Donna Quesada: So this is fascinating. Again, I’m stepping out and I’m trying to listen with fresh ears and fresh eyes. And…and I think the tendency is to think of monks and yogis sitting in a cave on a cushion and meditating
…sitting perfectly still. And we’re talking about a full body experience, locks…and what are those? And it’s this movement of energy in the body that culminates in the experience that we call enlightenment, or awakening. Could you just speak more about the locks and how this business that takes place in the body, has to do with waking up to a neutral space?
Guru Rattana, Ph.D.: Well, the seat of the kundalini is at the first chakra. So, it may seem a little strange…
DONNA: At the bottom of the spine…
GURU RATTANA: …at the bottom of the spine. But awakening it requires awakening at the first chakra, to awaken the mind. So, that’s why the first three chakras are very important…because the fire, and the fluid energy at the second chakra, which allows the energy to flow up the spine. And being connected to the earth, at the first chakra…that’s required to awaken the kundalini. So, I know some people…some paths only concentrate on the mind.
GURU RATTANA: I guess it works for them. They…so, what they do is, they force energy up with pranayama, which is, they just want to be in the mind. It will work…I’ve never tried it that way, but I see that there’s people that are pretty connected by doing that. But, that’s not our path. We are in the world and we have to stay here and deal with it. So, the locks, which is basically lightly pulling the muscles at the base of the spine, using the…relaxing the second chakra so that the energy flows in at the navel, activating the fire, so that the heat helps awaken. That process moves the kundalini up the spine so that the mind can awaken. So the third eye needs that energy from the base.
DONNA: That infusion of fire energy.
GURU RATTANA: Yeah, it’s an infusion of light. It changes to light. It’s…it’s fire at the navel when it goes down and touches the kundalini. It comes up as light. In the mind, fire is light.
DONNA: I hadn’t planned on asking this, but the conversation makes it seem very relevant. Sometimes students say they see different shades of light at the third eye, maybe purple or blue…Is that all part of the process of the energy moving through the body?
GURU RATTANA: Yeah, and that’s an awakening of the third eye. So, if they see those colors, they should focus on it and use that experience to have…to train themselves to focus. Those colors probably won’t last, and if you think about it, they go away. But the point that they see it…they should focus on it because that is awakening the neutral mind…awakening the third eye. So, to focus on it and be in it…listen to it…it will awaken the third eye. So, it can be…it’s not gonna last forever, but enjoy it while it does, and use it to focus. Train your mind to focus at that point. But don’t get like, hi! I see green!
DONNA: Don’t get stuck on it…
GURU RATTANA: You can’t. It won’t last forever. You can’t get stuck on that.
DONNA: Is this light, what do people mean when they talk about God?
GURU RATTANA: It can be you know…God is everything, so. It can be one thing, but practically…how does that relate to what’s going on with you? I mean, well I see, God. Well, can you call on that energy and feel it in your body and you use it? Can you trust it? That it’s gonna help you? And then can you see it?…in things that happen in your daily life and say, yeah that’s my “God”supporting me? That’s what’s really important. But, however people experience it, if they can stay in that awareness and that awakened state, then that’s where we wanna be. We want to be able to stay there and live our life from that consciousness.
DONNA: So, this brings us back to that practical aspect of why would we want to “wake up”in the first place?
GURU RATTANA: Yeah, well, you know what, unconscious life is really painful. It’s so stressful. I mean it’s…Buddha’s the first one that probably way back, before Buddha…but there were the enlightened ones. But unconscious life is painful…it’s stressful…we suffer. When we’re conscious and we realize that we are one with the universe, we don’t suffer anymore. We’re happy.
DONNA: And that’s what we all want.
GURU RATTANA: Yeah, it’s a better way to live. We only have so long down here, anyway. So, I’m much happier…I’m not saying…like…I don’t worry. I trust my life. It took me a long time to get here, but it’s worth it. It’s such a better way to live. Instead of, oh, I gotta do this…ohhh, I gotta pay my bills…ugh…ugh…ugh…You know, I don’t like being a victim. It’s not fun.
DONNA: So, it increases those qualities of lovely things, like trust and faith?
GURU RATTANA: Yeah, I mean, that’s what we want. That’s the pain…is when we don’t have those things. Then we’re alone, or depressed, or angry, or…you know, sad or…that’s no way to live. That’s what awakening is about…so we can be in a different space. We still have problems. We still have life challenges. Challenges are over. Life’s over. That’s the way life goes. But we can deal with them in a whole different way. And we look at life differently and you know we’re not…we’re happy.
