Monthly Archives: February 2014

What is a Top-Down Awakening?

In previous posts I wrote about Kundalini awakenings, which by far are the most known form of awakening. They are, however, not the most common. Of the more significant awakenings, Top-Down awakenings are experienced by many more people than Kundalini, Shamanic, Psychic awakenings, and at about the same rate as Ego awakenings (which will be the subject of another blog).

You can find more information about awakenings, including Top Down Awakenings, in my book, The Spiritual Awakening Guide.

So what is a Top-Down Awakening?
A Top-Down awakening in simple terms means that your crown and third eye chakras are open and that you have quite a bit of energy surrounding your head and shoulders. Basically, you are receiving input from the heaven/sky but not the earth. Due to genetics, spiritual pursuits, or other reasons you have opened yourself to the divine, to spirit, and to the different and hidden layers of realty. It is fairly easy actually to open to spirit and to begin to be more connected to spiritual matters.

Many people end up with this type of awakening because they became interested in spiritual pursuits, started attending classies, doing drugs, reading literature, and finding gurus and other teachers who show them how to seek outside of themselves. Others begin life with a top-down awakening due to family history of psychic abilities or previous life abilities carried forward into this life.

The issue with this type of awakening is that it is not grounded in anything. It is not required to do much personal work or to open your first three chakras to have this type of awakening. The person experiencing this type of awakening begins to separate from this earth, this reality. They often will claim to not want to be here, or to originate from elsewhere. This very much may be true, but a recognition of the human body, the body that you are carrying this lifetime, and a desire to be grounded and do personal work which is often quite difficult is necessary for a full awakening or to come to a state of balance if you are experiencing this type of awakening.

What are other symptoms or experiences of the Top-Down awakened?
The person undergoing a top-down awakening will have immense energy circulating into their crown, third eye, and around their head and shoulders. Unfortunately for the experiencer of this, the energy is not able to move much further down because the throat chakra and heart chakra require the lower chakras to be open to open themselves. So the energy is stuck in the upper body- leading to a bottleneck of energy, headaches, neck pain, disassociation, ego issues (these are some of the people who tell others how awakened they are or that they are enlightened but still are quite judgemental and lack focus on their own issues), and significant mental health issues including mania and depression can develop.

It is also quite common for the Top-Down awakened to be in a great deal of physical pain. Hip, back, foot, and leg pain are prevalent, but the all-over pain that comes with issues such as Chronic Fatigue, Fibromyalgia, and other Autoimmune and Connective Tissue disorders are common in this category. It is also common for the experiencer to carry weight around the mid-section but have thin legs, and a constant raising of the shoulders towards the ears.

Other symptoms include: being open to spiritual guidance, psychic abilities, mediumship and channeling capabilities, understanding of patterns and concepts from a different vantage point (which is due to many of these individuals being halfway out of their body so they really do have a different perspective), headaches, sinus pain, closed off feelings in the throat, thyroid issues, cravings for meat, chocolate, carbohydrates, or other grounding foods, delusions, paranoia, and feelings of heaviness or stuckness in the shoulders, upper back, heart, neck, and head.

What is happening energetically to the Top-Down awakened?
This is a significant energetic imbalance, and the energetic field of the experiencer often appears to look like an inverted cone. Often the experiencer is partially or fully out of their bodies/disassociated, and they prefer to remain this way. They feel different and separate from everyone else, and some remain in elaborately set up illusions of their own creation. This is because they Top-Down awakened has awakened enough to be able to manifest, but for this group it is rarely on a conscious level- so the creation of significant blocks, illusions, and other issues of a spiritual and physical nature is quite common due a relay of unprocessed personal and emotional material creating reality for them.

A Top-Down awakening can be extremely beneficial to open psychic abilities. It gives you the ability to connect with spirit, and the ultimate ability to connect to true divinity.

What are the difficulties of this type of Awakening?
This type of awakening is BY FAR the most common awakening to get stuck in. It also can be the most dangerous because it creates an environment energetically where you are not quite a part of any reality. With the ability to easily shift through dimensions, times, perspectives, and being fully or partially out of your body, it creates opportunity for other energies to attach, and for you to lose a sense of identity or purpose. Without the support that earth and grounding offers, it is difficult to filter the intense energies that are coming through. The more the lower chakras are blocked the worse the imbalance is.

