The Cobra Breath is one of the most powerful tools for spiritual awakening on the planet. Originally transmitted by the Mahavatar Babaji, Cobra Breath is an advanced, powerful Kriya method for transmuting primal energy that can lead to Cosmic Consciousness and Self Realization in one lifetime. It has been said by Kriya masters that a million disease-free years are needed to evolve a human mind capable of experiencing Cosmic Consciousness. Cobra Breath practice enables one to move at a greatly accelerated pace as one repetition of the Cobra Breath is equal to one year of spiritual practice.
Cobra Breath Kundalini
The Cobra Breath is an esoteric, sacred tradition only transmitted orally from teacher to student through direct lineage from Babaji. The true Cobra Breath has never been written down or recorded. When receiving Cobra Breath, it is important to be properly prepared and have an appreciation of this gift when being initiated. Cobra Breath is a powerful method for quickly opening Ajna (the third eye). As this center is awakened, you become able to perceive reality as it really is (through witness consciousness), rather than our usual manner (maya.)
Witness consciousness is the ability to maintain our center in the midst of emotional upheaval and is essential to any advanced practice of Kundalini. Witness helps us see beyond the unconscious beliefs, early childhood patterning, judgments, and trauma, to the Divine within all of us. This brings light to our dark aspects speeding our spiritual development.
The Cobra Breath pulls Shakti energy into the secret Kriya Channel, charging the spine with energy and changing the electro-magnetic properties of the cerebro-spinal fluid, allowing Kundalini to move up the spine and activate the third eye. The nervous system is transformed and you awaken to higher consciousness.
Prerequisites / Guidelines
Now, I want to be clear here. Cobra Breath is not for everyone, certainly it is not for beginners. I have seen a lot of grief and drama occur in persons not authentically prepared for this high level practice. What you are unwilling to transform within your subconscious will be reinforced by any true Kundalini technique. The Taoists sometimes call this “circling the midplane.” You have to be ready to let go of that which no longer serves your higher interest. The readiness of any given individual has to be assessed by a teacher in person. Here are some general guidelines:
– Transmute your Karmic patterning
Karmic Patterns are old habits based on early childhood and adolescent trauma and imprinting. We accrue these patterns from our parents and family, persons we associate with in life, even birth trauma itself. Karma burning is best accomplished through deep meditation with a guru and, to some extent, through body centered psychotherapy such as Bioenergetics. Truly understanding and transmuting the held energies of of our Inner Child is essential. This requirement alone eliminates the vast majority of people.
– Become Self-Responsible
Most people never do this. We prefer to see ourselves as helpless victims of circumstance and the actions of others. “You hurt me” “that thing you did made me so angry”; these “you” statements are an attempt to project responsibility onto others, thereby avoiding the hard work necessary to empower ourselves to take responsibility for our thoughts and emotions. If we blame others, we can never own our emotions and master our Self.
– Be Present
We live in anticipation of the future while repressing aspects of our past that we don’t like. We shuttle back and forth between past and future, robbing ourselves of our life and re-creating old patterns of being. As Einstein once said, “Insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result.” Allowing our thoughts to travel indiscriminately between past and future is the scam we use to avoid doing our spiritual work and thereby staying in our dysfunctional comfort zone. True creation and spiritual evolution occur only in the moment.
There are many practices that can achieve the above goals. However, not all spiritual roads have the same speed limit. Given that the practitioner is authentic in their sadhana, the pace of awakening will depend on the level of consciousness of the individual, efficacy of the technique(s), outside cultural and interpersonal influences, and the amount of time invested. Some preparatory rules of thumb:
Hatha Yoga: at least 3 years of daily practice, 1 hour or more per day. Some Masters require 12 years. Hatha yoga alone is not enough, one must be able to enter into deep states of meditation while staying totally present. Breathwork is also essential.
Tantric Qigong / T’ai Chi: 1- 3 years of non-martial oriented practice, along with meditation.Bioenergetic analysis and Breath work can be very helpful when done in conjunction with this training.
Kundalini Yoga / Chakra Yoga: most forms now taught in the West require several years of training and daily practice. This practice is not well grounded, so one needs to master some T’ai Chi,Tantric Qigong, and Bioenergetics.
As I stated above, most people are not going to be ready for Cobra Breath in this lifetime. Even some who are teaching Cobra Breath have not fully prepared themselves, and thus pass on their kundalini-energized dysfunctions to their students. I have observed many astounding examples of this occurring. Here are some warning signs that a person is not yet prepared:
– Blaming others: A person who feels they are victimized and others are at fault is a sure sign of that person not being ready.
– Taking things personally: Like the above, we feel others are directing their “stuff” at us. Another’s drama has nothing to do with us, yet the ill-prepared student will perceive this as an attack and take it in, setting off a host of defensive mechanisms.
