Spend just a few minutes each day on the remarkable Psycho-psysiological techniques in this book and you will quickly build a solid experience of inner relaxation that will lead towards better health, a longer life, and greater control over your personal destiny.
Furthermore, you will lay a firm foundation for the subsequent chapters leading to the attainment of super-normal powers, and enriched Inner Life, and ultimate transcendence. The text is supplemented with tables and illustrations to bridge the distance from information to personal understanding. In addition, the author has added a simple outline of a 12- week practice schedule referenced directly back to the first nine chapters.
Chakra & Kundalini Workbook is one of the clearest, most approachable books on Yoga. Tailored for the Western mind, this is a practical system of personal training suited for anyone in today's active and complex world.
Dr. John Mumford (Swami Anandakapila Saraswati) is a direct disciple of the late Dr. Swami Gitananda Giri (South India) and Pararmhamsa Swami Satyananda Saraswati, Bihar. He was' initiated by Swami Satyananda in 1973 at BSY Monghyr, Bihar State, India. While completing an intensive period of study in India, he wrote his first book Psychosomatic Yoga in 1961. Dr. Mumford is not a theoretician and in the 1970's gave many demonstrations in Minneapolis-St. Paul at the Llewellyn Gnosticon festivals of Psycho-physiological controls, including pain control, cardiac cessation and pulse control at will. He has a background in psychology and chiropractic coupled with a diverse range of international experience. His time is currently divided among South India, the United States and Australia. Dr. John Mumford has been initiated as a Swami in three different ashrams and is recognised and honoured in India for his knowledge and teaching. Several years ago he retired from active chiropractic practice and opened an esoteric school in a suburb of Sydney, Australia. He is also the author of the best-selling book on sexual occultism, Ecstasy through Tantra.
"I've come half way 'round the world to meet you," were the first words spoken by jonn Mumford when we first met twenty years ago in the lobby of the Minneapolis Holiday Inn.
Of course, that was literally true since he then, as now, resided in Australia. But it was as if there were another "truth" involved with those words, as if we were meeting If at long last, once again." This meeting was the beginning of a friendship that is as deep and meaningful as few relationships can be, and "Uncle jonn" is as close to my wife and son as he is to me.
He came to the Twin Cities to give a week-long series of seminars on Kriya and Tantra Yoga as part of the fifth of the annual Gnostic-Aquarian Festivals (nicknamed "Gnosticons") that Llewellyn sponsored back in the 1970s when the "New Age" was still new. Earlier that day of our first meeting, my wife Sandra had met Jonn at the airport and brought him to the Holiday Inn where she briefed him on the schedule -of events and gave him the various items and equipment he had requested for his workshops. Suddenly, with a lemon in one hand and a twelve-inch long sterilized hat pin in the other, jonn shouted a mantra and Sandra found that the hat pin was now in one side of her lower lip and out the other!
No pain, no bleeding-Jonn had effectively demonstrated "mantra anesthesia" when, for a second, her consciousness was focused outside the body on the mantra - he had suddenly shouted. Instead, as realization came flooding in, she experienced a euphoria in the new awareness that indeed she was more than the body, and that mind was not confined to the brain.
The workshops with Jonn were filled with practical work and demonstrations building on this same theme. Among them was "Yoga Nidra: The Sleep of the Yogis" during which we were guided into a deep state of relaxation followed by the movement of consciousness throughout the body and into the brain itself. Another practice involved Tratak-fixed gazing on the projected image of one of a series of Tattwas, by means of which we experienced the "mind outside of the body," while also stimulating various chakras in turn. Yet another practice guided our imaginations through a series of colorful and often incongruous images, often projecting consciousness right out of the physical body.
These were exciting, mind-expanding experiences for all of us. But all of them were solidly based on Jonn's primary training in Yoga and meditation techniques that started when he, at fourteen years of age, visited India. During his many extended stays in India he studied with such prestigious people as Yogendra of Bombay, Shatananda of Delhi, Gitananda of Pondicherry, and Satyananda of Monghyr. These "Eastern" studies were supplemented over the years by his "Western" studies during which he qualified as a psychotherapist and as a chiropractor. In addition, he studied in London, and later in Sydney, with several occult lodges, and studied hypnosis, autogenics, and other techniques all related to the mind-body interface and the acceleration of "normal" evolution.
Jonn Mumford is a "global" person, bringing East and West together in a new synthesis. He has been initiated as a Swami in three different ashrams and is recognized and honored in India for his knowledge and teaching. And he is a Doctor of chiropractic therapy and a lecturer of international repute on psycho-physiological disorders. Several years ago he retired from active chiropractic practice and opened an esoteric school in a Sydney (Australia) suburb under the name of "The Scientific Samkhya Yoga Association."
In addition to his deep knowledge and amazing ability to condense esoteric practices to their essence, Jonn is a charismatic person. He radiates love, vitality, and-above all-joy. He infects you with his presence, but unlike all too many charismatic teachers and leaders, he gives his knowledge and withholds nothing. He knows that the wisdom necessary to properly use knowledge is something that comes only with experience, and it is experience as well as knowledge that he works to give his students, whether they study with him in person or through his books.
As a "Westerner" studying in India, jonn was not merely a theoretician. He has many times given proof of his own self- mastery in public demonstrations of cardiac cessation (voluntary stopping of the heart), obliteration of individual pulsebeat at will, sensory withdrawal (tolerance of pain), voluntary breath retention over the five-minute range, peristalsis control using ground glass as media, start and stop bleeding on command, ability to handle white hot steel rods, etc.
Even more importantly, just as he demonstrated on his first meeting with Sandra, he leads his students to experience this same kind of control. As he writes in this book, "Theory without practice is sterile!" Many students have experienced that "hat pin," while others-with only hours of training-have been able to experience much greater control over the normal physiological responses as you will see pictured in this book when two students at another Gnosticon likewise were able to handle, and even lick, white hot steel bars in public demonstration.
