Near Death Experience

Resolving the Fear of Death

In a previous blog I talked about how new-age authors and teachers tend to capitalize on our fear of death, telling us that we can become immortal, or that they know absolutely everything about death and can tell you, or that they have a friend or loved one they channel who only gives messages of peace and love from the other side. Read that here…

It should be noted that some of the NDE’s (Near Death Experiences) are certainly real, and that I have absolutely nothing against love and light, or peace, or any of the feelings that come for many people after death. Death for most people is a release– and NDE’rs frequently have difficulty coming back to a place that is distinctly not so love-and-light to the extent that they may have difficulty carrying on their lives.

I also have confidence that there are some solid channels out there. While a few of them are popular, many of the channels who have gotten popular are fake. This is because these people learn what others want to hear (or the “channel” themselves wants or needs to hear) and they report back from their very human need, rather than anything spiritual. This is how we get silliness of channels saying that Hitler is picking posies in a field somewhere and talking about love (yes, this actually happened).

Death is a natural thing that anyone going through spiritual awakening will have to confront.

Many people going through significant (dramatic, sudden) spiritual awakenings will in fact have a near-death experience in order to release this fear. They will have this experience because they need to– on some level they think that to transcend the physical body, or to lose identification with it, significant illness and separation from the physical body need to occur.

And for some people this is very likely true.

But others will begin to think or hear that they are going to die, or even will come to realize that there is a part of themselves that in fact wants to die, and they will assume it is physical death. This can, in fact, be a freaky experience… to realize that there is a part of you bent on death.

It is rare for people the first (or seventieth) go-around of the sort of creation-destruction cycle (where in spiritual awakenings we crumble, or aspects of ourselves release, in order to make way for the new) to realize that this death is not a physical death. It certainly can be, but for most it is a psychological death.

What does this mean? It means that most of us are only “embodied” in our minds. We look like a massive amount of energy cycling our heads and pretty much nothing else. This is how and why we self-create so much of our Universe. We are truly in our heads, and creating from that place (I could go on a rant about shamanism and mental vs. spiritual healing again, but I will not. You can view that here if you wish, though).

When we awaken we awaken those aspects of ourselves that are in a state of slumber– that are conditioned not to be awake. It serves our brain to be in control, to be in creation of everything. This way we have logical order, we have control, we can self-create based off of a sort of filter that has been created by all of our past traumas, conditioning, and that of our ancestors, society, etc (for more about these layers, you can read my book).

So in the spiritual awakening process at some point we will want to “die”. And this actually means that our brains, our mental realm being in the forefront and pretty much nothing else, our filters, all those conditioned layers… that they are crumbling down. Our brains are dying from controlling our world. And this is scary.

Because even if we want to awaken, to cast off those layers of conditioning and trauma, we pretty much are used to our self-created Universes. It is rare for people to go beyond them– this is why we have so many people saying that they are the center of the Universe, that they create everything in it. Because when you transcend that, you have to let go of control, you realize that you are in fact not the center of the Universe, and you are directly in a sort of cosmic ocean in which you are but a small drop (and the entire ocean at the same time, but with the realization that you are a small drop simultaneously).

So what wants to die is how we currently live our lives, who we currently are. Who we are might not be who we know we can become, but there is safety in the known. And it is scary to transcend that. And our brains, our mental fields that are so used to creating and filtering everything around us will scream at us to stop, to not “die”, to not let go, to not go beyond a certain spiritual point, to not walk through a specific spiritual door… because if we do… our whole world will change.

I talk about spiritual doors a lot in my work with people. A spiritual door is something we walk through that once we have the direct experience and understandings beyond that proverbial “door” we cannot go back from them. And letting go of our brains is a certain type of spiritual door, a specific “death” that we cannot go back from.

Once we realize that we are not the center of the Universe, we cannot go back from that knowledge. Once we directly feel cosmic flow, we cannot not have that understanding… and once we experience our minds not creating and filtering our Universe it would be very difficult for us to go back to having our mind be the creator again.

Some people do, of course, go back to having their minds create again… but even the ability of a singular moment of “death” of that no longer being the case… a momentary switch of identification… we will realize that it is a possibility, and our lives will never be the same.

So how to transcend the fear of death? In the spiritual awakening process, it is to realize that the “death” you will likely experience is a psychological death, a simple (or not-so-simple) switch in identification.

For others, it can be difficult. You can tell people that death is a release from your own direct experience, but people will still have the fear of it.. and it will restrict their existence to a major degree… until they are able to reach an expanded state enough to work through all of the trauma that comes from past deaths, their own fears, and so forth.

