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.

Therapy, Medication, Kundalini, and Spiritual Awakening

So I occasionally get asked by someone to talk about my feelings of “standard treatments” and Spiritual Awakenings, such as Kundalini awakenings.

I am generally a reasonable person, and so my response to the person is that each person is individual and must do what is right for themselves in their own life. Which is the truth. I am not you, and I cannot decide if therapy, hospitalization, medication, and so forth is the right trajectory for you. Sometimes it is. But what is more often the case is that the current treatment options for anyone who is acting out of the “ordinary” and admits to it, or is not functional in their daily lives is medication and/or hospitalization. Basically, if it is not physical, it is mental.

That is where we are as a society, and where we still are in terms of treating diseases. Our society as a whole is just now really (well maybe for the last decade or two) understanding that mind and body are connected, and their are a gamut of new-age authors who were former doctors (or something like that) who say that they truly understand the mind-body-spirit and have discovered how they are connected. Most of them are talking about the mind-body connection, and their understandings are really surface but palatable to a wide, mainstream new-age audience who is just discovering the same surface understandings, but I won’t go there in this blog.

Most of the material about spiritual awakenings that has been introduced to a mainstream audience (well, an audience that has been interested in it, so not exactly mainstream) has been through psycho-therapeutic models. Meaning that psychiatrists and psychologists became interested in the subject and have written books, and done studies and programs about it. A lot of this material is still enormously helpful and insightful, by the way, even if it was written decades ago by this point. I do not wish to castigate this material, suggest it is not important, or that it is not essential readings and understandings for anyone going through a spiritual awakening.

But the psychotherapeutic model has its limitations.

Mainly because it considers anything deviating from “normal behavior”– meaning anything that the “normal” sleeping person (the person that just goes about their life in the repeated behavior/loops and is under a lot of conditioning and never really questions it, or gets upset if they have to) wouldn’t do is considered aberrant behavior because it diverges from that state. Meaning that anyone who is actually going through a spiritual awakening has something wrong with them because they are not acting or living their lives how a “normal” person should act.

There are all sorts of words for this– Qi gong sickness, or Meditation Related Problems, or Problems Related to Spiritual Practice. All diagnosable (some questionable diagnoses by the mainstream of psychiatry still, by the way) issues.

The difficult with this is that the Spiritual Awakening process is an aberration, but it doesn’t mean that something is wrong. In fact, it often means that something is really right. That someone is awakening beyond conditioned reality. And what happens is that the psychotherapeutic model defines this aberration as wrong, bad, medication or hospitalization worthy so that the person can return to “normal”– meaning the sleeper state.

I have read countless studies, for example, of well meaning physicians who became interested in “meditation related problems” who have blamed meditation for the cause of the issues presenting. In some cases it very much is an issue, by the way… we tend to focus on meditations that are too advanced for us (going from A to Z in one leap), make contact with spiritual truths that are too much for us to process, or focus on meditations that open us up psychically (open your third eye!) without processing any of our lower chakra stuff first. But even in those cases, what the person needs is someone to help them process, not someone to diagnose them and put them back to sleep.  

And many times, even if it is the “wrong” meditation, what is actually happening is this… the person is going through an Awakening. It is uncomfortable. It is causing physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual issues. It is causing the person to become non-functional in their daily lives, or to realize that their former, sleeping lives are not who and what they want to be now. 

And this is certainly an aberration– a deviation from the norm. But we have a tendency to want to put back to sleep anything that is uncomfortable, anything that causes pain or dis-ease or difficulty in our lives. 

And many times what is happening in spiritual awakening is a healing process. A rapid, uncomfortable, healing process. 

But that is not how it is treated in the psycho-therapeutic model. 

We are so used to medicating anything that makes us feel. Any emotions that are coming up (and there will be a lot in the awakening process) that we cannot define as “our own” are treated as dysfunctions, and something to be medicated or treated.

This is because psychotherapeutic methods have only “awakened” to the family system level. It is still news, and not accepted– that ancestral patterns, past lives, societal, world, cosmic patterns (for example, there are others… you can read about them in my book) live within us and can be expressed, processed, worked through. So when someone is coming upon a pile of rage, or a huge amount of grief that does not come from early childhood, psychotherapeutic practitioners do not (by and large) have the knowledge to know how to identify these patterns or work with them. So typically what happens is that the person under their care will go through therapy (talk therapy) to go over their early childhood again and again to solve the mental aspects of this (which certainly can be helpful) or to give the person some tools to help them in their daily lives be a bit more functional… or in some cases medication or being told they will “just have to live” with things.

Because most psychotherapeutic practitioners typically have a great deal of ignorance about the spiritual awakening process, or about anything beyond early childhood type trauma or energies. Some do, by the way, and are exploring ancestral work (family constellations) or spiritual awakening (transpersonal, some jungian, for example) but even many of those still define the spiritual awakening process not as a process of growth, of unfolding, and of healing… but of one of deviation from societal norms that must be stopped. 

We do not like to feel, to experience, to grow. Growth can be painful, it can be brutal in fact. And our current society, our current cultural mindset is to make anything painful, out-of-the ordinary, or difficult simply go away. To sweep it under the rug, to put it back to sleep, to drug, drink, and screw it away until we no longer remember our existential pain.

SO I WILL SAY WITH A LOT OF CAVEATS: I am not a physician, I am not a therapist. I personally do not find those models helpful, and never particularly have. Personally, I have needed much more work on a spiritual level vs. a mental level, and have worked far beyond the context of any early childhood pain that I have experienced… and don’t feel the need to talk about it much anymore.

BUT I WILL SAY THIS: There currently is not a model in place to keep people in Spiritual Emergency safe. This is, unfortunately, the hospital systems and psychotherapeutic models. It is the limitations of our current cultural mindset that causes this. But I digress. There are some points in the spiritual awakening process that someone may need hospitalization or medication or they will harm themselves, or someone else. They are so broken down that they need someone to watch over them, and their family or friends are not able to.

I very much understand this. I also wish it was different, but for people who are in such a state of emergency, this is their only option, and it is often life-saving.

The difficulty with this option is that it goes on your “record” and you are given medication. Medication that is hard to titrate off of (despite what clinicians might say, all anti-depressants and/or anti-psychotics are extremely difficult to work your way off of, some more than others… but Acupuncture can really help with this by the way if you are wanting to do so in concert with your physicians knowledge). Once you are on medication it is intended to be for the long-term, and you are also expected to be in therapy for a long time (typically).

All of these methods may be life-saving, but medication in particular stops the spiritual awakening process. It just does– again, some more than others (I work with plenty of people on medication, by the way, and don’t pass judgement on people who are taking it, as I have mentioned, these are simply my thoughts). This may be exactly what you want or need if you are reading this, by the way. I do understand that, I have compassion for that. I talk to people weekly who I tell truthfully that I cannot help– they are too far gone into an emergency state that they need someone local (at the very least) because I work through teaching people tools and understandings to work through their stuff, and if they are not in a place to be able to process something (or anything) that I say, there isn’t much, quite frankly, that I can do.

My last caveat (I promise): Again, I am not a physician, but as someone who has gone through a difficult process I know that one of the biggest difficulties in this world is that people think that their own experiences, their own opinions and insights need to be had by everyone else. Basically, what this means is that (like I mentioned above) I do not personally suggest medication for people going through Spiritual Awakening, and I think that therapy is helpful only to a certain limited point (see limitations above) because the Spiritual Awakening process is spiritual, not mental… But I am not you. I cannot decide for you what you should do with your life. You can read my thoughts to family members of people going through Spiritual Awakening here, but I am not living your life and cannot decide what the right trajectory for you is. I am the first to acknowledge that hospitals can be life-saving. That is what they are there for. If you are at that point, that might be the best decision for you. But if you are not, you may want to consider things a bit more deeply.

