03 February 2006

Welcome to this Kundalini blog.
This blog is created to provide a place for people who are experiencing the challenge and blessing of a kundalini awakening to communicate with each other or ask general questions related to their experiences. Many people are experiencing this intense awakening of energy and consciousness because of spiritual or energy practices, and others find themselves in this process for no reason they know of, and without any understanding of what is happening to them. This blog accompanies the website www.kundalinguide.com, designed to give you basic information about the experience. I am the author of this website and blog (Bonnie Greenwell) and I will read all of your blog notices and respond here to general questions. I have found that people in this process are greatly helped by knowing others who are also experiencing it, so this is a place for you to talk about your experiences and meet others who will understand. You may also include references to other relevant websites, and books you have found helpful. My intention is to edit this site periodically, removing old messages, and information that is not appropriate.

The function of kundalini awakening is to clear out the stress, blockages and contractions in our subtle energy fields, making us more open vehicles for the movement of pure consciousness. This is a spiritual process, that enables our consciousness to make radical shifts in orientation, and gradually opens the heart and mind to a direct experience of our true nature. Kundalini awakening may occur before spiritual realization, initiating a process that leads toward it. But it also can occur after a direct perception of Truth, or a realization that you are One with the whole of life, and in this case the kundalini process begins the clearing in order that the awakening you have had can become embodied. An experience of awakening is limited if you are never able to live from this new perception of who you are.

There is no advantage in forcing a kundalini awakening through vigorous practices as this can lead to complications if you open up too fast. It is more useful to focus on developing a quiet and deep meditation practice, sincerely longing to know what is true, and who you are. To rest in the question"Who Am I?" and not go to thought for answers, seeing all the roles in your life as if they were garments, and all the conditioning as if it were clutter in open space, and seeking to rest in the non-knowing, is a direct and gentler approach to realization. I encourage you to explore my website for a better understanding of this process.

143 comments:

Kyle M said...

Thank you, Bonnie, for this wonderful website. I won't go into great detail here about my personal experience, but I am wondering: do you think there's a connection between menopause and kundalini rising? It would seem so, with all the changes, sufferings, learnings, ecastasies and agonies and the "coming home to oneself" process that women usually undergo during this time.

Bonnie said...

My experience is that people come into an awakening from every possible age and stage of life, and there is no particular correlation between menopause and kundalini rising. The majority of women and men I have met are between ages 20 and 40 when awakening occurs, although it happens at times in children and in people of all ages. However many of the phenomena of menopause may look like some of the "symptoms" of kundalini, e.g. heat rising, mental confusion, emotional shifts, energy shifts, etc. When kundalini arises there is usually an intense initiating event where one feels a strong energy surge, and there is usually a major shift of consciousness, so that the old identities start to fall away. Of course menopause also challenges certain identities, and the process can certainly be an entry into spiritual introspection and a reorientation of life goals and interests, which can deepen the spiritual life and make one more prone to awakening. Mid-life crisis can do the same. Both kundalini arising and menopause may also trigger chemical shifts in the body, especially with the hormonal and adrenal systems and thyroid, and this may be a reason for some of the similarities in symptom patterns. I would want to evaluate the spiritual practices and orientation, world view,the range of symptoms beyond those that look like menopause, and other circumstances before I would consider a situation to indicate a kundalini arising. Many kundalini phenomena (Like involuntary shaking, disorientation, out-of-body experiences) appear under other circumstances such as extreme stress,anxiety, doing metaphysical or occult practices,fasting,injury, neurological illness, dissociative disorders,reactions to medications, over-stimulation of caffeine, drugs, and for other reasons.It is important to look at the whole picture, so that a serious medical issue is not missed, and the true depth and potential of spiritual awakening is fully understood.

andy said...

Hi Bonnie,
I have been undergoing radical psychological changes, a long purification, over about ten years since an initial "epiphany" experience. I understand this as a spiritual awakening, because of the initial beauty and truth of the experience, and also because there is a slow but sure revealing of subconcious material and identifications. By slow I mean that it seems to take forever to disidentify with old patterns, but by radical, I mean a constant, difficult "push" of my conciousness, a relentless uncovering of material layer by layer over many years. I am writing to ask if as in my case, there are others who have very little actual "kundalini" physical symptoms. Three changes I have noticed since the moment of "awakening." My body has never felt the same; I am aware of all kinds of textures and tensions that I was not aware of before. Second, I have an occassional deeply blissfull "all my cells are bathed in sweet contactful love" experience when sleeping. I awaken feeling so refreshed and soothed. Third, I feel occassionally in sleep, wild, fierce "wind" energy blowing through my body. I awaken feeling "wrung out." I used to associate this "wind" with deep fear, but now it is jus matter of fact. Is this common in your experience, both the lack of difficult or strange symptoms, and/or the mild ones I describe? Thank you for the website.

Anonymous said...

Dear Andy,
It is possible to have an awakening to your true nature with only very few or mild kundalini phenomena. The essence of spiritual awakening is the realization of your true nature -- a glimpse or a deep knowing of yourself as One presence, the essence that shines through all of life. When this happens there is often a long period when old identifications arise to be seen through, a sort of training in presence in a way, learning all the things you are not and being pulled more and more into the moment, into the beingness that we are. Sometimes this is accompanied by the intense energy phenomena of kundalini, and sometimes a deconstruction occurs at a much more subtle level. People come into awakening with as much variation as they come into separate identities. The more we can simply accept everything that arises as it is,relaxing into the expression of life on all its amazing levels, the easier the process becomes. That sweet love that bathes you is the experience of who you are. Enjoy yourself. Bonnie

Bonnie said...

P.S.
I logged in wrong above, it should read "Bonnie said". Also you might benefit from meeting an awakened teacher, who could perhaps give you the clarity that would help the process move a little more quickly for you. Check out the links on my site, and my site AwakeningGuide.com. Bonnie

Tom Zatar Kay said...

Its been many years since the first meeting at your house for krn
You are doing great work and im sure we who understand that within us all is a god who is helping us grow and is helping us catch a bus on the long road to enlightment look foward to the day when Gopi Krishna's dream comes true Im sure with people like you it will hope all is well Tom zatar Kay

Anonymous said...

Hi, Bonnie, I just finished reading Energies of Transformation. I loved it! It was so informative. I am a 36 year old woman...I began meditating for an hour a day last July. I have practiced yoga for eight years and prior to that, I studied karate for five years. However, I was never a big meditator until last summer. In October, I began experiencing intense nightsweats several times a night, as soon as I started to drift into sleep I could feel my temparture begin to rise. I was unable to sleep, I had intense headaches every morning, when meditating I felt something almost trying to pull me out of myself, I had vivid dreams of white light and blissful feelings, I lost my appetite, I couldn't stand the tv, radio or anything I thought was frivolous. All I could read was spiritual material. I thought I was going crazy. Convinced I was, I went to my doctor who assured me that I wasn't going through menopause and prescribed Ambien to help me sleep. I didn't work at all. This intense frightening period lasted about 6 weeks. About 3 weeks after it all ended, I attended a chakra workshop where the teacher explained her awakening. I had never even heard of such a thing...after the workshop I went to the library and check out all the books I could on Kundalini. I have been fascinated ever since. I feel so guided and supported in my life...I am a dedicated meditator and still have intense dreams and visions, but now I know what it is. After the experience in the fall I have started my own business and feel as if something higher is guiding me through this life. Through this process, I feel completely in touch with my Higher Self. After reading your book, my symptoms seem very mellow, even though when I was going through it I felt like I was slipping into insanity. I finally feel now, that I am grounding down and "coming back". I have had the good fortune of living alone through this time which enabled me the time and space I needed to meditate, read my books and write. I still don't watch tv or read newspapers...I feel like this is only the beginning of my awakening.
Thanks for your great work....this is something that needs to be talked about!!

Nathan said...

Hi Bonnie. Thank you for creating this blog and answering questions. I'm currently debating with myself whether or not I should attempt to awaken the Kundalini. About 5 years ago I started to feel sensations at the ajna cakra, before I was knowledable about Eastern spirituality; this sensation arose seemingly on its own. In the past two years I've at times made an effort to keep awareness of the ajna cakra throughout the day, which has become easy. At times I've felt cool and warm sensations at the ajna cakra, relating to ida and pingala I think. Also, I've begun to feel the crown cakra as well. One night about a year ago during the night I heard an internal whoosing sound for a brief period, but nothing further. For a while now I've been following the Advaitic teachings and trying to practice self-inquiry, while leaving the cakras alone. I find myself not practicing self-inquiry much because of drowsiness or laziness. I don't want to waste this life, and so I am now wondering if I should resume concentration on the two cakras that I feel and try to awaken the Kundalini. I feel that I could do significant work with the cakras and Kundalini. I should also mention that I've had severe problems with my digestive system- which I've read Kundalini can cause- in the past two years, requiring a colectomy and proctectomy. However, I'm willing to take risks to move towards enlightenment. Any comments or suggestions would be greatly appreciated. -Nathan

Anonymous said...

Dear Bonnie,

Congratulations on your beautiful web site. Your Divine Aura Shines through!

Thank you Bonnie for being there to help others through.

If you could please amswer a couple of my questions Bonnie, I'd be eternally grateful.

13 years ago. My Kundalini arose. Became a headless GOD - saw Heaven - for just over ten minutes. It was a double-whammy. I was hit also by an external Divine Tsunami Energy Wave.

3 years ago. Was suddenly externally and internally engulfed by the DARKEST Tsunami Energy Wave imaginable. Crossed the DARK ABYSS!!

Have almost BALANCED the LIGHT and DARK energies within my multi-dimensional spirit.

For 2 years I have been experiencing ASCENSION SYMPTOMS. Currently going through a phase of COMPLETE physical EXHAUSTION.

Bonnie, can you tell by looking at my timeline, how close I am to
re-connecting fully and permanently
with Source? Will it be 1 year, or 2, or 1 decade or 2 decade, or more?

Many thanks!

Bonnie said...

Dear Anonymous,
Although there can appear to be stages in spiritual awakening, it functions more like chaos theory than a linear theory.Anything can happen at any time. In addition, no two people seem to experience awakening in the same way. I would need much more detail about your experiences if I was to offer you specific guidance. There is no specific timeline to realization. That source within us which is wanting to remember itself awakens in its own timing. You experienced this energetically 13 years ago, which triggered a transformative process in you. But awakening can be missed when there is a lot of energetic drama going on. It is the knowing of who you are, the space or innocent awareness that simply knows itself as nothing, and everything, and it is as present in this moment as it is in a dramatic energetic rising, a blissful mystical experience,a challenging reliving of a past trauma, or the simple eating of breakfast.It is the moment before thought, before labeling or conceptualizing, always present but usually clouded over. Awareness always is! Spiritual completion is about knowing who you are, this awareness, and letting go of the search, having lost all interest in accumulating anything more. When you are ready to stop, you will.
I am not familiar with what you mean by ascension, but I can say that if you believe realization happens by leaving the body or existing on some higher plane, then your focus on doing this may be causing your exhaustion. It is natural to enjoy high states or empty states or blissful states, but in time all sages return back to earth, and discover that right here and now in this life is the ultimate truth that brings peace. If we try to sustain living in alternate states we can burn up our physical and emotional resources and develop illness. But what or who we are is the same whether we are in or out of the body, so bringing awareness back fully into our body and seeing life here through the eyes of awake presence makes this world more alive and brings about what some have called embodiment. You cannot truly be enlightened if you only feel this in an altered state. Enlightenment is about living as presence, freedom to respond to what is needed, peaceful acceptance of what is, and sometimes service -- being what moves through you without resistance. The more you relax and just be fully present where you are, the more you will realize there doesn't need to be a "future" time of awakening, for you will discover it has always been here and now, and it was only a thought that prevented you from seeing it.

Bonnie said...

A note for Nathan,
Here is a delayed posting for your question Nathan, which I already sent to you, but wanted to include on the blog also.
There are many different spiritual systems said to lead to enlightenment. Some of these emphasize working with subtle body energy, and using a gradual process of working with breathing and energy to open the subtle field and allow the kundalini energy to arise through the chakras. Others, such as self-inquiry or non-dual teachings, emphasize shifting consciousness by causing a person to see directly that they are not the collection of thoughts and conditions they thought they were -- to trigger a direct realization of who they are, essentially and eternally. The key element in either path is having a teacher who thoroughly understands the path and has experienced direct realization.
When a person activates kundalini energy, which can happen through practices, by accident, or following an experience of realization, the process it activates is unpredictable, and varies enormously depending on many factors, such as health,
psychological and emotional history, the paradigm of the person involved, the age and general condition of the person, how rigid or open the mind and body are, and the kind of guidance available to them. To become either terrified or infatuated with kundalini can complicate the process and cause a major detour on the way to realization. No one can tell you what the impact of awakening kundalini would be precisely. But you do not need to work to awaken it beyond having a sincere meditation or sitting practice, because if you wake up to your true nature, your energy will spontaneously awaken as well.
I would suggest you explore the available non-dual teachers and see if you meet one who feels like his or her life and teachings are an inspiration and motivation for you to wake up. The dullness in the self-inquiry practice suggests to me you need more support and training, and that perhaps this is not the best model for you, but other ways of silent sitting, and simply wondering who you are, when you feel in to it and do not rely on thought for an answer, may be more effective. Sitting in silence with someone who is already in that place is the most effective teaching.
I do not generally suggest an intense kundalini yoga practice for anyone, but rather, if someone is drawn in this direction, a complete yoga practice that is balanced and brings a harmony into the energy system. Raja yoga or ashtanga yoga are both systems that incorporate many aspects of support for the physical and subtle bodies without putting undo strain on the student. Again,if you lean in this direction look for a good school, where students seem healthy and related and are able to function in the world. I have also seen healing programs of Chi Gung that accomplish this. I think energy practices are useful if your body is tense and needs to become more open and relaxed. Acupressure and other forms of massage can be helpful here, and learning to meditate or even using biofeedback, to become more at peace within can help. None of this is realization however, only ways that you can learn to become more receptive to deeper movements within yourself, and in life. Realization does not require any
dramatic energy work, only a willingness to fully enter into a deep internal silence, and let go of all your conceptions about who you are so you can go with innocence and openness to explore the question. Beyond realization a deep process of de-construction seems to occur, in which we see through all the ways we have deluded ourselves, and begin to understand how our humanness and our collective spirit (Oneness) are interrelated.
I will soon be posting a reading list on awakeningguide.com that includes many non-dual teachers and books about people who have awakened, such as "The Teachers of One" and "The Awakening West" and "Mystics,Masters, Saints and Sages". Some of their stories may help you discover who or what paths most resonate for you. I always recommend also that people check out the teacher who has had the most impact on me, an American man called Adyashanti, whose website is www.adyashanti.org.
Best wishes to you, Bonnie

Anonymous said...

I feel everyone's undercurrent emotions as my own. I feel their body as my body. Over the years I have learned that it is just an experience passing through the great vastness of being, however uncomfortable or disorienting it may feel for however long it may last. Is this something other's are experiencing? Sometimes it gives me headaches, or great exhaustion, sometimes it is a blissful state of oneness. When in a group i experience everyone as if they were my self, and since there is so much to experience, it can be overwhelming. I have learned to just keep breathing, focus back on that which is experiencing and to energetically assist the body. Any comments? Thanks.

Bonnie said...

Hello,
It seems you are among those people who have have a very thin boundary between self and others, and are extremely sensitive to the subtle energy fields that carry emotions, thoughts, sensations, etc. Some people are born this way, and others encounter this sensitivity during a spiritual awakening, following a near-death experience or other trauma, or after training in some kind of psychic field work. The important thing to know is that you can stay permeable all the way through so that what comes in, goes out, and is simply flowing through you. It is not personal and you do not need to catch it, hold it, think about it or do anything with it. You have discovered this intuitively in the way you are able to focus on what is doing the experiencing. What is it or who is it that notices these sensitive experiences? If you move beyond the idea it is a personal "me" and is not the self, but the Self, you will find a shift in your ability to be present with them. The vastness of being can easily live with all this life flowing through it, but the little personal sense of self becomes overwhelmed by it. So there may be times when you need to avoid groups and certainly toxic people and energies,if the small self is tired or physically or emotionally vulnerable, and other times you just need to shift out of the small identity and into the stillness, spaciousness and openness of Self and just let the energies flow though that until they have passed. Being this open and still presence without any reaction or thought can be called awakeness.It has no problem with whatever is going on. Hope this is helpful. Best wishes

Bonnie said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Anonymous said...

Thank you Bonnie for your compassionate reply. It seems that I fall into all those categories, born with it, spiritual awakening, trauma from spiritual awakening and not knowing what it was at the time, although now I do. I have watched the little me actually catch the stuff to proove that it isn't safe to exist, and seen through that too. It's just a mechanism of mind developed by ancestral conditioning, which I am not, either. Great to be able to get some feedback on this. You are providing and incredible service. Thanks and Love

Anonymous said...

Lately there has been the experience of falling, as if some door has been opened and the vastness is deeper than ever sensed before. Then an under current of belief comes and contraction happens. Then the seeing through, and more falling. My question is: Is this sense of free falling without anywhere to land, a phase?
Also just prior to this, deep meditations in which there was no relationship to anything experienced. Complete nuetrality with a love flowering out of it. Then that would come and go, and the falling started happening. Other than it is seemingly hard to be interested in life's little details, all is well.
Your feedback appreciated. Thanks

Anonymous said...

Can menopause triggered by kundalini rising?

karen said...

Hi, Bonnie
Last year I had some intense Kundalini experiences. I have felt like I have grounded down since then. Recently, I have been having digestive problems, headaches, loss of appetite and nightsweats, ect. Is this still going on? I feel alot more connected and grounded down now than I did a year ago. A year ago I was flooded with visions and all sorts of strange, other-worldly things. I feel so much more like my self now.....but I feel like this isn't over yet. Any advice?
Thank You!!!!! Karen

Anonymous said...

Hi Bonnie

Thanks for your blog - it's nice to have more of a non-dual approach to these issues. I'm getting in touch to see if I am on the right track with how kundalini and energy fit in with the spiritual path.

In my spiritual journey I have always been divided about the whole energy/chakras field. On the one hand I have had a little bit of experience with these energies through a little bit of tai chi and qigong and do believe the energies exist and could potentially be a beneficial part of one's spiritual practice. On the other hand I have always been put off by warnings that these practices can be dangerous and damaging if done 'incorrectly' (although there doesn't seem to be a consensus about what exactly that means among energy work teachers!). Furthermore I have never really bonded with many of the energy work teachers as they can be a bit strange and not really non-dual enough in their approach. A bit too obsessed with 'the energy' and not into emptiness very much. I have therefore not really pursed these practices.

In contrast most non-dual teachers typically ignore any energy work, which I've sometimes thought seemed to be ignoring the issue a bit. The conclusion I have come to now, though, is that perhaps they are right - that's it's best just to do silent sitting meditation and if energy centres open up they will and one just has to 'go with the flow'. Actively engineering the energy from the 'bottom up', as it were, will tend to unnecessarily complicate things.

So is this understanding a good way of looking at the situation you think? Thanks for your time.

All the best

Rob

Bonnie said...

I have not caught up with posting in some time so will respond to some recent comments here.
First, I moved the the date of the Ashland kundalini workshop to Saturday Nov. 11. Contact me if you are interested at kundinfo@mindspring.com

Today I will address your concerns about falling sensations, menopause, visions, and whether or not to do kundalini or other intense practices to awaken the energy.

Falling sensations occur sometimes when we are in a very deep concentrated state of awareness, as if consciousness is moving into a wider spaciousness, not so bounded by our body-mind identities. As contractions of identity fall away there can be an inner sense of falling. In some ways once we have fallen into awakeness we are living in the unknown, and a solid sense of identity can fade away, leaving us to learn a new way of living in the world, where each moment is fresh and must be addressed without the old patterns and conceptual frameworks. We need to learn a new way of moving in the world, without the old familiar belief systems that held us into a separate and illusory identity. To the extent we return to thought to reconstruct ourselves we keep setting ourselves up to repeat the process over and over. Instead, learn to move from the heart or the gut, in response to the moment, and accepting what unfolds moment by moment. You will feel unfamiliar with yourself at times, like a young child learning to stand up and walk. But as you become accustomed to having no ground you will become more sensately connected to the places you are in,using your senses more than thought to orient yourself, and somehow become more intimate with what is, and the sense of falling will pass away. You can also eat more grounded foods, and do the things that help you stay more grounded,and be sure to take good care of your body if these states make you physically disoriented in the world.Bring your attention into your feet, the earth, and nature.