I do wish that I had a simple, concise way to transcend this, but even developing the awareness that our large, innate fear of death constricts our lives to the point that most of us don’t really live… we can begin to see the patterns and ways that it does so in our individual lives. By having this awareness (which few have) we can begin to truly live, which is why we are here and what we are supposed to be doing.

If you are going through a spiritual awakening and having difficulty with this, I can help you talk to your “fear monster”, to resolve and expand past this fear of death. You are welcome to contact me and I will see if we would be a good match to work together (I do not take all patients who contact me, you can read more about this here)

Fear of Death, Immortality, and Near Death Experiences

As human beings, the fear of physical death is our largest innate fear.

Even if we are seemingly rational, intelligent, and have emotionally worked through a lot of our material from early childhood and beyond we have this fear.

This fear is entirely natural– we are here on Earth for a short period of time, and as we grow older the realization that this is likely an even shorter period of time than once thought sets in. Maybe it is due to a medical diagnosis, or for the first time having family members, friends, or acquaintances no longer be amongst us.

When we come into direct realization that we, or the people who surround us, are not always going to be present with us physically it can cause this fear to go into overdrive.

Most of us have no idea of what happens after death, and this combined with this innate fear of our own physical demise has created an opening for new-age “gurus”, authors, and teachers to attempt to placate this fear for their own purposes.

The response to this fear needing to be placated has allowed three types of gurus to emerge:

1. The guru who says that we can become immortal. If we only eat right, think right, act right we can do so… we can prolong our physical existence to the point of immortality.

This guru type will typically either be focused on one of two things: that either we die because we “think we are going to die” and if we didn’t think such dire, negative thoughts we wouldn’t die… or

That if we only ate perfectly and learned some “tool of the ancients” that said guru has come up with (which is generally focused on functional nutrition or brain-based nutrition that has only been around for 10-20 years) that we will become immortal. This is typically shown through said gurus “cheating” of death through some sort of prognosis of physical death on their part with only months to live and them now supposedly in perfect health.

This above is typically done, however, with no doctor, lab reports, or anything of actual substance to back up their claims of imminent death, by the way.

2. The Near-Death Experiencer who tells us that Death is all about light and love.

As someone who has had a near-death experience I can tell you that death, for most people, is an incredible release. There is a lot of light. And in fact, there is love.

So why am I mentioning this one? It is because many of the teachers and gurus who emerge in this category are sincere, they really are. Might they be overstating a few things, sure. And there are many near-death experiencers who do not have the “light and love” experience. But those types don’t generally get book deals.

I have no doubt that the experiencer of such a difficult thing as a near-death experience has logically created a story upon return that allows for them to make sense of such a trauma. Might their experience have been wonderful, sincere, and full of heart? Yes, it likely was. But there are also cultural expectations of near death experiences and experiencers by this point, and the near death experience itself has become hyper-focused on that “light and love” experience to the exclusion of everything else.

This means that the near death experience has been commoditized and people are willing to listen to these gurus to alleviate their own fears around death. And so the near death experiencer hyper-focuses on the “love and light” aspects of the experience, possibly creating illusions on top of the experience to fulfill their own expectations, societies expectations, and the “love and light” communities expectations of such an experience.

Death experiences can be an experience of beautiful light, of peace, of well-being, of release of stress, trauma, a realization that all things will be okay… of that I have no doubt. But where are the people who mention how difficult it is to transition back into human form? Where are the people that talk about how 3-5 years after the person comes back are the highest rates of suicides? About the depression and inability to integrate back into the world? About how hard it is to function realizing that this world, in our “meat suit” is full of stress and struggle? Where are the people talking about how to integrate these experiences into the life of the person who returns? Where are the people talking about how this knowledge can help us live a more embodied experience on Earth?

They are nowhere to be found. This myth is pervasive to the point that after my near-death experience I went to a group focused on supporting people who had such experiences to receive help for the difficulties I was having. The speaker went over how great she was because she was saved by dolphins and then proceeded to talk about how special she was and how she was the “chosen one” to sell her book. (The chosen one is a common mythical element taken up by new-agers in support of selling themselves to the public).

The rest of the group sat around after and I was reminded of addicts talking about their last high. The gleam in their eye, the talks of “ascension” and being without a body. None of these people wanted to talk about integration, or being alive, or being in human form… like addicts they all wanted to talk about chasing the high of the “light”.

