I recently gave a talk at the SAND conference in San Jose that was focused on relationships, and spoke of how to have a positive relationship with kundalini energy. Here is a copy of the handout I gave attendees, a part of my speech I did not have time for but wanted to elaborate on.
You are energy and consciousness flowing through a molecular structure, made of billions of atoms that are primarily empty space. Much of your history, beliefs, and patterns are entangled in this energy field and when kundalini activates it is attempting to create a transformation by clearing out all these identifications and reactive patterns, freeing you to live in a more spontaneous and natural way. This is a support for awakening to your true nature, or Self-realization, and for the potential of living from this realization.
You cannot stop or control the flow of energy in your body but you can get in a cooperative relationship with it so that your conscious mind and your deepest Self work together to transform your life.
It is akin to the difference between a competitive and hostile marriage and a loving and respectful partnership in marriage.Like any relationship it is improved by listening, understanding, cooperating and seeing that each partner gets what it needs.
Your conscious mind, awareness and energy field need to meet this challenge as a team.
You need to allow time for the energy to release, for the body to relax and be nourished, and make adjustments in your lifestyle to reduce stress and toxicity.
I believe marriages last because the partners have learned flexibility, mutual respect, loving attention and facing challenges as a team. Navigating a kundalini arising or spiritual awakening process needs the same kind of attitudes.
So I have identified four characteristics useful in marriage, life and spiritual awakening to help you finda better way to live with Kundalini.
FLEXIBILITY – to look within and be honest about any changes you need to make to support this process
MUTUAL RESPECT – for the needs of the body and the spirit and the energy
LOVING ATTENTION – If you can trust and fall in love with the grace of awakening the process will unfold much more gently. Open your heart to the energy and the changes it is bringing, be curious about what this experience is showing you, love the fact you are human and able to be part of this.
FACING CHALLENGES AS A TEAM – using your mind to understand what is happening and find creative ways to express the intense energy and the changes you are facing
I call these the foundations of creating a thriving relationship with life and with yourself.
Flexibility:This intensified energy brings changes into your life – you will likely lose your drive and you may lose interest in the kinds of socializing you used to do or in the work you are in. It’s like getting a reading on yourself – what is authentic, what comes from the heart versus what was something the mind thought you ought to think or do. You may feel very inwardly drawn, or find you only feel good in nature, and you may find the news depressing, and crowds energetically overwhelming. You need to notice and make adjustments to all of these things. You have to open to change.
Often people who contact me have a history of physical or sexual abuse. After a great sense of Oneness or unity consciousness they fall into intense anxiety. Suppressed memories may arise.For them, flexibility may mean taking time to do the psychotherapy they need and to face pain they have not had the strength to address before.
For someone else flexibility may mean taking time off work or taking breaks during the day to go and sit alone in nature. Many people have told me of spontaneously making major career changes, realizing they were never really happy with their work.
In my own life I was getting a transpersonal psychology degree, and primarily interested in Jungian psychology when kundalini awakened. It seemed obvious I would focus on my dissertation on this, and then doors kept opening to organizations that wanted to know more about it and I was pulled without any intention into my work with kundalini experiencers. I was exposed to stories of experiences I had never imagined before – and needed to stay flexible in my thinking and response to non-ordinary experiencers.
MUTUAL RESPECT You are spirit, energy, consciousness — but your vehicle is your body. If you jump completely into mystical states or detachment from life you may damage the biochemistry your body relies upon for good health, and become weakened, depressed , or cause damage to your nervous system. If you do not sleep you will appear psychotic. If you do not eat you will become malnourished. Your hormonal system can he thrown off by the excess energy – you need to be sure your body is functioning as well as it can, under the circumstances.
Several people have told me stories of being found wandering on a beach or on a street in India, not eating or sleeping for several days and being taken to a hospital by friends or by the police. Usually once they have caught up with sleep they are functional enough to be released, often with a heavy psychotic medication that they do not need, but still worrying about their sanity. I have known people who became so ill in India from not being conscious of their diet that they had to fly home and be hospitalized until their body recovered.
