Imagine that a door opens—a door that you didn’t even know existed. A light beams from the other side, and you gasp. What’s this light? Where does it come from? What are you supposed to do with it? You aren’t quite sure, but you sense immediate changes in your body. Is this light the secret to instant dieting, extra pocket change, hearts that beat together in rhythm? And is that a hint at a better sex life that you sense? You blush. Besides the desire to celebrate, to participate in the gala of life, you also perceive another mounting urgency, one you could only label as spiritual. The only way to say it is this: you feel called. You feel summoned by a sacred and watching power, one that knows your true soul. There is something important you are here on this planet to do, and this light will help you discover and accomplish it.
You glance around, not quite sure you want any one noticing the transformational effects, especially those “kick up your heels” sensations. How are you going to explain these alterations to your friends and relatives, much less to yourself? In your search for an answer, you finally look at the door itself. Yes, there’s a sign on it: KUNDALINI.
Whatever this is, you want more of it.
Everyone does—and has—since time began. Who wouldn’t want to participate in the secret to longevity health, wisdom, and, yes, sexual fulfillment? Whether you’ve already flung aside the gateway to kundalini or are simply standing at its entryway, you are ushering in a light, energy, a divinely inspired and ancient power that has been center stage in spiritual communities throughout the history of the word.
Kundalini has long been known as a divine force and the key to enlightenment, as well as the secret power of bodily pleasures and joy. The best part is that you don’t have to climb the stairway to heaven to find the entrance. To embrace its power, you don’t need to follow a certain set of scriptures or wait until death do you part. You’ve only to search inside of yourself, and its wild, divine light becomes clearer. You’ve only to invite this “energy from the gods” forth to emblazon your own life force.
If you were able to fully draw on your kundalini, the life force that lies within, what might you do? Well, you could lasso the stars and pull them to earth, plant your dreams in the soil and grow love, laugh into the wind, and heal the world. You could write your name in the water, author your life, and sing with the Divine.
At some level, kundalini has already been accomplishing all this and more for you. You’ve already been exercising its enchantment to become the great person you are. As mysterious as its name and as magical as its origin, kundalini has been pulsing in your body since you were conceived, performing tasks as basic as igniting the electricity in your cells and as elusive as attracting others to you. Kundalini is a god energy, and as such, it nourishes your uniqueness and upholds your sacred vocation. Since it originates from the Divine Source, it also interconnects you with all living beings, as well as with the Divine itself. Because of these connections, to tap into your kundalini is to open the channel to your intuition, to begin to hear the messages in the wind, to receive revelations colored with inspiration, and to know the unknowable. In short, kundalini allows you to be you—and encourages others to be themselves.
Shall we see why the ancients taught about this power since time began? Why teachers, gurus, and saints across time and around the world have utilized it? Why even science is now validating its existence? Then let’s open the door and step across the threshold. Let’s embrace this divine energy and enjoy a truly divine life.
What is this masterftil, In Sanskrit, kundalini means “life energy?” Known as the serpent energy in Hinduism, the first culture known to have labeled this mysterious force, kundalini is the natural divine energy inside of you. Your kundalini is the life force of your body that, when fully activated, leads to living as an enlightened sage.
