Kundalini Yoga Versus Zen Meditation
Kundalini Tantra Yoga vs. Zazen Zen Meditation! Now that’s a heavy weight bout if I ever saw one. Those of us familiar with the rich spiritual landscape sometimes come across really tasty debates (much more so since Al Gore invented the internet of course ;-) and of the many such wonderful discussions out there, this one certainly ranks high up on the list. Forget Ali vs.Frazer’s Thrilla In Manilla – – this war is far more enticing – Kundalini Yoga vs. Zen Meditation – Prana vs. Jyana. Yes sir let the battle begin.
The story below I think will help reveal the Truth on which one stands supreme, Kundalini Tantra Yoga or Zazen Zen Meditation.
Story: Kundalini Tantra Yoga vs Zazen Zen Meditation – Prana vs. Jyana
It was a great time in the history of man. The pursuit of the Truth was considered the greatest undertaking and society built itself to support the passions of such men and women. During this era of wisdom and love, one family stood apart from the rest, on grounds of having produced some of the greatest Yogis and Monks of that time. Lady Shanti, much to the envy of her friends, was married into this esteemed family.
In due course she got pregnant and to everyone’s delight, not only was it determined that she was carrying twins, it was also determined that they were due to arrive on Maha Shivratri. Maha Shivratri, is the day dedicated to Lord Shiva and is considered the most auspicious day of the year. Lord Shiva is considered the God of the Yogis and the Deity for those you follow the path of Jyana (Widom) Yoga. A massive yagna (prayer) was planned for that day and after a trouble free labor, 2 healthy sons were born. They were appropriately named Yoga-ji and Zen-ji.
As per their names and true to the legacy of their family each grew to be a spiritual giant. Yoga-ji, who had been sent to a Kundalini Yoga Ashram for his studies, became a Master of Kundalini Tantra Yoga and Zen-ji, who had been sent to a Buddhism Monastery, become a Zen Master. Both were immensely powerful personalities, highly respected with large following and, of course, each convinced that their particular training was the supreme path to follow for enlightenment. In addition, each considered themselves to be the greatest spiritual being their family had produced. Here is what transpired when both returned home to wish Shanti a Happy Mother’s day one year.
Soon after pleasantries had been exchanged, the battle of the sciences began. Kundalini Tantra Yoga vs. Zazen Zen Meditation.
“Kundalini Yoga is undoubtedly the path to take for moksha and nirvana. This science gives one complete knowledge of Kundalini Shakti (energy) and how to manipulate her by using prana (life-force component of the breath). I can rotate prana thousands of times a second through my chakras (energy vortexes), thus clearing my emotional past and merging with Super Consciousness,” Yoga-ji asserted confidently.
“Kundalini Shakti rises in me automatically when I sit for Zazen, I don’t even need to toy around with prana. Sniffing through one nostril, then the next, what rubbish. I simply turn my glance to my thoughts and the intensity of my witnessing demands she rise and function within me. She then dissolves the jam of emotion soaked thoughts and clears the way for the light of Truth to shine through,” Zen-ji responded disdainfully.
“Hah! Kundalini therefore moves in you just by chance and only as she pleases. I direct her as I please. By the knowledge of Tantra Yoga techniques I am able to maneuver her to work for me, to cure any illnesses or bestow great powers,” came the retort from Yoga-ji.
“Those who practice Zazen are able to find a state of non-dual awareness which is optimum for their health so they seldom get sick in the first place. Your Kundalini Yoga practice allows for these acquisitions which binds you to desire and makes you greedy,” Zen-ji fired back.
“It’s better than becoming scizophrenic. Big Non-dual Mind trying to extinguish the Little Ego Mind. Compartmentalizing your brain and self into 2 realities, you don’t need to find God, you need to find a therapist.” The debate started to turn a little ugly.
“Psychosis! That is the result of YOUR Kundalini Yoga practice. Messing around with Cosmic energies, forcing her to awaken and then unable to deal with her power, having to check into a mental hospital,” Zen-ji spit back.
“At least we show the courage and heart to confront danger in order to attain the highest goal via the fastest path. You Zen monks have to spend 30 years watching your breath go in and out, in and out and then at the end of it you catch a small glimpse of heaven. The brave are not deterred by a little danger,” Yoga-ji shouted back.
“Even without a glimpse of heaven we march on. That is how strong Zazen makes us. We are able to handle any contingency in life. If heaven comes we smile and even if hell comes we smile. We free ourselves from duality and desire. You do nothing but chase,” Zen-ji yelled back.
“We converge all our desires into one big wave. To merge with the Supreme, you just confuse yourselves about having no desire without which how can you act?” a now heavy breathing Yoga-ji hissed back.
That’s when Dad, having had enough, intervened. “Stop it! Today is Mother’s Day can’t we have peace for just this one day for her sake. You are both a disgrace to your respective teachings. I suggest you go ask your mother who is the greatest spiritual one this family is produced, she never lies and her declaration can settle this argument.” Yoga-ji and Zen-ji agreed and approached Shanti with their question.
Shanti looked affectionately at her 2 wonderful sons and in her infinite wisdom replied, “Yoga-ji you would be the greatest spiritual being if you learned the secrets of Zen Meditation,” and then turning to Zen-ji said, “Zen-ji, without a doubt you would be the greatest spiritual being if you learned the secrets of Kundalini Tantra Yoga,” and that was the end of that.
Both paths will take you to enlightenment. Speaking broadly, Kundalini Tantra Yoga is a path of using the body, while, Zazen Zen Meditation is a path of using the mind. Why not use both great teachings to help you with your spiritual evolution? Body by Yoga, Mind by Zen, or, Yoga Body Zen Mind. My personal insight and knowledge of Kundalini Shakti came first from meditation. During meditation Kundalini would rise with great power through my spine, forcing it to elongate and straighten, filling me with the necessary energy to penetrate the veil of thoughts. Later, I developed my expertise in Kundalini Yoga and understood Kundalini Shakti via the tantric techniques of this great science.
The discussion above between Yoga-ji and Zen-ji is also filled with wisdom which is worth digesting. I will highlight 1 point for each of these sciences below which I feel are worth repeating.
Kundalini Tantra Yoga Important Highlight:
As Yoga-ji acknowledges there is a danger factor with practicing Kundalini Yoga. So please read the article 10 Important Guidelines for Kundalini Yoga Practice (specially Item #4 Kundalini Yoga Safety) before starting your Kundalini Yoga practice. To learn about Kundalini Tantra and start you Kundalini Yoga practice you can sign-up for the Free Online Expanded Online Guided Meditation & Kundalini Yoga Classes here at Mastery of Meditation.
Zazen Zen Meditation Important Highlight:
As Zen-ji points out, one of the keys to Zen Meditation is to practice without any emphasis on gaining ideas and to approach all things with a non-dual attitude. Whether it be heaven or hell, to not lose one’s composure and remain undisturbed by the storms life throws at you. The article Shunryu Suzuki Speaks on Enlightenment and Zazen Practice goes into this idea in greater detail. In addition, this article Zen Meditation Technique – Free Guided Meditation Book for Daily Practice Ch 1 will guide you step by step on how to practice this most profound meditation.