Monthly Archives: August 2016

Kundalini Manifestions and Symptoms

So it has been quite a while since I have written about kundalini, and I get asked a fair amount of questions about it, so I thought I would write a (somewhat) basic blog about symptoms to answer the “how do I know?” sorts of questions that I receive.

I will say that I am “classical” in terms of my understandings. What this basically means is that new-age pop spirituality has taken the term “kundalini” and turned it into a basic meaning of anyone having any sort of spiritual experience has a kundalini awakening…. with of course the added on commercialism/competitive spirituality type stuff of If you could only have a kundalini awakening, you will have perfect health, be wealthy, immortal, and be more spiritual than your friends! 

Anyone who has done more than surface-level study of kundalini will know that there are many types of spiritual awakenings. You can read about the different types in my book: The Spiritual Awakening Guide: Kundalini, Psychic Abilities, and the Conditioned Layers of Reality

Basically, there are many paths up the mountain. A kundalini awakening is one of them.

To add a bit more complexity to that, at some point anyone who is spiritually awakening will have a kundalini awakening if they get to a certain point on that mountain. There is, of course, a question of how many actually get to that point on the mountain… but I digress.


It is interesting, before I begin I will note that some people choose to look at my description of kundalini awakenings, or shamanic/spiritual awakenings and so forth as either I am describing them to state that those who experience them are “superior” because in our society if something is rare, or considered “advanced”, or intense spiritually we automatically with our monkey brains want to have it for our own.

This is completely contrary thinking to anyone who has ever had a severe awakening experience, such as a kundalini awakening. 

I have now been working with my kundalini awakening for 13 years (since full manifestations started, I recognize it as a force in my life prior to that now), and I still have days where I wish that it was something I didn’t have to deal with. On some days it is like a ravaging wildfire decimating everything in its path… and I think of the people who really, really want a kundalini awakening or think that they are having one and start to think about the reality of intense spiritual experiences vs. the sort of new-age gloss that makes everyone think that they want intense spiritual experiences.. and the sort of illusory nature of people stating that “kundalini”, which you can evidently acquire, will create some sort of perfected bliss state.

On my more difficult days with this energy I think about how leprosy is rare, but that doesn’t mean that anybody really wants it, and it doesn’t mean that anyone with any sort of wound says they have leprosy. Perhaps an obnoxious example, but full-blown kundalini awakenings vs. what many people describe as their “kundalini awakening” based on ignorance and some really bad writing out there by people who have clearly never experienced it are in two completely different ballparks.

I still don’t understand people wanting rare spiritual experiences, as I know from doing spiritual work for a long time that the people who have them struggle with accepting them for a long time, and struggle with having spiritual experiences that displace them from the norm… as we covet these sort of experiences, we rarely realize the reality that we are looking for them to make us feel special and significant… and the effect is almost the exact opposite. Kundalini is a destructive and purifying force. It releases the patterns and traumas and illusions we have been carrying.

Basically, any form of spiritual awakening will teach you how insignificant you really are. It is one of those “stops” on that mountain, an initiation of sorts, and it is one of those initiations that a lot of people fail… and that you can really tell how far “up” the mountain people actually are by their realization of their own insignificance… and their releasing of the illusion that they are the center of the universe.

Any full-blown kundalini awakening is intense. There is no such thing as a “mild” kundalini awakening.

Even people who have “purified” themselves through counseling, are physically in shape, mentally sound, spiritually aware through meditation… we always, always, always, have illusions that are coloring our world, that are pulling our world together, that pull together our concept of who we are.

And unless we are completely “perfected”, kundalini will be difficult for us mentally/psychologically, spiritually/energetically, and/or physically. There are phases in kundalini awakenings, and typical the physical is dominant at first (physical releases), which teach the experiencer that they are not in control in order to help them to release fear… but my point here is that if someone states that they have had a kundalini awakening, and it wasn’t that bad, or it was easy, 99.99 percent of the time it was not a kundalini awakening, or it was a stirring of the energy.