Etymologically, the word kundalini can be broken into the following Sanskrit roots, each of which sheds more light on what exactly this divine energy really is:
kundalin = coiled, spiraled (from the word kundalam, which means “ring” or “coil”)
kun = earth
di = can mean “little pot of earth” or “a single cell” and its alternative root:
da = to give or “the bestower”
I irii = perpetual consciousness expressing in alpha and omega, or beginning and end
The sum total of these phrases adds richness to our understanding of kundalini. We could, based on these root words, now define kundalini as “the coiled earth energy that begins in a single cell and, when blessed by the Best owner, gifts us with consciousness.” In Sanskrit, a language in which every noun is accorded a gender, the word is feminine. This connection easily leads to the idea of kundalini as the feminine principle of creation, the life- giving properties within our physical bodies that lead to higher consciousness.1 our kundalini is the yin, or divine feminine, to our yang, or divine masculine. It’s the receiving to the giving, the intuitive behind the logic, the contentment within the striving, and the sensual within the sexual. It’s what gives us life and now sustains it, linking us with the fertile, emotional, and prosperous sources of divine energy. Kundalini compels us to feel and dance, bond and create, attract and merge. Then, when kundalini—this pulsing, creative, feminine power within each of us—joins with our male spirit quality, it sparks unity within ourselves as well as with the Divine.2 This feminine energy is known by many different names throughout the world, including chi in China and ki in Japan. Spiritual people might call it the “goddess within.” The Christian and Jewish scriptures name it the Holy Spirit; Dr. Carl Jung calls this energy the anima. It is the source of fire in Moses’ burning bush, the caduceus symbol of medicine, the life force in Buddhism, and the source of intimacy in Tantric sex. It is the serpent called Quetzalcoatl among the Mayans. In Hinduism, it is serpent power, personified as Shakti, the goddess. Most likely you have heard a few of its many other names: Al-Lat, the Great Mother, Ruah, Pachamama, Sophia, life energy, light flame, cosmic energy, divine force, spirit fire, living flame, mothering intelligence, mana, the supreme power, and Christ consciousness.
Though known by different names to different groups, kundalini is always the same force. It is the organic catalyst necessary to unify our body, mind, and soul. It is the divine light that invites poetry into our lives. It is the secret to living this human life as divine beings. .
For decades, I searched to understand this power, not even knowing how to label it. In my quest, I once ended up deep inside a reservation that is home to the Bribery Indians, natives of Costa Rica. There, the local shaman worked in a shed. I had asked for a general healing but requested that he inform me about what he was doing (a friend translated for us). After following along for a while, I finally asked him the question burning on my tongue.
“What is the secret to healing?” Then I added, “I know there’s a divine power, one that could change all of our lives. What is it?” .
He smiled and said, “You are your own secret power. But there is an energy beyond all energies that we all share. It is here.” He gestured toward my hips. “And here and here and here.” He traced a finger upward from hip to heart and then to the top of my head, before finally pointing to the sky above. “All these points must come together, and then.. .
“Then what?” I asked.
“Then you are One.” .
A light went on in my head. “Is this the same as kundalini?” I asked.
“It is,” he nodded. “And it is Dios (God). And it just is.”
Scientists might portray kundalini as electricity or as an aspect of your nervous or endocrine systems, as well as other concepts examined in chapter 5 on science and kundalini. Certain practitioners would explain it as nothing more than a means to an end, a rocket fuel to shoot the soul out of the body, while others would suggest it is best experienced through love-based sexuality, diet control, body rigors, or devoted service. Everyone seeks to enjoy its flavor, the sensual skyrocketing and spiritual bliss it brings, but when it comes down to actually defining it or explaining it. . . the more I’ve studied and researched kundalini and the more people I’ve interviewed about it, the more expansive and challenging its definition. I can say this, though: you have probably already felt kundalini energy for yourself.
If you have ever practiced yoga, meditated, breathed deeply to relax (or keep your temper in check), chanted or sung for spiritual reasons, used exercise to feel better, or felt a tingling when you prayed, you have experienced kundalini.
If you have participated in Pilates, tai chi, Tantric exercises, quid gong, breath work, Zen Buddhism, mindfulness, karate or other martial arts, massage, acupuncture, or other alternative health-care practices, you have experienced the kundalini force.
If you have ever been struck with inspiration, survived a near- death experience, suffered a “dark night of the soul,” been scared by a heat searing up your spine, traveled out-of-body, had a snake dream, enjoyed an ecstatic sexual exchange, or performed a superhuman feat, you have experienced kundalini.
