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INTERVIEW WITH BOB BOYD

What is kundalini?
"Kundalini" literally means coiling, like a snake. In the classical literature of hatha yoga kundalini is
described as a coiled serpent at the base of the spine. The image of coiling, like a spring, conveys
the sense of untapped potential energy. Perhaps more meaningfully kundalini can be described as a
great reservoir of creative energy at the base of the spine.
It's not useful to sit with our consciousness fixed in our head and think of kundalini as a foreign
force running up and down our spine. Unfortunately the serpent image may serve to accentuate this
alien nature of the image. It's more useful to think of kundalini energy as the very foundation of our
consciousness so that when kundalini moves through our bodies our consciousness necessarily
changes with it.
The concept of kundalini can also be examined from a strictly psychological perspective. From this
perspective kundalini can be thought of as a rich source of psychic or libidinous energy in our
unconscious.
In the classical literature of Kashmir Shivaism kundalini is described in three different manifestions.
The first of these is as the universal energy or para-kundalini. The second of these is as the
energizing function of the body-mind complex or prana-kundalini. The third of these is as
consciousness or shakti-kundalini which simultaneously subsumes and intermediates between these
two. Ultimately these three forms are the same but understanding these three different forms will
help to understand the differerent manifestations of kundalini.
What is the difference between prana and kundalini? What is the difference between qi (or
chi) and kundalini?
First let us try to relate to concepts from the same tradition - prana and kundalini. Prana has been
translated as the "vital breath" and "bio-energetic motility"; it is associated with maintaining the
functioning of the mind and body. Kundalini, in its form as prana-kundalini, is identical to prana ;
however, Kundalini also has a manifestations as consciousness and a as a unifying cosmic energy.
One could ascribe these same aspects to prana as well so past a certain point these become
distinctions without differences.
From the subjective standpoint of an individual actually experiencing the awakening of kundalini I
have found three completely different opinions:
The first opinion is that a pranic awakening is only a prelude to a full kundalini awakening. Tibetan
yogins that I have encountered consider the activation of prana (Tibetan: rlung) as merely a
prerequisite for the activation of kundalini (Tibetan: gTummo). What's attractive about this
viewpoint is that it explains the difference between the experience of simply having pleasant
sensations in the spine and the much more powerful experience of having a "freight-train"-like full
kundalini experience.
The second opinion, espoused by Swami Shivom Tirth for example, is that prana and kundalini are
absolutely equivalent and that it is not meaningful in any way to describe a difference between
kundalini rising and prana rising. When posed with question as to how to distinguish between
pleasant sensations that show some pranic-activity in the spine and the much more powerful
experience Swami Shivom Tirth said that the difference is not in the nature of the activity but in the
consciousness that observes it. If the consciousness that experiences the pranic activity is seated
within the spine (or more correctly, the central channel, known as the sushumna), then the
experience is felt much more powerfully.
The third opinion, espoused by the modern hatha yogin, Desikaran, is that pranic awakening is the
true experience to be aimed for and kundalini is actually an obstruction. Desikaran sees the
kundalini as a block in the central channel and thus the kundalini must be ``killed\'\' to make way for
the prana. This is the most unusual view of the three.
The Chinese concept of qi (or chi) can be safely identified with the Indian concept of prana.
If all this seems confusing - don't worry, you're in good company. My conclusion is that these are all
different terminologies for dealing with a common set of experiences. Any one of these viewpoints
is adequate for describing the full range of experiences. What is probably more relevant is to
distinguish two different experiences which are often confused. In one an individual experiences
some pleasant energizing electric energy running along the spine. This experience itself brings about
a wide range of experiences and results in vitality and sensitivity.
Another very distinct experience is the experience of kundalini entering the sushumna and rising up
the spine. As soon as kundalini enters the sushumna this experience will completely overwhelm
ordinary waking consciousness. From the moment that kundalini enters the sushumna there will no
longer be a distrinction between the subjective consciousness which experiences and the object of
experience. This experience much more profoundly transfigures consciousness.
If kundalini is universal, why do some kundalini yogins seem to have more kundalini-energy
than others?
It\'s an intriguing question. If an individual's kundalini is viewed as simply a personal reservoir of a
cosmic energy then why would one person appear to have more of a reservoir of kundalini energy
than another? Nevertheless, this does appear to be the case. This is probably another advantage of
the viewpoint that prana (or qi) is the same as kundalini.
Some Chinese texts distinguish between "innate qi" or "pre-natal qi" that one is born with and
"cultivated qi" that can be developed. Clearly some people simply have more "innate qi." This
manifests as a stronger more resilient body and greater general vitality.
Through training those that have relatively weak "innate qi" may surpass those who have strong
"innate qi" but do not train. There are many stories in the Chinese literature of Qi Gong about people
who took up Qi Gong in order to improve their poor health became powerful martial artists or great
qi gong masters. Of course those that have strong "innate qi" and also train their qi may develop the
strongest qi of all.
What does kundalini have to do with spiritual enlightenment? What is the goal of kundalini
yoga?
First we need a few concepts: In yogic anatomy the sushumna is the central channel and conduit for
the kundalini energy that runs along our spine and up to the crown of our head. Along this channel
are placed additional channel networks called cakras. These cakras are associated with major aspects
of our anatomy - for example our throat, heart, solar plexus, and in turn these aspects of our
anatomy are related to aspects of our human nature.
According to the literature of kundalini yoga our experience of these centers is limited due to knots
which restrict the flow of energy into these centers. Three knots are particularly important. The knot
of Brahma which restricts the center at the base of the spine. The knot of Vishnu which restricts the
heart center and the knot of Rudra which restricts the center between the eyebrows. These knots
form an important framework in yogic thinking and the stages toward enlightenment are articulated
in terms of breaking through these knots in the yogic classic the Hatha Yoga Pradipika as well as in
some of the yoga upanishads. Specifically, four stages of progress are described:
arambha ghata parichaya nishpatti
Arambha is associated with breaking the knot of Brahma and the awakening of kundalini.
Ghata is associated with breaking the knot of Vishnu and and with internal absorption.
Parichaya the absorption deepens and in
nishpatti the knot of Rudra is pierced and the kundalini may ascend to the center at the crown of the
head. In this state transcendence is integrated and, according to the yogic liteature, the yogi has
nothing more to attain.
Putting these elaborate physiological decriptions aside, the goal of kundalini yoga is the same as the
goal of any legimitate spiritual practice: To be liberated from the limited bounds of the self-centered
and alienated ego. In kundalini yoga this is associated with internal manifestations of the kundalini
but the external manifestations should be similar to any other legitiimate spiritual practice.
So does everyone agree that kundalini awakening is necessary for enlightenment?
The view that kundalini awakening is necessary for enlightenment is held in the diverse literature of
Kashmir Shaivism and in other Hindu Tantric literature. It is found in the literature of the Hatha
Yogis and the Nath Sampradaya. You will find similar views in many Buddhist Tantric works. In
addition this view is held by recent spiritual figures such as Shri Ramakrishna, Swami Sivananda,
Paramahamsa Yogananda and Swami Vivekananda and of course by contemporary kundalini yogins
themselves.
Nevertheless there are some dissenters from this view. These include Sri Chinmoy, Da Free John
and Gurdjieff. Dissent can take a number of different forms. For Gurjieff kundalini is associated
only with a binding force that leads us to be more attached to the world. Such a view of kundalini is
not entirely inaccurate but only reflects the functioning of kundalini in the lower energy centers. For
Sri Chinmoy kundalini is an amplifying function that may make an individual more powerful but
not more enlightened. From my perspective this also only addresses the impact of kundalini while it
operates in the lower energy centers.
Da Free John (born Franklin Jones, a. k. a. Da Love Ananda) has a much more fundamental
criticism of kundalini. As far as I understand his position, for him enlightenment cannot be the result
of an experience; it is a cognitive transformation. Kundalini may evoke a wide variety of
experiences but these are not in and of themselves enlightening. This is an interesting perspective
but it seems to assume that the raising of kundalini is an experience in which an ego-consciousness
experiences a separate object known as kundalini. Again, this view is consistent with the experience
of kundalini in the lower energy centers in which the ego is detached from the movement of
kundalini and kundalini experiences are precieved as separate from oneself. However, I would argue
that as kundalini rises the ego-consciousness becomes infused in a more fundamental consciousness
of cit-shakti-kundalini and this experience does in fact produce a fundamental cognitive change.
Finally, there are many other spiritual practices, such as Zen, Vipassana meditation that consider
kundalini irrelevant. Some practitioners or even teachers of these paths, such as Jiyu Kennet, may
have kundalini experiences but generally kundalini is not a pivotal part of these paths.
Can I use kundalini yoga simply to improve my health?
Yoga exercises which were traditionally used to purify the body in preparation for awakening the
kundalini can also be used simply to improve the health. To practice techniques aimed at actively
awakening kundalini with the goal of simply improving your health seems to be a misuse of these
powerful techniques.
There are those that teach kundalini yoga principally emphasizing its benefits on health without
much discussion of the spiritual benefits. This is how hatha yoga has been taught in the west for
some time. The affect of this approach depends on the attitude of the student. There is certainly
nothing wrong with trying to improve your health but there is a tension between awakening an
energy that will ultimately burn up the ego and trying to shape that energy to simply fulfill an ego-
oriented motive.
Is there any scientific basis for kundalini and the cakras? Do I really have to believe that all
these cakras physically exist?
Research on kundalini is especially spotty. There is no compelling work to show that the system
represents insights into actual human anatomy. But it\'s important to understand that kundalini and
its network of channels and cakras is simply how yogins have chosen to explain their experience and
that yogins from many cultures have arrived at similar, though not identical, concepts. The true
physical mechanisms underlying these experiences may be very different from those described.
Izaak Benthov has proposed a model to explain kundalini in terms of micro- motion in the brain. In
this model experiences are associated with parts of the body, such as the heart, because the part of
the brain associated with that part of the body is stimulated by micro-vibrations. His model is treated
in "The Kundalini Experience" by Sannella referenced below. From a practical perspective the key
thing is our subjective experience and that the roadmap of these subjective experiences has been
mapped out.
