In Sanjam, which is the main component of the Path of Pratyahar (Dissolution), there is the balance, where you hold also equally on the exhale. Dear Ravi,
Also on the inhale, you need to remember to stretch the spine and bring the shoulders back and come into neck lock, the way I described. When you stretch the spine in this way, it automatically aids in holding attention at the base of the spine.
When you inhale (following the channel down) and hold, you expand the energy in the pranic center which is 8 vertebra down. The radiance spreads through the body, expanding through the heart from there, while you hold.
Then you exhale (following the channel up) and squeeze out the breath from the upper part - the clavicle area, down through the chest, through the solar plexus until you feel the lower spine pulling in and the diaphragm below the navel coming up and inward. maintaining that, hold. Then you will also feel a sensation between the 4th vertebra up from the bottom and the Kandal. The effect you will start to feel is the eliminative force of the apana, which you will feel as a sensation of dissolving, as though the whole body and its tensions dissolve, along with the mind, making it very still, a stillness that begins to go beyond silence.
And so you alternate prana expansion, apana withdrawal.
Just a reminder that Kundalini Yoga has a symmetry. Within the practice of the Path of Laya (Radiance), in every set, each exercise has an active and passive aspect, where in you have the posture or movement combined with various types of often powerful breathing, followed by the equally important passive aspect during which period the glands secrete to support, sustain and balance the voltage created during the active period. Then at the end of the set, there is the passive period where the body goes into yoga nidya, like allowing a computer to reboot for new programming to take. So too, the whole Path and Practice of Laya/Radiance is balanced or held in juxtaposition to the more passive, but equally as important Path and Practice Pratyahar/Dissolution. So, each opposite enables another dimension and depth of deepening.
Now in pure Laya practice, radiance expands, and with practice, it starts to penetrate. In many Kriyas you will feel the voltage through the ida and through the pingala, in certain centers, and through the sushumna, like a penetrating electric radiance. Eventually in every cell of your body and throughout the magnetic field. But in Pratyahar practice, which is exemplified by Sanjam, your attention alone moves a kind of a joti or light along the nadis, and at the ajna, base of the spine and muladara. You become very single, inward bent, still, empty, clear, motionless, though moving, and as the mind resolves itself in the heart (spiritual heart, not the chakra), you will notice that you begin to actually see the nadis in your mind's eye.
It's as though you were in a dark room, where you can't see anything, but you have a pinpoint flash light, where you can behind to follow the boarder lines of the room your in. Only in this case, as you keep on following them, it begins to leave both a trace of light and the light of awareness your shining along these lines becomes brighter and brighter itself. You'll see what I mean when you practice every day, at least 10 cycles per sitting, until you feel / see this, then repetitions add little by little. In fact, what your looking at is the under pinnings of the Creation of the Creator, and as you begin to see it, you also experience yourself seeing with the eyes of the Creator.
Now, the mind's eye is different from the physical and mental eyes. The mind's eye is the field of consciousness itself in which the body appears and upon which the thoughts and impressions appear.
If you are practicing Kundalini Yoga, as Yogi Bhajan taught, which is something completely unique and complete, unlike any other Yoga, you will also feel the sensations and experiences I'm writing about here.
When the mind becomes very still in this way, and you can feel the nadis and centers as though there was a finger of light moving along them as you watch the movement with the breathe inhaling or exhaling or holding, then you will begin to also have a number of experiences, such as feeing your sense of "I" as a field of consciousness in which the body is indistinct, undifferentiated. It's a bit the way baby's see and feel. Very very pure.
You will also begin to notice awareness in dreams, and then the diminishing of dreams into a pure state of awareness, which some may call the Christ Consciousness or in all Religions, the Way. For example, the Third Zen patriarch says, "The Way is perfect, like vast space..."
In this Way, you may begin to hear certain sounds, and have certain sights that are happening within you. If you happen to be walking down the street when this occurs, others will feel and experience it as well. You will have some idea then of what it must have been like when Guru Nanak, Christ, Buddha Rama and others walked the Earth. In fact you will feel that kind of presence which is the essence of your True Being.
When you practice the Laya Path with all the Kriyas, etc, and also the Pratyahar Path - Sanjam, then in the Laya practices, you will also notice the disengagement of the focusing mechanism of the mind and simultaneous total body radiance, as though the whole body radiates with light without attention. And you will feel a sense of spatial consciousness, as though your senses are in abeyance, not that you aren't using them, but rather that there is a deeper fuller awareness that pervades and sees truly, and you are within that.
As this continues, something new will begin to happen, and it happens to a large extent due to reading about the Lives and Words of the Sages, Saints and Saviors, which are the manifestation of the Embodiment of Truth. In Buddhism, it's called the Dharmakaya. It's the expresses when he states "I am the Truth" or I am the Light of the World" (Consciousness Itself). It;s the same as when after several weeks in a cave, Guru Nanak comes out and says, "Sat Nam" which can best be translated as "I am the Truth" - and suddenly you experience that there is a complete disengagement of attention and subtle awareness to even the sense of spatial consciousness. the "field" as Krishna calls it, vanishes and you are the screen or substratum of being and light. The Sikhs call this the experience of the "touch nothing" Saint, Apart from the occasional soundless sound of the "I" pulsing as "I", or occasional thought percolating from the fathomless depths, such as "unconditioned" .... "uncaused" .... "without time" .... "no space" .... you are here yet utterly beyond. Complete, yet relying on nothing.
What happens as the mind becomes pure, through this practice of the Path of Laya (Radiance) and the Path of Pratyahar (Dissolution), is that you begin to have the capacity to "hear" the word, meaning to hear who you are, and suddenly there is this inner sense of recollection, a feeling like coming out of a stupor or from a coma, or maybe better said, from a state of amnesia. There arises this impalpable sensation of the pulsing of "I as I" and single pervasive abiding in the Spiritual Heart. (Kartar Purkh illuminates me." (YB)
This is the experience of the "Ik Tar" - the One Star Spirituality.
When the experience first happens to you, it is totally and utterly Grounding, like a Graviton has begun to pulse and suck in and dissolve everything, mind, body everything, and yet you're trying to find out what happened. naturally, you would turn to the lives of the Sages, Saints and Saviors, wherein every Word fills and grips you in a sense of recognition, acknowledgement, remembrance, so that you begin to feel the Transfiguration, as though the atoms of the body are dissipating.
All this to say. Yes, practice Radiance, but also practice Sanjam. This is also expressed clearly in the TT manual.
There's a lot more I could tell you, but really, everything will become clear and well understood when you practice. In so many lectures of yogi Bhajan, in which he describes so many stories and situations people get themselves into, what you will discover is that the remedy is Sadhana, a daily practice, no matter what. Then the days events whatever they are also become part of the Sadhana, and you will understand the teachings better and better, because you rise through to higher and higher vistas.
When the mind becomes very still, the light of awareness begins to light the body, then the nadis, then the sushumna, and you experience and as it passes the throat upwards, the crown opens and there is a sensation of "Wha...." No matter what practice one has, whether Christian, Sikh, Buddhist, Hindu, you will have this. All this to say that these kinds of words that we read are archetypal.
The world and what we are and who we are is much much more than we can conceive.
Message #392 Tue Jul 18, 2006