A Cross Cultural Experiential Perspective on Religious Awakening

Thirty two years in the past I started my journey, a dramatic and engaging internal and outer journey into the expertise of kundalini awakening and the method that unfolds as soon as that highly effective internal religious vitality is ignited. It was my nice success to obtain shaktipat initiation (the awakening of kundalini) from Swami Muktananda who was the realized Grasp of the Siddha Yoga lineage at the moment. I say it was my nice success as a result of, on this custom, not solely is the initiation given, however the needed teachings for understanding the awakening and the religious experiences and course of that unfolds because of it are overtly and freely given. I quickly realized, by means of my very own internal expertise and the experiences of others round me who had obtained shaktipat, that this divine internal vitality not solely has the facility to present one the very best of mystical experiences, however can also be a supreme healer. In her purpose to take the seeker to the belief of oneness with Supreme Consciousness, she should assist us to take away our internal obstacles on the bodily, psychological, emotional, psychic and religious ranges. As with all progress and therapeutic course of, being confronted with obstacles, limitations, unfavourable feelings, unfavourable tendencies and previous troublesome experiences and unresolved points, might be troublesome and generally scary. When mixed with intense, spontaneous experiences of vitality transferring in ways in which a person has no prior coaching, information or understanding of, it may be overwhelming, main the person to hunt assist from clergy, religious advisers, psychological well being practitioners and holistic practitioners-many of whom are missing within the needed expertise and information to offer enough help, and a few of whom may very well misdiagnose the person’s expertise, labeling it pathological. Thus it’s crucial that anybody offering help to people with woke up kundalini have information and expertise of the kundalini course of throughout religious cultures.

Energetic Paradigms Throughout Traditions

There are numerous names for the kundalini throughout religious traditions. A couple of are: the Tibetan Buddhist tummo, or internal hearth, the Chrisitian Holy Spirity, the Chinese language Martial Arts and Therapeutic Arts Chi, and the num of African tribal dacers and healers. When one explores the magical texts, poetry and anecdotal materials of quite a lot of traditions experiential paradigms emerge describing the awakening and motion of this remodeling internal energy. Essentially the most articulated system is the Chakra/Nadi system that seems in Yoga, Tibetan Buddhism and Sufism. On this system the kundalini is woke up and strikes up by means of the central channel or sushumna, piercing the chakras or vitality facilities within the delicate, vitality physique. Within the means of transferring by means of the chakras the kundalini releases quite a lot of bodily, psychological, emotional, psychic and religious experiences. Throughout the Yoga, Tibetan Buddhist and Sufi traditions the phrases could differ in describing the paradigm, however they’re basically the identical. The Christian system is much less totally articulated, however is hinted at within the E-book of Revelations as John, after receiving the awakening of the Holy Spirit from Jesus, later experiences a collection of mystical visions. In one in all them he’s proven the seven seals and the seven spirits of God who preside over them. Every seal represents a degree of revelation or consciousness. In Kabbalah, the magical path of Judaism, there’s an intricate system of the Tree of Life and the sefiroth. Point out can also be fabricated from the 7 heavens and the Hebrew letters or sounds used to achieve them. Within the Native American custom, the Hopi Creation Story describes vibrational facilities that run alongside the axis or spinal column. These 5 facilities are situated beneath the navel, on the coronary heart, the throat, just under the highest of the pinnacle and on the high of the head-a system fairly much like the chakra system. A clay artifact found by archeologists within the mounds of the traditional Cahokian tribes that lived alongside the Mississsippi River in what’s now the state of Illinois, exhibits a berger lady seated on an uncoiling serpent. The serpent rises like a vine up the middle of her again, alongside that are positioned quite a lot of gourds. The uncoiling serpent is, within the traditions of Yoga, an emblem of the awakening kundalini, or serpent energy. The traditional Druids of what’s now England, Scotland, Wales and Eire had a system of cauldrons. The cauldron of warming situated within the navel area comprises an internal hearth, the cauldron of fireplace, which is situated in its very middle. The Druids would meditate on the cauldron of fireplace to awaken it. As soon as woke up, the religious energy, fanned by the breath, rises, igniting the cauldron of vocation within the coronary heart area. Via the extraordinary want and longing that emerges within the cauldron of vocation, the warmth is carried upward opening the cauldron of Data on the high of the pinnacle, opening the Grasp druid to receiving divine inspiration, fact and information from the universe. There may be an fascinating parallel that appears to have traveled from the traditional Druid system to the Knights Templar and again to Scotland and the formation of the Freemasons. Leadbeater describes the connection between the primary three levels of Free Masonry and the chakra/nadi system, however would possibly nicely have additionally proven the hyperlink to the traditional Druid system of cauldrons.

