So once in class Guru Singh was saying that he’s seen a lot of people come and start doing Kundalini Yoga, and the growth and change happens too fast, and they can’t handle it, and then they stop.

I’ve been wondering about that claim. I talked with one friend who became a student, and she said she switched to hatha for just that reason.

But I had a feeling after a while that change wasn’t happening.  I was going to sadhana daily, and was really stuck. The actions from yoga weren’t going to solve the problems I was facing in life, and I was expecting them to. Everyone else was shipping off to summer solstice, and I was stuck in LA. I looked at the damn pictures of Muniji and Yogi Bhajan, and I was pissed. I’d been had. Scammed.

So that intensified until I said, “to hell with this.” Quit – as much as I could. Although the yoga sort of has become integral to me being able to function. So I’d do a set here and there if I was uncomfortable.

I frequently run into people who say, “Oh yeah. I used to do Kundalini. But now I do… [insert various hatha forms here]” I never get a clear answer why they stopped or switched. Maybe there isn’t one – a conscious one, at least. So far no one’s told me the growth happened too fast. Several have told me they couldn’t stand the politics at the studio where they were practicing.

Dammit Singh claims the people who can’t stand yoga studio politics are amusing, because they’re so much more inconsequential than what you encounter anywhere else. But if it’s your world, (and it’s said that first you practice yoga to help your life, and then you practice life to help your yoga) then the politics DO matter, unfortunately.

Kirtan Singh told me that people who practice sadhana without Gurdwara tend to become very ego driven or self-centered, and the Gurdwara helps to counter and balance that. I thought that was interesting, and wonder why Golden Bridge and Karuna haven’t made an effort to offer that aspect to students.

Georg Feurstein: The Deeper Dimension of Yoga

Obstacles on the Path According to Patanjali







False Vision

Nonattainment of the Stages




Tremor of the Limbs

Faulty Inhalation and Exhalation

I’ll have to read that thoroughly and get back to you on it…

Yoga in the Park

So today I woke up with an ache in my foot, and felt all out-of-sorts, and nearly pulled a muscle in my back stretching around in my chair at the computer, finally relented and went to the park to do some yoga.

I’m still working on that “Sahib Parnaam” set with all the triangle pose pushups.


I did that and Subagh Kriya.

I was gonna try some others that helped with the navel center, but decided rather than try something new, I’d do sets I memorized already. Plus my allergies have been slightly acting up lately (the intoxicating night-blooming jasmine may not be helping), and sometimes that set helps a lot.

Doing yoga in the park seems a bit exhibitionistic, but you know, sometimes you just gotta do the things that help, and I get tired of practicing at home. Plus it was nice out today.

A week ago I did the pushup set in the same park, and it was amazing, and really turned my day around. It was the first time I’d been able to really keep up throughout most of it. So of course, the next day I decided to do it again, which didn’t work quite as well. (The arms get sore, etc.)

Today it was sort of tough, but not too bad. Triangle pose helped my sore foot immediately. I had this realization that if I just concentrated on using my navel center to lift me up after every pushup, it totally changed the experience of it. Of course as soon as I decided I’d found the key to doing it easily, it quit working. Then there’s the 12 minutes of tree pose. That was really the tough part this time, but when I lifted up up up it wasn’t so bad. I still bailed two minutes before the end. Oh well.

Then Subagh Kriya. So the second part involves criss-crossing your arms in front of you once per second. So I’d just started that section, and this little asian girl walks over in front of me, leaning forward a bit as if to believe what she’s really seeing, smiling. She walked right up in front of me, fascinated, looking right at me as I continued the exercise. Then her mom called her away. She ran away, and then came back and did the same thing again, until her mom called her away. I have this feeling some day she’ll be a Kundalini Yogini.

