Cool word, huh? Kun-da-li-ni (koon-da-lee-nee). Rolls off the tongue nicely. Sounds exotic. And mysterious. And it definitely is!
First to say that Kundalini should not be viewed as some secret mystical thing that only happens to a few rare and lucky souls. Kundalini is simply the Life Force energy inside everyone. Everyone alive has Kundalini, because everyone alive has conscious Life Force active within them. The only question is, “how active is it?”
Anyone involved in spiritual pursuits has probably heard the word Kundalini, with some vague idea of what it means. Anyone not involved probably has no idea. Anyone who has directly experienced it, especially at high intensity, knows its awesome, magnificent power.
Here are some beautiful definitions and descriptions of Kundalini I quickly found online:
“The Kundalini creates the universe out of Her own being, and it is She Herself who becomes this universe. She becomes all the elements of the universe and enters into all the different forms that we see around us. She becomes the sun, the moon, the stars and fire to illuminate the cosmos which She creates. She becomes the prana, the vital force, to keep all creatures, including humans and birds, alive; it is She who, to quench our thirst, becomes water. To satisfy our hunger, She becomes food. Whatever we see or don’t see, whatever exists, right from the earth to the sky is nothing but Kundalini. It is that supreme energy which moves and animates all creatures, from the elephant to the tiniest ant. She enters each and every creature and thing that She creates, yet never loses Her identity or Her immaculate purity.”
– Swami Muktananda
“Kundalini can be understood as the creative force of the universe, [operating] in all living things.”
KUNDALINI – (Sanskrit kund, “to burn”; kunda, “to coil or to spiral”) so called because it is believed to lie like a serpent, coiled and ‘sleeping’ in the root chakra at the base of the spine. Kundalini is a psycho-spiritual energy, the energy of the consciousness; a concentrated field of intelligent, cosmic, invisible energy, intrinsic and vital to life. Awakening in the base of the spine when a man or woman begins to evolve as wisdom/Presence is earned through spiritual surrender. Kundalini has been described as liquid fire and liquid light. The ultimate outcome of kundalini is the union of Will (shakti-kundalini), Knowledge (prana-kundalini) and Action (para-kundalini). Kundalini, the inner fire, is the most potent of all forces, for it knows no limits and penetrates the fabric of space, matter and time.
– Jana Dixon
“… Kundalini [is] “the evolutionary energy/consciousness force… [Its] awakening effects a transformative process in the psycho-physiological and spiritual realms and results, ultimately, in the realization of the oneness of the individual and universal consciousness.”
– Barbara Harris Whitfield
“Our challenge is to recognize and develop the biological potential within [Kundalini]. This is the true goal of life.”
– Joseph Chilton Pearce
Kundalini is… the arising of an energy and consciousness which has been coiled at the base of the spine since birth, and is the source of the life force (pranic energy, chi, bio-energy) that everybody knows. Yogic science suggests that this energy triggers [guides and completes] the formation of the child in the womb; [afterwards it then] coils 3 ½ times at the base of the spine to hold the energy field in stasis until we die, when it uncoils and returns to its source.
Kundalini may unravel and arise from the base of the spine (or sometimes from the feet) due to spiritual practices, or in response to life events, and when this happens it may move gradually, uncoiling like a snake, or quickly and explosively, into the gut, the heart or the head. This event can be startling and chaotic, frightening or blissful, and it usually triggers months and years of new sensations and changes in the person in whom it awakens. It may feel like the body’s wiring has moved from 110v to 220v, and it takes time to adapt to it. [Kundalini awakening] is a natural human potential.
– Bonnie Greenwell
Kundalini is a term from the yogic tradition for the power of the Divine… Kundalini has been called the face of God. She is the esoteric goal of all yogas… the awakened mind of the thatagatas and the transcendent vision of saints and sages. By knowing Her, all is known and life becomes suffused with ananda – sublime joy. Drown the ordinary ego-mind in Stillness if you truly want to know the Knower.
The Eastern traditions revere Kundalini as a Goddess, the Great Mother who gives birth to all that is. She is the essential energy, more fundamental than nuclear [forces inside the atom], that is the basis of who we are and all that we experience. When our limited mind is infused with Her transcendent power of Consciousness we know directly the truth of our unity with the Divine and all Its creation.