It is very helpful to respect the need of your awakening consciousness to have adequate time for silence and inner peace, respect the need of your body for healthy food and rest, and respect your need to work enough for financial stability.
This is not an easy balance and it is unique for each person, just as each marriage has its own unique conditions. One person may be financially and emotionally able to follow an impulse to travel or live off the grid for awhile, while another may have a family dependent on them.
One person may have done years of therapy to resolve early childhood issues, and another finds that past traumas are erupting and they need to find a way to resolve their wounds. So it is very helpful to look objectively at what is arising in the moment, identify if you need psychological or physical support, changes in lifestyle, more balance and open time in your daily life, –a major shift in values or perspective, changes in your practice and diet to better support your body, and to value all aspects of your life.
This is obviously not easy, especially if your energy is overwhelming, but to the extent you really listen to your body and intuition you can gradually find the right rhythm through each stage of this process, and it will be unique to you.
LOVING ATTENTION If you can trust and fall in love with the grace of awakening the process will unfold much more gently. Open your heart to the energy and the changes it is bringing, be curious about what this experience is showing you, love the fact you are human and able to be part of this transformation, and when your thoughts are dark look instead to the felt sense of awareness that has seen those thoughts, and be willing to suspend belief in thought and ask your heart what does it really want. What could you have been asking for when the process began for you – did you want the meaning of life, or to know if there was a God, or to understand what was true, or to find lasting internal peace? This process is bringing your answer.
FACING CHALLENGES AS A TEAM You may have heard that you are not the separate self that you have been identified with. That is afalse image you are maintaining, an illusion. While there is truth to this,holding such a perspective may cause you to undermine the thinking mind and its potential for being an ally in this process. The mind loses its dominance during and after an awakening but it can eventually be refocused as a useful tool instead of a stern and over-talkative director.
You may be someone who wants to be in control or wants integration, and this feels impossible when heat and energy and emotions erupt without any seeming cause. And it is true that you are not in control. When you contract and try to control this energy you will feel miserable in this process.You need to allow time for the releasing your body needs and find creative ways to express or work through the unconscious material that may arise.
If you try to integrate your old way of being with some new insights you are likely to stay in the division you already experience. – This is about transformation not integration -ultimately you will need to release the desire to hold on to your past –You need to let go – it is not as if nothing you know will survive – but your attachment to it will go – rather like taking apart a lego structure and seeing someone else reorganize it into something new, leaving many parts behind and adding new pieces you never knew you had available. You will be less attached to the new structure but you can enjoy using it.
Here are a few ways to work in a loving way to meet the challenges in this process
1. Be willing to let the energy release out of your body – it is clearing out tensions and stresses and beliefs no longer relevant or needed in your life – trying to make you feel very open and free. Lay down on your bed and let it shake you out when needed.
2. Listen to any intuitive hunches about what you need to eat or stop eating, where you want to go and where you do not want to go. Allow the body to move, dance, sing, draw, write — when it feels like it.
3. Be honest in your relationship –not with random feelings, but with the deeper knowing of the heart about what you need and want and if it is fleeting and changing like the weather, acknowledge that too. Notice how your desires make you unhappy and how the release of any demand or desire for things to be a certain way is a great relief. Accept life as it is and move in response to love
As you learn to listen to your intuitive self, and sit in silence to meet any questions or conflicts that arise, over time your mind will become more clear and your emotional reactivitywill fade away. You will live more in the moment – in the now, as Eckhart Tolle has defined it. There is a no sense of resistance to what is happening, although there can be a movement of response, but it comes from loving care rather than angry pain.
It is as if the deeper consciousness becomes the guide and the remains of the separate self is happy to follow its direction because that is how you feel in the flow in life, at peace.
So by getting in right relationship with your energy, remembering yourself as the awareness that is primordial and changeless, cultivating flexibility and love whether facing energy rushes or emptiness, unbearable bliss or disorienting challenges, you will find yourself awakening into a new way of perceiving and functioning in the world. And you will find the answer to the deepest questions of your heart.
I encourage you to meditate by becoming curious about this awareness that you are, discovering the silence already within you and resting as that.