Kundalini awakenings are extremely rare.

And by that I mean full-blown kundalini awakenings. 

Most people who experience kundalini have experienced either a stirring (a feeling of heat going up their tailbone and spine like in yoga class). Stirrings happen once or twice, and that is it. This temporary experience can forward you on your spiritual path, but a lot of people state that they have had a kundalini awakening and they are referring to this.

When having a stirring you can act normally, you can be around people. You feel some energy go up your spine, basically.

Kundalini experiences are temporary experiences of the energy. They can happen in the presence of a guru giving shakti, or at meditation retreats, or via drugs. They can happen over the course of ten minutes or of a few months.

In a kundalini experience someone will have intense shaking, go into yoga postures spontaneously, and the energy flowing through you will be strong/intense enough that people around you will know what is going on. There is no hiding this– it is an incredible rising of energy through you.

A lot of people have transcendental experiences that are not kundalini experiences. They may channel energy or have an influx of energy. Kundalini always rises (caveat: at first). 

Our bodies hold on to trauma. They have a lot of held energy. In order to release kundalini our bodies move into spontaneous postures, mudras (hand positions and body positions). They can do this sort of statically (into one position) or you can flop around on the floor for half an hour or so going into all sorts of different positions.

The purpose of this is to get energy flowing through your body, to unlock kundalini. Energy has difficulty flowing through the joints of our bodies. We tend to hold energy in the crevices of our form. Spontaneous movement allows for this energy to flow through.


So we get to signs and symptoms of full kundalini awakenings.

A full kundalini awakening is permanent. 

There is this idea that kundalini just rises up the spine and goes up the top of the head and somehow is complete. This is simply untrue. This comes from people typically who either have had a kundalini experience… or even more typically… who have read a bit about kundalini and learned that this is how it is supposed to go, and then create an illusion/myth about their lives that they have had this experience.

I have had letters from people who have gone to teachers/gurus promising a “kundalini awakening”, and they typically have this thought. Because when you purchase, or believe you can purchase kundalini, your teacher is going to tell you that your process is complete.

But on to the symptoms.

A lot of people I have run across believe that the intensity or “heat” aspects of kundalini are a metaphor, or as if that they were somehow above those experiences, or that their mild experiences equal a kundalini awakening.

Kundalini is hot. It is fire. It is the constant presence of fire. This fire goes through “purification” cycles where it releases specific aspects of the body. We need this fire to burn through our illusions, patterns, traumas, and so forth. This fire is often hot enough to not only be palpably experienced by others around you, but can do things like melt holes in pants.

I have never met anyone who is authentically having a kundalini awakening who does not have a huge layer of volcanic heat in their energy field.

Kundalini is permanent. It is always felt. It may be more subtle at times, it may go into a sort of remission of sorts (but it can still be felt), it will go through cycles and phases, but it is always there. It is always working.

Kundalini creates spontaneous movements, twitching, vibrations. There is some confusion about this one, so I will say that some vibration or twitching happens to a lot of people. We release trauma and energy (qi/prana, not kundalini) through our bodies, and our bodies will twitch or vibrate. Spontaneous movements, body positions, vocalizations are different than some twitching.

I will say that once you have gotten out of the first “stage” of kundalini (generally past the first few chakras), and learn to work more in concert with the energy, that the spontaneous movements stop, or cut down… or at the very least you can work with them.

This is because the energy rises, and most people get stuck in the first few chakras. Our first few chakras are where we hold things like fear, and control, and many people just can’t, or aren’t ready, to surrender to the realization that they are not in control.

People experiencing kundalini rarely realize that what their “ego” is creating is fear, and that their need for superiority, or more aptly put, the reason that they are creating an illusion that they do not need to progress further, or something more terrible would happen if they did, comes from fear. Which comes from kundalini emerging in the first chakra, and will lessen if the person is willing and able to move beyond that fear.