Regarding menopause, I do not see a strong coorelation between menopause and awakening, as people awaken at every stage of life. But awakening can impact the hormone system and intensify whatever is happening there. Kundalini energy seems to amp up every aspect of life, including emotions and imbalances in the body. If you do not know whether your symptoms are related to a spiritual energy phenomena or a menopausal change you may wish to do a consultation with me about it. Information on these services are on the website kundaliniguide.com
To Karen: When your process involves visions and other paranormal experiences this is a stage, suggesting the energy is opening certain chakras or areas in the brain that produce this phenomena. Such events are not realization but simply phenomena that occur in some people during the activation of this energy, just as some people are more prone to being psychic than others, depending probably on certain openings in their energy patterns that may be hereditary, or caused by practices they have learned to do. Physical or digestive problems, headaches and other physiological responses to heightened energy often occur as kundalini arises. You can address these through traditional medical means, or with Chinese or Ayurveda medicine if you wish. Usually the symptoms abate as the energy moves on. I recommend you find a good ayurvedic practitioner who can tell you the best way to eat and suggest herbs that will help to balance your body type, and be sure you are creating a lifestyle that supports the inner work that is going on right now, by avoiding stress, eating regularly even with small amounts, and sleeping well.
Acupressure can be helpful in balancing energy out if there is someone in your area who does it. There are points between the neck and shoulders that can be pressed, and a point on top of the head, that can help energy move down when it is causing a headache or feels overwhelming. Bringing attention into the heart area can also help to move energy causing headaches out of the head and into the center. Bathing in epson salts and avoiding stimulants like coffee or alcohol can also help. In many ways this energy change calls us to assess our life patterns and physical needs and discover what works best for us. I have also observed that interaction with an awakened teacher, such as Adyashanti, can also cause a physiological calming over time.

Lastly, I want you to know Rob, that there are no set rules regarding spiritual practices and awakening. The emphasis by some teachers on energy and yoga can set up a new spiritual identity -- one who is striving hard to accomplish something spiritually -- and this in turn can inhibit the innocence and openness that helps one to awaken to their true nature. If done too intensely practices can also cause a difficult explosion or opening of energy that makes the process more chaotic. On the other hand, yoga or qigong or body work can help make a stiff and contracted body more open and receptive, improve health, and will eventually bring up the hidden memories held in the cells to be released (which is a good thing to do.) Energy practices can make us more open to the idea of being made of space and vibration, and loosen the attachment to thought as the only navigator in life. Whether the system you use leads to realization may depend on your fate or the degree of awakeness of your teacher. You can only access the value of their approach by looking at the integrity, peacefulness and authenticity of a teacher and his or her primary students.
I believe a consistent meditation practice, or self-inquiry is very good grounding for awakening, lessening the egoic attachments to other distractions, and helping us reach a more calm state of mind, as well as giving us the skills to look at our foibles and personality structures with detachment and ultimately, even humor. Self-inquiry, if done correctly, can certainly lead to self-realization. It appears that people who have spent a lot of time in these practices who later have an awakening are better prepared to live from an awakened state, and less likely to fall back into old identifications later, but this is not an absolute.
My suggestion is that if you feel drawn to energy practices and enjoy them, and can do them without becoming stressed and competitive, but only to become more open and alive, then do so. If your intention is self-realization then find a good place to meditate and if you can get to an awakened teacher, spend time with him or her, because there is a subtle transmission of the ground from which they live (not the same as shakti -- which is a by-product of a heightened energy -- and may or may not indicate an awakened life.)Keep exploring until you find the teacher you resonate with and trust, and follow your instincts about those who don't feel to you as if they are where you want to be. You do not need to do energy exercises to awaken, because in the non-dual traditions it is clear that the shift in consciusness that comes with realization of truth will spontaneously bring about any energetic changes that are needed, and it may be dramatic or very mild, as it differs in everyone depending on history, personality style, the circumstances of awakening, and many other factors difficult to identify. The most important thing in becoming liberated is the deep longing you hold, and the intention you set, and the willingness to be very open to whatever this means, because it may not look like you expect it to at all.
Many blessings to all of you. Bonnie

Bonnie said...

Addendum to question on menopause:
I do not know if kundalini can trigger menopause,and have never had anyone report this to me, but I do know there are advanced yogic practices that stop the menses, and are used with women who wish to move kundalini energy upward with few distractions from the downward flow of energy (which is natural with all elimination and sexual activity.)Yogis say there are 5 pranas in the body that manage upward and downward and circular flows and are responsible for all movements such as coughing, sneezing, blinking, digestion, elimination, sexual release, the circulation of the heart, etc,) So possibly if there is a very very intense kundalini rising which disrupts the downward flow of prana it could interfer with the natural flows of the energy body that support the menses, and disrupt the hormonal system in some way, causing a temporary or premature menopause. But any such change should also be evaluated by a doctor to rule out blockages or other problems that may have triggered the change.

Anonymous said...

Hi Bonnie - thanks for your reply - your thoughts make a lot of sense!
Rob

Anonymous said...

Thanks for this site, Bonnie. Ever since I had a powerful, 6-week awakening experience shortly after meeting and attending satsang with Adya--about 1.5 years ago--, I've experienced a growing series of intense rushes of energy, involuntary bodily movements, rapid breathing, spontaneous noises, and powerful waves of emotion. In particular, I feel an incredible concentration of energy at the base of my spine.

If I choose, I can mostly avoid having these experiences by simply not directing my thoughts toward any kind of inquiry. But that's kind of like asking a duck not to quack at this point. So when I do ask questions like "Who am I?" or simply relax into being the much bigger "I" that I perceived myself to be during the six-week period, then all of these experiences occur almost instantly.

When I read about chakras and kundalini, so much of what I saw was steeped in religion or mysticism. It was such a refreshing relief to hear from someone who knows my path, who has traveled it before me, and who can put these experiences into context for me.

I don't know if I can stop these experiences as I inquire deeper and deeper into Who I AM. But your guidance has helped to see that the only answer is for me to continue as I have begun, always looking toward who it is that is experiencing these energies and sensations, and not so much at the experiences themselves.

Thank you so much.

Anonymous said...

(continued form directly above)

I wanted to add that my kids think it's all a little weird because at home I kind of let loose some of the controls I have on my external behaviors when I'm in public. They've mostly gotten used to my sudden twitches or rapid exhalations. It's kind of like a non-dual Tourette's syndrome--except I know I'm healthy.

Mark

Lell said...

Dear Bonnie,
Thanks for your response on menopause.

My next question is about issues of secrecy and privacy regarding kundalini awakening. How much to tell people and what are the pros and cons of talking about it?

As background, I am into my 4th month of daily kundalini experiences following a significant serpent awakening. I have shared it completely with my non-dual, supportive, loving teacher and less so with my non-practicing partner and select sangha members. Symptoms of spinal and crown pain and emotional distress are increasing. I have regular blissful and unitive experiences with great expansiveness and sensate awareness of both animate and inanimate phenomena. Awareness of my small, ordinary mind is growing which I work with. I welcome Shakti every day as she manifests spontaneously (waking me in my sleep, arising during intense meditation and contemplation) and this week opened and invited her of my own volition to which she responded and there was no pain, just open awareness and nectar of essence! So it changes from day to day - never the same from one day to the next. How can my supports understand? What and how much is prudent to share?

Lell

Bonnie said...

Hi Lell,
It sounds to me as if you are handling this process very well and have some appropriate supports with your teacher and the sangha. It helps a lot to have someone who understands what is happening and how it is related to spirituality so that if you need help the appropriate person is available. But it is not necessary to try to get people to understand what is going on unless they are showing concern about you, or you have some questions for them. Sometimes talking at length about the experience diminishes it, especially if others are critical or unbelieving or have opinions that are fear-based. Instead, people are likely to notice changes in you, perhaps more at peace or more moody, less interested in things that you used to like, feeling uncomfortable in crowds, shifts in eating habits or sexual desire. You can tell people you seem to be going through some inner changes related to your spiritual practice and you are just following what feels right for you at the moment. You can speak of energy or vibrations in your body and if you are positive about it they are not likely to be alarmed or reactive.
You may wish to have a consultation with an ayurvedic practitioner about the discomfort in your head because he or she may know herbs or dietary changes that can help. Sometimes acupressure or jin shin do ( a form of acupressure) can help balance energy and make it more comfortable. (Also, avoiding stimulants, alcohol, and stress helps ) When you call to make appointments tell them you are in a spiritual process that has activated kundalini energy, and ask if they are comfortable with that and can work with you. You will probably find others in your community that have had similar experiences and find it is easier to talk about it with someone who also knows the experience, although the process varies enormously and can range from mild and ecstatic to intense and terrifying, so don't put yourself in a position to get anxious by someone else's story. This is a good time to learn to follow your heart or your gut intuition about when and how to share your experience, remembering to speak from your own truth as simply as you can instead of using words that are confusing to others. So instead of talking about kundalini, karma and enlightenment, just speak of energy changes you notice, or some of the feelings you have had such as flashes of emotion, or deep happiness. Assure your family that the shifts in you are normal for someone who is a spiritual process and you believe they will settle down after awhile. If your husband is concerned you might have him read my website or my book "Energies of Transformation" as it offers some objective perspective. But generally I have found if you do not get anxious and upset, neither will your partner. If you don't become fascinated by the shakti, but focus more on being fully present wherever you are, on who it is that is present, whether shakti is active or not, your relationships will be fine whether you talk about kundalini or not, and you will find a happiness that is ever present if you just notice it, no matter what else is going on.
Enjoy yourself....

Lori said...

Hi Bonnie, I have been reading peoples blogs and they have been very informative. Your advice and information to people has been wonderful. I have just had a very intense awakening of K after doing a number of energy attunements. My K was activated after the last attunement to Kundalini Master level reiki. It was not suppose to do this! My chakra system in my body as well as earth star, stellar gateway chakra's and the other etheric chakras had all been cleared by previous energy attunements. When my k was prematurely activated it plowed thru my system within days and was locking down my jaw and eyes and then pulling my consciousness out and up the spine and into ascension. My energy system contained not blockages so the energy just swept thru me and was pulling me into ascension. Parts of my consciousness ascended and were united with cosmic energy and then descended back to my body. Since then spirit has closed my crown chakra i can only imagine it was for my own emotional and mental protection for the parts of consiousness that did not ascend, as i was not prepared for something of this magnitude. The K energy continues at great magnitude and disturbs sleep and has caused fear at night that i am trying to transcend and not allow. The earths energies during the full moon have amplified the affects of any neg thought,and emotions which was amplified unbearably back to me by the laws of creation and attraction. My chakra systems in my body are now absolutely enormous. The energy centers are huge and very sensitive to any negativity, neg emotion or thought. I have had to clamp down on mind control fiercely. I am having great difficulty stepping back and watching from a state of presence and not letting ego and self become who i am. This has been so intense in so many different energetic ways and i have not had any blissful sensations to draw from. And by energetic ways i mean not only the k energy itself but also the energies of the laws of attraction, creation and intent (the energies of our thoughts and emotions). Any Advice you could give me to stay focused and find my higher self to transcend this would be appreciated. From the blogs i have read i only read one other person who was experienced the ascension part and i have found out that is is very real. Lori

Bonnie said...

Hi Lori,
I cannot offer you much advice without knowing more about you. You are using many terms that are from a particular system you may be part of but I do not know what they mean experientially (e.g. earth star and stellar gateway and etheric chakras). If you mean by ascension an experience of feeling one with the universe, or being free of separative consciousness and merged with the whole, then I would say that is a samadhi experience or a satori experience. I am not familiar with some of the areas you believe were cleared,although I understand the traditional locations of chakras in the Indian system, and the subtle body system, but what I can say is that when kundalini arises it does so in many ways, and there are no practices that will guarantee it will happen or not happen in a certain way. It depends so much on your history, your lifestyle habits, your diet, your emotional health, your practices, attitude and understanding, and other variables. If you would like a complete assessment with guidance from me please go to the website kundaliniguide.com and send me an email requesting the questionnaire I use with people.

From what you have told me here you are in the midst of a very strong energetic experience, but the answer is not transcendence. You will not be staying in a cosmic conscious state -- no one does. This experience is a taste of what you are but the next step is to discover that it is this presence and light living your life, in every moment, and always has been. So the later stages of awakening are much more about going deeply inward, and seeing through all the personal conditions that have kept you from recognizing yourself as pure consciousness. The fully awakened state is more of emptiness and stillness and peace, than the intense rush into outer space. Once kundalini has arisen there is often a period when everything feels more intense, including fear, because there is an intuitive sense you are losing your old identity, and attachments are falling away, and the old ego structure is threatened. There is also an enhanced sensitivity and often the intensified energy you are describing. You will need to find ways to make your life more quiet, free of stressors, free of intense energy practices of any kind, and to get grounded with a good diet, and becoming more earth-oriented.(Like walking on beaches, painting with fingerpaints, planting or gardening, finding whatever is calming for you). This awakening is not an escape from ordinary life, but rather an opportunity to live it in a new way. If you will tell me more about your history, your practices (in simple language, what you are doing -- I understand reiki, but what else have you been involved in?) -- your support system, your lifestyle, I can offer you more specific advice. I also suggest you do not do reiki until things have calmed down because you will over-stimulate yourself and others.

You cannot use will to overcome things that happen in this process. Instead you have to find the spot in you that can accept everything just as it is and let it expand and hold all of it.If fear is intense see it as an energy only, an energetic response to thoughts (which are only other energies and are not real)and try to stay present in it until it dissipates or burns off. If I know exactly where the energy is most active and what you are most afraid of, and something of your history I may be able to be more specific with practices that can help. In the meantime try to relax and trust the process, and be willing to live in the unknown without a specific idea of how it is supposed to unfold.
Blessings to you.

Anonymous said...

Hi Bonny,
Thanks for your great responses (re falling and permeability) It is a mystery right now for all is seen as such a dream and not real, yet there is still an aversion to interacting in this dream from the small self, for fear of creating more dream, and for paradoxically for fear of enjoying/not enjoying what this dream is. For long whiles,times great peace, and only aliveness, then much more energy interaction that seems to distract from the groundlessness of pure being. Adya said last week in a satsang that there's not much we can do about any of this. I'm wondering what you have to say about it? I am deeply thankful for your wisdom. Love,

Anonymous said...

Just an after noticing and clarification. What Adya was saying was there is not much to do about how at times we re-create the imaginary small self in order to interact when we don't know how getting our "buddha" legs. It happens until it doesn't.

Anonymous said...

Hi Bonnie,

As I approach my 50th birthday in 2/07, and look back to when I was 21 year old new graduate nurse who was awakened one night with severe chest pain, was rushed to the hospital, was informed I had an anxiety attack, and sent home on Valium. I chose not to take the Valium, but life was never the same after that night. I went through a two month period of change that included mental, emotional, physical, and spiritual anguish. Gradually this subsided, but the a continuous low level anxiety remained, and I continued to feel a part of myself or soul was missing from that night on.
I entered my Dark Night of the Soul in 2001 when my beloved husband died suddently of a heart attack at age 49, and this was followed two years later by my uterine cancer diagnosis, abrupt surgical menopause, and a return of my anxiety which was so profound had I not sought help from a terrific counselor, I would not be here today writing this post. For me, I do believe I had a spontaneous kundalini rise at an early age, but in retrospect despite the years of anxiety and other disturbances came the understanding of kundalini which I can't even pin point when I was exposed to this knowledge, but this understanding was a great Grace which helped me on all levels survive and make peace with the most difficult times of my life which was facing the possibility of my own death and accepting the death of the person I loved more than myself. As I approach my 50th birthday with literally a new body, a stronger mind, and a peaceful spirit, I see that the years of pain were necessary to get me to the place where I fully knew my God never abandoned me and the peace I longed for was always waiting for me to claim at the chosen time.

Bonnie said...

Dear friends,
Although it may seem at times that spiritual awakenings are about taking you out of this world, and putting you in altered states on other dimensions of existence, if this should happen it is only a temporary state, and not the whole truth of existence. We can become as lost and attached to the formless as we were once lost and attached to the form. Freedom is being both, without demands of either. This is not a mystical statement, but a statement of ordinary humanness.
Beyond the bliss of detachment is the pleasure of engagement without attachment, and a return into the world. Awakening is really an insight into the physics of humanness, a discovery of the unmanifested, or the substratum of our beingness, which is felt as an endless and boundless extension or expansion when we are not located inside our bodies for a few moments, (or days, as the case may be). There are no words to describe these kinds of experiences, because they are beyond the contracted and limited perceptions of thought. But ultimately self-realization includes a return of that consciousness into the frame of the physical body and the experience of ordinary life, made free by the fact you no longer believe in yourself as a separate identity. Your life may or may not include radical changes, but the part of you that oversaw all that was happening, giving it labels and requirements, thinking it was doing something good or evading something bad, is gone. There is just presence experiencing, hearing, seeing, meeting whatever arises. There is still a sense of a self, you know who you are and have many of the same tendencies you always had. You are no longer attached to acting them out or repressing them.
Many people have an awakening and then feel they are "losing" it when their old personality structures return,(and usually they will).
It is paradoxical but the fact is the one who becomes anxious about getting reattached to the old ways is the structure that needs to be released. The part of you that notices you have become reattached is the awakeness, who now remembers how irrelevant those old patterns are and can question whether they are a reflection of truth in the moment. But if it then becomes a condition of fear and resistance, or feeling of failure, the ego is taking a stand that becomes only one more layer to release. Of course, these things happen until they do not, as Adya says. But if you can stop at the "noticing" of the little self, without the judgement, whenever it happens, and open your heart with compassion for the ways that our personalities were conditioned, it can help you to relax back into the truth, which is that you are really the spacious consciousness and not the little conditioned self. When we truly accept the conditioned self, while knowing there is no need to respond from conditioning or hold habits, we become able to see our feelings and reactions with detachment, even humor, or compassion, without having to react in the same old ways. the little self loses its power to manipulate us. It becomes possible to meet a moment exactly as it is rather than burdened with old beliefs.So what might have been a compulsive sexual act, a rage or a depression,becomes a human response acknowledged by that within us which is much more expansive than our little selves and can tolerate it without getting caught up in it and acting on it. Feelings still arise after awakening, but in time if we are committed to the integrity of what we know to be true they cannot drag us into the same kind of pain we may have felt before awakening. It is as if something greater (the vast unlimited and eternal presence we are) holds us through the temptations and fog of the little self.
It is helpful to remember that that which is living our lives, and always has been animating our bodies and activities in the world, is this same vast consciousness we touch when we let go of ourselves long enough to have an awakening. It does not care whether we are awake or not, although when the urge to become free is generated, it supports us through the process by stimulating the necessary physiological and psychic changes. Once this work has progressed to the point we know clearly "I am this" or "This am I" and the spiritual searching collapses, the awakeness settles back into our bodies and has no more arguments with life. As we move through life, somewhat disarmed by the feeling nothing matters (in the positive sense, that I am okay with whatever happens -- it's just life), it takes time to discover a new way to function without the old drives and identities. It's valuable to stay true to our new perceptions and authentic to our deepest truth as this progresses. As we learn to accept our small selves without resistance it helps us greatly to accept others, just as they are. What I have realized is I cannot lose what is true, but if I start engaging the thought that something ought to be different than it is, I lose my sense of freedom. This does not mean I cannot act where I see an obvious need. It is not a passive acceptance, but rather a non-judgemental response. It helps to ask what love would do in any one moment and following the inclinations of the heart. This is not personal-- it is a love of the whole, of what is felt to be best for the whole. I can't say I always follow this, but to be truly at peace it seems the best way to me.

Anonymous said...

Thank you Bonnie for your response that offers great wisdom and insight. I check back to read it again, and am thankful. There seems to be a progression of practicing being with what is, noticing mostly when a snag happens, getting more and more comfortable with greater amounts of sensation, without moving away or wanting to change it. I appreciate your sharing.

Weston Noyes said...

I am so happy to have discovered your webpage Bonnie... I've been in a rather intense Kundalini process going on six years now, following a significant satori experience at a thai monastary... Some of the descriptions you describe as universal, felt uncannily personal to me... (I thought I must be the only one experiencing spontaneous mudras, asanas, jerking, heat, vocalizations, etc...) Needless to say, this part of my life is not exactly an easy topic of conversation with most people, so it was quite delightful and refreshing to read your web page and hear your normalizing perspective...

I am a five year student of Adyashanti now and his teachings have helped me reconcile my experiences to the point that I no longer find the process frightening, fascinating, or even that bothersome... It also seems to finally be slowing down; my body and mind are light and clear now, and I no longer struggle... I am happy to know that your page exists, and that it might offer some relief and support to people in a kundalini process who won't have to be as confused by it for as long as I was.

I applaud and thank you for your good work!

jrains50 said...

Hello. I ran into this cite while exploring what the community at large had to say about Kundalini. I was told that I had experienced a Kundalini awakening shortly after turning nineteen, but I abruptly stopped bacause I was experiencing psychotic symptoms. All I can say for the experience is that it was as if wisdom had vaporized into my muscles and guided them into movements that opened and licked with a warm tongue the base if my spine. I gave myself to it hours a day, but I soon lost it. I have since been told drawn to it, like a forbidden lover, for the past three years...My spiritual teachers and spiritually astute psychiatrists advise me to "stay away from it." About seven months ago I tried to start a yoga practice again, but was soon discouraged after describing some of my experiences. I started again about three days ago and about an hour ago in Mountain pose between the 6th and 10th breaths the Wisdom guided my upper back into movements I'm sure would have had me stoking a fire in my crotch within the next 10 breaths. So I stopped.

My dilema is that there is nothing that attracts me so strongly as the lure of surrendering unshrouding the light in my body ON THE ONE HAND, while on the other, I went crazy last time, I see that it "seperates" me from reality even now, and my most trusted advisors, some of whom have awakened kundalini, strongly discourage me from messing around with it. Any advice?

John said...

