Advanced Yoga Practices
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Lesson 201 -
The Drama of a Premature Crown Opening (Audio)
Date: Thu May 27, 2004 3:11pm
New Visitors: It is recommended you read from the beginning of the archive, as previous
lessons are prerequisite to this one. The first lesson is, "Why
Q: You most probably don't need confirmation on the information that you're
sharing but I thought I'll let you know my personal experience as a
confirmation anyway. :)
I'd had a slight fascination with this 'New Age' stuff since an early age
but didn't delve into it much until a life crisis in the early '90's. For
health reasons I decided to meditate to reduce my stress and unintentionally
ended up in a small meditation group that went into Tarot readings, personal
growth and 'chakras' which I had never heard of before.
My first contact and first meditation with this neighbourhood group totally
scared the heck out of me...coloured hues on the walls, coloured lights,
bouncing balls of lights off the ceiling, seeing auras, clairaudience,
special messages for me etc etc.
Looking back now it was all positive, pink love beams, religious figures,
loving all encompassing compassion.... but I didn't know at that time.
I couldn't help but follow it through...mainly out of fear and trying to get
it all to stop... Luckily (destiny?) I had intelligent and wise people to
help me along. When the student is ready the teacher *does* appear. :)
I jumped ahead so fast, psychometry, channelling, lucid dreaming, astral
travel, guides, angels, God, all paths, all religions/beliefs,
clairaudience, clairvoyant, darkness and hauntings, past lives etc etc it
happened only once for each experience and I was told repeatedly I didn't
need to learn it in this lifetime, I had already achieved it before. This
was just a 'remembrance' for me to experience in my life where I was now.
Following common teachings at the time....in the Western world of
'Spirituality'...I constantly meditated on the chakras raising the energy
and my vibrational levels from the root to the crown chakra. This was all I
knew....I didn't know of kundalini and eastern methods...
My growth and experiences were so rapid that it caused some problems because
I soon advanced past whoever was teaching me .....and sadly sometimes there
was jealousy and disbelief, causing me to leave and most of the time feeling
isolated and alone......unaccepted. I reached levels within a couple of
months that they had taken years to achieve and they just couldn't accept
that it was so 'easy' for me. It was a very hard time for me and also very
confusing as I needed support to help me through what I didn't understand. I
didn't ask for what was happening to me, I felt unfairly judged at
times....and also adrift and lost with what was happening.
Then the spontaneous awaking of kundalini about 1995/6 which threw me into
further turmoil. Then I looked at eastern teachings and understood more
about the chakras.
Unfortunately meditating so many years on raising the energy to the crown
and not the third eye is what caused my problems.
Without being egotistical....and I'm sure you're one of the few people who
can understand this....I obviously have been born close to this stage
specifically in this lifetime because of what I've achieved in lifetimes
before. This has been made clear to me for many years now, its just hard to
find someone who can accept this and not look at me weirdly or believe I
have a extreme narcissistic personality...
You really are a breath of fresh air for me...
As I mentioned in my previous email I've finally found some relief in
focusing on breathing up and down the spine from the root to the third eye.
It's difficult to 're-train' the energy this way but it is happening.
I don't go anywhere near the crown chakra but can feel certain areas of it
tingling, or pressures there sometimes....I'm also uncomfortable about
getting my hair cut and feel like a ponytail affect at the back, which I
don't physically have.
I just let it all go without worrying too much about it...if anything I'm
more worried about being too active with it and spend a lot of time just
balancing and calming down the energy within.
I'll also admit after having such strong energy and emotional reactions for
so many years that I've developed a fear of even looking anywhere near the
crown....I hope this isn't detrimental in any way to the natural flow of
The last couple of weeks has had a lot of activation in the heart chakra...I
don't know why. I've read somewhere that the heart is one of the last to
open because it can be very emotional and physically draining. Do you know
A lot of my breathing has been happening at the throat and nose which I
believe is balancing as I usually breath in and out through the
mouth...something I did from the beginning as this is what I was told to do
for chakra work. I allow it all to happen naturally now with some direction
mentally and soon found the nose and back of tongue energy directing itself
after a while.
It's all a new experiment for me.