DONNA: That sounds like empowerment to me. So, bringing us back now, where we started…is that what’s meant by empowerment?
GURU RATTANA: Well, there could be a lot of things that empowerment means. But, I like that definition.
DONNA: I do too.
GURU RATTANA: So, I’m going to go for that one right now!
DONNA: And, do you think that the experience is different for men and for women? Is there such a thing as female empowerment that is different from masculine empowerment?
GURU RATTANA: This is my favorite subject. So, ‘cause I write a lot about the polarities…
DONNA: Could you speak about that?
GURU RATTANA: Yeah, It could take a few hours, but yeah. I teach workshops on this. This is my favorite…because it is so basic. Okay, women have their very special configuration, their energy make up. Men have their own special configuration. However, there’s two basic universal energies, and we both have both of them. And I’ve learned over the years and teaching about this, that I don’t call it the “feminine energy”and the “masculine energy”…because then that’s like, oh that’s woman and that’s man. No, we both have both. But men have a little more of the “masculine“and women have a little bit more of the “feminine.”
And then, there’s all the different ways that we express, depending upon our astrological make up. So, men can be…have a lot of feminine, and women can have a lot of masculine. Okay, so, now we’re going to go beyond those topics…those names for those. There’s two basic universal energies. One is stable: it doesn’t change. And one is flowing: it’s always moving. The women have more flowing, and the men have more stable. However, these two energies, as manifested in the human experience, are usually not flowing and stable. Because the…I’m calling it “flowing”and “stable,”so that we can get to…
DONNA: So, this is fascinating…I have not heard the feminine and masculine polarities described in those terms of stable versus flowing. And so, I would love it if you could explain how this fits into the framework that maybe we’re more familiar with, such as yin and yang, or simply feminine versus masculine.
GURU RATTANA: Well, the flowing is the yin and the yang is the stable. And they have so many expressions, so I like to tune into the stable expression and the flowing expression of those two basic universal energies. It’s the same energy; it’s just how we experience it.
DONNA: Well, this is so interesting because generally, when we hear the yang…or, at least when I do, that’s the masculine. That’s the action. That’s the movement. But in reality, you’re saying that that’s actually the stable force.
GURU RATTANA: Well, it is action and it’s stable, as well. So, I will…but I have to get to that point…that requires action. So, first, the stable energy has to do with the mind. The dualistic mind isn’t stable, it’s always in conflict, or always moving. The neutral mind is stable, and the neutral mind connects us to the stability or the unchangeableness…imperturbability of the universe. That quality of the universe. The universe has universal laws. It works in a certain way. The planets are not going to shift orbits. They’re going to flow in their own orbit. There’s a lot of things that are just fixed, and that’s the stable energy which we can experience in our mind, in the neutral channel. And once we can get connected to that stability, than our whole life can change, because our whole energy changes. Our mind has somewhere to go that’s stable, that’s peaceful, that’s relaxed, that’s neutral, that wants nothing and will always be there for us. And that’s an experience that I like and that I teach people because it works for them. It’s an experiential way to have a connection…a real connection and oneness with that energy. So, that‘s why the quality is stable when we tune into it, through the neutral mind. It’s the mental, where the mind needs to be to awakened.
DONNA: And now, this isn’t related to the feminine or the masculine? Or, can we bring it back to…?
GURU RATTANA: Yes, I call that “the masculine.”I got over that because people…then they’re like oh that’s male, that’s man, that’s not woman…it got too…There’s too many things around “masculine and feminine.”So, in our inner reality, just to simplify it and to get to the point that we need to have a stable polarity in our psyche to operate from. That’s why I teach it this way. Because it’s real. There is a stable polarity in the universe through the neutral mind that’s unchangeable. It’s always there. It never changes. It never wants anything. It’s always…just dark…just…it’s very alive, actually. But, we experience it as stable. When we have that stability available, it’s like a tree or a maypole; you can’t have the maypole…the…I don’t know…maybe I’m just that old. When we had maypoles, when we were little…. And we would hold onto a bar and everybody would fly around the one in the middle…
DONNA: Like a tether ball?
GURU RATTANA: Yeah, but there were all the little kids and each one had its own little thing and we would all fly around. You need the pole. You need the stable pole to be able to fly around…to move…to…the moving energy needs stability. It needs a stable polarity.