Ideally, some day there will be treatment centers focused on giving people who are experiencing Spiritual Awakenings a place to really process what is coming up for them… instead of pushing it back down to the depths of their subconscious (Anyone want to give me funding for this?) But until that day, we must live in a world that all of us have co-created, and do the best that we can. There are ways to work with Spiritual Awakenings so they are not treated as a diagnosable process, an aberration, or something to be put back to sleep. There really are. The Spiritual Awakening process, despite its difficulty, allows for you to release what is not whole– what is broken, traumatized, and conditioned in you– so you can awaken to who you truly are. Just imagine if we could have that basic understanding… or if the whole world could (or at least the allopathic world could).

If you are interested in working with me, you can contact me

Fear of Life

We are inhibited by our fears. We let them cloak us, color our world, and whisper things to us that break down our self-worth, convince us that we will never succeed, that we are not worthy of succeeding.

Deep down in the dingiest places of our subconscious we fear being alive, we fear being well, vital, healthy, and happy.

In the spiritual awakening process this fear comes out full force. Fear of ourselves. Fear of death. Fear of the unknown. Fear of not being in control. Fear that there is something wrong with us. Fear of fear.

These fears multiply and restrict us until fear is all we see, fear is all we know.

We can have everyone around us tell us not to be afraid, not to fear. But still we do.

The single most oppressive thing we can do to ourselves is fear. 

When we come in touch with our fear we begin the self-creation process. We create circumstances, events, and our lives around this fear. We create fear monsters, fear demons, aspects of ourselves and the outer world that we are so afraid of that we significantly restrict ourselves from experiencing anything new out of life. We stop living. We stop experiencing. We no longer get well, or we get sicker. All due to fear.

When we fear we shut down. We stop ourselves. We restrict ourselves. We immobilize ourselves. It is the classic fear response– to be so afraid that we are no longer able to move.

Many of us do this in a subconscious, gradual way. We are afraid of the unknown, and we are used to our lives (even if they are miserable, unhealthy, or we simply wish for more) so we would rather go through our patterns of fear again and again because they are known. We know them intimately. We are in an almost erotic relationship with our fear, and we feel sexual release when we conquer it… but few of us do.

Because we are used to telling ourselves no. We are used to stopping ourselves. We are used to fear ruling our lives, stopping us from being who we are and who we want to be.

In the spiritual awakening process, especially in the case of significant awakenings (like Kundalini) fear is the number one thing holding people back from moving past fear, pain, and the difficulties of the process… into a place of joy, light, ease, and peace.

People are generally doing the best they can… or the best they think they can. They do not realize that this fear is ruling their lives. Or, they may be conscious of it to the point of being fearful of everything (such as what can happen in the Kundalini process) until they break down physically, mentally, emotionally, and spiritually.

No matter what you say to them they will always go to the side of fear. Because that is what they know. Breaking up with fear is like breaking off a relationship with a lover. Even if we can hear logically from friends, from therapists, and others that this person is no good for us we are used to our lover. We live with them, we know them intimately, they are there for us.

And who would we be without fear?

Fear is a choice, like most things are in this world. It is natural to be afraid in frightening situations. It is natural to feel fear.

But we do not need to let it run our whole lives, to whisper to us quietly from inside our minds. We do not need to let it destroy us, to ruin our health, to ruin our mental balance, to destroy what we have and hold dear in this world.

In the spiritual awakening process a breakdown of what we knew– everything from beliefs to emotions to traumas to our physical daily lives– occurs. This is natural. Believe it or not, it is worth it (although I very much know that it doesn’t feel this way at the time).

Because when we release all of the patterns, break down all the issues they can clear. And we can become who we are.

But most people do not go willingly into this. They fight, they allow for their minds and egos and their fear monster to whisper to them, to create difficulties for them, and for most people the experience of spiritual awakening is like trying to grab on to the edge of a cliff with their fingernails with high winds surrounding them.

It doesn’t have to be this way.

Yes, spiritual awakenings are difficult. But they do not have to be torturous. We have a choice. We can listen to the monster of fear which is telling us that we need to stay the same, that everything needs to stay the same… or we can decide to surrender to who we are becoming. To do the things we need to do, to break up with the fear, to move forward despite the fear… to be and accomplish what we want and know to be right in this world.

We can constrict, lock down, and break down… or we can expand, move past, and become.

Clinical Treatment of Kundalini Awakenings utilizing CranioSacral Therapy

One of the first blogs I ever wrote was about how helpful CranioSacral Therapy could be for Kundalini awakenings. When I was going through a Kundalini awakening my ability to process all of what was coming up (which was a lot, and is for most people truly experiencing a Kundalini awakening) my exploration of body based practices, such as CranioSacral therapy was of immense help… and I believe got me through the difficult aspects of the experience much more quickly. This is especially evident because I am frequently contacted by people who have been undergoing difficult Kundalini awakenings for decades who are still stuck at a certain stage of awakening. I truly believe that if many of them received CranioSacral therapy their physical, mental/emotional, and spiritual situations would drastically change.

It is eight years since I first wrote that blog, which you can access here (and could use a bit of updating on my part). The first blog is intended for the layperson who is going through a Kundalini awakening and would like to hear about CranioSacral Therapy as a treatment option. Since I have many clinicians who have had some, or a lot, of CranioSacral or Osteopathic training who are getting clients undergoing Kundalini awakenings, and who contact me seeking advice, I thought that I would write a general blog about how to approach Kundalini awakenings clinically utilizing CranioSacral therapy.

You can read the basics about what a Kundalini awakening actually is, including basic signs and symptoms here. If you would like more details about the Kundalini process, you can simply type in “Kundalini” into the search function and find a fair number of my blogs on it. Or you can buy my book through Amazon, which details many different types of spiritual awakenings, including Kundalini.

But to be brief, Kundalini is a latent energy in most people located at the base of the spine. It is coiled up like a snake between the area of the tip of the coccyx and the perineum. When it arises, or awakens, it uncoils from latency and rises up the spine, clearing physical, emotional, mental, and spiritual blockages that are in its path. As people versed in bodywork and CranioSacral therapy know, we store unprocessed, or unresolved physical/emotional/mental/spiritual issues in our bodies. When someone experiences a Kundalini awakening all (or much) of the unprocessed material begins clearing out. This is because Kundalini has risen to the area of the body where these issues are stored.

Kundalini arises through the spine until it hits significant blockage, in which case it will go back to latency (in some cases), but in the case of the full Kundalini awakening (rather than a temporary stirring of the energy) it will be a wave-like energy, rising again and again in sometimes gentle waves, and sometimes with the heat and urgency of an exploding volcano.

Clinically, the rising of Kundalini brings up unresolved physical and emotional issues. Physically, the release of such a large force locally in the perineum (called the Kanda point) and at the coccyx where the energy is coiled will create a lot of heat and discomfort locally. It is well known that people have a variety of pelvic floor issues, as well as low back (sacrum/coccyx) imbalances, and these will be exacerbated while the energy is uncoiling. It is important clinically to not only focus on the area of discomfort, but to support and release the entirety of the reciprocal tension membrane, the dural tube, and the structures that comprise the entirety of what is known as the “craniosacral system” including the associated osseous components, meninges, and soft tissue/fascia.

