Book VII

Designed by Hiranya

SpiritSong Publisher
© Barbara Stone, 2008  

In the usual Yogic tradition, you are requested to take full responsibility for your life.  That means the recognition that whatever may emerge from working with these lessons is part of your life and, therefore, is your responsibility.  We all receive the lessons we need from one source or another, and our only choice is whether we attend to them or not.  So, if you find yourself with this guidebook in hand with the intention to make your way through it, it is because you are meant to do this kind of self-investigation.

This material is not intended to be, nor to take the place of, psychotherapy.  It is designed to assist psychologically healthy adults to more fully understand themselves and their spiritual journeys.  These guidebooks do not diagnose or treat psychological disorders.  If you are engaged in psychotherapy already and have doubts about whether you should work with them, please consult your psychologist and follow his or her advice.

The author, Hiranya Barbara Stone, EdD, is a transpersonal psychologist with specialized training in Yoga psychology, Buddhism, Sufism and Spiritual Guidance.  She taught Developmental, Educational, and Social psychology as well as  the Psychology of Women at Drew University for 18 years and is presently a mentor for the Institute of Transpersonal Psychology.  Hiranya has had training and experience in human relations development  and group dynamics at the National Training Labs Institute and in the development of high trust community with the late Jack Gibb.  She spent a year at Naropa University, a Buddhist graduate school, teaching and studying in their Contemplative Psychotherapy program.  Hiranya is a Yoga teacher certified by Yasodhara Ashram in Kootenay Bay, B.C. to teach Raja, Jnana, Bhakti, Karma, Kundalini, Hatha and Japa Yogas.  She recently completed a training program in The Art of  Spiritual Guidance at the Silver Dove Institute in Burlington, VT under the leadership of Atum O’Kane.  She was the founder and director of House of Spirit Yoga and Retreat Center in Cedaredge, CO and is now residing in Massachusettes.

“. . it is easier to gain liberation than deathlessness.”
                                                                       – Sir John Woodroffe


Unit I.       Chakra Symbols
Unit II.      The Return    
Unit III.     Manifestation    
Unit IV.     Kamakala Triangle    
Unit V.      Mahanada    
Unit VI.     Manipitha/Amakala    
Unit VII.    Supreme Bindu
Unit VIII.   Vishnu-Vakta    
Unit IX.     Candra-Mandala    
Unit X.      Descent into Life
Unit XI.     Death of the Body
Appendix A.  Divine Light Invocation
Appendix B.  Tong Len
Appendix C.  Metta Sutra


Table 1.       Creation     
Table 2.       The Return
Table 3.       The Three Wisdoms
Table 4.       Tattvas and Bindus
Table 5.       Triads
Table 6.       Sabdabrahman
Table 7.       Three Mandalas
Table 8.       Creation
Table 9.       Creation Triads
Table 10.     Dissolution Triads


Fig. 7-1    Sahasrara Padma    
Fig. 7-2    Candra-Mandala    
Fig. 7-3    Supreme Bindu    
Fig. 7-4    Manipitha/Amakala
Fig. 7-5    Mahanada
Fig. 7-6    Kamakala Triangle
Fig. 7-7    A-Ka-Tha Triangle
Fig. 7-8    Vyapika
Fig. 7-9    Bindu Patterns
Fig. 7-10  Kamakala Patterns
Fig. 7-11  Pyramid
Fig. 7-12  Aim
Fig. 7-13  Visnu Vakta

Book VII



1.  Causal realm
2.  Consciousness
3.  Creation and dissolution
4   Sahasrara Padma
5.  Plan of the book

This book needs to begin with a caution!  Dissolution is the process of dissolving and the result on the spiritual path may be loss of identity or more.  Everything in print suggests that the end result is no-self.  That means no ego and also no self, or personality, to put it another way.  It may mean loss of soul as well, but I cannot say that with any authority or from experience.  In any case, that is the risk you may be taking, so you might want to stop here.  If you have just been reading these units for entertainment or to exercise your mind, there probably is no substantial risk in continuing on that level, but keep in mind that you are only feeding your mind and not your spirit.  If you have been sustaining a regular meditation practice, you may already be aware of my meaning.  Let it be said that others have been through this ordeal and survived while still in a body, but it is not easy, nor is it particularly blissful.  It may feel like a descent into hell.

