Monday, May 5, 2014

Kundalini Awakening and Kundalini Experiences

kundalini awakening, spiritual awakening, kundalini energy, nature photo
One of the terms I don’t use too much is “Kundalini awakening.” It tends to be too specific for me, and there’s a strong attachment to it from different spiritual communities. As such, I choose not to refer to it much. To me, awakening is awakening. The way the energy moves up or down the spine or all around is kind of immaterial to how we all have to choose to embrace the shift. So, I don’t find a need to make as granular a distinction as such to say something is a “Kundalini awakening” or another type of awakening.

To me specificity needs to be inherently useful. Otherwise, it’s just the ego mind creating new distinctions to make itself feel special. It’s why I also don’t use the term ascension, which has strong ties and a specific meaning with many in the new age community. Awakening doesn't make us care more about such distinctions; it usually takes us in the direction of caring much less.

But if you landed on this blog today, you probably have been wondering what a Kundalini awakening is, or if you've had a Kundalini awakening or another similar experience, you may be wondering what in the world is going on. So, I’ll chat a little bit about that to help clarify things and put you at ease in the shift.

If after reading this post  you still wonder if you are having an awakening, please read this spiritual awakening blog post:

Am I Having a Spiritual Awakening?

What Is the Kundalini?

The Kundalini is the energy system that runs from the base of the spine to the crown of the head. It has three main channels, and really, that’s about all the specificity I care to go into. If you want more distinction, I am sure you can find it online.

The more interesting aspect of this is the question, “What is a Kundalini awakening?” A Kundalini awakening is when the energy rises up from the base of the spine (bottom chakra) to the crown of the head (crown chakra). The individual can feel all kinds of energetic sensations running through his/her back and into the rest of the body.

As I said, you can find more specificity about this elsewhere. Because ultimately, this just leads us towards any other type of awakening where we have to get to know ourselves to open up to what is flowing inside of us and releasing blockages to it.

The Importance of Understanding Kundalini

But I do recognize the importance of speaking to this topic. My understanding is that for centuries things like Kundalini yoga were only available to a small number of initiates, who were being guided by long-term practitioners. These days it’s much easier to become a Kundalini yoga practitioner, and it certainly is a lot easier to find a Kundalini yoga class. For most people, they get a little energy high afterwards, and it’s no big deal. It feels good, and then it dissipates. But every now and again, someone has a big energetic shift in the Kundalini as something opens or shifts. Or they may even have a Kundalini awakening, at which point they are getting much more than they had bargained for.

Truly, Kundalini yoga is not a feel-good toy. It’s a sacred spiritual technique designed to awaken the Kundalini and help someone come into the process of self-realization. This is a profound and intense process. Many of you who have had sudden awakenings know how unsettling, dramatic, and all-encompassing a spiritual awakening can be. Kundalini yoga can be a doorway into that space, and as such, it should be approached with a great deal of reverence, diligence, and care.

Ideally, there should be a teacher who really understands the many aspects of awakening and energetic experiences, but because of the growing popularity of Kundalini yoga, many of the teachers aren’t really fully-versed in the profundity of this process. They themselves may have only had small openings and never really felt the energy pouring through the body eradicating the ego and a host of old ideas, habits, and karmas. Thus, they don’t necessarily know what to do with someone who erupts into this space (and it can feel like erupting).

What Do I Do With all this Energy?

For those of you who did have a big Kundalini experience and have been searching for answers, the best thing to do is to clear your schedule. Let yourself sit with what is arising. Turn your attention inwards, and let the energy do its work. This is not something to be controlled, and as to whether to continue doing Kundalini yoga or whatever got you to this point, I cannot say. This is also part of asking your inner knowing, and it also asks you to be more deft in the spiritual tools that you choose to use. Obviously, if the Kundalini energy is flowing up, using tools to awaken the energy doesn't make a whole lot of sense any more. The tools that tend to make the most sense are the ones that help to calm or guide the energy as you ride through these waves.

My Energy Doesn’t Come Up My Back Like That

So part of the reason I don’t distinguish a Kundalini awakening from spiritual awakening is because energy is in everything. You don't really need the energy to move a certain way up the spine to have an awakening, and ultimately, you can feel energetic shifts in every part of your body from your big toe to your nose. So as I mentioned earlier, this kind of specificity is generally  not very useful, and too many people who are still in the early phases of letting go of a whole lot of unconscious ego can get tripped up in trying to diagnose and identify things as opposed to letting go and allowing.

The Many Other Intensities of Kundalini Energy

Plus, there are all kind of Kundalini experiences people can have. They can feel tingling and bubbly feelings in the spine. They can have a warm glow. They can have little spurts of energy shift in different places that give them shivers. I have students who experience these types of things in meditation or in sessions with me. There’s nothing wrong with the spine. It’s just energy. As I’ve alluded to earlier, if your energy doesn’t move in this way, it doesn’t mean you aren’t having an awakening or some other significant spiritual shift. Don’t get caught up in meanings, but do turn your attention inwards. Kundalini energy is like anything else on the spiritual path; it’ll show you where you are stuck and where you are open. Tuning in to notice where things stop flowing for you is one of the ways that you can embrace any Kundalini or other energetic experience.

Calming Down During a Kundalini Awakening

I know that a couple of you will land on this blog because you are in the midst of the full-blown Kundalini awakening. For whatever reason, something opened up, and you've been desperately searching for some kind of explanation. Step one really is to calm down. It’s okay, but you aren't going to feel the same. You aren't going to live the same. Life as you knew it is ending, but unfortunately, you probably aren't at the point of acceptance yet. That’s where you need to go. The worst thing you can probably do (although who am I to say what the absolute worst thing is) is to resist this. The next big problematic thing is to ride it out without embracing it. Shifting into the profundity of your love and wisdom is one of the most phenomenal things a person can do for him or herself. So while you probably weren't looking for an awakening, I encourage you to embrace it and all that is now arising—both light and dark--and allow the Kundalini energy to attend to itself.
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