There is a reason why, on the spiritual path, we are eventually drawn to certain places, certain people, or certain things. There is a reason we begin to associate with things that elevate us, whether we are conscious of it or not, and why we instinctually begin to move away from or let go of things that are not serving us in a deeper way. These changes begin within us on a very subtle level… the level of energy… where our subtle body, or pranic body begins to resonate with the greater energy of the universe. That is simply how the energy body of a human being is programmed and wired. It wants to align with the greater whole of existence because we are inherently part ofthe greater whole. This is the inevitable shift that begins to happen for anyone partaking in practices such as yoga or meditation… practices that are ultimately spiritual in nature, even if spirituality is not your initial intent. The degree to which this happens and your resulting perception of it, is merely a result of how intentional your practice is.
Energy is all-pervasive. It knows no boundaries. It doesn’t judge. It doesn’t intellectualize. It simply vibrates, resonates and merges with the frequencies that surround it, governed by the laws of nature, and the stronger vibration will always absorb the weaker. We see this in sound waves and light waves, and on a very subtle level, it is also seen in mind waves, as sometimes evidenced by what’s known as the ‘pack mentality’ – where individually, one may not behave or think in a certain way, but when surrounded by others who have strong opinions or actions toward certain things, one can easily get ‘pulled into’ that thinking, viewpoint or action merely because the other persons energy vibration… their outward mental or physical action… is stronger than their own. The stronger energy always absorbs and feeds the weaker, regardless of what the quality of the energy is. Labeling the energy “good” or “bad” is our own human construct, but energy is just energy, abiding by the laws of the natural universe.
Energy has an infectious sort of quality to it. What we surround ourselves with has an impact on us, regardless of whether or not we recognize it. There is a reason why, when we are surrounded by people who are angry and stressed, we can feel ourselves and our mood being pulled down too, even if we have no direct interaction with that person but are merely in their presence. Conversely, when we get out into nature, where everything is existing in it’s inherently perfect, energetic harmony, we almost always feel calm, at peace and internally clear. Sometimes we recognize this energy output when we simply get a “bad vibe” about someone, even if we can’t put our finger on why.
The energy of existence is palpable if we’re tuned into it, and when another energy is stronger than our own, be it like that of an angry person or like the serenity of nature, our own energy will often merge with the energy of the surrounding situation if we don’t take care to prevent that from happening. If you are an empath, you know this concept well. Energy is in a perpetual state of exchange, and so at times you may also notice that the strength of your own energy is such, that others will merge with what youare feeling and putting out instead of the other way around.
In fact, this concept is one of the primary focal points and natural by-products of the yoga and meditation practices… stabilizing and strengthening our internal energy system so it becomes primarily unaffected by other external energies that surround us. This internal, pranic stability is what creates the calm, peaceful and balanced quality you find in people who have been doing these practices for a long time. A strong, stable energy system naturally creates internal peace. Ultimately, if and when we reach the point where our kundalini awakens (kundalini being the ultimate, directive, conscious, pranic energy that lies untapped inside the human mechanism until such time that it becomes activated) that powerful energy source will then take on the sole task of aligning us with the higher energy of the universe, which is inherently conscious, loving and peaceful.
Kundalini aside, this is why on the spiritual path, or simply in our own individual pursuit of happiness and contentment, it becomes increasingly important to intentionally surround ourselves with things that naturally uplift or inspire us. At a certain point in your yoga and meditation practice, if you are paying close enough attention, you will notice that this alignment begins to happen naturally. This is because these practices naturally enhance our awareness and create a subtle expansion of consciousness. Consciousness is the strongest energy there is… it is the universal vibration of harmony and love, and at it’s essence, our individual energy, which is part of our consciousness, is always longing to merge with the greater, expansive, loving consciousness of the universe. Of course opening and raising your kundalini will only hasten you toward that end, as that is kundalini’s primary purpose.
Regardless, if we are practicing yoga and meditating regularly, our own energy, or prana, will begin to ‘pull’ us toward things that elevate or expand us, and away from the things that bring us down, or contract us. Because these small shifts are occurring on the energetic level, operating on a wavelength that is more subtle than our conscious mind, we often don’t see the shifts as they are happening and only recognize their significance after the fact, once we have seen the fruits of change. This energetic pull is also where the experience of synchronicity comes from… people, places or things of significance coming on to our path at exactly such a time that gives it deep relevance and meaning. While we tend to chalk these moments up to “coincidence” synchronicity is merely one energy subconsciously connecting to and merging with another energy for a very specific purpose… our growth as a conscious being.
