Kundalini is a tricky subject. There are two main forms of it, and it can be very easily mistaken for something else. Basically, Kundalini is an energy force that exists in everyone. In Eastern traditions it is seen as a Serpent, coiling, sleeping, at the base of the spine, just inside the tailbone. Some have called it the supreme force of Magic in man, others an spiritual evolutionary force. However you look at it, it is a powerful force when awakened. And that is when the two main forms come in. One is voluntary awakening. This is done most commonly through Kundalini Yoga, and is, if done right, slow and gradual, and mostly positive. Emphasis, on ‘if done right’. Kundalini can be a very unpleasant, and potentially deadly force if not controlled correctly. Thus, Kundalini Yoga should never be entered into lightly.
The other main form that Kundalini manifests as, is an involuntary awakening. No one knows why, but in some people, it just wakes up and wreaks havoc on them, mainly due to the imbalanced nature in which it awakens, and the lack of understanding in what is occuring. There are some known triggers. Certain types of injury, especially to the lower back have been known to awaken it. Also, Kenneth Ring in studying Near Death Experiencers and UFO Experiencers, found that one of the common aftereffects of both experiences was Kundalini Awakening. And there are some people, in which it awakens without any specific cause, it just wakes up, and it can make you think you’re going crazy.
The symptoms of it’s awakening are diverse and many. The following are some of the more common symptoms...
* Muscle twitches, cramps or spasms.
* Energy rushes or immense electricity circulating the body.
* Electro-Sensitivity. Sensitivity to electro-magnetic fields, or the ability to intentionally or unintentionally affect electrical devices (making computers crash just by touching them, for example).
* Itching, vibrating, prickling, tingling, stinging or crawling sensations.
* Intense heat or cold. These can alternate or be either. In example, you may find yourself very hot when it is cold out, to the point of giving off massive amounts of heat, or freezing, even in extremely hot environments.
* Involuntary bodily movements (occur more often during meditation, rest or sleep): jerking, tremors, shaking; feeling an inner force pushing one into postures or moving one's body in unusual ways. (May be misdiagnosed as epilepsy, restless legs syndrome (RLS), or PLMD.)
* Alterations in eating and sleeping patterns.
* Episodes of extreme hyperactivity or, conversely, overwhelming fatigue (some Chronic Fatigue Syndrome victims are experiencing Kundalini awakening).
* Intensified or diminished sexual desires. Kundalini is strongly associated with sexual force.
* Headaches, pressures within the skull. Cracked feeling in the head, as if your skull is shattering into pieces. The pressure sensation can be very intense.
* Racing heartbeat, pains in the chest.
* Digestive system problems.
* Numbness or pain in the limbs (particularly the left foot and leg).
* Pains and blockages anywhere; often in the back and neck (Many cases of FMS are Kundalini-related.)
* Emotional outbursts; rapid mood shifts; seemingly unprovoked or excessive episodes of grief, fear, rage, or depression.
* Spontaneous vocalizations (including laughing and weeping) -- are as unintentional and uncontrollable as hiccoughs.
* Hearing an inner sound or sounds, classically described as a flute, drum, waterfall, birds singing, bees buzzing but which may also sound like roaring, whooshing, or thunderous noises or like ringing in the ears.
* Mental confusion; difficulty concentrating.
* Altered states of consciousness: heightened awareness; spontaneous trance states; mystical experiences (if the individual's prior belief system is too threatened by these, they can lead to bouts of psychosis or self-grandiosity).
* Heat, strange activity, and/or blissful sensations in the head, particularly in the crown area.
* Ecstasy, bliss and intervals of tremendous joy, love, peace and compassion.
* Psychic experiences: extrasensory perception; out-of-body experiences; past life memories; astral travel; direct awareness of auras and chakras; contact with spirit guides through inner voices, dreams or visions; healing powers...
* Increased creativity: new interests in self-expression and spiritual communication through music, art, poetry, etc.
* Intensified understanding and sensitivity: insight into one's own essence; deeper understanding of spiritual truths; exquisite awareness of one's environment (including "vibes" from others)
* Enlightenment experiences: direct Knowing of a more expansive reality; transcendent awareness.
* Poltergeist activity, or other strange, paranormal-like activities.
As you can see, the list is long, complicated, and open to interpretation. Oftentimes Kundalini is misdiagnosed by ‘modern’ doctors as Epilepsy (as it may cause some similar brain patterns), Psychosis, or much worse. Sometimes, a victim of unintentional Kundalini awakening can become extremely frustrated by the lack of help for their symptoms that the medical profession can provide. There are good and bad sides to the whole awakening process...
It may be useful at this point to explain a little about how this energy affects us. For some of us, this takes an adjustment of how we look at things. In order for this to make sense, the concept that the body creates consciousness must be released. This is partially why the medical profession does not acknowledge Kundalini, Chakras, or anything of the like, despite the fact that it can be measured and tested. Kundalini only makes sense if you look at it the other way around, as the body created by consciousness (not that much of a stretch for anyone that realizes how consciousness interacts at a quantum level, now is it?). As Kundalini awakens and rises up the spine, it encounters ‘blocks’ in the body, usually located around the various chakras. These ‘blocks’ are really manifestations of mental blocks. As Kundalini ‘burns’ through them, it often causes a great deal of pain. The most common description, and the most painful, is the feeling like someone is stabbing you with a red hot knife, and slowly twisting it. It can create other sensations as well, but that is one that I’ve personally heard quite a few times and experienced myself. This burning, attempts to bring up whatever the block is made of and can cause a release of both thoughts and emotions that are associated. When you know what you are dealing with, you can work with it and try and ease the process as much as possible. When you don’t know what’s happening, well, you naturally tend to fight it, and that just makes matters worse. This situation is often just exasperated when you go to a Doctor and they tell you there is nothing wrong with you or that they can’t figure out what’s wrong. Not what you want to hear when in intense pain. But an understanding of what is happening only comes through time and open-mindedness.
I said in the beginning of this, that Kundalini can be deadly, and this is rare, but true. There are some cases of Kundalini where when the energy is not freed to rise and fall along the spine the illnesses that it can cause can be life threatening. A good book to pick up on this overall is John White’s “Kundalini, Evolution, and Enlightenment”. It is a compilation of stories and articles on the subject and reveals a lot of different sides to The Serpent. The other danger is in Spontaneous Human Combustion. It is entirely possible that the cause of this mysterious phenomenon may be an overload of Kundalini. To date, there has been no satisfactory explanation of what causes SHC, and this is a very likely candidate, especially since it can physically raise body temperature drastically and suddenly.
As I said, there are good and bad sides... The bad sides are pretty obvious, but the positive is more than worth it. It can bring you to a sense of self-awareness and enlightenment beyond words. It can bring a sense of peace and calm and ‘oneness’ that is ineffable. It can strengthen you, both mind and body, and completely revitalize your world view. The negative is worth the positive, but it’s getting there that is a major battle.
Obviously, if you don’t know what’s happening to you, there is little you can do about it aside from suffer. That’s one of the reasons that I wanted to create this page. I have met enough people who have at very least some Kundalini energy problems, and in some cases major problems, to know that it’s probably a much wider phenomenon than anyone is really expecting. Below are some links to other on-line resources that may be of help. Working through it is a matter of patience, meditation, self-exploration, self-awareness, and control. Everyone is different and there is not really a set method for dealing with it. I am very interested in hearing from other people who have had this experience, and anyone that has any questions or is looking for help is welcome to contact me as well. I will do what I can to answer based on my knowledge and experience.
February 20, 2002