This is in two parts: first, how to recognize and take care of ourselves in a kundalini rising experience, and second, some tips on working with a client with kundalini rising. This, the second part, won’t make as much sense as I would hope unless you have read the first part, Kundalini Rising: The Experience, which preceeded this.
These are just some suggestions for those of you who may be inexperienced in doing healing work with kundalini energies on the rampage. Having been through it myself, on both sides of the chair, I think there are some things that you may find it helpful to remember.
First, be sure that you are very earthed, centered, and connected. This is powerful energy — you are working with a surplus of energy instead of the more usual energy deficit encountered in working with illness. If you are in any doubt about your own ability to stay absolutely stable and earthed, leave this work for others. There are plenty of us able to do it, so don’t do something that may put you in need of healing too.
Second, concentrate first on earthing the client’s energy. This is the major need. Many of the symptoms of runaway kundalini are a direct result of excessive and ungrounded energies. The healer’s first task should be to restore the system to a well-grounded balance.
Kundalini rising experiences can be quite violent in nature, very gentle or anything in between. They tend to occur when some kind of inner block, that has been restricting energy flow, is released. When these blocks are released in a sick person with deficient energy, they tend to allow the energy to rise to normal levels, healing body and emotions. When they occur in a person with normal or above average health, they may allow the energy to increase to unprecedented levels. The person will not, at first, be able to adequately earth the energy, and so that becomes the first consideration in healing — get it grounded! A lot of the emotional stuff involved in kundalini rising experiences disappears when adequate earthing is achieved — or becomes much more manageable for the person involved.
These experiences also sometimes happen to healers and meditators whose practices increase their capacity to allow energy flow through them, especially if they are also focusing on clearing their own blocks. A healer who is close to having a kundalini rising experience may find that it is triggered by working with someone else’s kundalini overspill. So take care of yourself, earth and clear your own energy after working with such cases very carefully, and be aware of what is happening to you and your energy as you work.
Third, DO NOT put energy in. There is too much already. Concentrate on earthing, centering, smoothing, calming, relaxing what is already there — but not on adding, which will only make the symptoms worse.
Fourth, if you feel over-energized, unstable, or ungrounded after working with someone in this state, you need to focus on your own grounding and centering until you get back in balance. Watch it!
Fifth, keep the actual hands-on sessions short. Again, 15 minutes is about right. Remember, you DO NOT need to put energy in; you do need to help the client develop sufficiently strong channels for earthing it, which they will not yet have.
Kundalini rising is sometimes a violent experience, radically changing one’s subtle energy field (making it much less subtle!) and consciousness and perception of energy. The experience can be (and often is in the West) mistaken for insanity (usually acute schizophrenia) or emotional or physical breakdown on a fairly large scale.
Therefore, when I spoke above about “grounding” being the primary need in working with a client experiencing kundalini rising, I meant something far more heavy duty than perhaps a visualization and a glass of water at the end of a session. I meant that the whole session, especially for the first several sessions, should focus on grounding, helping the client to “rewire” to handle far more powerful energy than they have hitherto been accustomed. This needs to combine hands-on earthing, possible physical exercises, and visualization — physical body, mind, and subtle body.
Sixth, teach the client whatever they need to know about meditating and earthing themselves. If the client doesn’t meditate, show them a simple meditation exercise, preferably focused on the breath, and encourage them to start. I usually recommend that people sit quietly, count each breath until they reach ten, and then begin counting again, focusing their awareness on the movement of the breath in the abdomen (an important point in grounding!). Five minutes a day the first week, ten the second, and fifteen thereafter. If they do meditate, make certain that the meditation they normally practice is centering and earthing and not merely a means of “spacing out”. Meditative exercises that concentrate on raising the energy are also inappropriate during the integration process.
The client will probably need to be shown some earthing exercises. They will need to learn some yoga or chi gung or t’ai chi techniques (some of the Reichian exercises may also be useful in this context) for physical earthing. They also need to develop skill in using visualization techniques that are especially powerful for them. The healer who works with kundalini-rising clients definitely needs to know and practice both the physical and imagery earthing exercises himself on a regular basis.
