“All of mankind is tied together; all life is interrelated. We are all caught in an inescapable network of mutuality and tied in a single garment of destiny. Whatever affects one directly, affects all indirectly.” ~Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. in “Remaining Awake Through a Great Revolution”
We've come into a time where we are pretty comfortable as humans. The possibilities of what we can do, how much we can make, where we can live and how we can live has exponentially expanded with the advent of the internet (among many other things).
We have become so accustomed to a life of comfort that the majority find ourselves operating on autopilot. We can identify with zombies in a sleep-wake state before our morning cup of coffee and as we scroll the social networks on our smart devices. Look around, we are not a people fearing for our lives.
A routine has set in that many of us can say is mundane at most. Many days consist of the routine wake up, work, eat, sleep, repeat. Until something big happens. One day, following some inner or outer circumstance, something happens and the comfortable trajectory of life has come "undone" or shifted (usually occurring after a death or some other major/traumatic life-altering event.) One may start to wonder, "Is there more to life than this?!"
It is here in this sense of wonder that the magic happens!
When we open our minds and our awareness to question, to explore, the sense of possibility and potentiality awakens. It starts with a question, peaked curiosity. We are, in this moment, beginning to wake up. Waking up to a bigger and deeper sense of purpose, meaning, life. The world begins to look different. Our perception is expanding.
Through the exploration of kundalini, we will discover how to awaken (this time, hopefully, before an unexpected and traumatic event occurs).
What Is an Awakening?
“The one in whom no longer exist the craving and thirst that perpetuate becoming; how could you track that Awakened one, trackless, and of limitless range?” ~The Buddha in "The Dhammapada," Verse 180
In kundalini, awakening may be used to refer to an initial release, arousal, or stirring of kundalini shakti, or as a new awareness of an already existent rising that a person was born with.
Kundalini shakti — or simply, shakti — is the divine spiritual power (source of all energy) within every human being. It is the means for deepening our connection, our spiritual director, leading us to constant awareness of Source (God/Creator/Holy Spirit/Universal Intelligence).
Transcending the Mundane
It is kundalini shakti that empowers and guides our desires for spiritual attainment (the more/the deeper connections). It is with this energy that we are moving out of the routine and into our awakening. Shakti energy guides us into our full spiritual realization and into our purpose. Moving beyond the normal, boring and unexcited, kundalini provides us with the capacity to intensify and raise the energy of our body and our life.
Not to worry, though, kundalini is not a path nor a religion. It does, however, guide us along our chosen path. Any religion, any gender, any race, any culture and any body can practice. It is for everyone, universal and nondenominational. A path for everyone who wants the skills to cope successfully with the stressors and challenges of our times.
Designed to give us an experience of our soul, kundalini has the energy to arouse and awaken us into our full potential.
The Yoga of Awakening
Kundalini is a Sanskrit term from ancient India that identifies the arising energy and consciousness that has been dormant and coiled at the base of your spine since birth. It is the source of the life force (pranic energy, chi, bio-energy) that everybody knows.
"Kundalini Yoga is the science to unite the finite with Infinity, and it's the art to experience Infinity in the finite."
Kundalini — also known as the yoga of self-awareness — is a practice that combines yoga postures, mantras, meditation, mudras (yogic hand positions) and breathing techniques in order to achieve physical and mental balance, awakening the vital energy within the body.
(For an additional effective technique, try Kriyas and Kundalini: What Beginners Need to Know About These Ancient Yoga Techniques.)
Kundalini yoga harnesses the mental, physical and nervous energies of the body, putting them under the domain of will, which is the instrument of the soul. Precisely and consciously combining breath, mudra, eye-focus (drishti), mantra, body locks (bandhas) and postures to balance the glandular system, strengthen the nervous system, expand lung capacity and purify the blood, we are able to bring balance to the body, mind and soul, thus affecting the subtle, physical and mental changes within.
The technique of Kundalini yoga consists in using prana (the vital air, or pranayama), guiding its circulatory movement through the ida and pingala nadis (major energy centers) down to the base of the spine, the space where kundalini lies coiled. The vital energies of the opposite forces circulating in ida and pingala nadis will be unified and kundalini shakti will then awaken and rise up the sushumna nadi, energizing the seven chakras. The free flow of energy flowing up through the nadis and chakras lead to an expanded state of consciousness.
Tapping into this essential life force through meditation and yoga enables you to marry your individual energy with the universal life force energy, achieve balance and move forward on the path toward enlightenment.
There are three forms of kundalini awakening, which are based on the intensity of energy that moves through the body at the time. It may be 1) mild like a river flowing, 2) moderate like a snake crawling up the spine, or 3) intense like a geyser.
Kundalini awakening can trigger a wide range of phenomena. It can cause significant changes in your physical, emotional, sensate and psychic capacities; cause stress in vulnerable areas of your body; open your heart and mind to major shifts in perspective; and cause many unique and unfamiliar sensations including shaking, vibrating, spontaneous movement, visions, among other things, gradually releasing many patterns, conditions and delusions of your separate self.
This awakening is allowing you to discover wisdom, love and authentic direction within your life. Simplicity, contentment, unconditional acceptance and presence (living in the moment) are all hallmarks of an awakened life.
(That's right, Forget Happy, 'Be Content' Instead.)
Signs of Kundalini Rising
Although individual experiences vary considerably, here are some signs of kundalini rising within:
- Feeling different, not fitting in
- A deep dissatisfaction or a yearning for inner development
- Inner sensations of light, sound, current or heat
- A heightened inner or outer awareness; increased sensitivity
- Feelings of energy flowing or vibrating within
- Special abilities, capacities and talents
- Non-ordinary phenomena; altered states
- Spontaneous bodily movements or breathing patterns
- Emotional fluctuations; psychological issues coming forward
- Atypical sensations or sensitivities
- An interest in spiritual growth or in metaphysics or the esoteric
- Compassion and a desire to help others
- A sense that something non-ordinary, transformative or holy is happening within
- Personal development and, optimally, spiritual transformation and realization
Curiosity Will Lead You
We are all born whole and complete. Many times we are stuck in the cycle of limited thinking, moving and being. It is when we become curious to the more that lies ahead that we are able to awaken to the greater whole of consciousness. Reading, journaling, meditation, yoga asana, listening, finding stillness and continuous practice will carry us on a path of heightened awareness. Kundalini is a practice that will further help develop our awakened state of being.