Thank you Bonnie for your book and this website. Perhaps you can clarify something. I have spent time with Adyshanti at satsangs and retreats. I am also someone whose kundalini awoke 20+ years ago. It seems that Adya's approacch to this energy is that it is not where one should put one's attention, because it is impermanent. The only truth is to be found in our moment to moment awareness. I love Adya, and his teachings and presence have been a gift to me. But, I have found that when my kundalini is really active, I don't have a choice but to pay attention and listen as best I can for what it is asking of me.
Is a teacher like Adya really a good chice as a guide for someone on the Kundalini Express? Wouldn't a tantric yoga master be a better choice as a guide? I have found that it is not an easy task to find someone who is trully knowledgable about this. Often they live far away and have many followers that makes it hard to have one on one guidance. Perhaps with your experience of both Baba Hari Das and Adyashanti you can clarify this confusing issue for me.
Thanks, John

Anonymous said...

Hi Bonnie, I wrote the question about Adya and Baba Hari Das and the best kind of teacher.
I just read your article "Where to stand in the kundalini process". It was very helpful in clarifying my question. I can see how I have had glimpses of awakeness but I keep returning to the incredible sense that the kundalini gives me. You have very clearly described the role of kundalini in this process. I have to keep reminding mtself it is not IT. It only helps clear away the fog... Thanks, John

Bonnie said...

With some people who live with an intense ongoing experience of kundalini energy, it is natural to pay attention to it, and impossible to ignore it. That is why I have tried to present general guidelines that help the process become more managable. On the other hand, the drama of the phenomena can keep a person from moving into a genuine spiritual realization for years by distracting them and claiming all of their psychic and emotional energy, making them feel either victimized or special. I have met a few kundalini masters over the years, and learned a lot about the process itself from them. Those who are complete in the process can sometimes offer practices that move the energy out of one pattern and into another, ultimately bringing one into a state of realization. But it is very rare for a kundalini master to take on a student who has already awakened kundalini or who is not willing to stay in an ongoing student relationship with him or her, which can require commitments far beyond what is really needed in this process.(Such as living with them in India for years, in a self-sacrificing lifestyle; it is a very demanding tradition.) In the yogic model, one is expected to spend many years in practices and obedient disciplined service, as preparation for realization. If you are inclined to a yogic ashram life, and you have a qualified teacher there, this may be a viable life plan, but it is not necessary for self-realization.
And generally there are many extraneous spiritual belief systems that are absorbed in the process, which in themselves can keep the mind from awakening, if you should become attached to them.

What I have seen with those among Adya's students who have awakened is that some have come out of a long-term disciplined or devotional yogic or Buddhist lifestyle in which they sincerely practiced for years, but never felt completed. Others have had spontaneous awakenings by listening and sitting with Adya despite having no background of practice at all. Many have glimpses of realization but never carry it forward into embodiment, which usually takes many additional years of surrendering the impulse to reactivate the personal self and its old habits. In the direct path such as Adya offers students, all practices and belief systems are cut through in the Zen style,(without the Zen trappings) enabling those who are prepared (which might be called grace) to either gradually or suddenly see into their true nature, the fact of being the presence or essence of life that animates all of us universally, and is what we are. The personal life and all its situations is seen through the way we see through the insubstantiality of a dream when we awaken in the morning. There is no value in hearing about this from someone else because the mind cannot do much with it. But to fall into oneself, kinesthetically, as if all of consciousness realizes what it is, gives one a taste of Truth and can lead to a permanent state of inner peace, when all searching and all attachments fall away. In this realization comes a surrender of the sense of a personal "me", and a detachment from the activities of body and mind (although they continue to make appearances). What kundalini energy is doing in your body (or the subtle field within you) is attempting to clear out old attachments, suffering, beliefs, emotions, positions, etc, etc., so that this pure awake presence can be felt fully. It is a deconstruction of the subtle field, and a rewiring of the brain. Various areas of the body become gradually more open and awake, and sometimes blissful. Sometimes brain centers are opened that were not active before."You" do not need to do anything to make these things happen once you have had an awakening as it will all progress spontaneously until the work is done, which can take many years, and generate many kinds of energy sensations. On a direct path realization is the first goal, and kundalini is seen as secondary, simply the consequence of awakening, happening in order to support a deeper embodiment of realization. The emphasis is on giving up the "doer", letting go of the ego's drive to become better or more or perfect or finished (all of which are attributes of the mind which thinks it knows how you should turn out.) Only by resting fully in not-knowing, in the space before thought, or the stillness before an emotion, the potential before movement, are we really in touch with the essence of what we are, so these mental impulses to be better are in the way. They are natural human impulses, not to be judged, but they keep the ego-structure in place, even though it may seem they have positive intentions. This is a letting go process.

Because many kundalini teachers stress doing and practices and trying to "fix" you or make you a better practitioner they sometimes create good yogis, but inhibit the possibility of realization. On the other hand, some yogic postures can release tension in an over-stimulated body or move energy out of a stuck place, so I am not saying it is wrong to ever explore practices that you are drawn to. Adya would be unlikely to tell you not to do something you felt a deep internal pull to do (I've never heard him advise people about what to do this way). But his emphasis is always on Truth,on the direct and powerful remembering of what you are, and what all of us are. He calls himself a one-trick pony, and this is his gift to the spiritual seeker -- the ending of the search. That is why he does not emphasize kundalini and discourages getting too entranced by the phenomena it brings.
I believe that people who have awakened kundalini can benefit greatly from sitting with someone who knows the end of the journey, and can spark the recognition of Truth in those who are open and ready to hear it. In the yogic traditions I have worked with over the years no one else ever did this for me, until Adya. Many teachers of yoga and even breathwork have stimulated me,encouraged me, led me into deep transcendent experiences, even samadhi states, and blissful states, but ultimately I wanted to know what is True. What is the end of this journey? what does it mean to feel finished? If you are ready for this, then Adya may touch you at the core. Then if kundalini keeps active, you just let it be what is and trust it will do its work and finish when it is ready, and you cooperate by bring harmony and balance into your diet and body, your relationships and your emotional life as best as you are able.

If you are someone who has felt that kundalini practices took you to the edge of insanity, I would not recommend doing those practices. Instead, become educated to what realized people have to say about our true nature, reading non-dual teachers like Adya, Gangaji,Eckart Tolle, Ramana Maharashi or Nisardagatta, and ask yourself if some of the "insanity" might have been close to glimpses of Truth. (there is a booklist on my website: www.awakeningguide.com)Turn into your own heart to discover what is True, and trust your deeper insights, without over-dramatizing them. Make your life as healthy as possible, simple and stable. Find people who share your world view and teachers who live harmonious and healthy lifestyles.
I have observed that those people who look unbalanced for any length of time related to spiritual practices is that the ego has grabbed hold of the experience, creating more separateness in it's inflation, and also,very often, drugs have been involved. Awakening while on pot, LSD, or other drugs makes the mind much more unstable, and when the "high" wears off it can feel shattering to the mind, causing distortion in recognizing the difference between consensus reality and other-dimensional kinds of perceptions. You might fall into vastness, but it does not seem to settle into the heart and the life in a useful way. But usually these issues are temporary and will fade away in time. I have known many people who had awakenings while on drugs back in the '60's and '70's who recovered from a difficult spiritual emergence (some who were even briefly hospitalized) and who later followed a more gradual or direct path to a more grounded and embodied experience of realization.

It is a simple fact that realization is the recognition of what we really are, and so accessible to all. It is the level of our entanglement and addiction to our false identities and diverse distractions that causes the wide range of difficulties in remembering this.
Be grateful if kundalini energy is functioning within to help you embody realization, and trust it is a natural process for the support of realization.
Love and Blessings.....

John said...

Bonnie, Thank you for your very helpful replty my question about teachers etc. Your book and now this website and your response is the most helpful information I have encountered in my years of trying to make sense of my kundalini experiences. I have had the good fortune to spend time with both Gangaji and Adyashanti. But, I kept finding my attention shifting back to the kundalini. I felt that if I had been blessed with this openning, I must have to do something with it to allow it to take me to some sense of completion. Even though I had numerous glimpses of the Vast Stillness in both of those great teachers presence, I kept going back to the wrong train platform to borrow your metaphor. I never gave thought to the issue of whether it was the correct place to be standing. I would tell myself that mine was the path of Kundalini, and therefore I must find a kundalini based teacher, even though I was already drawn to Adya and Gangaji. Such is the entracing power of kundalini! I see now that it is there to support the process, not the whole picture. I had already been noticing that very few people on the yogic and energy path reach a state of peace and completion. Thank you for stating this so clearly. You have helped me let go of my fixation on the kundalini. I have been listening to Adya and Gangaji recordings again, and I am looking for ways to spend time with them. I feel a big letting go happening and I feel I am finally on solid ground, standing in the correct place. Thank you again for illuminatingg this very difficult to understand issue. Blessings, John

Lell said...

Dear Bonnie,
Your last lengthy blog entry touched me with gratitude to my core. Although my dependence on validation is lessening your blog in its entirety is so reassuring. I am just starting to trust my kundalini experiences as teacher exposing my desires and yearnings. My body as teacher. It is difficult not to be drawn to this ever-present teacher and I do feel I am being rewired. I am fortunate to have a non-dual teacher guiding me toward relaxation and openness to who I really am.

Who were you referring to when you wrote..."people who look unbalanced for any length of time....that the ego has grabbed hold of the experience, creating more separateness". Unbalanced in what way - on-going k.?? When, in the midst of this intense kundalini, would I be deemed 'unbalanced' and in the hold of the ego? I wonder about the allure. It all seems like a dance of familiarity with the ways of the ego, full of discovery. Could you comment on the transmutation of the passion of egoic hopes and fears into the passion and joy of the moment? Now that's something to come back to again and again! Like the transmuted power feeds every cell or so it feels.

Bonnie said...

Dear Lell,
Your questions are challenging for me because there are so many variables in the answers. I am not referring to anyone in particular when I say that some people lose their balance or that spirituality can be taken over by the ego. If and how this happens can be reflected in many ways and depends greatly on the condition the person is in when they enter the process, their sincerity, the support they have had and how stable they were before it all began. Many people feel unbalanced for awhile, disoriented, especially if they have fallen into awareness of being "nothing" or being "spaciousness" and of losing their identifications with their old ways of thinking and acting. Kundalini can arise as just as massive energy shift, or it can bring a personality shift in which everything we thought we were seems irrelevant, and falls away. In some cases we enter so deeply into the sense of source we have the intuition that this energy/awareness is universal, impersonal, and even "god" in its primal state as an energy source of creation. (These words are very inadequate in describing the feeling and sense of this, which is basically an indescribable condition). When the psyche moves back from the vast sense of oneness or wholeness or emptiness, if the ego structure reforms around the thought"I am god" and therefore I am better than others or know more than others, then this is inflation. Because it is not a personal thing that belongs to the separate self, but is the condition before any separate self arises, and it becomes clear in time that everyone and everything is this same thing, whether it knows it or not. This insight is humbling, not inflating, and the sense is of gratitude for seeing it rather than superiority. (Only the ego, which is not even real but only a movement of identification with a thought, can feel superior. The real Self when it moves through our bodies feels innocent, awake, wondrous, grateful, loving, compassionate -- if any adjectives can be given to it at all.)
It is not my experience that egoic hopes and dreams transmute. Rather they evaporate, and the drives fall away. This is unnerving for many people, even terrifying, as they realize they may never do those things they always thought they wanted to do. True spiritual realization only takes hold in a permanent way if awakening is our primary longing, and nothing else is really important to us, or is secondary.(This is not to imply we will not love our children, or continue our responsibilities to them)
Glimpses happen, experiences happen, but true enlightenment is not something that happens to the personal self or personality. It is what remains when awakeness is no longer identified with any of the goals or passions or memories of the personal self. It is a natural state, before all our conditioning and drives and habits and desires, so if those thing re-emerge they distract us away from the natural state and we feel we have "lost" enlightenment or the sense of pure presence we had in those moments when we were free of "ourselves."
That is why so many who have glimpses of truth seem to lose it, or go back into intellectual or egoic ways of speaking of it; they get distracted by the mind's desires and attractions to other things. Then their experience becomes a memory, and is relegated to a part of mind, rather than a settling into the natural state of awakeness that is eternal and present in every moment. This is not bad or wrong, but only a human tendency. An experience of energy or consciousness awakening changes anyone who has it profoundly and probably makes their life better if they value and honor the insights and changes it brings, but the individual person never becomes enlightened. Eventually the glow fades away. It is only when there is no movement away from the simplicity and presence of each moment, no desire to escape where you are or what you are, or improve it or anyone else, and no argument with reality, just an abiding peace and presence living through you, that it might be said enlightenment is there. It begins by a simple awakening and knowing what it is that lives your life, but it can take many months and years to actually live this truth.
I hope this is helful to you in understanding the spiritual condition.Much of what is true here can only be known by the being, and not so well understood by the mind, which is limited by its existence in the relative world.

Kristi said...

Dear Bonnie,

Better than a year ago now, I attended one of Adya's satsangs and I was plussed in a simple and quiet way by the truth I perceived as being reflected to me, or, arising inside of me. I see how I have tried to hold on to this simple, quiet stillness, only to have it always evade me, which left me searching for it again, here and there... Some time later, I went on a personal retreat and was listening to one of Adya's CD sets where a questioner was asking of truth, of his searching for and not being able to find it. Adya responded, "You cannot find what you are looking for, because you are what you are looking for." The words made me cry, as I felt their truth and the futility of my efforts in looking outside of myself to know this. But, still, the story went on. There has been various movements in my life, of late, of tiring of my seeking to find and know truth outside of myself, of placing the gold (so to speak) onto one avenue, approach, person, or another. Something simple happened on a night of last week, at the end of a yoga class. We always sit for simple prayer at the end, hands together before the heart as the instructor guides to be thankful for the teacher within. I found I needed to cry, as I realized how much I have placed truth outside of myself, how the ego carries us here and there, looking for what is already right here, inside... Is it too big a responsibility to accept and know that we already are what we are looking for? Is it easier to place that simple love and knowing on another? For it means all the story telling will have to end? Does the question not come down to "what" we are looking for? There is so much enticement on the path, so many offering "a way" ... the energetics, the states of ecstasy, bliss - which I find can be addictive, even seductive. And I am tired of all of that. Really tired. All I want to know is the simple truth, inside of me. And so, I have perceived this recent weeping, as a realization of the need to come home to myself, to the truth that is already present and radiant inside of me. I have a few questions about ego for which some clarity would be helpful, for it seems there is a simple knowing that gets confused by so much of the intellectual discussion offered. While I feel that I understand that there is a "going beyond" ego, to seeing through the stories and faces of the personal somebody’s our minds have created in the illusion of separateness, is it not also the facility or capacity of ego, as the center or container of consciousness, which also holds the awareness? Ego gets “poo-pooed” so much, but is it not also where truth begins to arise? Is it not also that container of consciousness or awareness without which we also could not exist as a focus or expression of truth? It gets a lot of bashing in “spiritual” circles, which no doubt leaves us bashing ourselves. Is it not also some akin to that small child within in which innocence is remembered? On one course exploration, it was suggested to remember the moment in time, or evolution, when humanity first took on self-awareness. Going there, I wept profoundly, as I also felt it as the moment when we (I) took on the state of separation and the rise of all the personal, separate somebody’s, and hence, the suffering of the human condition. Granted, consciousness, or awareness, was undifferentiated before then. Ekhart Tolle has described this movement of returning to wholeness as some like the story of the Prodigal Son - that in the returning one has the awareness of what they always were/are. Can it not be said that it is ego which takes the journey into remembering? Or is it more that it is a journey through ego, as we return to remembering? I have used Jungian analysis as an adjunct in my journey to help heal and release a lot of difficult childhood conditioning, and I am trying reconcile what I seem to feel arising inside of me with that approach – which I personally see as the reduction of persona, so that the innocence and truth may be awakened and realized. As with anything, one can get lost in the semantics of process and only be changing from one story to another – instead of seeing and appreciating the beauty of story, the beauty of the journey, of life. I feel I may have romanticized my journey some, but I wonder, too, is this not part of learning to love the self – which I find, as Adya has said in “Emptiness Dancing,” is in fact, the hardest task in love … loving one’s self through all the stories of those personal separate somebody’s that have taken us away from the truth resting within … loving ourselves through all the personal abandonment of the truth within? Could you speak to some of this?

Kristi

Bonnie said...

The mind can become very disoriented when it tries to sort out the meaning of non-dual teachings and make practical sense of them. The realizations that come with awakening are not rational, they are beyond rational -- simply perceived as the elemental or foundational Truth, that which underlies the appearance of everything. This can be known directly, you might say cellularly, but the mind cannot own it because it is bigger than mind or thoughts can hold.
So ego is simply, in spiritual terms, the sense of an I who has collected a lot of experiences and believes it must develop itself or protect itself, or have a certain kind of meaning for its life. Consciousness or pure awareness had been entangled with this I until awakening, when it remembers itself in its wholeness -- it turns back and recognizes itself to be universal, unbounded, permeating all apparent things as life, and free. When awakened consciousness moves through the heart it is felt as love or compassion without any personal demands or needs. So it is not ego that wakes up, it is awakeness that wakes up to itself, and in doing so the ego is seen as no-thing -- just a mechanism of location or identity that a human thinks is who it is, and this movement of mind called ego creates all the sense of separateness in the world, because we are each identified with our own unique blend of beliefs, conditioning, desires, etc. Those things arise and are energies in human bodies that consciousness is entangled with until awakening happens. Then it is seen there is no real "I".
Nonetheless there is always going to be a subtle sense of personal self, a remembering of who you thought you were, and even certain leanings and preferences, no matter how awake you are. (Even Ramana preferred living in Arunachula, and never left it). The only difference is you are no longer attached to thoughts or preferences or whatever arises.You can enjoy them but if they are not there you do not feel less happy, because you have found there is a continual well of happiness that is inherent in consciousness itself, totally independent of what is happening externally.Self-acceptance happens spontaneously, along with acceptance of others, for you begin to see all of us are simply energies caught in conditioning and have little control over who we are, and the simplest aspects of life --existence itself -- seem miraculous.


Jungian psychology is a wonderful way to bring all aspects of the personal self into full fruition, and develop a tolerance for our shadows. It helps us see through many aspects of our conditioning and in this seeing, positive changes occur. It is a wonderful way for the mind to create meaning out of the experiences of our life, and for the ego to relax and become more accepting. If one truly falls into the depths during analysis however, there will come a point when it is seen that no one is there, that at the core is a simple presence or stillness. It is rare for a psychoanalysis to carry one all the way into this spacious and radiant emptiness, and even more rare for it to be acknowledged as the truth of what we are, rather than just an experience. Most analysts would leave that to the spiritual guide or teacher and not take you fully into this realm, because they have not lived there themselves. But I believe Jungian analysis, under the guidance of therapist who has completed their own depth work, is a great preparation for the psychological clearing that will occur during a spiritual awakening because it teaches us to be open and present to whatever arises, to witness rather than react to our own shadow, and to be accepting of what is. It is especially valuable for people who have traumatic or repressed histories that have distorted their capacity to be fully present in their lives, or have closed them off in other ways.

In conclusion as a spiritual awakening progresses it is not hard to love yourself. Love is just what you are, and there is no separate self who has ever done anything wrong. You will find there is no "me" here to try to become more accepting or loving, that as you rest more fully in the Truth of what you are, it has always only loved you and all of life, without discrimination. This is a love that makes no demands on you or anyone else, and it cannot be taught, trained or learned. It is a spontaneous experience that happens as more and more the Truth of what we are takes over our lives. It brings a soft and gentle compassion and even a humor about the human condition.
Hope this is helpful. Blessings to you.

Anonymous said...

Dear Bonnie,

Thank you.

The most helpful words you shared are perhaps the first few... That "the mind can become very disoriented" when it tries to sort our the meaning of non-dual teachings.

The Jungian analysis remains helpful as it does assist the embracing of my shadow material - much of which I was trying to escape from by being and gettting spiritual, so it is helping to return me to my humanity, to embrace and embody this life. And while this is a very mature and gracious woman that I work with who has done a very considerable amount of depth work, there is also an awareness that she will only be able to help me along so far, to a point, and she herself has said as much - perhaps as she recognizes the depth that is emerging/expressing through me.

What you said in particular about the possibility of a Jungian analyst to discount realization and see it only as an experience has been seen in some of my moments of encounter with her. For when I have shared of profound moments of what has been experienced as radiant emptiness, where an "I" no longer exists, she has commented only that, "I am glad that you had that experience." I realize that she is keen to keep me from inflationatory ideas (as I have had my share of those, as I am sure we all do along the way) and that she has the wisdom to be sure to communicate to me, in essence, that there is not an I who owns anything - it did seem to discount the truth I have experienced in those moments when I realized nothing of the wholeness that was seen and felt was "mine," but that it just is and is wondrously beautiful. In those brief moments the I and the story disappeared, were just gone - a huge great, bright nothing that contained everything was here. And when I've shared of the moments of sitting drooling in emptiness, she responded that she has had those experiences too, but described them as "non-being" as though the goal was to be or become a being. I guess some could mistake such moments as these as depersonalization - and given the circumstances of this life lived, the me does not know what that is, classically, but I wonder if "these" encounters with non-being or depersonalization (if we call that) are not part of the process of doing just, de-personalizing our view of life. So, while it all remains helpful, I am just careful to not enlist myself too deeply in Jung's view of "individuation" - if I even properly understand it. I have wondered over Jung's encounter with his dream of a yogi meditating in a church; how it deeply unsettled him, his feeling the yogi was more real than himself and that the moment the yogi awoke from meditation, he (Jung) would disappear... I wondered if what unsettled him was an inner knowing that "He" was dreaming (meditating) and that if he woke from the dream, he as a personal, separate somebody, would cease to exist.