With this type of awakening it is common to see people keep their spiritual lives and their physical lives quite separate. By this, I mean that they may be all about love, light, angels, and awakening in workshops or online, but in their daily lives they are often quite miserable and do not want to participate in life. Often I work with people struggling with depression and anxiety who put on an outward appearance, a mask of being spiritual and enlightened but in their daily lives they are struggling to function, to engage with others, or to want to be on Earth.

The other difficulty with the top-down awakening is that it is difficult for people to want to do their personal work. It can be fun to go to workshops, to visit gurus, to spiritually seek. For the experiencer to be healed, to come to a state of balance,  or to progress further in their spiritual path, they must begin to do the personal work that they have been avoiding. To let go of the ego, the Facebook memes that tell you what awakening is supposed to be like, and go internally to find out is a scary proposition. By working through personal baggage and reestablishing a personal connection with the Earth, with ancestry, and by dropping the mask that comes with being spiritual comes a state of balance, strength, power, and full realization.

The Treatment of Kundalini Syndrome with CranioSacral Therapy

In previous blogs I have discussed why Kundalini symptoms and syndrome begin, what the symptoms are, and a bit about what you can do about them. As discussed in prior blogs, a true Kundalini Awakening can be devastating to the person undergoing it and frequently leads to severe illness due to the intensity of the process.

One of my favorite ways to work with someone undergoing a Kundalini awakening in-person is with CranioSacral Therapy. CranioSacral Therapy is a modality derived from Osteopathic Medicine by John Upledger and other pioneers. It is a gentle, whole body approach with a focus on the fluid systems, inherent rhythms and tides of the body, energetic systems of the body, the fascia and tissues that wrap around the brain and spinal cord, as well as the bones and ligaments that make up the tailbone, spine, neck, and head.

Since Kundalini is focused in the Sushumna, or central channel (it runs through the brain and spinal cord) of the body, it is well met by CranioSacral Therapy both in focus and with the gentle approach of the therapy. 

The biggest issue by far that those undergoing Kundalini awakenings face is blockage in their central channel, associated channels (Ida and Pingala that run along the spine) as well as the chakra system. Kundalini begins in the first chakra and behind the point of the tailbone (if you are experiencing an awakening from the crown down it is a Top-Down awakening and not Kundalini) and starts an ascent up the spine. The first three chakras are about you, your survival instincts, your early childhood, your family, and your ancestry. As you can imagine, this is fertile material for many, and these chakras when blasted open by Kundalini cause every issue that has been locked in the respective chakra or area of the body to come up for processing. All at the same time.

This can obviously have pretty severe effects. Kundalini will ascend as far as it can like a thermometer until it meets blockage. Then it will stop and either go back down or will stay with the blockage, blasting it open like a dormant volcano suddenly erupting. This causes physical symptoms in the area (for example burning, low back pain, UTI’s and urogenital issues in the first chakra if it is blocked and cannot ascend any further or nausea, vomiting, inability to take in foods, and rib pain for the third chakra) as well as emotional issues associated with that chakra (fear and survival instincts for first chakra as well as sometimes anger, issues with self-worth, grief, sadness for third chakra). These issues are even more difficult because they are often severe, sometimes life-threatening, and often cannot be explained or treated by Allopathic Medicine (please go see a doctor though to rule anything out though).

So we come back to the idea of blockage. Once Kundalini fire is able to rise up without meeting resistance the huge physical and emotional symptoms settle down. Eventually Kundalini will rise and fall in waves, more gently and sometimes more significantly moving through stored material it did not get the first time (or the first eighty times). The less blockage you have the less intense symptoms (usually, until you get to the bottom of the barrel and the top-down energy and Kundalini energy meet and start cycling, then you will usually go through significant issues again for a while until the whole circuit is cycling. But after that, the heat/burning, pain, and energetic dancing of fingers, hands, and whole body settles down nicely).

CranioSacral Therapy works specifically with blockages in the spine and it can treat many Kundalini blockages through facilitated segment work. A facilitated segment is basically an area of the spine that is having either too much activity or too little. It has separated from functioning with the rest of the spine as a happy, healthy whole spine. These spinal segments innervate tissues, organs, and whole other tracts of the body so having one that is unhappy will create havoc in the whole localized area as well as create issues for the entire body.  CranioSacral Practitioners can correct this, and can help to process the material that is coming up in a Kundalini awakening in a safe and gentle manner through gentle work with correcting these facilitated segments, and helping the surrounding organs, fascia, and other structures come to a state of balance, and allowing the whole length of the spine and nervous system begin proper communication.

