Photo Credit: Vlad Eftenie
Whenever I travel by plane, I absolutely love to sit on the window seat. I push my head into the small window and become part of the sky. Several years ago, when I read in one of Osho’s books that flying by plane naturally amplifies the meditation state which we possess within us, I smiled. This state was familiar to me, it was the one I enjoyed the most. It would be even fair to say that meditation represented my refuge from life on earth – its purpose had always been somewhat of a mystery to me.
January 2013, I was heading back from India from a month-long yoga teacher training, followed by two weeks spent in Sivananda’s ashram. I was looking forward to the three flights ahead of me, but I wasn’t very happy about my not-so-inspired ticket choice: New Delhi – Dubai – Istanbul – Bucharest. It seemed though that my journey was starting on the right foot: a window seat was waiting for me on the first flight and the neighboring seats were empty. I rejoiced about my private space and I immediately turned my head towards the window to watch the Indian clouds and fare them “good-bye for now, my friends”. After some time, it’s hard for me to approximate how long, I felt the need to move. As soon as I straightened my back, my body was rapidly surprised by a heat wave. I felt I was blushing – my pelvis was assaulted by a strong vibration. My breath was all over the place, sensations were coming and going. All this time, all I could think of was: “Don’t make a sound, Dana!”.
Yes, the pleasure I felt made me want to moan – but at the same time, I was incredibly ashamed. Luckily, there were no witnesses to my glorious moment and I started to doubt my own experience. I looked at my palms, wanting to reassure myself that I wasn’t touching myself in any way and that I wasn’t immersed in some kind of erotic dream. I leaned my head towards the front chair and started to dig my nails into the palms to insure I was awake. I felt something like a generalized orgasm passing through my body and the sensations became stronger while they ascended inside me like a powerful energy wave. I thought to myself: “Fucking shit kundalini”. I then felt the wave stop in the heart area, but my state of pure bliss continued even afterwards. I was totally one with the sky. A place where one could really exist…
Later on, the flight attendant announced that we were going to land, leaving me with the feeling that someone had punched me in the stomach. I didn’t want to descend back to earth! What would I do there? It’s not for me! It hasn’t been before, let alone now…? Who am I? What am I? Have I gone mad before my time? Right away, I remembered how one of my friends used to scold me: “Dana, such soul searching is something to do when you’re old, when you have made something of your life, you are financially stable and you have lived your life. Otherwise, you’ll go crazy and lose yourself!” I wasn’t scared of losing myself – I felt I could not lose myself more than I already was in my earthly life. However, I was scared of going crazy and I felt it was a bit too early for that to happen…
After getting off the plane, I started shaking so strongly and my feet were so weak that I had to take a moment. I squatted, tried not to get in anybody’s way and told myself to be brave, get up and find a chair. I would then see what will happen with my life and the earth, whatever that may be. But until then, I had to pull myself together enough to find a place to sit. One thing was clear: I had experienced half a kundalini. Half, as in mathematics: ½. The energy flow had stopped in the heart chakra. Having just returned from yoga school, I knew that the heart chakra actually contains two energy areas: the lower heart, encompassing the love for the people you know, and the higher heart, home of the true Self and the famous unconditional love. I clearly didn’t feel like this “mamacita” that had lost herself by loving others unconditionally and I knew I still had a lot of work to do regarding self-respect and self-confidence. It was “work in progress” and, same as when a highway is being built, traffic was stuck. All this was clear to my mind and my heart. More so, it became obvious to me that I’m on a good path and that yoga really was for me. During the second flight I looked at the marks my nails had dug into the skin and, just between me and the Universe, I spoke with faith and confidence: “Take me all the way. I am all in!”
I then began discovering myself as a yoga teacher. The same year, another Vipassana meditation retreat in Italy followed, which can be considered as somewhat of a SWAT training for the mind: for ten days, you are not allowed to speak to anyone and you meditate for about ten hours a day, starting with 5 a.m. Nothing could keep me from this experience – not even the fact that those ten days spanned over Christmas and New Year’s Eve. I had participated in another similar retreat before I started my yoga journey and both experiences had brought me closer to thoughts, emotions, limits, patterns and all sorts of other stuff from the subconscious… After this second retreat, when I came home, I was hit by a strong pneumonia that affected one of my lungs even more – the one that was already in pretty bad shape after the TB I had experienced as a kid. I often call the subconscious our own “personal cellar”, where we throw all wounds, repressed feelings, frustrations, fears – as well as everything we avoid confronting. I often dip into myself – and easily – because I am convinced that my light appears from the darkness, even if it sometimes feels as if I’m forging in an endless pit.
To be brief, Kundalini is like a vital force generator which exists in a dormant form in each and every one of us. When it starts activating, our energy becomes purer and we officially begin to evolve spiritually. It is then that the spiritual journey truly begins. And no, it’s not something you can control or ask the Universe to deliver. Spiritual experiences are a “by-product” of the soul and not of the mind. This is why there are no procedures and rules regarding the way they should occur. Before they actually manifest, experiences are created in the ether, carrying the energy-related signature of the soul. I will talk more on this subject (and not only) when I will speak about the “management of inner energy”. To me, this experience was taboo for a long time. Of course, I looked for information avidly and I read everything I could get my hands on at that time in order to understand more, but I couldn’t talk about it. Not even with my friends. It wasn’t really a topic you could discuss over a cup of coffee. I just couldn’t articulate such topics with anyone, not even during my yoga classes, from the perspective of the teacher. I didn’t feel I had any authority on the subject or that I could transmit the information in a manner that was coherent enough – I hadn’t experienced everything myself yet. What I did know was that I had my “deal” with the Universe: I would do everything on my part and it, along the way, will meet me somewhere like a knight from the old ages, which honors his given word. I didn’t really trust men, but I did trust the Universe. After all, I had to trust something.
Looking back, I can now make some connections between a few moments in my life. I remember that after about a year and a half of teaching yoga, while I was meditating, I asked myself if my being “all in” with the Universe could imply it taking everything from me, including yoga itself or my health. After all, I was living off my body, making it my main “asset”. Every athlete and trainer knows the amount of responsibility one gets in this situation – this is why I have always tried to be “fit”, in order to avoid injuries. There is an old Buddhist meditation technique in which you ask the Universe to take everything that does not serve you anymore, so you can come nearer to your true self. The problem is that you can’t take this request back once you have made it – and the Universe actually takes you up on it, without giving you a “heads-up”. Reflecting upon my attachments, I decided I didn’t have a lot: yoga, my body and the apartment I lived in – my sanctuary in the city center, whose existence in my life I took as a gift from the Universe for the work I had authentically been doing with myself since my awakening. Thus, without thinking too much, I threw all three of them in the game – almost like gambling them in Vegas at the roulette – but I didn’t know then what would happen after more than a year.
October 2015, life surprised me to the fullest. The weather was already quite cold and it felt chilly on the mat, so I decided to inaugurate the gas stove, given that the landlord had recently told me it had passed its yearly inspection. I tried lighting the fire but… (to be continued)…
Photo Credit: Razvan Ionescu