Is Chinese qi gong a kind of kundalini yoga?
If there is any contemporary teaching that is even more diverse in approach than kundalini yoga it
must be qi gong. As a result it is hard to compare kundalini yoga to qi gong. From my limited
exposure to qi gong it is clear there are many qi gong practices that are identical to kundalini yoga
practices. What is also clear is that may qi gong practitioners have reported experiences that are
identical to those of kundalini yogins. In so far as each of these practices aims at eliminating blocks
to the qi/prana energy then they share a common ground.
What about Tibetan Buddhism - has kundalini been known in Tibet?
Kundalini yoga in the Natha Sampradaya and Vajrayana in Tibetan Buddhism both take their origin
from the Mahasiddhas who were active in India from the 8th century to the 12th century. Kundalini
yoga practices formed the core of the teachings of a number of these Mahasiddhas and are strongly
represented in both Tibetan Buddhist practices and contemporary kundalini yoga practices.
Kundalini yoga was spoken of as "Candali yoga" by these Mahasiddhas and became known as
gTummo rnal 'byor in Tibet. Candali yoga was a key practice of the famous Tibetan yogin Milarepa.
The role of kundalini yoga in Tibetan Buddhism is discussed in more detail in the Kundalini Yogas
FAQ.
Are there any other traditions that show awareness of kundalini?
If you believe that kundalini is at the basis of spiritual progress then every valid spiritual tradition
must have some awareness of kundalini. Christianity (especially Quakerism and Pentecostalism),
Sufism, Qabalistic mysticism, alchemy and magick all have literature which demonstrates some
awareness of the kundalini process but these traditions are not, to this author's awareness, so open in
their exposition of the techniques and so it is hard to judge the depth of understanding latent in these
traditions. Nevertheless, the imagery is so unmistakable in these traditions that each must have, at
least at one time, been conversant with the movement of kundalini.
So how do I awaken kundalini?
Indirectly kundalini can be awakened by devotion, by selfless service, or by intellectual enquiry. In
these paths the blocks to the awakening of kundalini are slowly removed. Occasionally, individuals
on these paths will experience a sudden awakening of kundalini but generally because the blocks are
slowly and gently removed kundalini-like experiences evolve slowly in these paths.
Broadly speaking there are two radically different direct approaches to awakening kundalini. One
approach requires initiation by a guru and relies upon a technique called shaktipat, or "descent of
shakti." It is variously called: Siddha Mahayoga, Kundalini Mahayoga or Sahaja Yoga (Spontaneous
Yoga). These approaches are treated in the Siddha Mahayoga FAQ. The other approach uses
intentional yogic techniques . The styles using intentional techniques include Mantra Yoga, Hatha
Yoga, Laya Yoga or Kriya Yoga. These approaches are treated in the Kundalini Yogas FAQ .
Fundamentally the approach of Siddha Mahayoga and the Kundalini Yogas are different. In Siddha
Mahayoga the guru awakens the kundalini and after that the core of the practice is the inactive and
non-willful surrender to kundalini. In Kundalini Yogas the will is used to awaken the kundalini and
to guide its progress. Clearly these are different approaches.
Nevertheless, elements of the each approach occur in the practices of the other. Siddha Mahayogins
may use asanas, pranayamas and other hatha yoga practices. On the other hand gurus in Kundalini
Yoga may give infusions of shakti to their students to help them at particular points in their practice.
What are the advantages and disadvantages of using effort, in kundalini yogas, as opposed to
the grace of the guru, in siddha mahayoga, to awaken kundalini?
Since every practitioner brings his own unique inclinations and obstacles to the practice of yoga it is
very hard to generalize on this point. In terms of actually awakening kundalini gurus of Siddha
Mahayoga claim that the kundalini is more easily and reliably awakened by the grace of the guru
than by individual effort. In my limited experience I would agree. with this assertion. While not
every long-term student of either practice necessarily shows signs of kundalini awakening it is
amazing how many people have had instant awakenings of kundalini through initiation from siddha
gurus.
In terms of encountering difficulties along the path the siddha gurus would also claim that fewer
problems due to kundalini awakening, such as mental imbalance, are encountered by students of
Siddha Mahayoga. Here I think the results are mixed. It seems to me that the guidance of the teacher
in either Siddha Mahayoga or Kundalini Yoga is more a determining factor than which style of
kundalini practice is employed.
Generally speaking each style of practice has its strengths and weakness. The strength of Siddha
Mahayoga is the ease with which it awakens the kundalini. The weakness is that because the
kundalini is so easily awakened by the guru students of Siddha Mahayoga often have completely
undisciplined personal meditation practices. Time is spent instead to trying to recreate some of their
initial experiences by following the guru around hoping for his or her grace Some people spend 20
or more years in this manner without ever developing an inner core of practice or experience.
The strength of the family of Kundalini Yogas is that the progress is at least apparently more under
the control of the student of the yoga. These students seem more likely to have disciplined personal
practices and more of an understanding of how the practice relates to their own experience.
Unfortunately for some students this leads to a fairly egotistical approach to their practice and
ultimately the kundalini energy is used to bolster the ego rather than to merge the ego in bliss.
What are the signs of an awakened kundalini?
Briefly, according to classical literature the signs of an awakened kundalini can be grouped into:
mental signs, vocal signs and physical signs. Mental signs can include visions that range from
ecstatically blissful to terrifyingly frightful. Vocal signs can include spontaneous vocal expressions
that range from singing or reciting mantras to make various animals sounds such as growling or
chirping. Physical signs include trembling, shaking and spontaneously performing hatha yoga
postures and pranayamas.
From a more subjective perspective the more pleasant experiences associated with a kundalini
awakening may include: waves of bliss, periods of elation, glimpses of transcendental
consciousness. The less pleasant experiences associated with a kundalini awakening may include:
trembling, sharp aches in areas associated with the cakras, periods of irrational anxiety, sudden
flashes of heat.
Are these methods of awakening kundalini dangerous? What about Gopi Krishna\'s books?
If we take the psychological perspective and view kundalini as the power latent in our unconscious
then it is easy to understand that awakening this force is going to bring a greater amount of
unconscious material into our consciousness. Even in the best of circumstances this is likely to be
uncomfortable and if an individual is barely coping with his unconscious even under normal
circumstances then awakening kundalini may push the individual over into psychosis. This
phenomenon has been documented many times.
Forceful methods of awakening kundalini pose additional dangers. Because quite forceful methods
can be used to awaken kundalini these techniques themselves are potentially physically and
mentally disruptive. An individual named Gopi Krishna awakened his kundalini by doing unguided
meditation on his crown cakra. His life after awakening was both blessed by ecstatic bliss and
tormented by physical and mental discomfort. Eventually his experience stabilized. He wrote down
his experiences in a recently re-released autbiography entitled "Living with Kundalini." Gopi
Krishna's autobiography appears to be an honest representation of his experiences but it is only one
extreme datapoint in the panorama of experience on kundalini yoga. It represents dangers in forceful
unguided practice but it is not representative of a typical practicioner's experience.
But even if kundalini is dangerous, isn't it a faster way to enlightenment?
First of all it may be useful to observe that there is no technique currently known on earth that
appears to be rapidly catapulting large number of individuals toward enlightenment. Because
kundalini yogas deal so directly with a powerful enlightening force it seems natural that they would
be "faster", but there appears to be alot of tortoise and hare phenomena at work with newbie
kundalini yogins. Many people begin kundalini yogas, have strong initial experiences and then
become frightened. Many who persevere through this initial phase become distracted by the energy
and focus on temporal and phenomenal applications of the energy.
There have been many scandals among kundalini yoga teachers - particularly sexual scandals. Is
there a correlation between sexual scandals and kundalini yoga practice?
There have been scandals regarding the teachers of many paths, both spiritual and non-spiritual ;
however, it is probably fair to say that kundalini yogins have had more than their share. Since the
first publication of these frequently-asked-questions in 1994 more than one well-known kundalini
yoga teacher has been implicated in having clandestine affairs with students and has been asked to
step down from his position as spiritual leader as a result.
An advanced kundalini yogin is typically a powerful charismatic individual who has the ability to
directly influence the minds of others. Westerners often mistake this power as a sign of
enlightenment and allow such teachers liberties as a result.
In addition it is quite common for kundalini yoga to temporarily accentuate the sex drive. This
period requires extra discipline. Finally, kundalini yoga is closely associated with tantrism and sex is
often used in conjunction with tantric practice. Where sex is used there is of course the opportunity
for misuse or abuse.
If my kundalini is awakened will I need to change my lifestyle?
It\'s hard to have your cake and eat it too. If you awaken kundalini in order to change and enrich
your life it's reasonable to expect you may need to change your lifestyle as a result. The
recommendations of both classical literature and experience is that sleep and diet will need to be
moderated otherwise severe discomfort may arise. Furthermore without moderating sexual activity
and physical work it will be hard to experience much success with kundalini. The extent that these
elements of your life need to change depends on the nature of the individual. While genuine mental
imbalances arising from kundalini are rare nearly every kundalini yogin will find periods when one
needs to be especially sensitive to needs for sleep, quiet and diet.
Where can I learn more?
Here are some references for further reading. They may not be the easiest books to find but they are
currently in print and are very good in their categories. Note that by definition no reputable book on
kundalini will tell you how to awaken your kundalini. Either by effort or by shaktipat initiation,
practicing kundalini yoga requires the instruction of an experienced teacher. Some introductory
practices for cleansing the channels can be learned from books.
Good introductory survey:
White, John (Editor) (1990). Kundalini - Evolution and Enlightenment. New York: Paragon House.
Classical Works:
Svatmarama (1985). The Hatha Yoga Pradipika (Swami Muktibodhananda Saraswati, Trans.). (First
ed.). Munger, Bihar: Bihar School of Yoga.
Silburn, L. (1988). Kundalini - Energy of the Depths (Jacques Gontier, Trans.). Albany, NY: State
University of New York.
