Shaktipot or Shaktipata is the process by which a teacher aids the student in stepping over the last barrier that divides them from an ordinary state of being and the expansion of consciousness that takes place with kundalini. If used incorrectly, it can awaken students who are not yet ready and it can cause problems. It can also not “take” because the student is not sufficiently prepared. However, it is possible to use it correctly when the teacher has a discerning mind to aid the person to step over that last barrier.

The great yogi and teacher Swami Rama speaks to this issue in a way that I think is one of the more enlightened and balanced ways of any teacher I have ever had the chance to listen to speak. Swami Rama also has many other teachings which have been recorded and are available online to watch. I have found that his approach has been the most sound and the most balanced.

For example, he points out that kundalini is not a goddess only, but is instead a fusion of the opposites of those qualities which we consider to be masculine and feminine within our consciousness. This is important to understand if you wish to understand what is at work with kundalini. Most say it is a goddess. If you know why that is, you might understand how “masculine” we are in our thinking and being. This in no way takes away from the experience the importance of the feminine, but it helps to show how kundalini is itself an act and phenomenon that seeks balance. I will say that what we term the feminine aspect in all of our consciousness (men and women both) is normally dormant, and it has as much to do with the “cosmic egg” resting at the base of the spine as it does with the two hemispheres of the brain.

For anyone who has experienced awakening you may have felt how a very feminine quality has suddenly come online. Have you ever considered why this is so? Could it be that as a culture and a species that we have favored the rational, linear and logical parts (and thus “masculine”) of ourselves more than the nonlinear, holistic, emotional (and thus “feminine”) aspects of ourselves? I consider kundalini to be a way whereby the two powers of mind are now brought into a unity, which then leads to the generation of a “new” mind which we call cosmic consciousness. If you take one away, the wave of awareness collapses. Both are necessary to produce this kind of mind I call the Meta Mind. It also shows us in our own lives how all of life matters, how all people matter. If we lose sight of this kundalini becames one-sided and our minds become one-sided, too. I know that I digress a bit, but sometimes these small points are important for helping iron out confusion.

Kundalini will clear the self of blocked emotion, and this is itself the imperative that kundalini has, which is to bring the person to greater balance, not drama or intensity or just “cosmic” experiences. For a time it feels dramatic as the kundalini is clearing out the blocks, but once this is done the energy settles down. The ancients describe how it becomes smooth. No ripples, no disturbances.

As a result, there is an entire generation of awakened people who have gotten used to its “intensity” when in fact it is kundalini doing what it does in the early stages of the process. The endgame is peace. The problem is that people can get stuck on the intensity and not let kundalini do its work. They like the intensity, the drama, the strong emotions that it brings up all without realizing that this emotion is the poison leaving the system. So to say that kundalini is one or the other misses the point and can leave you “one-sided” in your awareness. Yes, it connects us to higher order energies and those energies include what we think of as divine feminine and masculine….but so too does it connect us to other energies in consciousness that are just as beneficial to us.

Swami Rama’s teachings have been the most consistent in how it goes beyond any agenda. These kinds of teachers often are not as interesting to people who want something dramatic, but he is a teacher who has gotten beyond many of the conceits that often plague non-dual teachers. These conceits as I call them, often result in distortions of awareness and become an article of belief (which stills further investigation). As a result, these teachers repeat teachings that can only go so far and are not born out in more final or complete results. What do you think the result is when you have a teacher who does not know the true nature of self? Ideas like the self is an illusion, that all of life and reality are illusory, not real. While it is true that we are constantly judging or filtering what we see in the world, that alone is not what makes our world illusory. It is possible to see into the core of physical reality to see how it is composed. When I did that, it wasn’t that the world was an illusion but rather that it was a creation that was creating the appearance of solid matter from a source of great energy and purpose.

This is one example of how these teachers, no matter how much acclaim that they get from their followers, have missed important realities of the self and how it relates to cosmic consciousness. But who would know if the teacher him or herself does not know?

The teacher teaches something that is based on his or her own lack of understanding and awareness and this gets handed down and gets passed around to all of the other students, and it get repeated until everyone takes it as an article of faith. What do you think that person’s capacity for discernment might be under such a situation as this? But it gets worse; teacher after teacher then goes on repeating the same ideas and it seems to others who study their teachings that it must be, and the pattern only gets more deeply impressed on the community at large. If you say an untruth enough times it has a way of being accepted as truth and no one bothers to question it.

In my own experience I have seen that we take on selves and identities as an important part in our learning process. At no point have I ever seen self as false but instead as part of the process of becoming. But do not mistake the expansion of consciousness that comes with awakening to mean that the self is somehow false, it is simply part of a much larger story of how varied our consciousness is. We can experience both feeling separate as well as one. Both. They are not mutually exclusive. Why would they be? You come from the infinite and you have divided part of yourself to fit into this body, one chapter in a host of chapters called lifetimes. And despite how the self is decried as false, there is not a single one of these teachers who have shown how they can remove it with a waive of their own awareness. If it is an illusion, then why not pierce that illusion once and for all? Not a one. And so this is telling, the elephant in the room. Hopefully that elephant is Ganesh, the remover of obstacles, lol! Rama has much to say about ego, not as something to kill off, but to master. He even touches on this in the short but revealing video below.

So Rama is unique in the field. His teachings continue to show a great deal of awareness on a host of fronts. I am not one who “follows” a teacher, but what I have seen in his work has been a considerable level of insight. Yes, it is because without a teacher I have seen how his teachings have aligned with my direct experience.

How do I know that I myself am not buying into a belief? My earliest memory in this life was of choosing my parents. This was before I had a body. If ego is false and identity is false, how did I manage to have a sense of self at that point? Further, how did I recall numerous past lives? Given my level of recall (including two lost languages and historical accounts to back up some of my memories) I see the chance of simply “imagining” these things hard to square with Occams Razor.

I invite you to watch what he has to say about what a teacher can do for the student when it is done correctly…