Sunday, October 6, 2013

Kundalini is a Gift...It's the Mind You Have to be Vigilant About

This week a man, who I will call John, phoned me to say that he'd had a Kundalini experience three years ago and his life was "falling apart." I immediately recognized this "falling apart" syndrome as the mind creating fear through its ubiquitous chatter.

If I opened up the brain and body of this man, I wouldn't find any "falling apart." I would find certain sensations, bodily experiences, thoughts, attitudes, but no "falling apart." I tried to slow his mind down by asking him to be specific about what he meant by "falling apart," asking him, "What are the thoughts, feelings, perceptions, attitudes you are having?" The difficulty he had in isolating what he meant showed me the degree to which the conceptual mind was running the show, and how much his mental activity was based on fear.

Despair and fear stimulted by constant mental chatter
Over-stimulated Mind Creates Fear and Despair
Interestingly, or one could say ironically, he only used spiritual practices to ease the chronic back pain he had, saying that in the course of a five minute spiritual exercise, energy coursed up through his body and "everything changed."

Listening to him speak I was reminded of my state of mind three years into the experience: manic, making all kinds of connections, seeing synchronicities everywhere. Listening to him I was fascinated; it was like listening to an earlier version of myself.

Manic-like symptoms seem to be an inevitable part of a Kundalini awakening. The energy activates dormant areas in the brain, giving rise to an influx of new ideas and connections with little ability to be objective or witness these thoughts. At this stage there is little to be gained by trying to bring the consciousness down from its lofty heights because the person cannot hear it. At least, I couldn't. At this stage I was ringing up Kundalini yoga teachers berating them for advocating the raising of this energy without any information about the karmic history of the individuals in their classes.

At that time I had little trust in Kundalini, even though my own experience had been smooth. Yet, I sensed its power intuitively.

Looking back now at those conversations, I must have sounded so weird to the teachers who answered the phone and listened to my rant! If someone had tried to speak to me about "calming down" and "witnessing," I would have probably felt angry and unlistened to.

I realized it was the same situation with John. So I gave up any idea of talking to him about watching his thoughts without identifying or becoming absorbed with them and I decided to meet him on his own terms. This involved speaking about the manic ideas of religious conspiracies I'd had at the same stage of the process. I advised him not to do any spiritual practices and to find something that he could give his Word to (what I mean by WORD is to do what you said you would do when the mind says "it's the worst thing you could do"). Something that diverted his fascination with the contents of his consciousness, which are merely the result of an awakened Kundalini working on the nervous system.

The best way to do this is to make WORD more important than WANT. In saying this to him, a part of me hoped he would listen and find something he could commit to, that would divert his attention from the spiritual pitfalls of self-absorption and fascination. But at this stage, advice like this is not really heard. The ego mind is too busy trying to re-assert the control that was lost when Kundalini rose for the first time. It recognizes that the same ego-state is not possible because consciousness has shifted, but there still exists a small window of possibility for a spiritual ego which is where the insights, connections, synchronicities come from. I'm not for one moment saying that these are not real: witnessing and acknowledging that they are happening is perfectly okay. However, becoming absorbed and fascinated by them is the stumbling block in the process. I have not experienced the entire range of physical, mental and spiritual transformation which Kundalini induces. I see its effects very much on the brain and nervous system. Beyond that, I can't comment.

In 2013, I organized the First UK Conference on Kundalini. I had high hopes that the conference would promote greater understanding of Kundalini. Now I realize that Kundalini is different for everyone. There are no pat answers or sure ways of either raising or living with it. It is very much a path by the Alone for the Alone. Yes, there are fellow travelers who can share their journey, but their journey is not yours — you have to go through it alone. Just remember it is not Kundalini that is going to throw you off the path, leaving you in a spiritual wasteland, but your own mind with the thoughts it conjures up.

I wrote about the internet Satsangs, given by Mooji and the people sitting at his feet, either laughing hysterically (having apparently got the cosmic joke!) or else "falling apart," as John put it. One lady explained that she was "falling so apart," she went to the doctor who gave her anti-depressants that she takes, but doesn't want to. Mooji asked her one question, "Do you take these tablets when you are sleeping?" Confused, the woman replied "No."

Listening to this, something hit me and I realized: what happens during sleep that does not happen during the day? The answer came to me so clearly. It is mind. At night, the mind is asleep and therefore there are no thoughts of "falling apart," so the unbearable fear that accompanies such a thought cannot and does not occur. In that moment, I was grateful to Mooji for the insight I'd had. Kundalini is a gift. It is the mind you have to be vigilant about.


  1. Great post! Yes, kundalini is the ultimate flowering of the individual isn't it? Even when the symptoms and stages that unfold have common aspects, the underlying person that is revealed is unbound and free to be him or her, finally. A different journey for each one.

  2. Thanks Vivek, I'm assuming that what stands exposed when Kundalini has finished the work is the face before we were born, what was prior to all conditioning. This is the challenge discerning and recognising that which was there before and will continue to be after this conditioning. Looking forward to reading your next post