DONNA: Stability is the masculine?
GURU RATTANA: Yeah.
GURU RATTANA: Yeah. And it’s found in the mind. It’s only in the mind. You can’t have stable in the body. Stable is the masculine mind. And it’s our connection with God, by the way. So, once we have stable, that access point, that channel in our mind, it’s available…the neutral mind…then we can activate the flowing polarity, which is in the body, which always changes, and it can start to relax. Because it isn’t relaxed. We aren’t relaxed because we don’t have stable polarity. Because if you don’t have stable in the mind, the body tries to create stable with stress.
DONNA: Wow. So, the body is the movement, the flow, the feminine?
GURU RATTANA: Yeah, the body is the flow and the feminine. But it can’t relax without the stable.
GURU RATTANA: So, it tries through stress, it tries to create stable, and it tries to do both. And then it can’t relax. But the feminine…yes, is the flowing, and it’s in the body. All the energy is in the body…flow…they move.
DONNA: So, let me make sure I understand. But, it needs the stable, unmoving point of balance, and that’s the mind. And, to get it to that place of stability, that’s what we need the movement of energy for.
GURU RATTANA: Yes. The movement of energy up the spine, the kundalini up the spine, will awaken the consciousness and take us into neutral stable channel and liberate us from the dualistic, conflictual mind.
DONNA: So that we can see properly.
GURU RATTANA: Yeah!
DONNA: What would make someone…I think you talked about stress. Who isn’t stressed? Who doesn’t have stress in their life? But, for many people, they think of different kinds of answers. Having a drink, or going on vacation, you know, as a way of dealing with the stress, or escaping from the stress, if but for a little while. Taking a short trip, or going shopping, or something like this. Why are those methods…or, should I even assume it inferior to this…what seems to be a complex technology that you’re describing. Why is this…oh, let me say it differently…why is this superior to just going on vacation?
GURU RATTANA: You can enjoy your vacations more.
GURU RATTANA: You can enjoy shopping more. Because you’re not stressed out. You can enjoy life more. It’s not like you don’t have those other things, but you know, the substitutes don’t create a solution. They just create an escape, a temporary escape. We want to be always in a state of happiness and peace and we don’t want to have to have to escape. Because the escapism just doesn’t…it doesn’t work.
DONNA: So those are escape…they are substitutes, or escape methods, or mechanisms?
GURU RATTANA: Yeah.
GURU RATTANA: But, a vacation’s good…
DONNA: Because I can imagine someone saying, “why would I want to do that? I have to breathe in a funny way…have to pull these locks…what are these locks and how often do I have to do it?”
GURU RATTANA: Well, it’s our choice. you know, it does take time. You do have to do it, but you feel better. So, the first step is, you do it, you commit…a week, two weeks, forty days…You do it and you feel better. And when you feel better, then you’re like, hmm, I think I like this.I mean, feeling good is the most primal motivating factor.
GURU RATTANA: …For humans. So, I always tell the students that I train, “Just do the active kundalini yoga…the postures, the breathing, the moving…”so that the energy shifts and people start to feel good on a regular basis. Then we’re hooked. That’s how I got hooked…because I felt better. I like to feel good. And I like to feel good every day. I really don’t…can’t stand not feeling good. So, I do kundalini yoga every day. I feel good every day. Get hooked on feeling good every day, and then you can take it to the next step, to the next level of…Then you have an energetic base and your body to start paying attention, to start meditating and awakening the neutral mind. It doesn’t work as well if you don’t create all the activations in the body first. It doesn’t take that long, but for absolute beginners, just start to do yoga. Just go there and feel good and then you’ll be motivated. Because then your life looks better, your energy is more balanced, and things start to happen. That’s because your energy is aligned. And then you like to live like that. And you commit because you want to live that way.
Guru Rattana, Ph.D., author, teacher and teacher of teachers, has been a student of Yogi Bhajan and teacher of his Kundalini Yoga and Meditation for 41 years. She literally lives and loves Kundalini Yoga, and has devoted a large part of her life to teaching and writing books about this amazing technology.
Read and watch Part I Here: Awaken Interviews Guru Rattana – Awaken Is Perceiving What Our Energy’s Doing And How It Relates To Our Soul
Read and watch Part III Here: Awaken Interviews Guru Rattana – Our Neutral Mind Awakens To God Consciousness.