– Depression: Depression is a suppression of life force. It is the “flight” portion of the animal “fight or flight” response. Cobra Breath will just create more sadness.
– Rage / Anger: This kind of person is heavily invested in the “fight” part of the “fight or flight” response. Usually this kind of person blames others, though if he or she turns this energy inward, the ensuing self-judgment will begin to affect one’s energy system, mind / emotions, and the physical body, often creating a dangerous and unstable condition. This also holds true for highly manipulative control freaks.
– Attraction to Catharsis: Neo-tantric and the now discredited Primal Scream therapies are disadvantageous practices with regard to Cobra Breath in particular, and attaining self knowledge in general. Karma merely circles the midplane and becomes even more ensconced within the psyche as it is reinforced by the indiscriminate stimulation of this high level energy. This “letting off steam” feels like a “breakthrough” to some people, but long term observation tends to reveal that not much changes. Drama Queens and Kings who practice this are poor candidates for Cobra Breath. I am continually amazed at the number of false neo-tantric teachers who recommend this process. Suicides and false memories of childhood trauma have been linked to practicing Primal Scream and catharsis.
– Anxiety / Neurosis / Obsession – Compulsion (OCD): Fear and its compensatory mechanisms bind up large amounts of primal energy. This bound energy has nowhere healthy to go. Adding more energy with the Cobra Breath will just increase the frenzy, tipping an individual into increasingly unhealthy states of being.
Physical Contraindications: Untreated hypertension, chronic headaches, drug addiction, chronic dysmenorrhea (Cobra Breath may increase pain and blood flow), anyone who is physically very ill.
Energy Idiot-Savants: I have heard some faux teachers of Cobra Breath make statements to the effect that “only those who are prepared will be attracted to Cobra Breath.” This New-Ageism is totally fallacious. I certainly have seen persons who are attracted to Cobra Breath significantly harm themselves physically and/or mentally by insisting they are ready when they are authentically not. Usually, an unprepared person will not get much from Cobra Breath. It just doesn’t work for them. I believe this is a kind of built-in protection for the “innocent”, just like a baby would not be able to drive a truck. They’re just not big enough to reach the ignition, steering wheel, and pedals, so nothing happens.
Occasionally though, an “energy idiot-savant” may get their hands on the Cobra Breath. This is a very tricky situation. The “idiot” part has not achieved sufficiently deep inner transformation to be healthy and ready for Cobra Breath Initiation, while the “savant” portion can be surprisingly adept at moving the Kundalini energy. This is a sort of “irresistible force meets an immovable object” conundrum and big drama and potential harm can occur. This can be partly ameliorated by living in an ashram with your teacher, or at least having regular contact, support, and instruction. Thus, attempting to receive Cobra Breath long-distance, or in a one-shot weekend workshop without regular support can either be dangerous or ineffective in the long run.
Reading all the above cautions can make Cobra Breath seem a little scary. If you truly feel anxious about it, you most likely are not ready. If you are interested, make sure you develop a daily practice (see guidelines above) and stick to it. Most people will self-select themselves in or out of this practice, and energy idiot savants can be screened out by the exceptionally perceptive master. Cobra Breath remains one of the most efficacious and profound tools for Awakening available to the dedicated student of the spiritual path.
Level 2 Cobra Breath
The second level of the Cobra Breath opens a rarely used energy channel along the spine and helps to more deeply activate the roots of the Chakras, balance your polarities, activate and transmute karmic patterning, and begin to connect your spiritual pole with your earthly pole.
It is best that a student practice Cobra Breath 1 on a daily basis for at least a year before being initiated into Level 2 Cobra Breath. Some Western teachers push students into Level 2 Cobra Breath with only 40 days of Level 1 practice, often with much drama. This does a disservice to the student as there is inadequate preparation and follow-up support on a daily basis. Merely energetically activating one’s karmic patterns is no guarantee that they will be transmuted.
Like the central nervous system, the chakras have their roots in the spine. The second level Cobra Breath stimulates these chakric roots and therefore activates the domains of awareness, emotion, and actions governed by these chakras. Cobra Breath Level 2 can help clear the karma of the chakras, releasing repressed emotions / inner child issues to be Witnessed and processed.
It is imperative that a practitioner of Cobra Breath 2 have a well defined Witness consciousness and be able to be self-responsible. If not, the Level 2 Cobra Breath will merely exacerbate these karmic patterns, creating more misery and drama in one’s life.
