The Gifts of Kundalini

what is kundalini yoga
Kundalini symptoms are a natural by-product when people awaken the kundalini in their body and mind. The word ‘kundalini’ comes from the Hindu tradition and is used to describe a form of mysterious energy that lies dormant in all of us at the foot of our spine. When awakened this energy rises up the spine, purifies all chakras along the way until it reaches the head where it unites with its ‘divine spouse’ and the person reaches enlightenment. Kundalini energy has been described as hot, tingling and brilliant white energy.
Kundalini experiences from all over the world
The concept of energy from our abdomen rising up to the head is not limited to Hinduism but has been known in many spiritual traditions all over the world. In Tibetan Buddhism it is called ‘tummo’ (literally ‘fierce woman’), in parts of Taoism it is referred to as ‘neikung’ and in the Christian tradition people have used expressions like ‘the holy spirit went into him’ or simply as ‘grace’.
The gifts of kundalini
All kundalini experiences have in common that people feel more or less overwhelmed by some powerful energy rushing through their system and rewarding them with amazing spiritual visions, supernatural bliss or gifts like clairvoyance or the ability to heal others with the power of the mind. People may also get amazing insights to questions that are important to humankind, they may be able to create true works of art or help others in a profound way. At the pinnacle of these experiences people may feel that they are uniting with God or becoming enlightened.
The challenges of the kundalini awakening
Unfortunately, these wonderful gifts of kundalini awakening are rarely achieved through one amazing and powerful breakthrough but are the result of many years of working patiently through the challenges that are the inevitable by-product of even the most benign kundalini rising. These symptoms of kundalini may range from inexplicable physical pain, to extreme emotional disturbances, up to a complete psychotic break-down of one’s functioning ego-personality. What makes matters worse, these painful experiences are usually exacerbated by a lot of mental confusion because the person who is going through them often cannot understand what is happening to them.
Traditionally, it is taught that kundalini rising (or whatever people want to call it according to their cultural background) can only be achieved through years of dedicated spiritual practice. However, since the publication of Gopi Krishna’s book ‘Kundalini’ many people have come forward to report so-called spontaneous kundalini awakenings, which were independent of intensive spiritual practice. During these spontaneous kundalini experiences often the negative and confusing kundalini symptoms were much more pronounced than the rewarding aspects.
Why can kundalini rising be so painful?
Kundalini is essentially energy and it works like an amplifier in our mental, spiritual, emotional and physical system. Basically, it amplifies all our experiences – and this can be a blessing or a curse depending on what is going on in our mind. If our life is well-ordered, full of love, spirituality and meaningful work then kundalini will make us even more loving, spiritual and even more successful in our work.
Unfortunately, this ‘perfect’ scenario is rarely in place when kundalini strikes. Everybody has challenges on various levels of their life and these challenges will be amplified together with the positive aspects of the kundalini awakening. As a result, we may find ourselves with an array of weird symptoms, challenging emotions and confusing perceptions. When kundalini effects our physcial body we may experiences the so-called kundalini kriyas – involuntary body movements which can be disconcerting, embarrassing or even painful.
What’s worse, everybody has an unconscious mind and kundalini is like a massive force that tears down the barriers to our unconsciousness. As a result, painful memories may come up – and even worse – our carefully suppressed antisocial drives may also come to the surface, for example, megalomaniac thoughts, racist or sexist thoughts, inappropriate sexual urges and violent impulses. For someone who is unprepared, this onslaught of our unconscious nature can be too much to bear. It may wreak havoc with their relationships and it may make them feel as if they live in some sort of hell.
How to deal with symptoms of kundalini
* In order to deal with worrisome kundalini symptoms it is beneficial to remember that traditionally these experiences were only encouraged in a spiritual and close student teacher relationship, so that the teacher could guide the spiritual seeker around all the possible pitfalls and towards the true rewards of the kundalini process.
* So, when people awaken the kundalini it is important to adopt as healthy and moderate a life-style as possible. Too much excitement through taking drugs, promiscuous sex or strong emotions can further tilt our life out of balance and should be strictly avoided. Instead, we should eat a very healthy diet, get enough sleep and adopt gentle and grounding hobbies like gardening or walking in nature.
* The next piece of advice is to slow down excessive spiritual practices because they can seriously exacerbate our symptoms. Instead, it would be good to seek out a spiritual mentor who is qualified to guide us in this process. Kundalini is a strong force and can seriously upset even grounded and mentally healthy people.
* If someone experiences strong kundalini kriyas it is important to relax and not to panic. In time these involuntary movement will subside on their own accord.
* Unfortunately, kundalini symptoms rarely ‘just go away’ because they represent our own problems that were previously hidden in our unconscious mind. Therefore, we should seek out help to work with these problems as much as possible. However, we need to be very careful with everything that is called ‘energy medicine’, for example acupuncture, homeopathy or other forms of energy healing. With our energy system already seriously out of balance these otherwise benign healing systems can upset us even further.
* Another piece of advice is to read the biographies of holy people from all over the world. In their biographies we can find that everybody has to go through these amazing upheavals before they can find God or become enlightened. Knowing this can be very comforting in our struggles.
* Last but not least, we need to remember that kundalini is only meaningful when it intensifies our spiritual quest towards uniting with God or becoming enlightened. If we have not already done so – now is the time to find a spiritual system to channel our heightened energy into. Even though it is advisable to slow down spiritual practice it is very helpful to adopt a more spiritual or religious outlook on life.


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