Religious Awakening- the Expertise

The basic yogic expertise of kundalini awakening by means of shaktipat initiation that’s described within the teachings of Kashmir Shaivism is definitely seen within the Siddha Yoga expertise. In 1979 I started the method of researching this expertise for my doctoral dissertation on kundalini awakening and human growth. The examine was a qualitative and principle discovering mannequin accomplished in 1984. Six Siddha Yoga practitioners with three or extra years of normal religious observe had been interviewed extensively about their expertise of shaktipat and their ensuing ongoing transformation. Qualitative evaluation of their experiences and shifts in consciousness beginning with their seek for religious consciousness, their shaktipat initiation and the affect of kundalini awakening and religious observe on their expertise of altered states, psychological /self idea, bodily and well being experiences, values, and way of life had been performed. All 5 topics skilled basic shaktipat experiences of things like vitality rising, lights, visions, waves of bliss and love, unity consciousness, and spontaneous bodily actions in meditation. Over time topics skilled the next:

Power throbbing within the chakras

Spontaneous pranayama (yogic respiratory)

Spontaneous hatha yoga postures

Spontaneous weeping, spontaneous eruptions of sounds-animal and different

The thoughts changing into nonetheless or vacant

The Siddha Meditation mantra spontaneously welling up inside

waves of bliss

Listening to internal sounds (celestial voices, roaring of vitality)

Lack of physique consciousness

Power coursing by means of the spinal column and/or different components of the physique

altered visible perceptions

Heaviness or lightness of physique

Feeling life passing away

Fixed consciousness of vitality vibrating inside the physique

Spontaneous singing in unknown international languages

Spontaneous involuntary creation of songs and poems

Divine visions

Spontaneous deep understanding of scriptural teachings

Experiences of the Inside Self

Spontaneous experiences of being charged with vitality within the early morning and early night hours (dawn and sundown)

Many extra experiences and classes of expertise of kundalini awakening and unfolding are described on this examine. From the stand level of each the seeker and help givers you will need to acknowledge that the entire experiences described listed below are regular kundalini experiences that aren’t solely documented on this examine, but in addition described in such texts as Devatmi Shakti and skilled by hundreds of people on the Siddha Yoga path and different paths the place the purpose is to achieve God realization by means of the awakening of the kundalini.

Proof of those experiences is seen on the Sufi path in Irina Tweedie’s autobiography, Chasm of Hearth. Right here she describes receiving initiation from her Sufi Grasp, and the dramatic experiences of the unfolding of the kundalini. The nice Sufi mystic and poet, Rumi, describes the internal expertise of the kundalini in his poem “Track of the Reed”:

This flute is performed with hearth, not with wind;

and with out this fireplace you wouldn’t exist.

It’s the hearth of affection that evokes the flute….

It’s the ferment of affection that completes the wine.

The reed is a consolation to all estranged lovers.

Its music tears our veils away. (1981, p.19)

In Christianity the awakening initially passed off when Jesus breathed the Holy Spirit into his disciples. This technique of the Grasp respiratory religious vitality into the disciple additionally seems within the texts of Kashmir Shaivism as {one of the} basic strategies of awakening the kundalini. After Jesus breathes the Holy Spirit into his disciples they start to have quite a lot of religious experiences together with visions and talking in tongues. Within the E-book of Revelations, John describes a collection of mystical visions. He sees the seven seals inside that are the seven spiritus of God who’re the guardians of the seals. He then sees the fifth angel of God ascending with the dwelling seal of God sealing the servants of God of their foreheads-one of the standard factors of awakening the kundalini. Molotov, a disciple of the Russian Orthodox mon, St. Serafim, pleads with him to assist him perceive how he’ll know and perceive the expertise of the Holy Spirit. St. Serafim prays to God to present Molotov the expertise of the Holy Spirit and the 2 are engulfed in mild so intense that Molotov can not have a look at St. Serafim saying that the sunshine flashing from his eyes and face is simply too dazzling too have a look at. When St.. Serafim convinces him to take a look at him Molotov begins to expertise the love, heat and peace of the Holy Spirit each inside himself and throughout him and St. Serafim. Within the texts of Kashmir Shaivism two of the basic ways in which a Grasp awakens the kundalini are by means of thought and thru wanting into the eyes of the disciple. Though these strategies aren’t clearly articulated on the Christian path, one sees proof of each within the expertise of Molotov and St. Serafim.

