Nectar of ImmortalityAC 230: February 23, 2004 (Boston)
I awoke about 2:20 A.M. to use the bathroom. When I returned to bed I had a strange experience, similar to one that occurred a couple of nights ago. The present experience was much stronger than the first.
After I closed my eyes, I noticed a light in my head--a soft background glow. I checked to see whether it was coming from outside my window by putting my head under the covers. It was still there. I found myself wondering whether this light was what the Tibetan Buddhists call the ground luminosity of consciousness.
I decided to observe the light, to notice everything I could about it. As I paid attention to the light, it grew stronger. It began to coalesce from a uniform glow into a centralized cloud, like a slowly turning galactic nebula.
At some point in this process, a pearl-like sphere of light condensed from the cloud and dripped from my head down into my throat. It had a sweet taste that filled me with bliss. After passing through my throat, this sweetness spread throughout the rest of my body.
I began to understand why meditators might describe this experience metaphorically as the dripping of nectar (Sanskrit, amrita). In some yoga traditions, there is supposedly an energy center at the back of the throat that distills this nectar and allows it to run down into the throat. But to me it felt as if the nectar was condensing from the cloud of light in my head. I only tasted it as sweetness when it passed from there into the rest of my body.
The experience was brief. I realized that going too deeply into it might disturb my sleep, since the nectar’s sweetness felt as if it could easily expand from bliss into an ecstasy that would keep me awake for the rest of the night. I only allowed three drops of it to pass down my throat.
I wasn’t scared of the possibility of ecstasy. I simply acknowledged it as something to be explored another time, under other conditions.
I’ll have to see whether I can recreate this experience during the day, while meditating or taking a nap. It's worth exploring, though it seems to be revealing itself rather than developing as a result of seeking on my part.
At the time I wrote this account, I no longer had a copy of the book in which I read about the nectar of immortality. Several years later, I came across another copy at a used bookstore and bought it in order to record the following information [from Swami Satyananda Saraswati, Kundalini Tantra, 1984, reprint (Munger, Bihar, India: Yoga Publications Trust: 2006)]:
In the tantric scriptures it is said that within bindu [a point] at the back of the head, the moon is secreting a vital fluid or essence known as nectar. This transcendental fluid drips down into the individual consciousness from bindu visarga. (176)
“This divine fluid has many different names,” including “amrit--the nectar of immortality.” (176)
Bindu visarga means “‘falling of the drop.’ Bindu is represented by the crescent moon and a white drop, which is the nectar dripping down to vishuddhi [throat] chakra.” (180)
“The seat of bindu is at the top back of the head, exactly at the spot where Hindu brahmins leave a tuft of hair growing.” (181)