Of particular importance in working with Kundalini awakenings is the fluid systems of the body. Since Kundalini is such a “fire” based energy (except for rare cases where it presents as cold… but for most people it is like having an internal volcano) having the ability to work directly with the flow of CSF as well as the tides of the body, such as balancing the mid-tide and allowing for expression of the long tide and the embodiment wave (for biodynamic practitioners) will allow for primal elements (fire and water) to balance and find expression… and will allow for the client to resolve in utero experiences in a profound way (they may not realize this consciously of course) and come to a positive place with the idea of their Kundalini arising as well as experience energies coming together to support them, instead of the fatigue and fear that typically come with Kundalini awakenings and the feeling of it being an antagonistic force.

If I were to put this simply, while treating the physical pains that inevitably come up while “clearing” during the Kundalini awakening process, the craniosacral system must be balanced as a whole, otherwise the energy does not have a clear pathway up and will just create further physical issues, and the chief complaint of the client during the session is likely to be resolved as the energy can temporarily move in a freer manner, but without balance as a whole the energy will re-stagnate in the area again.

It is extremely important while treating Kundalini to realize that the physical and emotional are inseparable. It will not be shocking to anyone that is an experienced bodyworker that emotional issues arise during bodywork, or that emotional issues create physical blockages. While working to resolve the whole host of physical issues that the client is presenting with, it is very likely that emotions will arise and need to be tended to. The purpose of a Kundalini awakening is not to create physical pain. The client has physical pain as a result of past physical blockages (broken bones, injuries, physical imbalances and stressors) and the energy is simply trying to get a clear pathway through.

But beyond physical reasons emotional issues, past trauma, and even emotions not of the immediate lifetime (family patterns, ancestral issues, societal emotions/patterns, and so forth) arise during Kundalini awakenings. These are fully present and in fact are the likely cause of many of the physical issues that are presenting. Without creating a safe place in the treatment room where the client can fully release difficult and strong emotions alongside the physical aspects of care, the local area where Kundalini is attempting to clear is likely to be fully, or somewhat unresolved. This means that the energy cannot rise further because it still needs to process emotions and experiences in a localized area and it has not been able to yet. When an area is clear of emotions and somewhat clear of physical issues (enough so there is a clear, or somewhat clear pathway to rise further up the spine) it will do so. If Kundalini is stagnated in a particular area creating severe issues that are not able to be resolved, there needs to be a questioning of if you are the correct practitioner for the person, or if they may need another modality, such as psychotherapy, to release some of the emotional issues.

Beyond balancing the system and creating space and neutrality for the expression of the physical and emotional components of Kundalini awakening, the most important thing is to remember not to “do” anything to your client who is having a Kundalini awakening. 

What does this mean? It is typical for people undergoing a Kundalini awakening to go to all sorts of gurus and meditation/yoga teachers at first in seeking to understand and resolve this energy. Since most (if not all) of these practitioners/teachers are not body based, they will teach them meditations and breathing exercises, or if they are unfamiliar with the energy will tell them that they cannot help them (or that it is all in their head). It is rare for any of these teachers to know what they are talking about, and many of them cause further detriment and confusion to those that they guide. This is especially true because their work is not body-based and is focused on the mental constructs, not the emotional. Any work that seeks to force this energy to do anything will cause issues for those experiencing a Kundalini awakening.

Kundalini is a conscious energy, meaning that it knows what it wants to do. It has an agenda. It wants to rise up the spine (at least at first). It is easy to impose ideas, understandings, and philosophies onto the energy. If this happens Kundalini views this as resistance, and will not respond kindly. Any type of forceful physical, mental, emotional, or spiritual work that does not happen in concert with the energy will be viewed as antagonistic, and is likely to cause a lot of issues for the experiencer. This is why many people truly experiencing Kundalini do not seek out help… because they are afraid that a practitioner will make things worse for them… because they likely have gone to a guru or bodyworker or whomever and their situation has become worse.

So neutrality and listening to the inner consciousness, the inner silence of the body is what is needed. Holding space is what is needed. This energy knows what it wants to do, it knows how it needs to do it. It does not need to be told, scolded, or directed in what to do and how to be. All the person with a Kundalini awakening needs is someone to hold space for an immense amount of release and rebalancing. For someone to be okay with crying, with grief erupting, for anger to arise that they might not know where it came from. For the body to twist and move and torque and vibrate with releases and to be in a safe place to do so. For a practitioner to be experienced enough to recognize why the Kundalini is not arising more- to be informed enough of the physical body and the craniosacral system that you understand what the fascia might need, what the dural membrane is doing, that the coccyx is out of alignment, that the fluid systems of the body would like to be heard, that the wave forms and energies of the body can be seen/heard/felt.

When a practitioner deeply understands the physical body and its many components to be able to really listen and work with the varying layers and expressions, when the CranioSacral practitioner is experienced enough that their abilities shine through, when the practitioner is confident and experienced enough to know that holding space and creating silence for the body to reorganize in a profound way is more than enough to do without “doing” anything else because we feel we should as practitioners, and when we have enough experience as practitioners in our own inner work that we can hold space for emotional releases with maturity and safety, we can help people undergoing difficult (or even not-difficult) Kundalini awakenings in a profound way.

Craniosacral really is one of the best modalities I have come across for Kundalini awakenings. I have explored many, many modalities, meditation/breathing techniques, spiritual work, thoughtform/mental constructs (you catch my drift) and the ability of CranioSacral therapy to directly tap into the organizing energies of the body, the wave forms, the in utero experience and fluid systems of the body, the physical body as a whole (instead of its parts) with the focus on the spine (where this energy arises, at least at first), and the ability of it to see the spiritual-energetic-emotional-mental-physical simply as a continuum instead of separate things allows for us, as Craniosacral practitioners, to truly help people through this experience.

If you are someone who is experiencing Kundalini and is reading this, know that CranioSacral therapy can help you. Like any modality/expression, it is important to find someone who is experienced (I suggest people who have been through a 2-4 year training in Biodynamic Craniosacral therapy or have reached Advanced coursework with certification through the Upledger Institute… there are unfortunately a lot of courses out there and a lot of practitioners who have minimal training in this modality and think it is a series of steps to do). It is important to find someone who is interested and able to hold space for you to rebalance in the manner that you need to. It is not necessary for your practitioner to have experienced a Kundalini awakening themselves (although that would be incredible, of course) but just that they have the experience listed above and that you feel safe with them.


Opening the Deep Heart

Our hearts are very wounded places. In Chinese Medicine, the heart is thought of as the emperor (at a time when Confucian militaristic themes were being translated into the medicine). All other organs and energy of the body is intended to protect the heart physically, energetically and spiritually.

This is especially true of the Liver, which is known as the “general” or “leader of the troops”, as well as the Pericardium, which is the physical and energetic protector of the heart. But really all areas of the body are intended to keep the heart space and the heart itself as calm, peaceful, and loving… like a gently moving stream of water rippled with sunlight.

Most of our hearts are not like that peaceful stream. We have either exhausted our “army”– the general/Liver and all of the other organs intended to protect the heart or store emotions (like the intestines and pelvic cavity), or we have endured deep or sudden traumas that have caused our hearts to break or not be whole.

Most of us are in a state of overwhelm in terms of emotions and experiences we have yet to process. When we are unable to process the emotions or circumstances of our lives they enter our physical body to be stored for later processing. This creates pockets of unprocessed energy and emotions in our bodies. Unfortunately, what happens is that many of us do not go back to release these emotions (or do not know that we can) and so our bodies become stockpiles of unprocessed rage, grief, fear, and difficult experiences. This causes us fatigue, because our bodies are having to exert energy to keep these emotions and experiences sectioned off… and to attempt to keep our bodies as a whole functioning without the blocked off part(s).

