If you are having experiences of energy winding or rolling up your spine, creating involuntary spasms, and rippling in strange ways through your body, you are possibly one of thousands each year experiencing what is known as a kundalini rising or awakening. You may feel frightened or disoriented by this non-ordinary shift, but if you can relax with it and understand it as simply a dynamic of your own evolution it can become a treasured ally on your spiritual path.
When we understand that all of creation is formed as molecular structures, mostly space and energy manifest in a multitude of forms, it becomes easier to meet the empty/spaciousness and the enhanced vibrational energies that appear in our bodies, and face all the changes they invite.
There are many reasons people suddenly have these shifts and awakenings. Often an intense spiritual or energy practice will open the body to the heightened energy known as kundalini by the ancient founders of the yogic system. Sometimes an intense concentrated period may activate this sleeping power, even such innocent practices as biofeedback, meditation, prayer, love-making, or the charge projected by the touch of another person who has this awakened energy. In the thousand reports I have collected over the last 30 years many people write of spontaneous awakenings, sometimes in moments of great interior stress, or while using plant medicines or psychedelics, or while sitting in silence at retreats. So if you are feeling as if your energy field has jumped from 110 to 220 or even 2200 you are not alone, although unfortunately you live in a culture that is totally unprepared to understand the power and potential of this experience.
If your experience plunges you into fear and anxiety, if it explodes you into ecstasy, or if it hits the brain centers that produce imagery you will likely be afraid you are losing your mind, and if you meet up with the wrong therapeutic model others will support this interpretation. But some part of you will know this is real and it is meaningful, even while the mind freaks out about it. If you can just be curious and open instead of afraid and contracted this will help it calm down considerably. You need to nourish the witness within you, that which is simply aware.
Kundalini energy is an aspect of your own life force. It is what happens when the normal pranic energy field or bioenergy of the body is infused with a powerful rush of energy from the base of the spine, the feet, or occasionally pours down into the body through the top of the head. Naturally you are startled. Even people in spiritual communities who have longed for awakening for years can be both astonished and terrified by this new dimension of interior activity. It was a naive assumption that spiritual awakening would be a sweet, simple release into peace and harmony and improved character and life would be forever blessed. It is true that awakening leads ultimately to peace and harmony, but it does so by stripping away every identification we hold dear, and releasing every old bit of suffering and confusion, all of which was held in our minds, bodies and subtle energy fields. It tries to release all stressors and heal all wounds, in the process freeing us from our assumed self image and personal history.
I have come to see kundalini as essentially a clearing out process, and then an opportunity to live from clear seeing and presence, which doesn’t change the content of life itself, but profoundly impacts our relationship to it.
Whether kundalini activation is sudden and traumatic, or slow and gentle, it is almost always a factor in a full spiritual realization process. It may initiate the process of consciousness awakening, or it may fall into place after an initial shift of consciousness into the recognition of It’s true relationship with what we might call Source or Universal Consciousness, (that which cannot truly be named, but we try!) This might be called the non-dual experience, and to the mind it might feel empty and unbounded while to the spirit it is felt as unlimited spaciousness and dissolution into the whole (or some such image). Utimately awakening is the stable recognition of what is awake in every moment here and now, and not the dramatic experiences, visions, insights, dramas and traumas that may accompany it for awhile. All experiences will pass. More will appear. Life is awakeness moving through experiences. Awakening helps us to take it more lightly, to feel peaceful even when we’re not, and to find beauty in the every day forms we encounter.
Thank you so much for this article. Last week, I had the most intense feelings of despair and lost and grief wash over me. I could not shake it and it scared the heck out of me. Then, after a few days, it suddenly went away but was replaced with a calm sense of emptiness and nothingness. And now, Im back to myself again but the empty feeling lingers.