Along the spiritual path it is common to experience spiritual energies within the body. However, not all energies are Kundalini. So it is important to discern the subtle energies which are common along the path versus Kundalini energy which can be much more dramatic and require support. Kundalini energy is a very specific evolutionary energy which has its root at the base of the spine. Kundalini awakening symptoms can cause anxiety, depression, disorientation, dissociation, brain fog, dizziness, panic attacks, heat along the spine, and be traumatic or blissful for the individual experiencing the awakening.
Please reflect upon the nature of your own energetic experience and read through the questions I have received from others and my responses. I hope that you will find this information helpful for your own Kundalini awakening process. If you would like to receive individual one-on-one support from me, visit my Kundalini Therapy & Support webpage or directly purchase and schedule an online Skype session here.
If your intention is to heal the body, a body-based healing method will be good for you, but know that healing is often messy, disruptive, disorienting, and confusing. This is part of the process… you must trust and go where you have not gone before. Whether you choose breathwork, massage, yoga, chiropractic, somatic therapy, energy work or shaking, all of these will be healing for your nervous system. Of course, at any point, any of these methods may stir up or excite the kundalini temporarily. This is normal. With me, I “accidentally” excited my kundalini at least 100 times while trying to heal the body.
If you excite the kundalini energy by practicing the healing method, just lay down and relax; let go of the healing method temporarily, calm the body, and let the energy of kundalini flow through you (this is also healing by itself by the way!) The power of the kundalini helps to clear the trauma out of your central channel and body. Then ask your heart, is this healing method helpful in releasing pain and trauma from my body and clearing my nervous system? Or is it simply exciting the energy? If the answer comes that it is healing then try the method again, perhaps waiting another day or so when the body is ready.
Trust your heart, do not listen to fear. Let your heart guide you forward in your healing process.
Question: I am hoping you might be able to talk a little about physical illness and the impact on the body on the awakening path. Since Kundalini energy started flowing a year or so ago for me, I’ve experienced a few instances of physical illness that have been puzzling… Puzzling because I’ve generally been blessed with excellent physical health previously during my life, and also puzzling for medical professionals to fully diagnose and get to the bottom of. I feel immensely blessed with the grace of Kundalini, but I’m curious about the relationship between our bodies and the awakening process.
Are physical illnesses something you see often in people who are experiencing the flow of Kundalini energy? Do you think illnesses may be a clearing out of karma, or a side effect of the Kundalini rewiring process, or that the energy required for the Kundalini process may be drawing energy away from normal bodily processes such as the immune response? The thought occurred to me that perhaps the suffering through illness is even necessary for us to open the heart more deeply, or perhaps God is guiding us back to the physical if we are getting too absorbed in the transcendental. I’d be very interested to hear your thoughts on this! This is on my mind as I’ve been unwell recently having spent a couple of weeks in hospital last month and currently back in hospital with a mystery lung illness that is proving difficult to treat. But I’m learning to view this positively and can see that this is a blessing in disguise and an opportunity to open and learn.
Craig: I will answer your question tonight during Satsang. But yes, much of what you say is true. Many of my meetings are spent speaking about this integration of body with the awakening process and the strange symptoms that result from the rewiring process. It is always good to go to the doctor and get checked out, to see if there is anything major happening within us, but that being said, if you are having strange or bizarre symptoms in the body it is helpful to have some support from a teacher who knows about these things. Most of the symptoms associated with kundalini tend to be more neurological or psychological in nature, but a whole variety of symptoms can take place, from depression to anxiety to chronic illness to fatigue, to virus like illnesses (mystery Illnesses) to strange neurological movements. The physical body, the nervous system, the immune system, our psychology—all of it can be impacted in strange and bizarre ways, which can be quite confusing for us. But yes, do know that there is a greater Intelligence at work. If you want to meet, visit my website and use the online scheduler… sometimes our minds can drift into unhelpful places if the body is ill or we are having strange symptoms.
I have a question about sleep. The past two nights I have felt myself become very aware and my mind at times is completely blank – it feels totally open and spacious.
The only thing is that, for some reason, it’s now really hard for me to fall asleep. Usually, when I fall asleep, it’s because my mind is beginning to drift away from that open spaciousness, and into dreams, where I see myself as a character in a story. Only now that my mind is more open and spacious, those stories and dreams don’t arise, and so I just stay awake, and present, and aware. I’m totally enjoying this awareness and spaciousness, but I am also really tired!
Do you have any thoughts or suggestions on how to allow this awareness to grow but also to be able to get up and go to work in the mornings? I’m sure it will work itself out eventually, but any tips or guidance would be really helpful.
Craig: Awake spacious awareness (which does not turn off) is one of the major aspects of spiritual awakening. Sleep trouble goes along with being Awake. Sleep is something I personally have struggled with for many years, yet there is another way of relating to your experience of sleep and rest. I would encourage you to look at your beliefs about sleep and about what you need to feel rested. Most of us have a belief that we need 8 full hours of sleep and that it must happen at night. Can you change your relationship to sleep and simply allow yourself to rest in bed? Lay there in savasana pose and give yourself full permission to rest totally. And then see how you feel. If your mind is bothering you with judgments of how much sleep you “should be getting or need” see if you can simply let that go. See how you truly feel if you simply give yourself permission to rest (sleep or no sleep).
