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My experience with Kundalini Meditation was a pleasurable one, without any of the confusing, conflicting emotions that some other dynamic meditations have produced for me. The initial stage of shaking was quite gratifying. I felt the sounds of the xylophone vibrating through me – letting the motion begin at my belly button, the center of my starfish body, and sending it outward, shooting into all five points of my physical being. Similarly to my experience in the Osho Active Meditation, I reveled in really letting go. How exhausting it can be to hold one’s head up straight all day and keep a smile on one’s face and to constantly filter all thoughts and desires so our movement and words express nothing other than sanity and conformity. As our group wasn’t blindfolded for this meditaiton, I admittedly peeked, just a little, sort of by accident, and noticed, surprisingly, a number of others who seemed to be swaying way too timidly and/or gracefully. How uncomfortable we are in the ugly potential of our physical shapes…

The dancing phase was similar to the experience of the same phase in the Osho Meditation except that this time, since we weren’t blindfolded, I once again had a little peek. No one had brushed up against me or had tried to dance with me like they had during the Osho Meditation and when I caught a quick glimpse, I noticed that everyone was restricting their movements to much smaller self-defined bubbles. The energy wasn’t nearly as joyful, but I did catch a funky disco move, or two, during my quick peek. Personally, I felt much the same as I had in other dynamic meditation exercises, and relished moving to the drum-heavy beats.

The meditation phase was by far the most prolific for me. We were given the choice to sit or stand, which was hardly a choice for me considering my chronic knee pain, which makes standing still in one place just about the most painful thing I could possibly do. So I sat. Immediately the sounds of cicadas and distant laughter transported me to the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains – to the immense joie de vivre of my childhood summer camp – the safest, happiest place I knew for eleven years. It wasn’t just a distant memory, a vivid recollection, Proust’s madeleine-fueled nostalgia. I was actually there, sitting in the grass, under the expansive starry sky as one sees it from Palmyra, Virginia. But I wasn’t in the past, or really in the present even. I was in the ether of the perpetual continuum of time. When I consciously realized where I felt I was, I thought how wherever I happened to be was where I was and where I had always been and always would be. That I existed everywhere and nowhere at the same time.

Coming into the final savasana brought me back to the realm of my present reality – to the point of hypersensitivity to the now. I obsessively envisioned the geckos on the ceiling that I knew were there and prophetically visualized how they might fall on my face – as I had seen them fall so many times before – with a heavy “plop!” landing right next to me as I sat on the toilet of my rustic jungle cabin during my first week in Costa Rica, causing me to emit a startled yelp – or as they fell nonchalantly onto the mats and shorts of unsuspecting yogis on the yoga deck at the retreat center. But, even more, I was consumed with an all-encompassing prickly, tingling itch. I had felt it a few times since arriving at our luxurious retreat center. I had thought maybe it was a reaction to the saltwater pool. Or the copious amounts of gecko poop on the yoga deck. But as I lay in savasana, I wondered if in fact it was a side effect of all the bountiful, organic, locally raised greens fit for a herd of cows that we consumed three times a day – they were certainly the culprit in the elevated levels of gas that plagued the tummies and surrounding air of the retreat, so why not this too? Which of course reminded me – wasn’t there to be cake at the end of all this…?

Jane Mangione