I asked a great Mahatma what would awaken the Kundalini and he said “Renunciation, renunciation, renunciation….it is a terrifying experience when the kundalini is awakened. The first day the fire was kindled in me I thought I was dying. The whole body was, as it were, on fire, mind was being broken into pieces, the bones were being hammered….
These words from Patanjali will not entice everyone. For many people, the journey to work can feel like the bones are being hammered. Sitting at a desk watching statistics or trading dreams without real contact can feel like dying; waiting on the end of the telephone waiting for your call to get to the end of the queue, the whole body might feel it is on fire; As you arrive at Friday evening, the mind is scattered, thoughts only on restoration.
By stark contrast, Tao breathing practices are gentle. Rather than awaken any ‘thing’ there is a real chance that you will experience that which is beginning-less and endless; the body will feel cool and refreshed, the mind becoming unified and the bones will clearly feel as if they are at the centre.
If you are keen to practice yogic pranayama, you will find that Tao breathing provides a smoother gateway.
But what of renunciation? The ‘great mahatma’ Patanjali speaks of refered to renouncing greed, attachment, lust, distraction. While the Tao method does not speak directly of such things, the practice directly targets unwholesome mental characteristics through the breath.
We should be able to understand this-that diagnosis and remedy can be effected in a complex organism by reference to the way its life support-the breath-is received and distributed.
In Tao breath, there is no attention paid to the thinking process except to be mindful of releasing attachment to it when it distracts.
The fundamental renunciation in Tao breath will change the way your breath, the way you react and the way you function. It is Tai chi, the grand ultimate. It is letting go, releasing, softening and its power is illimitable. This renunciation, instead of being a terrifying prospect, is appealing. It appeals directly, silently, to the body’s wish to become less stressed. Silently it releases stagnant emotional energy and gradually reveals the brilliance of clear mind, empty space. How simple, how splendid!