There are many other reasons that CranioSacral Therapy works well for Kundalini Syndrome. Kundalini causes overwhelm and overload causing the body to be in a constant alert state. One of the greatest benefits of CranioSacral Therapy is that it reboots the system like a computer, allowing your body to go from “fight or flight” on/alert state to an “rest and digest” off state.  CranioSacral Therapy also evaluates the meridians, chakras, and other energy systems of the body and works individually with your unique imbalances to bring you to a greater state of balance. It is also gentle enough and comes from a “witness state” meaning that it is not creating any new material or issues for your body to process, it is simply finding avenues for your body to release the intense amount of heat, overwhelm, and emotional/physical issues that are arising for you.

There is also SomatoEmotional Release which is enormously helpful for Kundalini Awakenings. Your practitioner can guide you to actually talk to your body, to your Spirit, to your fear and anger, and even to your Kundalini to find out what it wants and the best way that it can individually rise and fall. Through making this individual connection to your Kundalini fire, you can start a positive relationship instead of a relationship of overwhelm, fear, and general dysfunction. SomatoEmotional Release also allows for movement, so often people undergoing Kundalini awakenings will do their kriyas and mudras (automatic hand and body movements) on the table or floor of the treatment room and can create a lot of energetic flow and release by doing so.

The last way that CranioSacral Therapy is ideal for Kundalini Awakenings is because it directly taps into the spirit, the spiritual forces that make up your unique blueprint, and can bring you to an intensely deep, quiet, and spiritual place that will allow you insight into your true self. Since most Kundalini-ites are constantly in a place of overwhelm, they rarely get that quiet meditative focus that they need to both process the enormous energies that are circulating as well as look behind the scenes at why this process began for them and what their unique and individual spiritual path is. This insight into your process which is created by the quiet attention and space that your CranioSacral Therapy practitioner provides you with is a powerful way to gain insight into the workings of your Kundalini Awakening.

The Tri-Brain Meditation: Getting Past Fear and Through Difficult Emotions

When we think of general divisions of the body, the first the comes up is of mind/body. This is a classic Cartesian split, and the thrust of Modern Allopathic Medicine. That something can either be divided into a mechanistic, parts-oriented “body” division, and is thus treated by Allopathic/Western Medicine and pharmaceuticals, or is considered the realm of the “mind”, meaning non-physical, emotionally based, and is treated by modern forms of psychotherapy and psychiatry.
In terms of Eastern/Asiatic Medicines, this split is often described as mind/body/spirit, but the idea of this is to introduce the idea that these concepts interweave and inform one another. This means that you are not just a mechanistic piece of machinery or a mind, you are both, and are a spirit as well, all informing and influencing one another.
In terms of Energy Medicine and Spiritual/Shamanic Healing, the consideration is of the whole, meaning that there is no split. Although there are divisions of the body (like chakras, or levels of the energy body like the etheric, or even the energies within the body like the energetic matrix that at the basest level comprises who we are) we are considered one unit- these energies do not just inform and interweave one another, they are one another, and are reflected in one another. Your physical state is simply a representation of what is going on emotionally, spiritually, energetically.

In terms of development of the human brain, the tribrain system is often the base model. There is a split between the reptilian brain, the limbic brain, and the neocortex. The reptilian brain is that of the dinosaurs, formed first, and responsible for things of a simple, physical nature, such as brute strength, movement, and respiration. The reptilian brain is not a thinking brain, it is what makes up our very basic instincts of survival- our drive to get through a situation no matter what. It makes up the base instinctual part of ourselves, a simple brain that reacts and acts on instinct.

The limbic brain is made up of our higher instincts, and our emotions. The limbic brain drives our behaviors out of feelings- primarily those of fear. This is also the space of our selves that reacts to the hierarchy of needs- fears of being properly taken care of, fed, sexual drives, and basic social skills and ability to gather in groups for a common purpose, as well as wars, arguments, and seeing people different from us as “other” and something to be labeled and feared. This is the caveman brain, and is not capable of higher thought, but of reacting to emotions, mainly fear.

The neocortex is the last of the tribrain model. It is the higher brain, responsible for higher levels of intelligence, insight, and thought patterns. Mathematics, spatial reasoning, foresight, philosophy, technology, language, writing, music, art, architecture- most things you can think, study in school (arguably), or see in modern society are from the development of this region of the brain.