That "first" meeting in Minneapolis was neither the first or the last. Aside from any esoteric considerations, Llewellyn had already published Jonn's second pioneering book, Sexual Occultism (since revised and enlarged as Ecstasy Through Tantra), and he came to other Gnosticons. One year we put on a full week "mini-ashram" entirely of his teaching on Kriya Yoga. Since the last of these teaching visits, he has joined us nearly every year around the time of my wife's and son's birthday (yes, they have the same birthday), July 1.
Every visit has been both a learning experience for me and an inspiration. I've learned more from this one person than I have from anyone else, and in some ways he has fulfilled my own youthful ambition to study in India through his powerful, effective, and efficiently condensed teaching. And it is that- powerful, effective, and efficiently condensed, experiential instruction-that you will find in this book.
The book itself is a vastly expanded and augmented edition of Jonn's first book, Psychosomatic Yoga, that was first published in English in 1962 and later in eight additional languages. I need to emphasize that this not merely a revised version of that early very successful book; rather, it is totally rewritten and expanded beyond the original concept based on the thirty years of experience during which that first edition was used as a textbook and manual by tens of thousands of students and teachers around the world.
I wrote my first book, Psychosomatic Yoga, in Hardwar, Uttar Pradesh State, India, in 1961. This was a concise training manual in Mind- Body disciplines, and some of the techniques had never been published before. This book was to become a classic, translated into over a dozen languages over the next thirty years.
In the interim since that beginning of my public teaching career, I have continually polished and refined the methodology expounded in that first manual, and this present volume is flesh and muscle built upon the intact skeletal structure of the earlier writings.
I have been fortunate to experience something that is difficult for Westerners to comprehend: the Guru-Chela relationship, devoid of the "cult" trappings associated with the popular movements of more recent times-some more notorious and sensational than others-creating an image of dependency and abuse that is far from the reality of the genuine experience.
There is always one special Guru, and that is the one to whom you give your heart. When I was seventeen years of age I met Dr. Rishi Swami Gitananda of Pondicherry, Tamil Nadu, South India, and that meeting began a discipleship of many years. Words could not and can not ever express my gratitude to him, and I don't know what would have become of me had I not met him at that time and benefited so greatly from his teaching and wise guidance. Such techniques as Chakra Dharana, Polarization, and Solar Plexus Charging came from him, for me to release in writing.
Much later, another major influence was to come into my life, Swami Paramhansa Satyananda Saraswati. I took initiation from him in Monghyr, Bihar State, India, in 1973. By example he taught me, among other things, humility, something I will struggle with to the end of my life. He was a great Tantric technologist; the exposition of Yoga Nidra in Chapter 13 is a sample of his insight.
These men gave me the most precious gift humans can grant one another: unconditional regard. For this I owe a debt that can only be paid by honoring all sentient beings.
This book, although entitled A Chakra and Kundalini Workbook, is neither a quick fix or a panacea. The exercises are grounded in classical technique, with contemporary innovations, and developed over a lifetime of learning, experimenting, and teaching.
I write in the same way that I teach: Information is added incrementally and we take various stances or viewpoints according to necessity and convenience. My Western education has enamored me of the hypothesis, and my Indian training has made more than willing to sacrifice understanding for experience and logic for being.
By lifestyle I am Western and by disposition Hindu. Philosophically, I adhere to the classical school of Samkhya. Samkhya was developed by a contemporary of Buddha, Kapila, around 500 BC, and, like Buddhism, is non-theistic. Samkhya provides the theoretical constructs for the practice of Yoga, and, again like Buddhism, is perfectly reconcilable with the new religion of the West-Science.
The theory of Samkhya and the practice of Yoga are so compatible with certain Western positions that I, without paradox, support sociobiology and favor biochemical reductionism. Sociobiology is the belief that human behavior is deeply cemented in biological necessity, while biochemical reductionism is the doctrine that sees changes in neurotransmitter brain levels as responsible for brain function variations and, hence, psychiatric states and mood.
Both sociobiology and reductionism seem quite probable and reasonable-they present no problem for the Samkhya philosopher, as Samkhya views mind and body as merely different manifestations of the energy-matter dance of creation and neither affect the core essence of being, the transcendental self, or Purusha.
We are at the end of a millennium and the close of a century. Such periods are always marked by tremendous social upheavals and radical political changes. Dr. Swami Gitananda stated, in the 1950s, that "it used to be the problems of man, now it is man, the problem!" Sigmund Freud, Carl Jung, and Herman Hesse were just a few of the great European minds that saw the forthcoming social and psychological chaos, inherent in the transition to the twenty-first century. The great Indologists, Heinrich Zimmer and Mircea Eliade, and their compatriot, mythologist Joseph Campbell, have all passed away, leaving us a heritage of understanding and a pointer for the future.
English-speaking countries nave rabidly espoused the new Maoism, "political correctness," a vitriol that corrodes creativity and art, accompanied by social engineering, both conspiring to reduce everyone to a common denominator. And what is the outcome of such communism? The pursuit of mediocrity! It will be a sad, colorless, effete, twenty-first century if individualism, eccentricity, mysticism, and the pursuit of the contemplative life are no longer permitted or even merely accepted. Is humanity only social creatures, herd animals, or are we-potentially and individually-destined for the stars?
I would like to believe that my efforts with this workbook will contribute, as a small part with many others, of a great tidal outpouring of authentic esoteric technology to ensure survival of, as Aldous Huxley so elegantly phrased it, the "Perennial Philosophy."
May the Perennial Philosophy find a bridge into the brave new world order!
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