Kundalini is often used to refer to the power of the Divine present in each person. She has two aspects. One maintains the entire existence of our body, mind and spirit. The other aspect, considered dormant, is the power of Consciousness to know the Divine in Its infinitude as Self. This potential power, innate to all of us, can propel our awareness from the paltry limitations of individual existence, with all its wants and needs and deficiencies, to Unity Consciousness – the sublime awareness of our Divine Self, infinite and all-encompassing. Symbolized by a coiled serpent asleep in the center of earthbound consciousness, this aspect of Kundalini awaits the great awakening, the most profoundly important event in the long life of the soul, a life that extends over countless cycles of physical birth and death.
Kundalini opens the doors of perception to vast realms of Consciousness. Tears of joy may stream down your face as love beyond measure courses through your body. Kundalini’s gifts are incomparable. After receiving them no one is ever the same.
She is the power of your own Divinity come to take you home. What will we have is a gift, a tiny spark of Her Divine Will.
– Lawrence Edwards, PhD
I suggest you reread the above quotes several times, taking time to read each quote carefully, and use your intuition and imagination to deeply understand what these people are saying. Deeply feeling, working with, becoming intimate with, and understanding your own Kundalini Life Force is key to all of your spiritual work. The Supremely Intelligent Life Force working within you every moment is constantly, without fail, giving you accurate information and insight about who you are, where you are on your path, and what is needed next to move forward. Attune to it and learn to live by its guidance.
Trust me, this is the best thing you could ever do in your spiritual life.
A book I’ve found to be very good and thorough about Kundalini is Jana Dixon’s “Biology of Kundalini.” Jana’s book is very deep and intense, and requires patience when reading through it.
Gopi Krishna has written several books on Kundalini. Several other Western researchers and experienced writers also have books available, Lawrence Edwards, Bonnie Greenwell, Michael Bradford and others. Search online for access to plenty of information about Kundalini, oriented to both the layperson and professionals.
There are a number of scientists, doctors and academics who are attempting to study and better understand Kundalini. Every effort is helpful. One day we will see Kundalini become the most studied, researched and respected biological attribute that we have within us. I’m certain of it.
I won’t write a lengthy essay here on the many aspects of Kundalini we could address. As I’ve mentioned above, many others have already done so. Tap into their expertise. Get their books. Read their online material.
What I will write about is a brief overview of Kundalini, how it might affect your mind and body, and what I had done that greatly helped to prepare myself for the Kundalini Awakening Process (KAP).
In retrospect, I can clearly see how so many aspects of my life coordinated and guided me toward the eventual full awakening of Kundalini. I am writing about two of them on this website – natural health and freedom/liberty. Each sincere desire for skill and knowledge that I experienced and followed through with was fulfilling in its own right… but behind it there was always the urge for more. I was headed for a destination, but I didn’t exactly know what it was or where it was.
First I will give a description of what I experienced as the KAP ran its course, and some of the ways it affected my body and mind. Knowing that, you will see the wisdom of preparation practices.
KAP is an ongoing, nonstop movement of intelligently-guided life-changing energy within you. It will continue for many months, probably years. It has a lot of work to do. It turns your world completely upside-down and inside-out. It is very much like a caterpillar enclosing itself in its cocoon and going through metamorphosis. This monumental change takes time, significant time. When the work is complete, you emerge from the Kundalini Process a completely new and awakened being.
How I see it is that Kundalini is the Intelligent Power of Life within each of us. It is the Life Force itself. When you die, it is the Kundalini, the Conscious Life Force that leaves your body.
Kundalini is the Intelligent Life Force that guided the construction of you, a multi-trillion-celled extremely complex organism, from the microscopically tiny, one-celled fertilized ovum inside your mother’s womb. All the quadrillions of incredibly intricate processes that came into play to build your body from that fertilized egg were initiated and overseen by your Kundalini power. When maturation inside the womb was complete, and birth was about to occur, your Kundalini power sequestered itself into a mostly dormant inside you, coiling itself into a small space at the base of your spine, beneath your tailbone area. There it continues to reside until the day comes when it will awaken again, in full force, to carry out your Awakening Process.
During you early years of your life, your Kundalini Life Force continues to govern your growth into a mature human being, albeit at a much decreased power level. IOW, on a scale of 0-10, if we can say that during your growth in the womb your Kundalini was strongly active at level 10 of 10, then your Kundalini is turned down in volume to a level of perhaps 2 or 3 in your childhood, and perhaps to a level of 1 or 2 in your adult years.
Kundalini is not dormant, in the usual sense of the word. I do not like to use the word dormant, because during my Kundalini Process it was clearly shown to me that Kundalini is always active in everyone… the only question is to what degree it is active.