Bioenergetic holding patterns or armoring are the somatic aspect of our repressed emotional karma. We repress or “hold” back our emotional responses to avoid external reaction to negative emotional triggers. This energy is stored as tension in the body, but is not quiescent. On the contrary, these held patterns will run in the background of our consciousness, affecting our perceptions, mental / emotional states, and behaviors. This results in our patterns being recreated continuously, often creating a victim consciousness which will tend to make us more emotionally reactive and defensive. Cobra Breath will not necessarily clear these patterns without Witness and processing. Some somatic work such as T’ai Chi, Qigong, yoga, Rolfing, and Somatic Release along with Presencing, Conscious BreathWork, or Bioenergetic Analysis, etc. can be helpful in rooting out these patterns thus releasing the stored emotional energy to be acknowledged and understood.
The 2nd Level Cobra Breath allows solar / cosmic energy to descend into the body through a specific channel, awakening the chakras, and balancing the male and female energies.
There are 5 major energy channels or nadis in the spinal region. Four of these are polar channels (male and female, or yang and yin) and these must be cleared and kept in balance to provide a strong, safe “containment vessel” for true Kundalini to arise. If not, unresolved emotional history can be activated, causing disruptive emotional crises and sometimes physical discomfort or injury.
As in Cobra Breath 1, there are definite prerequisites and contraindication associated with being truly eligible to integrate the power of the Second Level Cobra Breath practice. Some signs that you need to dig deeper before accepting this initiation are:
-Taking things personally
-Rage / Anger
-Anxiety / Neurosis / Obsession – Compulsion
Prerequisites / Guidelines for Sadhus
Some good guidelines to assess your readiness to incorporate Second Level Cobra Breath into your sadhana include:
-Knowing how and beginning to transmute your Karmic patterning
-Accepting Self-Responsibility for your thoughts, emotions, and actions
-Being able to be Present with a well developed Witness Consciousness © 2012 Keith E. Hall and www.inner-tranquility.com. All rights reserved.
Methods of Practicing Cobra Breath
There are four main classes of technique for practicing Cobra Breath. Two require partners; two can be done by oneself. Two are sexual, two are non-sexual.
Version 1: Probably the most popular, or at least the most practiced, form of Cobra Breath sadhana is to practice Cobra Breath as a meditation technique by oneself. No particular materials are required; one just practices the Cobra Breath as a meditation and internal energy technique for awakening the higher chakric centers, particularly the third eye and the Mouth of God. Fourteen repetitions daily of this breath are recommended, though more can be done as you like.
The indications, in addition to being initiated into Cobra Breath, are that one have a quiet space to practice, be able to sit without excessive movement, know the forward position of Khechari Mudra, and keep the spine very straight. Keeping the spine straight will ease the flow of energy and prevent the re-grooving of karmic patterns.
Version 2: It is possible to do the Cobra Breath sexually by oneself. This can add a bit more energy to the practice, and perhaps accelerate the development of cleansing Kundalini energies. To do this, one self-pleasures to near the edge of orgasm, and then performs the Cobra Breath with a very tight root lock. Generally, one to three repetitions of Cobra Breath are enough to transmute the sexual energy to the higher chakras and prevent ejaculation.
Yab Yum Pose
Version 1: To practice non-sexually with a partner, one needs to be deep in their energy field. There is a certain level of energy intimacy involved here. A mild form of this practice would be to sit back to back and perform the Cobra Breath with both of the partners synchronizing the breath. Having the spinal nadis in alignment and touching each other tends to create an energetic balance which can deepen one’s experience of this practice. Alternatively, two partners can perform Cobra Breath in the Yab Yum position. An advantage of this position is that partners often can get the first and second chakras physically closer, which can add a bit more energy. When the energy of Cobra Breath reaches the third eye, this position allows to the partners to perform theTantric Kiss, which further stimulates the energy of Ajna.
Version 2: This is the version of Babaji’s Cobra Breath that gets all the press. Using Cobra Breath sexually with a partner holds the potential for the highest level of energy generation and transmutation. Yab Yum is the position usually recommended, although any position that allows the spine to be straight and also allows for the performance of the Tantric Kiss will work just fine. Yab Yum has a certain advantage in that the orientation of the position allows for the lower chakras to be aligned with the polarity of the Earth, and the head chakras are aligned with the heavens. This puts the entire spinal system and nadis in a straight line, resulting in an ease of energy flow between the Earthly and Heavenly chakra energies. The electromagnetic fields of Earth and Sky strengthen and cleanse one’s own bio-magnetic field. This practice is best done with a partner of similar spiritual vibration, or at least the ability of both partners to raise and synchronize their vibratory fields. To state this in another way, care should be taken that your partner is at a similar stage of evolution as you are, or surrendered enough to follow the vibratory energies to be in harmony. The same general indications of the other three versions apply here. © 2011 Keith E. Hall. www.inner-tranquility.com All rights reserved.