The return is a return to the Ground of all Being, the Absolute, the Creator –  whoever It is.  And since we are embodied beings, there is no way we can know for sure except by personal experience.  That has its risks as mentioned above.

The Causal Realm

The causal body is also called the Anandamayakosa which is the outermost and largest of the five bodies or sheaths.  It is called the causal body because it is the creator of the other four bodies and governs them.  We will see that it is the power of consciousness that is the authority figure here.  There are levels of consciosness in this realm as there are in the others.  Each one corresponds to a chakra in the subtle body and is connected to it as well as to a specific area of the brain (Harrigan, 2002, p. 145).


As we study the causal realm, we will be looking at the creative process and its reverse: dissolution.  In the beginning there is just consciousness and vibration. So the whole of creation is carried out by means of the interaction between consciousness and vibration.  Everything in the universe vibrates with its own frequency, and physicists are now identifying in detail how it works.   In the  Kundalini Yoga that we are using for a structure, this vibration is called sound or sabda; and there is a huge body of information on how the creative process takes place through this kind of vibration.

As mentioned above, the whole universe and all of creation as we know it vibrates.  The reverse process is also true: vibration at the correct frequency has the power to create.  This is why seekers chant mantras.  They tune the bodymind to higher frequencies and thus enable contact with higher levels of consciousness and being.


We are going to begin with creation and the role of consciousness in creation because dissolution is a return process that proceeds along the same road upon which it unfolded.  We end with the Creator if there is one, consciousness if that is all there is, or nothing if the Void is all there is.  There may be other options beyond the human mind to imagine or understand, but we cannot go there in this context because my experience is limited.

It is said that the Sahasrara Padma represents an experience that cannot be described in words.  Furthermore, that the guru’s guidance ends here; that the individual must continue alone finding his or her own way.  So it is up to you whether you want to explore this territory.  And, if you do, you must take full responsibility for the experience since I can only tell you what others have written or what I, personally, have experienced which may be entirely different from what happens to you.  It is a journey into what is most certainly the unconscious mind for at least part of the way, so it would be well to be prepared for massive ego resistance and deviousness.  There will be no one to tell you if you go astray or misinterpret what occurs.  You will have to become familiar with your own inner guidance and learn how to communicate with it and how to distinguish it from your ego’s imput, which can be craftily similar sometimes, in order not to get lost.  It may be good preparation for death, however, which you must negotiate alone as well

But, you say, we still don’t know what consciousness is.  That’s true.  We don’t.  It has something to do with apprehending an other thing, but that is not all.  We are aware of our own existence from the inside apart from a physical body, and that is not tangible.  We can be aware of ourselves as awake before sensation begins upon first awakening in the morning or after a deep sleep.  Occasionally we may become conscious after sleep before the ability to move returns which is a bit scary, but it does indicate that consciousness is not tied to bodily senses because although you can see you can’t move your eyes.  I am told that we can be conscious in Megha Dharma Samadhi but if I have experienced this, I have to say that darkness is what I was aware of.  You can see how it gets fuzzy around the edges when we try to verbalize it.  So, for now, let us say that higher conscious-ness obviously exists and is somehow tied to creation.  Perhaps it is the Creator in some form known only to Itself.  This is the line I will be taking.

If we look at the three planes of existence, we have consciousness, mind and body, an eternal triad as we have already seen.  They are represented by the Causal realm, the Subtle realm and the Physical realm.  However, let us look more closely at what has already been presented.