So why am I introducing this concept (or re-introducing?)
Although we consider ourselves to be high-minded, intelligent creatures, the reptilian brain, limbic brain, and the neocortex all react differently and are triggered by different areas in our lives. For example, by understanding that the limbic brain largely comes from a place of fear, a place of war and pointing out of differences, we can understand how when that emotion comes up (fear, anxiety, really any emotion), we can understand why we feel the need to put others down, argue, or even fight.

Limbic Brain Meditation
Let us look at a fear you have. It can be of anything, small or large. Something as simple as a fear of not getting work done on time by the deadline this week to something as complex and loaded as the fear of death and dying.
• Consider the situation you are thinking of in terms of fear
• Feel that fear in your body, how does it affect you physically? What areas of your body does it affect?
• What other emotions come up with that fear? Grief, sadness, anger?
• What does this fear make you want to do? Hide, fight, eat?
• Connect this fear to the drive you discovered. Say this out loud:
example: my fear over losing my parent makes me feel grief, tightness in my chest, nausea, makes me want to hide in my room and never come out, and eat sugar.
• Sit with this understanding for a moment. Let your body understand what you just said out loud.

Do this Meditation every time you feel a strong emotion come up. The limbic brain is a gateway, meaning that it has access to both the reptilian as well as the neocortex. By coming up with an emotion (limbic), understanding your primal drives and decisions derived from that emotion (limbic and reptilian) as well as speaking it out loud and coming to an intellectual understanding/creating a story about this emotion (neocortex), you are linking aspects of this system, and gradually will be able to change how you react to situations.

Geomagnetic Storm Meditation: Raising Your Frequency through Meditation

In case anyone is feeling out of sorts: there is a geomagnetic storm going on right now (for the next 15 hours or so)… which in very simple terms causes solar winds to increase the pressure within the Earth’s magnetic fields. If you are out of balance, or are still working within the confines of cosmic consciousness, you will feel headaches, fatigue, lack of concentration, and basically feelings of heaviness and not wanting to do much.

If you are able to work with this, or want to learn how to absorb this energy for your own use, it is a great time to ground yourself, use this extra magnetized energy to build up your aura and subtler energy bodies, which will allow for you to be a bigger “force” in this world, build up your aura, as well as can be used as a manifestation tool.

© Patricia Betts | Dreamstime Stock Photo

© Patricia Betts | Dreamstime Stock Photo

Working with the Geomagnetic Storm: Note of caution, do not do this if you are not feeling balanced. It actually creates a pretty big leap forward in consciousness if you do it right (friendly warning) and is considered a medium to advanced meditation (as in, don’t do this if it is your first time trying to meditate).

The Meditation:
• Sit in a favorite meditation pose, ideally outside or at the very least with your feet touching the ground or earth.
• Allow yourself to briefly check in with your physical body, your energy bodies, until you can sense the outer edges of your aura which basically forms a “bubble” surrounding you
• Now bring your focus to the Earth as a whole- get a sense of the windy, magnetic energy that surrounds and penetrates the earth right now
• Again bring your focus back to your energy bodies
• Allow for the magnetic energy of the Earth energy to slowly merge into the outer edge of your aura on all sides, filling up the “bubble” of your aura evenly. You should feel this as a buzzing, heavy energy, or may see it as a light
• Allow for this energy to slowly expand and fill your aura.
• If you are ready, it will create a new “ring” or band in your energetic field, allowing for you to connect with earth energies and solar energies on a deeper, more intimate level.

Advanced Meditation
If you are able to feel/visualize the band/ring, you may choose to continue
Aura/Field Building: Consolidation of The Ring
• Allow for the ring to fully consolidate around you
• Look to see if there are any broken lines or unevenness to the ring. If there is, allow for your focus to go to the space you notice that is fractured, broken, or uneven and allow for the vibration to build it up
• Allow for your focus to go back to the ring until you can sense or see the ring even, bright, and full completely surrounding you.
• Move the ring slowly in and out, closer to your body and further into your body (between one inch and 12 inches away from your body). Feel or see where it is most comfortable.
• Allow for the ring to permanently settle in to your field where it feels comfortable.
• Meditate on the ring, feeling the vibration, getting to know it. Ask the ring how it can remain permanently with you, what gifts it has for you, and how you can utilize it.

