Tuesday, May 03, 2016
SoundsTrue, the premiere publisher of CD's and books on spiritual topics, recently invited readers to submit descriptions of "My Awakening Experience" for their "Weekly Wisdom" website. My entry was chosen for publication.
I also now have a Facebook site and am publishing it there as well.
Here is the article in its original form (with a few minor changes to update it):
Spontaneous Kundalini Awakening and Universal Transformation
My kundalini awakening was abrupt and unexpected. It occurred almost thirty years ago, when I was a professor of English and women’s studies in a Kansas state university. The gist of it is that one day when I was reading a book that mentioned in passing the strange phenomenon of kundalini, I decided to see if I could awaken and then raise these energies up through my spine. I had little or no prior knowledge of such techniques. I knew no one who had heard of such a possibility. I had no familiarity with Eastern practices, gurus, yogis--these things were essentially unknown in that part of the world at that time. I had never even had a massage.
There was one additional piece that was also part of this puzzle. My (female) partner of many years was threatening to leave and my psyche was indeed in a disturbed state. Thus my “inner energies” were in a chaotic condition, as I responded to this inner turmoil.
My awakening happened like this: I sat quietly in my chair, and concentrated fully on breathing into the lower abdomen. Almost immediately I felt a rapturous flow of energy. Now, I thought to myself, I must bring this energy up. And so I began to breathe deeply, with the intent of lifting the energies from the base to my head. Suddenly, they seemed to shoot up, all the way to the crown, which opened in total rapture. The brain itself seemed to have become a vessel of delight. The crown opened to effulgent, ecstatic energies flowing in from above.
At this moment, I realized that this rapturous stream of energy was the life force itself, that which animates the entire universe, and that I was a minute part of this process, a wee speck in an infinite reality, that the “I” that I had constructedI was something that did not even exist except as a myth I myself had created and fostered.
I sat with the experience as long as I could sustain it--perhaps a few minutes, during which I underwent the “opening of the thousand lotus petals” that yogis describe as part of their awakening experience. Some call this enlightenment.
For the next several days I existed in a semi-trance state, during which I experienced inner (visionary) initiation into both Tibetan Buddhist and yogic traditions.
I experienced daily bliss, simply by envisioning Shiva or Krishna, so that I might be in closer touch with these sublime energies, this divine reality.
This was the beginning of an experience that continued in one form or another for the next thirty years, and is still ongoing. It brought periods of both bliss and pain, conviction and searching, as I tried over time to sort out my experience, to unravel what it might “mean”, why it had happened to me, of all people. Was I now “enlightened”? This seemed unlikely, yet I knew that I had confronted a reality far beyond what I might ever have imagined as existing in this physical universe. I knew that there was indeed an unseen force, a presence, a divine impulse underlying the mundane appearance of the world, and that this was what was real.
The name that was closest the nature of this revelation was simply love. I knew that each of us was loved in a special way, and that we must turn to and open to this love, allowing it to sustain us, for we were part of it and it of us.
As my unfolding progressed, I discovered I had certain new “talents.” I now saw auras from time to time, felt the energies of others when I was in (or near) their presence, felt music “inside the head” as if it were coming from within rather than from without. I sometimes sensed the energies of inanimate objects, such as paintings or ancient Chinese vases.
But most precious of all were the times of blissful union with the unseen Source, the “Guru Within,” who continued to lead and guide me. For years I at certain periods experienced these quasi-erotic energies flowing through my body during my practice (which took on various forms over time), often arriving as bliss streams in hands or arms or cheeks--as if something within were making love with me in unexpected places. These were not specifically sexual in nature, but rather sexual energy sublimated into a higher, more subtle level of experience.
And, as I have indicated, the process continues to this day, with ever more delicate manifestations of joy and bliss and love for others and all that is.
What have I learned from all of this?
Extreme transformation (sometimes called the lightning stroke) can occur to anyone at anytime and under any circumstance. The amount of prior preparation is no guarantee that the gift will be granted. Some have little or no preparation, and fall quickly into the sea of bliss. Others practice dutifully for years and never experience the deep inner rapture.
Who will undergo this process is not predictable. Those who seemingly should arrive may never attain the goal of immediate realization. Others apparently less deserving may quickly ascend to the top of the mountain.
No one gets a free ride. The opening may be brilliant, transcendent even. But there will be times of balancing and integration, periods of pain and despair, as one attempts to deal with these unfamiliar energies now infusing one’s system, one day mounting into bliss, the next plunging into some kind of pain.
4. One may never ever know why this transfiguring event occurred that so totally turned one’s life around. One theory is that such awakenings are related to one’s past life development as for example (in my case) likely a tantric practitioner. (I consider all delicate energy work to be tantric in nature)
One must listen carefully to one’s own “inner guru,” who seems to be a combination of teacher, counselor, friend, and Beloved Within. The guru is very patient--it will stay with you until the process is “complete” or at least stabilized. In fact, it will remain with you forever, for it is an aspect of your own “higher self,” ready to guide and protect you during this entire life cycle.