In the next section you roll your arms in circles, up in the air, chanting, “GOD” from the navel. I was doing all the sections for 11 minutes each today, looking at the clock quite frequently, it seemed. Around 6 minutes, I suddenly had this experience like I was shooting the word “GOD” from my navel, firing it out like a cannon ball, firing it out through my third eye. It was rather intense, but when I got fascinated with it, it faded. Then I got impatient for that section to end again.

In the next section, this poodle did exactly the same thing the girl had. He saw me, ran right in front of me, looking at me, fascinated, dropped his ball, cocked his head to the side, watching me continue. Then he barked, ran from side to side like dogs do. His momma owner came over and apologized, and said, “doing a little kundalini today huh?”

So a couple of tough sets today, left me feeling rather tired, not energized, for the subsequent encounters with those in my path. There’s a tendency to look for immediate results with Subagh Kriya, since it’s a prosperity set that makes some rather outlandish claims. I just was wishing I’d brought a meal with me, because by the time I got home I was famished and rather irritable.

Subagh Kriya:

So is God just gonna deliver whatever we want, even if we don’t deserve it? I think I can get caught up in just selfish expectations with it. One friend who did the set regularly for 40 days lost his job while he was doing it. So maybe the set doesn’t work? No, I really got the sense he was having to let go of something so he could take hold of something else. I’ve seen lots and lots of results with this set, which I’ve done more than any other. But not always prosperity in the form I expect or think I want. Sometimes better. Sometimes “not yet.” I think what’s good to bring to the set is a desire to let God’s prosperity flow through you, and that expands the prosperity for all.

Mantra Play and Haircuts

Sat Nam, Gee!

Sat Nam Gee.

Whaaaah! Hey! Geode. (Rock lobster!)

Eck on Car. (you want car wash?)

Walla walla bing bong!

Ssssssat Nam? (who your mama?)

S’ri (S’righ S’ro Sum, I smell the blood of an English mum.)

Whaaaaaah! Hey! Geode! (Rock lobster!)

Odd g’ray n’may

You gotta g’ray n’may

(it isn’t gray it’s blonde)

Robinsons May,

Macys may,

Sat g’ray n’may

Siri Guru d’vay n’may

Odd such,

You gotta such, (why thank you!)

A-bay such, (E-bay. Not A-Bay.)

Non-ekka ho, say “bay such”

I can’t hear you…


That’s better. By the way, we take payents only through PayPal. Now once again…

I hope I haven’t offended the gurus. People have said you can channel your frustrations on God because he can take it. If your God is a she, however, perhaps you better look out. That’s the real reason for gender bias in religion, I think. Of course I’m just rambling here, and I don’t have any pre-suppositions in these areas. They’re all fine with me. Whatever you like. Some people can’t eat curry. Others love it. I fall into the latter category.

So don’t mind me. I got a haircut, and now all my kundalini is leaking out my ajna chakra. First haircut in like a year. No, not really. First scalping, though. She showed he this pic of a hip trendy looking club kid and said, “You want like this?” and then 15 minutes later I looked like a Russian cab driver and she was trying to sell me some gunk for $40 that would save me from my thinning hair and smelled like a taxi air-freshener. But I had this bizarre experience of having too much energy pounding all around my head afterwards, and eventually I realized it was because it’s unseasonably hot in LA and the air conditioning in my car doesn’t work anymore.

But hopefully now I’ll be able to put that claim about Kundalini Yoga being for the householder (unlike Hatha which requires 20 years of dedicated practice in a cave to bring about spiritual evolution.)

See there’s this irony about that claim, coupled with the “suggestion” to grow your hair and beard long and unkempt, I mean uncut, then to bind it all up with a turban covering your ears so the bad energy is kept away. I suppose somebody will hire you, but it does narrow your options a little. Doing sadhana at 4AM also makes it hard to have an edge at the office at 3PM when everyone else is finally waking up and recovering from their lunchtime martinis.

