri Oct 13, 2017 10:22 pm

Coëmgenu wrote:
Mon Oct 02, 2017 12:17 pm
If the practitioner considers that the śakti is empty, does kuṇḍalinī become Buddhist? :sage: :spy:

Is making something 'empty' all it takes to make something 'Buddhist'? :sage: :spy:

:stirthepot:

:anjali:

Tibetan Buddhists practice a form of "Kundalini" which is Tummo, Sanskrit "Candali", lit: inner fire which includes the use of mahabandha and unique visualizations and so on.

It's different than the popularized and Western form of Hindu kundalini anyways, which people seem to practice with abandon and without the traditional guru-shishya relationship.

Also, recent scholarship seems to show that these kinds of "hatha" type pranayama practices were not developed only in Hinduism, but developed in Hindu circles and in Buddhist circles. An important textual source for this is the Amrtasiddhi, which seems to be a tantric Buddhist text. James Mallison has a fascinating paper on this:

https://www.academia.edu/26700528/The_A ... ource_Text

His main argument is that it is a vajrayana text which codified practices that had probably been around for awhile in use by various yogis and ascetics. So "kundalini" type practices, by which I mean yogic techniques like mahabandha, mahamudra, mahavedha, etc (which are meant to "rise" kundalini, or originally "bindu" - semen or rajas - menstrual fluid) were probably neither Hindu or Buddhist, but were used by various yogis and ascetics who identified with both or neither and were later taken up by Buddhists and incorporated into the dhamma (somewhat analogous to how the Buddha adopted the formless spheres into the dhamma from pre-Buddhist practices).

Now to answer the original poster's question, no, I do not practice "kundalini", however I do sometimes practice breath retention with the uddiyana bandha (upward abdominal lock) as a preliminary technique before practicing breath meditation. I also sometimes practice alternate nostril breathing as well, a form of pranayama used in some "kundalini" schools. But since I do not visualize chakras, or hold any view of a coiled energy at the base of my spine, I'm not really practicing what anyone would consider "kundalini".
Vayadhammā saṅkhārā appamādena sampādethā — All things decay and disappoint, it is through vigilance that you succeed — Mahāparinibbāna Sutta

Self-taught poverty is a help toward philosophy, for the things which philosophy attempts to teach by reasoning, poverty forces us to practice. — Diogenes of Sinope

I have seen all things that are done under the sun, and behold, all is vanity and a chase after wind — Ecclesiastes 1.14

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Javi
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Re: kundalini

Post by Javi » Fri Oct 13, 2017 10:49 pm

L.N. wrote:
Mon Oct 02, 2017 2:54 pm
phil wrote:
Mon Oct 02, 2017 8:27 am
... the only connection to Dhamma that I see is that there can be an appreciation that physical energies contacted/developed through yoga could be used for the purpose of more diligent practice.
My experience is different. Yoga can be helpful for practicing bringing mindful awareness and concentration into the realm of physical motion, and recognizing that practice includes the moments between poses, the moments of rest, and the strong determination to remain mindful for the entire yoga session, even the water breaks. It is not traditional sitting meditation, but neither is most of life. I met a Theravada monk who taught that the body is the nature home of the mind (or words to similar effect) and incorporated basic yoga movements into warm-ups for sitting meditation practice. Words like "anatta" and "nibbana" are just words/concepts/mental constructions until we experience reality just as it is.

In another context, I heard a meditator describe kundalini as the opposite of vipassana practice. However, I felt there was some intersection. I am not yet persuaded that I am wrong, but do not feel strongly about the topic.
That monk wouldn't be Yogavacara Rahula would it? I've read this by him and it sounds like he's bought into some of the metaphysics of yoga (such as prana being some form of universal energy or whatever).
http://bhanterahula.blogspot.com/2010/1 ... n-mix.html

Rahula teaching yoga for meditators:

form wrote:
Wed Oct 04, 2017 6:54 am
Kundalini Is the energy that is purified from libido and seats at the base of the spine. It extends upwards in a helix manner. Supposingly, awakening it at the wrong time and wrong sequence could lead to dangerous side effects.
Actually, funny thing, some texts have this energy (which is called "bindu" in the early material) in the head not in the spine. There is no consensus among ancient hatha yoga material about where "kundalini" or "bindu" energy is "located", it's just that modern yoga culture and new age thought has been influenced by the later tradition, probably due to early translations like those of Sir Arthur Avalon ("Serpent power" and so on).
Vayadhammā saṅkhārā appamādena sampādethā — All things decay and disappoint, it is through vigilance that you succeed — Mahāparinibbāna Sutta