3. The Psychic or Guru who says they know everything about Death, or what happens after Death

This is a popular one. Anyone who says that they know everything about the cosmos should be a complete and total warning sign when looking for a teacher of any sort. Nobody knows everything about everything. If they say that they do they are lying.

The Universe is a big place. A lot of things happen in the death process. For one person to come forward and state that they are a Medium and so know everything about death, or for a parent (one particularly atrocious example I am thinking of) to after the death of their child think they are communicating with them and bring forward their “messages” which are repeats of old Osho sayings (when the kid was not very educated in life) to convey what it is like to be dead is such an example of this capitalizing on fear of death. But people love this sort of stuff.

The idea that someone knows and can tell them exactly what happens after death is incredibly comforting. It soothes this fear. 

But like all fears we recognize on some level that what we are being given is like being given a single potato chip. The author/teacher/guru must come up with new realizations, new books, new sayings in order to further state what death is like. And this will placate those who choose to believe in it for a little bit longer… until that fear begins to arise again.

Because on some level, no matter how illogical or emotional we are over the subject we realize that this one person doesn’t know everything about death, and what they are saying is just meaningless fluff.

So we go on to the next piece of fluff, or the next teacher that will tell us exactly how it is to placate us a little further.

No matter who we are or how in tune we are the Universe is a big place. Gurus can construct illusions out of their grief to capitalize on this fear of death, they can state that they know everything, but deep down people still realize that death is an unknown variable.

So when you see these illusions, these creations of teachers and gurus I hope that you will question them. Would you really want to become immortal? Do you really think that every single near-death experiencer who gets a book deal repeating the same rhetoric (in some cases word for word pretty much) is all that happens in the death experience? Do you really think that a grief stricken mother is actually talking to a young kid who somewhere in the death process suddenly gained fifty IQ points and the hugely expanded ability to comment on everything about the death process in trendy new-age syllogisms? Do you believe that any one person can understand everything in the Cosmos?

If you are able to see beyond this sort of constructed reality that plays towards placating our deepest fears you can move beyond it. In the next blog, I will discuss how to move past the fear of death and reconcile your life on Earth.

Spiritual Advice: Psychic Ability to Predict Death

Mary-

I found your site because I wanted to know more about how I can sense death in people. Sometimes I look at people in the market and I see some of them that are going to die. Sometimes I will even sense how it will happen like a guy I saw I knew he was going to get in a car crash.

Another time I saw a woman who was pregnant and I knew that she was going to miscarry the child. It is awful to realize these things. Most of the time they are about people that I don’t know and just see around town, but sometimes I realize that a friend is going to get sick, or one time I realized my cousin was going to die. I would think it was just my imagination, but my cousin did actually die and the feelings I get when I realize these things are really intense. For example I will get a headache or feel dread or even a few times would see how the person would die. But most of the time I just feel kind of sick and it is like a big realization that I just can’t shake.

Can you tell me what this all means? What do I do about this? I can’t imagine I go up to people and tell them that they are going to die. That would just be weird. How do I not get upset about this too? I don’t think I want to block things, but they do make me not feel well. If you could reply it would be really, really helpful.

– Seer of Death

Hi Seer-

So what this ability is called is precognition. It is typically under the umbrella of claircognition. Claircognition means “clear knowing”. It is our gut instinct, that sort of intuition that mothers get when their children are in trouble. It is our sense of knowing something without knowing why. Claircognition is actually the most common psychic ability, but is often dismissed because we live in a culture that dismisses that quiet voice inside, that sense of knowing that emerges. Most of us are quite dismissive of any sort of information that pops up without us having a context for it, a narrative, a story, or some sort of linear logic from our brains/ego telling us that the information is valid and okay.

This sense of knowing, this claircognition, can be a small sense of knowing that we should turn right instead of left down a street, only to find out that there was a traffic accident that would have made us late to our appointment if we had turned left. It can also be a huge sense of knowing, accompanied by dread and chills and becoming physically ill with realizing that there are going to be layoffs at our company, that something bad is going to happen to us (and we don’t know what, but we just have this realization), or that a pet, family member, or complete stranger is going to die.

Just so this doesn’t seem all gloomy (before I go on to the death part), claircognition is an incredibly useful ability to have. We can know if our children are okay, how that test is going to go, what job we should take, if that boy/girl/man/woman is right for us, and get a general sense of environment. For example, if we listen to our claircognition we may pick up that the bar we are at, the subway car we are in, or the street we are walking down is not safe. We may not know why, but this sense of knowing causes us to walk down another street, to leave the bar, or to move on the subway. Most of us do this behavior unconsciously– our claircognitive skills are not conscious so we want to leave the bar, or the train, or walk quicker down the street (or change streets) without knowing why. 