Additionally, we most likely (as in all of us do) have experiences, traumas, and emotions that were handed down to us that are creating issues without us realizing it. Our family patterns, ancestors, past lives, and even societal and world emotions are somewhere in our system, creating issues. Many of us (especially those of you reading my blogs) are also sensitive, meaning that you pick up on the emotions and traumas of others. Many of you may not fully understand this, or what it does to your very real physical system (this could be a whole new blog, but typically receiving stimulus from outside sources that we cannot process starts to pile up in the digestive system, the stomach, liver, intestines, then the head, then the pelvis/genitals/legs, then effects the heart for sensitives). Being sensitive has real and physical consequences, and any sensitive should learn how to properly process energy that is not theirs… but I digress.

Our hearts are a sensitive and often wounded place. We often will harden our pericardiums, or create all sorts of energetic structures surrounding our heart in an attempt to not show the world that we are wounded… or that we deeply feel. This world prides itself on being a thinking, logical place (believe it or not) so feelings, sensing, and emotions are relegated to be something abnormal, something that should take place in solitude or in the privacy of a therapists office.

If we are able to open our hearts in the spiritual awakening process something wonderful happens. We are no longer in that state of brutal negativity the rest of the world is in (just look at any comment thread online for this… to see how miserable people really are), we no longer need to gossip or concern ourselves with others. We look at the world and begin to see what is right with it, and the inner divine spark or inner light of people. This is quite a switch from seeing the pain, the stupidity, the anger, betrayal, and so forth that are happening consistently in this world.

As many of you may know, I am a realist, and the experience of seeing this inner light does not mean that we do not also realize that the person is wounded, or doesn’t know what they are talking about, or is filled with hatred, self-disgust, misguided anger, and so forth. It is just a switch in identification… from first focusing on that stupidity, or that anger, animosity, violence, sleep, and so forth… to seeing who and what they are beyond those layers of sleep and chaos. If you are able to see this inner light first, the chaos that surrounds every person like a wind tunnel can be looked at from the eye of the storm– a place of neutrality, compassion, and recognition of what they are struggling with. 

The Deep Heart

If we are able to get to a point of clearing our own heart of wounding we come to a place known as the deep heart. In Kundalini awakenings, the access to this point happens after energy has fully reached through the tops of our heads (as a solid stream, not a burst of violent energy) and energy starts coming back down again and into our heart space.

This is a space deep within the heart, and also to the right of the heart. There are nodules (not in a physical way, it is the best way to describe them) that are lit up within our deep hearts like a constellation of energy. Experiencing these allows for us to experience deep self-love, forgiveness, and to clear our remaining emotional heart patterns. It also allows for us to finally lift that veil of separation. This means that we can see the entire world and all of the people within it inside of us (and yes, they are also not a part of us as well, such is the paradox of awakening past a certain point). It allows for us to expand in love– not the cheesy, illogical love perpetuated by self-help books– but a calm and flowing love that will flow from us and out of us. 

This love expands and unfolds from us until we are filled with love. We are also at this point willing to feel love. Not the human, frail type of love, but love from source/God/the Universe itself. We are willing to be held… to let go of our individual identifications with suffering, with pain, with the sort of rugged individualism that creates isolation and separation… but to realize and experience that we are held by something much greater than ourselves.

If we do not close ourselves off to it (receiving this love is frightening, since it is an experience of us giving a minuscule drop of love to be greeted by love ten thousand times that in return) we consistently open our deep hearts, and our entire beings, in this love.

Many of us do not experience this type of love because we simply would not allow for it. We are so used to suffering, to rugged individualism, to competitive “me first” type of behavior (yes, even in spirituality), to isolation, that the idea that we could be held and loved to this extent is not something we would even allow. We hunger for this type of love… the love of the divine mother, of divinity itself beyond labels.

We all have this part of ourselves– the deep heart. I am not writing my experiences so they sound extraordinary. I do not wish to be yet another “guru” who is fulfilling a “chosen one” illusion in spiritual literature. There is so much of that, and it is not needed yet again. My point is to tell you that there is a space within yourself beyond the chaos, beyond the hurricane of trauma and emotions and experiences… beyond the rugged individualism and the isolation and the fear… beyond the brutal negativity that is perpetuated in this world as a pericardium type mask to the devastation most of us have locked within our bodies from prior experiences of this world.   

We all have these nodes, this place of the deep heart. For most of us it is latent, meaning that no energy flows through it, no energy is lighting it up. But even realizing that we have this place within ourselves is the first step. We can move beyond our pain and our chaos. We can see the inner light before the outer chaos in others, or in the world. Simply recognizing that we have the capacity for that inner light, or trying to see that inner light in others, will do us as an individual, and the world as a whole, an immense amount of good.


Experiencing Kundalini Part Three

For Parts One and Two of my Kundalini Experience(s) click here (part one) and here (part two)

Although I still get surges of energy on occasion, and still have more processing to do, I have found myself no longer in the position of “seeker”. I have sought. I am no longer searching for teachers, for gurus… and although I still get grouchy about all of the illusions out there, specifically in the spiritual communities, I no longer participate in them or their illusions because I simply have no need to. With the release of the mind I became comfortable with dualities and opposites living comfortably within one another, and became entirely focused on the internal experience, and no longer have any need to argue with others, to prove myself, to be in spiritual competition, or to have the sort of external focus that is the primary focus for most spiritual seekers (including myself previously). Although I occasionally go to classes, as I recognize the need for community and the realization that there are some patterns that are better released in a communal or group structure (as well as need continuing ed for my professional license), I no longer have the need to achieve. I simply am who I am, and although there are now few people in this world who resonate with me, I realize that those who do appreciate who I am and the work that I do. And I simply do what I do because it is what I want to do, it is the right time for me to do it, and I recognize the energies that are providing me the momentum to do so. 

I discovered the power of emotions, of the primal self, of darkness. We distance ourselves from our animal natures, from our sexuality, from our anger and fear… and I discovered those emotions and experiences are just as powerful and blissful as the happiest joy… and that they are all different currents of divinity. I am still working on this process, but there is a beauty in anger that is different, but as beautiful as joy. There is wonder in the darkest, basest, and most primal aspects of ourselves– aspects that we often (or I often) in previous states wanted to transmute into something else or ignore completely. There is a place of total freedom with sitting with disease, with physical pain and fatigue, and simply being with it… and not judging ourselves because of it or wanting it to be something else. It is only recently that I have made peace with the fact that there are days that I will not feel well, that my physical body will be unwell, and to take care of it in those moments… and that there are moments where I feel at the peak of health and feel bliss move through me that is indescribable. Finding beauty and flow in both of those states is where my interests currently lie.

It is only recently (the last year or so) that Kundalini has been flowing through my physical muscles with a focus on my bloodstream and my organs, specifically my heart. There are spiritual vessels and structures around and surrounding the heart that open our capacity to truly feel love for all creation. Although I have opened some of these vessels, or have felt some of them flickering, it is still a work in progress, as it is for Kundalini to be working through every organ, and eventually every cell of my body (I have received visions of this, but am not there yet). Although I have accepted myself on the deepest level, I am still at the point of flickering when it comes to true self-love. Although I recognize the divinity in others, it is still difficult for me to not focus on the chaos, the layers of conditioning, and the sleep in others first. Like I said, I am constantly unfolding and learning and growing, and am continually open to unfolding more.

