I am planning to speak at the EUROTAS conference near Paris Sept. 25-30 and may also do a program the weekend before in London. EUROTAS is the European Transpersonal Association so you may want to check out this event if you live in Europe. Let me know also if you would be interested in a London program, as I may arrange a workshop there. You can contact me through my websites www.kundaliniguide and www.awakeningguide, or send a message with your email through Shanti River Center on FB.
Here is a second meeting from my recent webinar. I discussed in the last installment how kundalini is your own life force, and that it awakens from the base of the spine, although it may also first be activated at the 3rd chakra, the heart or as a downward flow of energy.
Imagine yourself for a moment as an electric grid – yogis say there are 72,000 lines of energy flow in the body, moving out in all directions from the center of the spine. Part of this process is the clearing out of anything held in this grid of energy. So there can be spontaneous movements, vibrations, heat, even bliss as various area are trying to clear out, or just as releases.
It is helpful when you have a lot of releasing happening to notice what you were doing that day – were you under stress, what did you eat or drink, did you have a difficult encounter with someone, were you sad or upset about something or with someone else from whom you picked up energy, or in a big crowd – this way you may find some patterns that tell you the activities your body is most reactive too.
The more calm your life is, and the more you are open to releases when they happen, the more manageable this process becomes.
Here are some of the phenomena that arise when energy is heightened
Heat, involuntary movement
A yogic remedy for excess heat is to drink warm milk, with a little melted ghee and sugar in it. Some find that lukewarm baths with epson salts are soothing. A little alternate nostril breathing can help because sometimes the heat rises because energy is arising up pingala, a nadi or energy flow moving up one side of the spine ,and alternate nostril breathing is a method of balancing energy between both sides to bring it up the center. But do not overdo it or you may rise too much energy.
If you go 2 nights without sleep you will begin to appear disoriented and possibly even psychotic. So try to catch up during the day, try melatonin, do deep relaxation practices or guided meditations that relax you, be sure you are in a dark room and do not use any electronic devices for two hours before sleep. These are a few of general guidelines for insomnia. I also found some tapes by a British group called The Honest Guys (on youtube) to be helpful and there are probably other helpful apps as well.
Intense energy can overwork the nervous system and cause hormonal issues — Do you need a workup with thyroid, adrenals? If exhausted, depressed – do you need diet changes, lifestyle changes, supplements.
If you have headaches or feel disoriented and spacey, have a fuzzy brain and are unable to concentrate, this is a common phenomena during this process. Try bringing energy down below the neck and avoid meditations concentrated on the third eye like mantra and visualization. Get out in nature more and practice walking as presence. Evaluate if you need dietary changes. Move energy into your feet and dance. Learn to move more from the center of your body — called the hara. Avoid situations that distress or overstimulate you. Be honest — do not hold on to conflicts if you can find a way to work them through either within yourself or with others.
Issues with the Heart
Often people feel tightness or heaviness in the heart, or they have an explosive experience as some of the holding breaks open. Most people have what Wilhem Reich, (an early developer of body therapy known as Reichian therapy), called armoring around the heart. He developed body work as a way of releasing this holding.
When we come into the world we are wide open and available to life (unless we experienced trauma in the womb). The birth process itself can be traumatic and suddenly being thrust into the cold expansiveness of the delivery room. But generally a baby is open and sensitive to what is happening around it. As we develop we experience many disappointments and losses and we tend to shut ourselves down, becoming more protective of our feelings and trying to avoid pain. Depending on our experiences and our need for defense mechanisms we all have varying degrees of armoring. This is what is trying to release out of our system during this awakening process.
Some forms of meditation, (e.g. mantra meditation) focus on awakening from the third eye or crown as a way to still thoughts and eventually enter samadhi – an expansiveness and connection or merging that feels like unbounded consciousness connected to everything. ( I know — a poor description of something indescribable!) . It is easy to get attached to this kind of opening, and to be drawn to spend your time alone meditating in hopes of re-experiencing this over and over. But sometimes with this kind of opening we do not bring awakening down into the body or the heart, especially if we are reluctant to feel old feelings of loss or pain or grief or anger that we believe could be there. It feels easier to avoid.
Some of you may have felt your heart opening anyway, without any practice focused there, but most spiritual traditions have practices for opening the heart in preparation for awakening. Chanting, singing bowls, prayer, metta or developing compassion, and some yoga and Qigong practices are focused on the heart center. Sufi turning practices are heart-centered. In non-duality Ramana Maharshi once said the center of the I thought is in the chest, on the right side parallel to the heart and 3 finger widths from the sternum. He suggested we put attention in this area when we use the inquiry “Who am I” or What am I?
Sometimes a life event such as a death in the family or a great loss seems to break open the heart and this can initiate an awakening, or deepen it into the body. After the heart becomes more open or the heart chakra more awakened you may feel sudden and inexplicable love for someone irrationally, or for no reason at all; or for the world; or you may feel more vulnerable to the pain of others you see on the world news or on the streets.You may feel joy or awe more spontaneously and compassion, and have feelings with less self-referencing – that is, it is not about you or not personal but it is arising.
In fact as kundalini arises and disturbs all the familiar conditions of the body and psyche you will eventually discover nothing is really personal — you are a form going through a transformation not for your own benefit or because you deserved it or to give you a greater purpose in the world — it the simply the deconstruction of the illusion of “I” so that the knowing of true human nature can infuse the life you lead. You’ve been called into this, and it can be difficult at times, but it can also be ecstatic and it is leading to freedom.
You can learn more about awakening and the kundalini process in my book When Spirit Leaps: Navigating the Process of Spiritual Awakening, published by New Harbinger – Non-Duality Press division)