“As the mind and emotions are housed in the physical body and are functions of the physical man, so too the spiritual body has its own mechanism. This mechanism is sensitive and rarely used but is as complete a system as the mechanism that runs the physical life. If you want to hear a bird sing you can’t stay in the middle of a city you have to go to a place where there are open spaces and trees. To learn to contact the inner self one must also begin with special conditions.
First you must realize that there is the dimension of ordinary life and the dimension of extraordinary life. These dimensions require different muscle and nervous systems. You must strengthen those muscles which carry spiritual energy. They have to be used and exercised until they are strong enough to support the flow of energy that constitutes a spiritual life. Just as a child learning to walk is supported by his parents, so too a spiritual child requires the support of his teacher so that his development will be healthy and natural. Trying to force development will cause the novice to be crippled spiritually, his mechanism twisted. It is essential to separate the mind and emotions from the psyche as they are of different dimensions.
You must find within yourself the deep, sincere need to grow.
There is a very simple exercise for this. You can work either in a group or by yourself to quiet the mind and emotions. This is done by using a point of contact. You focus on your teacher or an object as you open to your inner self. This gives you support until your muscles are strong enough to draw energy directly from the atmosphere.
The person who undertakes these exercises must believe in God, or in a higher power, or in a great potential within himself. This is necessary because the goal of the exercise is surrender, the removal of all blocks, to allow the higher force to begin the process of destroying the ego, the physical, lower force within us.
The first step involves using an object or a teacher, sitting before either in a relaxed manner. You must find within yourself the deep, sincere need to grow. You must bring the wish deep within your chest area and ask deeply, as if the voiced wish were emanating from your heart, for help to surrender. This wish must be silently repeated several times until there is a sensation of an opening, like the opening of a flower.
This is the beginning of the second dimension, or spiritual world. The opening is the inner wish that in turn opens the mechanism of the person, making a place for the higher force to enter. The aim of the exercise is to maintain the opening in the chest and to deepen it by relaxing and asking for help within this area. You are breaking down the blocks of the physical dimension. The energy is refined, and this brings about a chemical change, enabling you to use the spiritual muscles. The opening, or surrender, must be continuous during the exercise in order for the force to enter and for the process of spiritual growth to begin.
Spiritual growth is a process of exercising and expanding the psychic muscle and nervous systems until they become controlled enough so they may be used at will. It also becomes, in time, a continuous process which works together with the ordinary life process. A growing spiritual life adds a quality and depth to life.
Asking from the very depths of yourself to surrender or attain a state of nothingness is the key to opening to the flow of higher energy. As you surrender and ask to open to higher cosmic energy, work to draw this energy into yourself and channel the energy through your energy centers (or chakras, as they are called).”
Rudi’s Double Breath Exercise
“A breathing exercise to use for drawing in cosmic energy is as follows: You draw in the breath high up through the nose and into the heart chakra. As you start the breath into the heart, you swallow in the throat and try to feel the swallow travel down to your heart center. The swallow is to release tension in the throat chakra and allow energy to expand there.
After swallowing, you continue to inhale breath into the heart center until the lungs are filled to their maximum capacity. The breath is held in the heart chakra for about the count of ten. This time count may become longer as strength is gained in the breathing.
During the time when the breath is held, you bring your mental concentration to the heart center and ask to surrender and try to feel very deeply inside the heart center. You must ask into the very core of your being, or deeply into the subconscious, to surrender to and receive the cosmic energy.
After the breath has been held for the count of ten, you exhale one fifth of the breath and inhale again, bringing the energy and the concentration to the energy center just below the navel. The breath is retained in the navel chakra for about the count of ten and then exhaled very slowly.
This double breathing to heart and navel chakras may be repeated from eight to ten times in a half hour period or about every three minutes. You should think of the breath as energy and develop the sensitivity to feel deep expansion of energy and to let the breathing be governed by that sensitivity as your strength and capacity increase.
When you are not doing the double breathing exercise, you should breathe into the navel chakra slowly, hold the breath for a few moments, and then exhale very slowly. If you feel an energy sensation in the navel or sex chakra, you should bring your attention to the tip of your spine and rock slowly from side to side on the base of the spine. This breaks up tension and allows the energy to rise up the spine to the top of the head. When you begin to do this exercise, your sensitivity may not be on the deeper energy levels. At first, you may not be able to feel definite energy sensations. This does not mean that the energy is not flowing through those channels but that you have not yet developed the sensitivity to feel it.”