The Throne Mystics of the second and third century had been the predecessors of Kabbalistic faculties of Judaism. There’s a story of Rabbi Yohannin and his disciples. As they had been discussing the that means of Ezekiel’s imaginative and prescient of God’s chariot the Holy Spirit descended on them within the type if hearth. Kabbalistic academics Rabbi David Cooper and Mark Stavish overtly converse of parallels to the kundalini expertise within the observe of Kabbalah. Rabbi Cooper compares the expertise of the sefiroth and the kundalini paradigm in his recorded course The Mystical Kabbalah. Mark Stavish in his current e-book, Kabbalah for Well being and Wellness, really presents Kabbalisitc meditation practices for awakening the kundalini.

Within the Native American Lakota custom, Archie Hearth Lame Deer, in his autobiography, Present of Energy, the Life and Teachings of a Lakota Medication Man, vividly describes the expertise of his father energetically passing him his energy and information hours earlier than his loss of life. He says that presently he went into a completely completely different religious dimension and really turned a drugs man.

Within the Tibetan Buddhist custom there exists the tummo, or internal hearth tantric observe for awakening the kundalini. Geshe Gyatso, in his e-book Clear Gentle of Bliss, describes the intricate practices and the basic experiences of state of consciousness which can be achieved because the internal hearth is directed upward by means of the chakras into the crown chakra the place a “drop” of bliss is launched, then directed downward by means of the chakras, after which again upward within the reverse order till the drop merges once more within the crown chakra taking the practitioner into the state of enlightenment.

Within the historic Druid custom the powems of Nede Mac Adme, and Amairgen, translated by from historic Irish Druid texts by Caitlin Matthews, describe the experiences of the cauldrons of warming, vocation and information. In each the poems of those historic druids and in tales of dialogue between the Grasp Druid Nede mac Adne, it’s advised that solely the Grasp Druid experiences the total awakening when initiated by a Grasp who has attained the very best state of Druidic information. That information is barely gained by means of the tipping upward of the cauldron of data to obtain divine inspiration and information from greater consciousness.

Some Issues In Offering Assist

An experiential understanding of religious awakening and the unfolding of the kundalini is crucial in offering help to those that search it. Charles Tart’s now basic assertion about analysis on alter states applies to offering help to these experiencing kundalini awakening and the myriad altered states and life remodeling experiences that observe. In doing analysis it’s troublesome, if not not possible to analysis altered states of consciousness if in case you have not skilled them your self. It’s troublesome to information and help somebody by means of their expertise of awakening and unfolding of kundalini if in case you have not skilled it your self. The woke up kundalini is a completely aware and clever power that may information you in each your personal course of and within the means of supporting others.It is very important perceive that the woke up kundalini’s function and function is to purify and refine all dimensions of our experience- bodily, psychological, emotional, psychic and spiritual- and at last deliver us into the state of oneness with God. One glimpse of that oneness unleashes a flood of vitality that spirals by means of no matter is between us and that prolonged expertise of our Divine Self. When this occurs one’s inner means of clearing obstacles, gaining new understandings of self, of expanded religious dimensions and of bodily therapeutic can change into so accelerated that one turns into overwhelmed and experiences psychological, bodily and religious disaster. With out a paradigm for understanding kundalini awakening and the method of the undfolding of kundalini, the expertise might be extraordinarily complicated each to the seeker and those that are offering help.

The unfolding of kundalini by means of the chakras and nadis is just not a linear course of. In different phrases, the kundalini doesn’t clear the impressions held within the chakras, or energetic facilities one by one. Nor does it transfer from the decrease chakras to the upper ones in linear order, clearing every earlier than it strikes to the following. The kundalini spirals by means of layers of points, religious experiences, reminiscences and tendencies contained inside the chakras and the energetic physique, transferring forwards and backwards with an intelligence that’s usually superior to behold. When one considers the method that one experiences in psychotherapy, or in therapeutic, with out the woke up kundalini one sees an analogous sample. Points floor, are labored by means of and subside, solely to resurface from a deeper degree at a later time, usually triggered by life occasions, or inner work that must be performed to strengthen us to go on to the following degree of transformation. All of us, in our private growth work, peel away the layers of a problem regularly, as we’re prepared, returning to the difficulty to maneuver to the following degree of decision after we are prepared. When the woke up kundalini turns into part of that progress course of the method is intensified and speed up. When this intensified private course of is mixed with the basic kundalini experiences talked about beforehand each the uneducated seeker and the uneducated supporter run the danger of misdiagnosing the expertise and complicated the person extra. Religious visions and energetic sensations might be misdiagnosed as hallucinations. Involuntary bodily actions and seeing of lights might be misdiagnosed as neurological issues. Racing ideas, modifications in visible notion and fast experiences of bliss and disappointment can all be conveniently match into quite a lot of psychological issues. The place issues of a bodily or psychological nature have been beforehand recognized evaluation turns into much more sophisticated when a person experiences the awakening of kundalini, because the crises precipitated by the awakening demand appreciable information of each the kundalini course of and the issues beforehand recognized with a view to efficiently information the person on their journey to wellness and to transcendence.

