What Would Occur During Practice?
Having described briefly the effects of mudras, their theory and practice, it is important that some knowledge regarding the actual occurrences during practice be known as these might cause some unnecessary alarm and consternation. Below we list some points that are likely to occur during mudras practices and should be understood as a natural result of the generation, accumulation and flow of the Shakti principle:
Warm sweat–this is a good sign. It means that the body is undergoing a cleansing and healing process.
Swaying and rotation of the body–this shows that the body’s attunement with the influx of the invoked energies is taking place.
Hands moving and resting at various chakra points–this is the result of energy being channeled into specific parts of the body.
Hands moving and resting at various layers of the biofield–this indicates that certain areas of the aura is being cleansed or being magnetized.
Hands moving in an up and downward chopping movement–this is one of the signs that the nadis or subtle channels are being opened and unblocked, or that the aura is being cleansed.
Hands moving in a forward-backward movement–same as above.
Hands moving left to right–same as above.
Hands moving in circles or ellipses–same as above.
Hands moving in arcs or in figure-eights–same as above.
Hands moving erratically or with other definite patterns–same as above.
Hands vibrating intensely–same as above.
Sudden jerks of the hands–same as above.
A strong sense of energy surrounding the hands and body–this is a sign of a build-up of cosmic forces in the body.
A sensation of warmth, tingling, and power in various parts of the body–same as above.
A sense of tingling, and energy flowing throughout the whole body–this means that the nadi channels have been purified to a certain degree and that energy now flows freely without any obstructions in its path.
Movement of the head–a sign that the energies have moved up to the head to clean the energy pathways.
Cold sweat–this is an indication of circulatory problems. Cease mudra practices for the time being until the body regains a certain degree of health. Physical gymnastics at this point would help.
Breaking up of hand formation–this shows that the body has absorbed enough energy for the time being or that it is being overcharged. Whatever happens here just go with the flow.
Yawning and belching–this denotes that stagnant chi (prana), or energy is being removed.
Spontaneous pranayama, or control of the life-force flowing with the breath–this shows that the Shakti flowing in the body has taken control over the respiratory processes and as a result, the mind may slowly undergo a transformation and the awareness-principle will be heightened. Should spontaneous pranayama occur, one finds oneself doing kumbhaka (the retention of the breath) effortlessly and naturally.
Activity of inner perception or the manifestation of psychic visions, sounds, etc.–this signifies that the contents of the subconscious mind is being cleansed of all dross. During this process visions of gods and demons may occur, landscapes may be seen, unusual sounds heard.
Jerking movements of the body like a frog-leaping as though levitation were to take place.
Experiencing negative emotional states of anger, hatred, etc.–this is caused by the Shakti force purifying sushumna, or the central channel of the etheric body corresponding to the spine. All of our karmas, traumas, pain, and emotional feelings of our past and present lives are lodged there and when Shakti encounters them she releases and expels their crystallizations and the psyche temporarily re-experiences them. Positive feelings of bliss, joy, and mirth are also lodged in sushumna and these may likewise be experienced.
If one were standing while doing the mudras, one might suddenly feel an inner force taking over and the movements of the hands, feet and limbs in a dance is a possibility as iconically displayed by Shiva in the Cosmic dance.
It should be noted that all of these sensations and hand-movements are temporary and represent certain phases of pranic or energy influence. The motions may start out strongly at first in early sessions but later evolve to graceful movements or even to stillness. Convulsions and spasms are common manifestations of the activities of energies within the subtle and physical bodies. These are positive signs so let them happen. Yoga kriyas such as bandhas, and the types of mudra processes mentioned in the yogic text Gheranda Samhita may likewise happen naturally. Spontaneous occurrences of these are safe–much safer than doing the yogic exercises through your own conscious volition and forcing their manifestation. If none of the above are observed during practice, a knowledgeable spiritual Guru may empower the disciple at his own discretion so that progress may proceed at a greater pace.
Whatever spontaneous movements or yogic processes occur are necessary and appropriate for you. The Shakti energy that flows through you knows what to do to spiritualize and transform your whole being. Shakti is an evolutionary force and she will lift you up to greater heights if you will let her. When Shakti flows through your being you may find yourself spontaneously practicing all of the yoga systems. For instance, you may find yourself withdrawing your senses and focusing within to your Higher Self, as in Raja Yoga; find yourself emanating an overflowing love for Nature and all life, as in Bhakti Yoga; or even acquiring divine knowledge effortlessly, as in Jnana Yoga. One may even find oneself chanting as in Mantra Yoga.