When this energy, known as the kundalini, rises from its dormant state, various spontaneous body movements sometimes occur. These may be uncontrolled body spasms and vibrations or heat. Also, as the kundalini force passes the throat energy center, the head may move back and forth rapidly. All these movements and indeed any experience must be surrendered to totally. There is no harm or danger in these movements as they are deep, healthful tension releases.
The kundalini energy gradually rising to the head over a period of time becomes stronger and stronger and eventually brings enlightenment.
This is an organic process of spiritual growth, continuously reaching for deeper and deeper states of surrender and openness to the flow of cosmic energy. The more deeply we attain openness and oneness with this higher energy, the more it will lift us up spiritually and the closer it will bring us to the realization of our oneness with God or everything in the universe.
Everything in the universe is energy or a manifestation of energy, and the purpose of spiritual work is to become one with that flow of higher creative energy coming from God through the cosmos.
To put a new idea into effect, one must be given added energy. To rehabilitate an alcoholic, he is given vitamins. To help a man grow spiritually, he is given a teacher. Christ said, “I give you my blood to drink and my flesh to eat.” This is nourishment any teacher must provide to put into effect the new ideas he presents. To work, any teaching must have within it the vital ingredient of life a living creative force which is transferable.
The third step is to lower the point of surrender to the sex center (the seat of the sexual organs). This is for two important reasons: first, it is for deepening the exercise, a necessity in this work; second and most important, it is for spreading the energy into the true home of creativity in you. These organs which are used for creating life, a child in ordinary life, become, with the force within, the seat of rebirth and regeneration. A transformation takes place and with it, a sensation totally new to the student. The energy refined is brought up the spine to the top of the head. It matures there and is then absorbed into the body and a real change can occur.
This is one of the vital areas where prejudice, fear, all the old wives tales enter into play. We hold great resistance to surrendering within this area. Actually, it is totally without danger; it will do no damage and cause no lessening of the sex drive in you. Surrender in this area can help someone who is blocked sexually, and often does. This exercise requires energy to run freely through you and this frees the life flow within it never limits you. Only by fear and thinking are you closed. Consciousness opens all doors.
The word “surrender” as it is used in relation to spiritual development does not have the negative connotation it often has in ordinary speech. The act of surrender, as the term is used here, is the voluntary casting off of the thoughts and emotions that interfere with the realization of the spirit within. There is often a sense of buoyancy or floating it is a freeing of oneself from the dimension of the earth. Something within is returning to a level on which it belongs.
At first, you can only work a half-hour to an hour each day. It takes nine months of continual materialization for the soul to be born within a child. The limited amount of time expended in daily exercise makes the spiritual process of rebirth within an adult a much longer event, requiring in most cases years of daily work. This refined energy can only be absorbed slowly; trying to do so faster only builds tension.
SURRENDER is the voluntary casting off of the thoughts and emotions that interfere with the realization of the spirit within.
Creation is a special property, which extends from conceiving a child to all forms of invention. It is also a degenerative process, the breakdown within us of a higher chemistry. For almost everyone, this process takes place in “highly creative periods,” which may be a matter of several years, several weeks, or several days. Rare is the strongly endowed person who can create continuously.
The breakdown of chemistry during these highly creative periods leaves a person in a state of exhaustion. This is due to the fact that in creative periods certain chemicals are used up faster than they can be reproduced. In these cases, creativity is part of an unconscious death wish.
Creativity must become recreativity. Really creative people are the true riches of a country. If the gift is misused, as it usually is, it becomes a curse. It is dangerous to drain a man continually of his natural resources without replacing them; to do so will make him self-destructive. Such misuse of creativity is death-oriented.
Anyone working by himself and tearing at his chemistry can easily start a wrong chemical process and destroy his potentialities. You should demand of your teacher the process of rebirth and not just spiritual growth.
Anyone trying to attain spiritual growth should cultivate the following habits to keep his mechanism in top form:
- Sleep eight to ten hours a night.
- Eat three nourishing meals a day.
- Wash often and bathe at least once a day, to remove tensions.