I now no longer identify as having a “Kundalini awakening” even though I have had one, because the experience of energy is not the antagonistic sort of divine forcibly opening the midline type of experience that I once had, and a Kundalini awakening in itself refers to the experience of the singular individual experiencing the flow of divinity within them– a relationship of “I” vs. divinity… I no longer feel as if those are separate things, or an either/or relationship. I feel in consistent flow with very little flickering, and if it is it is just a pushing of the state into the background as I attend to external reality.

I can see and experience how much illusion there is in the world, and how much of it is necessary. When I look back at the experiences and understandings and initiations that I have had they are understandably terrifying to anyone currently experiencing them, or similar experiences. I have a lot of compassion and admiration for anyone going through any type of awakening who is actually willing to awaken rather than further perpetuate or create illusions to help them feel safe and in control, to help them feel as if they know everything. Most people prefer to awaken to their own illusions rather than seeing with clarity. I now realize that there is no way anyone can have the answer to everything, no way one person can know the totality of the cosmos. I can recognize the fear and illusion in others who pretend to, though… and the fear and illusion in others who follow them.

There is constant unfolding for me– I can now see and work with the structures above my head and way above my crown. To me these look like ovals and crowns that allow for us to receive divinity directly, without having to filter it through the grids of societal and global-type energies. I realize there is much more that I haven’t experienced, though… even with all I see and know I now know that I can only understand and consciously process but a small part of it. And that is okay with me. I no longer need to know everything, or even understand everything I experience. I just meditate and process what comes up, acknowledge what is coming up, and now have the tools to deal with it. I no longer focus on the future, on what might happen in the future, and on getting to the next step in my spiritual process. I focus on the now, and whatever comes up is what I need to work on.

In general, my interests have changed a great deal. I used to be interested in the most involved and advanced energy work, or psychic abilities, or magic/occult material, and getting to the top of my field in bodywork, energy work, acupuncture, craniosacral therapy, and so forth. What has replaced this need for achievement and need to cultivate the most advanced states is an interest in embodiment and the cultivation of inner states. It is more impressive to me now when someone can fully awaken and be in their physical body rather than someone who can predict a catastrophe or who can call down the most massive energies. It is more impressive to me when someone has awakened with the understanding that the physical body and the emotions are of vital importance, that embodiment and our senses are of vital importance, than someone who is pretending to be an avatar or fully awakened being who knows everything and doesn’t understand that the spiritual is right here (not off some place) and that whomever they are they do not understand everything… rather than perpetuating the myth that being awake means that you are no longer human, that you no longer have emotions, and that being “awake” means that you will always be physically a perfect specimen with the answer to any and every spiritual query. 

Humility and a willingness to continually unfold spiritually, continually becoming more embodied, continually becoming more and more human, continually being willing to look for more and more clarity rather than be stuck in illusion are rare qualities, and are beautiful on the rare occasion I see them in others. It is much more impressive to me when someone is willing to see how small they are than on building themselves up to be seen as a guru, or spiritual teacher, or god/dess.

I have peace in my life now, and although I still sometimes flicker when I am processing something, it is not to the intensity, the emotions, or the physical difficulties that it once created, and even great difficulties or large energies when coming through create chaos and then pass through to stillness and peace. My life is not chaotic, it is peaceful. It is simple. Even in chaotic and not-so-peaceful moments I rely on my inner stillness to pull me through. And although I work with people who are in a great deal of chaos, or in need for spiritual healing for difficult life circumstances and happenings, I do so from a place of general peace, compassion, and stillness.

It is important to understand that Kundalini, or any type of spiritual awakening, is an ongoing process. It is one that is hard to describe all of the elements of (and there are definitely some I have missed or only glossed over in a two part blog). I still have days of surges of energy, of fatigue, days of compassion and bliss and days where I wonder why I am awake while the rest of the world is seemingly asleep. I get physical issues, I have emotions, and I am certainly not perfect, nor do I pretend to be. Most of the spiritual community is hyper-focused on this idea of perfection, and how gurus or teachers or “awakened” people need to be perfect, and if they are not they must not be “awake”. If anything, awakening allows for us to embrace our “imperfections”, and to fully show them to the world without worry as a vital part of ourselves. 

But it certainly is possible to work through a Kundalini awakening. It is possible to surrender. It is possible to gain the tools, the understandings, the realizations to have a profound level of peace, bliss, love, and understanding of who you truly are and what your path is in this world that few people awaken to. I do programs, as well as individual consultations via Skype/phone for people walking this path… to share the knowledge that I wished that someone, that anyone could have given me. You can contact me with interest.

Experiencing Kundalini Part Two

For my initial experiences with Kundalini, you can read Part One here

As I experienced more flow in my head the surges of Kundalini from the bottom of my spine grew in intensity. I felt like a volcano, with lava flowing up my spine and in the area around my spine. As it reached my heart and throat it was like a huge wave being blocked by a mountain.

Although I felt this physically, the main issue at this point was not the physicality of it but the mental and emotional constructs I had in place. I wanted to control this process, I was angry about going through it, I felt victimized by it since it wasn’t my choice… I was angry that I had been to teachers and workshops and gurus and through so many books and I only got faint glimmers of knowledge that helped me. I was angry that I saw more and felt more deeply than the people around me. I was angry that what I was experiencing wasn’t even talked about in any of the social circles or spiritual communities or classes that I took. I didn’t understand what the point was of being awake if everyone else was asleep, and wanted to stay that way. I was angry that all of the material out there is for people who want to awaken their Kundalini and none of it was for people who were desperately trying to deal with Kundalini and its effects.

As I released the anger and fear and finally surrendered (yet again, and again, although still having an antagonistic relationship with Kundalini at this point) my sensitivities and abilities again increased. I was able to see grids, experience other dimensions and worlds, constellations, DNA, experiencing wings on my back (yes, I realize how crazy this sounds to people who have not experienced this) and started being able to help people (who actually wanted help) move on, clear things, and heal in a profound way. I now received guidance and flow any time that I was working with a patient– I knew what they needed and quickly knew if I could provide it for them. I also stopped lying at this point. It was too difficult to lie, and I no longer wanted to. I began operating with a sense of integrity and truth not because I wanted to, but because I had to.

I began feeling even more flow. This was flickering– I would feel the entirety of divine flow… and then I would become an individual again, deeply afraid and isolated and alone. The flickering of one state to the other was indescribably difficult, as the return from feeling powerful, from feeling oneness, from feeling a part of everything and breathing with the entire universe…to again being an individual with understandings and sensitivities that separated me from most of the population was crushing. The going from the internal self, divinity, and full realization of power and truth… to the external, physical, and emotional trauma-based self was difficult.

A huge wave of fear rose up in me. I realized that I was not fully surrendering. This fear was of total surrender, it was of death. It was of letting go of my individual self and realizing the entirety of divine flow. It was a fear of the release of the individual (the ego, as it is so fashionably called). I feared there was something terribly wrong with me. I feared because at this point I could wake up one morning and have totally different understandings of the world, the cosmos, and myself than the day before. I feared because there was nobody that could help me– and at this point I couldn’t even articulate what I was going through because it was ludicrous for someone in this day and age to be going through a spiritual experience like this. I feared that I was insane, and that I would be locked up or hurt in some way for seeing and feeling what I did. I feared for my physical health, for my safety.

This fear ended when I had a near-death experience that put me in the hospital. I felt a huge surge of energy coming up my spine out the top of my head (similar to the first eruption but with less stuff in the way to hold it back). This time the energy went higher out the top of my head and was more forceful. I immediately began vomiting and couldn’t stop. I was sick for months after this. I couldn’t eat, was constantly dizzy, and had to return to school quickly (after a few weeks) otherwise I would have had to repeat the trimester. After this experience happened I was very sick for a solid year.