One of the main complaints about spiritual awakening is that we are awakened to new currents of energy and Grace and now cannot sleep.
This is normal and may take some time to work itself out. Enjoy the energy and the new found awareness and let go of any thoughts, beliefs, and judgments about sleep. You may even lay there, consciously awake at night, and choose to have that be a time of deep meditation. You may hold a hand on your heart and a hand on your belly and rest in the vast spacious awareness that you are. In the morning you may not have slept much, but you may actually feel quite wonderful.
Craig: Yes, I experienced this, it was much worse during and then right after the kundalini awakening. The best thing to do is relax and see if you can get yourself grounded. Speak slower and write things down a lot. Also, don’t be so hard on yourself. Don’t worry about what others think, let that be of no concern to you. And of course, just meet individuals in the present moment from the goodness of your heart. From this space allow whatever comes to come. You may even invite God to come into you and speak through you, and guide your words and actions.
What is truly happening is that your mental and egoic mind is dissolving and making room for a greater Intelligence to come forward within you. This process may take a number of years, but do not worry it will even itself out and you will begin to speak more clearly again. The best way to aid in this process is to let go of your relationship with your mind and to come into your heart and allow your heart’s wisdom and Intelligence to speak through you as You.
Question: What if I am NOT having experiences of kundalini or headaches or such… Is it possible that we are still awakening?
Craig: Yes, absolutely. Some people have a light and gentle awakening. Consider yourself blessed.
Craig: Of course I know of this union, of this Beauty. If not for this, kundalini would simply be another passing spiritual experience. The whole point is to give yourself to this love and to live as an embodiment of this Love, to the best of our ability. This then becomes our path. We can ask, how do I live in alignment with my realization? How can I allow this Beauty to give birth through me each day? What in my life do I need to change, let go of, or transform so that I can be a clearer representation of this Love? How can I surrender fully to this movement of Love in me, as Me?
Craig: If you are having difficulty with Kundalini energy these practices can be helpful:
- Hatha or yin yoga every day, at least 30 minutes to an hour. Heart openers and hip openers are good for depression and or anxiety.
- Feel the goodness and energy of your body while practicing yoga. Let go of any thoughts which pass through your mind. Be present to your body. If emotional pain arises, embrace it, feel it and let it go. Breathe into the pain and let it gently release from your being.
- Heart and hara Meditation: 15 minutes a day, place one hand on your heart and one on your belly, breathe in “I am loved” and breathe out “I am safe.” Say this like a mantra, over and over and allow yourself the freedom to unhook from your thinking mind. Allow your nervous system to recalibrate in love and peace.
- Continue practicing mindfulness meditation. At least 30 minutes. Don’t believe your thoughts, let them pass on by. See emotions as arising energy and allow them to come and go. Be with what remains: the silent space of awareness.
- Go outside and get some exercise, ride a bike, go for walks in the park.
- Become comfortable with spiritual experiences, they are just energy moving through your body. Do not become infatuated or frightened of this moving energy; it is just energy.
- Relax, relax, relax.
- Do anything to heal emotionally; see a counselor or therapist, do your shadow work, etc.
- Do anything to heal physically. See a bodyworker, healer, chiropractor, etc.
- Circulate the energy in a gentle way. Breathe the energy up your spine on the inhale and down the front of your body on the exhale. Do not force it, but gently guide it through the chakras.
- Relax, smile and surrender.
Craig: I too am Catholic. I go to mass and have a deep love for Jesus, Mary and the Saints. There is nothing in this world outside of God. If you do not want help from me, call upon God, call upon the angels. Please know that many of the saints experienced Kundalini awakening.
It is not a bad energy, it is simply the energy of creation. When it awakens, it comes with a rush and overwhelming intensity. But as you breathe through the process, it will eventually even out. Remember nothing can happen in this world which is not God’s will. God created this world and everything in it. Including Kundalini, to argue this fact is to deny God’s authority and power.
Pray to God, ask for help in surrendering to His will. Ask Him for the courage to let go and allow this energy to move through you.
If anyone in your church is telling you kundalini is bad, it is simply because they do not understand it. It is one of the many energies of God, a creative power, that’s all. Remember dear one, you were made in the image and likeness of God. God is a powerful creator.
Craig: Wow, that all sounds very wild. Often a healer simply does not know what really is going on, and will diagnosis you according to their world view and understanding.
Yes, I went through many things like this. Despite past lives, black magic and curses etc. whether that is true or not, Kundalini Awakening can be really intense. Yes, you have a lot of healing and letting go to do, but also, Kundalini Awakening is an upgrade of your nervous system. We all need to do our healing work, and as we do our healing work the energy in our spine, head and chakras will often increase, because now the energy can move more fluidly.