Immense electrical force circulating the body. When kundalini used to really surge for me, it would interfere with the lights in the house, as well as with automatic doors in shopping centers. It really feels like lightning coursing through your body. This is again palpable by those around you. Mild electrical force, known as qi (or body energy) can be cultivated and used in a variety of ways. This is much stronger, and the force is intense enough that people worry that they may spontaneously combust or split open.

Digestive issues. It is not unusual for people experiencing kundalini to need to completely change their diet. This happens in other forms of spiritual awakening, so I will say that in kundalini awakenings people may need to eat only rice for periods of months (their body will not take anything else in) when kundalini is working through the digestive organs… or they may need to drink things like soup (if it is in their throat chakra). The digestive fire of the body is rerouted with kundalini, and complete changes in diet are often necessary.

Again, this is not a “choice” thing… like people deciding not to eat gluten or go Paleo or similar…this is the body having a violent uprising of heat and intense symptoms if the wrong things are eaten for someone experiencing kundalini.

Emotional Lability. Intense processing (releasing of emotions and traumas) as well as the overwhelm that come from kundalini create intense waves of emotions. These can be as huge as a crashing wave, and it can be difficult to tell the source/where they came from when especially intense.

Hyperactivity and Fatigue cycles. In the beginning, burnout and extreme fatigue (sometimes to the point of not getting out of bed) are really normal. Later, period of hyperactivity and feelings of heightened creativity, as well as the ability to get a lot of things done in a short period of time (I once wrote a book in four days, for example) occur. In later periods (after the first phase) less sleep is needed, and more restful sleep is necessary.

So I would say that what I have written above is what I look for in a full kundalini awakening. These happen in everyone I know who has authentically experienced a kundalini awakening. Some of these symptoms will begin to lessen, or change, with time. Basically one of the questions I always get from people who are authentically going through a full kundalini awakening is when they symptoms will stop and/or change, and the answer to that is always that I do not have a specific timeline, because it has to do with how much you are willing to surrender. To give up the idea(s) of who you are, to let go of the idea that you are in control, to let go of any sort of ego-type awakenings (this is often a trick, or more kindly, a spiritual initiation, for the experiencer to see if they are ready to let go and truly move on to the next phase/heart and upper chakras).

Kundalini awakenings are always intense, no matter how you prepare for them. Kundalini experiences are also always intense, no matter how much you prepare for them. Kundalini stirrings are often not terribly intense, are are actually fairly common for people on the spiritual path.

I am so specific about my definitions because while people can call their experiences whatever they like (I have given up the sort of control/fight, and if people want to call themselves kundalini awakened, or a Shaman, or the Pope, they are welcome to), there are people out there that are authentically and fully experiencing kundalini, and it does a disservice to them for there to be so much inauthentic or overly-intellectualized information out there (without any experience to back it up).

So the symptoms I have written about above I would look for in any case of a full kundalini awakening. And to be clear, I would look for all of them. Kundalini can in some cases be cold, but if you are not feeling a force strong enough that you occasionally have thoughts about spontaneous combustion, you are likely experiencing a different spiritual phenomena.


Other things that can be experienced by those going through a kundalini awakening include:

  • Rapid heartbeat
  • Changes in sexual desire (lack of it, typically at first, then quite a bit of desire)
  • Headaches and migraines
  • Left foot and leg pain, or feelings of that leg being sort of static
  • Back and neck pain
  • spontaneous eruptions of noise or emotions (laughing, weeping, singing, speaking)
  • inner sounds, such as bells, choirs, and vibration/flow type sounds (hard to explain)
  • Mental fog
  • Physical feeling of where kundalini is “working” (for example, pressure in specific areas)
  • Feelings of immense joy, bliss
  • Sudden shifts where you are not the same after (your beliefs about yourself change in an instant, or fairly quickly)
  • Drug addiction– being in overwhelm/lacking resources causes many having severe awakening purposes to utilize drugs and alcohol to stop or numb the experiences
  • Spiritual knowing, increasing psychic abilities
  • Dreaming of snakes, visions of snakes

So in the next blog, I will talk about the symptoms and experiences of what happens when you go beyond these experiences. All of what I have written above is basically the first “phase” that everyone goes through when kundalini awakening. This is what most people get stuck in, and what is written about by a lot of people who have studied kundalini experiences or work with kundalini-bitten individuals, but as surrender and reconciliation with the energy occurs, the symptoms I have listed give way to very different experiences.