Contemporary Kundalini Yogins:
Chetanananda, S. (1991). Dynamic Stillness. Cambridge, Massachusetts: Rudra Press.
Muktananda, Swami (1989b). From the Finite to the Infinite (First ed.). Volumes I &II, South
Fallsburg, NY: Siddha Yoga Dham of America Foundation.
Tirtha, Swami Vishnu (1980b). Devatma Shakti (Fifth ed.). Rishikesh: Yoga Shri Peeth Trust.
What is the difference between qi (or chi) and kundalini?
First let us try to relate to concepts from the same tradition - prana and kundalini. Prana has been
translated as the ``vital breath'' and ``bio-energetic motility''; it is associated with maintaining the
functioning of the mind and body. Kundalini, in its form as prana-kundalini, is identical to prana ;
however, Kundalini also has a manifestations as consciousness and a as a unifying cosmic energy.
One could ascribe these same aspects to prana as well so past a certain point these become
distinctions without differences.
From the subjective standpoint of an individual actually experiencing the awakening of kundalini I
have found three completely different opinions:
The first opinion is that a pranic awakening is only a prelude to a full kundalini awakening. Tibetan
yogins that I have encountered consider the activation of prana (Tibetan: rlung) as merely a
prerequisite for the activation of kundalini (Tibetan: gTummo). What's attractive about this
viewpoint is that it explains the difference between the experience of simply having pleasant
sensations in the spine and the much more powerful experience of having a ``freight-train''-like full
kundalini experience.
The second opinion, espoused by Swami Shivom Tirth for example, is that prana and kundalini are
absolutely equivalent and that it is not meaningful in any way to describe a difference between
kundalini rising and prana rising. When posed with question as to how to distinguish between
pleasant sensations that show some pranic-activity in the spine and the much more powerful
experience Swami Shivom Tirth said that the difference is not in the nature of the activity but in the
consciousness that observes it. If the consciousness that experiences the pranic activity is seated
within the spine (or more correctly, the central channel, known as the sushumna), then the
experience is felt much more powerfully.
The third opinion, espoused by the modern hatha yogin, Desikaran, is that pranic awakening is the
true experience to be aimed for and kundalini is actually an obstruction. Desikaran sees the
kundalini as a block in the central channel and thus the kundalini must be ``killed'' to make way for
the prana. This is the most unusual view of the three.
Have there been suicides related to kundalini?
Unfortunately, yes. A dear friend of mine, and a human library of kundalini information and
experiences, took her life after years of a most trying kundalini ordeal.
You won't read about things like this in the feel good books, but it's real world. People on spiritual
paths supposedly blessed with good karma and guru protections have committed suicide. Some
allegedly enlightened gurus have also committed suicide:
N.Y. Guru Death Ruled a Suicide
Consider also the Down Sides Of Kundalini from a UK Kundalini Group's Website:
Quote
The down side
There is much dumping of adrenaline into the body and frying your system is a
real possibility and danger.
If the kundalini is awakened without suitable preparation and guidance, it can
also be also associated with debilitation, insanity, breakdown of the immune
system, and prolonged spiritual pain and suicide.
Kundalini is the mass explosion of dark, raw, sexual, moist, sticky, juicy power.
It is distinctly the wild feminine which can't be controlled. It is primitive, messy
and overpowering, like birth and can be as frightening as death.
http://www.robertcowham.com/kundalini/kundalini.html
Does awakening kundalini make you more sensitive to subtle energy?
Absolutely. You begin to feel it easily in adepts and in their writings, in their recordings, and in their
photos. You will also sense it in shrines and power spots. It's nothing paranormal, just a natural
extension of perception.
If I Awaken Kundalini Will It Help Me Meet A Soulmate With Kundalini?
This seems plausible. You awaken a magnetic, spiritual energy and from somewhere in the cosmos
it draws the kundalini awakened love of your life, and you to her. It's like an epic, spiritual love
story. A happy ending to a soul to soul co-kundalini journey into never ending bliss.
I used to believe this. It made perfect sense to me. It even seemed a bit scientific.
However, after having kundalini awakened since 1971, maybe longer, such has not been the case in
my life. The one woman with kundalini who crossed my path with stars in her eyes and sweet
murmurings on her lips turned out to be an epic disaster.
What is the "primary mode" of kundalini therapy?
MISHLOVE: In developing the procedures in the Kundalini Clinic, you have spent a lot of time
with people who are having genuine spiritual openings that would appear to be psychotic, and who
need support within our Western context to get through that.
SANNELLA: Well, yes, that's the primary mode of treatment, is support for that part of it which is,
as I say, explainable and understandable in historical and cross-cultural terms, because this appears
in all cultures. And that part which is universal to man also, which is his aberrated state.
MISHLOVE: I would suppose that the basic kind of support that could be offered is just to be with
that person and to let them communicate with you what they're experiencing as they experience it,
without judging them.
SANNELLA: Well, I would say that's the primary mode of therapy, yes.
http://www.intuition.org/txt/sannella.htm
Does Hatha Yoga Help With Kundalini Problems?
In my case, absolutely not. Before kundalini awakened in me, I did Hatha and Pranayama. After
kundalini these practices only boosted too much kundalini energy up my spine.
However, take heart, others have reported that Hatha Yoga was helpful to them.
This serves to show that for kundalini problems what works for one person may not work for
another -- or cause harm.
Why are some people kundalini powerhouses with shakti so strong it nearly knocks you to the
ground?
Here's one theory. Just as some people are born with bodies that will blossom into mesomorphs with
large muscles, some people appear born with the capacity to contain more kundalini energy in their
minds and bodies. You could say the "large containers." When you are around them, possibly when
you look at their photos, hear their voices, or read their words, you get blitzed. Their kundalini
energy is palpable beyond the kundalini energy of thousands of others. For example, the writings at
this website are supercharged with kundalini energy. If you are at all sensitive to subtle energy you
will feel precisely what I mean.
In my experience and in my readings, I tend to believe the above theory is true. If reincarnation is a
reality, it might mean the larger container types did more spiritual work in former lives, or
awakened kundalini in their former lives, which, if souls really return, seems a reasonable
explanation. On the other hand, as with the mesomorph, maybe it's a genetic thing.
When a person dies, what happens to the person's kundalini energy
Good question and impossible to say, regardless of what is claimed in books or said by gurus, who
may lead you to believe they know. Until they die and come back, it's all conjecture.
This I know. When powerful kundalini adepts die, their shakti lingers on in the photos, their
recorded words, their writings, and their shrines. In some cases, it's as potent as when they walked
the earth.
That could mean a few things: 1. They still emit kundalini energy in an afterlife; 2. The lifetime
build-up of their kundalini energy is everywhere and remains earthbound and in all dimensions; 3.
They shed their kundalini energy at death and it stays on earth until like a shell it erodes and
dissolves.
Or, there may be another explanation.
How does a kundalini completed person perceive the world?
GOPI KRISHNA - THE LAST INTERVIEW (Free Video)
TK: Mr Krishna, you have had a Kundalini experience. I wish you could explain what a Kundalini
experience is and what its ramifications are.
GK: Before I start to describe my own experience, perhaps it would be better to give a little detail
about what Kundalini means. We are not using the totality of the human brain. According to various
estimates, most of us use only ten percent of the brain and according to some only eight percent.
That means 90 percent of the brain is unutilized, that there is still a large margin in the brain which
could be used for other purposes, and nature has provided it for certain purposes which are not yet
known to science. According to Indian tradition, there is a region in the brain below the crown and
about the pallette which is called Brahmarendra or the cavity of Brahman. This region can be
activated by certain disciplines and when activated it can give to the individual the same vision of
the universe which all great mystics of the Earth have described. When it is awakened the normal
energy of the body or the blood is not able to fuel the center. It needs a more powerful and
constrained psychic fuel. This fuel comes from the reproductive system, which is transformed into a
kind of radiation and that radiation awakens and makes the center function.
In my case, the awakening occurred at the age of 34, in 1937. I had been meditating for 17 years and
then all of a sudden during Christmas, while I was sitting cross-legged in a state of meditation, a
strange thing happened. Something exploded in my brain and a current of silvery light rising from
my spine radiated throughout my whole brain, and I felt myself expanding in all directions. This
expansion was so incredible, so amazing that I thought that something unusual had happened in my
inner ear. After this I had two other experiences of the same kind, at short intervals apart, and it then
succeeded.
But something was changing in me and I could perceive this change for many, many years, day and
night. In fact, I passed through grave crises during that period. Finally, I became stabilized in that
condition of consciousness in my 49th year. Since that time I have been living in that condition.
That is to say, before my 34th year I was living in this world thinking, seeing, perceiving in the
same way as other people do, but since my 49th year I have been living in two different worlds. One
is the normal world of senses and reason, and the other is the world which is much higher, much
more happy and which is totally apart from anything that we can know of the earth. It is the world of
consciousness.
TK: How do you see the world?
GK: We know what all people perceive of this world. I can understand what you perceive of it, you
can understand what I perceive of it. That is, this perception is uniform. Everyone has the same
perception. But this other perception is different. In this other perception you do not see the world as
a solid, real, objective creation. The real objective creation is consciousness. You see consciousness
everywhere. You see the ocean as if it is consciousness everywhere. You see the ocean as if it is
living; you see a mountain as if it is living; you see the sky as if it is living; you see the Earth as if it
is living; you see life or consciousness everywhere. And this life or consciousness is not something
which is really dead or which is something you can understand. It is unfathomable. It is wonder and
everytime you see it, you perceive it. The wonder grows deeper. I am never tired of sitting in quiet
and reflecting on myself. I am never tired of looking at the sky. The sky, to me, does not appear as it
appeared before my 34th year; it is so fascinating. It is such a beautiful vision that I would like to
look at it for days and months on end. In other words, in the air a fountain of happiness, a new
kingdom, I should say, is opened. This is probably what Christ meant when he said, "The Kingdom
of Heaven is within you." This is the Nirvana of Buddha; and this is the state of Vada mentioned by
the Suffi mystics. In fact, in this inactive state what we perceive is consciousness in its most magic
form, in its glorious form, and not consciousness as a point looking through the eyes or hearing
through the ears, but a consciousness which has its own channels and which knows that it is the
master and not the slave of the material forces which knows it is the creator. It is infinite: it is
deathless. In this state one feels himself to be a king, he feels himself to be the master of what he
sees. It is not the ego. I should say it is not the ego; it is the very condition of this consciousness.