Two things are happening at once; you are healing and releasing old pain and trauma from the past and your nervous system is being upgraded. Through this evolutionary upgrade process, your spine will expand, your nervous system will expand. It will heat up, more energy than you knew was possible will begin to flow up your spine, and out your chakras.
This process of Kundalini Awakening/nervous system upgrade is, well frankly put, very intense and painful. It is an intense growing process. Similar to when a computer updates, sometimes during a big update the computer actually crashes, it overheats, it gets confused. The same happens with us. Evolution has never been a smooth process. If we look at history, evolution often is a turbulent or violent process. And often Kundalini Awakening feels, violent, turbulent and even abusive at times (especially if we have experienced abuse in the past). The good news this process is a process of Divinity—of you becoming a greater expression of Divinity, and to be this greater expression our nervous systems needs to be upgraded. Unfortunately for some of us though, this process can be painful, difficult and confusing. Surrender to it, don’t fight it and, as crazy as this may sound, see if the pain, if the heat, these intense energies within you can actually communicate their Intelligence to you. Open to them in a humble way and see what they have to show you. Often these energies are wanting to open a new world to you.
Craig: Yes of course I did, and I will admit it lasted a long time and the experience finally brought me to my knees in ways I did not consciously know was possible.
This is exactly what it is supposed to do, bring you to your knees in unimaginable ways.
In our minds we think we know what pain is, how much is too much, and of course we have so much resistance to the whole thing. It will bring up every imaginable victim scenario. Unfortunately or fortunately, depending upon how you look at this, it is painful and literally burning all resistance out of our body, mind, and emotional world.
This is the movement of evolution in us as Us. Sometimes evolution comes in violent ways. If you imagine that wars and disease are also God’s will and how they eventually help to evolve the entire consciousness of the planet, well this same force may be working through you. It is beyond hard, I will not deny this, but the more you surrender and even surrender in places you didn’t even know existed, i.e. surrendering the mind of our throat chakra, surrendering our resistance to immense levels of pain, surrendering our ideas about pain, our ideas about energy and about there being anything in the world which is separate from us—as you surrender in all these ways the energy will eventually begin to break through and integrate on its own.
I have energies and forces move through my body on a daily basis, energies which at one time were very painful, but now these same energies fill my being with light and bliss. It may sound crazy but eventually when the energies actually integrate they are quite wonderful. This may take some time though. I can also say that many new energies come as well; some come in the middle of the night and keep me up. While this is inconvenient in a practical sense, I would not trade these experiences for anything else.
Keep going forward, both conscious and unconscious resistance is being burned out of your system. This is difficult work, but it is not work that you, your personality or humanity can do. It is work that we surrender to and allow God to do it, through us as Us.
Hang in there my friend, the good news is that you have a big heart. Allow your heart to do this work for you.
Question: I believe I have kundalini syndrome and my life is very difficult right now. I have a creepy crawly feeling in my solar plexus chakra, heat rising up inside me and am really battling. I feel like I’m on the verge of losing my mind. I get so bad I have to take Xanax some nights… can you help me?
Craig: I support individuals all over the world who are interested in spiritual awakening and who are having kundalini related symptoms, and I would be happy to meet with you to help.
From a human perspective, these new sensations in your body may seem bizarre, strange or even frightening. But keep in mind unless you have some real medical condition, these movements of energy are simply that, movements of energy. They will not harm or hurt you, and your life may even greatly improve as a result of this new arising energy within you. Remember that these are divine energies; they are evolutionary and transformative. All of life at its most basic level is energy.
The best thing to do is to relax and simply notice them. Do not obsess about them or think too much about them; after all, they are simply new energies awakening within you subtle energetic body. If you find yourself going crazy, I would recommend not believing your thoughts associated with this new experience.
Can you simply see it as a spiritual experience, and perhaps relax into it? See what it has to teach you, see what wants to give birth in you. Let these energies unravel within you… perhaps they will help you let go of old trauma, or pain, or perhaps awaken you to a new level of vision or sensitivity.
Craig: Yes, it is normal. The Kundalini energy will be present during sickness or no sickness. Sometimes when we get sick we have a greater awareness of the afflicted areas of our bodies and also have, as a side effect, greater awareness of kundalini energy in these areas of our body. Very normal… you may even imagine the Kundalini “working on” or healing these areas of affliction. Keep in mind that nothing is outside of the scope of the Divine—ultimately everything is energy and everything is God.
Craig: Yes, ADHD is quite common. But I don’t see it as a problem. ADHD means you have an active mind, but if you work with your mind and channel it into activities in alignment with your heart, you will become a very efficient and creative person. When an active mind is out of alignment with our heart’s intelligence then we have two competing forces within our being. The Kundalini energy may actually fuel the ADHD if the kundalini energy is not properly channeled. What I mean by this is that Kundalini energy needs to be properly channeled in alignment with our heart. If we live a healthy yogic lifestyle which is wholesome and pure, this energy will move directly up the spine and chakra system. But if we live a confused life without a focus and have an ADHD mind, then all of this extra energy can get channeled in opposing directions. The bottom line here is to have a clear direction from your heart and bring this direction into your mind and actions. Allow your heart to lead you, bring your mind in alignment with the heart. Live a pure wholesome lifestyle which supports the kundalini energy. The last thing you need is kundalini fueling an ADHD mind.