I've recently acquired and began listening to Adyashanti's talk, Caught in the Tiger's Mouth, that opens with him speaking to all the searching to find and build a center/Self that the Jungian process is so much about, so this will be helpful, too.

Again, many thanks, Bonnie,

Kristi

David said...

Hi Bonnie,

I'm twenty-one. I've been meditating for 20 months. I am having some symptoms of kundalini, all of which at the moment are manageable, but am concerned that some of them may be other unrelated conditions that I can go to a doctor for. I also would like to just make sure that if they are actually a result of kundalini, that they don't become unmanageable. I was hoping if you could help me sort out which is which, since I feel fairly unconfident about going to a doctor if they will not understand what's going on.

-I had about 2 years of bad depression from age 17-19. I took medications during that time. They helped a lot. Meditation also has further helped my mood stability and concentration since I stopped medication.

-I feel fatigued quite often. It starts off worst in the morning and I feel good by the evening. If I do something like walk up stairs in the morning it can get my heart pounding and I feel a lot of lactic acid in the body. I can get a blood rush to the head and I'll get dizzy for a few seconds doing many simple tasks in the morning.

-just moderate excersize can tire my muscles out really quick. For a few hours, I'll feel nervous and jittery aftwerwards. Excersize has also been giving me headaches in the last month or so.

-even though I have gotten a lot of excersize in my life, and used to do a lot of running, i often have this sort of annoying feeling that I'm short of breath. In reality, I know I'm theoretically pumping plenty of air through these healthy lungs though. I often need to take several very deep breaths during meditation to remove the discomfort, which often disrupts my meditation. During the day, I often find myself unconsciouscly doing some sort of double exhale to alleviate the discomfort.

-in the last month or so, my heart occassionaly skips a beat or feels discomfort (like it stops for a second).

-in the last month or so I've felt increased pressure in the head, and also more headaches. (allergy season has rolled around though!)

-sometimes my brain just feels inert and has trouble concentrating on anything and i feel zombieish. This problem doesn't occur as much anymore. I think it used to happen most if I tried too hard to force a meditation.

I have a Vedantic teacher and study Vedanta and the lives of several saints. I've typically meditated on a mantra or the chakras, but lately I've tried to meditate more on either a mantra or a human form. I really want to know what you think of these symptoms before I go to a doctor who thinks I have some circulatory problem (or maybe I do). Its a little complicated because its possible that some of the medications may have had side effects too. So basically...I'm confused.

If you have time, one last question. I occasionally have visions of light, but for the first time when I was falling asleep I saw a hand with an eye in it, some geometry on the hand, and fire everywhere. Scared the heck out of me. Do random visions like that have any purpose, or should I just not pay much mind to it?

Thanks for all your help. It's very comforting to find your website.

Bonnie said...

Dear David,
What you are describing here does not sound like kundalini symptoms to me, unless they are part of more dramatic phenomena like energy rushing through your body, and vibrations that are continual and other kinds of non-ordinary events such as visionary states or involuntary body movements. Sometimes people with lots of energy or psychic pheonomena also experience exhaustion as if all the energy has rushed through and left them depleted, or they have hormonal changes that sap their energy. But at your age and with the kind of limited practice you are doing I do not think this is your problem. Kundalini energy may have awakened in you, but I am concerned about your lack of energy, fatigue and mental confusion. These things can happen from lots of meditation, but I believe you need a thorough medical evaluation, including thyroid, blood sugar, hormones and metabolism testing. You may need some dietary guidance and to take some supplements to balance your body chemistry.You may not be sleeping soundly and may want to speak to a sleep disorder specialist if you are awakening exhausted.Are you grinding your teeth or snoring or in some other way waking up frequently?
Random visions do happen to meditators, and sometimes experiences of light or energy vibrations or images called makyo which are just scenes of places without any dramatic content to them. All of these things pass, and you do not need to pay much attention to them. Also you may get tired when you meditate a long time, and you may become more sensitive to negative energies in certain places or in large groups (like in malls, or in a hostile or argumentative environment). It is important to notice these things and make adjustments (like leaving the room) if you become uncomfortable. Walking and getting some exercise may be helpful. Meditation can help you feel more calm, and will change your body chemistry over time and also begin to change how you see the world. But it is important to take care of your body in the world too, to avoid intoxicants, to eat in a way that is nourishing, to avoid toxic people and work situations, to spend quiet time in nature, to get enough rest -- all these are ways we can consciously support our spiritual life.
Mental cloudiness can also occur for a while to those who meditate a lot, so if this symptom has passed perhaps it is not a sign of a medical problem.A little chocolate after meditation or a cup of tea can be helpful. Allow yourself transition time. Temporary visual problems and intensified senses can also happen for a while.
Basically meditation slowly erodes your separate sense of self, changing ways in which you have been identified as "me", so that you can experience the underlying presence or pure consciousness that you are. You learn to be present from your cells, or your heart, instead of your head. So there can be many changes along the way as you become de-constructed. If you can trust this process and relax with whatever it brings, and meet each day with equanimity, doing what needs to be done, the process will move more smoothly for you.
One more point is that psychological issues will also arise to be looked at in the spiritual process. If there are emotional issues from your childhood or other traumatic events they will not stay repressed, and if they come up and make you depressed or angry you may benefit from some counseling to resolve them. If we try to repress these things we often develop physical symptoms. If you think this is a possibility I would suggest some therapy.
I hope these suggestions are helpful and I encourage you to let me know what happens if you follow them. I wish you the best.

Bonnie said...

P.S.
Also have your heart and lungs checked out. There is no reason meditation or kundalini should cause shortness of breath in someone your age, although sometimes the heart beat may have a strange sense of disappearing during intense practices of meditation.Sometimes the breath does odd breathing practices spontaneously also. But it is best to have a medical evaluation, even if it is just to rule out an underlying physical issue that needs treatment.

David said...

Bonnie,

Thanks for the advice. I'll go to my doctor in the near future. Thanks for sticking actual words to some medical terms that I can ask my doctor about. I wasn't quite sure what I could say before.

Previously, I only mentioned the symptoms I have that I was not sure involve kundalini. I should have also included the ones I am sure of for context. I do have frequently occuring feeling of energy moving in my body and involuntary body movements. They also sometimes correlate with flashes of light in the head. They are all especially present when falling asleep. I always feel intense concentration of energy in the 6th chakra when I meditate, and often other chakras. Sometimes its uncomfortably so in the head. That's why I don't explicitly meditate on the chakras anymore. I meditate around 45-60 minutes a day. I'm starting to feel more balanced with more dualistic meditations though.

Yes, actually I have noticed that I am more sensitive to negative energy than in the past. Coupled with waning interest, and waxing discrimination towards many of those settings, I don't go anywhere with alcohol anymore, and I hardly "go out" at night at all. I have found this to be very helpful to meditation, spiritual study, and stability.

Thanks again. I let you know what happens

Anonymous said...

Hi Bonnie, this is Sara testing the blog on Thurs. evening June 7, 2007.

Anonymous said...

Dear Bonnie,
Firstly, thank you for your book, which I have found to be one of the best ones out there on the subject of kundalini.
My questions is about the inner sounds and their relation to the ending of a kundalini experience.

Since March 2006 and the start of my experience I have been hearing [ in my left ear ] the continious 24/7 sound of chirping birds, along with a subtler waterfall type sound.
Added to these are what you might term whole-head sounds of humming, that is frequent, but not continuious, along with a variation of quite high pitched whinning/radio type sounds that also comes and go.

Do these sounds ever end?
Does the ending of a kundalini opening automatically tie in with the ending of these sounds?
Or, is it possible for an opening to end but the sounds to continue?

Many Thanks

Allistair

rk said...

a nice place to exchange ideas on
kundalini. its a matter of personal quest and experience. every one will have its own experience which may be unique to oneself. but the indian text on kundalini are very explicit. unless the kundalini doesnt pierce the brahmdwar and enter the sushmana the prana does not flow in it. then all three granthies are to be peirced before it reaches th anjana chakra to give sadhak the sidddies.....
rk.(http://rkpande.blogspot.com/

Anonymous said...

Thank you rk for your comment. I can understand what you say about it being a personal experience> But if the kundalini pierces this or that seems to be totally out of my hands, seems to me no matter what is written, this experience will go it's own way. I certainly don't believe that in anyway I could influence kundalini to travel this way or that.

Regards
Allistair

Anonymous said...

Hi,

I would like to ask you some questions: when you awake the kundalini,does this make your chakra's and aurabody's larger? Or do you have to do specific meditations for that?

By just awakening the kundalini,does this make you stronger as a healer to let flow more energy out of the hands?

Thank you for your comment,greats.....

Anonymous said...

This is a quick question to ANYBODY out there who is under going a kundalini experience;Have you experienced times of having a distended stomach..almost like a women who is pregnant with triplets!
I have been experiencing this on and off for some time now, on occassions it can feel as if my stomach is actually going to burst.
Anyone felt the same?

Regards
Allistair

cc said...

Thank you Bonnie for your website. Your explanation resonated with me.
I am 35 and first experienced the vibrations of kundalini energy a couple years ago going up my spine. It lasted for a couple months and I didn't think much of it except it was interesting and I thought everyone experienced it from time to time. It occurred shortly after I had minor surgery, but I did not make any connection.

Most recently I returned from studying aura-soma and plan to begin consulting. After this class, and the work I did in it, I have felt an outpouring of emotion and what appears to be stored grief from some old relationships-- this has gone on for a couple weeks. I also had a dream after the class, that I tried to get away from a pile of snakes but one came after me and entered my body through my third eye much like the drawing on your website!
I am now starting to connect the dots.
It has been most difficult to go through such strong emotions and grief and I don't know where all of this is going but it has helped to read more about whats happening. Thank you for your site.

cc said...

Thank you Bonnie for your website. Your explanation resonated with me.
I am 35 and first experienced the vibrations of kundalini energy a couple years ago going up my spine. It lasted for a couple months and I didn't think much of it except it was interesting and I thought everyone experienced it from time to time. It occurred shortly after I had minor surgery, but I did not make any connection.

Most recently the kundalni vibrations have started again. I returned from studying aura-soma and plan to begin consulting. After this class, and the work I did in it, I have felt an outpouring of emotion and what appears to be stored grief from some old relationships-- this has gone on for a couple weeks. I also had a dream after the class, that I tried to get away from a pile of snakes but one came after me and entered my body through my third eye much like the drawing on your website!
I am now starting to connect the dots.
It has been most difficult to go through such strong emotions and grief and I don't know where all of this is going but it has helped to read more about whats happening. Thank you for your site.

Tron said...

Thank you for creating this blog. I have a question which I am reluctant to ask my teacher due to the personal nature. I would be grateful for anyone reading this blog to answer thoughtfully.

I am a middle-aged man. Over the past 15 years I have been practicing Kundalini yoga, my back has been healed and my body is more flexibile and stronger. I feel exhilirated and almost euphoric during and after yoga. One issue for me is heightened sexual arousal during yoga, several positions in particular, whether I am in a group class or practicing alone. The reason it is an issue for me is that it is extremely distracting to me and can be embarassing. Separately, or perhaps not separately, I have been very distracted in general.

I wonder - is this a common question? Is there wisdom out there on this topic? I know that sexual energy relates to creative energy.

Mike said...

I recently read your various articles and blog writings, and have a question which has been nagging me for many years.
As far as I know, the teachings in various spiritual and religous traditions all seem to indicate that everything is God/the One/the Self (let's call it God for this discussion), including our own true nature, and that everything is as God wills it.
The teachings also indicate that God is loving and compassionate, but they do little to explain how it is that God appears to at least allow (if not downright cause) the horrific atrocities that also exist, such as torture and mutilation.
The standard answers seem to be that suffering and bliss are all part of some duality that, at some level, does not really exist, and all pain is the victims' karma coming back. But the pain certainly feels real to the victims, and it appears that God endowed beings with the very urges that lead to such karmic payback.
I know that this is all from my limited human perspective, but it seems that the only logical conclusion is that God is both very, very loving and very, very cruel. I don't doubt that our true nature is that we are one with God, but God's true nature seems to have quite a dark side. Would appreciate your view.
Mike

Anonymous said...

Hello Mike,
Firstly, I am not Bonnie,who's view you wanted on this matter.
But as someone who has thought along the same lines as you have over many years I hope you don't mind if I add my understanding into the mix.

To begin with, it seems there are many many different planes/dimensions or realms to life. Each of these 'places' is a 'relative or subjective expression of 'God', but not an absolute one-that only comes at the end-
In the impossible length of time of 13 billion years that is the age of the universe [ this time around] physical evolution has been/is intertwined with spiritual evolution. A major and very recent and slowly emerging theme of this evolution is the dawning realisation of free choice.By the time we are incarnating as humens we are aware, at least to some extent,of the opposing forces within us that manifest moment to moment....do we let someone into the traffic[expansion]..or not..[contraction]..do we dislike or even hate others because of..race..creed..wealth..ability or a million and one other things?
And it goes all the way to the torturers and mutilators that you talk about, and even to outright nuclear war.We have a choice how to behave unlike the animals that act out of pure instinct.God allows us total freedom to behave how we like and to reap the results of that behaviour.
God gets the blame for unenlightened representations of him/her/it's self.

Because those killers are ultimately as much a part of God as a saint they may be regarded from a certain position as the temporary dark side of the creator-who-works-thru-evolution, because for reasons that are hard for us to understand,negativity/darkness plays a part [eventually] in pushing unevolved aspects of God towards knowing it's own Godliness.

Don't know if this makes any sense to you mike, but Bonnie did create this blogg so that others could share with each other and not just ask her own idea on things.
I have been watching this blogg for months and have found it to be very slow moving.

Good luck with your evolving!

Allistair

Bonnie said...

Dear Readers,

I hope to catch up with all of you today, and offer my perspective on the most recent questions. I did this a week ago, and then couldn’t upload the information for some reason, so lost all my comments. Hopefully this time it will work.

There are many complicated teachings about kundalini, because there is a classic model for using a gradual awakening of kundalini to bring one into awakened consciousness. The subtle body system, as it is understood by those who practice kundalini yoga, holds all the internal energy and movements of thought, sensation, emotion, memory – you might say everything (invisible) that holds your sense of a separate self that is not part of the gross physical body (the visible). As kundalini activates and impacts the pranic energy field which composes the subtle body, in some traditions it is encouraged to go through specific points, knots and chakras in order to break down old familiar patterns. The terms nadis, granthis, and chakras relate to specific points in the body where energy is said to move and open as specific practices are followed. The locations and functions and flows within the subtle body described in yogic literature can vary quite a bit.

The problem is that unless you are working with a guru who specializes in one of these systems, and has reached Self-realization, it is very difficult to apply these practices to the experience you are having now. And it is rare to find someone qualified to lead you into awakening by using this system. What I have found in meeting many hundreds of people with awakenings over the years, is that those who come to me have never been part of a system that actually took them into completion. Instead they have eruptions of energy, spontaneous openings of energy or awareness, dramatic shifts in consciousness, an accidental slipping out of identification with their bodies or minds, patterns of heat and jerking that they feel are out of control and other assorted symptoms. Some people have these phenomena after following a yoga or Chi Gung or martial art or meditation practice, or after a near-death experience or other emotional trauma. Even those who have been with gurus for years often do not have a handle on how to deal with the shifts they are experiencing in their bodies, and subtle bodies, and awareness. Many gurus do not work individually with students, are not aware of a specific system to apply because their own awakenings happened in other ways, or are just not qualified.

The way I see it is that the entire point of a spiritual awakening is Self-realization, or the remembrance of your true nature (by your True Nature). All the phenomena that may occur if specific chakras open or knots release, are by-products, which are more noticeable in some people than in others. You do not have to follow the system – in fact, the system is just a map of how this might open in some people, or has been charted in ancient times as the natural progression of energy in some particular tradition. You do not have to “do” it in a certain way, although there are some life adjustments, especially in your attitude toward the process, that can help it move through more smoothly.

Many of the strange things people report such as hearing inner sounds (chirping, kettle drums, waterfalls – these have been reported for thousands of years in the Indian scriptures), or chants, or music; or perhaps suddenly losing your personal sense of self; or having a period when psychic or healing capacities activate, are just byproducts that occur as various chakras open or brain centers are energized by the heightened prana that has occurred with kundalini activation. They will move on. Many scriptures warn against getting attached to any of them, or concerned about any them, because as you get more engaged in new beliefs or fears about yourself you are distracted from the long-term process of self-realization, which will bring you to a place of disinterest in the illusory personal self.

This is a process that evolves us out of the false identity of separateness we have been developing since we were infants (based on all our experiences, and everything we have been taught in our respective cultures and families), and when it is completed, leaves us knowing ourselves to be an eternal presence or awakeness that cannot be described, or understood by the mind, but can be directly known. It is a de-construction – of you. It may feel for awhile like you are adding lots of new possibilities – everything from opening to love to astral travel to sudden healing abilities-- could happen, but eventually spiritual experiences as such stop being the point of your life, and something more subtle, more present and completely contented takes their place. This is called freedom – you are free of yourself, open, able to face living and dying fearlessly.

Kundalini energy may move in your body for a few weeks or a few decades, and can be mild, moderately disturbing, or violently intense (on occasion). No two people have the exact same experience – it depends on what is needing to be cleared out at any one time, and what kind of history we have brought into the process. Teachers speak often of surrender, because our minds need to let go of trying to make things happen, directing the process, or stopping things from being the way they are. To the extent we are angry or contracted around what is arising we only make the experience more intense and difficult. To the extent we stay in bad habit patterns, toxic lifestyles, or false belief systems the process can become blocked. If we are pushing hard to find other dimensions, dramatic events, empty minds or anything else, we only strengthen the “I” that thinks it can do all this, when the movement of the process of awakening is about complete acceptance of what we are at any one moment, and resting in the vast universal stillness underneath that is our source or core, and is already here and present, in every moment.

Many teachers have said “You are Brahman. You are That”, or “I am that I am.” These are pointers to Self-realization.

Now someone has asked what is the nature of evil or darkness if we are all aspects of God or Source or Oneness. There is no answer that cannot be understood by mind, and human thoughts have stretched in many ways to account for it by creating images of demons, devils, or just bad or psychologically disturbed people. Many therapists can see the correlations between painful events in childhood and violent behavior in adulthood, or recognize the degree to which the culture is fascinated with crime, pain, revenge, power and greed, and how this influences young minds. We can choose from many psychological positions, spiritual rationalizations or sociological theories. These are all part of the world of mind. As humans our minds appear to be torn between opposites – good and evil, right and wrong, masculine and feminine, dark and light, yes and no, one theory or another….etc. Because humans live in the belief they are what they think, they tend to react according to their thoughts, which are the consequences of many generations of conditioning. It is just the way life seems to work. This is the wheel of maya, or delusion, on which all of us are entangled as long as we believe ourselves to be this separate person who has something to protect or prove or make important in the world. Each of us finds some kind of position to take, either for or against anything, and then we argue about it, suffer over it and have major emotional experiences around it.

Buddha taught the way to end suffering was to get off this wheel. What does this mean? It means that when you have a deep impulse to find out what is really True, or whether there is a god, or just what is life all about, you seek deeply inside, you look to your own source or consciousness (not your thoughts). This brings about a process where all of your own participation in the world comes up to the forefront to be seen through, which has been called the unloading of the unconscious in some traditions, and a kundalini process in others. You may have a sudden and profound realization that you are not this little compilation of energy and thought that you believed you were, but are part of a deeper and unbounded mystery that feels like nothingness, and feels like all potentiality. You may get to this first by having what you call merging experiences, where you seem to become one with something greater than you. In time, you may realize you actually are this something greater, and the more you let go of the little identity the more this something mystery can move freely in the world. Awakening is very natural and very simple in some ways, and truly monumental in other ways. But it is not about you becoming a better you. It is about the releasing of the false idea of any you at all, and living spontaneously in response to life in each moment instead of according to the mental conditioning you have always carried in your head.

When you wake up, and move on into the embodiment of the truth you realize, you will have a new perspective of “evil” in the world, and compassion for anyone caught in it -- not just the victims. Because you can see it is only a belief (not even anything real) that creates it, and that there is really nothing happening except a play of energies, aggravated by thought-forms, that people cannot seem to control, any more than we control the characters in our dreams. I cannot tell you exactly what you will see or how it will unfold for you. I can only say that you can find the Truth in the deepest realization of Self, but never through thought. (Haven’t you already tried and failed through thoughts?) All you can find in thought is new theories, which may or may not be comforting. Even my own words can become a theory, and keep you from knowing what is true. You will become free more quickly if you abandon all theory, and just see what you experience when you are willing to relax fully into not-knowing anything at all. You may have to move through fear; you may have to rest as emptiness; you may have lots of energy releaes -- there is a process going on here.