We can let all this movement and aligning of energy continue to happen on an unconscious level, and it will still continue to guide us down our life path. However, it is extremely important on a conscious mind-level, to make choices that will support and further our growth in a cohesive manner… and the two things are not mutually exclusive. The mind is simply a subtler aspect of our energy or pranic body, and on a deeper level still, kundalini is merely an aspect of our consciousness. So what we choose to think about, talk about, and learn about is just as important as what we surround ourselves with physically, materially and experientially. On a fundamental level, we can let life unconsciously unfold for us and let it take us where it will, or we can actively become more conscious… of our surroundings, of how things effect us, and of the choices we routinely make. Then, we can make intentional decisions that support what instinctually feels right, thereby actively working with this harmonization of energy.
The Pull to Align
My ongoing attraction to India, Rishikesh in particular, has exemplified this concept to me in really clear and profound ways. On my first visit to Rishikesh I felt an immediate connection, vague as it was. Upon planning my second trip here I was not aware of exactly what the pull was, only that there was one, and I wondered if I would feel the same way once I arrived, or if I had ‘built up’ the memories and experiences in my head. Once here, that second trip then cemented the fact that there was, in fact, some sort of deep connection, which is in part why I chose to do my advanced teacher training here the following year, last spring. I wanted to learn in a place of connectivity. That trip, my third, began to give me a deep awareness of what this place held for me. But even then, I knew I had not allowed myself enough time outside my teacher training. I knew I needed more… that I needed to explore the energetic connection on a deeper, conscious level… which is what brought me to plan a significant amount of time here on this trip. For me, this progression clearly exemplifies how this connection to the energy of Rishikesh has morphed from a vague, subconscious “pull” to an intentional, conscious decision to explore and interact.
The beautiful thing about this is, once you make the decision to follow those instinctual pulls, the unfolding that occurs begins to have a magical quality to it. Since following the continued ‘pull’ toward India, and more specifically since deciding to take this spiritual sojourn… not just to India, but beginning with the holy sites in Nepal and then onto the supremely sacred Mt. Kailash in Tibet… things have fallen into place with the greatest of ease. And the synchronicity… that tangible alignment of energy, which is like a signpost on our path, letting us know we are moving in the right direction… has happened so many times and often with such profundity that it wouldn’t seem plausible were I not living it.
In the last two and a half months, one beautiful, transcendent thing after another has fallen into my lap since my journey began. From the places I have chosen to stay, the people I have met as a result, the teachers I have pursued and the smallest choices I have consciously made… each one has given me an obvious and specific gem that has connected me directly to my higher goal for this trip… that of spiritual growth and understanding. This is partially why it is so important to actively increase our awareness through our yogic practices. Because sometimes the signs are blatant and obvious, but other times they are more subtle and easily missed if we’re not paying close enough attention… and I truly believe that noticing these “signposts” are an important aspect in helping us stay engaged, confirming with a sense of empowerment that things are in fact happening exactly as they are supposed to and with our growth and evolution as their primary purpose.
As we continue to evolve, there is a natural widening of one’s spiritual path, and we begin to see with clarity, that all things happen only when the time is right and when we are most ripe for their understanding. Still, having a desire for growth and an intention toward that end is a huge asset we have at our disposal. We can let things unfold of their own accord, and they will do so however they are supposed to. But we can also take an active role in our own growth and potential. Yoga teaches that we are born into this life to learn very specific lessons… things that are left over from last time around, things that, once learned, will elevate us toward that ultimate goal of self-realization and oneness with the universe. Some people call this idea fate… that we are here to be led to a certain destination. But we also have the free will to decide not just howwe want to traverse the path there, but to help create the path itself.
Thus, yoga teaches that we are bound neither by fate nor free will alone, but rather, that the dance of the universe, of which we are an integral part, is an interactive one. We are both the dancer and the dance itself. We can move any way we like, but our soul is in a perpetual state of evolution and we are moving with a specific purpose regardless of whether or not we recognize it. In yoga, this purpose is called our dharma. It is why we were put here on this earth… to figure out and use our specific, individual gifts in ways which will advance not only the progression of our own soul, but will elevate all those around us as well. But to make the best use out of our time here, that is our karma… the previous actions that have written our current situation and more importantly, our current actions, which help carve out our future path.
This time in Rishikesh is so clearly aligning me with some higher truth. I am seeing with great clarity how, the deeper you allow yourself to acknowledge and be in this natural flow of energy, the more powerful it becomes. I am feeling, with almost an alarming sense, the connection to all the beauty this universe has to offer. Choosing to be surrounded by sacred land, like-minded people, great scholars and enlightened souls… so many people who are all here doing the work… all of this has such a strong energetic imprint that I cannot help but be pulled into and affected by it. So while my own energy – that powerful and uplifting energy of consciousness – continues to get stronger, it also continues to be pulled in and fed by an even stronger energy source… one that people have been coming and tapping into here for thousands of years with the exact same intention – that of letting this greater energy become a catalyst for all the untapped possibility which resides inside us. Once we tap into this and become aware of it, the natural, effortless result is for beautiful things to manifest themselves.