- There are some instances where I find it difficult to drop into this space; times where mind seems so overactive. I sometimes feel this is Kundalini energy just bouncing around my head. I notice that during these times, there is a held belief that I hold some kind of chemistry/wiring that will forever disallow my awareness to be anchored in the heart. I know this to be only a belief, and disregard it with love and compassion, yet it seems to repeat itself.
- Recently someone has entered my life and I find myself smitten on a level I have not felt for quite some time. This has surged all types of feelings and thoughts, and has been rather testing on my awareness.
- Certain external things; food, laptop, phone, seem to play a part in my ability to sink into my heart.
- In regards to the energy bouncing around in your mind, yes it will do that if not channeled properly. Channel your thoughts to that which is highest. Perhaps use a mantra, to guide your mind, when it is idle. You may also, focus on the energy going directly up your spine through each chakra and out of the top of your head. When the energy is blocked, or moves to the right or left, it can spin out in strange or lower states of consciousness. Gently guide it, toward the highest and it will flow blissfully. There is nothing fundamentally wrong with you. Inherent in the egoic mind is this belief that there is—simply because our egoic mind is not our true; it actually knows that it is not the full truth of your being, that is why this thought arises. Eventually through fully believing in yourself and truly embodying your true nature, only then will this thought dissolve, until then it will repeat itself, because it wants to be liberated.
- Yes, we continue to fall in love. Remember all of life is God and all of life is here to wake you up. I encourage you to see what this situation/person is here to teach you. Remember that awareness is love—the highest form of love, never think that awareness is some state devoid of love and feeling. To be clear, I am not saying you should or should not be in this relationship, you investigate for yourself what this is all about. In a very human way, falling in love can lift us up out of depression or fatigue.
- Yes, with awakening comes a great sensitivity. I encourage you to listen to your experience and let it guide you. True awakening will radically transform the way you live and relate to life.
Question: I wanted to ask about what seems to be returning Kundalini phenomena. The current physical and mental states were first felt in full force about three years ago. I didn’t have much of a foundation then, and they threw me into a world of fear and terror. Now, I am much more grounded, however still remain confused.
The sensation is of a pressure in the head, that seems aggressive; though not necessarily painful. It does, however, feel almost toxic, like burnt wiring or misfiring of some description. It brings up some residual fear of insanity, death, and of being in a place that seems so contrasted to being in the. I sometimes question whether it is Kundalini, though my gut tells me yes (and as far as doctor’s reports go, I’m fit as a fiddle).
Can Kundalini energy ‘return’ like this? Is it still clearing out some stuff? It is wonderful to see the way I am able to handle it now, compared to when it first arrived (thanks to teachers such as yourself).
Craig: Yes, Kundalini energy can be quite intense. It can seem “toxic” but of course, it is not. Our mind cannot understand something greater than itself and so it responds with fear-based thoughts. I like to think of the energy as evolutionary, and that evolution is often a messy process—sometimes even a violent, forceful, and powerful process; but this process is a process of both love and intelligence. In a sense, it is supposed to be difficult, because the very nature of this difficulty will begin to burn out the very processes of mind which are judging it. At some point, the mind has no choice but to submit, to the truth.
Craig: I cannot fully remember the context, but perhaps I meant:
- Don’t drink or do harmful drugs
- Don’t do forceful Kundalini yoga breaths which are often taught in Kundalini yoga classes.
- Do not try to force the Kundalini energy in any way, it has its own intelligence and process and timeline.
- Don’t hang out in lower level or negative vibrations such as bars, with negative or with dramatic/messy manipulative people as examples.
- Don’t do extreme sports, which will beat up your body. Stay away from Kickboxing, Ju Jitsu or other rough sports.
Your nervous system is being upgraded. Be gentle and loving with yourself, take the time to take good care of your body, mind, and emotions. Eat healthy foods, do light gentle yoga.
Craig: Yes, Tai Chi could be very helpful or maybe not… While I was going through my process, I visited with many healers and took all sorts of classes on yoga and energy work. Some were very healing and others actually excited the energy and made life temporarily more challenging.
If you were going to do anything, I would recommend doing a light gentle Yin Yoga. This tends to be the best for gently opening the chakra centers and allowing the energy to move. What I have found is that most energy workers or healers actually have no idea about Kundalini and its power and force. Even people who teach Kundalini yoga most likely have no idea what they are talking about or working with, and have no real experience with Kundalini. So I always go into a class or healing session with that in mind.