Moving Forward Part Two: Releasing Emotions

Last blog I talked about how our mental concepts and how our beliefs can cause for us to become stuck. You can read that here.

However, I will say that while the mental considerations of anything are incredibly important, there is one reason, and one reason only that people don’t move forward.


I will say that there are spiritual reasons that we can be stuck– there are outer energies (very rare, but happens) as well as need for healing the emotional and mental constructs that needs to occur, but even saying all that we are stuck because of fear, which can be broken down into two types of fear.

Fear of Dying and Death
If you look at the spiritual marketplace, a lot of effort has gone in to appeasing this fear of dying and death. Everything from overly simplistic and saccharine books about how wonderful being in spirit is to methods of achieving immortality are peddled to us because of this fear.

But by and large, we make all of the decisions in our lives based on this fear in particular.

Some of this may be entirely logical, by the way. If we are considering jumping out of an airplane without a parachute, being afraid of the likelihood of death is entirely natural, and in fact necessary, to make sure that you are not stupid enough to actually do so.

But this fear of something happening to us is insidious. It stops us from achieving our dreams, it stops us from moving forward. It prevents us from being anything but who we are today and what we are today.

This is because our egos tell us that any sort of change is in fact “death”. And it is, a sort of small death. While there is that fear of physical death that is very much an aspect of things, a lot of our decisions are based on the fact that if we move forward, an aspect of ourselves or our lives needs to “die”.

And our egos– and by that I mean the sort of controlled reality and beliefs about ourselves and the world… the way that we have created our ideas about who we are, what we are about– will push back against this.

Our ego will want to maintain the safety of the known. Anything outside of the known, including moving forward, is perceived as death. Death to the known, death to who we were and what we know to be true about ourselves and the world.

I was talking with someone the other day who wants to be a spiritual worker. I told her that spiritual work often isn’t terribly difficult, once you are properly trained in it. What is difficult is working with the living human– the person who needs to accept that change has happened and to filter it through their brain/mental processes/ego and accept the work as non-threatening enough to change.

Because spiritual work really creates this sort of “death”, and the client will have to reformulate their reality after. And the most difficult part of the work is always working with the living client to see how ready, and how much, they are willing to enter into that reformulation process.

Realizing that we have this fear of “death”, or of the natural cycles of being reborn and reformulating who we are and the dissolution of who we were is often enough for us to not get stuck. To move forward. If we look at stuckness as us getting caught in a cycle– and often we get stuck in the part of the cycle where a part of us has “died” or is “dying” and we are too fearful to acknowledge it and move forward into our next re-birth or “life”, we can consciously acknowledge energies like this, realize that they are there, and make peace with them.

Fear of Life
The second reason we don’t move forward is that we have a fear of life. 
Most of us are not really living.

I realize that sounds odd to say, but if you look at the mechanistic nature of our lives, it is rare to meet someone that is really and truly alive. Who is inhabiting their lives, who is inhabiting their bodies, and who is delighting in the senses and experiences of this world

I often find it interesting that when I talk to people about power, that a lot of them are quick to dismiss it. Power is evil, it is corrupt, they say. And it is not. In our outer world we have certainly have knowledge of people who are wealthy or powerful who have done some terrible things, but personal power is really our life force.

We not only have a fear of death, but we have a fear of truly living. Of being who we were intended to be in this world. Of fully inhabiting our power, of fully realizing our potential.

Because if we do not move forward, things stay the same. We stay with the known. Our lives may be okay… or they may be difficult or terrible and we just can’t wait to get home from work… we may just be trying to get through the next hour, if not the next day… but there is safety in the known.

Again, we return to the concept of the ego. There are a lot of various ways to look at this concept, but really for the purposes of this blog I am going to look at it as the sort of control center of our reality. It has a vested interest in our lives remaining the same, our beliefs and fears and emotions and patterns remaining exactly how they are.

