Kuṇḍalinī is the river of liquid light that flows in you and flows in me. . . the energy in all things. —Swami Khecarantha
Kuṇḍalinī is the individuated expression of the Divine. It is like a river of liquid light that flows in you, me, and in all things. The gift of our human incarnation is that we possess the capacity and consciousness to know ourselves as divine. Through our practice of kuṇḍalinī sādhana, we awaken an awareness of our divinity that typically lies dormant.
People often observe that when kuṇḍalinī is aroused, it amplifies our inner dynamics — including the impurities of consciousness and emotions like jealousy, greed, and anger.
Nondual Tantra teaches that all experience arises from a singular source and that they all are dimensions of Consciousness, expressed by kuṇḍalinī śakti. Śakti is the energy behind the scenes that feeds and sustains every aspect of human experience — even those dominated by ego, emotions, and thought-constructs.
The Psychic Body
To understand how and why apparently-negative feelings are connected to and emerge from śakti, we can look at the nature of the psychic body, which is comprised of energetic channels (nāḍīs) and energy centers (cakras). There are three primary nāḍīs that rise out of the base of the spine: the central channel (suṣumṇā), and the iḍā and piṅgalā, which crisscross over the suṣumṇā to form the cakras. The iḍā and piṅgalā are the nāḍīs that give us physical life and sustain our mind and emotions.
Our feelings and experiences are not separate from us. They are all dimensions of Consciousness, and although none are “bad,” they affect us so much because we have not learned to internalize our awareness and direct our life force back into the central channel. Typically, our energy is directed outwardly through the iḍā and piṅgalā, feeding our emotions and thoughts, which in turn dominate our experience and how we engage the world.
Also within the psychic body are three granthis, or knots: in the base of the spine, in the heart, and in the center of the head. The granthis are similar to the iḍā and piṅgalā in that they are pathways out of the central channel, though also a part of it. As we move through life, we often feel intense emotion, fueled by thoughts. If these repeated experiences move through the naḍīs, their energies begin to coalesce into tension and contraction. Over time, they form patterns, and when we act from that level of constriction, from self-serving need, we create karma. Karma then accumulates in the energy channels of the body, creating those psychic knots, which prevent kuṇḍalinī from rising up through the suṣumṇā.
When we function from these constraints in our psychic body, we become overly focused on our mental and emotional constructs and lose sight of the pure light within us. The practice of kuṇḍalinī sādhana teaches us to internalize the energy of our life force, mind, and ego, and turn all that energy back into the psychic body instead of allowing it to remain caught in externality.
The Power of Kuṇḍalinī
As kuṇḍalinī is aroused, awakens, and begins to rise, our buried tensions and contractions will also become apparent. It may appear as if kuṇḍalinī is exacerbating the intensity of these energies, but what kuṇḍalinī is really doing is burning through impurity and untying the granthis — and this process simply reveals the limitations we that have, over time, placed on our own consciousness. Kuṇḍalinī releases tension and contraction by taking energy that is stuck and directing it into flow, unpacking and releasing the deep binding of patterns and karma. So instead of thinking of this as “bad” or “dangerous,” be grateful for this sign that you are being freed.
In some cases, kuṇḍalinī awakens and people are not trained or prepared for it. When this happens, the energy released feeds into the iḍā and piṅgalā, rather than into the central channel, feeding our mental and emotional constructs rather than our spiritual selves. Without proper training we are not sensitive or still enough to know the different dimensions of our subtle body. If you feel this kind of powerful energetic and emotional release, I recommend finding a teacher who can help you understand what’s happening and can guide you by means of meditations that direct your energy back into the suṣumṇā.
These powerful experiences only reflect how the ego reacts to its own dissolution. It is the ego that does not understand that we are kuṇḍalinī śakti, and that this energy is the dynamic expression of pure Consciousness. The ego wants to hold on to its primary misunderstanding of being separate from the Divine, and it resists the process of release by creating a smokescreen of mental and emotional turmoil.
Kuṇḍalinī sādhana is an alchemical process that Tantric scriptures describe as the burning away of impurities. The central channel is the cremation ground of all inner blocks, as well as of mental and emotional constructs. Like logs thrown into a fire, when impurity burns, it creates heat that may indeed feel disruptive. This is natural, so our work is to properly channel that energy. We develop an awareness of the energetic pathway that extends through the body, out of the crown of the head, to the divine Source from which we were born. Don’t let the heat and smoke interfere with your commitment to practice. Feel blessed that you have this opportunity to truly change and to know yourself as Divine.