After the energy surged out of my head I stopped fearing death. I stopped getting migraines, and many of my physical and emotional issues gradually subsided. I was exhausted, though. Although I now felt a clear flow of energy through my midline, as well as energy flowing down through my crown, there was still more material to process, specifically in my heart, my brain, and my third eye. I began feeling light (this sounds wonderful, but it was actually quite painful) that throbbed through the center of my head, and prickling sensations around my crown and the base of my skull. My neck began to be quite painful, as I realized that there are energetic structures in the top of the head as well as the base of the skull (and midway between) that were trying to remove themselves.

I began feeling clamps (hard to explain) around the back of my kidneys, the back of my heart, and the back of my head that wanted to remove themselves. I now felt not only energy surging through the middle of my midline, but a circuit of energy coming up the front of the body and the back of the body, forming a circuit (du and ren channels in Chinese Medicine, Microcosmic Orbit circuit for those interested). I felt and saw each of my chakras vividly, and began to see lights and glows around people. I began to see the amount of chaos that surrounds each person (like squiggly lines) and how awake they were by the amount of chaos and illusion that surrounded them, as well as the light in their eyes.

I also began being in contact with larger energies, different beings, and my antagonism towards the spirit world, towards kundalini, and towards the cosmos began to change. I accepted fully who I was, understood what I was here to do, who I was, and accepted that I was going through this process. That it was real, that it was happening… and I surrendered to my path. I also no longer saw the spirit world, or any world, as “separate”. I saw that death was not separate. I realized that we are oneness, and divinity, but are also separate beings in physical bodies.

At this point I surrendered my brain. It is a strange process that started before my near-death experience, but I realized how much illusion and pain I was creating from my mind, and how the universe is one large brain, or the composite of many brains creating reality. It is hard to describe the type of peace and clarity that comes with having a quiet mind, and that “giving away the brain” doesn’t mean that I don’t think. It just means that the endless chatter, the caring what other people think, the endless creation of illusion coming from the mind ended.

It was at this point that I discovered the importance of the physical body, the physical container. I no longer felt energy, or strong surges of energy going up, but energy simply going through me coming from all directions (up, down, sideways, etc). I began connecting to the Earth below my feet, and having my legs fully open up (this is, admittedly, still a work in progress). I connected, accepted, and loved my own darkness. I began seeing through the many illusions of the world, the illusions I had created, the illusions people create for themselves in order to survive.

I began to get healthy again. To not be so focused on my spiritual experiences. To live my life as a human being. To have the spiritual flow through my daily life. I now understand the importance of having a healthy body, a healthy mind, a healthy spirit, and that they all inform and flow through one another… they are not separate. My focus changed to being as embodied in my physical container as I can. This involves processing all of the trauma, lifetimes, ancestral lines, and societal and global patterns that are causing blockage in my physical form. 

For my current experience of Kundalini (part three) you can click here

Experiencing Kundalini Part One

One of my biggest issues with current Kundalini literature is that it is either not from direct experience (and this is abundantly clear to anyone that has actually experienced Kundalini), it is from a psychotherapeutic model which has distinct limitations in this realm, that it is new-age(y) and has no basis in what actual Kundalini experiences are like… or that it is from someone who has had a Kundalini stirring, or experience, or even an awakening but is still struggling with the lower layers of this (you can read about different Kundalini experiences here and the basic phases of Kundalini here).

It should, of course, be noted that there are “greater” or “further” or just slightly different experiences than I have had. One of my favorite authors on Kundalini is Gopi Krishna, and his autobiography (in my booklist) is the first that I read (after reading twenty or so books on K in the early days) that I actually knew that he knew what he was talking about, and just the fact that someone was so humble while having experiences such as this, while being a fully awakened individual, was something that I deeply admired (and still do). There are other books on my booklist by B.S. Goel (Third Eye and Kundalini) and Robert Svoboda (Aghora II) and Swami Muktananda (Play of Consciousness) that I highly recommend for anyone who is having a Kundalini awakening.

All that being said, I thought I would talk a bit about my personal, direct experience with Kundalini awakening…

I was always a bit of a strange child who felt things and saw things more deeply than others around me. I was also interested in writing, painting, reading, and utilizing my imagination so I was given the archetype “artist” so that others could readily explain what was different about me in childhood and high school (this still works to this day, now that I think about it). I naturally have always been really sensitive, have been easily able to travel through realms, to see through people, and to see and interact with things that are beyond “normal” sight or experiences (you catch my drift).

In my childhood and early adulthood this was really difficult for me. I was highly empathic, which meant that I picked up everything around me like a sponge. I also experienced headaches and stomach aches, which turned into migraines in my early teenaged years. It is hard to explain this to people without this ability, but I really had no idea who I was because I was always changing my emotions, my physical presence, and even my beliefs towards the dominant energy in the room. At the time, I had no idea I was doing this, why I was experiencing roller-coasters of emotion, why I had such difficulties sitting in class and being in crowds and grocery stores, and why I saw and felt what I did. I realized from an early age that what I was seeing and feeling nobody else around me did. I knew that what I saw and felt and was experiencing was out of the ordinary and made me different so I shut up about it so that other people wouldn’t find out.

My parents understandably took me to counselors and therapists. The best diagnosis they could come up with for me was seasonal depression. I was living in Minnesota at that time, and nowadays I wonder who in Minnesota doesn’t have seasonal depression. Although some of the therapy was moderately helpful, none of the therapists had the knowledge base to help me understand or work with what I was experiencing, or even were able to suggest that I might be sensitive and having difficulties because of those sensitivities. Mostly they did what therapists did– focus on the early childhood, relationships with parents, etc.

In my late teens I went off to college. At college I began having disturbing dreams about being torn apart by animals (you can read about dismemberment dreams here) as well as being eaten or visited by a large snake. Although a topic of a different blog, perhaps, I was experiencing simultaneous Shamanic awakening/calling and a Kundalini awakening. I began experiencing severe spirit-led initiations in 2000/2001. My sensitivities also began increasing, but because I was in college I was able to numb them, as well as the initiation experiences, through various substances. When I was in my last year of college I began receiving guidance (this was totally subconscious at this point by the way) and would randomly (or so I thought) start getting booklets from acupuncture schools and emails about Reiki classes. I only faintly remembered signing up to receive those things, and had no understanding about why I asked for them. My undergraduate degree was in English and Publishing, and I always thought (or knew) that I would be a writer– it was my consistent answer to people when they asked me what I wanted to be when I grew up.

I graduated from college and moved with my husband back to the Chicagoland area. I began working in retail and doing store sets (basically setting up merchandise according to plans sent by corporate), and then got a job as an obituaries editor as well as took my first Reiki course. This broke something open in me, and I became obsessed… getting many Reiki attunements within a very short period of time (I think about ten within two years or so). I also signed up for massage school, Asian Bodywork school, CranioSacral Therapy classes, and Acupuncture school, and began my meditation practice and research into the occult again.I had been interested in meditation, magic/the occult, and mythology/fairy tales since I was very young, but as a typical teenager these interests ebbed and flowed, and although I had a knowledge base in them starting as a teenager or even a young child, I didn’t start actually having a consistent practice in them until my early 20’s.