Now -- a few comments on sexual energy. When kundalini activates it can easily overstimulate the sexual energy. This can happen prior to kundalini activation because of some yogic practices which are designed to cause a stimulus just below the sexual organs where kundalini is said to be coiled. Many yogic breathing practices and concentration on the lower chakras and even sound practices can stimulate this energy and cause restlessness and over-excitability sexually. It can be helpful to bring awareness and concentration into the heart area at these times, pulling the energy upward so that the whole body becomes more expansive and open.Usually energy will follow attention, so if you move the attention the energy may go into other areas of the body. If the energy feels sexually overwhelming then stop doing the yoga practices for awhile, or ask the teacher for practices that will open the heart more. Usually these phenomena pass as your body learns to hold a higher charge of energy, and it flows throughout the subtle body. Then you may feel an overall body bliss at times,that some people call a whole body orgasm (but this can also be very gently and more like peace or happiness).Most teachings advise not to act out the sexual energy, as the kundalini needs to move upward and not downward. On the other hand, in some cases the occasional release of the excess energy is helpful. It depends a lot of your intentions in this process, and how well you are able to cope with the higher energy field your practice is creating.

And for the question about the swollen belly -- this is called by some "Buddha Belly" and happens to perhaps 10% of people in this process. It possibly is related to energy trying to release patterns in the body related to power (or powerlessness) in the world, and perhaps even past-life stuff as some people seem to release spontaneous other-life memories when the energy is overactive in the abdomen. It is helpful to be very careful with your diet -- perhaps eat very simply and small amounts several times a day --- if you can find an Ayurvedic practitioner in your area, a consultation might be helpful and some specific dietary changes and herbs for your constitution.

Another way to move energy through blocked or over-concentrated chakras is through the use of Bij mantras, sounds that vibrate or resonate with each chakra. You may be able to find a yoga teacher, or a recording that can teach you these sounds. But with this or any practice, do it gently and not often -- perhaps 3 times a day for a couple of minutes. Overly intense practices can complicate this process by pushing your system too far too fast.

Thanks for your questions -- I believe they are helpful to others, as there are many people on this path to wholeness today.

Bonnie said...

P.S.
On the question about making chakras larger -- I do not see chakras so cannot respond to this from experience. I believe the chakras are energy vortices where consciousness and identity are physicality intersect -- they describe how our 3 bodies are linked together. They are believed to be facing downward before being charged by the kundalini energy, and as the energy opens and awakens them the contractions held in them are released and they turn upward (some say). Then more positive qualities animate the person. (eg. being comfortable in the world versus being fearful; feeling love rather than fear when the heart chakra opens; feeling congruence and relatedness in sexuality rather than compulsiveness; feeling free to express yourself rather than contracted at the throat chakra). This might cause more energy to flow outward which would make them appear bigger to someone who can see the subtle body field. They are more radiant, more alive, if we are not holding ourselves back, or immersed in self-defeating personal beliefs any longer. In yogic scriptures, healing or psychic abilities and other siddhis are considered the result of opening of a part of the brain previously dormant. Some people come in genetically predisposed to open these areas and others do not. Although there are yoga practices that can open these siddhis they are not considered signs of Self-realization but rather distractions -- one more fasicination that the mind can use to evade the completion of the spiritual realization process.

Anonymous said...

hi bonnie. I want to share something.I find what help me most at the moment to manage the K energy is to give it a space each day to fully rise and sort of 'have its way with me'. For some time now what consistently happens when i do this is that my hands develop their own life and seem to be working on the space around my body - the aura area?. A bit (only a bit) like a muscial conductor. At times the hands move quite vigorously (often in some sort of mudra) moving back and forth, or they may dart around or stay still in a particular spot for a while. Regularly too, a hand will start moving toward and touch the the body at a chakra point. Often what happens is there is some vigourous hand movement this stops, and then there is a release of energy shooting up my body from the tailbone area up to my head. It feels quite healing all this, and i get tears at times, and generally come out feeling more aligned and at ease. I havent heard this sort of thing going on for other people with K, so just wanted to sound you out on it. My basic approach is to let go and and surrender into it.

Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Anonymous said...

ps. im sorry if i sound quite horrid... the cultivation of loving kindness is my intention, best wishes, C.

Anonymous said...

Hi Bonnie

I hope you don't mind, but I wanted to know what your take is on all these modern 'tantric' energy teachings such as those taught by Mantak Chia and others? I'm thinking of the techniques they teach to get men to retrain their sexuality so that they can have multiple orgasms without ejaculating by using their PC muscles and other techniques. The benefits are supposed to be a deeper spiritual life, multi-orgasms for men (and women) and better health and well-being.

However, I have also heard that these techniques can be dangerous and cause kundalini complications, even 'kundalini psychosis', as energy can go up the 'wrong' channels. Moreover, I am not that drawn to these teachings as I don't particularly resonate with the approach and the teachers of these techniques - the scene all seems a little egotistical, slightly obsessive and even a bit slimey and cheesy! ; )

As I am sure you are aware of these kundalini dangers, do you feel it is better and safer to ignore these so called 'tantric' techniques and just focus in that non-dual way on letting go, surrendering etc as a 'way' of deepening one's spiritual life (and one's sex and romantic life)?

The latter non-dual approach does seem to be my inclination, but I sometimes wonder if there is some truth to these tantric teachings as:
1. I do feel somewhat energetically tired and perhaps a little jaded after too much normal sex with ejaculation (although perhaps the remedy here is just to follow moderation)
2. And furthermore, some men seem to have spontaneously discovered and used these methods themselves without being taught them, and seem to benefit from them.

So your thoughts on this topic would be much appreciated!

Kind Regards

Rob

Anonymous said...

rob. you make some interesting comments, i was anon above your post, stoned and beeing horrid sounding. moaning and bad spelling. thats canabis for you huh. Yajrayana - mayhayana buddhist teaching.. sees the 'direct intuative realisation of emptiness' via vipasana and shamata single pointed heart-felt motivation known as Bodhicitta.. this direct experiential cognition of emptinees ( kundalini ) is the path to liberation/enlightenment. ejaculate is not needed to experience orgasm. why waste it? a middle way - being the Buddhist approach. .. i felt i wanted to express that.. enjoy your cheese. organic of course... c .. bonnie hello again.. sorry for having a dig at your material needs. best wishes happy new tibetan year...

Anonymous said...

Today I am going to comment on two topics of interest to most of you -- money and sex. I've had several questions regarding both in recent weeks, plus some directed to me from people whose email did not work when I tried to respond. So if you have sent me comments related to why spiritual teachers charge money, this is for you.

I cannot speak for anyone else but I can give you my perspective, how I feel about the cost of programs held by teachers like Adyashanti and Gangaji and others. It has always seemed to me that many "gurus" rely on hours of volunteer help to run their organizations, and students feel obligated to provide it without earning any money to live on. In some cases students become dependent on an ashram and teacher to support them, without any real power to move out into the world, because they are impoverished. One thing I have really appreciated about Adya is that the organization is well run, and the fees requested at satsangs and retreats are reasonable and adequate to support a staff as his organization grows, providing them a living wage. He has excellent and talented people on staff who work together cooperatively and effectively, along with many part-time volunteers who come and go. Some writers have told me he ought to work for free, but he touches many thousands of lives now and he could not do this if he had to work full time in some other job to support himself. I like the security of knowing his organization is stable and he makes a living wage doing this important work. I want him to have a reasonable lifestyle and not live in poverty or dependent on the generousity of some benefactor. He and his wife are modest and authentic people who are not taking advantage in any way of his students. We pay hairdressers, plumbers, mechanics, ministers and school teachers -- is there anything more wonderful to have than true spiritual teachings? He and other teachers provide scholarships for many who apply to attend his programs, and those who can afford the programs are very grateful they are available. I appreciate that I have never felt I had to make donations to support him and I have never felt obllgated to his organization, but what I have given has been freely given out of love,and when it is convenient for me. I am grateful they have created a system that can grow and touch so many lives all over the world, with many programs that are freely available on the web,books, tapes, and events that request modest donations to support the overhead. I do not know Gangaji as well but I expect her students feel the same way about the fees she charges.

For myself, the reasons I like to include a copyright on my writings is that if someone takes and distributes them under another name I lose the right to publish them in a book myself. I am happy for people to share what I write, but I want to preserve my own right to publish. This is not because I will make lots of money -- very little money is made by writers unless they are best-sellers, and books on the topics I write about have a limited audience. But I don't want to lose the right to put them together my own way.

I don't charge much for my programs because I do not have a large organization, and I am supported by my husband's retirement income. But what I do make covers my costs for the website, promotional flyers, rentals and the possibility of growth in the future.

Every teacher has to decide how to live and support their work in our culture, where many options and many costs arise. To be attached to being poor is not any more useful than being attached to having more than enough. Use your common sense and if a teacher demands all your money, or huge fees, look at how they live and where the money is going, and does it make sense to you that your donations are needed. But if you are drawn to a teacher because what they say helps you turn inward to look for truth, then give the teachings a chance, even if you are expected to make a contribution to attend satsangs or retreats. If you can't afford these, request a scholarship.

Waking up means going beyond conditioned belief systems and looking at everything in a fresh and in-the-moment way. Instead of jumping in with a prejudice, notice the impulse, and explore where it is arising within you. This does not mean you give up discrimination, only that you look at how a teacher (or anyone) functions and recognize if it works for you at the moment, and you are comfortable that they are coming from compassion and wisdom.
At least, that is what has been important to me.

Now -- regarding Tantric sexual practices. In my perspective they are useful for enhancing your sex life and in some cases, relationships, and for a few poeple they may trigger mutual experiences of merging that feel spiritual. None of this has anything to do with spiritual realization, however. The risk is that kundalini may activate, and it may be a difficult activation because it is not in the context of genuine spiritual understanding, but in the context of sexual enhancement (at least in the West). Traditionaly tantric sex was not for partners, but rather a mechanism for activating energy through certain channels and a teaching about the inclusivity of everything being part of the divine. It might be done only once with a qualified and awakened teacher and that was it. It was not for pleasure or deepening relationship, but it has been interpreted this way in the West.

The other risk of Tantric sex is that it can become addictive, and is a distraction from the true function of kundalini, which is to restructure the subtle body, release all attachments and help you experience your True Self, which is One source or presence.There can be many radical energy and emotional shifts along the way, including feeling completely out of control, burning sensations, jerking and vibrations at inopportune times, past-life memories, intense dreams and other phenomena. Rarely is a tantric sex or even a yoga teacher equipped to deal effectively if you activate this intense reaction to the energy. You will be on your onw. Ultimately the completion of a kundalini arising is an impersonal experience of stillness, radiance, and wholeness which does not need another person engaged with you at the moment. It is a new way of looking at the world, without a personal sense of "me". It can take many months or years to learn how to live this way. To be free is to live in the world without neediness, compulsion, demands, or structures you are dependent on to feel okay (like sex, spiritual practices, organizations, etc.) It is the ending of the "you" who wanted all these things, and resting in awareness, without an argument about what is happening now. It is beyond anyone's ability to describe. I would not recommend sex as a method to reach this stillpoint, and I feel sexuality,which can be very beautiful, blissful and unifying, is at best only a stage but not a particular advantage in reaching realization. To me, waking up has to do with letting go (internally), and what I have observed is that for some people, sexuality is pleasurable, a welcome release at times, and not a distraction along the way; for others, it is a very difficult attachment that interfers with the full movement of energy and the completion of the awakening process. One must go deeply into their own intuition to discover what is right for them.
I hope this clarifies some of your questions.

BONNIE said...

COMMENTS ABOVE ARE FROM BONNIE

Anonymous said...

Thanks Bonnie for your wise counsel and thoughful response. That all makes a lot of sense to me!

Rob

Anonymous said...

the true function of kundalini, which is to restructure the subtle body, release all attachments and help you experience your True Self, which is One source or presence. hmm... "which is One source or presence" yeah ..what he said.. Bonnie.. hmm , long-winded speech is exhausting, better to stay centred... best wishes ...thankyou ty ty ..

Anonymous said...

COMMENTS ABOVE ARE sent FROM, with kind help, of computers and plastic and oil.energy and transport and our parents ....so many .. however i still think it was me, laughs... who sent these letters.. C..

Anonymous said...

Interesting website.

I don't know what to do with your insights, My ego may be pulling me back. Oneness feels so right, but selfness feels so safe and protective right now. This may be the in and out that was spoken of, only time will tell.

Anonymous said...

I was just told of this site as I am searching to deepen my understanding of my kundalini awakening. It occurred spontaneously about 8 years ago - often very intense movement of energy - blocked for quite a while at the heart chakra and have done a great deal of work here. the doctors gave me diagnosis of Breast cancer 10 months ago and presently I am opting out of medical invasiveness. Yesterday it dawned on me that the blockage around the heart and the tumor may be related - any thoughts???
sandra

Bonnie said...

Dear Sandra,
I am concerned if you have a tumor in your chest and are not getting any appropriate treatment for it. I cannot say that it is related to blockages or to kundalini -- this would be only wild speculation on my part. I suppose if there is a tumor it could feel like a heart blockage, keeping energy in a contracted feeling in that area. Or it is possible that a great heart contraction, such as a lost love or broken heart, could ultimately end up causing a tumor, but there is no way to really know any of this, and no evidence I am aware of to show this. If you feel there is a psychological factor involved in the illness then you might work with someone who could help you dialogue with the tumor or the heart blockage (someone who does voice dialogue, or EMDR, or guided imagery -- all good methods for self-awareness and releasing old patterns). But I would also suggest you get conventional medical treatment if the tumor is a confirmed diagnosis, as scary as this is,for I have had friends who survived 20 and more years after surgery for breast cancer and were grateful for the time. Sometimes the body needs to be cared for in a relative way in the relative world rather than through metaphysical means, although spiritual work can certainly help to heal the divisions that make many of us sick, and may offer you peace as you go through whatever treatments may be called for.This will give you many more years to deepen your spiritual understanding and allow the kundalini process to unfold. I wish you every blessing as this experience moves through you, and hope you will find the inner peace to do whatever is best for your wholeness and awakening. Bonnie

Anonymous said...

Thank you Bonnie for your feedback. I am waiting for medical consult with two oncologists who both are thinking out of the box in their treatment plans. My original appointment was nearly 6 months ago and due to a very strange series of events ranging from the doctor falling ill, to his mother's death, to the hospital being closed to Streptococcus - the list goes on - I see them both tomorrow. One will be testing breast tissues and lymph nodes using a new technique where they don't remove anything more than the tumor from my body. The other will be suggesting other options to chemo where she has seen awesome results without the effects of chemo.
Reading your email helped me see how concerned I truly am, however, I put on the everything will be just fine face and acting like I am perfectly fine with each delay to ease everyone else around me. Damn - I thought I had gotten past this.
So gratitude!
Sandra

Anonymous said...

I started doing chakra meditation.
I was happy since I felt energetic the first few days. Lately I am having bouts of depression. 2 days back I was so severly depressed that I cried all night. I was suddenly feeling hopeless and lonely. I kept on calling God to pull me out of this.
Now I am scared to do the meditation..Did anyone experience something similar?

Bonnie said...

Any time we begin this inward journey to self-realization we become open to all of our conditioning coming up to be released. Energy practices, chanting, yoga,breathwork, meditation -- when we do these ancient and modern practices at some point we will begin a clearing process, which means whatever is unfinished in us will come up to be seen and released, and whatever old patterns of mind or emotions we have known will arise to be met and seen through. The whole point of these practices is to become free of all of this and know the open stillness that lies beneath it all, but we can't become free unless these things are seen and released. Most of the time, meditation or spiritual practices go on for quite a long time before this unloading of the unconscious begins, but in some people it happens more quickly. It is useful to have some therapy if there is grief or trauma in our history before we do any kind of intense practices. It is valuable to have a teacher when we do meditations or energy practices, someone who can help us find the best pace for us and advice when and how to do practices. You haven't said exactly what you were doing, or whether on your own or not, or for how long. Chakra practices can be very intense and should begin gently, for short periods, with some guidance. But releasing emotion is not wrong, only a natural part of the clearing process. If it feels overwhelming or is happening often, then it might be a good time to get some therapy in order to have some support during this process. If you feel out of control emotionally when doing these practices then perhaps you are doing too much too soon, and need a quieter meditation form, or to heal some other imbalance in your life. We can't use spiritual practices to transcend our humaness, but instead we must deeply enter our humaness to see clearly the essence from which it arises. But we can find a stillpoint or center within us that is accepting of all that we are, that can become a refuge for us when other aspects of our body/mind are stressed. It is like a witness that has always been here, never changing, present in all of our life experiences. True spiritual opening is best supported by "a heartfelt release of fear" (as Muktananda once said it). Fear naturally arises but if our intention is clear we will move ahead anyway,recognizing it as pure energy and not following the mental projections that usually accompany it. But this doesn't mean we should overtax our body and mind when we are not living in a supportive system that knows the journey we are taking. It is very challenging to do this all alone. I encourage you to read and learn more and more about the nature of spiritual awakening, and find an appropriate support system for yourself. Best wishes.


To All my Readers:
I have just read a fascinating best-selling book called "My Stroke of Insight" by a neuroscientist brain researcher, Jill Bolte Taylor, who had a profound spiritual awakening during and following a stroke. She believes the right side of the brain holds the potential for the spiritual experiences that people report,and that the activities on the left side of the brain ( like language, reading, math, logical sequencing of thought)which are encouraged in our society and necessary for mental functioning and accomplishments, block our abilities to fully experience the right brain functions (bliss, peace, compassion, seeing everything as One). When her left brain thinking was impaired and shut down she experienced many things commonly described by awakened people. I think readers of this column might find this book very insightful, especially if they have any interest in research. It seems to me that spiritual practices are primarily ways of calming or overpowering the left brain activity and encouraging natural right brain activity (chanting, visualization, following the senses and the breath, stilling our thoughts, etc). Perhaps her work, now that she has recovered her left brain functions, will help to bring together science and spirit in a new way, healing for many.

Anonymous said...

Dear Bonnie
I went through a healing getting rid of Earth bound Spirits. My healer said that I did not need further assistance unless I felt a need for her. My healer mentioned Kundalini although I knew nothing about it. A few hours after this experience my finger tips started to get really hot. Since I am a Spiritual healer would you advise that I look further into Kundalini?
Thank You Annette

Anonymous said...

Dear Bonnie,
Great to come back to the blog. My question is about overwhelming energy balls being thrown at me, as if from a disgruntled family member. My sense is they have a reaction to their feeling and throw energy over here in a habitual reacton and attempt to ________? I ground my energy and attempt not to get caught up in the energy of what is being hurled - blame? (i see balls of light and feel stinging, or jabbing) Of course I'd like it if this didn't happen, and feel I have made "progress" that I don't take it personally, and am not completely upset by it. I sometimes use
vizualization and wish them peace, happiness and ease. Sometimes I get hooked in and feel like I can't take it anymore until I come out of my reaction to whatever this is. I have prayed that whatever I need to be aware of comes to the light of awareness here. Do you have any other suggestions?
It's not an easy thing to live with ongoing.
Thanks,
Anon.

Roz said...

I read your biology of Kundalini quite often this year.

I am experiencing terrible panic attack,unusual breathing pattern,weightlessness,heart beat decreases sometimes,frequently passing stool(not loose motion),deep silence inside my ears,cool breeze entering my eyes,muscle spasm-moderate ones and eye pain lasted for 2 years.

I visited many doctors.Reports are normal however I become depressed,crying and feeling good also for no reason.

Well,since Oct 2007,I am experiencing something which is weird.

I used to do yoga and meditation for 5 years.However,I never knew that I would be experiencing these symptons without any reason.
I am unable to do yoga and meditation now.I become terribly light and I feel that I am floating.

Yes,I also started developing inner voice which is now too prominent.

Pls suggest.

Regards,
Roz

claudemontgomery said...

Bonnie, thanks for providing a space for us. I am a few years into an active K and I have slowly become comfortable in my own skin again. I guess it is more accurate to say that I am comfortable with not knowing exactly what is happening to me. I know it is a beautiful and natural thing and that it will reveal itself more completely over time. Much of what is written here rings true for me. Thanks again.

Anonymous said...

hey bonnie,
i m an engg student n i wud lik sum advice on ma purpose of lyf...couple of events tuk plac in d last year..1st ihad felt a tingling sensatn at d end of my spine stopd aftr 5 mins...aftr sum mths i actuly got a vision that i ws in sum nic place medtating peacefuly in dat dream i cud hear myself chantng mantras nevr hrd b4....n felt my thighs shivering violently.......plz help

Anonymous said...

Thank you for the outreach. It is so easy for the experience to be chalked up to imagination or for charlatans to espouse the virtues of K without the support needed to guide us. My awakening happened in 04. I have yet to find a yoga teacher or spiritual guide to help me navigate this unfolding. Winnie the Pooh is a good teacher though...tv_kelley@hotmail.com is my e-mail if anyone is interested in dialogue

Bonnie said...

Hello Readers...
I am hoping to post more regularly on this blog, and learn ways to make it more current and dynamic and interactive with users. For starters, I will offer general comments and continue to encourage your questions in order to provide more information on the spiritual awakening process.

It is not unusual for people to experience odd energy symptoms, heat, vibrations, and other kinds of stirrings when they do yoga or intense meditation or martial arts and other kinds of practices that may create altered states of consciousness. These events are not kundalini, although in some cases may be precursers to a kundalini awakening, that is, energy changes that precede an awakening. When we do practices that impact our awareness and our breathing this has many influences on the internal energy flows (called prana) and the chemistry of the body and mind. We are essentially an atomic structure, an energy field, and spiritual practices alter our vibrational fields in order to facilitate changes in our perception and functioning. So do not be afraid of these changes, nor work overly hard to stimulate them. Just be open and curious, and focus primarily on the longing to know the truth of what you are, what is your source.