Do not be startled or afraid of the movements that occur naturally without your conscious volition or direction. You can exert your will at any moment to stop them if you wish; however, by doing so you will be hampering the occult work that is being done to you by the presence of the spiritual force. It would be best to let it run its course. Only in this manner will you reap the full benefit of mudra practices.
There are many stories of spiritual practitioners experiencing spasms and involuntary movements of the body and hands while engaging in meditation. One of the spiritual messengers of God referred to as “the Seal of the Prophets” is an instance:
One day while meditating in a cave at Mt. Hira, Muhammad, the future Prophet of Islam was said to have shivered uncontrollably. This occurred when a voice commanded him to “recite” or “read.” Replying to the voice that he was unable to do so, he was instantly seized by a spiritual presence (Shakti) that was previously sensed to be in his vicinity (forcefield).
What was the real nature of the Prophet’s experience? Were the convulsions that he experienced symptomatic of an unusual energy flowing throughout his body? What were the spiritual yogic exercises that he was engaged in that brought about such an experience? Did he make use of mudras, or any other esoteric practices? It is said that the Prophet was a “widow’s son.” In esoteric language this refers to an initiate of the Mystery Schools; the latter was called a “widow” after the goddess Isis lost her husband, Osiris, to the machinations of their brother Set, who is the personification of evil and materialism. Isis was the symbol of the Mysteries. In these mystical schools spiritual disciplines and practices were taught to the initiate. Mudras were undoubtedly one of the many teachings given. After mastering the teachings and attaining a higher level of consciousness, the initiate would emerge out of the womb of Isis and become Horus, the would-be slayer of his evil uncle.
Mudras & Spirituality
It is vital to keep in mind that the sensations, effects ,and powers that mudras help unfold are not an end in themselves–they are simply a means to an end. They are tools that may support us to achieve Self-Realization. Evolving to a higher state of awareness or experiencing oneness with All That Is should be our primary aim. Other motives are just baubles that should be given up. Mudras, meditation, or any other religious discipline when exercised for the sake of acquiring the gifts of the spirit is not spiritual work nor is it spirituality. Offering unsolicited advice is not spirituality; predicting people’s future is not spirituality; perpetuating a sense of mortality and helplessness in people is not spirituality; causing others to maintain materialistic attitudes is not spirituality. To seek the Giver rather than the gift is spirituality; to give of oneself without thought of self is spirituality; to cease forcing one’s desires, or imposing one’s will upon others is spirituality. So long as the sense of separation exists, the sense of duality, the illusion that we are separated from everything else, we shall never attain the state of true spirituality where only divine love is the law. The “heresy” of dualism in one’s mental conception and spiritual blindness is what prolongs the “sleep of the ages” where one is ignorant, unaware, and unresponsive to the eternal Truth of Oneness.
Spirituality has many expressions, however, none of them have anything to do with acquiring or vainly displaying psychic powers. Initiates are not always psychic or magickally powerful, but they are sensitive to inspiration, to spiritual impulses emanating from celestial spheres and the Spirit within. Those that ambitiously seek psychic powers and abilities for self-centered purposes normally end up shackled in the astral realm where they become the playthings of malicious spirits. It is much wiser to first purify the mind, body, and soul of all negative energies, congestions, sense of limitations, and blockages and developing the love-wisdom-intelligence aspect of the soul before embarking on any psychic development. Without the proper spiritual and moral preparation we would be deluded, deceived and entrapped by wayward psychic forces. Mudras are definitely a help on the Path of Purification, but it should be accompanied by other practices and studies that awakens the heart, and the acquisition of esoteric knowledge and wisdom.
Empowering the Hand
There are energy points in the hands and fingers just as there are all over the physical/etheric bodies. Called chakras (lit.”wheels”) in Yoga philosophy, these vortexes of energy may be detected and their existence verified in various ways. Perhaps the most simple method is to directly feel them in one’s hands. This requires a certain amount of sensitivity though, which may be acquired through an exercise that we will provide below.
