Monday, June 14, 2010
Following is the Introduction to "Kundalini and the Art of Being" by Gabriel Morris, a gripping and enlightening spiritual adventure story and hitchhiking travelogue (published by Station Hill Press, 2008). For the time being, you can receive a free e-copy of the entire book, in easily-readable PDF format (exactly the same layout as the hard copy) for free! Click the subject line above for more info...
In the fall of 1994, I was twenty-two and leading a relatively stable life in rainy western Oregon, when I rather impulsively quit my job, sold my old Datsun pickup, moved out of my house and hit the road with just my backpack on my back, thumb leading the way. I had only a vague notion of where I was going and what I was getting myself into. I simply had an undeniable yearning for adventure and the unknown, which I chose to follow. I was the type who tended to act on these sorts of impulses. Little did I know the real adventure that I was embarking on this time.
Two months later—after hitchhiking partway across the country—I was staying with a friend in Texas with even less of an idea of what I was now doing in my vagabond existence than when I’d started my impulsive journey. It was nearing winter, I was almost broke, a long ways from home and the living arrangement with my friend was less than ideal. And then, in the midst of meditation one evening, something subtle yet powerful shifted within my mind that changed my world forever. A sudden rush of energy flooded through me like nothing I’d ever before experienced or could have even imagined. I had no understanding then of what had occurred within my fragile consciousness. All I knew was that, in no more time than it takes for a bolt of lightning to strike, my experience and perception of reality had been utterly and
What happened to me in that pivotal moment actually had a name, although I didn’t know it at the time—kundalini awakening. I wish I could have known then that I wasn’t suddenly going crazy, but had actually experienced a spiritual breakthrough. At the time, however, I found myself cast abruptly into a psychological and physical hell from which I found only temporary relief. I seemed to have, for no apparent reason, turned spontaneously schizophrenic. My spiritual quest of the past few years had inexplicably taken a painful and challenging turn, to say the least. The torment I experienced following my unanticipated Kundalini rising was so profound as to make me wonder if it was even worth enduring, just to live through another torturous day.
But fortunately, as surely as I’d fallen down a canyon of darkness within my soul, I managed to climb my way back out of it as well—to live to tell the tale, as they say. As those frightening first few days turned to weeks and then months, I began to see a glimmer of light shine from within myself, that eventually proved to guide me back to something resembling sanity.
Following is the story of how I found myself in such a strange predicament—like many seekers these days, stumbling rather blindly down the spiritual path—as well as how I managed to get myself out of it. Although I certainly didn’t feel it initially, the awakening of the Kundalini energy is in actuality a great blessing. This I’ve discovered over the years, learning over time how to incorporate it into my daily life. Kundalini has the power to invigorate and evolve our spiritual beings like nothing else can, if we can just figure out how to handle it.
I’m not a qualified expert on this subject—just someone with a story to tell and a perspective to offer. My hope is that sharing my own experience will prove helpful to anyone struggling with this phenomenon, as well as satisfy the curiosity of those interested in Kundalini; who may decide instead that they want nothing at all to do with its potent force, or else perhaps be inspired to seek it out within themselves, and in so doing journey to the heart of the unknown.
"Kundalini and the Art of Being" is much more than a story of a spiritual journey. It chronicles three years in the wandering life of author and traveler Gabriel Morris, from 1993-1996. Chapter 1 launches directly into his profound experience of kundalini awakening in 1994, while visiting an ex-girlfriend in Austin, Texas. From there it flashes back to more than a year earlier and recounts the bizarre, exciting and synchronous events that led up to his experience of kundalini rising: including experimenting with astral projection, meeting a strange and mysterious homeless man, beginning a yoga practice with a kind and wise instructor, experiencing a mind-blowing drug trip that opens his eyes to the insensitivity of the modern world, attending a 20,000-strong Rainbow Gathering festival in the forest of Wyoming (and collectively battling a forest fire in the process)...and finally, selling almost everything he owns, leaving his home in Oregon and hitchhiking across the western U.S. in search of love and spiritual truth. Part 3 then continues from his sudden, shocking (literally) experience of kundalini rising and tells the challenging story of how he endured, and eventually found balance with the kundalini energy; all while hitchhiking back and forth across the western U.S. and Alaska, following the wind, his thumb, his heart and his gut on a great quest to make sense of the meaning of life. (Click the subject line above for lots more info about his travels and writings.)