Kundalini energy usually opens up in a spiritual process that leads to realization, but realization can happen first, and kundalini can be a mild aspect of it in many people, although it seems to be a dramatic and even traumatic energy shift in others. So it is best to emphasize the desire to connect with truth and wholeness,than simply to raise powerful energies. You can get lost in the process of manipulating energies, or feeling overwhelmed by them, and get sidetracked from the simple recognition of Truth, which is always available when you rest in inner stillness. Kundalini can be blissful or stressful, and it is a continually changing phenomena.
Many people write me through my website for assessments of their kundalini process, which I am glad to do, but I am also willing to do assessments on this site because your questions can be so helpful to other people. If you want some guidance from me on this site please include the town you live in, your age, what spiritual or energy practices you have engaged in, and a very brief mention of any prior physical or mental issues. Personal questions can only be explored in the context of the unique body/mind and life experience of an individual, because all of us come into this process in unique ways and if we have difficulties with it this is for unique reasons.

Of course you can always ask general questions as well.
My websites www.kundaliniguide.com and www.awakeningguide.com have much information and good book lists for people in this process.

My book "Energies of Transformation" is currently out of print, but I have a few copies available. Email me if you are interested in purchasing one.
I have recently completed a chapter for an anthology on kundalini to be released by Sounds True in the Fall. I will send more information when the book is released. There are over 20 contributors and hopefully it will have useful information for everyone from many perspectives.I am also seeking to publish two other books on kundalini and spiritual awakening.

My main focus right now is on awakening consciousness -- on working with people who want to wake up, in a model similar to my most powerful and inspiring teacher, Adyashanti, who has gifted me the opportunity to teach in his lineage. Check out his website, www.adyashanti.org if you wish to understand the nature of true awakening, and would like to attend one of his programs.
I do satsang in Ashland, Oregon and day-long intensive meditation programs every 2 months. If interested in these, drop me an email at kundinfo@mindspring.com.

One of the most common issues for people with kundalini is insomnia.
I am interested in collecting as much information as possible about techniques for dealing with this so if you have experience drop me a post in this blog. Things I have found helpful include melatonin, warm milk with ghee (melted butter), counting breaths backward from 100, and writing down thoughts if too much thinking is the problem. Usually it is too much energy, as often the body wants to release energy at night. In this case one should try to avoid energy or meditation at night. But if sleeping just doesn't happen for long periods it is really important to catch up on it later in the day, because to go for several nights without sleep in this process can make the mind very chaotic and disoriented. If I do not sleep much for a couple of nights I take a mild over-the-counter sleeping pill and go to bed early the following night. Often people who meditate deeply for long periods need less sleep because the body is restored in stillness, and in these cases you will not feel exhausted or disoriented, just surprised at
how little sleep you need.But if you are dragging and mentally fuzzy, you need more sleep.
Anyone with good solutions is invited to contribute their discoveries here.

Keep in touch here and know you are not alone in this remarkable experience.

David said...

Hi Bonnie,

I posted 2 or 3 years ago with a variety of unexplained health problems that I was unsure were related to meditation or not. Any way, 3 years later I know I have Lyme disease, and that my health problems are 100% separate from kundalini issues. If people have unexplained brain fog, insomnia, chronic fatigue, chronic pain, etc, then I have learned what are some increasingly common causes for them that are not kundalini related. These causes are: Lyme disease, overgrowth of yeast, food allergies, other various low-key pathogens that are completely unknown to modern medicine.

Bonnie said...

Hi David,
This is a very good point. Many of the physical experiences reported with a kundalini awakening can also be caused by other illnesses, and if there are physical problems one should have them checked out by a doctor. Particularly vision problems, stumach problems, disorientation, chronic pain, heat flashes,headaches, chronic fatigue, etc. Sometimes there are latent illnesses that erupt when kundalini activates, or adrenal and hormonal imbalances that occur.
Sometimes the illness (like chronic fatigue or environmentla sensitivity) seems to precede an activation of energy, and sometimes the energy triggers unusual hormonal changes, digestive or nervous system issues and other problems. Although many medical doctors do not have a framework that includes kundalini they can do thorough evaluations for the physical problems and help you to get back in balance. In some cases they can find no logical cause for the physical problem, or the situation shifts spontaneously, in which case it is more likely to be a kundalini-related issue, provided you have other phenomena that indicates a kundalini awakening.(This might include involuntary movements, intense energy rushes, samadhi states, bliss, etc.-- see my websites for the seven categories of phenomena that indicate kundalini awakening.)
Spiritual awakenings do not have to cause physical suffering and do not in many cases, but sometimes the two go hand in hand. No two situations are alike. It is important to take good care of your body during this process.
It is the only vehicle you have to carry forward the benefits of self-realization into your life.

Bonnie said...

I want to comment to the anonymous person who wrote about balls of energy being thrown at him. This is not a kundalini issue, but either about an internal anxiety or a personal conflict that needs to be settled. Occasionally a person becomes involved with a powerful and intense energy character who seems to be invasive and destructive, such as in a cult. It can take much therapy and healing to move beyond the trauma of this kind of relationship and learn to stand free of anyone else's influence again. One must stand up against it within oneself, just say no to the influence of another person's energy, and surround their own consciousness with clear light, and new directions.

But it is also possible that one feels attacked internally because of a major conflict between two people, or guilt, or being in a relationship with someone who is unhealthy and hostile. Again, counseling or therapy is the most effective way of breaking free of these frightening feelings, and learning to break off a toxic relationship and move on in life in a positive way.

It is also possible to have strong eruptions of energy shaking us, especially in someone who does Chigong, martial arts, or energy-opening practices or intense concentration practices of some kind, and this is not caused by someone else, but is like an internal eruption that is trying to release in our bodies and shake out old patterns.

The most effective way to get out of a situation that feels toxic or dark is to stay away from drugs, alcohol, people who are destructive or violent, dark magic practices, and any belief systems you have that sustain fear.It is our minds that make us fearful and unhappy -- thoughts that are depressing and dark. When these arise we do not need to buy into them, and instead we can learn to turn around and look in another direction. If we can't do this alone, then we can benefit from psychotherapy which can help us get free of old and painful experiences that have burdened us.
In addition it is helpful to turn toward the light -- in meeting with positive or inspiring people we know, in being in nature and in the moment, the now, and in doing something we love every day. Find books that inspire you, and emphasize appreciation and kindness in your life. Find friends with whom you can laugh and share dreams. It is as important to value and support your mental health as it is your physical health. There is a joy within each of us that is accessible, and it is only our fearful and sorrowful thinking that keeps us from touching it.

Anonymous said...

Hi Bonnie,
This is a very helpful web-site. I have go thru DNA activation last year and this year have taken Reiki 1 and app 4 months later reiki 2, than ı have taken shamanic activation. After shamanic activation I have felt some tickles and heat in my tailbone. And sometimes when i was wrokıng with Reiki 2 thru my chakras I was feeling an energy goes up thru my chakras and stays inmy head wıth a headache. My Reiki master find this very uncomfortable and ask me to stop all meditative works and now I am allowed to give reiki energy to my chakras up from solak pleksus. My master seemed very scared and ask me not to deal with spiritual issues for a while. However when I read your articles İ felt myself a little bit more comfortable. Do you have any suggestions for me to deal with this process more smoothly? Can I continue with spiritual learning or shall I just leave them? Thank you for your answers.

Anonymous said...

This is a wonderful website. Thank you for taking the time to share your insight and experience about the journey to awakening. I spent most of last evening, and again early this morning reading here. All because I typed the term, "yoga vashistha" into a search engine. Wow! If I had to choose a phrase to describe my reaction to what has been shared by you, that phrase would be...Clarity

Your website is a gift. I'll be passing the URL along to all my friends.

Thank you

Bonnie said...

What it appears that most "activations" do (such as shamanic, DNA, shaktipat,Qigong, kundalini, and even Reichi) is transmit a particular energy pattern that then opens up in the subtle body system of the receiver. Various cultures and individuals have discovered various methods to activate these patterns , in order to pass on specific capacities such as healing, psychic openings, heart openings, and spiritual awakening. While there are no guarantees as to the outcome of any of these transmissions, in some cases they do open up energies that have previously been dormant or latent in the person. Whenever you participate in any kind of activation of energy you are opening yourself up to major energetic and psychic changes, and you may find you have little or no ability to control the outcome. If you did not anticipate these changes you can become frightened or confused about your physical or mental health.

Occasionally kundalini energy activates within a system that does not understand or promote it specifically, such as Reichi or Shamanic practices or breathwork or even certain forms of deep therapy or martial arts.Any practices that involve manipulating the breath, going into altered states, or hearing certain sounds like drumming carry this potential, although they may not have this intention and only 1 in hundreds or thousands may experience the kundalini awakening.
So if you are doing anything that alters breath or consciousness or opens you up to new energy flows it is helpful to know what kundalini is really all about.

Often there are precursers-- certain vibrations or tingling or heat at the base of the spine or sparking through various parts of the body, some involuntary shaking, or the feeling of a vibration or tingling in the body long before kundalini awakenings. There are experiences called prana-tattva (in the yogic terminology) that are energetic releases that can happen for various reasons to anybody and happen often in meditators and those who work with energy fields or breathing practices, or sometimes just following a lot of stress. They are the subtle field's way to release old patterns and blocked energy.

IF kundalini activates there is usually a noticably dramatic surge of energy from the base of the spine upward, or sometimes from the feet. It may stop at the belly, chest, neck or move on up through the top of the head. What usually follows is many months or years of energetic activity, shifts in consciousness, peculiar phenomena like heat,physical difficulties if the energy gets stuck somewhere, vibrations, sounds, etc ( See my website for a complete list). But the function of kundalini is not just to cause wierd or scary or dangerous phenomena. Kundalini is the way the subtle body reorganizes itself so that the consciousness can experience its true nature and thus become more open,and expanded and produce a clear realization of what you are. In time this knowing is recognized as the driving force of your life.

This spiritual awakening, or self-realization is frightening to the ego, and there are many ways a person slips out of it before ever reaching completion because it can be scary, confusing, and make many demands on the personal life. In a sense it strips away our comfortable identity, the sense of who we are, and brings us into a recognition of oneness, stillness, emptiness, expansiveness and peace. It does not become a belief in such things. It is more like a gut-level knowing or remembering, or a breaking out of the boundaries and identities of mind and heart. Many spiritual systems do not believe it is good to tell people this before they do many years of practices to clear themselves. They understand the value of doing this gradually. But I believe today many people are on the edge of awakening who do not know what is happening to them,and cannot find a teacher or guide who can adequately support them, and so it is important to provide a map for the territory.

But all of us have an "ego" a pattern inside us that feels like it holds us together -- this is who we think we are, what we do, how we react, what we believe in. When this is challenged by others we react with discomfort and defensiveness. We think we are defending ourselves but in fact we are defending an illusion. In a spiritual awakening the challenge is coming from within us but we still react, because it feels uncomfortable and even sometimes as if we are losing our minds when we start to feel we are losing ourselves. Our cultural paradigm does not support any other way of being than the ego-driven life.We can't know who we will be without it.

There are many wonderful things that can happen with meditation and spiritual practices -- you can become calm and centered, see through your own negativity and drop old patterns, change your life to be more oriented to love and peacefulness, feel occasional bliss, and find a community of friends that will be supportive and kind. But for some people they will slip into the longing for truth and awakening of the Self. And as this happens energies start to change, and you become more like someone living in the unknown, observing yourself in a process of remarkable change. If you can hold these changes with wonder and curiousity, rather than fear, it will help your process considerably. If you cannot tolerate the energetics that arise you can become calmer by avoiding initiations, transmissions, breathing practices, energy practices,metaphysical teachings and activations, avoiding stress and toxic relationships, and doing more grounded activities (like gardening and walking in nature) and staying present in the moment rather than following thoughts in the mind.

There is guidance on my website www.kundaliniguide.com about how to live more comfortably in a kundalini process.

If meditation gets you too wired or brings up memories that are too painful you can take a break from it, try a walking meditation with eyes open, just being present where you are, or spend less time at it. Eat a healthy diet, avoid drugs and alcohol, and catch up with sleep when you can if the energy wakes you up and interfers with sleep. Nurture the process and your own body and pay attention to the people and places that leave you stressed or drained (even tv or newpapers). The energy is attempting to make you clear and open and to release any stressors you hold in your body.You can help this by letting go of stressful thoughts and activities.

Reichi will not necessarily activate kundalini, and it appears to be a specific energy pattern that stimulates healing or at least relaxation and harmonization in the body. But it can activate kundalini in someone who is very open and ripe for it. If you have been doing a lot of other practices that open you up, the Reichi energy can get in and put more energy into the process.

If you are wanting a spiritual awakening, learn more about what it means, and if you feel ready surrender into the process. If it is happening whether you want it or not, learn more about it, because you may not be able to stop it and are likely to feel very split inside when you do try to stop it. I strongly advise the teachings on www.adyashanti.org which I feel are the most clear and grounding on this subject, and my own essays on www.awakeningguide.com. Adyashanti's meditation tapes are an excellent teaching on the most simple and helpful way to sit in silence.

I do not advise trying to stop what is happening but to moderate it by avoiding further energetic practices until it feels right and you feel ready, and to create a healthy and nurturing lifestyle in order to support the changes. Many people are being invited into these energetic changes and the shifts in consciousness that come along with them, and most feel it is a great gift that brings them peace and a more relaxed relationship with the world, with life and with death. At times it brings bliss and wisdom, as long as one is willing to live in the unknown and in the moment. But it is a different way of being than our lives have been accustomed to and it takes time to get adjusted to it.
I send my two anonymous posters and all readers my warmest wishes for your life to unfold and awaken.

Bonnie said...

This note is for the person who wrote to ask me if as a spiritual healer they should learn more about kundalini. I think you know the answer to this or you would not be drawn to my site. Anyone who works with other people's energy should have some understanding of kundalini, available through my sites and many books recommended there. I cannot tell you all the sad and frightening advice I have heard given by people who have "beliefs" about kundalini and do not understand its role in spiritual awakening. You can be very helpful to people who have had awakenings if you have a broader understanding of this process and the resources available for others, even if you have not had an awakening yourself. In fact there are many spiritual processes and reactions people might bring to a healer that it would useful for any healer to study. It helps to know something about shamanism, Qigong, yoga, tantra,mysticism, channeling and many other spiritual systems. I have found people bringing me stories from many dimensions of the psyche. You can learn how to be supportive. This doesn't mean you need to explain all of this to someone, only that you need to know enough to feel open and responsive to the various kinds of experiences without fear or judgement.

Also, it is natural for energy and heat to arise when one does healing, and sometimes other energies or insights come through the awareness of the healer. None of this is kundalini, but it is a by-product of energies that move through us when we allow our bodies to be used in a healing capacity.

Best wishes for your work...

Bonnie said...

If you are in the Ashland Oregon area I will begin a 6-week workshop on non-dual teachings on Friday evenings on May 15 (2009) and hold a day long meditation program on June 6. Drop me an email at kundinfo@mindspring.com if you wish more information.

Anonymous said...

Dear Bonnie

I am the one who has mentioned DNA and Shaman activations and Reichi etc. First of all thank you for being so helpful and supportive. Because once I felt this irritations in my tailbone I have informed my Reichi master and she was freightened she was so freightened that she informed me that this can make me insane by blowing up my chakra's. However İ am reading your website and with every article I feel my self more comfortable and more relaxed. I began to understand the process and I also understand that this is something amazing which is happening to me. I want to welcome it into my life and learn to live with it. I am living in Istanbul Turkey and was feeling alone and isolated after my master's respons however with your website I feel like I have a friend who is holding my hand in this process. I will continue with Reichi because it let me feel good. Also I will visit www.adyashanti.org and read more and more from your page.

Anonymous said...

Hi Bonnie,
Thank you for this beautiful website. Is it okay to learn Reiki while my kundalini is active? I want to be a Reiki healer,but I'm not sure if it is a good idea to learn reiki since my kundalini is active. Thank you again.

Anonymous said...

Hi Bonnie,
Thank you for this beautiful website. My kundalini has been active for many years now. Is it okay to learn Reiki with other people. I wish to be a Reiki healer,but I'm not sure if it is a good idea to study Reiki with my kundalini being active. Thank you again.

cannibalkiss said...

Hello Bonnie & All,
I stumbled upon this blog tonight while researching childhood visions case studies. I had no idea that it would lead me to kundalini awakenings, but apparently what I experienced in my life might very well be kundalini based. At age 3 I experienced my first profound experience waking in the middle of the night to a strong vibration through my body, opening my eyes above me was an organic structure similar to a sea urchin, black with sharp quills all around it, and a throbbing center. Frightened, eventhough I was asleep in the bed between my two parents, I pulled the sheet above my face. Eventually I removed the sheet, and found that the object was gone. However, at the foot of the bed was a circular grainy white/gray light, with a diameter as wide as the mattress. I crawled over to it, and as I knelt in front of it, it appeared to move convex then concave, repeatedly. I reached up to touch it, and this is where my memory halts for a bit. My parents say they awoke to me screaming and found me kneeling with my hands in the air. My father grabbed me, and I was insistent about leaving the house, looking back and pointing to the bedroom where I said something was there. No one else could see it. But my extended family who also resided there all woke up. I was kicking and screaming, and I can remember clearly to this day seeing into the bedroom at the light object growing in diameter and throbbing slightly. I was taken for a walk, and eventually apparently fell asleep as my father carried me. Since that time I have had experiences that are akin to kundalini awakenings, and have practiced yoga as certain time in my life. The symptoms are the electrical/tingling sensations, hypnogagia, visions of shadow people, three times my heart stopped due to arythmias with no cause the doctors could find, severe rises and falls in sexual desire, visions of a floating eye, visions of somewhat demonic looking being [so much so that I bear a scar on my eyebrow where my mom pushed me into a wall as i was too scared to go into a certain area of the house where these visions occured a lot]. I was raised my a protestand mom and an athiest dad. My beliefs are spiritual but not following any particular religion, although if I had to choose i would be considered protestant with esoteric christian leanings. I guess I want to know if all of this has been kundalini awakenings throughout my life. I am now 43 years old and do not actively practice any sort of meditations or spiritual exercises, yet much of the symptoms of kundalini awakenings seem to follow me. I have delayed researching all this for a long time, due to concerns that it would alter my life too much with so many people relying on me [I have a teen son and a small business with employees]. Is there some way to explore all of this without causing havoc.
-- Debbie D.

Bonnie said...

Dear Friends,
First I want to respond to the question regarding Reichi.I do not see any reason why someone with a kundalini awakening could not do Reichi healing, but it is important to monitor your own responses to working with energy and to know if things are feeling too intense, then to slow down or stop the process for awhile if you think it is needed. In all ways you need to become in tune with your own reactions and whatever messages your own energy is sending you, and be authentic and responsive to your own needs. Also, if you are doing Reichi on others do not attempt to amplify your kundalini energy and pour it into people, as it may be too much energy for another person to absorb at any one time. There is such an intuitive element to doing energy work, where letting go of your own personal agenda and feeling into what is really needed, and letting it move through you can happen. Get lots of training and lots of feedback from students you work with if you plan to do energy work, and above all do not own it as your own work. Kundalini is the life force, the basic source of energy in each of us. While it can be a great blessing when it awakens,it also has life-changing elements to it and not everyone is ready to deal with these changes at the time you may be working with them. If you have experienced a deep awakening to truth or source, and your own issues have dissolved under the shift in identity you have experienced, then an intuitive wisdom may be available in energy work, and if you are drawn to do it there will be no harm. If your ego is caught up in it as making you someone important or special you may find more difficulties in your own process as well as your clients. Have a good teacher, with lots of experience, to guide you in this profession.

Bonnie said...

Now, for Debbie,
It is unusual to have such powerful images appear as a child,(or in any stage of life) and most often they are related to some traumatic event (either your own or in the family system) that is being processed symbolically, or possibly previous life issues. They are not necessarily associated with the activation of kundalini, although sometimes they occur within a kundalini process.
I would wonder if your mother had a tendency to be abusive, if she caused you to slam against a wall so hard it left a scar. Fear of someone in the family (because of violence, yelling or molestation) in a very young age could cause these demonic and terrifying images. If this is a possibility the best way to begin addressing it is through psychotherapy with someone experienced with abuse issues.

Some of the energy phenomena you describe could be related to kundalini but generally there is more positive phenomena too, like bliss, peace, expansiveness of consciousness. You may be having some pranatattva activity, a kind of shaking in which the body tries to release stress and blocked energy, and sometimes happens before a full-on kundalini process.