It is said in almost all the traditions that it is mind that obstructs enlightenment.  The teachings say it is mind that creates the world because when the mind is silent, the world disappears - a fact that you can verify for yourself in meditation.  Woodroffe (1973) says that Shakti is the power of consciousness and that Shakti creates the world, i.e., the power of consciousness creates the world.  Thus it appears that mind is the power of consciousness since they both create the world.  Not that mind is consciousness, but that it is a power or tool of consciousness.  

Now.  If the Sahasrara Padma shows us how the power of consciousness creates the universe, then the Sahasrara Padma has to do with how the mind creates the universe.  The process is one of differentiation as we shall soon see.  

So, if the causal plane represents the steps in creation, then a return means a dissolution of the steps in creation and thus a dissolution of mind.  Dissolution or quieting of the mind leads to an experience of sunyata/emptiness/void.  This can happen in meditation.  It also happens in deep sleep, so it is not to be feared.  Quieting the mind also leads to an experience of unconsciousness because the  mind is a power of consciousness.  Now this is not necessarily bad.  The limits of the unconscious mind are unknown, they are so vast.  In fact, it looks very much like it is synonymous with the underlying ground of all being.  We call it the “unconscious” because we are unaware of its contents, but that does not mean there are not any.  We just do not or can not apprehend them.  That can change and does change as we learn how to raise our levels of consciousness.  And that is done by tuning the instrument, i.e., the mind. . . and perhaps the body as well.

You will notice as we go along that the process of creation is very similar to the development of mind in childhood and, as you might expect, a parallel.  Interestingly enough, there is research (McTaggart, 2002, p. 138) that shows the EEGs of young children up to the age of five are continously in an alpha state.  That is an altered state similar to meditation or daydreaming which means young children have easier access to the unconscious field.  I am reminded of the nightmares I used to have around age four, a time just prior to the internalization of thought at age five.  

Creation and Dissolution

The ancient Yogis said that creation and dissolution occur in cycles.  The metaphor for that was Vishnu breathing in and out.  On the outbreath, the universe came into being and on the inbreath it was withdrawn into the deity.  That process would be beyond our powers of comprehension unless we were in an altered state perhaps.  However, the same process probably operates in each of us as we tread the spiritual path.  We are born, we die and are reborn either actually in our physical bodies or in terms of our spiritual journey.  Let us look at these two processes beginning with creation in order to untangle some of the methodology.

Creative Process

One of the curious things about this topic is how people inevitably drift toward a procreation model, perhaps because that is something with which most everyone can identify.  So see if you can track it especially later on in the First Unit.

There seem to be two main processes involved in creation: differentiation and objectification.

Differentiation is a separation process that, in life, operates through cell division.  On the causal level, the One becomes two, and the two becomes three which then becomes many.  This pattern is part of the 1 -> 3 -> 7 that we met in Gurdjieff’s (Speeth, 1976) work.  A geometric model would say we begin with a point (bindu) which extends itself in a line (now have two points or entities).  Addition of another dimension gives us a triad which can develop into infinite numbers of manifestations.  Some of this is pictured in the Padma mandala, and we will return to it later for more details

Objectification  means that the focus of attention turns away from inner processes toward the external world.  Obviously, if one is going to create something tangible, it would manifest outside of oneself or at least be projected far enough away from the center that it can be observed by the Creator.  This is because on the Ultimate level it is all contained within the One.  So we will be following a similar movement of attention on the part of the creator from complete submersion in the potential consciousness to a total separation from it with attention to the outside world that is being created.  After which, the creator rests.  We see this in Kundalini Yoga as well as in the Bible.

Parallels in Life.  Margaret Mahler (1975) outlined the stages of object relations development in babies.  This terminology refers to the separation from mother that results in self-identification.  The stages are: infantile autism in which there is no discrimination between self and other; symbiosis where the mother and child are cocooned and the child is aware of the mother but does not feel separated from her; separation-individuation in which the child through exploration and experimentation slowly realizes it is not identical with mother but a separate person; and object constancy in which the child recognizes that s/he has a continuing separate existence apart from all others.  At this point, we have a self-image which is feelings of self-ness based on inner sensations and outer experience with the body’s boundaries.   And we have a body-image based on sensations and perceptions of the actual physical body plus how it is experienced internally.  Actually there are four divisions: self, body, inner, and outer boundaries.  This is an example of how differentiation results in complex manifestations.