If you have experienced the pulse of a healing energy, oneness through love, or the kiss of the Infinite, or if you have been struck with a sudden surge of empathy, psychic ability, knowledge, prosperity, strength, creativity, luck, calm, wisdom, charisma, sexual charm, or consciousness, you have been blessed by kundalini.
If your spine has tingled with an electrical rush, or if the Holy Spirit, Buddha, Great Spirit, or a light from above has ignited bliss within you, you have been embraced by kundalini.
Kundalini energy is all these events and more.
Worldwide, the most typical description of kundalini is as a serpent—a red, pulsing serpent of light that rises through our physical body. The first description of kundalini as such occurred in ancient Vedic and Tantric texts, which will be discussed in depth in chapter 1. In these scriptures, the oldest in the world, the serpent kundalini is considered to lie coiled and dormant at the base of our spine, in our coccyx area, until activated, or awakened. When kundalini wakes up, it primarily travels upward through our various energy bodies and channels, parts of the energetic anatomy that create and sustain our physical body. Energy is information that vibrates, and guesses what the kundalini does? It shakes up the energy of our body, mind, and soul.
The kundalini first rises through energy channels along our spine. These energy channels are called the nadirs, and as the kundalini climbs through them, it activates the seven chakras, energy centers also positioned along our spine, our center axis, and connecting our spiritual and physical selves.
Along its way upward, the kundalini must pass through three special locks, or grant his, as they are called in Sanskrit. The grant his are analogous to locks on a canal or river way. Embedded in each are life lessons. (Darn those life lessons! We know all about them.) Our kundalini cannot continue upward until we unlock these grant his with the right “secret code,” revealing that we have learned the lessons. These life lessons often parallel our old issues, which are held within our chakras and appear in the form of blocks. At times, the rising of our divine light can be challenging. As our chakra blocks are triggered, we must feel feelings, face beliefs, and even deal with physical problems that we’ve been ignoring. In this endeavor, however, kundalini is our ally. To cast a light into the darkness is to dispel the dark. How can we not come out brighter, happier, and purified?
By opening blocked nadirs, owning the lessons of our Granth, and unblocking and nourishing our chakras, the kundalini activation process uncovers and heals all our hidden issues—physical, mental, emotional, spiritual, and psychological. It also opens our own intuitive gifts and encourages us to express more of who we really are in our everyday lives. So when the kundalini finally reaches the top of our spine and the top of our head, entering the topmost in-body chakra, the crown chakra, we are ready for enlightenment. Enlightenment is known as Samadhi in Sanskrit. In the crown, or seventh, chakra, the feminine kundalini is united with her masculine equivalent, which has been dwelling in this sacred spot for our entire lives. Our full physical and spiritual selves begin to merge. In Samadhi, all aspects of our true being, now fully activated by the kundalini, can achieve a state of union with the Divine and empower us to become our real selves.
In most traditions, the blended energy of the masculine and feminine, our united physical and divine selves, now shifts down to reside in the sixth chakra, also known as the third eye. We now see reality through eyes of light, and through practice actions, we transform reality into light. We have now become a participant in a divine marriage, the merging of not only our feminine and masculine selves but also our physical and spiritual essence. How could we not want to search for this same connectivity outside of ourselves?
Nearly every kundalini master offers wisdom about relationship and sexual bliss. Little wonder. The yearning we have for our selves is mirrored in the desire for another, a need to be pleased but, even more importantly, to please. Throughout this book, we will address this draw to sexual and sensual unity and various ways to embrace it.
Kundalini on the rise can produce physical effects such as heat, cold, tingling, chills, or even gentle waves of sensation. It can also trigger all sorts of nonphysical reactions, including spiritual bliss, altruistic tendencies, a desire to change one’s life, or unexpected abilities or behaviors, from singing to psychic talents. Kundalini can also mirror symptoms traditionally associated with psychological or physical problems. When our reactions to a kundalini rising become too stressful, uncomfortable, or even painful, we must then reach out for help and slow down or temper our kundalini-rising process. Chapter 3 describes the various symptoms oil effects of rising kundalini and offers suggestions for how to work (or cope) with them.
