Navigating Through Winter: Kidney Health

A few weeks ago I woke up during the Amrit Vela with excruciating right lower back pain accompanied by relentless vomiting. With every hour the pain got worse. One acupuncture appointment visit followed by urgent care, and then finally a visit to the hospital 72 hours later revealed that I had a small kidney stone ready to be released. Looking back, I give credit to my acupuncturist, who is also my Zero Balancing teacher, for guiding the movement of the stone in addition to my dear friends who took care of me. Now that the trauma and story associated with the event has cleared along with the kidney stone, I’ve been taking the time to reflect on how and why this healing opportunity presented itself to me.

Your Lifeline: The Kidneys
This healing crisis gave me an opportunity to do extensive research about the kidneys. What was interesting is that I didn’t have to go far since I had all the information available through textbooks and lecture notes from my Kundalini Yoga therapy training module earlier this year.
The kidneys are more fundamentally important than one might think. With the winter season being in full swing, we are well into the water element which is associated directly with kidney energy. The kidneys are also associated with bone, teeth, and bone marrow. This could be one reason why kidney energy is very low with people who have osteoporosis. Low kidney energy is also directly related to back and knee pain. If you’re not convinced yet about how important kidneys are by now then take a look at the lungs. The kidney meridian ends in the lungs. It grasps Qi by pulling and directing the energy down. This occurs when we take a deep breath. Here lies the fundamental importance of yoga, the breath. That’s why pranyama techniques directthe breath.
Ever wonder why there are so many postures, kriyas, and meditations that focus on the kidney? Well this is why. The kidneys store the Will. Like all organs, the kidneys have both a yin and yang polarity. In the book, “The Web that Has No Weaver”, the author states the Yin Will is mysterious, subtle, and noticed in stillness. The book also states, “It is the recognition that the deepest force requires no effort.” (p. 86). I’ll talk more about my own experience of this later in this blog entry.
The kidneys also store the “Jing”, the Essence of life, according to Chinese medicine. The Jing contains your genetic imprint of who you are. It is also manifests in the material world via the sexual organs. The sexual organs are located in the second chakra, which is guided by the water element. The Ojas is located within the cerebrospinal fluid and determines the caliber or level of Consciousness for an individual. As many of you know, the nadis (or energetic meridian centers) vibrate at the correct frequency/rhythm when sound is applied. Everything is moving at some kind of sound vibration. When there is a correct frequency of the nadis then the Ojas is changed.
From an emotional viewpoint the kidneys are associated with the positive aspects of motivation, creativity, and living our dreams (starting from thought to physical manifestation). The kidneys bring meaning to the cliché of “finding yourself”. On the opposite polarity, the kidneys are also associated with fear, timidity, and fearful/traumatic events like war or violence. That is why healing of the kidneys is imperative for a balanced life. A Course in Miracles states, “All healing is essentially the release of fear” (p. 23). Perhaps this is why that most spiritual practices have a commonality in that anything that is not love is fear.
Why My Kidneys Were Talking To Me
The body, mind, and soul are undeniably interconnected. Disease and injury is nothing but “dis-ease” in the body. It’s a cry out from the soul or mind for healing causing a physical manifestation. My kidneys had some not-so subtle messages, though. It felt that this experience was an initiation of moving past many of the deepest aspects of fear and darkness I was still holding onto including fear of authority and the unknown. I’ve been clearing through these fears like a bulldozer.
The ego’s need to effectively bulldoze my way through fear was the primary issue. I met up with Hari Nam Singh, a wonderful world traveling teacher and immediate soul brother about a month or so prior to the kidney stone experience. He was stopping through Portland before heading to another far off land, Florida. He said the ultimate yogi is simultaneously completely committed and also fully relaxed. His words stuck with me. Up until that point, I was wholeheartedly dedicated to an extensive Kundalini Yoga practice and meditating daily for the last 3 years. I took weekly classes and was very involved in the community. I know without a doubt I wouldn’t be the woman I am today without these tools. The only problem was that I wasn’t relaxed through most of it. Up until that point I thought it was the stoic warrior way to cut through all these blockages so courageously. Although I smiled at times through it, was I really enjoying the good and the bad while treating both indifferently? I still am continuing my 1000 day meditation and doing yoga as often as I can, but I am doing it with more ease, grace, and self love than ever before. Even now, my kidneys still give me signals if I do too much. I taught my students to start small and take baby steps, but I wasn’t allowing myself the same opportunity even as an intermediate/advanced student. This goes back to always keeping a beginner’s mind. I am finally starting to embody the teachings and realize that there are opportunities to push it and cut through blockages relentlessly, but there are also opportunities to rest. This concept of trying too hard not surprisingly leaked into other aspects of my life such as relationships and work.
I feel that there is an important aspect of readiness as well. I know now, without a doubt, I was ready for this initiation, although it may not have felt like it at the time. The Course of Miracles also addresses readiness. It states, “We have already attempted to correct the fundamental error that fear can be mastered, and have emphasized that the only real mastery is through love. Readiness is only the beginning of confidence. You may think this implies that an enormous amount of time is necessary between readiness and mastery, but let me remind you that time and space are under my control” (p. 33). Through this lesson a deeper sense of inner joy and playfulness has resulted. I feel like I am laughing more and enjoying the almost unnoticeable aspects of mundane day to day life more. I’m seeking out opportunities during my day to put in the balanced amount of effort instead of the usual overload. As a result my relationships have blossomed and deepened and work is more fulfilling.
I can’t help shedding light on some other coincidences that happened these past few weeks. Just prior to the kidney stone experience I was gifted to hold a copy of the Guru in my home. Very subtle things in my Consciousness have shifted since reading from it daily. Then after the kidney stone passed my intuition guided me to get a copy of the Course in Miracles. Now that I am reading from both I am humbled and in awe at the changes occurring. It seems that every day there is a very specific message that is being transmitted to me every time I read. I feel very blessed to be living as a Sikh yet continuing to develop this strong relationship with Christ. The sense of purpose and clarity is so strong I feel it is beyond dogma or any religion, with this “it” being in the manifestation as Truth. At the same time this is a learning experience and in small steps. It is still quite new and I am continuing to process all these experiences. From what I’ve been hearing, it seems that many other beings are going through similar initiations and transformational experiences as 2014 comes to an end. I am ecstatic to not only see but experience the change from “I” to “We” as we venture further into the Aquarian Age.
References:
 The Web that Has No Weaver . Kaptchuk, T.J. (2000)
A Course In Miracles. (2007).
Personal lecture notes (May 2014) from Guru Dharam Singh. Kundalini Yoga Therapy Training. (www.i-sky.net)

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