So I was listening to this sermon on tape from the Vedanta Center about Karma Yoga. One of the themes was that of “doing your duty.” I kept thinking it was something like what a dog does on the carpet when you don’t take him out soon enough. But actually, your “duty” varies depending upon your station in life (an old Indian concept – the reading the lecture was based on, surprisingly, is now 108 years old; fortunately we don’t really have castes in LA, unless you break a bone or something, or consider which studio/director/producer you work with) — and your calling. Well, your duty is that which exalts and elevates you while you’re involved in doing it. Which begs the question; what is your duty? If you have a clear answer to that, you see, you know what pursuit in life will help burn your karma. The karma yogi pursues their duty, dedicating the work to God, knowing that their boss is an agent for God, and God is their employer. If you have an unnatural inclination to follow self-introductions with a descriptive phrase before your catch yourself, such as “and I’m a _____________,” you might find a refreshing familiarity in this employment directive. Yeah, the third step. So two frogs are sitting on a log and both make the decision to jump off. How many are left?

Let me change the subject. I stumbled upon something in the Self-Realization literature that said one of the restraints of the Kriya yogi is not to engage in humor and joking. Because these are idle diversions of the mind which distract it from the contemplation of God. So does that rule out the laughing kriya, which is supposed to open your heart center? To practice it; just laugh as hard as you can for 1-3 minutes. You will feel changed, believe me. Yogi B used to say you should sweat and laugh every day to maintain good health. Or that’s what Gurmukh tells us frequently. It sounds like a great recipe, actually, doesn’t it? I’m going to have to confess, from my limited perspective, I think I can only begin to contemplate God if I can have a good laugh. They say God has a sense of humor. God laughs when we make plans. If you don’t see God in all, you don’t see God at all. So contemplate God at a comedy club tonight. Or read an Ayckbourne play.

I guess I better get to work. God is watching.

God’s in a thought

I was wondering; what is the part of me that wants to change for the better, to improve myself, to do the best I can, to not settle for less than I know I’m capable of (without sinking into perfectionism – another discussion), to love and take care of myself – not because I’m tired of the pain of the things that aren’t working, but because I care? As Jack Nicholson said in As Good As It Gets, what is it that makes me say, “you make me want to be a better man?”

Maybe that is God. Maybe that seed of thought is God in action. If so, then that is definitely God that I want to become better acquainted with.

Although the last example is questionable. He wanted to change because Helen Hunt’s character showed him he was worthy of love. It brings up an issue mentioned in one of the OneTaste podcasts; the issue of relationship as validation, consequently the question of what happens if the relationship doesn’t work out. Because that sort of conditional change obligates a person to return to self-destruction if the love is withdrawn. Unless in the time of experiencing it, the person has learned that they deserve better. The transition into that state isn’t necessarily easy, if you’ve spent your life thinking you’re not worth it. I guess that’s sort of the definition of a shame-based life perspective.

But back to Kriya Yoga. Is getting to know God the most important thing in my life to me? Well, I’d like to say the God I mentioned in the first paragraph is. Or should be. But habit often tells me otherwise.

One of those daily readers for today says,

Sow a thought, and you reap an act;

Sow an act, and you reap a habit;

Sow a habit, and you reap a character;

Sow a character, and you reap a destiny.

– Samuel Smiles

Yesterday I couldn’t sleep when I wanted to (again) so I did bound lotus in a chair at the computer for a while. Must’ve been about an hour, I guess. I can’t do the full bound lotus, but I do half lotus, with my arms linked behind my back, not holding my feet or bowed forward. But what a transformation. I’m not sure I’ve done it for that long before. Maybe it wasn’t that long. It helped me focus a lot.

I stumbled upon some YouTube links of the Summer Solstices that I couldn’t get to, and of Guru Singh playing in the Yogi Tea Cafe there.

Guru Singh’s “LifeBite”:

Walk as if, and fill in the blank. Dream your dreams. Learn to expect the best, get your expectations way up there. When we know what we want, we learn to receive it.

Don’t believe the old saying, “Don’t get your hopes up, you won’t get disappointed.” If you don’t want to be disappointed, don’t be.