Mental development also follows the differentiation script.  The mind develops gradually as a decentration process along with the ability to group things into collections of similar attributes and to conserve identities.  Eventually one becomes able to think about one’s own mind.  Reversibility of thinking is also a characteristic of mature mental development.  See previous guidebooks or Piaget (1952) and Vygotsky (1962) for more details.

Time and Space do not really exist in the world of quantum physics.  This suggests that they are created by the mind in order to help it manage to sort out all the details with which it is confronted.  Incidently, ancient Yogis (Vivekananda, 1976) also knew there was no such thing as time, space or causality, probably because they had studied the mind exhaustively.


Dissolution means to dissolve.  What this means for our purposes is that the spiritual return journey consists of lower levels of development being dissolved in each next higher one until we reach the ultimate level. Creation and dissolution are, therefore, reverse processes.  The dissolution process is called Laya-Krama in Yoga.  Laya means absorption or dissolution and krama means order of.  There is a whole Yogic discipline called Laya Yoga.  We have been following this process from the beginning through all the chakras.  It will be no different in this realm except that instead of dealing with physical, energetic and mental issues we will be working with consciousness in the causal realm which is beyond any of the former ones.  Since the processes really are beyond words, it will be necessary for you to intuit the meanings from what is actually said.  Hopefully the symbology will help.  In Unit II, there will be a more comprehensive outline of the return journey.

Sahasrara Padma

This domain is not called a chakra probably because it contains more than one chakra.  On the return journey, it is the endpoint of human experience, an exit if you like.  At its highest level, it represents perfect balance such that there is only One entity about which we know next to nothing.  Creation seems to be a process of differentiation in which the One becomes two, then three, then multiplies until we have the manifested world that surrounds us.  We could imagine this as a point emerging out of the void, then extending itself into a line, then adding dimensions until there is the richness in the universe that physicists are only now beginning to discover.  We could even see life as a burst of differentiation from the void.  To achieve the extravagant diversity we perceive necessarily disrupts the solitary balance of the One.  At least the projection aspects seem to be out of balance.  In the last guidebook, we saw how spiritual processes begin to come back into balance in the sixth chakra.  Now that will begin to happen on higher levels of consciousness.  

You see, the whole journey is one of consciousness.  When we meditate long enough, we discover that the whole world is a creation of our minds because when we silence the mind, the world disappears.  Yet, we do not.  You can validate this for yourself if you sit in meditation long enough.

Petals on the Padma

Padma means lotus flower.  It is a powerful symbol in Yoga because the lotus is a plant that has its roots in the mud, yet produces a flower that sheds all dust and debris remaining pristine and pure under all conditions.  Our lives have this potential even though we are rooted in the mundane world of physical reality.

Sahasrara Padma is often depicted as a head crowned by a thousand lotus petals.  Each of the thousand petals represents one of 50 Sanskrit letters of the alphabet (times 20).  The other three are found within the padma as we shall see later.  On one level, the petals represent the vibrations of creation as do the mantras they refer to.  Because mantras are words of power and can create realities, they stand for consciousness as a creator.  At the levels of consciousness we are approaching, sound can, indeed, manifest on the physical as well as the mental levels.  We saw this in the last guidebook during the discussion of siddhis.  This is the meaning of “The Word” or Logos in the New Testament of the Bible.  “Word” in this context means a vibration of consciousness.  We will come to this in detail later on.


This is a recurring motif, so it needs an introduction.  Bindu is basically space or the void (sunya).  However, it is space constrained by a circumference which is typically conceived of as Shakti while the space itself is Shiva.  Since we have two entities here, the Supreme Bindu represents the first duality and is referred to as a “seed” meaning the seed of creation.  Shiva is inactive, potential power and, as such, is the grounding, static aspect of the twosome.  Shakti is the dynamic power or actively creating aspect.    