Assist Roles

Religious Masters, religious advisors and clergy, psychological well being professionals and holistic practitioners could all play vital roles in supporting people experiencing intense kundalini awakening. Every has a possible function to play.Maybe a very powerful function is that of the Religious Grasp. Within the case of kundalini awakening this Grasp should be a real guru, one who has the facility to awaken, management and information the unfolding of the kundalini. It’s the function of such a guru to do exactly that for many who come to her or him for religious educating. Such a guru additionally gives time honored teachings from scriptures that provide steering to the scholar in understanding the method and the practices that help the unfolding of the kundalini. The sankalpa or intention of such a guru can immediately awaken the kundalini, modulate its depth and direct the method of the unfolding of the kundalini in a means that’s suited to every particular person pupil. I’ve skilled this energy many instances by means of the course of my very own journey on the Siddha Yoga path, beginning with the initiation that woke up my internal kundalini and transferring on by means of many intense experiences of the motion of that kundalini. One of the amusing experiences occurred within the Siddha Yoga ashram in Ganeshpuri, India. This was early in my expertise of the basic kundalini experiences described in Devatma Shakti, and later in my very own dissertation. I started to have roaring kriyas, in different phrases, I might spontaneously, with out management over this, start roaring like a lion. This expertise continued to accentuate. I might start to listen to the roaring internally and know that I wanted to run to someplace the place I might not disturb different college students who had been meditating or chanting. The roaring appeared to be triggered most intensely by the mantra they we did every night within the ashram, so I finished going to the mantra and would sit up on the roof of the dormitory constructing, the roaring beginning with the primary verse of this chant. At the moment, Baba Mukatananda then mentioned “Everybody should come to the mantra.” He would ship folks round to verify everybody was coming. So…I needed to go to the mantra. I sat again close to the exit with a view to escape shortly as soon as the roaring began to overpower me. I might hear it, was holding again and chanting, however there was no holding it any longer. The shakti was in management and the roaring was errupting, so I leaped up and ran for the exit, solely to be met by an ashram safety one that insisted I sit again down. Once I defined what was occurring he despatched me into the corridor adjoining the courtyard the place we had been chanting. The roaring erupted and the corridor, with window open to the courtyard, acted like a megaphone sending the roaring out into the courtyard the place Muktananda sat with the entire college students, chanting. Immediately, I heard him laughing inside me, after which he known as me by my religious title and mentioned, nonetheless laughing, “Now, now, be quiet.” Immediately, the roaring stopped and the kundalini shakti picked my physique up and I began dancing blissfully, basic mudras forming with my arms. From this bliss welled up inside me and my physique started to whirl like a dervish. I spotted as these stunning actions of the shakti unfolded that Baba Muktananda had merely directed the kundalini to maneuver quietly and blissfully, quite than roaringly! Many instances since then when sitting in meditation intensives that turned noisy with animal sounds, spontaneous singing and different sounds I might hear both Baba Muktananda, or later Gurumayi Chidvilasananda merely softly say “Quiet now”, and the whole corridor would change into very nonetheless and quiet as contributors can be plunged into the deepest states if meditation. When providing help to these experiencing intense kundalini awakening, it’s usually useful to ship them to a Grasp who has the facility to modulate the depth of the expertise, notably if the person has had a spontaneous awakening with out the good thing about a Grasp’s steering. When this isn’t doable merely invoking the help of such a Grasp may also be useful. Learning with such a Grasp may deepen one’s personal internal expertise of the kundalini and the Divine Self, offering understanding and inspiration within the work of supporting others.

Religious advisors and clergy have a particular function in counseling and educating others as they pursue their religious path. They haven’t reached the extent of Grasp or Guru, however can have an excessive amount of internal expertise and information of the kundalini course of and the religious disciplines and sensible day-to-day methods and methods for integrating the expertise into one’s life. In religious advisors and clergy to be useful in supporting the seeker who’s experiencing an intense awakening and unfolding course of, they should have expertise and information of the method. All through historical past there are circumstances of nice saints who had been seen as both heretics or insane by the clergy of their traditions, as a result of the clergy had no information of religious awakening and the basic mystical experiences that accompany it. For many who have restricted information you will need to hunt down those that have the information and understanding and refer seekers to them.

