29 March 2013

Kundalini: An Invitation to Truth

Kundalini arising is an invitation,  truly a doorway, into knowing what you are, and realizing or remembering the true nature of existence.  This is why the energy is called divine.  It is the energy of the source of life that enabled you to exist as part of creation, and when it activates it is possible for consciousness to shift in such a way that it recognizes its true nature.  It shows you that you are not the thoughts in your head, and patterns in your life that you previously identified with.  

Some people have a glimpse of  the infinite, the truth that consciousness exists beyond any boundary, long before they have a kundalini arising. They are given a hint about who they are. It may change their life, or it may pass through as simply an unusual moment, never forgotten but never taken to heart. But most people seem to have the arising of this energy of the life force known as kundalini, prior to the awakening of consciousness. It supports them in becoming Self-realized.  It invites them into awareness of the infinite.

Naturally kundalini energy is frightening to the mind of many people, because it challenges our belief in the uniqueness of our own identity, and it  is beyond the understanding  and the cultural perspective of  the mind.  It feels sometimes as if you are losing your mind and your  understanding of who you are, it disrupts and reorganizes your energy field, and it may even cause physical discomfort as it moves through areas of your body that have latent physical issues or  stored emotional content. It can look and feel "weird" and if the body has experienced physical or sexual abuse, or traumatic emotional and physical events, it can cause the release of the old memories and sensations held in the contracted energy field.  So for some people this awakening is a more challenging event than for others.

You might think of kundalini awakening as a clearing process that is designed to enable an open, clear and compassionate perspective of life and death, and to feel the essential bliss and connectedness of all things. In some people it also powerfully opens the heart to love.  For these transformations to happen all the thoughts, points of view, memories and stored traumas in the body need to be released.  You cannot do this yourself.  It is done through you by the energy, in its own timing.   If you have done clearing through therapy or body work in the past this can be useful, because there is less "stuckness" in the old conditions and more acceptance of letting things go.  And usually with therapy one learns to release self-judgement, which is an important prerequisite in this process of awakening to what you really are.

Our true nature has no judgment and no resistance to life. Waking up is not an abandonment of life as it is, but an expansion, so that consciousness sees the inner-connectedness, the oneness, underneath all the diversity of expression in the world.  Without judgment there is still a responsiveness, a deep feeling can move through related to compassion for the suffering in the human condition, and action can emerge spontaneously, the form having great variations among different people. Great laughter and joy can arise in seeing clearing how we have missed the truth for so many years ,and ignored the clear evidence of our own eternal consciousness. Even in the joy we can still feel strong compassion for the confusion that all humanity shares. 

Unfortunately, not everyone who awakens kundalini will awaken to Truth.  There are many cul-de-sacs in the process caused by cultural and community biases and ignorance of the process, fear of the unknown (which one must enter without reservation at some point), the tendency to regress into self-doubt, or attachment to old patterns of being that are not released.  One needs to learn to listen to their deepest inner truth, to take care of their physical and emotional needs, to surrender completely to the energy flow,  to be willing to love unconditionally -- one is invited into many experiences the mind might resist.  Some people feel like they may be losing their sanity or even their life.   There are many fear-based stories about kundalini which sometimes amplify these doubts and fears.  And there are risks to health if one is pushing the process, continues using recreational drugs, or ignores basic health habits.  It helps to have some objective support and guidance in case you become inflated, disoriented or overwhelmed by emotional shifts. (all of which may happen for limited periods of time). It helps to have a spiritual orientation and basic self-respect and love.

Some people are concerned because their financial situation does not support them and they feel unable to work.  It is helpful if one has a lifestyle and workstyle that are compatible for their spiritual life, that sustains them through these transitional times.  If this is not available they can only seek inner wisdom to find a way through life support by using available food pantries and community dinners, volunteering  service in a meaningful way,  living in yogic communities, or returning to families for help.  In most cases if one is unable to hold their regular job, a small amount of work that feels aligned with one's true capacity is helpful.  The body/mind will benefit from some kind of focus and balance during this awakening.  This is not about abandoning the body/mind or the personal life you have been given, only giving up identification with it as "all" you are. You are still obligated to care for it.