Kundalini may activate naturally or spontaneously, catching us unaware. We might cultivate a kundalini awakening with deliberate practice, using Eastern or even Western techniques, guiding it upward a step at a time. We might participate in ceremony, receiving the gift of this divine light through transmission from a guru. It might burst upward, only to fall down again, leaving us breathless, or reach the summit and then sit at the plateau, taking a long vacation break. We might spend the entirety of our lives watching our wristwatch, awaiting the show of the kundalini, or we might be born with a partial or full access to this feminine power. Not everyone experiences a kundalini rising—or needs to. Some individuals are already the sages they are meant to be. For some, a kundalini awakening would deter rather than add to their lives. Chapters 4,6, and 7 explore some means of gently awakening kundalini and preparing ourselves for its rise, if it’s meant to be, so you can cultivate your “garden” for this divine snake in the simplest and most joyful ways possible.
But know this: you can’t do kundalini wrong. The Divine has a way of knowing what we need and offering it to us.
As mysterious, magical, physical, sacred, enlightening, and informative as kundalini might be, it exists for a single reason: to be used. It exists to be used in everyday life for health, for relationship, and: for work. It’s a divine light here to shine on who you are and in all that you do. In that it unifies all aspects of you, it links you with life everywhere. You could say that to participate in kundalini is to sip from the communion cup of the Divine.
Ever since whispering a wishy-washy yes to the kundalini’s first hospitable call to me, I have watched this energy change my life. I once focused my own kundalini power to write a five-hundred- page book in three months. I’ve employed it to chase off an attacker, and I still utilize it daily to keep up (almost) with two sons, five animals, and a house that doesn’t clean itself. As an energy healer and intuitive consultant, I’ve watched, awestruck, as the kundalini taps into the promise latent within my clients. I was overjoyed to watch a man who had been slowly dying of diabetes become healed almost overnight, and another client, unemployed for six months, become a recipient of a healthy income source.
The most profound rewards of kundalini activation include:
• A dynamic desire to improve one’s health
‘The embrace of sexual energy and its sacred power
• The cultivation of self-control
• The transformation of temptations into joyous actions
• The healing of old issues
• An invitation to integrity
• A summons to spiritual purpose
• Dazzling confidence
• Heightened awareness and love of bodily needs, from relational to sexual to dietary
• Bolstered psychic gifts
• Unity with the Divine
Yet I know that because of the kundalini, we are able to do so much more. This is the power that Jesus used to raise the dead, divide a few fish and loaves into servings for hundreds, and calm a raging storm. This is the energy that gurus use to heal the sick, lower their body temperatures, and pull coins out of the air. This is the force that Australian aboriginals summon to instantly repair broken bones or track a path across the windswept desert.
Amazingly, this is an energy that we all have. Ancient knowledge lingers in the blood of each of us, as does the wisdom that knows how to embrace and respond to this native force. You’ve only to understand the kundalini to beckon it through the doorway between heaven and earth, and you’ve only to beckon it to reap rewards from it.
The goal of this book is to bring you that needed understanding. It provides stepping stones linking the classical or traditional teachings of kundalini with the needs of now, and it also reveals ways to assuage the challenges of its intense magic. And it shows you ways to benefit from your own kundalini transformation. My sources include not only the most ancient of texts and well-known of kundalini masters and contemporary scientific sources but also my own and my clients’ life experiences. And if I could be so bold, I would like to think that, at times, I’m being instructed from the kundalini itself, for as physical and concrete an energy as kundalini is, it is also an aspect of the living flame we call the Divine.
This divine light pulses within us all, speaking to and through us, igniting a torch through the darkest of times, serving up joy and love in the most touching of moments. As the kundalini lights your way, know that it will share even more freely with you, being the source of inspiration that makes a difference between a “regular” life and a divine one.
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