But some of us become conscious of our claircognition and utilize it to our advantage. We begin to listen to our gut instinct, to acknowledge it, and to even express gratitude for it giving us information. Again, most of us do not listen to what our instincts are telling us… we have become disconnected from them because we are either looking for something crassly linear and double-blind study logical (typically meaning told to us by others or given to us by others) or we are looking for huge explosions of psychic abilities, such as the media portrays clairvoyance (clear seeing). By acknowledging this ability and listening to it we can become better people more in line with who we truly are.

It is important to understand that society at large is not in a sensing or feeling state, so others (even those interested in spiritual matters) are likely to disregard your experiences that come from this feeling or sensing state. This comes from an ego state of always wanting that hugely splashy thing or “valid” linear scientific double-blind study type proof. If we listen to others who are not capable or comfortable with being in a state of sensing or feeling, we often disregard our own experiences and understandings. It is important not to do so in an attempt to seek outer acceptance of abilities such as this.

To acknowledge and grow your claircognition is simple: you acknowledge what is coming up (I should move subway cars), sit with it for a moment to feel if it is valid or not (by asking your gut, not your head)… when you hear a “yes” you act on that action by moving subway cars (for example). Then say “thank you” to that information, to your gut instinct for telling you this information. If it is a huge move, such as getting a divorce or moving to another country, you can still acknowledge what is coming up but sit with it for a while longer before making a move or drastic life change. Even acknowledging that this information is coming up and saying a simple “thank you” to it without changing anything in your physical reality will allow for you to gradually understand how powerful this ability actually is.

Now, on to precognition. Precognition, as I mentioned, is somewhat of a child of claircognition, typically. This means that you will realize that something will happen in the future without knowing why. This can be all sorts of information, from realizing you will get that job you just interviewed for to realizing you are going to move in the next six months to realizing that two weeks from now you are going to be sick. Many sensitives, for example, with this ability, schedule their work around the fact that they realize when they will be at full power, or have the ability to work a lot, and when they need a break or even bed rest.

A type of precognition is the ability to see or sense death. This can be sort of a vague sense of knowing to full clairvoyant (seeing) abilities of seeing a stranger in the grocery store die in a fiery crash in the near future. This can be difficult information to process, and the sensitive who sees it may experience headaches, nausea, stomach issues, or emotional imbalances from seeing so much death around them. It also can understandably be a bit of a perpetual existential crisis to have this ability, to want to get rid of it, to not know what to do about it, or to have this ability call up our own fears around death. It is also a huge difficulty for some people who are especially sensitive with this ability to have to process the energy and the death of the person through their physical body.

I should note that it is most common to see death at or around two weeks before the physical death. Our spiritual bodies are preparing (or trying to prepare) for what is going to occur in the near future, and in most cases (not all, some sudden deaths are not like this) sensitives are sensing the fact that the energy bodies are lifting off of the body towards the top of the head (typically) near death, or that there is a grey or dark cast/hue around the person who is going to die suddenly.

So the question is always what to do about this ability. It is an understandable question, and I have personally grappled with seeing a lot of things that I cannot or should not do anything about. In our modern culture (media portrayals such as Ghost Whisperer and Long Island Medium) we see “mediums” (yes, I put that in quotes for a reason) walking up to random strangers and telling them that their dead grandmother is with them. I have personally had people walk up to me and try to read me. It deeply bothers me when this happens. First off, because it is always the person that has the least amount of sensitivities (as in, not very psychic at all or perhaps went to a psychic school and got a certificate which means they are, of course, now psychic) who tell me things that are often not correct, are from conversation they overheard, or are so basic that they are more cold reading (a sort of psychological ability to read body language, faces, or just utilizing really basic generalized info that could apply to anyone) in order to appear special.

It is ethically wrong to tell someone that they are going to die, or to tell them any sort of psychic information that you are picking up about them. The only way that it is okay is if they are paying you, or coming to you for guidance, and you deeply question if they really want to know or can hear (as in process) the information you are picking up about them. 

The other thing to know about the ability to see death is that it is not 100 percent. Meaning you could be wrong, meaning that you could be reading someone else in the store instead (their death) and cross a few wires and have it be about another person by mistake, you could be having an off day or so overwhelmed by stuff going on in your own life or that there is so much death in the air (it happens) that you can sense it with everyone. That person you are picking up information about could also turn left instead of right by some miracle and not get in that car crash you sense them in. It happens.