That is the reason why it is said that no mystic would change his state even for a kingdom. It is
somehing so unique, so glorious, so elevating that I have no words to describe this state.
TK: What type of life must a person live to awaken their Kundalini?
GK: In order to make this clear, I would like to say that it is not Kundalini per se, Kundalini is the
power, the mechanism. But actually, what we do is awaken to activity a certain region in the brain.
This means that nature has already provided a potential in the brain which has to be awakened. This
means that the brain can still organically evolve to a higher performance. This is my experience, that
the human brain is still organically evolving in the direction of the great mystics, in the same
direction as the great geniuses. For this evolution a certain type of life is necessary.
For instance, throughout our life this evolution is relentlessly going on and we have to cooperate
with it. When we do not cooperate with the inner evolution we create problems for ourselves. For
that purpose, for the last 5,000 years at least great prophets have been born. Beginning with the
Vedas, then Buddha, then Christ, then Mohammed, then Guru Nanak, and all the ancient prophets of
the Bible, they have been born time after time, and they have given some 'teaching to mankind',
which was a direction for how to live while the brain is still evolving. Their Sermon on the Mount,
the Ten Commandments, the Discourses of Buddha, The Bhagavad-Gita, and all those directions
contained in the religious scriptures of the Earth -- they are all meant to regulate our life so that we
may live in harmony with the law of evolution which governs our life.
The revolutionaries have come to regulate the lives of human beings so that they may work in
harmony with the law of evolution that is at work day and night within their brains. When they
depart from this law of evolution, they always bring calamities or problems upon themselves. The
present time is one such occasion when we have digressed from the laws of evolution and the result
is that we are threatened from many directions.
The life to be lived is just as you see in the sermon on the Mountain - a life of humility, a life of
love, a life of purity, a life in which you wish for others what you wish for yourself, a life in wich
you are pure, you are not sophisticated, you are not overly clever, you are not smart, you do not use
your cleverness or smartness to take what belongs to others, a life of extreme purity and a life of
simplicity, that you do not waste the resources of the Earth.
As you know, every animal satisfies his basic needs from the recycled resources of the Earth. Man is
the only creature who is wasting the basic resources -- the minerals -- for his own luxury and
pleasure. That is what the Sermon on the Mount is meant to teach, that humanity should live simply,
beautiful, pure, compassionate lives. That is the type of life necessary for the awakening of
Kundalini.
TK: And this is what all religions of the world say?
GK: Every prophet, every great mystic, even every philosopher, for instance, Socrates or Plato. We
will find that this life is okay: purity, compassion, love, service is the ideal life which human beings
have to live.
TK: Is there no change in consciousness in birth or in death? Would you explain that?
GK: Here we come to metaphysics. We see the sun rising in the morning and setting in the evening.
Actually, is there any change in the sun? The same is true of consciousness.
Consciousness is eternal: our souls. They are eternal, immutable, omissive, omni-present,
omnipotent, and our spark partakes of the same nature as the divine, so there can be no death for
this, no change for this. The change occurs in our shells, mind, intellect, the senses. But not in the
essence, the principles which is consciousness.
TK: The more we use our mind, the greater our development of our evolution takes place.
GK: The human brain is evolving rapidly because from morning until evening we are applying our
brain to some task, we are reading, we are looking through the newspapers, we are watching the
television or we are working in the office.
Most of the people are applying their brain throughout the day, this was not the case before when
people hunted or when they were tilling the soil; they had no need to apply their brain in such a
constrained way.
We are now applying our brain in a very constrained way, from morning until night. In other words
we are meditating, though on material objects. The result is a rapid state of evolution.
Our way of life must change, but we have not changed, on the other hand. We have made our living
and our life more and more complex and intricate, so that all day we are working and working and
working to feed our belly, to live. We are giving no time to the mind, no time to the spirit. We are
not giving any thought to it. The results is that there is a disproportionate evolution. We have
developed a very powerful intellect as seen by the scientific discoveries that have been made and the
changes that have occurred in our life, but on the other hand our spiritual and moral growth has been
negligible.
So what we have in mordern times is a disproportionate human being, a giant of the intellect, on the
one hand, and a pygmy of moral or spiritual growth. This disproportion is at the base of the present
threatening situation of the world.
TK: What can we do to remedy that?
GK: What we can do is to make a thorough research of all the religious scriptures of mankind, of all
the occult traditions of the past, and to make experiments on the brain. In fact, yoga was devised in
India to make experiments on the brain. The very word "yoga" means to yoke, to join the individual
soul with the over-soul, with moderation, with temperance. It is this type of life that has to be led,
not a luxury life of wasting the Earth's resources, of pollutants polluting the planet, so that nature's
forces are now creating a situation in which either calamity occurs which will change the direction
of human life, or by their own sensible reaction they will change themselves. Change has to occur in
any way.
TK: The research of this force is the most urgent task of our time.
GK: It is the most urgent. I have been saying it, after observing my own state for at least 30 years.
For 30 years I said nothing because I wanted to confirm that my experience was real experience, and
not a delusion and that it is corroborated by ancient tradition. I made a study of those traditions, and
I found that my experience is in conformity to the ancient traditions. After that I wrote my first
book, and now in my 80th year I solemnly say this and this alone is the answer to modern crises.
The answer is this: The brain is evolving and present science doesn't know how. There is complete
darkness about it because you cannot see this evolution of the brain. By external observation can see
only neurons and their connections. It has to be seen from internal observation by awakening this
power. When this power is awakened, then you are able to observe the internal working of the brain
and that shows you that you are still evolving.
TK: What do you propose? How do we investigate this?
GK: I think any sane government, any good government, should first make research on the brain, on
the nervous system. The ancient religious traditions, the ancient occult traditions. After all, we have
to understand that religion has always been a companion of man. We have evidence that man was
religious even two hundred thousand years ago. The first relics found show that those people were
performing religious rituals, so it means religion has always been a part of human life.
What research have we made on it? We have made research on psychic coma. But no research on
religious tradition and religious experience. If we were to devote as much time and resources as we
devote to other scientific experiments, the results would be a hundred-fold more precious.
TK: The results would prove...
GK: The results will show that the human brain is still organically evolving, that certain lifestyles,
certain ways of behavior are necessary to live in conformity to the inner changes, and that religion
came in time to guide mankind on this path.
TK: And it is the path that will lead us to the stars, if it is our purpose to.
GK: It will lead humanity to this new dimension of consciousness. It will lead to the goal which
nature has assigned for her. It will lead humanity to a peaceful co-existence, to happiness, to long
life, to much greater achievement than she has done, even now. It will lead her to the exploration of
the universe.
TK: How will this affect the political structure?
GK: I need not say, for the experiments will show what kind of life and what kind of environment a
human being must have to evolve completely in harmony with the law of evolution, there will be
more freedom.
TK: I believe that things happpen not by chance but by purpose to our life, that there is a purpose to
our existence.
GK: Now, please tell me, can such a vast creation be purposeless? Can such a vast creation come
out of nothing? Can such a vast creation ruled by laws be all composed of dead, insensitive matter?
The very idea of being - existence - - comes from the mind. A rock or a mountain or an ocean has no
idea of existence, this existence comes from intelligence, and the author of the universe must be
intelligent. If we didn't have an intelligent creator, there would be no purpose to this existence.
There must be a purpose. If there was no purpose, how have we then come to have a purpose in
ourselves? We do everything with a purpose. How has this purpose come if there is no purpose in
creation? How do we act on purpose? So it means that purpose and plan is a part of consciousness.
TK: The very fact that we build nuclear weapons is spiting nature's wrath. You said that nature is
very merciful, and that nature will use the least amount of force to put us back on the proper path.
GK: Unless nature were merciful, how would we be here? You see this Earth, inside the Earth, fire,
it is a volcano, inside inferno and outside the Earth fire. You have cosmic rays coming, for which
you have an umbrella. Known as the "Heaviside layer layer" this umbrella is 50 miles from the
earth. If you didn't have this layer there would be total destruction of all life in a short time. We are
so protected that even on single slip or error can destroy all of life on Earth. If nature were not
merciful, how could we live? The very fact that we are alive and that all these hazards around us are
controlled by other powers means that nature is merciful and kind
TK: And even though we are building nuclear weapons, spiting nature's wrath, nature will be
merciful.
GK: It gives us chance after chance. Just as we overeat and go on overeating, many times nature
forgives us. But when we indulge too much in this bad habit we have a serious pain in our digestive
organs. When we overdo a thing then naturally disaster overtakes us, so we cannot blame nature.
But ourselves, we have an intelligence, we have reason, we have learning. But if by having
everything we ignore it, then of course nature has no alternative except to teach us by suffering. For
instance, 16 civilizations have perished so far, and we are not even aware of what reasons prevailed
that made those civilizations at the height of power mingle with dust. The reason is that at every
stage of progress, life of man has to change.
For instance, a child grows up and he lives one type of life when is an infant. Another kind of child,
has tastes, his activities change when he is an adolescent, then further when he is an adult. Then
when he is mature and at last when he is old. At every stage he has different tastes, different
activities, different ways of life. The same is the case of nations and people. They have to change at
every stage in their development. For instance, there were once feudal systems: before that, clans,
tribes, or monarchies. But now we have democracy, so even the systems of our governments are
changing. Why? Because our brain is evolving. But when we stop living according to the laws of
our evolution, we degenerate indignantly. This is also happening at present.
TK: If a man wants to go into his room and hang himself, no one can stop him. This is what we are
doing with nuclear weapons.
GK: When we deviate from the path we invite suffering and disaster for us. There are devices in our
brain, in consciousness, which when we digress we invite a calamity or disaster. We are devising
nuclear weapons: there is no sense in that. War can be fought without nuclear weapons but we are
devising weapons to punish ourselves.