Each of the preceding chakras has had an element associated with it.  If this padma has an element, it would have to be emptiness as in the emptiness of the void.  We could think of this as the quantum soup or Dirac Sea (Wolf (1996) or Zero Point Field (McTaggart, 2002) described by the physicists out of which all of the physical world manifests.  Or we could subscribe to the Buddhist concept of The Heart Sutra in which emptiness is form and form is emptiness.  We will come back to this later as well.
Plan of the Book

Levels of consciousness in the Causal realm recapitulate the chakra orders and both are connected to brain centers (Harrigan, 2002).  So we will be following a similar order in this guidebook beginning with manifest reality and working our way back up to the One Reality that stands at the beginning of everything we know.

The first unit deals with the chakra symbols and the creative lineage.  The second unit explains the return journey and dissolution.  From there, we will go into more detail about the return journey and examine: two levels of manifestation, an archetypal pattern, the role of vibration, blissful union and radiation, the supreme union, the threshold of choice, and the eternal existence.  From there, a descent is made into the world in order to give service.  And finally, death of the body comes as one of the transitions.  In these sequences, you will see how life, love and light may come to be.

Hopefully, this introduction has given you some idea of where we will be going in this guidebook.  The dissolution process is a reversal of the creative one.  Hence we have a continuing Return to the Source which is what the spiritual journey is all about.

References to Introduction

Harrigan, Joan S. (2002).  Kundalini Vidya: The science of spiritual transformation, (5th Ed.).  Knoxville, TN: Patanjali Kundalini Yoga Care.

Johari, H. (1987).  Chakras: Energy centers of transformation.  Rochester, VT: Destiny Books.

Mahler, Margaret S. et al.  (1975) The psychological birth of the human infant. New York:       Basic Books.

McTaggart, Lynne.  (2002).  The Field: The quest for the secret force of  the universe.  New   York: Harper Perennial.

Piaget, J.  (1952).  The origins of intelligence in children (2nd Ed.)  New York: International       Universities Press.

Speeth, Kathleen R.  (1976).  The Gurdjieff  work.  New York: Pocket Books.

Vygotsky, L. S. (1962).  Thought and language.  (Edited and translated by Eugenia Hanfmann     & Gertrude Vokar).  New York:  Wiley.

Vivekananda, Sw, (1976).  Jnana-Yoga.  Calcutta: Advaita Ashrama.

Wolf, F. A.  (1996).  The spiritual universe: How quantum physics proves the existence of       the soul.  New York: Simon & Schuster.

Woodroffe, Sir J.  (1973).  The serpent  power: Being the Sat-Cakra-Nirupana and                  Paduka-Pancaka.  Madras: Ganesh & Co.


The following list of books is arranged by Unit and is cumulative (book is listed only in the first unit in which you will use it), so you can see which ones to secure first.  They are listed in the order  you will need them rather than alphabetically.  You may want to leaf through the exercises or outline if you are in doubt about how much each book will be used.  At this writing, most were under $10-15 at If you prefer not to buy all of them, it is fine to borrow them through library loan at your local library.  However, if you do this, be sure to give the librarian some lead time to find and get them there.  Several of them you will already have if you have been working right through these guidebooks.  They are marked with an asterisk (*).  Some of my books are old, so you may find newer editions of them.  This is fine.

Unit II.  The Return

Harrigan, Joan S.  (2002).  Kundalini Vidya: The science of spiritual transformation.                Knoxville, TN: Patanjali Kundalini Yoga Care.

Kripananda, Sw.  (1995).  The sacred power: A seeker’s guide to Kundalini.  South Fallsburg,   NY: SYDA Foundation.

Unit III.  Manifestation

Progoff, I. (Transl.) (1981).  The cloud of unknowing.  New York: Dell Publishing.