Because to move beyond this fear, the whispers that our ego-mind are telling us from the patterns that are locked within ourselves that we have yet to heal, there would be change.

We would change who we are. We would change what we know to be true about ourselves. We would change what we know to be true about the world.

We would be willing to really inhabit our bodies and our days.

We would be willing to look at something that we are afraid of, recognize that it would change us, and do it anyway (using logic, and returning to the airplane example).

We are not truly living, and our fear holds us back. Our fear stops us from moving forward, from becoming who we were really meant to be.

I see this all the time in my programs and in working with people. People will simply stop learning when they come across knowledge that will really change them. They may state it is about time (or lack thereof), or about something else, or on rare occasion will create some sort of outer chaos or experience (and will sometimes attempt to involve me in the process) so they don’t have to learn something that would change who they are. But it always happens when someone simply isn’t ready to move on from who they were into who they could be.

We all do this, but it really is a recognition process. It is a realization that our controlled version of reality may not be what we think it is. It is a willingness to recognize that we hold ourselves back out of fear. And it is a willingness to move forward, to truly live, to truly surrender, despite any controls that may want for us to be who we always were.

Moving forward in our lives on a spiritual level is 99.99 percent about this… about looking at our fear– our fear of death, our fear of life and of being who really could be in this world (and reconciling if we are worthy enough to truly live when so many are simply not)– and surrendering, realizing that we are constantly going through cycles of death and rebirth, and if we were to only engage and accept this flow… instead of fighting and creating illusions to stop ourselves… that we could move forward in ways that would astonish us, realize our own power and worth, and truly be who we are intended to be in this world.

Moving Forward Part One: Releasing Illusion and Labels

I will be doing a two-part blog on how to move forward in your life– whether it is on your spiritual path, on your road to healing, or just in general.

I would say, to be really general about things, that my healing practice and teaching practice revolves around helping others to move forward.

Feelings of being “stuck” in your life are actually really well taken care of spiritually, and often have a spiritual root. A lot of times people will want change– to move, to divorce, to get a new job, and so forth. All of these may be wonderful steps, but there is likely an inner spiritual layer that is begging to shift or change, and the outer circumstances are things that the person feels that they can control, manifest, or understand more clearly.

This blog I will talk about illusions and how they can cause for us to become stuck.


I always ask myself the question of What if this were not true? whenever I think that something about myself or the world is static or unchangeable… or if I consider something to be the final “truth” that I have discovered.

I also ask this question when I am hiding behind a label or construct (even if the label accurately describes me), as I will get to.

I get a lot of people who come to me and they are stuck because their teacher (or the organization or guru) taught them something. That knowledge may be perfectly good, but like all knowledge, it can be moved beyond. Often, the student will latch on to this knowledge as inconvertible truth, not realizing that it is stagnating them.

I have had people say to me all sorts of valid (or sometimes, incredibly off-balance, silly, or just outright stupid) “truths” that they have been told. In learning something, it is often helpful to have an outline, a cosmology, and some beliefs to hang your hat on. But the spiritual journey is much like learning to paint– you learn perspective, how to paint a bowl of fruit on a table properly, and then go on to your own direct experience of art.

But we get hung up in these “truths” and never move past them. I have had people say things to me like “the middle world (in the shamanic/Harner-esque cosmology) is dangerous and everywhere else is safe”, “spirits have to come to you”, ” spiritual work can’t be done via distance/over the phone”, “you don’t need to protect yourself spiritually at all if you don’t think anything bad will happen to you”… and these are just the ones that I can recall of the top of my head.

Often, we learn a teacher or guru’s (or organizations) thoughts and never move beyond them. To be fair, a lot of this has to do with the teacher. A teacher should teach students how to think, not what to think, and there are a lot of failures there. Still, a motivated and ready student will start questioning what they have been told as these sort of static truths and at some point may realize that there are other possibilities, and move beyond what they have been taught.