TK: So what is the hope? Where does the hope come from?
GK: Heaven is always merciful. If we analyze the course of our present dilemma -- crisis -- and try
to change that, try to live more in harmony with the laws of evolution, this threat will be averted.
But if we continue like this there is no chance. We must suffer.
TK: What would you tell the leaders of the world?
GK: The leaders of the world have to be convinced and for that convincing the experiment is
necessary.
TK: The analyzing of Kundalini energy?
GK: We have to show that the brain is evolving, and that this evolution needs a certain kind of
harmonious life. If this life is denied, man degenerates and brings calamity upon himself.
TK: You have the Kundalini Research Foundation in Canada and in Switzerland. Please explain to
the public what this is.
GK: It can be started anywhere. If it is good, it is started in many places. The United States can
provide a beautiful environment for this experiment.
TK: You propose taking a hundred people and...
GK: For the experiment a hundred people will be needed but for running the organization we can
have any number of people who have a deep passion for spiritual matters and who are prepared to
mold their lives in consort with the spiritual laws. They would be more than welcome in this
organization.
TK: And these hundred people will lead a life prescribed and hopefully out of this hundred, one or
two will awaken.
GK: Out of the hundred to whom the disciplines are given, maybe three or four will show the
symptoms, some time after which scientists can observe them.
TK: What would examples of this be? What will happen to these people?
GK: What will happen is that the brain activity will be increased and its effect will be found all over
the body. There will be metabolic processes which can be measured. There will be physiological
changes which can be measured.
TK: And the effects of this on the world?
GK: They will convince the biologist that this change of the mind, of the brain, has physiological
systems. Those into whom these processes start may bloom into geniuses. By blooming into a
mystic, both sides will be confirmed. For it is the evolution of the brain that creates a mystic or a
genius.
TK: And these are the same mystics and geniuses all throughout time, that we would study in the
past?
GK: For the first time we will study the religions and the occult literature of the world with an aim
to finding how the brain evolves, and what methods are needed to make it more active so that the
evolutionary processes become faster.
TK: So in effect this will be the spearhead of a new race of human beings to prove all human begins
have this ability.
GK: It will be a spearhead for many things. It will be the spearhead of changes in the social and
political systems. It will be a spearhead for the first time bringing to the notice of the race that there
is the potential in every human being which is the most precious asset that he has, and which can
transform him from a mortal into an immortal and eternal source of happiness.
TK: Is this what evolution has meant of human destiny and it is inevitable for this to take place?
GK: Man has come for this purpose. Otherwise please consider this for a moment: one whole planet
-- the Earth -- and all its kingdom -- mineral, animal, everything -- is placed at his disposal. Why?
Because man has to attain to other states of consciousness for which all these recourses are needed
by him. Otherwise, if it is not a planned creation it would be useless to put all this at his disposal. If
he has nothing to do, only to live like animals. It is because he has to reach to higher dimensions of
consciousness that all this Earth and its resources have been placed at his disposal, and he has been
granted an intelligence to make the best use of it.
TK: A strong love from birth, a strong mother and father, a strong, loving environment will help
develop this.
GK: I can't say strong, but I can say that a more harmonious, more peaceful, more happy, more
contented humanity will come out of this, and then in every generation there will be some people
who have reached the higher dimensions. They will be the rulers, political leaders, scientists, and
educators. They will guide the race to rise higher and higher and higher.
TK: And we don't have a spiritual leader of that magnitude today?
GK: At this time we do not but they will come. They will be born when experiments are made and
what I say is confirmed.
TK: What is your wish for the children of the future?
GK: Children should be brought up with the ideal cultivated in them that the universe is ruled by an
intelligent power, that they must cultivate purity, honesty, truth, compassion and live ideal lives. In
that way they will conform to the evolutionary needs. That is the best thing we can do for the
children.
TK: How can we help the people today who have been lost to drugs or have killed people? What do
they need to know?
GK: When you place before them an alternative that in their own entirety there is a mind of
happiness, an ocean of eternal life, and prove it they will take that path. You must show them a
better incentive.
TK: What do we need to evolve moderate lifestyles? How can we effect our evolutionary process
the best?
GK: We need healthy food, simple dress, a clean shelter, a wholesome occupation, education for
our children, to have the highest happiness on the earth. Happiness comes from the mind, not from
the world. A man may have all the luxuries but his mind might be depressed. He will never be
happy. It is the mind that gives us happiness. A peasant, a poor farmer eating just a bread with a
little salt, sometimes has a better appetite and eats with more relish, than a rich man who eats all his
delicious food. Nature is very, very wise in this. I have seen people who live hardy lives who eat
with such an appetite, simple foods that one would like to eat with them.
TK: Are the biological bases of manic depression, schizophrenia, and genius all manifestations of
the same thing?
GK: Yes, they are interrelated. You see, if you do not live a disciplined life, then the awakening of
this center can be unhealthy. We know that many of the geniuses perhaps have been most mentally
unhealthy, had on mental disorder or the other. This is due to the fact that they did not know how
they had to live. Similarly, we have this schizophrenia. Many people who think they are poets, some
who think they are spiritual geniuses, some who think they are in touch with God. That means a
distorted vision of the same power.
TK: It means that their Kundalini --if that's the right word -- is off balance.
GK: Yes, it means that the system is not pure and that the energy is not working in a healthy way.
TK: Do you feel that there are other life forms beyond our life?
GK: There can be in the universe different species of life more intelligent than we. It is a vast place
and there can be thousands of species different and more intelligent than we.
Will Kundalini Turn Me Into A Genius?
Don't count on it. Gopi Krishna believed kundalini was responsible for genius, but I've seen no
kundalini geniuses of late. Believe me, if people with awakened kundalini energy suddenly turned
into mental giants those who sell kundalini courses would exploit that benefit with scientific
research verifying the dramatic leaps in intelligence. None have done so because all these kundalini
awakening methods and all the people with, or claiming to have, kundalini awakenings are not
magically turning into Einsteins.
Does Kundalini Lengthen A Person's Lifespan?
No way. Look at the lives of yogis. They live no longer than anyone else. Consider Swami
Vivekananda, a spiritual luminary of the highest rank, who died at age 39. Other yogis and spiritual
masters have died young or lived no longer than others. A few, as with people with no spiritual
leanings, lived longer lives, but nothing that bears out any proven longevity benefits of kundalini or
spiritual life in general.
One possible exception. If kundalini or a spiritual path saved a person from dissipation and self-
destruction, then I would imagine her or his live would be longer due to the cessation of the bad
habits and destructive behaviors.
I Just Awakened Kundalini. How Come I'm Not Enlightened?
Because usually awakening kundalini is merely a starting point, or a partial rising, that takes years,
possibly a lifetime or longer, to reach completion. It's like a long and winding road with some
bumps along the way.
How does a kundalini arousal most commonly occur?
Kundalini arousal most commonly occurs as an unintentional side-effect of yoga, meditation, qi
gong. or other intensive spiritual practices. Some theorists consider psychotherapy, giving birth,
unrequited love, celibacy, deep sorrow, high fever, and drug intoxication to be triggers. Some
believe kundalini awakening can occur spontaneously without apparent cause.
Can kundalini be awakened with a touch or an intention
Yes, it's called shaktipat. With a touch, a look, or an intention, a kundalini powerhouse (a person
with massive kundalini energy) can awaken kundalini in someone. However, from what I have read,
seen and experienced, the person must have some degree of ripeness to benefit from the shaktipat;
not everyone who receives a shaktipat has their kundalini energy awakened.
Merely by being in the presence of a person with potent kundalini can also awaken kundalini in
seekers.
Have there been kundalini cults?
Absolutely. You may recall the cult that gassed subways in Japan killing dozens, injuring hundreds.
Their alleged God in flesh Master performed kundalini shaktipats on his devotees. If you do your
homework on cults and ex devotee websites, you will find more.
When I was naive at the beginning of my spiritual quest, I believed practically everything spiritual I
read and 'assumed' everything spiritual was honest and good.
Not so. When you wise up you realize thorns are mixed in with roses on the spiritual path. Wise is
the person who discerns. Thanks to the Internet, you can easily do background checks on most gurus
and spiritual groups, except new ones with no histories.
Beware of any claiming to have all the answers or the only way. Those are red flags warning you
that you are
unwittingly walking into a cult.
Can Kundalini Heal Depression?
In my opinion, trying to heal depression with kundalini would be like trying to perform brain
surgery with a buzz saw. Better and wiser to use gentler approaches with little or no risk. However, I
have read of two cases where individuals credited kundalini with erasing their depression. They did
not, however, raise kundalini for that purpose. One had a spontaneous awakening, the other a guru,
and the ceasing of the depression was a side effect.
What is a kundalini shaktipat?
Traditionally, this is a way a guru or an adept awakens kundalini in a person with a touch. It can also
be done with a look, a mantra, or an intention.
Not all shaktipats happen at the moment of contact. Sometimes hours or days later the effect kicks
in, and energy begins flowing up your spine, often accompanied with euphoria, sometimes with
inner visions or spontaneous body movements.
How can you say some people grow tired of kundalini after 10 years?
I quote an MD Kundalini Expert, Dr. Lee Sannella:
MISHLOVE: What's your prognosis for cases like this? Do they get better after a while? How long
does it typically take?
SANNELLA: Oh yes, they all get better, in the sense that it cools off. It may take anywhere from --
some people are furious because they've only had the experience once, and then it leaves, and they
look for the rest of their life for it. I have a few people like this. Other people get very tired of it
after ten or twelve years.
Are kundalini shaktipats safe?
As a member of the board of an internatonal kundalini yoga center, it was my job to set up the
public programs for the Guru and to talk with some of the new people who attended the programs.
One man with whom I spoke, asked me whether or not I recommended he take shaktipat initiation.