So my point is here that you do not do anything about the information. You do not tell them. Maybe you choose not to get in a car with them (for example) but telling them is ethically wrong for a variety of reasons.

So the question here is what do you do about this ability… or “Why do I have it?” This is something of a difficult question, and depends on the individual. You may have it simply because you do… you are sensitive and you pick up on more information than people around you. Death is actually fairly easy to pick up on as long as you don’t have blinders on (many people refuse to process any information about death or “darkness” because it is not “light” and they have a deep fear about their own inevitable death). Death is part of our world, and picking up when someone has two weeks left (or so, not an exact science) or the sort of cast or shadow that happens when someone is likely to die suddenly is not super far left-field… meaning that it is fairly easy to see.

Some of us have had experiences with death that make us more prone to see it in the people around us. We are comfortable with death, or we have had some sort of trauma involving death that allows for us (as people who are already likely sensitive) to be more in tune with that energy. Some of us have had near death experiences that have allowed for us to see death in those around us.

Some of us are intended to be spiritual workers and actually do something with this information. Some spiritual workers can see the “death mask” on everyone. Our “death mask” is what we will look like in death, and often contains information about how long we have left, what we will die of/from, and so forth. Other spiritual workers can see the inner light of a person (like a candle) and see how brightly it shines. If it shines more brightly, that means the person has more life left in them. The spiritual workers who can see this are often (not always) good at psychopomp– which is helping people spiritually cross over out of their physical body (move out of their physical body after death) as well as from their spirit form into the proverbial light.

Some of us are intended to be nurses, hospice workers, or others who work with death and the dying process.

Some of us are intended to utilize our relationship with death to create fantastic pieces of art and beauty in this world.

But most of us are not intended to do anything with this information simply because we see it. You are just more sensitive, for whatever reason, and your sensitivities are allowing you to notice death.

What is needed though is to let go of the intense emotions, fear, and physical issues (as well as existential crises) that come with this ability. You do this by reconciling your personal fears around death, any trauma you may have experienced with death, and most importantly you go into a state of noticing rather than reaction to receiving any sort of psychic input. By going to a state of noticing, rather than taking the energy on (which makes you physically and emotionally ill) or processing it (this does not! need to happen), you can become much healthier, more sane, and react neutrally to seeing these sorts of things.

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

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 (with the notable exceptions of Gopi Krishna and Robert Svoboda’s work as well as source material from the Vedas, etc.) 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… although awakening is not like the new-agers speak about through intellectualization, there are realizations and a deep level of peace and even bliss that come through once a lot of the conditioning, wounds, emotions, and traumas have been cleared. Once Kundalini has a clear pathway, we can feel the totality of its flow… and then we can let go of identification with it and simply unfold. If you are interested in working with me, contact me. I offer a class on working with Kundalini, individual sessions that can assess where you are and first steps to take to ease discomfort, and email based programs (three and six month).

Near Death Experiences and Spiritual Awakening

In some ways Near Death Experiences (NDE’s for short) are considered as their own category of spiritual experiences due to the literature, first-hand accounts and even scientific research that has come to the forefront about them. Although NDE’s can certainly be in their own category and are a type of Sudden Awakening (meaning that a spiritual awakening happens rapidly resulting a whole host of physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual upheaval) they are a part of other awakenings. For example, NDE’s occur in shamanic sickness, which is typically one of the first events that occurs during a shamanic calling. In this case the NDE occurs so that the budding Shaman rapidly understands and gains the ability to traverse worlds and communicate with spiritual, natural forces. NDE’s also occur as a result of Kundalini awakenings- in this case due to the amount of processing material, emotions, physical ailments, past sicknesses, and so forth that are coming up to heal or clear at the same time.

NDE’s are likely to occur any time that we get near a point on our spiritual path that we are ready to take the step forward to reconcile our fear of death. Until we awaken to the fact that most of our belief systems, the physical mental spiritual and emotional barriers that we create for ourselves are out of fear of our own physical demise the fact that we are incredibly afraid of death culturally and personally will not be very clear to us. An NDE allows for us to switch identification- from the physical body that is all about “I”… our selfish wants and needs and ME ME ME behavior that pervades most of our culture- to the identification of our soul, which persists after the demise of the physical form.

