Kundalini Yoga - My Wake Up Call

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Archivist1

Kundalini Yoga - My Wake Up Call

Post by Archivist1 »

From: JStaebell 10/30/02

A few months back I bought a book that caught my eye...The Kundalini Yoga Experience by Guru Dharam S. Khalsa and Darryl O'Keefe. I've had an interest in Eastern Mysticsm since I was a small child and played around with Hatha Yoga (on my own and not consistently)for the last couple of years.

I found the book fascinating and read it in it's entirety in a single day. The next morning I began doing the suggested kriya's and meditation. I think that I am one of those really creative people that has a hard time staying focused on any one thing and to say that I am disorganized would be an understatement. But I noticed something immediately upon my very first experience. What that something was, I'm still not sure yet, I can only liken it to a feeling of "coming home". I've continued to do those kriya's and meditating every single day since. Sometimes I feel this really weird...ecstatic joy. Weird to me, I suppose, because it's not the norm for me. I'm not unhappy. Just not joyful. I've also noticed this (this is tough to put into words)mental restructuring thing going on as well as an ability and a willingness to be more disciplined in other areas of my life. And this incredible creative flow...

After awhile I decided that it might behoove me to find a teacher of Kundalini. I'm a voracious reader and spend more time reading than anything else, but how far can one go on their spiritual path, doing the exercises out of a book? The back of the book listed a website to check out where I might find a teacher. kundaliniyoga.com. I go to the website and there are 6 teachers listed in the entire state of Colorado. That's not many. But one of them just happens to live in the same small town that I do and I was ecstactic! But I took this to mean there were only 6 teachers of Kundalini in the entire state. Later, I figured out there were only 6 teachers who were members of 3HO in the state.

So I called the number listed and spoke for awhile with this really warm and friendly woman who, had quit teaching for awhile but was starting up another class in a few weeks. Of course I wanted in and couldn't wait for my first class.

My first class went great and like every other day since I have begun the practice, I felt wonderful when it was over. I talked to my new teacher a few times in between classes. Remember, I read alot and I have many questions. I'd been reading everything about Kundalini I could get my hands on over the last few months. I bought everything the local metaphysical bookstore had in stock and hit all the major chains in the nearby "big" city and all the good used book stores. Yesterday I had to start special ordering books on it because I can no longer find anything on the shelves that I haven't already read.

But firsthand experience is better than a book and since I didn't have that I assumed my new teacher would. Mind you I did not bombard her with questions (well, okay...maybe a little).She was really good (and patient) about answering most of my questions. But a couple of times I got a response from her that to me was alarming. She told me that there was alot of "bad stuff" out there that I shouldn't read because it wasn't necessarily the truth and I should stick to material approved by SD/3HO, just to be safe.

Immediately I was uncomfortable with this. Even a little resentful. Why would any "one" person/organization have special insight into a discipline that's been around for a couple thousand years? I am (always) immediately suspicious of anyone who claims to have special knowledge that other's don't. Especially when it involves something so personal as one's spiritual path. At any rate, I'm certain she didn't have any hidden agenda going on with that response. My impression of her for the most part is that she is a really wonderful woman. It's just that that was probably the wrong thing to say to me. I'm a grown woman and I guess I get a little defensive with the implication that I might not be able to discern for myself what's good for me and what isn't. Still, I didn't want that to get in the way of my progress and was determined to keep a good attitude. But still read whatever I felt like reading and make my own judgements about it. She'd also suggested that I write Yogi Bhajan and ask him to do my numerology. She said that because of his special (psychic)abilities that he already knew me. Long before I'd even known about kundalini and that he had drawn me to him spiritually. And to be sure and ask him for my spiritual name. She'd also suggested I attend a retreat coming up in December in Florida, that I would be amazed and uplifted.

I found all of this rather exciting. I've never really been attracted to churches or fellowships or the group thing. I spend alot of time alone and truly enjoy my solitude. But my experiences with Kundalini thus far have really impacted me positively in such a short amount of time and I wanted (and still do) to learn more about it and be around people who have more experience with it than I do and to learn from them. The idea that I might have a spiritual master out there somewhere who's been calling me to him, who knows me without having ever met me....well lets just say that I was a bit skeptical but strangely excited by the whole idea. I wanted it to be true. In fact, the very idea made me feel relieved. Imagine someone truly enlightened, who knows ME and knows things and has experienced things that I have only dreamt about....and he knows me and wants me to come to him to help me along on my path. It could happen! Couldn't it?

