I have been practicing Sivananda Yoga recently which is a very spiritual practice. Yoga in general is spiritual, but the Sivananda tradition gives special attention to spirituality, unlike some other more athletically focused styles. Anyway, because of this, I have been practicing asanas (poses) less often and instead focusing on a lot of deep meditation and mantra chanting. At first I thought it was simply a way of honoring ancient tradition and acknowledging all that is, which made me feel blissful. I still believe this, but I think the Sivananda yoga practice as well as all the daily meditation I've been doing has been awakening some metaphysical energy.
My first experience happened several months ago and I was completely clueless as to what was happening. I remember laying in my bed at night, curled in the fetal position and drifting off to sleep. I don't remember exactly what I had done that day, but I know I had been practicing some meditation and possibly started a new mantra. I remember calmly reminding myself that there is nothing to be afraid of in the dark, that there was nothing outside of myself. These affirmations were very important to dissolve my fear of ghosts and demons.
Suddenly I started to feel this intense buzzing. It seemed like it was originating in my neck. It was extremely loud, like a weed wacker or something. I felt like it was shaking my whole body. In my mind I wondered if I was having some sort of mental problem, or if I had some nerve damage from a yoga pose. I don't remember being able to move. I just held on tight and closed my eyes. I distinctly felt a presence there near my bed. It did not feel evil or malicious. Just there. But it only scared me a little because of my fear of the unknown. After a few minutes, the buzzing went away and I fell asleep.
During the next few months, I began to get deeper into my meditation practice and I began to explore more about Hindu spirituality. I became interested in lucid dreaming and I began to practice some of the techniques. After a while, I grew tired of recording my dreams every morning. I didn't have time to do that plus my meditation ritual before work. I chose the meditation instead and temporarily abandoned my lucid dreaming. Then I discovered siddhis. That's the Hindu term for paranormal and psychic powers some yogis attain. Among the siddhis was astral projection. I became interested in this and started reading blogs and websites about it, not connecting it to my previous experience.
Then, a few days ago, I had my second brush with an OBE. This one was a lot more vivid and intense. That day, I had attended yoga class and I remember my teacher brought us into certain asanas that she said would "raise the Kundalini." The Kundalini is the energetic power that rises from the base of the spine through the chakras and up through the crown of the head. It is believed that Kundalini awakening is the cause for yogis acquiring siddhis. Anyway, after practice, I spent several hours at home chanting mantras. I learned the Gayatri mantra, chanted Om Namah Shivaya 108 times, and I meditated for 2 rounds of my mala, which is double what I usually do. Afterwards I became very tired so I laid down for a nap.
I woke up at dusk, and I remember a serene stillness. I was in an in-between state after sleep. Not quite sleep, but definitely aware. I was laying on my back when suddenly the buzzing started. It was so strong I feared that my entire body was shaking my bed. But then I realized I was in some sort of light paralysis and I wasn't' actually moving. Still the buzzing was unmistakable and intense. I was definitely alarmed by it. Once again, I felt this presence. The presence felt so real that I attempted to turn my head to look at it, or maybe I didn't actually turn my head but I turned my astral head or just my eyes. Obviously no one was standing there. I was home alone. But I knew I was looking in the general direction of this presence. I struggled to speak. I said "Leave me alone." But the words sounded slurred because of the buzzing and the paralysis.
Finally, the buzzing calmed down, the surreal feeling and paralysis went away and I was fully in the waking state. I looked around, moved my fingers and toes. I sat up in bed and called out to my dad, checking to see if he was in the house. I walked around the house and nobody was there. I was glad because my family probably would have thought something was wrong with me slurring "leave me alone."
Anyway, I'm really curious about this experience. I googled "buzzing sleep paralysis" and found that the buzzing was directly linked with OBE. Apparently it's the beginning signal of you being aware of both your physical body and your astral body at the same time. Once you switch over to your astral body the buzzing stops and you embark on your journey. But if you panic like I did, you just go back to your physical body. Is this true for any of you?
In the yoga tradition, siddhis are considered a hindrance or a distraction from true Enlightenment. Yogis are warned not to get caught up in them. I don't want to get caught up in this OBE thing. But I want to know if this is indeed what is happening to me. That way I don't have to be afraid every time the buzzing starts and I can accept what is coming to me instead of resisting it. I'm sure it could be a delightful experience. Also, has anyone met a Spirit guide while astral traveling? Do you get a sense that your guide has "come to get you" when your journey begins? I'm thinking that's what that weird presence is all about. Maybe it's a spirit guide that is asking me to leave my body so it can show me things on the journey. It never feels demonic or evil. Well, I did notice a difference between the first presence and the second presence. The first one felt a bit darker and scarier than the second, but that could be just because of my perception. This time, this spirit felt totally innocent. I think I may have been rude to it when I said "leave me alone." I said it in a stern way.
I would really like some guidance on this. I have not asked my yoga teacher yet. Maybe I should. But last time I told her about a psychedelic experience I had while meditating, she just told me not to get caught up in attaching meaning to everything. Just observe my experiences and be a witness. I also asked her if Kundalini Awakening would make strange things happen and cause mental problems like I've read in books. She said those things happen to people who aren't living a balanced yogic life. Their body cannot handle the awakening smoothly so it manifests in a volatile way. Is she right? Am I experiencing Kundalini Awakening? Maybe I shouldn't get caught up in attaching meaning to these things. But somehow I feel like this is different. This may have some meaning and I need some advice.