- Absorb everything in depth, not through tensions.
- Whenever the exercise touches the mind, make sure the energy does not stop flowing, which would create blocks.
- Consciously surrender negative tensions each day. This breaks molecular structure and after daily changes it removes the bonding so patterns must change.
- Most important, find in your teacher the basic qualities you wish to attain and draw this energy into yourself.
These are the basic essentials for maintaining your mechanism so it can function and prevent crystallization.”
The above is an excerpt from Rudi’s book Spiritual Cannibalism, by Swami Rudrananda, published by Rudra Press.
About Bhagavad Nityananda and Rudi
Nityananda, whose name means “bliss of the eternal,” lived in southwest India from around the turn of the twentieth century until 1961. Details of his early life are difficult to verify, but from the 1920s until his passing, he was surrounded by an ever-increasing number of disciples and devotees. By the late 1930s he was established in Ganeshpuri, in the countryside near Bombay (Mumbai), and an active ashram developed around him.
In India, the mere viewing (darshan) of a spiritual teacher is considered to be a profound blessing, and thousands of people arrived daily, often from considerable distances, just to sit in Nityananda’s presence. Nityananda often sat in a room that was lit only by a few bare electric light bulbs, but as he rested quietly with his eyes open, the powerful forces of śakti transmission that continuously emitted from him permeated the environment. In this way, Nityananda established a connection with each visitor according to his or her capacity to experience and sustain that contact.
Nityananda was a holy person who was considered an avadhūta. Timeless and eternal, the avadhūta is a direct link to absolute, supreme Consciousness, encompassing all the teachers who preceded him and all who follow. He lived as the divine expression of stillness, purity, and joy, and his teaching was profoundly simple. Like the ancient sages of many traditions, the essence of his teaching was that liberation occurs within every person when they merge their own individual consciousness into the Divine, and Nityananda clearly emphasized the awakening of kuṇḍalinī as the path to liberation. To realize the universal nature of one’s own awareness, to be absorbed into the heart of God, is the goal of sādhana (spiritual practice).
It is hard to describe Nityananda’s greatness to most Westerners since his most profound achievements were internal. He never explicitly identified himself with a particular spiritual practice or tradition. In fact, he rarely spoke at all. The thousands of people who came to see him did so because, in him, they experienced the miracle of pure Consciousness in human form. In India today, Nityananda continues to be revered as a great saint.
Albert Rudolph was born January 24, 1928 to impoverished Jewish parents in Brooklyn, New York. His father abandoned the family when he was young.
According to his autobiography, Rudolph’s first spiritual experience occurred at age 6 in a park. Two Tibetan Buddhist lamas appeared out of the air and stood before him. They told him they represented the heads of the “Red Hat” and “Yellow Hat” sects, and they were going to place within him the energy and wisdom of Tibetan Buddhism. Several clay jars appeared, which they said they would put inside his solar plexus. The lamas said these jars would stay in him and begin to open at age 31. He would then begin the process of assimilating their contents, and would continue to do so for the rest of his life.
Rudi was given the title ‘Swami Rudrananda’ by Swami Muktananda, thereby initiating him into the Saraswati branch. By end of 1972, Rudi had established fourteen ashrams in the US, and three in Europe. His Manhattan store housed one of the largest Asian art collections in the world. In early 1973, Rudi published Spiritual Cannibalism, his only book. On February 21, 1973, Rudi died in a small plane crash in the Catskills. The three other occupants walked away with only minor injuries. Just before the impact of the crash, Rudi was dictating a book. His last words perfectly express the essence of his life and his teaching::
“The last year of my life has prepared me for the deeper understanding that Divine Consciousness can come only through unconditional surrender. That state is reached by surrendering ourselves and the tensions that bind and restrict us, keeping us from expressing the power of creation that is our true essence. It is God flowing through us and showing us that we are nothing but Him. I want to live as an expression of that higher creative will, and from a deeper sense of surrender.”
Bhagavan Nityananada passed away in 1961 in Ganeshpuri. Rudi (Swami Rudrananda) continued to teach in New York and had students in many ashrams in the US and Europe. Rudi left a legacy of recordings, films, writings, nationally known Rudi’s Bakery, and a network of students who continue to teach. Rudi passed away in 1973.