Then something rather bizarre happened. A friend of mine came over one night with an outline for a book. We'd been talking about writing a book together and had been kicking around some ideas but never put anything concrete together. I was a little put off by the idea behind it. Basically one of those typical formula's for a trashy dimestore novel. I wanted to do something with a little more depth but he insisted that we could hold to the main idea and still give it some substance. Anyways, it was the right time for me because I've been feeling almost backed up with creative energy and sorely in need of a laxative.

Short and to the point the book involves a woman who gets involved with a cult and disappears. Right now I'm doing some research on cults in America to get a feel for what goes on in a cult, what attracts people to them, mind control, etc., etc.

Imagine my shock and surprise when I came upon yogibhajan.tripod.com which in turn linked me to this forum. I cannot even begin to tell you how my guts are feeling at this very moment. Not just what I've found, but HOW I found it. I don't believe in coincidence. There has just been too many strange and unusual things that have occurred in my life to give coincidence much credence. I was, of course, supposed to find this site exactly when and how I did.

Great fodder for my book if I can ever get past my revulsion. But that's not why I'm writing this now. I was starting to get sucked into this Healthy,Happy, Holy Horseshit. I'm really bummed. I really feel like I found something precious in the last few months. I love the discipline, I love what it's been doing for my head, my heart, my life. The classes are awesome and my teacher is great. But I know she's been doing this for something like 15 or 20 years, most of it spent with YB. She's got to know about all of this. How could she possibly want to be involved with an organization or a man, so deceitful? So morally reprehensible? She just doesn't seem like the type to be associated with something like this and I'm wondering why she stays and I'm going to ask her.

I want to continue my classes but I don't see how I can now. I'm staying with the Kundalini, regardless. And I think I'd stay with the classes too except it would seem that I would be helping to perpetuate something that has done great harm to alot of people. And my teacher had talked to me briefly about meditating on the Golden Link. Keep in mind, I'm a newbie and I don't understand all of the things I've been learning and I don't have all of the lingo down. I don't understand why this Golden Link is so important to my own spiritual path or awakening my Kundalini. I'm pretty certain now that it's not. Most of the material I've been reading and the author's who have written it don't even talk about devotion to a guru...Ravindra Kumar, Gopi Krishna, Sri Chimnoy, John White and others. Makes me a little nervous when a fellow human being is elevated to the status of a deity.

As disappointed and disillusioned as I am after only a few months, I cannot imagine what some of you people have gone through after decades. My heart goes out to you. But I don't believe that all your time spent with this man was wasted. Surely there is much you can teach people like me who want to learn more about Kundalini. No doubt you have much insight into what to watch out for as well. It would be wonderful if some of the X-3HO-Friends could start their own organization. One with the sincere and loving, compassionate purpose that was perhaps what you sought in 3HO. Maybe just skip the hierchy thing, lol! There are alot of people out there like me, who need people like you with your knowledge and experience. I know personally I'm feeling rather bewildered right now. I still want to be involved in a class, I want to learn and experience everything I can about Kundalini. And I can do it on my own, I'm sure of that. But I could get alot more out of it if I had a little help.

Are there other organizations around that I could turn to? If so, I'd appreciate any info you could give me.

Thanks. And sorry...I didn't mean to write a book. At least not here!

JStaebell

Archivist1

Re: Kundalini Yoga - My Wake Up Call

Post by Archivist1 »

From: JStaebell 11/1/02

I think that maybe Kundalini Yoga was working for me because of my intentions. But I have spent the last 3 days glued to my computer reading about the experiences of ex-3HOers and I am sickend by how close I came to getting caught up in it all. And how I may have inadvertently gotten some of my friends involved also.

I've really had to stop and think about why I wanted so badly to believe that someone else might have the answers I seek, that someone could have the ability to direct me on my spirtual path, so precisely and profoundly. Maybe it's because I wanted to avoid the truth because the truth means having to take responsibility for my own actions. Because the truth means that the responsibility for my relationship with God falls squarely on my shoulders and the so called answers that I seek I will find by following my own inner guidance and that get's a little boring sometimes. There have been many times when I didn't trust it and have often questioned it. But I have been fortunate in my life in that there have been many blatent, in-my-face signs along the way that have shown up at exactly the right time. They haven't always told me what to do, but I've often learned what not to do. In this case, though, I've gotten both. I'll continue my studies and discipline in yoga and meditation. HATHA yoga and meditation. No Kundalini for me.