We talked further and I ended up "looking" at his energy. His upper chakras were over energized
and the lower ones were underdeveloped, which makes one ungrounded and somewhat "spacey". He
didn't have any major pain or suffering and was hoping the kundalini awakening would enhance his
spiritual practice. I told him that shaktipat was entirely his decision and I gave him advice on the
possible risks, which I wasn't supposed to do, because it wasn't "company policy". He decided to
take the shaktipat and had disastrous results, he was bedridden. I "saw" that his imbalances were
more pronounced, not restored to harmony as others had led him to believe. The Guru advised him
against having healing and of course gave him the traditional belief that the Kundalini would heal
him. This mans case illustrates what I have been saying. He already had the energy imbalance
before the shaktipat, the awakening of his kundalini wasn't the cause of his subsequent suffering but
it certainly did amplify and cause it to physically manifest, almost instantly
http://easternhealingarts.com/Articles/Fix_Kundali.html
I read there are no such things as kundalini problems, is that true?
I have seen such nonsense too. Were that true, I wouldn't have constructed the website Kundalini
Survival & Support and had hundreds of people seeking support for kundalini problems, and you
wouldn't see scores of other websites with kundalini warnings, and kundalini causality cases, such as
this website in Sweden:
Kundalini Information & Kundalini Network
INVESTIGATION AND DIAGNOSIS OF 76 CASES OF KUNDALINI AROUSAL
Consider, too, I'm not making money off of kundalini or selling kundalini courses. I am doing what I
do out of compassion for others. After seeing many difficult kundalini cases, some lasting for
decades, and having a kundalini problem myself, I was moved to do more to help by starting the
website and forums along with honest information about kundalini untainted by profit concerns or
any agendas to recruit followers for any gurus or spiritual groups
Is there a single method that helps with all kundalini problems?
No. Aside from misguided claims to the contrary, no single method helps with all kundalini
problems.
Can kundalini energy be shut down?
In my experience the answer is no, what goes up does not go down. However, some people claim
praying to God shut it down for them. Others said it went away on its own, though I have to say I
find that difficult to believe. Yet, it could be in some cases the kundalini energy becomes so refined
the individual no longer feels it, or the person never had a kundalini awakening in the first place,
perhaps a burst of prana that died down of its own accord. And, maybe, like with a spontaneous
cancer remission, kundalini energy sometimes shuts done in rare, inexplicable cases.
A Chi Kung Master once told me he shut down kundalini in students by having them cease all
spiritual practices for nine months to a year and a half. He claimed this worked. I haven't meditated
in over five years, yet my kundalini flows on unabatedly.
One inventor claimed he shut down his kundalini energy with a mind wave machine. His
information looked plausible, but he warned of risks.
How long could a kundalini problem last?
A lifetime, but I'd say most problems pass in a few years or less. In some cases perhaps days, weeks,
or months. Problems that take a long time to pass can generally be made more manageable. For
example, a subtle energy-sensitive person who has too much kundalini blasting up her spine could
cease all spiritual practices until the flow simmers down and thereafter meditate less to avoid
overdosing.
I read kundalini fully awakens in 3-7 years, is that true?
No. Nobody can put a number on how long it will take for kundalini to fully awaken, to complete
the process. Some, perhaps many, people will not experience a full awakening in a lifetime.
Could a person be born with an awakened kundalini?
I believe so. I know a woman who has kundalini so potent you can feel it in her words when you
read her writings, and people in her presence have had kundalini awakenings. She told me she had
kundalini from birth. I tend to believe her because many of the most potent kundalini powerhouses
had kundalini awaken early in their lives, as though they were destined from birth to be huge
kundalini containers just as some people are destined out of the womb to be great athletes or child
prodigies.
I read bona fide kundalini awakenings always come with problems, is that true?
You may have read this:
Quote
The kundalini is seldom pleasant, is almost always associated with nerve
damage, periods of altered states of consciousness seeming to parallel insanity,
interaction with deities, and various siddhis. At its culmination, it results in
union with All. The kundalini experience may go on for years after that.
Sometimes the spiritual experiences deepen and the person becomes a true
mystic, but often people just go insane.
http://www.realization.org/page/doc0/doc0040.htm
However, some people have what appear to be smooth as silk kundalini awakenings with little or no
problems. A kundalini awakening doesn't have to come with problems to be certified legitimate, as a
number of people know from experience.
Does Tai Chi Help Balance Kundalini?
For some *people yes; for others, like me, no.
*Philip St. Romain, author of Kundalini Energy and Christian Spirituality, recommends Tai Chi and
credited it with helping his kundalini process.
What is the safest way to deal with a difficult kundalini awakening?
By doing nothing. By just allowing the kundalini energy to do its thing or run its course. Once it
dims down, you might consider returning to spiritual practices, or, if your kundalini energy remains
extremely potent, you can continue to do nothing and allow it to do what needs to be done.
One writer about kundalini believed for some people the concentration they used in their daily lives
would be enough to stimulate adequate kundalini energy toward an eventual completion. For those
with high-powered kundalini, this is true.
Will Kundalini Protect Me From Disease And Misfortune?
In spite of false claims and deceptive promises I have read and heard about concerning the boons of
kundalini, it's no talisman. People with kundalini get sick like anyone else and have their share of
misfortune. For instance, a guru with the power to awaken kundalini in others, and said to be fully
enlightened and Christ come again, now rots in a prison cell in Japan for ordering the murders of
innocent passengers on subways in Japan. Neither his kundalini energy nor his alleged powers and
divine attributes saved or prevented him from his heinous acts and the resultant misfortune.
Moreover, a number of kundalini people with cancer have come to my forums, and I've met others
with the same related medical conditions and complaints as people with zero kundalini get.
Have some people mistaken psychological and medical problems for kundalini awakenings?
Unfortunately, yes. Just as kundalini can mimic psychological and medical problems, the reverse is
true.
For instance, I've had people who came to my forums for years only to discover what they assumed
were kundalini awakenings were medical conditions.
Others have had mental health issues they understandably hoped were kundalini awakenings.
Do dead kundalini adepts have power?
In my experience, yes. If you are sensitive to subtle energy, simply read their writings and feel the
flow. Look at their photos, listen to their recordings, and you will feel it there too. For example,
Gopi Krishna's writings and his photo (See below) exude powerful subtle energy (shakti).
Could a kundalini adept, or a powerful master like Ramana Maharshi, guide a person from
the beyond?
Some people may say no, but I believe so. If you were to immerse yourself in the adepts writings,
place a photo of the adept in your room, like with a shrine, and stare at the adept's photo daily, I
believe you would make a connection that would guide you just as if the adept were in the physical.
Some people claim success with methods like this with gurus no longer on the earth plane.
Lighting a candle in front of the deceased adept's photo also helps.
What do you mean when you say because of my kundalini problems people could experiment on
me?
I mean when you seek help from healers and others, few know what they are doing when it comes to
a longterm kundalini fix; fewer can actually help. Thus, some people will tell you they or their
method will fix your kundalini issue, when, in fact, they are only experimenting -- more so if they
have never worked with kundalini before.
The same applies to many untested meditation techniques with no lineages behind them. Somebody
makes up some methods and those who try the methods with no clue about where the methods came
from -- or any possible negative effects down the road -- are guinea pigs.
Moral of the story, be real careful who you entrust your safety to. Do your homework and find out
about the person, or the organization/cult behind the person. Many people have been led into cults
due to blindly trying techniques and undiscerningly following megalomaniacs.
P.S. Most attempts to help with kundalini either do nothing or worsen the problem. And what works
for one person may not work for or harm another. You have to tread lightly with kundalini
difficulties. To rush in blindly courts possible disaster.
Am I having a kundalini or a pranic awakening?
Hard to say and a subject cloaked in controversy. I defer to the Kundalini FAQ:
"From the subjective standpoint of an individual actually experiencing the awakening of kundalini I
have found three completely different opinions:
The first opinion is that a pranic awakening is only a prelude to a full kundalini awakening. Tibetan
yogins that I have encountered consider the activation of prana (Tibetan: rlung) as merely a
prerequisite for the activation of kundalini (Tibetan: gTummo). What's attractive about this
viewpoint is that it explains the difference between the experience of simply having pleasant
sensations in the spine and the much more powerful experience of having a "freight-train''-like full
kundalini experience.
The second opinion, espoused by Swami Shivom Tirth for example, is that prana and kundalini are
absolutely equivalent and that it is not meaningful in any way to describe a difference between
kundalini rising and prana rising. When posed with question as to how to distinguish between
pleasant sensations that show some pranic-activity in the spine and the much more powerful
experience Swami Shivom Tirth said that the difference is not in the nature of the activity but in the
consciousness that observes it. If the consciousness that experiences the pranic activity is seated
within the spine (or more correctly, the central channel, known as the sushumna), then the
experience is felt much more powerfully.
The third opinion, espoused by the modern hatha yogin, Desikaran, is that pranic awakening is the
true experience to be aimed for and kundalini is actually an obstruction. Desikaran sees the
kundalini as a block in the central channel and thus the kundalini must be "killed" to make way for
the prana. This is the most unusual view of the three.
The Chinese concept of qi (or chi) can be safely identified with the Indian concept of prana.
If all this seems confusing - don't worry, you're in good company. My conclusion is that these are all
different terminologies for dealing with a common set of experiences. Any one of these viewpoints
is adequate for describing the full range of experiences. What is probably more relevant is to
distinguish two different experiences which are often confused. In one an individual experiences
some pleasant energizing electric energy running along the spine. This experience itself brings about
a wide range of experiences and results in vitality and sensitivity. Another very distinct experience
is the experience of kundalini entering the sushumna and rising up the spine. As soon as kundalini
enters the sushumna this experience will completely overwhelm ordinary waking consciousness.
From the moment that kundalini enters the sushumna there will no longer be a distinction between
the subjective consciousness which experiences and the object of experience. This experience much
more profoundly transfigures consciousness.\"
http://www.eecs.berkeley.edu
As you can see, experts have different opinions on the is it kundalini or is it prana question. And one
says you have to "kill the kundalini." So, it's like an anybody's guess type of situation.
Does kundalini make people insane?