Manifestation Using The Ring
• Connect with the buzzing/frequency of the band that is now a part of your field.
• Visualize or speak out loud what you would like to manifest. Make it simple to begin with.
• Realize that with manifesting it is a co-creation: you and the Universe. Meaning that you may get what you ask for, but it is likely not going to be exactly how you may wish for it to occur.
• Feel, visualize/allow for the frequency to carry that message like waves coming off of you into the earth and all directions (basically visualize or feel the expansion of the ring that is now a part of your aura until you feel it reach its target).
• Once you feel that it has reached its target, the sensation of the ring surrounding you will build back up again and you will have an inner sense of knowing.

What Causes a Kundalini Awakening, Crisis, or Kundalini Syndrome?

In my previous blog, I discussed many of the common symptoms of a Kundalini Awakening. You can read that here. The question for many once they have discovered that they are undergoing a Kundalini Awakening is how it happened, why it happened, and why them.

Why a Kundalini Awakening Occurs
There are several reasons why a Kundalini Awakening occurs:

You were meant to have one: Due to divine reasoning, in this lifetime you simply were meant to undergo a Kundalini Awakening. There are many thoughts on this- but to keep it simple the reasoning is often clear- your soul was ready to be Awake, and to undergo a Kundalini Awakening, and for it to happen in this lifetime. This is the reason all Kundalini Awakenings occur, but you can view the common sub-reasons below.

Yoga, Reiki, Meditation, Tantra and other Spiritual Activities: Sometimes a Reiki attunement, yoga, meditating, receiving shaktipat, or other spiritual activities will start a Kundalini Awakening. There are specific Reiki systems and meditations that are intended to start the process of Kundalini rising. Often, what needs to be realized about this is that the system, meditation, attunement, etc. is not to be blamed, you actually were lead to it because you were meant to have one (see reason number 1).

• Spontaneous Awakening: For more and more people, a Kundalini awakening will seemingly come out of nowhere. This can obviously be disorienting and concerning for people, especially for people who have had no interest in spirituality, or suddenly start experiencing symptoms. Often these people go from Western doctor to doctor, therapist, and can be hospitalized and are often put on drugs and diagnosed with anything from Psychosis, Depression, Agoraphobia, IBS, Parkinson’s, MS (Multiple Sclerosis), and a variety of other Central Nervous System and Emotional Imbalances. Everyone who has these issues is not having a Kundalini Awakening, though (just to clarify).

You are not actually having one: Yeah, I will say it. Most people who think they are undergoing a Kundalini awakening are not actually undergoing one. They have had a peak experience (an experience in which you have feelings of oneness and greater spiritual understanding) such as a Reiki attunement, shaktipat, or practicing meditation or participating in Tantra or other activities has gotten you in touch with the Kundalini fire in your body temporarily.  Or they have had no experience at all, but they wish to believe they are going through something exciting and spiritual, and the name “kundalini” fits the bill for them.

Difference between Kundalini Awakening and Kundalini Syndrome/Crisis
The difference between the two is minimal in some ways, and huge in others. The basic difference is functionality. A Kundalini Awakening when you are already very awake, aware, and spiritual is very different than the freight train of symptoms that occur with a Kundalini crisis. A Kundalini Awakening allows for the flow of your central channel/spine to fully be active. This awakening frees all the stagnant energies in your physical body, emotions, and other bodies, including the chakras. It puts you directly in the path of divine flow, and the divine dance of unfolding.

Simply put, if you have already worked through all (or most) of your emotional, physical, and spiritual issues from this lifetime as well as any other lifetimes a Kundalini Awakening will be a big shift, but one that you are more able to handle. But if you are stuck emotionally, physically, spiritually, and have a lot of baggage from this lifetime as well as other issues (past life, ancestral, other energetic and spiritual happenings) going on, a Kundalini Awakening is likely to hit you like a freight train, and all of the issues in your body are going to appear at the same time to be processed.

Imagine if every single issue- physical, emotional, spiritual, came up to be healed at the same time. That is what happens with a Kundalini Awakening. Often, in a Kundalini Crisis/Syndrome there is resistance to the process and a lot of fear- which is understandable, especially if you have no idea what the hell is going on. This makes it so much worse, and will worsen any symptoms that you have. Also making this worse is that many who claim to understand Kundalini and have undergone the process may not know what they are talking about, and that there are limited, real resources for modern Kundalini awakenings and true crisis, especially resources that know what they are talking about, or do not feed in to your fears about the process.

I suggest my book, The Spiritual Awakening Guide, if you are interested in knowing more about kundalini or other types of spiritual awakening… or the spiritual awakening process in general.