So what is an NDE (Near Death Experience)?
In most cases it is exactly how it sounds. We physically and momentarily die. We are then brought back by EMT’s, doctors, and so forth by varying machines, or naturally come back to life after momentarily going into a death state. In many other cases of NDE’s physical death does not occur. Instead an illness, accident, or other physical ailment brings us to the brink of death, enough so that we begin to traverse the planes of death, switch identification from “I” to the eternal soul, and experience a profound series of revelations. In some cases we can get a taste of this sort of spiritual awakening (an NDE) through meditative, dream, and other states. In those cases, although profound, the identification has not switched from the physical body and it is not as profound or sudden of an awakening as someone experiencing a true NDE experience.

What happens during a NDE?
We all have likely heard many stories of what occurs during a NDE. Sensations of floating in the hospital room, viewing loved ones, being present and being able to report back about resuscitation attempts and other details while technically dead, viewing a tunnel, white light, white rooms, guides, God, sensations of love, expansiveness, bliss, having a life review, speaking to someone about our lives, and more. Some people have frightening NDE’s in which they view black or they are greeted by scary energies, hell, or guides, or the expansiveness and idea of leaving the physical body behind is too much to handle. What happens during an NDE, although there are common themes, is often deeply individual.

What happens after a NDE?
The integration after having such a sudden awakening and the realizations that come from being dead or close to death, how ever momentarily, completely change the person. At first there is a period of shock in which the person attempts to return to their old life. I jokingly refer to this as a zombie sort of period because the person is simply going through the motions in what was their old life. The shock of the NDE takes a long time to abate- for some people years or even decades. After that period there is often either a desire to talk about the experiences or a complete resistance to talking about it for fear that nobody would understand. The switch of identification from the physical body can be quite a shock and there is often anger or apathy at being shoved back into the body, about being alive, and about being confined to a physical body. Many of the understandings of the NDE remain and the person who experiences one and gets over their shock finds themselves faced with further spiritual awakening, realizations, and the other issues that come with sudden and drastic spiritual awakenings.

Some people who come out from a NDE find themselves wistfully thinking about the experiences and join groups and chat rooms to discuss their experiences. It is difficult to switch back to identification with the physical body so many of the stories and experiences are about the experiences themselves and how wonderful they were. It is a rare NDE’r who is able to integrate seamlessly into their physical body. Most people who experience NDE’s are energetically outside partially or fully their physical bodies. There is a remembering of the joy and light and expansion that the experience gave and it is hard to want to re-identify with physical life, the physical form, and the sensate experience.

Many people who experience NDE’s have feelings of joy and peace from the experience that remain with them. But there is also a great deal of struggle. The three to five year mark is when the greatest amount of suicides occur and severe depression, apathy for physical life, and a desire to go back to the state experienced in death are unfortunately common. At the very least many struggle with relationships, with family, with work and with the other realizations that came from the experience as well as reintegrating in any way with the physical body.

Unfortunately many NDE’rs do not get help. Because others do not have the direct experience people who have not experienced an NDE are in a state of cognitive dissonance, where they cannot or are unable to process the material and realizations NDE’rs have. Many of the groups and societies out there all tell war-type stories of the experiences and can be wonderful resources to have common ground with some people who have had similar experience. But the constant retelling of experiences and the wistful nature as well as focus on the “light” side (meaning the peace and bliss, the aren’t I special, unique, can I sell you my book about my experiences and wouldn’t we all be in the light if we could and not be here on Earth) discounts the intense integration and processing as well as the sudden issues with being on a significant spiritual path where they might have not been before.

Like most spiritual paths, NDE’s have been glossed over. You hear about the light, the love, and the wisdom. You hear about how special people are who have them. Meanwhile the difficulties of the path are not discussed. How to reconcile the sudden awakening of an NDE and still remain a grounded, embodied individual is not discussed. How to even rejoin or come “back to life” after being dead is not discussed. Suicides, depression, and negative experiences during and after NDE’s are not discussed. For those of who have had an NDE and come back to see popular culture and groups about NDE’s and spiritual message boards focus on the profundity and exhalt the NDE while not understanding the difficulties of the experience can be extremely isolating for those experiencing issues after an NDE (especially one that was not filled with love and light). Especially if you are a NDE’r struggling with depression, with reconciling the physical body, and with spiritual awakening and integration symptoms as a result of the experience.

I (Mary Shutan) work with NDE’rs to help them reconcile their experiences, understand them, and move forward with their lives in the physical, sensate world. Even if we have had an NDE we are here for a reason in the physical world, and can learn to integrate our experiences, our wisdom, and our spiritual paths into our daily lives. You can contact me through email if you wish to set up an appointment or can look at my individual healing and consultation services here.