Poverty during a kundalini process may be no worse than poverty for a myriad of other reasons.  For hundreds of  years Zen monks who sought awakening chose poverty, although they were in a community that respected this option and helped to feed them. I cannot say why one person is thrown into this situation and others are not -- some might say it was a choice from a previous life, or a piece of karma to be finished, or a teaching about a certain perspective of life, or a pattern or belief that needs to be relinquished.  It may be caused by apparent outside circumstances, (all of us can find societal reasons), or for psychological reasons, but it is your mind that attaches a  personal meaning to it.

I was once in a workshop with a nurse who reported a very traumatic childhood including early rape and pregnancy, prostitution, drug addiction and living on the streets before her world shifted  in her twenties and she was able to move into school and a career.  As I felt into the trauma of that life and youth what I saw was that she went through that so that I would not have to.  Each of us fills a spot in a massive and eternal mosaic of life experience.  There is no ultimate reason or why explaining why some have such difficulties -- it is just so.  Humanity is still in an evolutionary stage, and has not yet embraced unilateral kindness and health.  There is suffering and we all are part of it.  Waking up will only make it better.  Kundalini arising, and its  greatest gift,  a clear perception of the nature of existence and the releasing of our identification with thoughts that cause suffering will, as the Buddha said, wake up the world (a piece at a time).

If you are  truly in this process it will not let you go (although you can resist endlessly) and keep inviting you into your deepest potential for knowing Truth.

05 February 2013

Dear Readers,

I have not been very constant in my attention to this blog, but it seems in one place or another I have already said so much about the kundalini process.  Please go to my websites www.kundaliniguide.com or www.awakeningguide.com if you want more in-depth information.  Someone asked who my webhost was and it is ixwebhosting.com.
I usually recommend people who have had a kundalini experience also go to the website www.adyashanti.org for an understanding of what it means to wake up spiritually, because there is  a profound shift in perspective and in how one sees the world and oneself when there is a glimpse of the Truth that comes with awakening, and there can be a time when many adjustments are happening.  The nondual teacher, Adyashanti, has the most clear and helpful wisdom regarding awakening that I know of, and although he does not speak much of energy he deeply understands the awakening of consiousness that people are invited into when their kundalini energy activates.
Kundalini is the energy of consciousness, our own life force.  When it activates it seems to cause a clearing process, where our internal wiring is being undone and reworked.  In practical terms we could say all our old ways of thinking, our convictions, hang-ups, fears, self-image are being stripped away. If there are toxins in the body from drugs and alcohol they seem to need to shake themselves out along with fears, stress and darkness.

The energy is attempting to turn over and release all the old holding and memories that cause us to be unavailable to fully live in the moment, in the NOW of life.  Consciousness is attempting to be open and free of the illusory separate self. It is as if the intention is to live in the simplicity, stillness and wonder of each moment, without all the mental clutter that dominates most of our lives.  It is not that thinking is no longer available, but it is less clouded by all the personal doubts, assumptions, judgements and fears that our personal sense of  "me" seems to carry. When we step away from our separate self and rest, even momentarily, in the openness and presence that is prior to thought, our consciousness and our energy begins a change that can lead us ultimately to a stable inner peace.
But just as it has taken decades, perhaps even lifetimes, to create all these assumptions about what we are, it can take a long time for these to fall away, and for every part of us to wake up to our true nature.  This is one reason that the phenomena that come with kundalini awakening is challenging for many people.  It is not an easy thing to let drop all the assumptions and belief structures we have wired into our system since birth.  It is disconcerting to consider we do not know what we are or what we will be like if these old patterns fall away.  There can be moments when the mind is clouded and old emotions are flowing through us spontaneously.  It takes what might be called a stability of spirit, a trust in the emptiness, a willingness to just be present with what is while at the same time taking good care of our body and our basic needs as best we can, during this period of transition.  It is important to be present in the world rather than just escaping it, but not to be caught in mental judgements about it.  Look for the beauty and miracles of living.  Move back out of thought long enough to see what it is that is observing thought, what your essence is if you do not believe that thought or take it on right now. Can you tolerate the stillness that you are? can you bring awareness into the heart and see the world from a new perspective? This energy is about transformation and it is neutral, that is, a potential of human experience inherent in each physical body, just as oxygen is part of air. It creates and destroys what is ready to be transformed.   We are not in charge of it but we can be in right relationship with it.