This is about my spirtual growth not Yogi Bhajan's bank account. And I'm MAD AS HELL that there are people like him out there getting away with this crap! I'm still not sure what to do about the other people in my Kundalini Yoga class. They deserve to know the other side of the story. And I'm bummed about my teacher. I really like her and she really believes in Yogi Bhajan and really believes in what she's doing. How painful it will be for her if she ever gets around to reconciling herself with the truth about him. It was painful for me and I wasn't involved in it that long.

Thank God I never went on any of these retreats. I was about to. I was about to write YB and send him money to do my numerology and recieve my spiritual name. I want to vomit. But as angry and disappointed as I am at YB and this whole cult thing, I'm even more angry and disappointed with myself. That I would be so ready and willing to give up who I am and trade it for a lie. I think partly because I was being just plain lazy.

There's so much garbage out there with all this NewAge metaphysical stuff and I've often watched in amazement at the number of people being hoodwinked into believing in this or that belief system or psychic or motivational speaker while they fork over their hard earned cash. I never thought for a minute that I'd be one of them. I have a girlfriend who seems to be normal in almost every respect but recently she told me that she goes to the park and talks to the Rock People. The Rock People for God's sake! I thought I was gonna choke. But while I was busy pointing my finger and trying not to laugh, I was getting sucked into something far worse. While I don't feel inspired to go talking to rocks, to my knowledge her Rock People haven't told her to change her name, give up her identity, give them her money and possessions and they will direct her on her spiritual path. By comparison, Rock People are pretty benign.

If I've learned anything from all of this, it's something that I've heard a good deal of my life. There aren't any anwer's "out there". The answers lie within. I've heard that so often it had begun to sound corny. It really doesn't anymore. Matter of fact, today I think it's rather profound and I can see the truth in it.

I'm really grateful to the people on this forum for having the courage and strength to come forward with this information. And can never thank you enough. I can't help but wonder what my life would look like a year from now if I had not happened upon this site and a few others. Your doing a good thing here... and please, don't EVER doubt it.

JStaebell

stevenvincent

Re: Kundalini Yoga - My Wake Up Call

Post by stevenvincent »

This sort of stuff is endemic. It's everywhere in every nook and cranny of every spiritual tradition. Why? Money and power. Any organized spirituality, even if it starts off well intentioned and genuine, will eventually become corrupted by samsara. All spiritual traditions and practices have their period of bloom and flower and then they succumb to rot and become tools of money and power. All. That is simply the nature of samsara.

Learn some basic practices, borrow from different traditions, do what resonates for you and practice mainly on your own or with friends. It is between you and Spirit. If they tell you that you must have an intermediary in order to engage in relationship with Spirit then they are trying to take your money and control you.

forget-me-not

Re: Kundalini Yoga - My Wake Up Call

Post by forget-me-not »

stevenvincent wrote:This sort of stuff is endemic. It's everywhere in every nook and cranny of every spiritual tradition. Why? Money and power. Any organized spirituality, even if it starts off well intentioned and genuine, will eventually become corrupted by samsara. All spiritual traditions and practices have their period of bloom and flower and then they succumb to rot and become tools of money and power. All. That is simply the nature of samsara.

Learn some basic practices, borrow from different traditions, do what resonates for you and practice mainly on your own or with friends. It is between you and Spirit. If they tell you that you must have an intermediary in order to engage in relationship with Spirit then they are trying to take your money and control you.
I like this a lot. Thank you for posting.

stevenvincent

Re: Kundalini Yoga - My Wake Up Call

Post by stevenvincent »

Your welcome. Now send your donation to me via PayPal to srisricubedmahamahasupermegayogiji@theonlyoneandtrueyogi.com. And do 500 prostrations in front of my portrait.

Lama Lilan Po Ph.D.

Re: Kundalini Yoga - My Wake Up Call

Post by Lama Lilan Po Ph.D. »

Please, is it possible to donate one-tenth of my income? Or perhaps I am unworthy.

stevenvincent

Re: Kundalini Yoga - My Wake Up Call

Post by stevenvincent »

Even the suggestion of the offer of such a paltry amount is enough to condemn you to rebirth for 1000 mahakalpas in the patala hells of miserly wannabes.

greenheart

Re: Kundalini Yoga - My Wake Up Call

Post by greenheart »