I defer to Bonnie Greenwell:
Quote
Kundalini does not make you insane with the following exceptions: 1) If it
awakens in someone who has a very shaky personality structure to begin with,
who has always had problems and who is already on an edge; or 2) the person is
using drugs, usually pretty heavily, at the time of awakening. (This is not
insanity but a drug-induced reaction which usually clears up in a few weeks if
the person changes their habits). Some people become dysfunctional, but hardly
insane, because they do practices that are too intense for their constitution and
their life is out of balance. This energy will not work well if you use alcohol
regularly, have sex promiscuously, hang out with toxic people, or live a frantic
and overstretched lifestyle. (This is not a moral issue -- it is an energetic issue --
the process needs your cooperation to work well).
http://www.realization.org/page/doc0/doc0044.htm
Even enlightened humans have to mind their manners and realize that the Atman is the wondrous
phenomena they should promote, not their own temporary personalities. Ramana Maharshi had the
right approach in this regard, and that is one reason he is still beloved by all. Ramana Maharshi
promoted the Atman, the universal cosmic consciousness, but never his own mortal body and mind.
- Christopher Calder

The Intuition Network, A Thinking Allowed Television Underwriter, presents the following
transcript from the series Thinking Allowed, Conversations On the Leading Edge of Knowledge and
Discovery, with Dr. Jeffrey Mishlove.

WHAT IS KUNDALINI?
with LEE SANNELLA, M.D.
JEFFREY MISHLOVE, Ph.D.: Hello and welcome. Kundalini is a concept that's been developed in
the theory and philosophy of yoga. It represents a coiled energy located at the base of the spine,
considered like a coiled serpent or the serpent power, and through yogic practice or other
circumstances this coiled energy rises through the body, activating various psychic and nervous
energy centers. In yoga this is thought of as an auspicious sign of spiritual attainment. However,
from the point of view of Western psychology and psychiatry, these same symptoms might be
viewed as psychotic. With me today in the studio is Dr. Lee Sannella, a physician and author of The
Kundalini Experience: Psychosis or Transcendence? Dr. Sannella is the founder of the Kundalini
Clinic, and is an expert in dealing with individuals, both Eastern and Western, who are experiencing
these symptoms of kundalini rising. Welcome, Lee.
LEE SANNELLA, Ph.D.: Hello, Jeffrey.
MISHLOVE: It's a pleasure to have you here. You know, it's intriguing. In Western medicine we
have the symbol of the caduceus, with the snakes twisted up the staff of Hermes. It's very, very
similar to the symbol of the coiled serpent rising in the kundalini theory of yoga. Do you think
there's a connection?
SANNELLA: Well, I think they both represent the same thing. One is a popularization of the other.
MISHLOVE: Which?
SANNELLA: Well, the caduceus is the derived symbol.
MISHLOVE: It's the original symbol of Hippocrates, I think, the founder of medicine.
SANNELLA: I don't know whether it was one or two serpents at that time, but it's close.
MISHLOVE: So there's a sense in which this understanding of the coiled energy rising through the
body is very ancient. It was known to the ancient Western Greek physicians, as well as to the yogic
practitioners.
SANNELLA: Well, I don't know. The coil to me means potential. It's a potential energy until it is
activated. And the crossing of the snakes has more probably to do with the nadis, or the other
accessory energy centers, aside from that which is supposed to be in the spinal canal. But our
modern concept doesn't completely accord with that model.
MISHLOVE: Let's step back just a second, because you've introduced the term the nadis, and I think
you're referring to centers of energy, like ganglia of nerves, that might be located in the arms, in the
legs, around the sides -- sort of like the acupuncture meridians, or acupuncture points.
SANNELLA: That's good enough.
MISHLOVE: And also in yoga there's the concept of the chakras being central organs of psychic
energy located right along the spinal column, basically; the third eye is one we often hear about.
These are concepts that have been articulated very cogently and in quite a lot of detail in yogic
philosophy, and I gather that these are concepts that you take seriously as a medical doctor.
SANNELLA: Not really. I take seriously the new event in the brain -- a new, as you said,
psychophysiological event in the brain, which is what the kundalini is to me. The peripheral signs
and symptoms, and the descriptions which refer to the spinal cord and the accessory systems,
whatever they are -- acupuncture or nadis -- are all derivative from the central event in the brain,
which is a change itself, which represents psychophysiological change in the whole organism. This
change then gives the person who has spiritual inclinations the equipment with which to more
adequately join with the divine, which as you said is the original meaning of yoga.
MISHLOVE: Now, the experience that is called kundalini, this change in the brain -- if one were in
a culture such as the Hindu culture or other comparable cultures, if the person had this experience
and communicated it to other people, it would be identified in this spiritual context -- "Oh yes, it's
kundalini." And the person would be treated within that social framework. In our culture, when a
person typically has the same experience -- and I gather you've worked with people who have had it
spontaneously, or people who have been meditating and all of a sudden had it -- what happens?
SANNELLA: Well, it's largely something which you have learned not to talk too much about,
because people have no understanding of it in general, of course, and therefore you're looked at as
being quite odd, if not a little bit worse than odd -- more seriously afflicted than just being odd.
MISHLOVE: So in other words, in one culture this would be considered a very auspicious
experience. People would be happy. A person would be getting a lot of positive attention and
support to go through the experience and let it unfold. In our own culture, the response might be
quite the opposite.
SANNELLA: Yes. And there are lots of other openings, in the sense that this is not the only one.
Probably we should call it the master opening in the psychophysiology of the human being, but
there are lots of preliminary and other states, psychic states, that correspond to the yoga siddhis or
powers -- like out-of-the-body states, for instance, or bilocation states, or whatever the states are,
and all of them are in a sense real. They are clearly defined in yoga, and people experience them,
and if anyone wants to take the time and effort to search them out, they still exist all over the world.
MISHLOVE: And people might experience these states without being engaged in any spiritual
practice at all.
SANNELLA: Certainly.
MISHLOVE: And it must be all the more confusing for these people.
SANNELLA: Yes, because I've had people write me the oddest things: "Take this 'kantaloni' away
from me. I don't want it anymore. It's bothering me. I can't do my work. It keeps me awake at night."
It's very annoying in some cases and to some people.
MISHLOVE: Let's talk about psychosis for a minute, Lee. These experiences seem to be breaks
with reality. People are hearing voices, seeing visions, having physical ailments for which there is
no organic cause. These are all typical symptoms of psychosis. Do you view all psychosis as a
spiritual opening?
SANNELLA: No. Psychosis may accompany spiritual opening of this kind, either in part or almost
continuously, and the two can be distinguished and should be, because the psychosis is something to
be understood, but not supported in the same way that you would support a spiritual opening, which
is a normal sort of process that man is heir to.
MISHLOVE: Can you define psychosis, then, and try and distinguish between it and a spiritual
opening?
SANNELLA: Well, psychosis in general is having no insight into all of these things that are going
on. It is aberration without understanding of that aberration as being aberrated. That's a crude
definition, but you get a very clear idea of what is psychotic and what is not, simply by talking with
someone in the ordinary way. I mean, they might start off on a total tangent, or show absolutely no
emotional responsiveness to some things and a super-responsiveness to others, inappropriate affect,
and so forth.
MISHLOVE: A classic example of what we think of as psychosis are people who believe
themselves to be Jesus Christ.
SANNELLA: Yes.
MISHLOVE: Now, sometimes this might represent a genuine spiritual opening, sometimes it might
not.
SANNELLA: Yes.
MISHLOVE: And to discern whether or not that spiritual opening is legitimate must be a very subtle
and delicate thing to do.
SANNELLA: Well, it is, and it could change from moment to moment in the person, if they were
relatively unstable.
MISHLOVE: In developing the procedures in the Kundalini Clinic, you have spent a lot of time
with people who are having genuine spiritual openings that would appear to be psychotic, and who
need support within our Western context to get through that.
SANNELLA: Well, yes, that's the primary mode of treatment, is support for that part of it which is,
as I say, explainable and understandable in historical and cross-cultural terms, because this appears
in all cultures. And that part which is universal to man also, which is his aberrated state.
MISHLOVE: I would suppose that the basic kind of support that could be offered is just to be with
that person and to let them communicate with you what they're experiencing as they experience it,
without judging them.
SANNELLA: Well, I would say that's the primary mode of therapy, yes.
MISHLOVE: Does it involve, for example, meditating together with them?
SANNELLA: It does sometimes. It could, certainly, if that is something that comes natural to the
therapist. If it's not, that's a different matter. Some of us are talented in that way, and some of us are
talented in other ways. Some of us like to massage, manipulate, and so forth.
MISHLOVE: I would think a big problem that a person would have, experiencing a kundalini
experience or a spiritual opening, would be how it would affect their relationships with their family,
with their spouse or loved ones, with their children. How are they going to communicate what's
happening to them to other people who may have no context within which this would make sense at
all?
SANNELLA: It's very difficult. That's one of the main difficulties, and that's why lots of people get
more unstable than they need to be, because they don't have this outlet, and they don't have the
understanding that surrounds them. It's quite difficult, and also they're apt to become quite grandiose
about it, as a compensation for the put-down or letdown that they feel.
MISHLOVE: What's your prognosis for cases like this? Do they get better after a while? How long
does it typically take?
SANNELLA: Oh yes, they all get better, in the sense that it cools off. It may take anywhere from --
some people are furious because they've only had the experience once, and then it leaves, and they
look for the rest of their life for it. I have a few people like this. Other people get very tired of it
after ten or twelve years.
MISHLOVE: You mean it can be a persistent, kind of annoying symptom for that long?
SANNELLA: It can be somewhat annoying. It depends on what they are doing with it, and whether
they have a practice in which it can be incorporated naturally and gracefully, and so forth. If they're
fighting it, of course, usually they're successful, not always, in fighting it. It has a way of its own.
MISHLOVE: When you say fighting it, are you saying --
SANNELLA: Resisting.
MISHLOVE: Is that healthy for a person to do, to resist?
SANNELLA: No, I don't think so. Because it's part of their natural equipment, which has been
called into action, and therefore they should honor it like any other function of the body.