Although some people describe rather difficult and challenging kundalini processes, many others talk about it in spiritual terms, as opening the body to the potential for bliss, peace, and even ecstatic experience. It is basically a process that deconstructs the old patterns and belief systems that are woven into our energy structure, leaving us more open to live fully present in the hear and now, and to eventually experience self-realization, the recognition kinesthetically of what we are before the thoughts and mind and body are identified with. I think it could be helpful for you to read more about it that is spiritually based before you make any decision about working with it directly. There are many good books on the booklist at my website, and I can send you a copy of my book (now out of print). (If you send me an email from my website I will send you my address and you can return a check to me for $20 and I will mail you the book.)
Kundalini is essentially a process related to spiritual awakening and it could be interesting and comforting for you to learn more about it.
You have not said if you are currently seeing demonic beings and shadow people or how often this occurs. You might benefit from some counseling with a transpersonal or Jungian therapist, who is comfortable with such phenomena, or from a consultation with someone who has had these phenomena in relationship to a psychic opening.
People who are psychic often report such kinds of experiences as children. It sounds as if you are longing to get some understanding and explanation for these events and learning more about it is not very likely to cause disturbances. However doing practices that are aimed at opening you up more like tantric or dark magic or getting involved with people who are into manipulation of energy or power could definitely cause more problems for you.
You have accomplished having a family and a career and this is evidence of a certain kind of stability in you, despite these openings, so you are likely at a time in life where spiritual exploration would not cause any serious problems. But there are no guarantees on the spiritual journey, which can be very destabilizing at times. Learn as much as you can and make a decision based on your heart's desire.
I wish you the very best.

Argon said...

Hi Bonnie and everyone :-)

It is so nice to have found your blog, and so comforting to know that there are others out there that have similar experiences!! Thank you Bonnie for creating and maintaining this site, and for spending so much thoughtful time and energy in answering our questions and comments! You seem to be a very well informed, but open-minded and caring person - perfect for this "subject".

I'll try to be brief, but that's very hard to do with my experiences with Kundalini. I've been connected to this Energy my whole life, but I've had a hard time figuring out what it is until recently. Now I'm looking for people that are similar to me in their connection to the Energy some people call Kundalini, Chi, the Universe's Chi, Prana, the Holy Spirit, Spirit, God, Gaia, Mother Earth, Energy and so many other names the list could go on and on. Since birth I've called her Mother, or The Energy, or The Connection. Some studies on geniuses state that high geniuses are open to this Energy, and from my own experiences I feel that it's true. I'm a high genius who is now mainly interested in growing within this Energy in a positive way. (Please don't think I'm trying to say that I'm better than most people. I'm not! I'm only trying to share myself, and I'm a wee bit different than most people - but maybe a lot like some of you who are reading this Kundalini Blog ;-] I've recently read some of what Gopi Krishna says about his Kundalini experiences, and they are very similar to mine, but there are also many differences.) In my life I've had many visions, mostly of my own future, which have come true. I've also had many visitations by what I can only describe as Spirits, Angels, Ghosts, Fairies, Aliens, and many I have no name for. All of them have been positive, though, and the Angels are always so full of PURE LOVE!!! They make me want to stay with them forever, but so far I always return to earth after awhile :[ I've astro-projected several times, and also gone to many innerspace gatherings of spirits, but I forget most of what I'm told there when I "come down to earth." I feel like I'm just a small child with all these Spirits, and many times I don't quite understand them, so I end up just playing while I soak up their words and energy. But when I'm "down to earth" the Energy is strong within me, I can sometimes feel people's minds/emotions (empath,) which sometimes gets confusing, as other Empaths know all too well. But I've learned to let the Energy fill me so full of calming Bliss, I am no longer bothered so much by other people's emotions and energies. Sometimes when there's a house fire, or a forest fire, I feel the Energy just ripping through me, telling me to run! (Yes - I feel them before the firefighters are notified. When I was young, I used to feel guilty, as if I had somehow started the fires.) Several times in my life, there has been an energy that flows up my spine and then explodes within my head, usually after a hard physical workout within the Energy (guided by It,) and then an immediate meditation session. Then my mind/self is enveloped in light. I could go on and on, but this "bio" is getting long enough. Let it suffice that I'm an extremely open minded person that embraces the wondering, wandering child in all of us. I would love to at least talk with anyone that feels they have any type of strong connection to what I call Mother :-) My email is innerspacewalker@gmail.com
Take care of yourselves, and live within the Energy :-)

Argon said...

Hi again :-)
P.S.
I would also like to share with the Anonymous poster from Istanbul, Turkey an experience I recently had with Reiki and Kundalini:

Approximately six months ago, my best friend, who's also my wife :-), was doing Reiki on my lower spine. I had asked her to do this while I was meditating and entering into what I call the Energy. Her hands are usually very hot, but this time they felt extremely cold to me. (She said later that they never felt cold to her, but instead were extremely hot.) Anyway, I felt the Energy going strongly up my spine, and also branching out to the rest of my body, and then my head became sparkly, then white, and then a loud snap sounded in my head. It was so loud I had a momentary fear that something had broken within my brain, but then my mind expanded immensely! I felt like my head suddenly had doubled or more in size. It's really hard to describe. And then vision after vision filed past me, and everything was so very clear. When my wife ended the Reiki session, I asked her if she had heard the loud snap, and she said that she hadn't. I then tried to explain to her what had happened, but words failed me. I finally joked and said that I think that I've had an "upgrade", and that the graphics and sound system were much better ;-) Anyway, it's been six months now, and I feel that Reiki has helped me, not harmed me in any way.
Good luck to you in Istanbul, and to everyone else :-)

Barbara Rockhold said...

Hi Bonnie! Don't know if you'll remember me, but you were my field work supervisor at El Dorado Guidance Center in San Jose back in 1977-78. I held an art therapy group at the center. I wanted to get an ATR at Lone Mountain College, but they closed down the year I graduated. After that, I worked as a graphic designer for many years, just recently "retiring" early. I'm now a starving artist doing symbolic or Surrealist work.

A couple years ago, I suffered a clinical depression and went into therapy. It's been a difficult two years. I've had two different therapists, been in a Mindfulness Group for a year, tried marriage therapy, meditation, yoga and joined the Unitarian Universalist Church. This week my therapist suggested that I was suffering a spiritual crisis rather than a psychological one. I wasn't sure what she meant by that, so I googled it and came across your name and remembered you. From what I've just read on various websites, I think I am in a spiritual or kundalini crisis. I'm wondering if you'll be having any workshops in Santa Cruz?

My therapist suggested that I might need a spiritual guide or meditation teacher. I remember you as being a wonderful mentor to me. I think you were also involved in Creative Initiative, which is probably where I met you. I'm not sure where you live now, but I live in El Cerrito (near Berkeley). You may be too far away, but if you are doing any workshops in Santa Cruz or the SF bay area, I'd love to know.

If you'd like to see some of my artwork, go to:
http;//directory.ac5.org/brockhold

You can also contact me at:
brockhold@earthlink.net

Namaste, Barbara

Bonnie said...

Hi Barbara,
I do remember you and suggest you contact me through my email --kundinfo@mindspring.com, and we can set up a phone consultation. I live in Ashland Oregon most of the time and in Santa Cruz in the Winter and I do phone mentoring and kundalini assessments with people from all over the world.
I hold day long meditation retreats every few months that are periods of silent meditation, talks and dialogues. This Fall they are on September 12 and November 7 in Ashland. You (and any of my readers) are welcome to attend -- just register through my email address. (Ashland is a wonderful town to visit as it is a theater town with a beautiful park and many activities for tourists.)

I will also be in San Rafael at the Embassy Suites from Oct. 21 to 25 for a conference on Science and Nonduality (anyone interested can look it up at www.scienceandnonduality.org.) If you would like to meet there during that time I can arrange it.

Also, for good insight into the nature of spiritual awakening check out the teachings of Adyashanti at www.adyashanti.org.
His book "Emptiness Dancing" is a collection of his talks on awakening which I edited a few years ago. He does a live show on his website twice a month that you can watch or hear on your computer.

I also recommend a newly published book by Sounds True titled "Kundalini Rising: Exploring the Energy of Awakening".
I contributed a chapter to this anthology, which offers varied perspectives on the kundalini experience by primarily contemporary authors. I have also written a book about kundalini called "Energies of Transformation" that is out of print, although I have some copies at home I can send to people.

Many people have experiences of depression or feeling undirected and flat, and even as if all their life is falling apart, before or during a kundalini process, when energy is arising and doing a clearing process that strips us of our previously held beliefs and identities. This is a major function of a spiritual mentor or teacher -- to help someone navigate these deep psychic shifts.

I look forward to hearing from you.
Bonnie

Jeremy said...

Hi, Andy, I read your blog where you mention ida and pingala, understand that these are the nerves that Kundalini will rise through if your body and mind are not completley ready for the awakening. Be very careful as to not bring the energy through these nerves. Gopi Krishna warns of this phenomenon in his autobiography "Living with Kundalini" which you need to read if you are seriously searching. I was awakened as a child and have learned that the energy rose through me up my sushumna nadi, the central nerve cord. Kundalini's rising through either the ida nadi or pingala nadi will bring confusion and darkness into the mind, depression and your personality will change.

Bonnie said...

Hi Jeremy,
Gopi Krisha had a particularly difficult time with kundalini, possibly because he was over-doing intense practices on his own without any guidance, and perhaps he was a very intense personality, driven to awaken. I have only rarely encountered anyone who had the depth of difficulty and struggle that he describes. Although much of his story can be helpful to readers it is also important not to be overrun by fear in this process. Fear seems to amplify every kind of phenomena and slow down the movement toward spiritual realization that is a natural outcome of kundalini arising.I rarely recommend his book because it can scare people who might otherwise have no problem with this process. When I was initially dealing with kundalini and doing research on it the only time I felt worried about what might happen to me was when I read his book. Tantric and yogic practices can be very powerful, especially in a body that is not living a yogic life (limited diet, purification, etc), especially if they are practiced to extreme without a teacher who can tell you what you are ready for next. One can become physically and emotionally overwhelmed, mess up their nervous system, and show brief evidence of psychosis. Even with excellent guidance, they are designed for someone who has renunciated the world and lives in a safe and secure enviroment, without a lot of stress or decision-making to do. Today people do them from books, or in classes with teachers who have not opened kundalini and worked through the issues it brings, and while drinking, using drugs, working in stressful environments, or sleeping around so that they pick up many energies from others, and these factors can lead to much more chaos and confusion during an awakening process. Sometimes kundalini awakens spontaneously, and if the life is moderately harmonious and authentic then the adjustments it brings do not have to be a problem. And if it awakens while doing intense practices of some kind it is also easier if the person has a spiritual perspective, and a relatively harmonious lifestyle, as well as a reasonably healthy psychological outlook.
According to the yogis there are 50 major nadis, or primary lines of energy flow in the body, and the 3 principle ones are ida, pingala and sushumna. There are many thousands of smallers lines of energy in the subtle field, as if we are a web of energy.
If it feels like the energy is moving only up one side, and often this is accompanied by extreme heat or cold, there is a practice you can do to coax it back into the center.
Sit straight and relax, becoming completely present in the chair and the room you are in.
Take a few minutes to become quiet inside, feeling thoughts, feelings and the energy of the day dropping down and away. If you have trouble becoming quiet imagine you are just putting all these things on a shelf or in a bag on the floor and you can pick them up later if you wish. Imagine the flowing energy gathering back down at the base of the spine. Take a couple of slow and easy breaths. Then visualize a thread of light moving up the center of your spine from the tailbone to the base of the neck (Or top of the head if that is easier). As you imagine this light imagine it getting wider, becoming the size of a hose or a glass tube. Keep letting it enlarge until it is 5 or 6 inches, then gradually as wide as your body.Breathe gently throughout this process imagining energy moving up with the inhalation and down with the exhalation. You can keep widening this energy until it feels comfortable, even beyond the body if you wish. This practice seems to expand the subtle body field in a way that diffuses the intensity of the energy, and centers it. It works best if you are relaxed and do the process slowly, feeling a connection with your entire body.

Bonnie said...

PS
There is another minor nadi that occasionally gets opened when kundalini arises in an incomplete way, in which a person can become extremely emotional and irrational. I am told it goes from the base directly to the brain without flowing through the spine.I have seem this happen most commonly in people who have experienced abuse in their childhood past, or awakened on drugs. They may have had a slight arousal of kundalini during a traumatic or intense event and the energy settled down again, but years later when they are at a retreat, or learning to meditate, the energy responds quickly and rises through the wrong channels, since the body and consciousness is not yet prepared. It's as if all the stored panic, fear and tension of the earlier event has been plugged up there and the nervous system just explodes. People get through this, but need to stop meditation or energy practices until they are grounded, and have dealt with the emotional residual that has arisen.
It will be too much coming too fast if they don't take the time to do the healing that is needed.
There are many reasons that depression can happen during this process, as it seems to be stripping away the old identity and drive, and the mind can feel lost and empty. Also many emotions can arise randomly for brief periods as if they are clearing out of the system. It can take months and years for kundalini to open all the passages that move toward liberation and an internal sense of freedom and during that time there can be many ups and downs. It is not a mistake; it is part of the process. Adyashanti's new book "The End of Your World" discusses many of the dynamics that occur on the way to self-realization. A major shift in consciousness occurs, simply called waking up in some traditions.This shift causes a personality change as the entire world view changes.
With Best wishes, Bonnie

rahul said...

hi Bonnie, i just want to know, is it true that one can do anything as he wish, or one can even visualize the future by doing kundalini yoga.

Bonnie said...

Hi Raul,

Kundalini yoga and other yoga systems are designed to strengten the mind and body and make us more open, clear and capable of experiencing our true nature directly through our bodies (rather than falling into detached etherial states). In a committed yoga practice one becomes more flexible physically and mentally, old emotional issues may arise to be faced and released, the mind may become less foggy, the posture and balance improved, and in some cases major health issues are improved. The energy is freed to move more freely. If one meditates as well there can be a gradual opening into a transformed way of looking at the world, relaxation and happiness.
Because you become more free of your own restrictions and self-imposed limitations you can certainly move more freely in the directions you most desire, feeling less inhibited and limited.
But can you do anything you want? It depends on what you want. If you are speaking of magical powers this is not likely in 99.9% of cases. There are stories of yogis who do astonishing things but rarely are these actually witnessed, and generally they are beings who are almost mythical. Sometimes powers are developed through intense and disciplined yoga practices, but this kind of emphasis can be very destructive for the psyche and the spiritual life. Why does someone need this kind of power? Isn't it to compensate for a feeling of inadequacy in the world? Wouldn't it be enough to lead a useful and happy life and bring something good into a world where there is so much strife? Why would anyone need to fly or walk on water or walk through walls or have power over other people's lives? These desires are just another form of delusion and attachment that distract from our real potential for liberation and happiness.
Some people do acquire a siddhi of seeing into the future, and some are born with this. My understanding is there is a particular brain center that opens that alllows this ability. People I have met who occasionally see the future often regret it as it can cause great concern over what to do about it. There are often moments however, when people know they should call a person, or sense something is going to happen, and are able to respond in a helpful way to a friend or family member in trouble. We can learn to be more in tune with our intuition and develop it to better serve ourselves and others. It's not the same as having major visions of upcoming events (which can be really terrifying), but is an undeveloped capacity in most of us. Intuition could be amplified by doing yoga and becoming more open and relaxed and more in harmony within ourselves.
Kundalini yoga can also open up lots of energy and it is well if your life and emotional condition is in good shape when you go into it, as along the way of becoming more vitally alive energetically most of your conditioning and personal issues arise to be released. Of course this work can lead to greater freedom and personal capacity in your life, but it is a powerful process.

rahul said...

hi Bonnie,
thanks a lot for your reply. Actually i have learned Kundalini Yoga from a meditation class, my interest in kundalini yoga was because i had a weak mind, or you can say a dumb mind, i was always afraid. so i learned this, and interestingly it worked, i am practicing since 6 months and now i am the master of my mind. i can perform better, and now i dont know what is fear. i can feel better. But still i am not perfect in kundalini yoga, i dont feel complete, i think my chakras are not fully opened, is it because its 6 months only? if so then how much it will take to feel it completely.

Therese said...

Hi Bonnie,

I have been practicing Kundalini for about one year. I have had many interesting experiences, some of which are listed on your website. Recently, I have been experiencing a new phenomenon that I am curious about. Just as the energy is raising up into my 6th chakra my eyes roll back into my head and my eyelids flutter. This lasts about a minute or so. Can you tell me why this happens and if there is anything to be concerned about?

maynard said...

Hello Bonnie, I was the "cage fighter" that you spoke with a little while back. I am doing much better now. I have waves of brilliant insight that allow me to draw new conclusions on old life events. These new conclusions seem to make me feel "lighter" and less cluttered, just as you describe. I read in a post that you made that the ego will come and go, often re-cling to its familiar old pattern mind state as waves of clarity come and go. I have been trying to meditate briefly here and there on pure consciousness, and energy will move around, sometimes clearing me up and allowing for what i perceive to be my higher self to be more noticeable. Is there anything I should be doing at this point, or should i just let the kundalini run its course. Should i consciously resist my ego and try to revert back to a clear state anytime i find myself being concerned with meaningless distractions, vanity,what people are thinking of me, ect. Or, should i just let go more and allow this back and forth struggle to take place, and let the kundalini dictate my mind set? I hope that made sense. I will say that simply reading some of your comments on here are soothing. I cant read your book yet, i get head pressure when i read, thanks in advance.

maynard said...

One last thing; You warned that my wife may experience symptoms. She has, some pressure moving around in her, with a little rush of fear. Does that mean anything? Will she be succeptable to an awakening, or is just simply a side effect of being close to someone who had an awakening?

Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Keegan Burkholder said...

This is amazing. Thank you so much.

rachel said...

Not sure if I'm doing this correctly, blog-wise. i'm a first-timer in the process. wished to initiate a new question....

Experienced K awakening back in '94. Practiced for many years with good dilegence. Then, fell off the wagon, so to speak. in the interim, the shakti remained perceptible in my body, but quite weak. i'd check in on her once in awhile just to be certain i wasn't crazy about the whole thing to begin with. (though i knew i wasn't)

originally, had some guidance from Dr. Russell Park. attended one of the KRN conferences in, what Mountain View, or thereabouts?

anyhow, quit drinking and pot recently and began again to practice. its been a couple of months now, since i began meditating and working with K-ma actively.

so, all that said, here's my question. been meditating twice a day, 2-3 hours total, basically. often, one of the daily meditations is given to pranayama and working with the shakti.

couple of days ago, i was streaming shakti up thru muladhara, my sphincter muscles contracting, the energy flowing, spiralling, etc., and moving through my lower body and up into the heart region. (i was doing this intentionally, in partnership with shakti.) then, I was reaching up into the 12-finger space above the head and bringing down energy into the head and throat and into the heart space. taking time to concentrate, swirling with the serpent-like movement of the shakti, working to clear passageways, etc. working with the breath, although by the point in my meditation when this work was occurring, the breath had mostly dropped into that very minimal place. Body was very relaxed. Spasms certainly occurred. i'm figuring several years of kind of hard living have taken their toll.

anyhow, i'm conjoining the two flows of energy into the heart region, and then the alarm sounds at the end of this hour and a half seated, (but active), meditation.

so here's my question. i was so discombobulated throughout the day. I forgot my work materials on the front porch. had some stuff happen at work that bugged the heck out of me. just felt so out of sorts the whole day. even found myself having brief depressed kind of thoughts. (accent on brief, the past few months of work have really been transformative.)

It was a great meditation while it was occurring. my focus was strong, the shakti was strong and worked in many of the ways familiar to me from years ago. but when it was over, i felt kind of irritable, a little. a bit on edge.

none of this was enough to really concern me, i didn't get any headaches, or anything, and you know, work has to happen for progress to be made.

What do you think about this experience? Any light you can shed on it?

Thanks,

Rachel

Bonnie said...

Hello to all,
Please forgive the comments just above. Someone invaded this space with them and I do not have the codes to come in and erase it at this time but I will work on it.

Working through the most recent comments:

Celibacy is not required for a kundalini arising, and awakening kundalini in order to become more powerful or get what you want is a very limited perspective. But it is true that kundalini arising changes you deeply, and by deconstructing your old patterns frees you to live more fully. There are many ancient classical ways of working with kundalini in India and some of these emphasize power or celibacy but I have found many hundreds of people who have had genuine awakenings and for whom this development led to deep and profound realization of truth who are not following these strict practices. That is only one model, and perhaps useful for some, and many people find they go through a stage of needing to be celibate that comes from within. However promiscuity and preoccupation with sexuality does not support the process in any way because the energies of kundalini are moving in a particular pattern upward through us and sexual activity produces a downward flow. In addition sex with many partners may create an overload of energies to be released from the body. One can become very sensitive at times during this process and pick up other peoples energy fields. Sometimes the shaking and releasing is simply to release energies that do not belong to us - you could think of it like a stress releasing mechanism, so it is helpful not to be overloaded with hyperactivity that involves others, and to allow the body to relax and be focused on supporting the kundalini process instead of expelling large amounts of energy. Celibacy can be useful in calming things down and also in blocking the preoccupation with sexuality that many people experience (as long as you are not thinking about it all the time which is just as distracting!)

Kundalini awakening does not complete in any brief period of time. Yoga practices can certainly increase calm and peacefulness and clear headedness,but if they open up kundalini there can follow months and years of energy releasing, unique conditions (described on my website) and mystical experiences. Ultimately, especially if there is an awakened teacher available, the kundalini energy brings one to a place of self-realization, or connection with universal consciousness. Even this is not "completion" , which involves a gradual movement into living in harmony and peace. You have no control over any of this other than to open to it and allow. Spiritual awakening is a profound shift of perspective and presence in life, and one can experience glimpses of it for many years before it becomes stable.