It is so bizarre reading this account, I've just gone through a very similar thing and I'm still struggling to decide how I feel about all this. Over the past few months I do feel like I've been guided to Kundalini Yoga and the experience has been so fulfilling and eyeopening. I finally decided that I was going to do the teacher training so that I could carry this around with me forever but, on looking into the fees, etc, I saw a few things that made me decide to look into it a bit further ($500 admin fee if you decide to back out before the first teacher training class with no refunds whatsoever after the second, ongoing minimum payment of $120 annually to the 3ho organisation). As an ex-catholic with a passing interest in cults, I'm always suspicious of any organised religion or seemingly religious organisation. In my mind, once someone starts telling you that they know all the mystical answers (and asks you for money for it), you need to start digging. Thankfully, but disturbingly, I came across this website. It's a bit devastating because I really felt that I'd found something that would improve not just my life but the lives of everyone around me. I could pass on little meditation techniques and help people to be happier and live more positively.
I have similar questions to JStaebell:
Is there any of this practice and community that I can salvage (i do yoga with some wonderful people)?
Now that YB is dead am I still funding a corrupt cult by participating in the teacher training? Is there actually any real benefit to kundalini yoga?
Is it worth pursuing in any way and, if not, to where should I turn?
Can anyone recommend another form of yoga/meditation that they feel has similar effects?

Thank you so much for any guidance and/or support that you can offer.

greenheart

Re: Kundalini Yoga - My Wake Up Call

Post by greenheart »

It is so bizarre reading this account, I've just gone through a very similar thing and I'm still struggling to decide how I feel about all this. Over the past few months I do feel like I've been guided to Kundalini Yoga and the experience has been so fulfilling and eyeopening. I finally decided that I was going to do the teacher training so that I could carry this around with me forever but, on looking into the fees, etc, I saw a few things that made me decide to look into it a bit further ($500 admin fee if you decide to back out before the first teacher training class with no refunds whatsoever after the second, ongoing minimum payment of $120 annually to the 3ho organisation). As an ex-catholic with a passing interest in cults, I'm always suspicious of any organised religion or seemingly religious organisation. In my mind, once someone starts telling you that they know all the mystical answers (and asks you for money for it), you need to start digging. Thankfully, but disturbingly, I came across this website. It's a bit devastating because I really felt that I'd found something that would improve not just my life but the lives of everyone around me. I could pass on little meditation techniques and help people to be happier and live more positively.
I have similar questions to JStaebell:
Is there any of this practice and community that I can salvage (i do yoga with some wonderful people)?
Now that YB is dead am I still funding a corrupt cult by participating in the teacher training? Is there actually any real benefit to kundalini yoga?
Is it worth pursuing in any way and, if not, to where should I turn?
Can anyone recommend another form of yoga/meditation that they feel has similar effects?

Thank you so much for any guidance and/or support that you can offer.

forget-me-not

Re: Kundalini Yoga - My Wake Up Call

Post by forget-me-not »

greenheart wrote:Is there any of this practice and community that I can salvage (i do yoga with some wonderful people)?
Now that YB is dead am I still funding a corrupt cult by participating in the teacher training? Is there actually any real benefit to kundalini yoga?
Is it worth pursuing in any way and, if not, to where should I turn?
Can anyone recommend another form of yoga/meditation that they feel has similar effects?

Thank you so much for any guidance and/or support that you can offer.
Welcome, greenheart!

Unfortunately, KY Teacher Training and yoga classes, KRI, White Tantric Yoga, 3HO/Sikh Dharma, etc. are money-making fronts for a very corrupt, dangerous group. There are sweet people in the group, but after so many years I don't believe they are unaware of their group's dark side. They're just in denial. Read the abuse stories from the children who survived "Distance Therapy" camps and Dharmic Education schools in India. It's still going on. They still protect pedophiles in their group, still deny that child abuse has occured, and still denigrate survivors and truth tellers as negative malcontents.

As for KY, Yogi Bhajan made it up without good understanding of human anatomy and physiology. A lot of it is just calisthentics combined with heavy breathing and lines from Sikh prayers. Some of the postures are considered "banned moves" by physical therapists because they cause injuries. But enough hyperventilation, trance work and endorphins will get anybody high.

During yoga classes, Bhajan just threw things together along with pronouncements of how this will give you power, how this will give you wealth, how repeating such-and-such for x-amount of minutes and days will cure this or that ailment. HE MADE IT ALL UP. He also made hypochondriacs out of a lot of us by creating so many yoga sets and meditations to fix problems we didn't even know we had:

Perfectionism and Hypochondria in 3HO

I think a lot of the perceived benefits of KY and White Tantric Yoga stem from mass hypnosis in group environments and placebo effect. That's not to knock placebo effect! The human mind is amazingly powerful, but any healing that comes from placebo is something the mind can do already; the pill (or in this case the yoga) is not really necessary.

It might help to be very specific about the effects of KY that you like. What are the good feelings that you get from KY? Odds are that there are other ways to achieve them without KY.

Again, welcome to the forum.

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