years ago, I had a powerful Kundalini experience which
lasted two years. When it began, I was practicing
intensive meditation and breathing exercises while
living in seclusion in a cabin. Since then I have
never been the same. I truly suffered a mental, emotional,
physical, and spiritual breakdown -- a major spiritual
suppress the crazy body sensations I experienced during
my Kundalini awakening, I had to use antidepressants.
I am still on Paxil, 25 milligrams a day. This medication
along with a deep committed yoga practice and psychotherapy
saved my life. A part of me knows in my heart of hearts
that I suppressed my experience and sooner or later
I will have to go back into the gates of hell to integrate
the blissful states that I experienced with the darker
states: creepy-crawly sensations, heat, major digestive
problems, a feeling of merging with the divine, scary
dreams, hypersensitivity, acrophobia, post-traumatic
stress syndrome, and several other complex and frustrating
physical manifestations of awakened Kundalini.
main concern is an obsession for sex. I know it has
to do with the contracted sexual energy that I shut
down in my sexual center during my Kundalini experience.
For some reason my spirit is longing to blow the psychological
lid off this suppressed energy (stored psychic material
and some unresolved childhood issues). I have had
to stop meditating because it activates this crazy,
out-of-control, suppressed sexual energy (it feels
like I have been raped), trembling, vibrating, out
of control... the list goes on.
June 25th, I am going to south India for six months
to teach yoga to children in an orphanage. Then I
would like to travel and perhaps meet a master who
might be able to assist me with my problems.
would really appreciate any advice you can give me.
letter brings up so many issues that sometimes occur
with an unprepared awakening that it is difficult to
address them without asking you lots of questions. But
I decided to include most of your letter because it
can help others see some of the things that can go wrong.
The best I can do is offer some options and let you
decide whether they apply in your case.
there is no reason why this process has to be so terrible
and frustrating if you return to it. You will not necessarily
go through the misery a second time. Many of the problems
you mention can be due to a history of emotional trauma
such as abuse or violence that has never been worked
through with therapy. Usually when people have PTSD
(post-traumatic stress syndrome), an issue from their
past is awakening, and Kundalini is not the direct cause.
also sometimes result from the state of the physical
and subtle bodies, which can be weakened by lifestyle
issues including diet, a history of drug or alcohol
use, sexual promiscuity, and great personal stress.
In order for the Kundalini process to work well and
eventually bring you into a state of peace, you must
live a balanced lifestyle free of abuse and serious
mental stress. As your life and mind become more harmonious,
the process will take you into deeper states of awareness
the body is healthy, you can try yoga practices, especially
breathing practices, to direct the energy flows and
strengthen the body to manage them.
sexual feelings can occur for several reasons, and you
have choices for dealing with them. Most yoga systems
recommend giving up sexuality, at least during the intense
phases of this process. This allows the Kundalini energy
to flow upward through the central channels, chakras,
and head, leading to the opportunity for mystical experiences.
If the flow is forced downward it disrupts and prolongs
the process of awakening. Energy can get stuck in the
lower chakras, possibly leading to intense sexual energy
and compulsion. Once the flow breaks through into the
heart chakra or higher this is rarely a serious problem.
You are getting too much stimulation. Learning correct
breathing practices can help you bring this energy higher
and release the pressure on the sexual organs. You need
a good teacher who understands Kundalini yoga and classical
yoga and not someone who encourages you to act out sexually.
If a teacher suggests that you be sexual with him to
relieve the problem, run in the other direction.
said, I have to admit I have met people who released
energy sexually a few times with no great harm coming
to them. This is one way to release pressure. However,
if sex becomes compulsive and addictive, it diverts
your spiritual process into a dead end. This is not
a criticism of enjoying sex, only a message that obsessive
sex doesn't support spiritual attainment. Also, sex
with several partners, or the wrong partners, can damage
your nervous system and energy field and raise many
new problems in the Kundalini process.
sensations are normal when Kundalini is stirred in the
lower chakras, and sexual release is healthy under many
if you want your intense Kundalini rising to lead to
mystical experience and spiritual awakening, you must
make a critical decision. You can choose to move this
energy upward through disciplined practices and commitment
to a spiritual life, or you can decide to simply release
energy and stay where you are.
make no judgement here, and I am not implying that a
sexual life with a loving partner is incompatible with
a full spiritual life. I am speaking of a stage of this
process which is very stressful for some people.
should also know that in many people who have problems
with sexual energy and flashes of rape, there is a repressed
history of sexual abuse. This is why the energy gets
stuck in the wrong channel, and why such images occur.
I advise such people to get therapy with someone who
really understands the abuse issues, even if the therapist
knows nothing of Kundalini. This will free the emotional
and physical and energetic blocks so that the awakening
process can mature in a healthy way.
I want to tell you that your desire to serve others
can be a great healing in this process. It is a time-tested
method of integrating spiritual awakening in both Karma
Yoga and the Christian tradition of service. Putting
your heart into non-attached work for the welfare of
others can help the energy shift into the heart chakra.
cannot offer you specific names of people who specialize
in your problem in India, but I can tell you that if
you go to a classical yogic institution such as the
Bihar School of Yoga in Bihar you can learn the balanced
way to develop your subtle body system. My friend Dr.
Dina Nath Rai at the Kundalini Yoga Research Institute
in Lucknow may also have classes that can help you.
You may also wish to contact Dr. Joan Harrigan, a psychologist
in Tennessee who works with a Kundalini Yoga and ayurvedic
practitioner, Swami Chandrasekharanda, in the U.S.,
Rishikesh, and Europe. They offer intensive programs
for people with strong spiritual motivations to get
the Kundalini process in proper balance using a classical
Kundalini science from the Kundalini yoga tradition.
Her website is Kundalini-care.com.
everyone responds differently to different teachers
I want you to know I am not making any guarantees, just
suggesting some directions in which you might seek help.
wishes to you.
2000 Bonnie Greenwell. Please respect Dr. Greenwell's
copyright for all material in this column. You may download
it for your personal use, but please do not reproduce
it in any way without her written permission.
Greenwell, Ph.D., is a transpersonal therapist and author
of Transformation: A Guide to the Kundalini Process.
For more information about her, click