Maybe I’m falling in love with yoga again. Was I in Shakti Pod? (Or is it Shakti Pad? why don’ they tell us these things?) While I was bound lotusing, reading, listening to videos, and sometimes meditating, I heard this inner voice from Guru Singh saying he needed me to come back and play bass. Sometimes I hear people say anything you hear during meditation is God, your spirit, or intuition talking to you. I tend to believe it’s just my imagination coming to life. Not that I’m adverse to playing with Guru Singh in any way. Those were some of the most elevated musical experiences I’ve had, even if they were simple. If there’s one thing I’ve learned from Guru Singh, it’s that a yoga set or chant doesn’t have to be hard or complicated to be powerful and effective, contrary to what Gurmukh and Gurushabd advocate.

I just can’t afford the classes over at Yoga West right now and Jot didn’t even want to honor the gift passes I’d gotten as a birthday present. It’s just far enough away that I can’t visit regularly. Golden Bridge is close by and I just don’t like going to their new space. So I’ve gone from inspiration to whining in three paragraphs. Gurmukh and Gurushabd’s clay feet. I AM in Shakti Pod. Wheeee…

Kriya Yoga

So, in Autobiography of a Yogi, the author repeatedly talks of the practice of kriya yoga but never tells you how to do it. When I was going through a rather rough time, I went over to the Lake Shrine in the Pacific Palisades to do some kundalini yoga, writing, and meditation. I found it so refreshing I came all the way home and returned to the Sunday services the next morning. I only found one woman I felt like talking to there afterwards, an Indian woman who lived out near Fullerton or Pomona or someplace (and I thought the drive from Hollywood was far!). She’d been practicing the kriya yoga meditations seriously for several years, and told me she had a job, but really lived to do the kriya yoga. I asked at the bookstore about what it was and how to do it. They were evasive, to put it mildly. Finally they dug out an application form after I persisted. You have to pay $40-50 to receive the weekly lessons to learn it. The form went into the yoga papers and manuals pile.

Recently, one rainy Sunday morning, I decided to visit the Hollywood Self-Realization Fellowship temple that the autobiographical Paramahansa Yogi established. I’d stumbled upon the Autobiography of a Yogi in books-on-tape form at the La Cañada public library sale rack for a buck, and have been engrossed in them ever since. Suddenly nothing else is very interesting, spiritually speaking. I got another copy of the application form. “Is finding God the most important thing to you?” read one of the questions, or something similar. Well, frankly, no, but I’ve really been feeling like there isn’t much choice in life anymore. Or perhaps I’m deceiving myself.

I started digging around the web for information on Kriya Yoga. Some Christian organization in Europe had a site that ragged on Self-Realization Fellowship a bit, and there was this YouTube link, but it wasn’t really clear if it was the same Kriya Yoga or not.

This site seemed more promising, although again it isn’t clear if it’s the same Kriya Yoga or not. Then I got side-tracked into some silly YouTube videos of people telling the world what yoga is. But I revisited the last site yesterday.

The layout of the site is frankly, off-putting. All the ads and childish doo-dads make it hard to take it seriously. But the information seemed worthwhile. It uses a six chakra model, as opposed to the seven chakra model we use in Kundalini yoga. So I printed out the instructions, and it has some information relating to the aphorisms of Patanjali. There’s a god yoga meditation, chanting, “Dear God, please love me free.” Yesterday I couldn’t sleep again, and finally was in bed, starting to meditate on that. As I focused on it, moving down the chakras from the crown chakra, which isn’t actually how you’re supposed to do it, I felt myself relax completely, and the tension in my belly released, resentment slipped away, and it moved down my legs to my toes. What was this? It was interesting, that’s for sure. But then I was asleep.

Today I’ve found myself trying to recall that stupid silly phrase, with it’s bad English. I have to keep looking at the instructions again to remember it. I tried before the Kundalini meditation to do it again, but it didn’t do much. So we’ll see where it leads.