If interested, you can read about the intense amount of education from physical sources that I received over a ten year period starting in 2002 here

My Kundalini awakened. Although I can now see signs of it emerging prior to this, it fully erupted at the age of 23. At the time I blamed the Reiki classes, I blamed the meditations I was doing… I thought that there must be a sort of logic about this happening. All of a sudden I felt a huge volcanic blast going up my back into my brain and above my head. It was dizzying– I felt unwell for weeks after. I knew that something profound had change, had shifted, but I was in too much chaos, in too deep in the trenches of the process, to be able to understand anything about it.

My Kundalini erupted first more Pingala-oriented (which emerges to right of the spine and flows up to the nostrils and third eye- google for a picture, but basically it forms the shapes of the chakras along with Ida going up the spine) as well as the central column (Sushumna). At the point of the eruption I felt huge surges of heat and electricity in my body, my pulse rate increased from low 70’s to high 80’s (I was in Acupuncture school at the time, which involves a lot of pulse taking), and my fingers and toes began twitching and spasming.

Then my body began shaking and going into spontaneous yoga poses. I also occasionally experienced body locks, or bandhas, where a portion of my body (it began with my diaphragm, but then would move to my low back/kidney area/sacrum, heart, and throat) would spontaneously contract sucking all of the breath out of my body for periods of time. My migraines increased, and I began experiencing severe itching in my lower body.

I began to be unable to read, to think, and was deeply afraid of what was happening. I was also having a lot of material come up to process. At first memories from childhood, from teenager years, and then from my entire lifetime came up. This was like being in bed and watching a filmstrip of your life flash before your eyes, but also with spontaneous body movements and pain in the area where they were emerging from (memories, or unprocessed memories, are held in the chakras, certain areas of the body, and even the cells until they are resolved and when coming up you will feel pain in the area they are emerging from). This still continues to this day, but is more manageable, especially since I know what is going on and have learned to surrender.

After the first active cycle of Kundalini (the burst above my head) it returned to my lower body… my first chakra. I experienced a lot of heat in that area as well as a lot of emergence of issues held in that chakra. It was overwhelming– in some awakenings a story or a singular memory will emerge. This emergence was of lifetimes of held memories, traumas, ancestral history, my personal history, family issues… everything held in that chakra (well not everything, but a lot) coming up to clear at the same time. This caused me to basically be non-functional. But Kundalini energy is odd… at the same time that I was non-functional I was also hyper-functional, going to Acupuncture school, accomplishing what I was guided to.

Kundalini was very physically oriented, very heat oriented as it rose through my first three chakras. Although there were a lot of emotions that arose, specifically fear, the first three chakras and Kundalini processing energy through them created a lot of physical issues for me. My nervous system was consistently in “fight or flight” mode, my muscles would contract, specifically in the area where Kundalini was clearing blockage, and my thyroid, endocrine, and immune systems took a nosedive. I began having medical issues that no doctor could figure out, huge waves of chills (from Ida, the other side of the body opening up), and periods of time where I had severe insomnia and lots of energy and then another period where I couldn’t get out of bed due to fatigue. My migraines also increased during this time– where I might have had them once a month prior I now would have one once a week with the whole right side of my body contracting.

It was also during this time that I became intolerant of a lot of foods and having difficulty with my digestive system. I could no longer eat ice cream, or dairy, or spice/heat, or complex food (food with too many ingredients in one dish), and became severely allergic to chemicals and hormones in food. I lost a lot of weight in a fairly short period of time, and found that I needed to eat simple dishes (like rice with not much in it) otherwise I would get severe waves of nausea and vomiting. I experienced constant low-grade nausea, a constant headache, and dizziness during this time.

I also began to realize a lot of things about my life and my abilities and understandings of the world began to profoundly change. Around the age of 26 Kundalini began ascending and clearing past my lower three chakras and I began consistently feeling divine flow go through me. I was constantly aware of an ocean of energy within me and surrounding me.This feeling was flickering though, as I returned to processing and the more difficult aspects of the experience. But this flow was blissful, and expansive, and the memory of this flow got me through a lot of the more difficult times.

Once Kundalini cleared a pathway through the first three chakras quite a few of my physical symptoms abated. I began to feel flow through my heart (a bit) and into my throat, which was quite blocked. I also began feeling increased “top down” energies, which I had always felt, but increased from feeling energy going through my crown to feeling of a huge waterfall flowing through my crown. Both the energy going up (kundalini) as well as the energy coming down were greeted by a lot of blockage in my throat and third eye.

In part two I will discuss the second part of my journey with Kundalini

Kundalini, Spiritual Awakening, and Control

One of the most difficult aspects of Kundalini awakening, or really any spiritual awakening, is reconciling the idea of control.

When we are still asleep we think that we are in control of much of our lives. Many spiritual communities and new-agers constantly speak of how “in control” we are– in fact, everything is a reflection of us and we “chose” our parents and our lives and the people and events in it. If we just think positively enough, or are “spiritual” enough we will have total and complete control over every aspect of our existence.

A Kundalini Awakening quickly breaks through that delusion. Kundalini awakenings are like a volcano of not-control, ripping through our lives and destroying any false notion of control we may have. Of course, some of you reading this may have gone through gentler awakenings and are merely pondering how much control you have, or if the memes and “secrets” about how when we awaken we have total and complete control over our lives is true.

It is not. The funny part about “waking up” is that you realize how much you have scrambled to believe things that are false, what illusions you have suffered under, and how frequently the opposite of what you once thought is the actual truth of the matter.

Control is an illusion. None of us have control. We have outer control of our “mundane” lives to a certain degree. If we sit on the couch and eat chocolate cake binge watching Netflix rather than going to yoga class that is (at least somewhat) on us. But did we even really make that decision? Maybe we were intended to eat chocolate cake and watch Netflix instead of going to yoga class.

As long as we think that we are in control we will always feel out of control. It is an odd paradox. In a Kundalini awakening most of us desperately want control… and we are taught a brutal lesson about control as our bodies are twitching and contorting and our beliefs and understandings about the world are ripped away from us. The desperate need for control causes us to clamp down, to attempt to stop the process, which only succeeds in making things much worse.

We do not have control. We never did, and never will. If we give up this idea of always being in control, of needing to be in control, and all of our mental constructs about control we can fully just be. No more planning, no more endless mental constructs about how we are going to be so much in control in our lives, or if we only were in control this and this would happen, and if we could just think hard enough or be enough or do enough we could finally have control.

We obsess about control. We let it rule our lives. If we are undergoing a spiritual awakening like a Kundalini awakening, we want to control the process because it seems to be happening despite us. The end result of this is that in the rare moments things may be going well in our lives and we feel in control we feel in power. And all the other times we fall victim to the endless thoughts of what would only happen if we had control and how our lives would be different.

None of us have control. It is incredibly freeing to let go of control, to let go of any illusions that you have control. In a Kundalini awakening it is crucial… it is one of the big tests and initiations in fact… to go beyond control, to realize that you do not in fact have any control over your existence.

Once you let go of this control you realize that you do, ironically, have some control. Of external circumstances, in a certain regard. But for the big stuff, the huge choices and “if only” and all of the stuff we obsess about we can simply let it all go. We can simply be. We can simply allow. And when you do that what flows into your life does to a higher degree, and when you make a decision you simply make the decision that you should make. The endless mental chatter is gone.

When we let go of control we allow for people, things, events, and everything in our life to be orchestrated by the divine. It flows through all of the layers of “reality” to our external, mundane, every-day reality. We become who we are meant to be, do what we are meant to do, and eat chocolate cake if it is the right time for chocolate cake.