This experience is not purely “spiritual” (something divorced from the material realm and the sensate body.) It is something that is felt deeply inside, like any sensation or emotion. It often carries a distinct “erotic” flavor, though it is definitely not merely sexual arousal or response. (The inner response is unique to each person, some of whom may experience the energies as heat or cold or electricity, rather than bliss per se.)
The experience changes constantly, in texture, tone, magnitude and frequency. It is like listening to a piece of music again and again--every single occasion carries a different valence.
Tone and texture change over time--becoming less intense, more subdued, less volatile, more stable. And--even when the energies are so settled that they are felt merely as subtle waves of light moving through the system, these too are beautiful and can leave one sighing with pleasure.
It is extremely difficult to describe this journey, or to share any part of it, with those who have not traveled a similar path. What does one do when one’s body suddenly fills with rapture from simple movement or hearing a special musical phrase? Who can you tell in a world that seems to function on some other wave length, or in some other orbit? One asks, inevitably, “‘Am I the only one? Are there others like me?”
One must adjust to the constantly unexpected. How do you react when--suddenly--you experience in your own body what another person is feeling (somatically) at the moment? What does it mean that you can--unexpectedly--feel in a palpable way the sweet energies emanating from a painting or an ancient vase? This is all part of the actual “expansion of consciousness” that so many describe.
You will benefit greatly from a friend or spiritual buddy with whom to share your experiences, particularly if you cannot find a suitable therapist or guide. This need--to tell one’s story to a sympathetic listener--is one of the greatest of all desires expressed by those undergoing deep transformation.
You can expect to be very, very lonely on this path, especially if you are committed to the Direct Path as opposed to one mediated by a guru or a specific teaching. The reward is that you will thereby make your own discoveries as you go, rather than having them imposed or interpreted by an outside agent. Outside agents are tricky. Some are untrustworthy, others simply limited by the restrictions arising from their own personal experience or tradition. Buddha told us to be a light unto ourselves, to lay down our own path. This way may be more difficult, but in so doing we honor both ourselves and the guide from within.
A s you progress, your practice will become ever more subtle, ever more delicate. Where at the beginning, you might have done hatha yoga in a typical way, now you may find that even a slight movement of fingers or eyes may produce delightful sensations of hands or arms or elsewhere, as if your “inner lover” were with you and leading you into these new levels of response. Ultimately, the sensations may disappear entirely, but often there is then an unexpected return of the divine within.
To complete your journey, you will need to find a way to “give back,” so that others may benefit from your experience. (This is the stage of the hero’s journey that Joseph Campbell calls “bringing the treasure back home.”) What this becomes will depend on your own experience. For me, language was the key. For several years I have presented a blog titled “Kundalinisplendor, Poems and Reflections on the Spiritual Journey. (www.kundalinisplendor.blogspot.com) Through this blog (and other sources) I often hear from those who are themselves experiencing deep spiritual transformation, often with no guide whatsoever or even without a trusted friend to share with. I try to offer these “aspirants” encouragement and support, along with suggestions for resources such as books and relevant websites or authentic teachers. However, mostly I just listen attentively to their stories and answer any questions within my scope of knowledge, and these correspondents are often quite grateful just to be in contact with someone who has made this arduous journey and survived.
I have also published three books growing out of my own experience--”Unmasking the Rose” is a detailed account of my own experience of Kundalini awakening, and “Marrow of Flame” and “A Cloth of Fine Gold” are collections of original poetry growing out of this ongoing journey. My reward is not in dollars and cents but rather the gratification that comes from knowing that other seekers find my work useful in their own spiritual progress.
The Ultimate Significance of Awakening as Universal Process
My own sudden transformation and unfolding was so unlikely that I often said I might not believe any of this it had not happened to me. But it did happen to me, and I have spent much time contemplating its meaning.
I feel my experience is not merely one of personal transformation, but rather an indicator of how the great “shift‘ now so talked about may happen, and in fact is happening. People are transforming on all levels and in an infinite number of ways. Kundalini itself, once virtually unknown to most of us, is now a universally acknowledged phenomenon. Spiritual pursuits of many kinds are springing up daily, as people seek to move forward in their own spiritual ascent. What is going on all around today is the “next stage of human consciousness” so many have predicted. It is our destiny. It is why we came.
Who I am:
Dorothy Walters is a retired professor of English and women’s studies now living and writing in Boulder, Colorado. Her primary focus is helping others undergoing spiritual transformation, especially those involved in Kundalini awakening. She writes a blog at www.kundalinisplendor.blogspot.com as well as a Facebook page. She has published four books of sacred poetry as well as a spiritual memoir (all at Amazon) and may be contacted at email@example.com She especially enjoys Rumi, the music of Mahler and walks along Boulder Creek.
(Above image found at google, Kundalini, images)