What your body needs is to surrender any blockages, to open up and trust, and to allow this energy to flow freely throughout. When it does, this will all sort itself out. I recommend yin yoga, because it emphasizes all these qualities of opening, surrender and allowing the energy to flow. Tai Chi or Chinese chakra work may be quite beneficial, or again, it may excite the energy. You will not really know until you try. I tried so many different things and eventually found yin yoga.
Most yin yoga poses you can do in your bed or right there in your room and should nourish your body, not exhaust it.
You may give this a try and see how you feel. But overall this is a process of opening, letting go (which can be sometimes dramatic) and allowing the energy to flow freely and integrate. This process does take time and gentle effort and cooperation on our part.
Question: Craig, I am new to spirituality, but had a dramatic kundalini awakening. Can you recommend some teachings, readings, or audiobooks to help me with this confusing path of Kundalini?
Craig: I work with a lot of people who are new to spirituality but are having very advanced and dramatic awakenings; they have no solid background and training in chakra work and meditation. I cannot emphasise enough the importance of having a good teacher along the way. Without one, we will most surely be lost and spend years spinning in circles and perhaps even greatly suffering because of the disorientation which arises with a dramatic awakening. Beyond connecting with a good teacher (one who has actual experience with Kundalini energy) I can recommend some reading and study resources that may be helpful for your journey and help provide a solid foundation and context for this path.
- Craig Holliday: Fully Human Fully Divine, Awakening to our Innate Beauty through Embracing our Humanity,
- Bonnie Greenwell: The Kundalini Guide
I wish for you to have a full integrated life one day, and know that many of these teachings can help you directly. Even though these teachers do not specifically address kundalini energy, their teachings will help the energy to flow through you in a way which will help and not overwhelm you.
- Caroline Myss: Energy Anatomy
- Reginald Ray: Buddhist Tantra – for working with the body and helping you to open up the channels so that the energy will move more fluidly.
- Reginald Ray: Pure Awareness
- Matt Kahn: Whatever Arises Love That – for working with arising, thoughts, emotions and inner child wounds which inhibit the flow of kundalini.
All of the above books will be helpful for your journey over the coming years. The idea here is to have you spiritually fit, so that this energy can flow through you freely and you can heal and get back into your life’s work.
If this is too much to take on all at once, simply try to digest this wisdom bit, by bit. And take it as quickly or slowly as you can. The more aligned you are, and the more open and clear your energy is, the quicker you will heal, integrate and be living a full life. This path can be confusing, disorienting, frustrating and lonely. But with proper work on ourselves and proper spiritual attitudes, these energies can flow more easily through our lives.
- Focus on the felt experience of spaciousness all around you: in the room, in the sky, and even in the space of your mind. If something difficult is in the space of your mind–the space of awareness, do not focus on the thoughts or pain, spiritual experiences arising within this space, but first acknowledge the spaciousness in which these contents are arising.
- Feel into the space, see if you can let go into the space the same way one would let go into sleep.
- Notice that this space is always here. Notice that this space of awareness which you are—always, already allows for everything, even pain, even heartache, even disturbing sounds. Let go into this freedom. Even if you are having profound spiritual experiences, focus on the space in which the experience arises.
- Notice how you feel when you let go into this, vs. how you feel when you want your experience of pain to stop.
- Adopt a faith that you are being healed through this process, that all resistance is being purified or burned away through this disorienting process; imagine the sound in your ear is not a problem, but something which is actually helping you to let go of resistance through burning it out of you. Know that when heavy aspects of ego are being purified out of our consciousness, that they, scream as they are releasing. Notice how you feel when you trust. Notice how you feel when you analyze your physicality and diagnose yourself. Notice how separate and divided you feel. What if you let go of commenting on your experience and simply experience.
- Instead of fighting consciously or unconsciously, try and trust. Forgive yourself and your humanity for unconsciously fighting. Know that you are like the fish who is slowing evolving into the amphibian and that this is a process, sometimes a disorientating process, which feels brutal, but is a movement of higher consciousness. Smile and have faith, that you are God’s evolving edge. God is giving birth to herself in the form of you.
I think my Kundalini is very much in my upper chakras now, I find myself spontaneously rubbing my head while chanting ‘om’ etc. My eyes are flickering a lot from all the stimulation. I’m VERY sensitive to lights and sounds. I’m just looking for a tool that might help balance out some of this energy in my brain.
Craig: Yes my friend, this is a part of the process and is normal. It will eventually come into a smoother alignment.
Alternate nostril breathing tends to be gentle and balancing for the nervous system—that is if you do it in a gentle and balanced way. Do not force it, or hold the air in or out for prolonged times. Find a count (a timing which works for you) and experiment with your nervous system. For me often it was invigorating and too energizing, and yet at other times it was quite balancing and relaxing.
One of the things that this energy is going to make you do is to develop your own intuitive wisdom; not necessarily with others but with yourself. You will be expected to feel into your experience in every moment and ask yourself—ask your body, your mind, your psychology, and your nervous system—what does it need in this moment? Too often we visit with a kundalini teacher and they tell us to do this breath, take this herb and it will heal you, but it doesn’t.