Perhaps I’ll send the application in to Self-Realization Fellowship for their lessons soon.

Meditation to Tap Opportunities

OK, after I did the Subagh Kriya last time I posted about it, the next day this woman from teacher training showed up somewhere I’d never seen her before. I’m not sure that was “prosperity” but I had a strong feeling it was related to having done the set.

So I did the Subagh Kriya again the next day, and at the end of that day, I got a serious case of “fuck it; it’s not worth the effort.” No money had shown up.

I didn’t have any cash come in, but the following day, I started to get the payments I was waiting for. That day I was feeling pretty overwhelmed and hopeless about finances, so I did the “Meditation to Tap Opportunities,” which has three parts.


The first part you swing your hands up to your heart center alternately, for open time. I decided to do this for the length of “Dhan Dhan Ram Das Guru” by Bhai Nirmal Singh, chanting along with it. Then you chant “hariang” (destroyer) 8 times per breath for 11 or 31 minutes with your palms facing up, pinkies together, fingers & thumbs apart, at navel level. That time I didn’t notice the instruction that your fingers should be slightly apart during this. Then you put the finger-tips together, thumbs facing up, like a little tent pointing out away from your belly. For this you chant “hariang” 16 times per breath for 31 or 62 minutes. I did 62 minutes.

So I’m in the midst of doing this set again tonight, since I got home and couldn’t sleep again. During Dhan Dhan arm swings, I found my legs getting uncomfortable, and kept trying to change positions to continue. Finally that ended, and into part two, at about 10 minutes I looked at the clock for the first time. I could smell my funky feet in half lotus posture. Ugh. A police car went by outside, siren blazing. For some reason I started thinking the person they were after was somewhere in this building, and wondering where that silly thought came from. I found myself wondering what I would write about the experience, how boring it would be to read. At 15 minutes, I started to think about stopping and doing something else. But what? I didn’t really want to do anything else. At 20 minutes, some food started digesting in my belly, I burped, and suddenly I noticed I was sitting there having stopped, like somebody sitting still in the intersection at a green light. Starting up again, I suddenly recalled the experience I had last time, seeing my face as an old man in the palm of my hands. This continued for quite some time. At 22 minutes, I was trying to find excuses to quit. Yes, I must be in a cult. Leo grouped his ex-wife’s participation in Kundalini yoga as her being in a cult. I’ve been through that discussion before, of course, but is it just resistance? At 24 minutes I suddenly noticed the “hariangs” were coming out like a continuous ringing resonant stream, my whole head resonating with them; I noticed I was in the flow and suddenly wanted to stop. I was trying to figure out how many minutes I had to continue but couldn’t do math and focus on counting chants at the same time… one minute to go… then it was time, but it was a digital clock; do I quit when the counter goes to 32 minutes or at 31? I quit somewhere in between. I went to brush my teeth, which had suddenly been bothering me. Heated up some more yogi tea. I suppose I shouldn’t reheat it in the microwave, but I did and will continue to. Visited the bathroom. Sat down to write this. It’s too late in the morning; by the time I finish 62 minutes of the last section, my alarm would go off for the time I set it to wake me up if I’d gotten to sleep. Now I think I’m procrastinating finishing, but I’m gonna go back to it.

Ok, so… well, 10 mins into part three the sun came up and it got light outside. Suddenly the surge in energy was more distracting and the peace of the Amrit Vela slipped away. I was aware how I was slumped into my lower back, straightened my spine, and it became easier to breathe and meditate. The thickness of the air as a gas became more apparent with each breath. I continued 20…30 minutes. 31 minutes. I could stop now. Well, two more minutes and I realized my inner restlessness had settled, I was able to focus a bit, there were things I wanted to get done. Should I continue until 62 minutes? That’s what I’d set out to do. I continued 2 or 3 more minutes, then decided my purpose wasn’t to prove to myself I could do it. Or was I wimping out? No, I felt restless and wanted the focus that had arrived.

