Kolinahr was a ritual that was practiced by the Vulcan people.
Those that took part in the kolinahr began a process of purging themselves of the remnants of their emotions and embracing total logic. The process was known to vary from two to six years with sometimes even lasting longer than that. (TOS movie: Star Trek: The Motion Picture) Those acolytes that followed this path journeyed to the monastery where the process was undertaken. The final parts of the ritual were known to have been conducted at the Plateau of Tai-la. Once at the plateau, they began a ten day period of leave where they met as many of their lifetime friends as possible in order to bring closure to their memories. Once this was accomplished, they journeyed into the desert with only the robe on their back and a waterskin after which they entered a deep meditative state. During this state, they began casting out their remaining emotions onto the surrounding sands. (Last Unicorn RPG module: The Way of Kolinahr: The Vulcans)
An awareness was achieved in the Kolinahr through the fusion of intellect and spirit which brought about the peace of pure logic in a state called the Time of Truth. This led to a stage of enlightenment which was considered a deeply private experience. The meaning of this Truth came differently to each person according to the masters that aided students in this discipline though its truth cannot be taught and its peace was not capable of being shared or given to another. It was only lived and the desire for it must be abandoned when pursuing this path along with everything as well as everyone else. The path of the kolinahr was not considered the end of the study, but only the beginning, though it was a difficult discipline to master. (TOS novel: The Pandora Principle)
Those that participated in the ritual learnt calming exercises designed to clear one's mind of distracting emotions during times of stress. (TOS novel: Avenger) The practitioners of kolinahr were referred to as Masters of Gol. (TOS novel: The Vulcan Academy Murders) Whilst many had attended the ritual, not all were successful in purging themselves of their emotions. In some cases, an acolyte was known to go through numerous kolinahr ceremonies and even then they had not fully cast off their emotions. (Last Unicorn RPG module: The Way of Kolinahr: The Vulcans)
The origin of the Kolinahr came during the time of Surak when he began to preach his philosophy of peace and logic. One of the many individuals that were converted to his teachings of cthia was the Highmaster of the Kolinahru mindlords, Sanshiin who abandoned his orders previous bloody history and sought the attainment of pure logic. After creating the Kolinahru Monastery, he began the Kolinahr ritual which involved the complete purging of emotion from a Vulcan's mind. (Last Unicorn RPG module: The Way of Kolinahr: The Vulcans)
During the era of Surak's life, one of the first Kolinahr masters was T'Klass who personally knew Surak. His mummified remains were kept in the catacombs beneath the T'Karath Sanctuary even though they were not marked. (ENT episode: "Awakening") However, the practice was not openly adopted till the rise of the Syrrannite government by the mid 22nd century when by 2155 Administrator T'Pau began her passage through the Kolinahr ritual. (ENT novel: Beneath the Raptor's Wing)
- In the FASA RPG, T'Sarra introduced the Kolinahr discipline on Stardate 0/2508 which contradicts the Last Unicorn RPG material, however, it is possible she reintroduced the discipline to her people or was simply a teacher of it.
In later years, many Vulcans followed the tradition of the kolinahr. Spock began the kolinahr ritual after retiring from Starfleet in 2270, believing that he needed to purge himself of his emotions after so many occasions where his control had nearly been compromised during his service aboard the Enterprise. By 2273 he had completed all but the final ritual of the kolinahr, but was interrupted by the arrival of V'Ger. (TOS movie: Star Trek: The Motion Picture) In 2279, he told the young Saavik of the Kolinahr as she was interested in becoming more Vulcan. (TOS novel: The Pandora Principle) Following the apparent death of Captain James T. Kirk in the Nexus in 2293, Spock decided to undergo the Kolinahr for a second time, and handed in his resignation to Ra-ghoratreii in order to return home and undergo the ritual from Vulcan master T'Vora though she denied his request. He eventually completed the ritual, but after his mother's death, Spock underwent a dangerous process to undo the effects of the Kolinahr when Doctor McCoy forced him to recognize his inability to grieve for his mother. (TOS - Crucible novel: The Fire and the Rose)
Tuvok began the kolinahr ritual after retiring from Starfleet in 2298. In 2304, during his sixth year of the ritual, he was interrupted by the onset of pon farr, and left to marry T'Pel, his betrothed. (VOY novel: Pathways, VOY episodes: "Ex Post Facto", "Flashback")