The first thing to realise is that in Sahaja Yoga, ‘something’ actually happens. The experience of self is real, not random or undetermined, but consistent and verifiable.

Enlightenment in the form of thoughtless awareness (nirvichar samadhi) takes place when Kundalini reaches the sahasrara. When she pierces through, the cool vibrations start to follow. Surprisingly, vibrations from the photograph of H.H. Mataji awaken Kundalini in the same way as from her person. By following this procedure with an open mind, you may experience self realisation, granting complete relaxation and the elevation into the witness state of collective consciousness. Again this experience is actual. Neither the invention of an exalted imagination nor the projection of an external power, it is your own realisation, taking place within you.

Be comfortable at all times. First remove shoes and loosen tight clothing. Place the photograph of H. H. Mataji so you may sit before it in the most relaxed way. It is best to sit on the floor to have greater contact with the earth, but you may use a chair if this proves too difficult. Try to sit with a reasonably straight spine and in a respectful frame of mind. Kundalini has her dignity, which must always be respected, as must the attendant protocol of the Divine. With your eyes on the picture, hold your hands towards it, palms upward. You may rest your hands on your lap. Close your eyes and let the mind be quite still. If there is any flickering of the eyelids or you begin to see any lights, colours or visions, then it means there is a problem in the agnya chakra and you should keep your eyes open and on the picture. Attention should be loose, not fixed at any point. If there are still thoughts, try to detach yourself by watching them until they fade. Forgive anyone who has ever harmed you or made you unhappy. Ask yourself, ‘What are you thinking ?’

If you have led a reasonably normal life so far, you may not feel any physical sensation, only a gradual relaxation of the inner being. You may feel the Kundalini moving up the spine to the crown of the head. When it reaches the agnya chakra in the centre of the brain, thoughts cease spontaneously, without effort. Thoughtless awareness does not mean you cannot think, but that you see yourself outside the flow of thought in a state of pure awareness.

Try to remain as a witness to all that is happening, watching without thinking. There is no danger, nothing to fear; the nature of Kundalini is protective and maternal. As your mother, she only does what is best for you, her only child.

As the Kundalini enters sahasrara chakra and passes through the fontanel area of the skull to merge with the universal unconscious, you may begin to feel cool vibrations like a breeze on your hands. This is the divine breeze that is mentioned in so many scriptures; as the wind of the Holy Ghost in the Bible, as the Hebrew ‘ruach’, as the ‘chaitanya lahari’ described by Adi Shankaracharya. We discover many more references in our literature, as for instance in Wordsworth’s :
‘mild, creative breeze,
A vital breeze which travelled gently on
O’er things which it had made,’*

or in Blake’s :

‘Still the breath Divine does move,
And the breath Divine is Love.’**

If the breeze flows evenly in both hands, you can be sure that your instrument is in good shape and that your Kundalini is rising all the way through. Now just enjoy your realisation in meditation, ‘because you cannot meditate but have to be in meditation, through a happening’.

Although this sounds a lengthy process, for those who have spent their lives in the paths of righteousness, realisation takes just a split second. For some of us it takes a little longer.

Sometimes you may feel cool in one hand only. If it is on the right you may place it on the heart while keeping the left towards the picture. This gives support to the weaker left side. Alternately you can hold the right hand away from the picture, as a channel for problems in your system to escape. If the cool breeze is on your left hand you can place it on your liver (just below the ribcage on the right hand side) and keep the right towards the picture. Or you can hold the left away. Continue until the two sides are brought into balance and the flow is even in both hands.

You may feel heat, tingling, heaviness or numbness in the hands, or may be nothing at all. This means there is an obstruction in your instrument. We call these obstructions ‘catches’ or ‘baddha’. When Kundalini is working in an obstructed chakra, the subsequent friction gives rise to the heat you may feel. You can use the elements to disperse these obstructions. To use the fire element (Tej Mahabhuta) to light a candle before the picture. Then dissolve some salt in a bowl of warm water and sit as before with your feet in the bowl. Obstructions will be burnt in the flame and absorbed in the salt (earth element) and water. After fifteen to twenty minutes, dry your feet, flush away the water in the bowl, wash your hands and again check your vibrations.

There are many clearing techniques apart from footsoaking, including the use of appropriate mantras and bandhans, and Mohammed’s methods using flowers and lemons and even your own shoes. All this knowledge is received after realisation and must be put into practice if it is to be sustained. For once Kundalini has risen, she soon descends in difficult cases, to those chakras that need her attention. While the realisation is effortless, to sustain it demands a certain degree of self cleansing and self-understanding. With this understanding, we sustain ourselves that we may manifest the powers of our spirit, discovering in Sahaja Yoga, our own beauty and how to enjoy that beauty in ourselves and in others.

H.H. Shri Mataji says, ‘how much you meditate is how much you love.’ Try to meditate daily, early in the morning and in the evening after work. First clear yourself as thoroughly as possible using the appropriate methods, then try just to sit in thoughtless awareness, which is where meditation should begin. Regularity is more important than length of meditation at first –  the effect is cumulative. It should never become ritualistic or formalised, but always be from the heart.

The most powerful meditation is usually experienced collectively with other realised souls. With such loving and dynamic people, the vibrations are proportionately stronger and you too develop the same qualities. Meetings with other Sahaja Yogis also give you the opportunity to work on others which is the quickest way to accelerate your own ascent. As you clear them you clear yourself. Her Holiness Mataji says ‘Sahaja Yoga is not meant for a few individuals. The whole has to be awakened.’

* ‘Prelude 1” 43-45.
** ‘The Everlasting Gospel’, 41-42.