Unit IV.  Kamakala Triangle

Braden, G.  (2000).  The Isaiah effect: Decoding the lost science of prayer and prophecy.       New York: Three Rivers Press *

Unit V.  Mahanada

Norbu, C. N.  (1996).  Dzogchen: The self-perfected state.  Ithaca, NY: Snow Lion                    Publications.

Radha, Sw. Sivananda. (1980).  Mantras: Words of power.  Porthill, ID: Timeless Books.

Trungpa, C.  (1985).  Journey without goal: The Tantric wisdom of the Buddha. Boston:           Shambhala.

Unit VII.  Supreme Bindu

Pearce, J. C.  (2004).  The biology of transcendence: A blueprint of the human spirit.               Rochester, VT: Park Street Press.

Paul, R.  (2000).  Shakti Yoga (CD).  Roslyn, NY: The Relaxation Company.

Unit VIII.  Visnu Vakta

Roberts, Bernadette. (1985).  The experience of no-self: A contemplative journey. Boston:       Shambhala.*

Nelson, M. C. (Recorder) (1997).  Beyond fear: A Toltec guide to freedom and joy: The         teachings of Don Miguel Ruiz.  San Francisco:  Council Oaks Books.

Gyatso, T. (2005).  Essence of the Heart Sutra: The Dalai Lama’s heart of wisdom                 teachings.  Boston: Wisdom Publications.

Tolle, E.  (1999).  The power of now: A guide to spiritual enlightenment.  Novato, CA:  New World Library.*

Khan, Pir V. I. (1998).  Light and ecstasy: The teachings of Pir Vilayat Inayat Khan.  New      Lebanon, NY: Sufi Order International.*

Unit IX.  Candra Mandala

Taimni, I. K.  ( 1975). The science of Yoga: The Yoga-Sutras of Patanjali in Sanskrit with        transliteration in Roman, translation in English and commentary.  Wheaton, IL: The               Theosophical Publishing House.

Unit X.  Return

Teasdale, W. (2002).  A monk in the world: Cultivating a spiritual life.  Novato, CA: New World Library.

Pearsall, P.  (1998).  The heart’s code: Tapping the wisdom and power of our heart energy.     New York: Broadway Books.

Lewis, T., Amini, F. & Lannon, R.  (2000).  A general theory of love.  New York: Vintage           Books.

McArthur, D. & McArthur, B.  (2005).  The intelligent heart: Transform your life with the        laws of love.  Virginia Beach: A.R.E. Press.

Govinda, L. A.  (1982).  Foundations of Tibetan mysticism: According to the esoteric              teachings of the Great Mantra Om Mani Padme Hum.  York Beach, ME: Samuel Weiser.

Guarneri, M.  (2006).  The heart speaks: A cardiologist reveals the secret language of              healing.  New York: A Touchstone Book. (optional)

Unit XI.  Death

Valle, R. & Mohs, M.  Opening to dying and grieving: A sacred journey.  St. Paul, MN: Yes     International Publishers.

Fremantle, F. & Trungpa, C. (transl.) (1975).  The Tibetan Book of the Dead: The great             liberation through hearing in the Bardo.  Boulder: Shambhala.

Gaffney, P. & Harvey, A. (Eds.) (1992).  The Tibetan book of living and dying [by] Sogyal       Rinpoche.  San Francisco: HarperSanFrancisco.

Levine, S. (2005).  Unattended sorrow: Recovering from loss and reviving the heart.              Rodale.    or

Tatelbaum, J. (1980).  The courage to grieve.  New York: Harper & Row.   or

Levine, S. (1982).  Who dies? An investigation of conscious living and conscious dying.          Garden City, NY: Anchor Books. (optional)

Levine, S. (1997).  A year to live: How to live this year as if it were your last. New
York: Bell Tower.  (optional)

In Unit I.  Padma Symbols, we will examine the various symbols that depict the causal aspects of the journey.  This is designed to give us a handle on the processes involved, so we can chart our own personal progress along the way.

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