As a spiritual person, a student of yoga, meditation and Eastern philosophy, the concept of Kundalini Awakening was ethereal, magical, spiritually hipster-esque.
It was something that happened to other people…surely not to me.
This is what my ego thought at least.
Oh precious Ego. It thinks it knows everything: what I want, what I need, what I should do with my life, my life’s purpose. Turns out ancient texts still apply to my mere humanness—she knows only of the material, tangible world.
A person seeking to experience the Kundalini energy and enlightenment I am not. My life is simple; travel, smile every day, feel happiness from within, maintain a balanced, healthy life, and share love, give love, be love. Toss in a little abundance and life is brilliant. Enlightenment was never my ego-minded goal in this life.
How could it be? The mind’s construct of an experience far from the reaches of conscious thinking cannot ever be a goal, neither tangible nor achievable.
Awakening simply is, just as we are.
You might imagine my surprise, then, when I stumbled into my own Kundalini Awakening. It felt a bit more like I melted into warm, sweet, expansive water lit up for miles with phosphorescent. A couple of pivotal experiences prepared my body, mind, soul, and spirit to awaken.
I stumbled upon my awakening in the sense that as it happened, I was aware something was changing, but had no idea it was considered a Kundalini Awakening. It felt as though all of the crazy experiences and symptoms were a part of my spiritual expansion.
Only a couple months into my awakening my Ashtanga Yoga teacher brought the fact of the situation to my attention. Visiting him for a photo one afternoon, he mumbled something to my girlfriend and I as we walked out of the shala. My friend elbowed me in the ribs, “He was talking to you! He said you have serpent energy!”
I looked at her in disbelief, “No, are you sure he was talking to me? Serpent energy? What in the world does that mean?”
On a conscious level I had no sense what Sharath could have possibly meant by Serpent Energy, but every cell in my being and beyond knew precisely what he was referring to. Still, I sat online for hours researching Serpent Energy. Google told me everything I needed to know: Kundalini, Kundalini Awakening, Kundalini Serpent Coil, and on.
The signs and symptoms were clear and I had been experiencing many of them for nearly two months: one intense blissful month, followed by a couple of weeks of dampened symptoms as I transitioned into reality. After all was said and done, the awakening lasted for 10 months. Symptoms that I experienced included: hearing sounds (only one night), currents of energy, bliss, blank mind, inspiration and insight, ability to remain calm, outbursts of emotion, decrease in appetite and sleep, seeing energy and auras, spontaneous laughing or crying, and so on.
I know, sounds crazy to me as well when I put them all together. The experience itself felt anything but.
It’s a funny thing, this enlightenment process: how it happens, to whom it happens, when, and why. You see, it happened for me six months after a near-death experience, and days after my arrival on a most treasured beach in South Thailand. The evening I began experiencing a full-blown Kundalini Awakening, I saw energy more clearly than ever before. Visual and auditory hallucinations came that night, the ground moving in waves followed by visual auras of people vivid and bright as if they had been there all along. It felt completely normal, like I would naturally experience these things in such a magical place like my beach.
This mindset, I believe now, was a part of the awakening; to feel at one and whole with everything and everyone, including myself. No separation of awareness, no defining of awakened vs. not awakened. I was more sensitive and open than normal and I believe we all have the potential to be under the right circumstances.
Brand new to these ultra-sensory experiences, I doubled checked my questionable sanity with friends:
“Um, I know this is going to sound strange, but I think I’m seeing your aura right now.”
After hearing these words come out of my mouth I still had feelings of self-consciousness. My friend’s blue-green aura was highlighted with a long, pointed, golden staff that reminded me of Poseidon.
Felix, my lover and quite likely a catalyst in the Kundalini Awakening, said he has been told that before, but the description and aura depict him as Shiva. It made complete sense and I was feeling sane yet scared. What was happening to me? All I could do was step out of the mind, into the experience, and feel, because the monkey mind thinking of my actual experience was too frightening and bordering on pathological, in a clinical sense.
The daily routine became just that: a routine built on feeling, on being, in bliss. Before the first creature rose—around five in the morning—I would jolt from dead sleep, sit up in my bed, cry hysterically for a good half hour for no reason and then bounce around the island blissed out for the remainder of the day. I felt higher than I have ever felt in my entire life. Embracing more drastic visions of golden light energy, contrasted with small dark energy, I began playing with it, feeling it, experimenting with it. While on the island nothing changed: I felt sheer bliss, happiness, at one with the Universe, absolutely not one worry in the world. It was as though I understood the meaning of life, as though the mystery of life was within me, and without, all along, I simply needed to open my eyes.
For many an awakening of this magnitude lasts mere moments, hours, or a day, for some it lasts years or a lifetime. Logically I rationalized these symptoms as my abilities natural abilities expanding over time, but I was not ready for the energetic and emotional impact of enlightenment.
The visions disappeared for the most part as soon as I left the island and flew to India.
Still consumed by bliss, happiness, love, joy and oneness, I was high for many, many months. What I found challenging after some time was my ability to touch base with human routine, human behavior, feeling connected with the importance of basic needs. The brilliant was discovering my true purpose, or what I believe to be one of my great purposes here on this planet. During this awakening I lived in Bali for a while and re-connected with my childhood passion of jewelry, and had visions of the brand I would come to create.
Can I thank my awakening for the discovery of my life’s purpose? Is it truly my life’s purpose? Do these questions even matter, or is the journey of discovery what is most important?
Kundalini Awakening is not all bliss, oneness, light and love. There is a dark side, and those who play with this energy without proper guidance are calling this in as well.
The unraveling of bliss in my awakened state was painful. It was real, and it was very much part of the awakening but one of the least fun times in my life. For nearly three months I spiralled into a dark hole as I began coming down from the connectedness. During this time I watched my ego die. There was a moment when I stepped out of my body and watched myself from above going about life, doing what I had previously thought was a passion and purpose—teaching yoga, and felt sicker and more depressed than I had felt in my life.
It was as though the awakening literally woke me up to my truth and what I am here on this earth for.
Facing my truth, actually facing it in this way was like facing death. It was the death of my ego, the death of my past, for I could no longer go on as I was. Such an ego death had happened to me a couple years prior, but without the blissful awakening accompanying it.
After living that year as an enlightened being, I chose to never compromise again: never compromise my soul’s path in exchange for money, for other’s rules, for societal expectations, for old dreams which no longer fit. I can only move forward from my heart, from my soul, full of passion, full of love, fully connected to my purpose. At any given moment if I feel what I am doing, who I am spending time with, where I am living is not supporting my highest purpose in life, I look to make changes.
Since my experience I have not attempted to draw Kundalini energy on purpose. It is strong, powerful, potentially dangerous and one must be highly practiced with all chakras to handle it. I was not ready, nor am I ready now. My third eye chakra is too open and not well tuned enough to open the next highest chakra for enlightenment. We must know our spiritual selves when diving into spiritual waters. If you’re anything like me, it will just happen to you one day out of the blue, and I hope it’s as wild, blissful, transformative of a ride as it was for me.
If you do find yourself experiencing any of the symptoms, awareness is important, followed by support of loved ones and self-care.
The above is an adapted excerpt from my upcoming book, From Darkness to Love, to be released by the end of 2015.
Love elephant and want to go steady?
Author: Zahara Jade
Editor: Renee Picard
Photos: Elizabeth Burton at Pixoto