WHAT IS KUNDALINI ENERGY
Western scientific thought, despite the discoveries of physics in the last 100 years, is rooted in the idea that what we perceive with our senses is 'real' and external to us and that our consciousness or subjective experience is simply an epi-phenomenon, or consequence, of the chemical activity of the brain.
The esoteric systems, on the other hand, view consciousness as the ultimate or paramount reality.
This supreme reality, or Brahman as it is called, is said to be beyond the capacity of our limited human mind to perceive directly, as it is infinite, formless, timeless, and has no physical attributes by which we can comprehend it directly.
Our individual awareness is said to be like a drop in this infinite ocean and the physical world that we perceive as external to us is held to be a projection of this individual drop of awareness. This constitutes a complete reversal of the western, scientific, world-view. The reason that we do not experience reality in this way, at our current level of perception, is due to the limitations placed on our consciousness by the brain and nervous system of our body, through which it functions. The goal of evolution, or at least the next step to which we are evolving, would be the enhancement of our perceptive faculties to the point where this new world-picture is a day-to-day reality.
Since our world view, physical existence, and mental process are rooted in dualism, i.e. good/bad; up/down; male/female; hot/cold, positive/negative, etc., our minds are more comfortable conceptualizing this ultimate reality in dualistic terms. They have been defined by Eastern philosophical thought as Supreme Consciousness and an Infinite Creative Energy, or Shiva and Shakti. From this Shakti, at one level, the physical universe, consisting of matter and the four known forces, is manifested.
At another level, it manifests as prana, or the animating principle which gives life to all sentient things. This animating principle, referred to at this level as Kundalini, is most evident in the process of conception, development of the embryo, and birth were, after this process is complete and a new individual is born, it is said to go into a quiescent or dormant state at the base of the spine where it maintains the basic life processes of the body. As the microcosm is a reflection of the macrocosm, so the universal principles of Shiva and Shakti are present in the human body. Shiva is held to be the conscious principle centred in the head, while Shakti (referred to as Kundalini energy) lies in a quiescent state at the base of the spine. As a consequence of our lifestyle, spiritual practices, heredity, and other factors, Kundalini can become reactivated and the same processes which built our body in the womb now begin to function again, but in a different manner. They now work to refashion the brain, organs, and nervous system so that a more elevated form of consciousness is possible.
The ultimate attainment goal of Kundalini is to permanently transform our being so that a new perception emerges by which we can experience reality directly as consciousness. In most cases, however, the individual eventually becomes more creative, psychically sensitive, aware of who they are, and better adjusted to their environment, with an enhanced faith in the Divine. The effects of this activity are many and varied and can extend to all aspects of our being--physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual. They can range from being barely noticeable to totally overwhelming. They can vary widely in duration and ultimate effect from individual to individual as a great many factors are involved. To someone who is not familiar with what is happening and why these processes can be quite disturbing and even terrifying. Attempts to obtain guidance and support from medical and health care professionals and religious institutions are often found to be frustrating and even counter-productive, due to the general lack of good information on this subject.
But it must always be kept in mind that the process is a natural one, as much a part of our being as conception and birth, and although it may sometimes be difficult, it is attempting to bring about a change of a very positive nature in us to advance the level of our evolution both as individuals and as a species.
Kundalini & The Awakening Of Spirit
As humanity accelerates towards the millennium, more and more people are reporting spiritual experiences and opening into awareness that physical reality is only a fraction of all that is.
No one knows for certain just what kick starts the unfolding of spiritual potential. For some, spiritual emergence is a gentle and integrated process which develops as a natural consequence of many years dedicated to service and prayer or meditation under the guidance of a teacher or guru. Others may experience a more abrupt awakening, possible due to practices which awaken transformative energy before the person has done the necessary groundwork. It is thought that practices such as yoga, bioenergetics, polarity work or breathwork cause the awakening of Kundalini energy which heralds the transformation of spiritual potential. Kundalini is the Hindu word for the sacred, transformative energy that awakens consciousness. According to esoteric literature, this energy has been coiled at the base of the spine in a latent form since birth, awaiting the stimulus to unfold its potential. As this energy becomes active, it is usually sensed as a vibrational or energetic force in the body, together with a strong sense of spirit. Its movement may be experienced as a rushing, outpouring, a steady streaming up the spine, or a slowly coiling spiral motion. Another common catalyst seems to be intense physical or emotional distress. As people confront the limits of their endurance and come face to face with death, they will often move into non-ordinary or transpersonal states of consciousness. Thus experiences with natural disasters, near-death experiences, or life transitions such as pregnancy, midlife or separation, maybe emotionally tense situations which can lead to spiritual awakening. Regardless of the specifics of each individual's experience, the Kundalini awakening heralds a great period of change in a person's life.
What can be done to support a Kundalini awakening?
When Kundalini awakening happens to people who are not on a spiritual path or who have no context or framework to understand the bewildering upheaval of mind, body and spirit, the experience can leave them fragile and fragmented. As the Kundalini process involves a redefinition and reintegration of self, it adds extra pressure when health professionals or significant others wish to suppress the transformation and insist that the person conforms to old ways of being in the world. Of greatest benefit is a supportive framework which can allow people to make sense of the intricate connection between spirit and the movement of physical energy in the body, rather than fearing they have mental health issues. It is more empowering to understand that Kundalini awakening is a process which taps into the blueprint for higher consciousness which is latent within every human. While the enormous changes associated with a spiritual awakening may demand psychological and social adjustments, they are not in themselves necessarily indicative of illness. Communication and connection with others who can provide support and a meaningful context for understanding the process reduces the isolation and overwhelm and can help to minimise the disturbance. Someone who has the personal qualities of creative adaptation to change and a flexible mental framework is more likely to weather the changes with grace and style than someone who is rigid in their beliefs and world view. Kundalini Massage can assist and support the Kundalini Process also.
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