Kundalini and how it interacts with your particular humanity is far too complex for a one-size fits all approach. And no little breath or herb is going to be the magic cure; that is an illusion. Kundalini is a Divine Intelligence arising within you. It needs you to meet it, in Its world, not have you force your world onto it. When we instead meet it, we will discover a new Divine life in alignment with It.
Craig: You bring up some interesting points. Yes, of course trying to chase after spiritual experiences is a form of spiritual materialism. I agree fully with that teacher, and have had to often puncture the bliss bubble that many ungrounded spiritual seekers chase after or attempt to live in. But with that being said, your true nature is made up of vast spacious Awareness, luminous Bliss, and Intelligence. Satchidananda is our nature. Beyond working with individuals who chase bliss, I have many students who simply have a dry, nondual philosophical understanding, and they mistake that for realization. Realization is not some dry dead truth! Realization is a full experience of Satchidananda. It is overwhelmingly bright, spacious, and intelligent. It is dynamic. If we want to open in a full way, we dedicate our lives to this path. We give ourselves fully to heart-centered spiritual practice. We surrender everything to God, we open our hearts, fully to Her Grace. This is our work if we want to awaken to the Truth.
Question: I have heard so many fearful things about kundalini that I now fear this experience. I recently opened to kundalini and began having some experiences in my spine (feeling blissful and feeling energy around the spine and chakra centers), but quickly shut down, because I was afraid that I would have a dramatic experience like you had. Is this kundalini to be feared? Are these experiences normal? Thank you.
Craig: Yes, these experiences are quite common. There is no need to fear them. I had hundreds of these types of experiences before my kundalini opened in a dramatic way. It is good to know that not everyone will experience a dramatic awakening with kundalini; some have quite gentle experiences, others quite volatile, and then most have an experience anywhere in between those two extremes. We are all so unique and have such different karma, it is good not to try and compare ourselves to others or expect our experiences to be exactly the same. Kundalini can be quite wild. It can also be quite calm and relaxed. Your job is to open to your experience and let God show you your unique path. There is nothing to fear my friend, you are opening to God—an all loving and Intelligent God. Open your heart and see what happens. God has come to you, my friend. Open your heart to God’s Grace.
Craig: Yes, we are all transmitters of Divinity. Often when we are intimate with another, we can open or awaken their kundalini energy. But we need to not take this too personally. We must remember that we are all spiritual beings in this world. It is not that we are special or to blame, but rather, we are all incarnations of the Divine—we are not simply human beings—we are Divine and every level of divinity is open to us.
More often than not, our lovers feel what we feel and experience what we experience, and can temporarily awaken to our energy field. We are all always transmitting something, whether it is our egoic negativity or our highest divinity; we are all transmitting our energy.
If the kundalini is really going to awaken and stabilize in her and not simply be a passing spiritual experience, she has to do her work to open to it more, surrender to it and integrate it. The same is true with teachers and students. If the student wants to be awake they must not simply sit at the teacher’s feet, but must also do the very work that the teacher did to build the foundation of true freedom within their human nature.
These experiences haven’t brought me in any peace though, but it is reassuring to be able to give them some context. My brain and nervous system feels more fried than ever, I’m having to wear sunglasses even indoors on most days. My body is tingling/vibrating 24/7. A few days ago I got such bad cabin fever that I told my wife to take me for a drive and it was a nightmare. The car moving at fast speed and the extra stimulation just triggered my eyes / seizures over and over again. We had to turn back and I came home and I had a cry about it. Anyway just wanted to keep you updated and see if you had any thoughts or advice on this stage of the process, and if you are familiar with khechari mudra.
Craig: With this type of experience, it is wise to have the support of a teacher, I’m here if you need. A quick email will not do justice to your experience.
My short response: Oh how fun and bizarre it is to be human sometimes. Yes, spontaneous Kundalini Awakening can be the most radical and bizarre experience of our life. You must have been an incredible yogi in your last life, my friend.
My attitude toward these energetic movements is to let whatever needs to unfold, unfold… I have faith and trust in the Kundalini Intelligence that it knows what it is doing. I have faith in God and step out of the way and what has come after the bizarre process has been Divine. This is what worked for me.
You could try and resist it, but you will probably find more pain and pressure. When you let it move freely you may discover something greater, new worlds may open within you… or you simply may feel more peaceful in the end. I had many strange and bizarre movements, which were sometimes painful and uncomfortable, but later lead to greater happiness, joy, peace and bliss. So my attitude is one of trust. Eventually, the movements worked themselves out. I had a lot of similar movements that the girl did and the fella sitting on the ground in the 3rd video; that was my experience for about 2 years give or take, a lot of head arching, weird eye squinting and seizures, and rolling on the ground and madras… yes it was strange, but I just went with it and did not resist it, in any way.