By participating in life this way we know what opportunities, what energies, and what paths we should walk. We seize on opportunities when presented to us because they are the right opportunities. And when something “bad” happens to us, we do not think that “if we only did something differently” or beat ourselves up for not being a different person. It happened, it was intended to happen, and we move on (with the right sort of help or support system if necessary, of course).

By letting go of control, or our ideas about control, we can simply be. And if you are going through a significant spiritual awakening, such as a Kundalini awakening, it was intended to happen. You cannot stop it, you are not in control of it. Stop thinking of it as an adversarial force, stop stopping it and restricting it. Get to know what it is doing and why. Learn how to work with it.

If you are interested in working with me, you can contact me

The Three Phases of Kundalini

It has been my direct experience as well as from hearing hundred of client experiences that there are three distinct phases of Kundalini. Most literature is focused on the first phase either because it is an intellectualization of the Kundalini process without direct experience (there is a lot of this out there) or because the author or experiencer has not reached past the first phase themselves.

The first phase of Kundalini is talked about a fair amount. This is in general the processing of the first three chakras. This is what 90 percent (yes, I made that number up) of people who are experiencing Kundalini are working through (if they are actually experiencing a Kundalini awakening and not a stirring or different type of awakening such as a Top Down awakening, channeling, psychic abilities, etc). When Kundalini arises out of the base of the spine it does so with a primary objective- to clear a path so it can flow. What is blocking it you may ask? Well, all of the emotions, traumas, physical experiences (such as that nasty fall on your tailbone, broken bones, whiplash, and repetitive stress for example), and physical processes (such as diseases) that are causing issues in your body. This is obviously a lot of material.

During this first phase you begin clearing your own material… and then find yourself coming into contact with bigger flows of energy. And bigger blockages. The traumas, wounds, and energies from our family, our ancestors, and past lives are processed- or come up for clearing. This is a deeply physical, emotional, spiritual process. It results in a lot of physical and emotional pain, existential crisis when your belief systems suddenly shift after you have cleared a big ancestral pattern (for example), and a lot of the symptoms discussed here of twitching, lack of control, changes in the body/mind/spirit and even near-death experiences.

The first phase of Kundalini awakening is a very difficult process. Even though you may flicker– or realize “higher” experiences of oneness, bliss, peace, and all of the wonderful things of being in flow and having the direct experience that you are in divine flow– these are temporary as you sludge through the layers and layers of un-awakened Self. It is also true that Kundalini may flow up the spine higher temporarily as you realize the possibilities of the second and third phases of Kundalini. When Kundalini courses temporarily with great force, we get a lot of symptoms (like a great wave crashing on a rock) in the midst of it, and then our Kundalini becomes less active or forceful and returns to the first, second, or third chakra processing. So we may realize a further state (such as the second phase of K rising) but then we go back to what we need to process in the first when the energy becomes less of a tsunami and more of a gentle flow.

The second phase of Kundalini is not talked about much. This is because most people have a tremendous amount of work to do in their first three chakras, most people truthfully do not get beyond the first phase of Kundalini awakening (or even go beyond Kundalini stirring which is a temporary experience of Kundalini that you can read about here), and because talking about “higher” spiritual experiences can be difficult.

In the second phase about Kundalini we begin to move beyond the physical and emotional experiences that were locked in our first three chakras. We obviously still have work to do with energies in the first phase… we always will. Some of the patterns that are in the first phase of Kundalini awakening simply cannot be released or cleared before we explore things from a deeper layer of Self (such as a karmic or societal level). In this phase we begin to move beyond the self and direct experience. Sort of…

The next phase takes us through the societal, world, community, karmic, and other patterns such as sex, race, and sexuality. We begin noticing not only that we are reflected in others, and how others may be showing us our patterns, but we actually move beyond this understanding. This means that we begin to notice things outside of ourselves and our patterns. This means that when we find someone in our community who really angers us we can have the perspective of understanding if it is a result of something unhealed within ourselves or if it is their own trauma (or both).

Similarly, we begin to notice that most of the world, our community, and the people who surround us are asleep. This can be difficult to process. We begin to see and experience how most people have fairly expected lives, and experience the same “loops” or same behaviors again and again due to their traumas and societal expectations. We may begin to see/feel/experience the grids or fields of energy that make up society and the world. Most importantly we begin to release our mental conditioning, societal conditioning, and the feelings of rugged individualism that we all carry. We realize that we are not in competition with others. We realize the ability to see exactly where people are in their journey– whether that be further unfolding or completely asleep in comparison to us– and let go of judgement and comparison. People are who they are, and are under lots of conditioning. Most people do not want to change out of patterns of conditioning and fear. And that is okay.

As we get to the mid-point of the Second phase it becomes less about clearing. It becomes about gaining. Those mini-insights or direct experience of flow become greater. Instead of the emotional, physical, mental mess that we were… constantly in crisis and focusing on spiritual awakening (or just our process overall) we begin to gain things like peace, bliss, happiness, and love. Although that sounds cheesy, there are periods of happiness and love for the Self as well as the world that come through in this level that allow for us to have a deep level of peace. Gone is much of the existential crisis, the mental chatter… although physical problems may still remain they become what they are without drama. We enter a period of deep rest. 

Sometime during the Second phase we truly resolve our own death. In the first phase we may have had a near-death experience, we may have had dreams of dying, we may have had Kundalini energy temporarily burst above our heads (which is a really frightening experience when you are still in the first phase, or even in the second). But at some point we feel a constant, consistent stream of energy flowing above our heads, which allows for us to lose fear of our own physical death and to truly get in direct touch with divinity. We begin to cast off or break away from most of our conditioning and the chains that bind us from understanding that we are truly free, and happy, and peaceful beings in divine flow.

If I were to sum up to this point, I would say that the first phase is about letting go, about realizing that you are not in control, and about clearing. The second phase is about clearing societal, karmic, and world conditioning and patterns, but also about beginning to realize the depths of love, bliss, and peace that can be had, and the resolution of our own fears about death. The second phase is also about realizing as a person that you are not that important, and realizing that there are grids and energies that you are simply a small part of. This also extends to people, where we are one with them, but their anger or wounds may not have anything to do with you. Basically in the first phase we identify as ourselves and our own process, even when we are looking at other people. We can only see them as a reflection of us and can only consider our own spiritual process. In the second phase we lose this identification and begin to see that there are energies that we are simply a small part of. This allows for us to break through the rest of the conditioning that holds us so we can have direct experience of peace and divine flow.

In the third phase we simply unfold. And rest. And learn. Gone are the feelings of having to “do” things, the existential angst, the fight against letting go of control or needing to be in control. Gone are the words of others, the constant mental chatter, the constant chatter of the world. In this stage we have peace, we become happy, and we learn how to love ourselves and our lives. This continues to deepen and widen, even as we go back and release traumas, conditioning, or basically to create new pathways through every organ and cell in our beings. Gone are the endless quoting of others, the taking on of others knowledge as your own. You can simply speak from your own direct experience of spirituality. There are still things to work on, but it can be done from a different perspective. Energy now continuously flows through you, you consistently realize that you are a part of divine flow. Your life becomes quite simple. You realize new depths, go through further unfolding, and welcome the new knowledge and understandings, knowing that whoever you are and however much you understand, you can always understand more.

The objective of revealing these phases is not to make anyone who is experiencing a Kundalini awakening in the first phase to think that they are not far along, or to judge themselves. It is let you know that there is more beyond the pain, the discomforts, and the endless existential crises that occur and seem to dominate the serious literature on the subject… I would suggest my book, The Spiritual Awakening Guide  (by Mary Shutan) for more information on the subject.