Psychological well being professionals might be super help to these people who’re experiencing kundalini awakening and unfolding, if they’re transpersonally oriented and have experiential in addition to conventional information of the kundalini course of. It’s equally vital for psychological well being professionals to develop cross cultural competencies and understandings of the widespread truths, practices and understandings throughout paths when trying to offer counseling and help. It is usually important to have an openness to questioning one’s prognosis of psychological issues when working with people with woke up kundalini. Asking questions on religious observe and expertise must be a normal a part of the evaluation course of. Generally in the event you do not ask about religious experiences the consumer won’t share them, for worry of being considered hallucinating, or just to be “bizarre”. Not each one that wants help with religious awakening is ready to establish and ask for that help. With out the good thing about a religious path that gives a paradigm and normalization of the expertise of awakening and the transformation course of that takes place after awakening, many people current with what they’re assuming are both psychological crises, or complete confusion about what has began to occur to them. It’s important to have the ability to establish the awakening expertise and the “signs” that observe it after which deliver the psychological and emotional reactions to this into perspective, earlier than assigning a DSM prognosis! In some very sophisticated circumstances, each exist. There could also be a transparent psychiatric prognosis and a transparent expertise of religious awakening. In such circumstances, the duty turns into one in all discovering a steadiness in working with each the psychiatric signs and the religious experiences in a means that brings about therapeutic and religious growth.

Holistic practitioners can supply a lot help to people experiencing kundalini awakening and unfolding, offering they’ve the information and expertise of the method themselves. Some holistic practices that may present important helps are vitality therapeutic, acupuncture, therapeutic massage, chiropractic, hatha yoga, Tai Chi, dietary counseling. Any practitioners working within the energetic subject of somebody with an woke up kundalini should proceed with nice warning and sensitivity with a view to not intrude with the work of the kundalini, or intensify an already intense expertise. What one does as an vitality healer must be in collaboration with the kundalini. This implies, gently observe her lead. That is additionally true of hatha yoga and Tai Chi observe. Hatha Yoga observe was initially developed with a view to purify the physique and prepared it for awakening of the kundalini, thus lots of the asanas and pranayama practices can really intensify the kundalini expertise, notably within the early years of the expertise when the method is probably the most intense. The asanas and pranayama methods are designed to clear the nadis or delicate vitality channels of the physique. People with woke up kundalini must be cautioned to concentrate on the facility of those practices and to watch themselves to see if they’re creating extra depth or balancing the depth out for them. Dietary counselors want to concentrate on the meals that cool the kundalini down, i.e. sweets, milk merchandise, and go away them within the eating regimen. Usually when the kundalini awakens one begins to drag spontaneously away from meat, fish and poultry and transfer to a vegetarian eating regimen. Lighter, simply digestible meals are extra appropriate with the kundalini course of and may very well ease the purification course of and bodily signs significantly. One should additionally warning the person to verify to eat, because the digestive course of really attracts the shakti to it and generally helps to ease the depth of the method.


This text outlines data on the cross cultural expertise of kundalini awakening and gives some tips for these offering help for people experiencing awakening and the transformation course of that evolves from that awakening. For extra details about the kundalini expertise please be happy to contact Dr. Wilcox by means of this web site. Extra intensive consideration of this matter will seem in Hearth of Love, Descent of Grace, Dr. Wilcox’s upcoming e-book. For extra details about this e-book please go to http://www.wilcoxhealingcenter.com.


Cooper, D.A. (1994). The Mystical Kabbalah, Boulder, CO: Sounds True, Inc. (tapes)

Hearth Lame Deer, A. & Erdoes, R. (1993). Present of Energy, the Life and Teachings of a Lakota Medication Man. Santa Fe: Bear & Firm Publishing.

Gyatso, GesheKelsang. (1982). Clear Gentle of Bliss. London: Tharpa Publications.

Helminski, E. (trans.) 1981. The Ruins of the Coronary heart, Chosen Lyric Poetry of Jelaluddin Rumi. Putney, VT: Threshold E-book

Matthews, C. & Matthews, J. (1994). The Encyclopedia of Celtic Knowledge. Rockport, MA: Parts Books, Inc.

Tirtha, Swami Vishnu (1962). Devatma Shakti. Rishikesh: Swami Shivom Tirth

Tweedie, I. (1979. The Chasm of Hearth. Tisbury, England: The Compton Press, Ltd.

Wilcox, J. (1984). Kundalini: A Research of Religious Awakening and Motion Towards the Self. doctoral dissertation. Academics Faculty, Columbia College.

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