Getting clear, satisfactory definitions of what kundalini is and what it does and why historically has been challenging. Since kundalini is a natural biological event of growth and development that appears in all human beings it can be found anywhere there are people. Because of the nature of what it does when it is active in the body it is most found in the major spiritual and religious traditions of the world hidden in obscure, esoteric languages. We use the term “kundalini” here at KSN because it is an ancient one from a classical dead language of thousands of years ago and is most widely recognized by the public. Kundalini is often the most well known term when there is discussion about this biological process. By no means is kundalini a complete etymological description of this evolutionary catalyst which makes kundalini a popular and sometimes virulent concept for debate and empirical investigation.
Kundalini is a Sanskrit term from the religion of Hinduism that means “coiled” or “coiled one”. Kundalini energy moves and is felt in wave like spirals or circles when it is active just like the spiraling arms of a galaxy or a vortex in nature like a whirlpool or a tornado. Kundalini also seems to possess and act with intelligence. Kundalini is often represented in literature, art, and stories as a snake, serpent, or a dragon due to these basic attributes. Some other major spiritual traditions and cultures descriptions for the term kundalini or what they have experienced as the kundalini process based on observations of what it does to people:
- Chinese: the Greater Kan and Li
- Christians: the Holy Spirit
- Ancient Hebrews: the Shekinah
- San Bushmen in the Kalahari Desert: the Num
- Kaballah: the Secret Fire
- Mayan: Quetzacoctal
- Tibetan: gTummo
There have been discovered over 47 words from different cultures that describe life energy around the world. One of the most lyrical, modern descriptions of kundalini has been coined by Barbara Hand Clow: “the liquid light of sex.” There is enough inquiry on the Internet that one can Google the term kundalini with any mystical or religious practices and almost always find some obscure reference to their co-joined relationship. Googling the term kundalini alone will bring up over 766,000 references as of this writing in 2005. When I first began to explore the internet about kundalini in 1996 I could only find less than 10 references to kundalini. Some of those references pointed to the same spot. The challenge now is learning to discern the wheat from the chaff for the Internet is full of dilettantes, wannabes, and false teachers of the science of kundalini. Like my friend Daniel tells me, “Ask four rabbis a question and you will get five opinions.” This is the same situation when you ask people about kundalini. It is even more tragic and comical if you ask people who are minimally educated about kundalini process. I think it is now very telling to find satirical accounts of kundalini rising and popular gurus popping up on the Internet. It is not unusual for people to set themselves up as the “poster children” for kundalini gone bad. Kundalini has hit mainstream popular awareness. It is time to begin to distill the good from the bad or at least the informed from merely the mediocre and at worst, the dangerous. Kundalini is something to be respected but irrational fear and speculation is unnecessary. Having your kundalini awakened is like moving from a Big Wheel tricycle and stepping into a Ferrari. One must learn how to do more than turn the key in the ignition and step on the pedal.
The KSN organization does teach safe arousal techniques for activating the Kundalini system. We draw from many traditions both Eastern, Western, spiritual, religious, alchemical and scientific to get down to the basics. Rather than spend time in intellectual discussion about what kundalini is in our seminars we get down to experiential training almost immediately after covering some necessary basics. When you can feel it in your body, the transformation that begins to happen and the dawning of awareness is without parallel. You will begin to have an empirical understanding of kundalini. I found that much of the literature out there about kundalini is not written by people who have gone through an authentic kundalini rising or have a mature kundalini practice. It is one thing to have kundalini activated. It is another thing to live and thrive successfully with kundalini. From what I have read and people I have counseled, most people screw it up and screw it up badly because they have no guide or mentor. Peer group support is important, important enough that KSN has an online group devoted to peer support. It is possible to have a relatively enjoyable, blissful kundalini awakening with minimal training or guidance. I did but I am in the small minority. This is why the KSN was originally created so guidance could be provided. There is on line peer to peer guidance but training in seminar format is also available. Local peer to peer support groups are created as people take the initiative to do so.
Because of the miasma of disinformation that surrounds kundalini the KSN organization is determined to establish clarity. Here are some of our viewpoints. This can change as more is discovered and researched about the qualities of this amazing energy known as kundalini.
Kundalini is a natural, biological phenomenon, a matrix that transforms the body-mind-spirit complex for health, peacefulness, and blissful living.
Although kundalini causes at times profound, spiritual experiences it is not the exclusive domain of any spiritual tradition or religious body.
Kundalini’s purpose is to start and finish a process of transformation of making a complete and natural human being who is at peace with him/herself and with the natural world.
Kundalini activation is a teachable and reproducible process.
© Susan A. Carlson, 2005