Where is my Aphorisms of Patanjali?

I could never get through the book. Everyone raves about it. It has hidden itself in my piles of books and when I listened to Autobiography of a Yogi on tape, I suddenly began to crave reading it. Where could it be?

The post-Subagh Kriya Post

Well, each section brings up it’s own shit. I see how restless my mind has gotten without the sadhana practice; forever trying to squirm out of where I’m at, trying to search for something better I could be doing. I should do the other meditation instead; no the other, no the other…

It used to be that I would just get fed up with staring at my resentments for the duration of sadhana. When I do sadhana at home, it get restless; I want to do other things. It’s like piling up ten books next to the bed to read before going to sleep. Yogi Bhajan said somewhere that people expect meditation to be constant bliss, but often it’s hell on earth.

The ego jumps in and decides maybe I should do 100 yoga sets in a row; THAT will fix me!  I exaggerate, but only slightly.

This WordPress editor is really unreliable. Line breaks may or may not work. Google docs does the same thing. Whassup with that shit? Text editors are like the oldest software programs around now.

Gradual realization that there may be a birthday party for Nicole this eve, and how will I sleep, get up, see if Joy’s check will show up today or not.

The nice thing about Pilates is that it doesn’t require you to question whether you’re making any spiritual connection. You do the exercise; your body gets in better shape, you look better, you feel better. With yoga you have to give your faith a whirl. You can do the exercise and see what happens, but all the esoteric claims for all the sets are unprovable and could be utter horse-shit. I’ve become so cynical lately in every spiritual dimension of my life. Or maybe I’ve always been, but there was a limerence period with it when I bought, hook, line, and sinker, every claim YB made for every set. Eventually when life didn’t go my way, and the time spent doing prosperity sets seemed like it would be better applied to finding a decent job like a rational human being, the infatuation faded.

Shakti Pad. The Shakti Pad people. Disillusionment. Brilliant; build in a path around doubt to keep the fold in the cult.

Why do I see it as a cult? Why do I keep trying to fix my problems with it?

Subagh Kriya: Full 55 minute version

Well, I ended up working all night, right through sadhana time. Haven’t done a full sadhana in quite some time. I got fed up with it. My expectation is that if I get up at 3AM and do two hours of yoga and meditation I’m entitled to have financial prosperity and career stability in my life. But it never happened. I’d always end up sleeping through my lunchtime commitments too; that doesn’t do too much to convince me that it’s working wonders in my life. I’d be too exhausted to follow-through on the realizations I had during meditation. What good is that?

Well, I suppose I could go to bed earlier. It seemed like an empty promise; your circle of friends may be smaller, but your relationship with God will make your life richer and more meaningful.

So before I keel over and collapse, I’m going to dive in and see if I can at least make it through the challenging Subagh Kriya 55 minute set. It’s not too bad at 15 minutes, but when you do each of the 5 sections for eleven minutes each, boredom sets in, and later my chest and neck end up sore and I get cranky. Well… let’s see what happens.


Furthermore, the “Har” chants I’d found eventually bored me to tears. That’s because I did them every day for 119 days… while my dad was dying. When I got back to LA from NYC, the depression set in, and I said, “fuck it.” Whenever I commit to a set for 40 days, or try to get to that point, the last days become the most challenging. No longer because the set is hard, but because the challenge of showing up for it gets stronger with boredom and distraction and disillusionment. Well, I recorded my own “Har” chant, with the word chanted on 2 and 4 instead of 1 and 3. It makes it a little easier to ride the energy of the chant physically. But it’s not terribly exciting either.

Enough talking… down to practice. Couldn’t I eat first? Or maybe sleep… or or or…

They said only do the 55 minute version if you’re out of work. I guess it’s time, huh?

The Practice

Lately, every time I do a yoga set, I end up thinking I should start keeping a journal of my practice. So it’s about time I get started.