One of the things which was helpful for me while I felt overwhelmed by energy in the head was cranial sacral treatments. It helped to relax my nervous system on a core or primal level. You may give that a try. I would not talk with them too much about the kundalini, but simply let them know your nervous system is in a heightened state of sensitivity and you want some support calming it. If you are not familiar with cranial sacral, you just lay there and the healer holds your head and gently balances your cerebral spinal fluid. Find someone good in your hometown to do this, and see if they will come to your home. Also, I spent a lot of time out laying on the grass and letting the Earth absorb my intense energy. Often I would gently channel it into the Earth, just through laying there and imagining it going into the Earth. I would visualize it starting at the base of my spine, moving up the spine through each chakra and then pouring out of the top of my head and showering down into the Earth, and then imagining it all over again. I would do this for hours. What is crucial is to see the energy pouring out the top of the head so that you get some relief.
Craig: Your answer is in your question: you must heal any sense of unworthiness within you. Of course you are worthy; you are created in the image and likeness of God. Unconscious aspects of your ego are showing you that there is still some part of you which thinks you are not worthy… this aspect of your humanity needs to be loved and embraced and healed. This pain of unworthiness, whether it is conscious or unconscious needs to be met with a total unconditional love. Kundalini is alive and well within you. It is simply showing you where you need to work, heal and grow. I will remind you that kundalini brings everything unconscious into our awareness so that it can be healed… so that in the future the kundalini can flow smoothly through our being. Kundalini is a force of evolution and evolution wants us to heal everything within us which is not in alignment with the Truth. Kundalini is not simply about incredible experiences of Grace, Love, Beauty and Cosmic Consciousness, but also a force of Truth, and this movement of Truth within you is pointing out faulty belief systems within your egoic consciousness and feelings of unworthiness. Your job is to discover that your humanity and your Divinity both deserve your loving attention and that both are Divine. This is deeper work and usually requires the support of a good teacher or therapist.
Craig: The anxiety could be there for a number of reasons: it could be kundalini in disguise. Our body often misinterprets kundalini for anxiety. If we are not well-trained in discerning all the different types of energy in our body, we can easily label anxiety as kundalini by mistake. This is very common. Once we know the difference between the two, we can begin to interact with this energy differently and see it as a blessing instead of a curse.
Another option can be now that you have a good loving stable home, some of the old pain, emotions and anxiety are coming forward to be healed in this loving environment. Or there could be a disconnect within yourself, for example, an unintegrated place within you which is not getting the message that you are in a safe and loving place. And this place is asking for your loving attention, acknowledgment and embrace… Investigate this for yourself and see what you find. Your true nature is peace, so there is something here which needs your attention.
Craig: Yes, I went through this as well. I can provide you with better support tailored to your unique experience in a support session. But here is a basic response: If you are not sleeping, do your best to lay in bed with your eyes closed, simply resting your body. This will require that you do not believe your thoughts (it is bad that I am not sleeping or I should be sleeping), but rather do your best to simply relax the body and just feel the energy that is moving through your relaxed body. I know this is hard, but if you practice diligently, you will train your body to relax and become rested even if you do not actually fall into sleep. When you get up in the morning your body will feel much more relaxed than if you were up all night worrying that you were not sleeping. The energy will begin to integrate into your True Nature and will no longer become a problem if you do not fight with it or resist it. Let the energy flow, but simultaneously do your best to relax the body. Notice that even if you do not sleep but you support your body in relaxing all night, see if you are able to still function in this world the next day. Invite this energy which is keeping you awake at night to fuel your life and empower your body during normal waking hours.
Craig: Yes, this can be a helpful practice for conserving energy. Sexual energy is neither good or nor bad. It is simply the energy of creation. Celibacy or semen retention can be a supportive practice along the path, but it is not the ultimate practice. The ultimate practice is to be a movement of love in the world. My question to you is:
- Are you connected to your heart?
- Are you following the Intelligence and love of your heart nature?
- Are you giving yourself fully to this path?
Those questions are where I encourage you to channel your energy.Choosing to not waste energy is what semen retention is about. It is a choice to follow a pure life and not get involved with things which are not helpful. I encourage you to look at the whole of your life, and let go of that which is not helpful and embrace and do more of that which is a movement of love and Truth. In the end, this path is not about manipulating energies, it is about surrendering ourselves to the highest movement of Love and Truth in us and as Us.
So now I have anxiety sometimes and panic attacks if I think about that. I don’t wanna go through that at this point in my life. I am just 26 and just changing careers. Can you comment on what’s your perspective on this? Also, how does unfolding happen to someone who practices self-inquiry as opposed to kundalini yoga, and how can one make the process as smooth as possible?
Craig: Kundalini awakening is rare and it is even more rare for it to actually be troublesome. In regards to your panic and fear, I encourage you to inquire into this. What is this fear? Is there something actually here for me to be afraid of? What is the energy of fear actually? What is here that is seeing and experiencing the fear? Is this space beyond fear?