We also get hung up on labels. Recently I had someone tell me that they were a “30 year experienced therapist”. This, of course, wasn’t a big deal, but she was doing this so she didn’t have to take any sort of personal responsibility for her energy or actions in a situation. So I would somehow realize that her actions were okay because she had this specific label. If you are something, you can move beyond the label. If you embody any form of knowledge or wisdom, you can simply do so without relying on a label. It is just something that you are, basically.

I see this quite a bit, and I always wonder: if you were not (insert license or profession here), if you were not an empath, starseed, intuitive, shaman, kundalini awakened enlightened would other people know without you telling them? and also, what would you have to work on, what are you avoiding in your life if you didn’t utilize this label?

I can tell someone who has meditated or worked on themselves for a long time by the way that they interact with me, by their energy, their presence. They are tell-tale signs, such as an air of cultivated, balanced, peace, and a sort of grounded and centered quality that people who have truly done their work have. There is embodiment, and a sense of flow through the person. There is often a sense of power, although some people have calibrated their power because they don’t need to be showy about it.

I can sense that someone has had a kundalini awakening, how spiritually aware they are, their power, their truth, by that person fully embodying that. And this is not a me being “intuitive” or “psychic” thing, we can all sense power, presence, and confidence. We can look at someone who is successful in marketing, for example, and they will have a specific energy to them. It is palpable, and they do not need to tell us how wonderful they are, and if they tell what they do for a living, it is simply a neutral (not to prove anything, basically) occurrence.

If the label of Empath is a way to describe how you are always in pain, then if you were to remove that label, what sort of pain would there be? Inner child pain? Spiritual pain? Past life pain? Being an Empath can be difficult, but with the correct tools and willingness to work with your personal pain, the label doesn’t need to be a crutch anymore. I see a lot of people (because this the popular label as of recent years) state that they are an Empath, and that is why they are in so much pain, and why people are so awful to them. If many of these people would get healing for childhood, past life, and other issues, they would no longer feel this way, empath or not.

The label “Shaman” is incredibly similar. I see a lot of people utilizing the label because it means that they do not have to look inward at their pain. This label has afforded them the ability to create a spiritual “reality” for themselves in which they feel special and guided. Again, if we ask the question “what would you have to work on if you were not a Shaman?” there would likely be quite a few painful truths that would emerge if people were ready and willing to look.


What we believe to be true about ourselves and the world colors our world. 

If we believe it to be “truth” that we are not sexually attractive, we are going to live in a world where people are unlikely to find us sexually attractive. If we inwardly think that we are awful, horrible, and underserving of love, we are going to have a harder time finding a relationship that can be intimate and loving. If we believe that we can’t succeed, or can only succeed so much in this world, that impacts as well.

This understanding has been sort of changed to make it that if you think you are wonderful you will never have an issue again; or if you think you are deserving of money you will become a multi-millionaire.

There are other forces in this world than simply us– it is not just us solely shaping and creating the Universe.

But beliefs, truths, and what we have been taught creates further prisons for ourselves, more restrictions that we need to release. If we are constantly thinking things like “I am a horrible person” or “I will never be healed” or “I will always be angry” again asking What if that were not true? can be utilized to help you begin to start thinking of other possibilities and to move beyond the restrictions and blockages you have set for yourself, or have been set for you.

The other powerful phrase that I love to move through blockages/move forward is to ask What if I could? What if you could do something that you currently believe that you can’t, and What if it is not as big of a deal as we are making it out to be? 

So I am not here to say that all of the issues in your life will be healed by doing this form of questioning, but really beginning to question and release our beliefs, labels, and the constructs that we have formed around ourselves can allow for us to move beyond them. I have said before and I will say again, people move forward in their lives, and on their spiritual (and/or healing paths) as much as they are ready to.

If we are willing to continually question our beliefs, to question our motivations for things, we can begin to embody them. We can develop knowledge inwardly, we can move from a place of beginning to know ourselves, and we can be more peaceful, loving, and understanding of the world around us.