I also understand why many of the Yoga/Kundalini teachings were kept secret
from the general population.... unless there is an experienced teacher on
hand to help, many problems do arise. The western world looks upon Yoga and
the chakras as a form of exercise or general meditation without realising
the power and potential it has to impact the human energy field so much.....
Thank you so much again for all that you're doing and the help you have
A: Thank you for your generous sharing.
All confirmations (and disagreements) are welcome. Your experiences fit
right in with what we are talking about in the lessons, especially now that
we are discussing the crown. Let me add a few more perspectives on it, which
will tie in with the wise adjustments you are currently making in your daily
Premature opening of the crown creates so much release throughout the
nervous system that we can easily get caught up in the drama of it, and you
are doing a great job of looking beyond the fray. All the visions and
feelings that come up are difficult to resist. The same thing goes for any
siddhis (powers) we might experience. With the nervous system still needing
a lot of purification, much of what we experience is colored by the "smoke"
of innumerable karmas being burned up, often in a random fashion. So the
experiences can be a mixture of the real with the unreal. It is no wonder
that a severe premature crown opening can lead one to a psychiatric ward, or
Here is the kicker. Visions and revelations, while often part of the
journey, are not primary indicators of progress toward enlightenment. In
fact, enlightenment can occur with very few, if any, visions at all. To the
extent we have visions and revelations, we can be distracted from the
practices that assure our continued steady and stable progress. We have
talked about distracting visions a lot in the lessons, but so far not much
from the perspective of the extremes of a full blown premature crown
opening. It is not an easy thing, because it can become a world unto itself
-- the ultimate distraction.
None of this is to say that visions or revelations are bad. Indeed, we
should enjoy the scenery as we travel along the road to enlightenment. But
if the scenery becomes the path, with our sense of self wrapped up in it,
then we will be heading off course. With extreme premature crown awakenings
the risk of this is greater than average. Extreme awakenings are sometimes
ecstatic, often hellish, and always seductive. Right practices can gradually
put an end to the flights of fancy we might be drawn into, and bring us into
the peace and joy of the divine reality within us. Then we will see our
visions from a different perspective. They might even go away -- replaced by
an abiding sense of peace and happiness that does not constantly fling us
from pillar to post.
So what is happening with a premature crown opening? Are we getting
anywhere? Are we getting enlightened? Well, yes and no. Yes, obstructions
are being released willy-nilly. And no, the chaos of it and our
identification with the chaos can create karma also -- a weird kind of karma
that can lead us into a cycle of premature spontaneous crown openings, life
after life. If we continue working at the crown in this situation, we
perpetuate the whole thing, and spiritual progress can be elusive, even as
our visions continue. It is only by our conscious intervention in the form
of stabilizing practices that we can get off this wheel.
There are only two sure signs of rising enlightenment. In fact, there is
really only one sure sign, because the second one does not go very far
without the first. The first, and most important sign of rising
enlightenment, is the emergence of inner silence -- an unshakable blissful
inner awareness -- eternal peace taking up residence in our nervous system.
The second sign is the rise of ecstatic conductivity in the nervous system.
Not necessarily ecstatic visions or revelations. Just simple
neuro-biological ecstatic pleasure coursing up through our body. Together,
inner silence and ecstatic conductivity in the nervous system make up the
foundation of enlightenment. As they merge into one we see the journey
coming to its fruition in endless ecstatic bliss and an outpouring of divine
love. It is very simple, really. If we view our progress through these two
parameters, which are readily cultivated with specific yoga practices, and
easily observable, then we will be on the right track. At the same time, we
will be quelling the storms of any premature crown awaking we might have
gotten ourselves into in the recent or distant past.
The great nineteenth century kriya yogi, Lahiri Mahasaya, said that
enlightenment is the "merging of emptiness with euphoria." This is the
merging of inner silence with ecstatic conductivity. That's it. It is very
simple. Nothing else is necessary. So, if we are inundated with visions and
revelations, we will be wise to easily go back to our practices, the ones
that cultivate these two modes of functioning in our nervous system that
lead to our liberation.
In the lessons we concentrate on cultivating the two components of
enlightenment with a variety of practices. The two main practices are deep
meditation (for inner silence) and spinal breathing (for balanced ecstatic
conductivity). Many other practices are added to build on the ongoing
progress cultivated by the two core practices. Taken all together, it is an
integrated system of practices.
