Tonight, I am a satellite.
I am a solitary drifter.
Observing. Searching the cosmos.
Embarking on a quest for knowledge.
I sit and gaze steadily at the pine cone in front of me. A perfect specimen of the Fibonacci spiral.I stare intently at the center of its crown, even as the natural spiral tries to draw my attention outward like a spiraling corkscrew. My focus is fixed. After a few minutes, it seems as though the center of the pine cone is becoming a white-hot pinpoint. After a few minutes more, this pinpoint seems to be an entire galaxy. Still, my focus is steady, as if my life depends on describing all the stars, and their planets, contained in this minuscule galaxy.
When I first began this style of meditation, I would have described it as a process of "peeling a hole in the universe" through pure conscious. The idea is that, when you find yourself with a moment to spare, you may look around you and find any blemish or imperfection on any object or surface... And if you are able to focus on this point, you will find that it is a gaping passage into another world. The blemish, pattern, or imperfection is simply "a glitch in the matrix". Once you peel the hole, you may pass through it into another dimension. It doesn't have to be a pine cone. I have used a dime, placed at arm's length, and focusing on the mint mark on the face of it. I have used a grain of salt on my fingertip... the first time I did it, I was staring intently at a string cheese wrapper. Later, I found that this meditative process I thought I had developed was simply the serendipitous discovery of an ancient meditation technique called "Trataka", translated as "Fixed gaze" or "Steady focus", and it is traditionally practiced by looking into a candle flame.
At first, the eyes want to wander. They seem impossible to control; fidgeting and flitting about. After just a few moments of staring at a stationary object, their attention is drawn by any movement, any sound, any color that may promise to be more stimulating. The Mind must master the eyes. Eventually the eyes become disciplined, and a steady gaze is possible. Even still, the eyes crave to be active. They try to adjust focus on the stationary object. Again, the mind must command the eyes to be singular in purpose. Once a steady gaze, and a fixed focus is established, the mind is free to relax. Upon relaxing the mind, there is often felt a sensation of leaving the body. For me, it is the sensation of "falling into my own head". This is the rabbit hole. The wormhole leading out of this world.
Once this sensation sets in, I close my eyes. At first, it seems as if there is a wall of darkness just beyond my reach, but this is simply due to the fact that the brain is accustomed to observing the world outside of headspace, and had some difficulty with the concept of self-observation. In the day-to-day, it is used to operating in a proximity (usually the cushion of space arms' length from oneself) that we usually term as a "personal bubble". But the mind now must master itself. The brain must become introspective, and confront its own delusions: consciousness—the processing of all sensory experience and thought— occurs within the brain, not within the cushion of space surrounding the body.
Did you know that the eyes are technically an outgrowth of the brain? Our brains are literally bulging out of our skulls. Exposed. Protected only by a thin fold of skin, and the brain's ability to observe, interpret and avoid threats through reflex.
I meditate on the absolute zero clearance between my eyes and my eye lids. I struggle to reach a conscious level of awareness that this blackness—this almost tangible void— is not outside of me, it is within me. If I am able to come to terms with the fact that my entire existence is emanating from my conscious and subconscious mind, I continue to freefall into my own head, and experience nothingness: Zen masters call it "No Thought". I soften my gaze at the seemly expansive black void of my quiet headspace, and try to conceive of the vastness of my universe. Yet again, I must remind myself of the fact that my eye lids pose a physical barrier to the outside world, resting on the surface of my eyes. Again, my eyes revolt in a fit of self-importance, insisting that this is trickery. But the real trickery is every day life. In everyday wakefulness, the eyelids are only allowed to cover the eyes for a few hundredths of a second at a time. Because the brain places such value in the function of vision, it has hardwired, autonomic commands, which cause the blink to become nearly imperceptible to the conscious mind. But now the conscious mind is attempting to acknowledge the very presence and position of the eyelids. My poor, weary eyes are conditioned to believe that they are the gateway to my reality. That through them, I am able to perceive my world. This is why they are so eager to perform, and so anxious at the thought of relaxation... Through habit, they try to see beyond my eyelids but they are unable. Unable to focus on my eyelids, they ache, twitch, spasm. My eyes seem to have a will of their own, which my mind must struggle to tame. They seem to suffer from claustrophobia; They can't handle the proximity of my eyelids. Flashes of light, and electric white circles dance in my head as my brain receives a frantic neural feed through quivering optic nerves. I must calm my eyes with my mind: 'you are not needed at this time, I can see just fine without you...'. Eventually, my eyes relax, and my brain activates an eye of its own.
My third eye stirs in the recesses of my reptilian brain. I am entering the realm of pure conscious. From this realm emanate the esoteric abstractions of universal knowledge and energies, the concept of Nirvana, transcendence, or absolution through communion with the divine self found therein. The Chakras and their various domains, the flow of Yin and Yang energy throughout the universe, the Sephirot and the rungs of Jacob's Ladder-- All consciously perceived only by those who have a sense of this dimension. There are worlds within worlds. The physical realm lies on the surface of all human experience. In order to get below the surface, one must venture inward. On this inward journey, one may encounter the true self. But to reach this depth of self-knowledge, one must be disciplined, with singleness of purpose: to navigate the precipice between physical stimulation of the senses, and a welling chasm of thought which reflects the outer world, and the outer self.
Within me—within the confines of my skull—there is boundless space, unexplored territory... ever expanding, yet my conscious is coalescing and condensing as my mind becomes centered. Now that my eyes have submitted to my intentions, I am able to begin drawing my other senses inward. My body awareness becomes more keen as I "scan" its surface in a microcosmic orbit. I situate my skeleton on the axis of my spine, and feel the flow of chi, serpentine, rhythmic. This is Kundalini energy. Ancient mystics describe it as "the serpent coiled three and a half times at the base of the spine". it is represented in the symbol of the Caduceus; the symbol of medicine. The two intertwined serpents represent positive and negative energy, or active and passive, yin and yang. The light serpent is known as Ida, and is the essence of masculine, or Yang force. Pingala is the dark, and represents receptive or passive energy. Like terminals on a battery, winds on an electromagnet, these two channels run along the spine. The spine is the staff represented in the Caduceus. The wings of the Caduceus represent the soul or human spirit, and its potential to "ascend". Kundalini energy is latent in the human organism, and is roused and cultivated by yogic practice, and meditation. Though it is said that some Gurus are able to waken Kundalini in others with a simple touch, or even with their voice. Kundalini is cosmic energy, and the spine is a veritable superconductor of this energy. The human brain the quintessential node between the two.
Ida, the active force of Yang energy, elongates and straightens my spine and stretches my neck. Pingala, the passive energy of Yin, flows behind, soothing my body in waves of relaxation and healing. They follow the path of the microcosmic orbit. Up the spine, over the head, down the throat to the navel, and around again. This energy slithers and weaves between the chakras, drawing vital energy from the extremities and channeling it up to the crown. My toes find repose. slowly my ankles release all tension, and I feel my conscious pull away from my feet altogether. I relax my calves, my knees, my thighs, my haunches.... each region that relaxes releases more awareness, which is drawn in by the black hole forming in my mind. The single goal of this process is to direct all conscious thought, all sense, all awareness, into that void in my head. The void becomes more dense, more energized. Blue-white energy is building. Deeper still, the vortex of this wormhole is opening. At last, the third eye looks up along the axis of the spine, beyond the crown chakra...
Kundalini is awakening.