Self-taught poverty is a help toward philosophy, for the things which philosophy attempts to teach by reasoning, poverty forces us to practice. — Diogenes of Sinope

I have seen all things that are done under the sun, and behold, all is vanity and a chase after wind — Ecclesiastes 1.14

form
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Re: kundalini

Post by form » Sat Oct 14, 2017 2:36 am

Javi wrote:
Fri Oct 13, 2017 10:49 pm
L.N. wrote:
Mon Oct 02, 2017 2:54 pm
phil wrote:
Mon Oct 02, 2017 8:27 am
... the only connection to Dhamma that I see is that there can be an appreciation that physical energies contacted/developed through yoga could be used for the purpose of more diligent practice.
My experience is different. Yoga can be helpful for practicing bringing mindful awareness and concentration into the realm of physical motion, and recognizing that practice includes the moments between poses, the moments of rest, and the strong determination to remain mindful for the entire yoga session, even the water breaks. It is not traditional sitting meditation, but neither is most of life. I met a Theravada monk who taught that the body is the nature home of the mind (or words to similar effect) and incorporated basic yoga movements into warm-ups for sitting meditation practice. Words like "anatta" and "nibbana" are just words/concepts/mental constructions until we experience reality just as it is.

In another context, I heard a meditator describe kundalini as the opposite of vipassana practice. However, I felt there was some intersection. I am not yet persuaded that I am wrong, but do not feel strongly about the topic.
That monk wouldn't be Yogavacara Rahula would it? I've read this by him and it sounds like he's bought into some of the metaphysics of yoga (such as prana being some form of universal energy or whatever).
http://bhanterahula.blogspot.com/2010/1 ... n-mix.html

Rahula teaching yoga for meditators:

form wrote:
Wed Oct 04, 2017 6:54 am
Kundalini Is the energy that is purified from libido and seats at the base of the spine. It extends upwards in a helix manner. Supposingly, awakening it at the wrong time and wrong sequence could lead to dangerous side effects.
Actually, funny thing, some texts have this energy (which is called "bindu" in the early material) in the head not in the spine. There is no consensus among ancient hatha yoga material about where "kundalini" or "bindu" energy is "located", it's just that modern yoga culture and new age thought has been influenced by the later tradition, probably due to early translations like those of Sir Arthur Avalon ("Serpent power" and so on).
I would associate kundalini to be related to what Chinese considered as dantian and what is considered as unconscious in psychology. The lowest two charkras position perceived by different people can vary to some degree. Bindu is probably related to the upper dan in Taoist alchemy, much less commonly, it can be used to stored energy as well.

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Javi
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Re: kundalini

Post by Javi » Sat Oct 14, 2017 4:36 pm

Well, sure, as long as you realize these things are just inventions and have no basis in actual physiology.

I've always thought that if certain mental perceptions or images help people with samadhi and so on, then why not use them. But I think that a lot of folks get really caught up in the whole energetic meditation systems to the point that they make it the central feature of their practice, instead of just a helpful perception. Ultimate, from a Buddhist perspective at least, the central feature of one's sitting practice should be samatha-vipassana - not energetic perceptions.
Vayadhammā saṅkhārā appamādena sampādethā — All things decay and disappoint, it is through vigilance that you succeed — Mahāparinibbāna Sutta

Self-taught poverty is a help toward philosophy, for the things which philosophy attempts to teach by reasoning, poverty forces us to practice. — Diogenes of Sinope

I have seen all things that are done under the sun, and behold, all is vanity and a chase after wind — Ecclesiastes 1.14

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samseva
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Re: kundalini

Post by samseva » Sun Oct 15, 2017 5:44 am

Javi wrote:
Sat Oct 14, 2017 4:36 pm
Well, sure, as long as you realize these things are just inventions and have no basis in actual physiology.

I've always thought that if certain mental perceptions or images help people with samadhi and so on, then why not use them. But I think that a lot of folks get really caught up in the whole energetic meditation systems to the point that they make it the central feature of their practice, instead of just a helpful perception. Ultimate, from a Buddhist perspective at least, the central feature of one's sitting practice should be samatha-vipassana - not energetic perceptions.
While I do agree that these types of practices shouldn't be the center of one's practice, I would say energetic disciplines—some being thousands of years old, such as traditional Chinese medicine, acupuncture, Taoist practices, yoga and so on—are not simply energetic "perceptions" (or hallucinations).

These can be very useful for meditation and to improve general health and energy. Not everything, other than samatha and vipassāna, is pointless. I don't think they should be looked down upon as a distration, but rather as tools.

And also, formations are all mental-physical processes, they aren't purely mental or purely physical. So having good mental health positivilely affects your physical health, but having good physical health also positively affects your mental health/well-being.

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