In normal everyday life, Kundalini is minimally active, enough to carry out daily life, more or less. If a major joyous event occurs in your life, or if some kind of a severe shock to your system occurs, Kundalini may temporarily increase to a stronger level in order to help your system handle the intensity of the extreme experience. It also provides the extra energy to help you heal and integrate it. Then Kundalini will settle back down to normal ‘idling’ speed.
So you see, Kundalini life force energy increases or decreases in intensity to meet the needs of your life.
If a peak (but temporary) spiritual awakening experience occurs, and you are lifted completely out of your normal reality into a full-blown cosmic consciousness experience, you can be certain that your Kundalini Life Force energy has been cranked up to a high intensity for the duration of that experience. When the experience ceases and fades away, your Kundalini throttles back down to normal.
When the time comes that your soul’s cup is full, that you are fully ripe and ready for major spiritual transformation, your Kundalini Life Force will fully ignite out of its so-called ‘dormant’ state. During the many months of internal transformation you will go through, your Kundalini Life Force will be revving anywhere from 3-10 on that max scale of 10. Much of the time you’ll be in the Yellow Zone, revving at 5-8. Sometimes you get some respite as Kundalini softens its intensity down to 2-4. And of course you will have many major episodes of internal expansion and intense challenge, with Kundalini maxing out in the Red Zone at 9-10.
Every movement of Kundalini energy inside you is governed by the supreme intelligence inherent in Kundalini itself. To say it another way, Kundalini is the Intelligent Life Force that created you, that sustains you, that created your ego-self, and, when the time is right, will again fully ignite to surgically deconstruct, disassemble and dissolve away all the ego-self imprints that you have carried with you throughout your soul’s journey over lifetimes.
During the KAP, as physical, mental, emotional and spiritual blockages are released and dissolved, all sorts of encrusted, crystallized and buried stress goes with it, resulting in a physically, emotionally, mentally and spiritually much more healthy person.
What effects will the KAP have on your body?
It is impossible to predict what you will feel inside as Kundalini does its work. There are thousands of changes occurring inside you. With each change, you may feel, intuit or experience all manner of feelings and insights – wonderful feelings, bizarre feelings, painful feeling. Your body will experience all kinds of changes as well – pleasurable, painful, bizarre. The general pattern is this: a blockage is encountered, its characteristics decoded, and work begins to remove it. Each phase of this process may present a constellation of ‘symptoms’ that are appropriate and necessary for the work being done.
Think of it like this: Suppose you suddenly sprained your ankle. You go through the initial moments of pain, and then take care of the injury as best you can. Your body sets in motion multiple levels of investigation: How bad is the injury? What tissues are hurt? Is it critical? How can I best repair and heal this injury?
Very soon after the initial assessment, your body then begins to remove the injured and dead cells. Blood flow is increased to the area. Lymphatic fluid is sent in to bring more immune system cells to the area, while also helping to quickly remove any waste products that are accumulating there. The local area swells from the extra fluid being provided, and nearby muscles work together to immobilize the injured joint so no further injury occurs. The skin all around the injury is made hypersensitive by your nervous system, so that even just touching the area reminds you not to mess with it. Hundreds of processes and activities are engaged. The healing process has already begun, and your ankle will go through many stages of healing. Your body knows exactly what to do to repair and heal the injury as thoroughly as possible. During these stages of healing, you will feel many different degrees of pain, sensitivity, immobility, tenderness, temperature changes, and so on. This is perfectly normal, and all of it is appropriate to the work being done.
What are some of the ‘symptoms’ Kundalini will elicit?
From time to time you may notice:
• Spontaneous jerky body movements as energy begins moving through newly cleaned out and opened channels.
• Your body temporarily moving into strange body postures and positions that best facilitate energy movement.
• Breathing changes as your body works to remove restrictions.
• Body locking in certain positions as energies are moving strongly through the area and the body needs you to stay still in this position until things are stabilized inside.
• Extremes of sensory perception, as your body recalibrates your sensory organs.
• Spontaneous tingling or vibrations as your body as areas of skin sensitivity are balanced, and energies move through those peripheral channels.
• Orgasmic sensations as the sexual and reproductive areas are overhauled.
• Progression of physical sensations up the legs and back and over the head, as Kundalini moves through the major channels in your body.
• Extreme heat or cold (in isolated areas of the body), again as your body rebalances sensory sensitivity.
• Pain that comes and goes as blockages are removed and the local nerves are temporarily irritated.