Pendulums may also be used for detection. Hold a pendulum (any sort will do) in your right hand and hold it above the palm of the left hand. Watch it slowly move in circles. The swing may be clockwise or counterclockwise depending upon the flow of the energy from the palm whether it is outwards or inwards. The circumference and velocity of the swing indicates the size and activity of the chakra. At various points of the fingertips the pendulum might swing too indicating the presence of a minor chakra.
As related to Mudra-Vidya, or the “Science of Mudras,” what sort of unfoldment or empowerment do the hands require? What sort of preparation is necessary for the successful performance of mudras?
First of all it would be helpful to massage the hands often so that they would be flexible enough to assume the positions of the mudras. Most of the mudras are easy to do; some, however, may require isometric exercises of the hands as a preparation. Flex your hands often–bend it, contract/relax it, stretch the fingers, and massage them. This would create a greater flexibility in the hands and would be conducive to a better performance of the mudras and enhance the circulation of blood. Massage of the hands after mudra practices is also suggested to help circulation of the blood and remove stiffness.
Those with short, stubby hands may have some problems doing certain mudras, unlike individuals with long slender fingers that palmistry identify as “philosophical” and “psychic.” However, subjects with short fingers normally are not the type that would be interested in yoga, spiritual training, or mudras; logically speaking, as the person reading this series of articles is intent in developing spirituality, they should not encounter any obstacle practicing the mudras or executing the forms.
The next essential step is to empower the hands to increase the sensitivity, activity and size of the hand/finger chakras. This may be done through such exercises as the focused attention upon the palm of the hands and the fingertips. This particular exercise enlarges the hand chakras so that there may be a greater stream of energies flowing bi-directionally according to need. To carry-out this exercise follow these steps:
1) Focus upon each fingertip for about a minute each. Feel them tingling and vibrating. Begin with one hand and then move on to the other.
2) Now concentrate upon the palm of either hand for about 3 minutes and then move on to the palm of the other hand. Feel as though a flower were blossoming in your palms.
Do this every day for about 40 days during which time the size of the chakras should be permanently extended and greater sensitivity achieved. In the meantime, it would be permissible to commence mudra practices simultaneously with the hand-empowerment exercise.
Meditation Pose and Inner Tranquility
Generally, most of the mudras may be done while seated in a chair, cross-legged, or standing. Certain mudras may call for specific body-positions. If you are knowledgeable on Hatha yoga and flexible enough, you may assume the various asanas or body positions while practicing mudras such as, “Padmasana,” “Siddhasana,” and “Vajrasana.”
Before commencing mudra-exercises, the practitioner would reap the most benefit by first relaxing the mind and body so that a certain degree of inner tranquility may be attained. Any relaxing method taught in occult schools may be employed; one may use contraction of the muscles, perhaps even coupled with visualization and auto-suggestion–the point is that the physical body and mind should be deeply relaxed so that they may not hamper the energy-flow coursing through the subtle channels.
Mantras, or Words of Power
Mudras may be accompanied by chanting and vibrating certain bija (seed)-mantras (words-of-power) that stimulates/activates the chakras and enlarge the subtle channels, or otherwise affect the psycho-physical body in some metaphysical way. Whenever possible, appropriate mantras would be given in association with the mudras in the following papers of this Mudra series. Chanting may be verbal or mental–directions will be given for this.
Seed-mantras should be vibrated strongly as you chant them so that the power of the mantra would be felt in the various psychic centers. Vibrating the mantras does not imply raising the volume of your voice, it implies chanting the words-of-power in a peculiar way so that the vibes are felt palpably in the microcosm; some seed-mantras requires right intonation.
Breathing Exercises and Visualization
Pranayama, or the art of controlling the life-force through rhythmic or specialized breathing, may be engaged in while simultaneously doing the mudras. Some mudras may specifically call for a certain breathing technique. Generally, though, if instructions are not given, breathing should be allowed to flow naturally without any conscious direction. Visualization may be employed to support specialized breathing. Cosmic energy may be visualized as a brilliant silver, white, or gold force–each of these colors do have their specific properties. You may experiment to feel the sensation and know the effects of each of these forces. As a general rule, always inhale as you visualize energy flowing into you, exhale as you channel energy to a certain object, area, or space.
In the following papers of these series, an extensive amount of mudras of various traditions will be presented for practical application.
Copyright © 2006 Luxamore