At the heart of smooth and progressive purification and opening of the
nervous system is the spinal nerve (sushumna) between the third eye (ajna)
and the root (muladhara). With all practices naturally working on purifying
and opening the third eye to root spinal nerve, we are able to avoid the
drama of a premature crown opening, even as we are nudging the crown open
indirectly all the while. Then, in time, we can go to the crown directly.
When that time arrives, further crown opening does not lead to chaos. It
does not lead to a lot of visions or revelations either. Why not? Because
there is much less karmic smoke floating around in our purified nervous
system. The visions we do have are not extreme, not overwhelming, yet
profound, and not needing to be mentioned. In short, a crown opening when
the time is right creates no upheaval at all -- only a channel of ecstatic
bliss and divine love flowing into the world.
This condition of a mature opened crown and nervous system is its own
source, and its own justification. And it too is a very simple thing.
So, that is a round-about way of saying, yes, I think you are doing the
right thing taking up spinal breathing. Besides being a world-class
stabilizer of wayward kundalini energies, it is a core practice for
cultivating ecstatic conductivity in the third eye to root spinal nerve.
Awakening the third eye (ajna) like that is the way forward. I encourage you
to take up deep meditation also. Pranayama, with all of its benefits, does
not cultivate the deepest level of inner silence in the nervous system. For
this the mind must be systematically brought to stillness every day -- that
is deep meditation.
As for breathing through the mouth or nose, using the nose is generally
better if it is not a strain, because important aspects of our spiritual
neurology are located in the nasal passages and sinuses. Nasal breathing
during spinal breathing stimulates these, as do other "targeted" practices
we cover in the lessons, i.e., sambhavi, yoni mudra kumbhaka, kechari and
the bastrika pranayamas.
Once you have developed some comfort and stability in third eye to root
oriented practices, I think your fear of the crown will subside. It will
just be a place you can touch occasionally to see what is happening there.
It will not be "practice" at the crown until there is stability in whatever
you do there, as discussed two lessons ago. And there is no need to rush it,
because the crown is being opened safely every time we meditate, do spinal
breathing, and the rest of our integrated advanced yoga practices.
Yes, I have heard also that "the heart is last to open." But I think it is
more involved than that. In the lessons, we begin with the heart because
desire is the engine that drives all yoga. Desire that is intensified and
directed toward spiritual unfoldment is bhakti, and this is all heart work.
Practices feed back into the heart, increasing bhakti every step along the
way. So the heart is opening all the time, along with the rest of the
nervous system. Then ecstatic conductivity begins to rise and we are melting
in love inside in the face of so much ecstasy and rising inner sensuality -
more heart opening. Finally, when shiva (silence) and shakti (ecstasy) are
merging and we finally go directly to the crown, then it all pours down and
the heart goes all the way into overflowing pure divine love. Maybe that
last step is what is meant by "the heart is last to open." But the truth is,
yoga begins with the heart, the heart is opening every step of the way, and
it ends with the heart, as we finally become an expression of divine love on
earth. And all of these steps of the heart will not be traumatic, as long as
we do the yoga practices that cultivate smooth purification and opening of
the nervous system. This is what the heart calls us to, and this is what
opens the heart.
If there is discomfort in the heart (non-medical), it is a symptom of energy
imbalance and we should look to our practices and good self-pacing to
resolve it. This is a path of joy, not one of discomfort and fear. So we
always are using practices in a way that cultivates smooth progress and
pleasurable experiences. That way we are always motivated to continue, and
our arrival at our destination is certain.
Keeping yogic teachings secret may have been appropriate in the past, but I
don't think it is appropriate now. There are so many people running around
these days with intense desire for God and practices, spontaneous spiritual
experiences, etc. Burgeoning worldwide spiritual need does not favor such
important knowledge being locked up (in fragments, I might add) in a few
overly protective esoteric traditions. We are in the midst of a massive
shift in world consciousness. Now is the time for everyone to have access to
the complete means for safely and effectively purifying and opening their
nervous system. That is what these lessons are about.
I wish you all success as you continue along your chosen spiritual path.
It's good to have you here, and I hope the lessons will be a
continuing help to you.
The guru is in you.
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