If you want to be awake in an abiding way you must face fear. Remember you are awakening out of illusion and into Truth. If you want to know Truth you must face your fears. Sometimes we think we can simply see through the illusion of fear and then it will be gone. And sometimes this works. But often we are challenged by a deeper fear which requires both clarity, wisdom and unconditional love. We have to learn to love everything. We need to learn to meet fear with true unconditional Love. This path asks us to reach deep within and find this source of unconditional Love. This is much more challenging then simply seeing through something. If you truly want to be awake you must face everything and know yourself as Love Itself. This is the way forward.
In regards to kundalini, I’m not sure why you are worried about a path which you are not on. If you were on the kundalini path, I would tell you to be cautious. If you had symptoms of kundalini, then we might have something to talk about in regards to the kundalini. But you are fearing something which is not happening, and not even sure it ever will happen. But in the case that it does arise within you, then you must understand that this too is God, and a vibrant quality of true nondual awakening.
Question: I had a profound spiritual kundalini/Holy Spirit experience and it totally ruined my life. I wanted to ask you for some advice, because I’m totally stuck in a mental hospital right now with psychosis, mania, and anxious thoughts. What is happening with me?
Craig: It is a common experience to lose ourselves in exalted states and manic states and psychotic states when the kundalini has awoken. It can be very disorienting, painful and confusing. It is important to remain grounded and as sane as possible by not believing or identifying with the thoughts and feelings that arise and fall within our consciousness. If are able meet me for a Skype video session, just let me know and I can offer you more support. I have met with many individuals who have awoken kundalini and then experienced some level of psychosis, anxiety, panic or fear.
In the meantime, get yourself grounded, and don’t believe your thoughts or your feelings. Just like Christ in the desert or Buddha under the bodhi tree, stay here in the present moment. Feel your feet on the ground. Notice only what is happening right now in this reality. For example, inwardly notice that all the stories in your head are just thoughts, all the feelings are just feelings, and ask yourself “What is happening right now? I’m just laying in a bed, in a quiet room. Okay.” Connect only with this basic physical reality. Let go of all the thoughts and feelings and come into the present moment and simply let all thoughts and feelings move in and out of your consciousness without touching any of them.
When you believe thoughts which are wild, crazy and anxious, you are stepping into and identifying with deluded aspects of your own mind. Let go of these deluded states and simply come into the present moment.
Craig: When we are sleeping or coming out of sleep, our unconscious often comes to the surface and can bring strange or bizarre visions, dreams or great fears. Nothing can truly harm you my friend. Just like Jesus in the desert, say no to the devil and move on. Or get up and turn the light on and see that nothing is there ;)
If aliens do arrive, I might get on the spaceship… this would be my personal preference. I would love to fly across the universe! Nothing can harm you. There are no demons or devils wanting to harm us. The kundalini does bring forward unconscious fears. If this is the case, face your fears with love and truth. All of these things are illusions of our unconscious minds. Your job is to face all your fears with truth and love, and watch all illusion vanish before the light the of awareness.
Craig: It sounds like both since often they are interrelated. Kundalini is often very expressive energy, and can sometimes feel like anxiety. Most people misinterpret kundalini energy for anxiety or stress. If you are really stressed out it is hard for the kundalini to move fluidly through the body. If you have any stress or trauma in your nervous system, it will create a constriction that hinders the kundalini’s ability to express itself/rise up the spine. If this stress and constriction is here within you, then the kundalini will most likely try to force its way through the constriction, thus creating more stress. Like always, it is helpful to have some support going through this process. It can be wise to meet with a counselor, to exercise and receive some bodywork to help the nervous system to calm down. As it does, everything will come into harmony. But please know this make take some time. It took me about 3-6 years of intense healing work to restore harmony and integration with kundalini energy.
Craig: Yes it sounds like your kundalini energy is congested from the attitude or way in which you practice. What you need more of is to practice from the innocence of your heart. The practices you describe are all masculine practices, but kundalini is a feminine energy. She benefits from a heart-centered approach to spirituality, not a controlled or forceful approach.
When we practice in a controlled way, the energy has trouble moving fluidly throughout the body. I invite you to fully come into your heart and be open and innocent like a child. It is from this space that I invite you to work with or open to all the congested energy in your body. Invite it forward, ask it what do you need to come into greater alignment or release itself? You need to open to the Divine feminine—to the Mother Herself and ask Her to come into your life, into your body and practice. Humility and openness will release all the pressure and will help the energy become more fluid.
Craig: Listen to your heart and let it guide you. Do not practice in a way that pushes the energy, simply gently open to it. Do not force or push the energy, but also do not give up, if the energy becomes intense. Trust and open to your experience.
But please know that there will be times when the energy is intense, like you describe. This is not bad, this is normal and part of the process. You must remember that this path is an evolutionary path, which means that there will be some growing pains and difficult feelings along the way—this does not mean you are doing something wrong and you should stop, it simply means you are growing in the light. Light can be intense, it can burn. But you must ask yourself, what do I truly want? Do you want to try and go very slow and control the path? Or do you want to let go into the light, no matter what the cost? And yes, that means we will feel uncomfortable as we open into greater realms of existence.