Visual stimuli can be greatly amplified. Lights or colors may appear in your mind’s eye, or you may see them outside yourself.
• Hissing, crackling or roaring noises that you ‘hear’ internally.
• All kinds of unusual psychological states, from depression to joy, fear to courage, profound happiness to sadness, feelings of being dissociated from your body or sense of self, and many more. These often occur as old traumas are released from your bodymind.
• Sudden bliss or ecstasy for no apparent reason, which feels wonderful!
• Sudden anxiety or depression for no apparent reason, which doesn’t feel so wonderful…
• Changes in your normal thought stream. You will notice extended periods of time where no thoughts occur at all, and other times when massive amounts of insights are coming in too fast to comprehend.
• Radical changes in your kinesthetic sense. Your normal sense of the limits of your body dissolve away. You may feel ultra tiny and insignificant, or your sense of self may expand hugely.
• So-called ‘astral travel’ as your sense of self-awareness leaves your body and you can watch your body from a distance, as well as noticing your awareness move to different locations. It’s quite a lot like lucid dreaming.
• Many types of extra-sensory perception may come and go, such as telepathy, remote viewing, clairvoyance, clairaudience, clairsentience, etc.
Though any and all of these ‘symptoms’ are common, normal and appropriate for what is happening inside your body, I have no doubt that you will find yourself totally freaked out about some of them as they are occurring. These are very strange sensations and psychic experiences that you have never had before. They can be alarming and very challenging, for sure. And they may happen at the oddest and most ‘inappropriate’ times.
Remember that you don’t have Kundalini; it has you. It has an agenda – your awakening. It knows exactly what it is doing, and it has a very precise plan of action to get there. When its activities stir up fear, you can try to limit it or control it, but you will not succeed. Why would you want to limit or control it? This is literally what you have been craving your entire life; all your entire lifetimes!
The KAP will take time, probably years. As the cycling of blockages being addressed and removed run through you, you will get somewhat used to it. You will see the patterns of activity and processes marching through their stages, just like your sprained ankle runs through its stages of healing. IOW, sprain your ankle enough times and you get to know the process, and so you try to relax into it, trust it and learn to cooperate more smoothly with it.
Chakras – Energy Centers
You probably know about the 7 major chakras in your body and their fundamental purposes. If not, there is plenty of information available online about them. For our purposes here, I will simply say that you will often notice your Kundalini energy working hard on your chakra system. Your chakras are kind of like the elevators between the various levels of your body/mind/subtle bodies. As blockages, traumas and beliefs are identified, disassembled and eliminated, one or more chakras will be strongly involved in the process. Those same chakras were intimately involved in the original blockage, trauma or belief, and the stuck energy still residing in you from them must eventually be freed and finally flow through your system properly, as originally intended. Kundalini will make certain that the avenues of elimination are primed and opened before it allows release of the traumatic blocked energies.
For me, I found that the practice of ‘chakra toning’ was a great help during the Process. Chakra toning is the slow, methodical vocalizing of certain vowel and consonant sounds that are especially focused on particular chakras. I will write more about this practice in a separate post. The main benefit is that consciously toning for the chakra being engaged by Kundalini will greatly help to ease the flow of energy to and through that chakra. This helped me a lot, many times.
As well, whenever you have some quiet time, or meditation time, take time to intuitively ‘see’ your chakra that is being engaged by Kundalini. The more you do this, the better you will get at noticing subtle signs and indicators of what is going on inside, and how you can consciously assist it in its work.
I noticed that oftentimes when specific chakras were being worked on by Kundalini, afterward there would often be wonderful and majestic experiences of the Divine. Throughout your KAP, you will have many direct experiences with the Divine within you. Every one of them is amazing beyond words. It would be easy to spend days writing about those experiences and their profound depths of meaning, love, connection. Instead, I’ll leave that to you to experience for yourself.
So again, the bottom line is this: The KAP will commence within you when you are ripe for it, and not before. How can you know you are ripe for it? You cannot know. But you can know that if your passion for waking up is fierce and unwavering, you are getting close. And as you get close, it is wise to prepare for what is coming. Get your health in tiptop shape, on all levels. Do everything you can to optimize the functioning and resiliency of your body, your mind, your heart. Increase your ability to focus, concentrate and persevere; increase your ability to let go, open up and creatively play. Push yourself to to improve in any area where you feel somewhat ‘stuck in place’.
The best state of being for the monumental arrival of your KAP is to be as strong AND as flexible as possible, in every sphere of life. Have fun!