MISHLOVE: Do you find that after a period of time, if a person has this opening, and then they
learn how to adjust, to resolve things, to establish a higher equilibrium, that then their life begins to
function, you might say, at a higher level?
SANNELLA: Well, I think often that will happen. They may be in and out of that state. It's unusual
to have someone who is totally in that divine connection constantly. Those are the avatars who we
see in Jesus and Buddha and so forth.
MISHLOVE: Well, Lee, you're a medical doctor. You practice in the psychiatric area. You deal
with people who are having religious experiences, or spiritual experiences. Can you talk a little bit
about the role in which a mental health professional would be working with a spiritual community in
dealing with situations, cases of this kind?
SANNELLA: Well, ordinarily you don't have many of them in the first place. They are lesser states
of intense prana, perhaps; prana is an energy that precedes, usually, the kundalini, or that simmers
down to it.
MISHLOVE: You mean a full-fledged kundalini experience is still quite rare?
SANNELLA: Yes, it's quite rare. And ordinarily, the thing to do in a spiritual community, if you're a
therapist, is first you have to get it in perspective, that people are not going to want to be tampered
with in the psychiatric manner, and that's perfectly reasonable. But secondly, when you have people
who are persistently, let us say, character disordered, or going back to drugs and alcohol and things
like that persistently, and showing other gross signs of immaturity, then ordinary therapy can be
very useful for them, and it should be not confused with whatever they're doing spiritually. But on
the other hand, they will not probably advance on this particular path that they've chosen until they
become more mature.
MISHLOVE: In other words, it sounds as if what you're saying is that normal psychotherapy,
mental health intervention, often is to deal with a person on the level of their ego and how their ego
is interacting with the world, whereas real spiritual work seems to go beyond the ego.
SANNELLA: Well, hopefully. I mean, often we think we are going beyond the ego, and are
deluding ourselves. That's the most common. But in general, what you say is correct.
MISHLOVE: Earlier, when I asked you do you subscribe to or accept the theory of the chakras and
the nadis, you said not quite; you said there are physiological events going on in the brain that have
been interpreted this way by these cultures. To what extent do you think the people who are having
these experiences that might lead them to a higher level of functioning, are being misled by the
supermarket of Oriental spiritual traditions that are available?
SANNELLA: Oh, I don't think that they're misleading necessarily. I just think they are sort of cast in
concrete. They're a little bit overdetermined. And so it leads people to expect a certain kind of sign
to appear, and it may be very, very much different than that, because there's tremendous individual
difference, not only in physiology, but in the cultural and spiritual backgrounds that people bring to
this experience. And so the Kung people, for instance, and the Bushmen in South Africa, have a
very similar experience, from their verbal descriptions, but it lacks a lot of the very elaborate
descriptions that you read about in the classical kundalini. The Taoists, on the other hand, have sort
of in between, because they have a model which is closer to our neurophysiological model than
either the Kung or the classical yoga models.
MISHLOVE: So if a person were experiencing this kind of phenomenon, and they weren't already
strongly committed to one tradition or another, it might be useful for them to look into Taoism.
SANNELLA: Well, yes, I would certainly think both classical Hindusim and Taoism.
MISHLOVE: But there's a sense in which what I hear you saying is that spiritual traditions in
general differ from your approach, which is a little more scientific, insofar as they might be
dogmatic and say this is the way our scriptures say the experience has been reported, rather than
looking at the uniqueness of each situation. Lee, how do you think that this kundalini phenomenon
reflects on our understanding of medicine in general, our understanding of the potentials of the
human being? What can Western science really learn from all of this?
SANNELLA: Well, I think it brings us up very short and reminds us that participation in the
universe is what all kinds of development is about, and that the linear, verbal, and logical mind and
its usefulness is extremely limited and should not be indulged in endlessly and without relief, and
that there's more in our philosophies than are dreamt of in the logical, linear mind, which has been
overdone by our science and by our medicine, by our philosophy. Whatever it is, you name it, it's
been overdone. And now we're going to have to learn the subtle language of all of those wonderful
disciplines, because they are wonderful disciplines; but they all have a subtle language and a subtle
occurrence and a participatory aspect which most of our professionals have shunned, and they're
going to have to change or they're going to have to be left behind.
MISHLOVE: You spoke earlier about a change that occurs in the brain. How much does Western
science know about this change?
SANNELLA: We don't know anything about it, and we don't even believe it exists. But we have a
certain amount of laboratory evidence that it really does exist, and we certainly have all the clinical
evidence in the world, in every psychic area, to know that they are real. They also can be faked.
They're also exaggerated endlessly. They're also completely off-base; but they're also real, and there
are a few of them that I have participated in, in my studies throughout the years, because I was very
hardheaded as a scientist. I knew intuitively that all this stuff had something to it, but I'd never seen
it nor felt it. So I went out and searched until I found these things and could confirm them for
myself.
MISHLOVE: Many years ago a Hindu writer named Gopi Krishna wrote a book on kundalini, in
which he suggested that this was the force that underlies great genius, and that by practicing yoga,
having a kundalini experience, one could awaken great intellectual powers or great musical powers,
the abilities of great genius. Do you think there's something to that argument?
SANNELLA: Well, I think it's a valid argument. I take certain exceptions to it, because he calls
almost everything that is oddball kundalini, whether it's psychotic or whether it's genius.
MISHLOVE: You mean he might say, for example, by definition Mozart had experienced kundalini.
SANNELLA: Oh, of course, by definition, yes. But I would not necessarily agree with that. But
that's just a technical difference. I don't think it's very important.
MISHLOVE: Basically you might say that if individuals were really interested in reaching out and
finding out what are these higher levels of brain functioning, higher levels of mental functioning,
that the practice of spiritual disciplines, apart from the dogmatic philosophies associated with them,
would be a valuable pursuit.
SANNELLA: Well, yes, I think it's always valuable to develop your real and true and transcendent
aspects.
MISHLOVE: Let me ask you a personal question, since you've brought this up. What kind of
practices do you engage in, in this regard?
SANNELLA: Oh, I've engaged in so many different practices I would bore you to tears telling you
about them, through my active search for --
MISHLOVE: Well, I know you and I were involved in Taoist yoga exercises together ten years ago.
SANNELLA: Absolutely. I've been in a dozen or more disciplines for years of each. I haven't
looked at them in a cursory manner. But the search itself is a sign of certain fundamental work that
hasn't been done in our psyches and our character and so forth.
MISHLOVE: What is that?
SANNELLA: Well, you see we are very reactive creatures, and even from the event of birth we
have developed certain kinds of defenses and certain kinds of constrictions that push us into this
ceaseless searching. And of course it's all here. You don't have to go any other place for it; it's all
here, and it is hard to learn that lesson and to learn the disciplines that may help to evoke that and to
make it real in yourself, so that you real-ize it, make it real.
MISHLOVE: If I can rephrase what you're saying, as a person who has been investigating gurus and
following spiritual traditions and looking at it seriously, all over the world, as a matter of fact, for
twenty years or more --
SANNELLA: More than that.
MISHLOVE: More than that. What you're saying is that your impetus, your desire to engage in this
search, was a reflection of an inner emptiness, or an inner need of your own?
SANNELLA: Well, yes, I would say that. Inner need, yes.
MISHLOVE: And what you're saying actually is that there's a way of satisfying that inner need
without searching all over the world.
SANNELLA: Yes, I would say that's true, but it's difficult.
MISHLOVE: Can you talk about that a little more?
SANNELLA: Well, spiritual practice is difficult at best -- in other words, when you have all the
advantages, let us say with a very intuitive and sensitive organism, and one that easily enters into the
various psychic realms and that has energies available, like the kundalini energy, for instance. There
are others. There are visionary energies, there are psychic energies; they're all closely related. But it
is difficult at best, when you make your world truly psychic, which means sacred, as I'm using it.
And that is the whole thing, to make the world sacred -- every object in it, nature, all the animals,
because they are inhabiting this planet just exactly the same as we are, and are just as essential as we
are, but we don't see it that way.
MISHLOVE: We have this resistance that we touched on earlier. You said you didn't think this
resistance was a good idea, and yet it almost seems instinctive.
SANNELLA: Oh, it is. The resistance comes just from being born. I mean, some of us get it in such
a dramatic form that it's totally clear that that's what it is -- a certain kind of way we reacted when
we were very small to our separation from mother, and separation from all those other people and
beings out there who are all potential enemies when they are separate from us. But we are totally
one with all of life, and that's what we have to relearn.
MISHLOVE: Without going on a thirty-year search around the world, are there other ways? How
does one get through that resistance? How does one experience the more natural state?
SANNELLA: Well, for one thing, you find teachers or teachings that reflect in a clear, Western way
for us Westerners what that's all about. And that's not easy, but it's available, and we don't have to
suffer quite so much. But on the other hand, Westerners are very ill equipped to do spiritual practice,
and it's my experience, from myself, that we have tremendous resistance to surrendering and to
communion with whatever you want to call it -- the Great Spirit, or the divine, or --
MISHLOVE: The infinite.
SANNELLA: The infinite, or the cosmos. It's all one to me. The words are just different labels.
MISHLOVE: Is there some sense in which we could maybe appreciate our resistance, even to the
extent of kind of respecting it, nurturing the resistance itself as being a part of our divine nature?
SANNELLA: Well, it's a part of it, but it's a part of it that we have to really learn to deal with as
early as possible and as intelligently as possible, and without the dramatics that are necessary in
some cases, because I have some people, and even in myself, my insights into that particular
resistance are continuing to unfold, even at my age. And somehow, those unfoldings have to be
speeded up a bit, because the world needs open, free, expressive, connected people to turn it about
from its present course of craziness.
MISHLOVE: Dr. Lee Sannella, you've really been able to express, from a medical point of view and
from a personal point of view, the essence, I think, of kundalini experience, and beyond that, the
essence of spiritual search. I would hope that the kind of work that you're doing will help to create
the world that you've just described, Lee. Thank you very much for being with me.
SANNELLA: Thank you, Jeffrey.

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