It is at this juncture in this discussion of energy, intuitive pull and universal alignment, that I must interject something important: While on this trip, I have not been working with KAP (Kundalini Activation Process) or with kundalini in any way specifically, but it has become clear to me nonetheless, that my initiation into and my work with KAP energy in the months preceding my departure has had a profound effect and played a vital role in all of the synchronicity, growth and evolution I am currently experiencing.
Since being here in India, and during the time on my pilgrimage to sacred Mt. Kailash before I arrived in Rishikesh, I have been supremely and happily immersed in the yogic realm, diving deep into all the aspects of these ancient teachings, but I need to make clear, that while kundalini is a deep and intrinsic part of the more esoteric teachings on yoga, KAP specifically follows it’s own unique lineage outside the confines of yogic theory and philosophy. This, for me, has created an interesting juxtaposition of both practice and application… but one that inherently feels natural, provocative and cohesive for me on an intuitive level, despite a somewhat segregated methodology between two approaches that are ultimately both working toward the same end-point.
That being said, at least at the outset of my trip, I had been feeling a sense of sadness and sudden disconnection from KAP and all the growth that was surfacing for myself and others… as connecting people to KAP energy had been creating so much expansion and connectivity for all parties involved. I lamented the timing of it all, and the feeling of having to ‘walk away’ at the outset of something so wonderful which was unfolding before me. Regardless, once I embarked, I enthusiastically immersed myself in all the powerful yogic teachings available to me, pursuing different experiences from different teachers and different lineages, and letting my recent time and interaction working with KAP simply move onto the back burner. I found that during this feeling of disconnection I needed to just hang onto the letting go and the surrendering to the larger flow of the universe, knowing there was an intentional unwrapping of some divine plan I just wasn’t privy to yet.
But now that I’ve had some time and space to reflect, I see that the magical way things have unfurled (I use the word magicbecause I cannot think of another word that feels more appropriate!) is in direct correlation to all the changes brought on by KAP right from the start so many months ago. So feeling disconnected or not, I’m now seeing with great clarity, the distinct connectionbetween KAP and the incredible depth and breadth of my progression and understanding of self which I am currently experiencing.
In writing about prana and energy from the yogic perspective and it’s inherent pull toward harmony and alignment, it’s fair to repeat that this alignment will eventually happen through the yogic practices alone… this progression has been self-evident in my own life over the last decade or so. After all, there is a reason these practices have remained consistent for thousands of years. But opening kundalini, which is the pinnacle of the yogic practices and an inherent part of our divine evolution as a conscious being, simply puts this progression on the fast-track. So any frustration or disharmony I felt at the timing of things… departing for this trip and having to bookmark KAP for a later date just when I felt the energy and momentum building in such a beautiful way… has now morphed into overwhelming gratitude. Gratitude that it was in my karmic blueprint for KAP to cross my path and come into my life exactly when it did beforethis trip, as it has literally provided the framework for all this soul expansion to unfold itself here in this sacred land. But of course, this was exactly how it was supposed to happen, I just couldn’t see it at the outset. And truthfully, it’s only been in writing this and beginning to find articulation for what I’ve been experiencing, that I have realized the full impact of what the last eight months or so have brought me, beginning with how KAP came to mein the first place.
As always, things present themselves the way in which they are most beneficial to our growth as a spiritual being, and while there is no question that my years of dedicated yoga practice, my ever-deepening meditation practice and my unquenchable thirst for intellectual understanding of the unfathomably vast yogic teachings have given me an unshakable foundation from which to grow, and that immersing myself deeper into the yogic realm here in what I affectionately call “The Motherland” has been such an incredible catalyst… but I also feel that the huge, expansive opening I am experiencing here is in large part a result of having been opened and readied by the KAP process. At this exact moment, as all these experiences begin to further coalesce, I could not ask for more from the universe. She is nurturing me in every possible way… and then some… and there is no question that, on a a daily basis, my energy is aligning itself with the greater whole of the universe… and it is extraordinary.
For some reading these words, this entire realm may seem far-fetched and rather esoteric, to which I would acknowledge that for each of us, the goal of our own life should be our own truth. Wisdom, the true understanding of what we are, what this universe is and what is available to us, can only be had by treading our own path our own way, and by looking inward while doing so. Every great text, every great religion, every great philosophy and teaching on the ‘meaning of life’ and our true nature, no matter how it is presented, ultimately says this same thing: Know thyself. The path to divinity starts and ends inside our own being, and in yoga specifically, all of the ancient texts support the idea that self-realization can only be attained through experientialunderstanding… that you can seek the knowledge others have to share, and you can (and should) ponder the teachings on an intellectual level, but that you should never take anything you are told as subjective truth. To find real wisdom, to find real understanding, you must go into your own being. You must explore your own mind, your own body, your own thing you call your self, and see what unfolds for YOU. Only there, will you find inner peace, profound harmony, total alignment, and your own version of truth… which is really the only version that matters.
From India, with deep love and an open heart,
*This post was originally published and can be found along with other insightful information at Barbara Blum Yoga