If your partner is experiencing little bursts of energy followed by fear he or she may be resonating with your energy and feeling anxiety. A partner or lover can activate energy by being close to you but it is not likely to be a permanent state unless they are meditators, or doing spiritual practices, and longing also for awakening. In some cases even with these attributes their body is just not inclined to open to the energy fully. It is possible to wake up without any intense kundalini energy process proceeding it. It depends on many factors. But if someone you care for is experiencing energy help them become more curious about it, or to feel at ease with it and not to get preoccupied with fear, which only makes it a problem.

Bonnie said...

Regarding the symptom of the eyes rolling back in the head this is not uncommon during intense meditation sessions and you can see it in pictures of classical yogis in samadhi. I don't know why it happens -- perhaps because of how internal energies are flowing, or because the focus is turned so inward -- but it is temporary and will pass. When you come out of meditation after such an intense experience, take time to sit still and look around and get completely oriented where you are, present and grounded, before rushing up to go into your daily activities. You may need some quiet transition time.

For Rachel:

The practices you are doing are very intense and will promote many kinds of phenomena. Energy rushes into the head and it is not at all surprising that you are later disoriented or distracted. Our brains are chemically altered by these practices and this intense concentration and by experiencing altered states. In the end there can be more clarity, but during transition times it can become quite muddled. Take time after your practices to unwind, be patient with yourself if you are forgetful, and slow down on the intensity and become more simple in your spiritual practices if you find them too disruptive. Intense practices can lead to many phenomena, some ecstatic, some challenging and difficult. Eventually a seeker might try just simple sitting and being, resting as presence, and find no more longing for the extravagance of energy practices. But this is a stage many seekers go through.I highly recommend Adyashanti's tapes "True Meditation" produced by Sounds True. I also recommend bringing your focus and energy down into the gut after doing these practices, and getting grounded and feeling present in your body and in the moment before you go on with your day.
Also if you have been using chemicals to alter consciousness there can be a long period when the residual is wearing off and many energy and mood shifts can occur during this cleaning out stage, just as when you do body therapy or massage toxins can be released from the body afterwards making you uncomfortable for a while.

Regarding the question related to ego --there is no one right way to do any of this.Sometimes when we fall into old patterns we snap out of it when they are noticed, and sometimes we realize later what we have done. Isn't that which would do away with ego just another part of ego (spiritualized)? who wants you to be different than you are? When you are awake the awakeness just laughs at your silliness, and is very forgiving of our humaness. This becomes a much more natural and comfortable place to be eventually, when the mind is tired of having to be entertained all the time. So do what feels right moment to moment, or just be who you really are before all the need to create a image about yourself arises.

As we learn to tolerate and love ourselves in all our insanity and confusion that which notices becomes more present, and we begin to have greater compassion for the state of the world.

Love to all of you, Bonnie

Jayne said...

Hi Bonnie,
I am glad to have found your site. I had a beautiful Spontaneous Kundalini Awakening 10 years ago during savasana (?) after a Hatha Yoga session. I danced and held beautiful poses that I haven't learnt before (had just learnt yoga for 2 months then). For about 2 months after the awakening, I felt terrible in crowded places. However, after that, I experienced the energy as healing and seem to be able to heal self and others (debatable, placebo effect?). I believe that the energy helped in the birth of my child. I felt like the universe was helping me. It was my first and it went really fast.

I know very little about this. I haven't been practicing yoga or meditation for years and years. Found it hard to reconcile this 'alternative' ability with my training in science. Also, not quite sure how to reconcile this with my monotheistic faith...

I see it as a gift but don't quite know what to do with it. Nowadays, spontaneous movements come only when I allow them. Seem to have better control of my energy channels?

Just wondering if I should meditate? Continue yoga practice? Tried kundalini yoga but that scared me because I feel torrents of energy flowing through during kundalini yoga practice. I think kundalini yoga seems to open up energy channels even more?

Develop my healing ability (I can't be sure about this. I know it works with me, and my family thinks I can heal them too, but then, it could all be in their mind!).

Anonymous said...

Well, I finally did it. I tapped into the void so to speak. I became the hum of the universe. I couldnt have done it with out your site, where i first learned of the possibility. I tuned into the the hum i hear when everything is quiet, and it became louder and louder, and finally filled me up until i thought i was going to burst. Then there was this sensation I had that i remember having as a child when i would stay really still, its funny i can now remember basically doing the same practice as a kid and remember that different sensations would occur. Anyhow, filling up with the sound, and then a pop, like the levve broke and then i expanded until "I" became the void, universe, anyway you with to lable it. It was surprisingly peaceful, and i was concious of what was happening. I think i could have gone further however, but i feel like i broke a seal last night and it was amazing.

Bonnie said...

Tonight I finally opened up this site and cleared out a few old inappropriate postings and ads people had inserted here, and added at the top an invitation to the programs I have scheduled here in Ashland Oregon in the coming months. Please feel free to ask questions on this site or leave information you feel can be very helpful to others in this process. I have connected with over 1000 people over the years who have awakened kundalini energy, so please know you are not alone if this process has activated in you, and you are, in fact, in good company. Trust your energy, your wisdom and the great emptiness or spaciousness you may found to be the ground of everything. Beyond this empty stillness is also a radiant opportunity to live fully, for as the Buddha has said "Form is Emptiness and Emptiness is Form". There is a miraculous quality to life when this message is penetrated, for how wondrous that out of all this "nothingness" all this appearance is playing out endlessly. Awakening is not about becoming more powerful or becoming something other than what you are -- it is about seeing what lies behind all of life and relaxing into that understanding. This naturally changes how you feel and how you live, and dissolves your identification with the old egoic patterns. It enables you to live freely and to respond spontaneously. Enjoy it!

rachel said...

Bonnie,

thanks so much for your kind response of some weeks past.

please allow me to confess that I was perhaps a bit more curious about whatever response you might offer than with serious concern for the process of energy work. So far as the conduct of kundalini/tantra yoga goes, I have been privileged to enjoy many years practice. Though my life has undergone some changes, the persistent presence and guidance of the one whom I have chosen to call, Mother Kundalini, has remained throughout, though I have not always proven the best disciple.

Now, I characterize this practice as "kundalini or tantra yoga," because as you know, these practices have existed for, well, more than a couple of thousand years. It has been speculated that hatha yoga, and much of the science of yoga and meditation came about as a result of practitioners who awakened to an awareness of Kundalini's inner energy, and followed the shakti's guidance.

Something I have found missing in contemporary accounts of "kundalini" type awakenings, is the systematic application of yoga wisdom to enter into a partnership with kundalini shakti.

One can certainly choose to simply allow whatever symptoms, physical, psychic or otherwise to occur and follow whatever spiritual course of action one may find attractive--or indeed, none at all.

However, the vast literature, tradition and science of tantra yoga suggests another course of action.

One can begin to partner with the kundalini shakti, and steadily and truly, discover that this inner, energetic yoga, accompanied by breathwork, physical yoga and meditation, lead the aspirant to qualities of both spiritual and physical relaxation that are extraordinary.

The basic principle of kundalini yoga is fairly straightforward, I believe. There is Shiva and there is Shakti.

When one's entire presence is filled with universal vibration, and when that absolute fullness of sensation is witnessed by the utter still, no-thingness of Shiva, union transpires. One recognizes one's own Self as absolute sensation and perfect silent/stillness.

This is the goal of energy work, according to traditions from Kashmir to Bengal, and also, I believe, some tantric Buddhist traditions, as well.

Thus, one might find the characterization of energy work as extravagant, or simply a stage to be worked through and left behind, a bit facile.

There is a subtle implication, in your comment that suggests that kundalini awakening experiences follow a particular, perhaps even regular or singular path.

Perhaps like some others, I have experienced the refinement that occurs as the energy work leads successively, to subtler states of meditative awareness (which can become one's everyday awareness, as time passes),as well as more profound states of emotional and physical relaxation and equanimity. Whether or not, "just sitting," means quite the same thing to both of us, let me say that I am familiar with the Grace that one may experience when the quality of meditation becomes so still and the subtlety of awareness so enchanting that--well, suffice to say that it is in the least transformational.

However, there are many ways of effecting and experiencing transformation. There are no "true meditations," only characterizations of meditations as such by persons.

Rachel

rachel said...

Notwithstanding this appears to be a not especially active blog, I wish to add a few further comments to those I made above. This is an issue that I've pondered for some time.

First, let me say to you, Bonnie, that I applaud the work you've done in both assisting persons with spiritual emergence issues and creating a dialogue about such phenomenon. I recall reading your book many years ago, and was glad to partake of your wisdom.

I have found, over the last sixteen years or so since my own initial energetic awakening, that a great deal of phenomenon gets put into a big cauldron that is often called, kundalini.

I find this somewhat troubling. I think that perhaps there exists a body of occurrences that are generally "energetic" in nature, display a number of kinds of phenomenon, or 'symptoms' if you will, and are often associated with, related to, (etc.), the emergence of spiritual potential among experiencers.

There also exists a body of spiritual wisdom, philosophy and practice that generally emerged from India, and possesses as one of its central characteristics, the phenomenology and lore of kundalini.

Certainly, the former and latter are likely related in certain ways. However, there are also important differences.

Energetic symptomology is certainly something that is shared by the historical body of tradition that is kundalini tantra or yoga, and the appearance of such generally in persons the world over.

As I mentioned in my above post, a person may approach, interpret and conduct his/her relationship with energetic and associated experiences, however they may choose. No one tradition or path possesses absolute command over the course of human spiritual transformation and fulfillment.

I do find it troubling, nevertheless, that under the all-inclusive rubrick of kundalini, much of what hails most truly from the wisdom and wealth of the kundalini tradition, is being marginalized or ignored.

The emergence into one's sensory awareness of the energetic quality of their body, mind and expansive, transpersonal being, is a tremendous gift. This was realized by yogins of old, from Patanjali to Abhinavagupta. The tradition of awakening, cultivating and achieving spiritual transformation by means of kundalini became the work of centuries, of thousands of adepts.

From this wisdom, we recognize the potential that energetic emergences can offer--given the right guidance, the particular potential of the aspirant and, shall I say, the will of Grace.

The path of energetic awakening can lead to a quality of consciousness by virtue of which the adept is wont to exclaim: I am all, and all is Me! One can, by following the yoga of shakti to ever more subtle frequencies of ecstatic sensibility, discover that she can literally experience the world and all its dynamic, vibratory energy, as his own body. The difference between one's perception of one's own being as a person somehow separate from the whole of conscious being disappears. One becomes not simply a witnesser of the dynamic life of the world, but the ultimate participant. They become Shiva, the cosmic actor, whose creative, dynamic nature is as essential to His recognition of Self as Her perfect Awareness.

The reason I mention these things is, I suppose, to highlight the need for offering persons who are or have undergone energetic type awakenings, the opportunity to understand and appreciate the principle that awakening to an awareness of one's energetic potential is only a first step. If a person so chooses, he or she can enter into a dynamic, creative relationship with this energy, and discover the ultimate recognition that absolute Awareness is absolute Vibration, that utter stillness is pure sensation.

Rachel

Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Bonnie said...

Dear Rachel,
Thank you for your comments which describe beautifully a classical interpretation of the process of kundalini awakening and its outcome, realization of Self or union with all that is. It is an amazing gift in a lifetime when someone has the good fortune to move through this experience into a clear and stable awakening, and if one finds guidance and a teacher that can take them to this realization.
I agree that all energetic phenomena are not necessarily related to kundalini. Yogis have called it prana-tattva when there are lesser movements of energy and releases but it is not a full awakening of kundalini. There can also be strong releases of energy related to body therapy, physical strain and exhaustion, emotional release, meditation, extreme homeopathy treatments, childbirth or trauma and for other reasons, and of course many kinds of nervous conditions and illness can cause involuntary movements and other kundalini-like symptoms temporarily. But I have found for the most part people who contact me have deep spiritual shifts along with the energy activations, and they can come into a cooperative relationship with the energy that enables them to continue to deepen spiritually and allow their energy to move with less stress and sometimes bliss. I have seen many people move on into consciousness awakening itself, and the understanding of " being" such as you describe, either spontaneously or by continuing with simple meditation practices.I have met only a few yoga masters who might be able to guide one through graduated tantric or yogic practices into awakening, and many people do not have access to this kind of guidance, or are already in systems which are not connected to these practices (e.g. Qigong, Catholic nuns or Christian ministers, Zen Buddhism) or live in remote areas or have limited money for travel. There are fortunately many paths to the realization of Self (or no-Self or One-Self) but few of these paths include the deep complex understanding of the relationship of shakti or energy to spirituality and awakening.
I see tantra and classical kundalini practices as a wonderful path if one has the discipline, an awakened instructor, and the time and money to give to it. Truly realized masters are hard to find and rarely easily accessible. But I know profound realization is also possible without these guided practices as I have seen this occur in other traditions and even for some with no tradition and no practice. But invariably there is an energetic component because shakti and shiva are One, and we are energetic systems within the vastness of consciousness. So I attempt to support people in a way that is not so reliant on a particular tradition, and encourage them to meet their own energetic shakti with a positive sense of possibility and a sense of trust in their own innate opportunity for transformation.
Your descriptions of realization are beautiful and I appreciate your contribution here. Thank you.

rachel said...

Bonnie, (et al),

Appreciate your comments very much. Your voice rings true.

I believe that it is possible that the tantric/kundalini yoga path need not require quite so much as is often assumed.

Certainly, there is absolutely no doubt that personal discipline is paramount. Effective guidance is also extremely useful.

There exists so much in the tradition of kundalini and tantric yoga that is, I feel, needlessly convoluted and confusing.

When my energetic awakening occurred, after the first months of visions, ecstasies, samadhis and so forth, I settled down to work. I fell in love with practice and with that voice that I discovered within who began to guide me and teach me.

I fell in love with the adventure of transformation, the adventure of discovery that occurs when one explores the nature of their own consciousness/awareness through their body, mind and beyond.

I believe that tantra yoga principles can be understood and practiced by anyone, with or without benefit of formal teaching. I don't believe that any "dramatic" energetic kind of awakening is essential for effective transformation of consciousness. I do believe that certain kinds of practices will, in time, introduce practitioners to the sensation of their own vital energy currents.

I believe that "self-realization, enlightenment," etc., are terms that describe transformation of one's consciousness. I believe that that transformation is largely the sum of the equation, effective work equals effective transformation.

If you spend an hour twice a day working to surrender all tension in the body/mind and cultivating a state of contentless awareness, then in a reasonably amount of time, you will entirely transform your experience of conscious life. You may have to do breathwork, and chant, etc., to prepare for your twice daily meditations, but--and here's where a vital principle comes into significance--nothing of great value is ever achieved without great effort. In time, you will have to vanquish time itself and accomplish meditations that last significantly longer. Fifteen minutes of meditation offers its equal in benefit. Three hours of meditation offers the meditator qualities of meditative experience that accumulate and in time effect permanent, substantive transformation.

rachel said...

(from Rachel, pt 2)

I sincerely do not believe that there exists any "easy" way to transform one's consciousness, to completely alter how one experiences moment to moment life.

I do believe that Grace can offer gifts. I also believe that persons can experience profound mystical insights that can assist them in living with greater faith and a bit more peacefully. I think that this happens in almost all religious traditions. However, I think that often as not, persons cultivate emotional attachment to an ideal and may feel that a quality of conscious inheres that may not truly be active.

For me, a transformed person is one whose mind has ceased to be at all busy. A mind where all activity arrives into life from a lake of perfect stillness, and is received from without by that same still lake. It is a mind, a consciousness, that possesses far less actual content than an untransformed mind. There are no repetitive thoughts. There are no scripts or dialogues endlessly reworking what so and so said and you should have said back. There is an absence of needless fantasy, of worry about one's self, one's future, etc. One feels at home wherever one finds oneself.

Now, I am an actress and let me say that while the existence of superficial emotional expression can ultimately disappear, the reservoir for experiencing deep and profound emotion remains.

The body, too, must needs transform. I do not believe that it is possible to achieve profound meditative states--on a regular and predictable basis--without effecting great change in one's body. I do not believe that the body and ultimate Awareness are separate. One cannot be effected without the other. To sit in a deep state of contentless awareness also transforms the quality of relaxation that one experiences. The simple truth as I see it is that only a tensionless body can sustain profound meditative states.

A person might, by virtue of some act of Grace, experience this kind of profound relaxation and consciousness for a limited period. But to accomplish complete and lasting transformation, whether at work, home or in an ashram, is the work of many hours of discipline.

Umm, I relate this because it is simply what I have experienced--both now and in the past. Please understand that I do not consider myself anything like, enlightened, Self-realized, etc.

There was a time some years ago, after some years practice, (practice itself being a gift of Grace), that I did exist in a state of very transformed, luminous, one might be inclined to say, awakened, consciousness.

After having resumed practice following something of a hiatus, I now discover the very same substantive qualities of tranformation--with various little nuances of difference--occurring as a result of performing largely the same kinds of practices: working with the breath, working with shakti to clear the body/mind and develop one-pointedness, and cultivating that particular vibratory frequency of Surrender that leads one to consistently evolving transformation.

I guess a major point that I'm attempting to make is that though the East may have discovered, cultivated and disseminated much that is wise concerning profound mystical transformation, the principles that beget this transformation are often simpler than the cultural/philosophical context. I believe that it is possible for tantra yoga principles and practices to be far more practical and straightforward, and thus more accessible to the everyday aspirant.

Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Dino Delano said...

Avatar Movie-Life Energy and the movement of Kundalini

The Avatar movie does a great job in depicting the energy web of life; the surrealistic forms give one the feeling that everything is connected.
And indeed it is, our human nervous system connects to the vibrant energetic force of all life, a good example of this is, that there is only one breath. Think about this for a minute that the breath you take is the very same breath taken in by a merchant in New Deli, India.

Your nervous system communicates with a unified field of energy. The physicist will tell you that the field of life energy is one just as there is only one sky.
We are and interdependent function called human within the whole of life. We drink the earth’s water; eat the food produced by the land, breath the oxygen manufactured by the environment.

Most belief systems sever the connection to the web in the sense that we are not aware of how we intercommunicate with life. Most religions and cultural beliefs do not encourage the intuitive, the psychic thinking it some form of voodoo or aberration.
Here is a good example of a belief system that severs our connection to the life force, is the belief that we are born wrong; in original sin that there is something intrinsically wrong with us that needs to be fixed. That premise is liken to the foundation of a house, a foundation of belief that states that we are wrong causes the individual to be continuously be looking for something wrong within them self and to develop intellectual beliefs to solve the problem, such as religious and psychological ideology’s, it becomes a never ending circle of trying to fix oneself or others in order to feel right or whole, of course it never works, this is also one of the main premises of war, believing that we can right the world by making it into our image or idealized notion of what it should be.

One of the main ways of gaining information and knowledge of the environment is through intuition. The great biologist George Washington Carver who discovered over three hundred uses for the peanut stated much of what he discovered was through intuition, a similar idea was stated by Jonas Saulk the man who discovered the Polio vaccine.

Your intuition is non the verbal mode of consciousness that intercommunicates with all of life. Some get information through dreams, feelings, and hunches of impending danger. Kundalini energy is a process of radical transformation that changes the mental structure in a way that we become aware of our connection to the life force.
Kundalini energy is a unifying field of energy, the opening of this system often taught through yoga techniques, but is also a result of meditation, development of intuition, mind control etc. It not part of a religion but has often been adopted by some religious practices.

To sum up, yoga, bodywork, meditation, and close examination of ones belief structures will help to open the mind body system up to and infusion of more life energy, causing a higher level of awareness. Kundalini is a process of bringing us back into harmony with the natural flow of life. Read more in “A Seekers Journal” and authentic experience on the opening of kundalini http://www.coolzenhealing.com/Books.htm

Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
mayank gandhi said...

To read about my experience and the demystified process and transformation, do read http://mayankgandhi04.blogspot.com/2010/08/who-am-i-part-3-mystical-experience.html

Thanks

Mayank

Anonymous said...

Good article. Thank you.
http://thewallpapersru.blog.com/2011/01/08/cheap-mazindol

Bonnie said...

Message to James,
You have sent me two questions without giving me your email address to contact you. If you wish to quote my blog please let me know what quote you are using and where you are using it, and include a link back to it when you post it. If you contact me please include your email address as it does not come up when you send me a message through my blogsite.
thanks for your interest. Bonnie

Bonnie said...

To all readers:
I am offering two days of a program called Living with Kundalini in Ashland on May 14 AND 15,2011. SATURDAY will be an overview of the kundalini process -- how it activates, its function and the deconstruction process that it supports, the optimal outcome and its relationship to self-realization. Sunday will be a time to share stories, questions and support. We will explore ways to help this process go more smoothly. The weekend is $80 and you are requested to make your own hotel arrangements. Medford Oregon has the nearest airport, 15 miles away, with car rentals and taxis. It will be held in Ashland Oregon which is a wonderful small town where the Oregon Shakespeare Festival happens and has many hotels, motels, restaurants and a beautiful park so it is a good place to spend a weekend.
Email me at kundinfo@mindspring.com if you want to reserve a space. Personal appointments can be made the following week if you stay in town.

Also I have another blog you may enjoy called www.shantiriver.wordpress.com

Anonymous said...

Dear Bonnie, I am currently about to embark on my own Kundalini Journey. I have always had a very spiritual take on life and have recently developed the ability to see auras. I have no way of confirming whether or not I am ready but I know that I have no fear of knowledge. I truly want to see and know what is real. Please help me in attaining this enlightenment. I have live my life as positive as possible, I would only like to grow further.

Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.