The meditation exercise above is a very grounding one, but clients also need some effective earthing exercise that they can do more frequently and quickly. They need to be encouraged to earth themselves often during the day, especially when they feel the symptoms of too much ungrounded energy. These symptoms may be physical (trembling, energy surges), emotional (unusual fragility, strong surges of emotion only partially based on circumstances, or unusual mood swings) or mental (obsessive or other abnormal thought patterns).
A major lesson for most healers is about taking care of ourselves. I am not altogether certain about the advisability of working with kundalini if you have not yourself been through the experience and are not therefore able to operate at the energy level involved. Obviously, it is of great importance to be careful to keep yourself clear and earthed. You can and must evaluate your own needs and situation!
A CASE HISTORY
I’ll briefly describe one case below, but people exhibit a variety of symptoms which confuse both themselves and doctors: symptoms may mimic some of the symptoms of a heart attack, of psychosis, and/or of neurological disease, as well as an almost random selection of other problems, depending on where they are blocking the flow of kundalini, as we all are. They may have sensations of intense heat, intense itching, intense discomfort. They may experience severe trembling or momentary loss of motor control. Other, less predictable things may also happen. It’s very understandable for people to be alarmed and for doctors, who in general know little about the subtle energy body, to be confused!
One of my first kundalini-rising clients had spent two years in a mental hospital prior to coming to me. He was diagnosed as a paranoid schizophrenic. (I have his permission to discuss his case as he hoped others might learn from his experience.) When I first saw him he had been out of hospital for about six months and was afraid that he needed to go back in because his symptoms were worsening again, in spite of the medication, which he hated for its side effects. (The medication suppressed the symptoms by suppressing him) Someone referred him to me, and we worked together fairly intensively for about six months — twice a week at first, then once a week. Later, after about six months, we dropped down to once a month, then only when he felt the need, which wasn’t often.
He had attended a public lecture where the speaker described a kundalini-rising exercise and told people that if they did it, interesting energy things would happen. Geez. Talk about irresponsibility from someone who presumably should know better! He practiced the exercise for an hour, sometimes two or three hours, a day, which tells you something about his then-obsessional traits. This precipitated a kundalini rising experience for which he was totally unprepared, both emotionally and energetically/physically.
When he first came in to see me, he said, “I’m crazy – I hear voices.” I replied, “Well, I hear voices too, and I get paid for it.” We both thought about this for a moment, and then I added, “What’s crazy is if you believe everything they tell you.” That was apparently the right note for him, and we proceeded from there.
His “voices” were very intense. They followed him around all day and woke him up at night. They cursed and screamed at him, they told him to do horrible things (which he fortunately didn’t). He thought they were demons. He feared that they could do the things they threatened to do to him and to the people he knew, although of course they cannot.
We worked at first almost exclusively on earthing him, helping him to develop stronger subtle energy channels, better grounding, and skills in closing down psychically when he wanted to do so. Since he spent a lot of time in bars when we first started working, the latter was very important. As we were able to move from first aid to longer term concerns, we began to work with the psychological issues which had been blown into awareness and energized by the kundalini energy. He worked very hard (the advantage of being obsessional, even moderately!) and within six months he was functioning normally most of the time and had begun meditating and pursuing spiritual studies. Good outcome!
One of the advantages I had over the therapists and doctors who had worked with him before was that I could take the “voices” seriously. Some of them were certainly disassociated parts of himself in need of healing and integration, and we could identify and work with those therapeutically. Others of the “voices” were other entities, not “demons” as he thought, but just really nasty people without bodies. Once he understood that they had no power in this world unless they could get him to act on their behalf, he began to accept responsibility for his own inner space and for who he allowed in there. He learned to listen, evaluate, and deal with the voices appropriately.
It took longer, but in a fit of exasperation one night, he finally learned that he could control that inner space as well. I had been telling him for some while that, if he told these entities to GET OUT! and meant it, they would have to go because it was his space. He didn’t think he could make them go, but finally one night they woke him up several times running. He’d had a hard day at work, he was expecting another hard day the next morning, and he was tired and irritable. He sat up in his bed and roared, “Get out of here, you fucking bastards!” And they did. He said it was the first time he experienced having an empty space around him in years. He was very pleased with himself. Exorcisims need not be fancy. 🙂
Catch 22 situation: A disassociated part of oneself masquerading as another entity cannot be “cast out”, but can only be dealt with by therapeutic reconciliation. Another, separate entity cannot be dealt with by therapy, and can only be offered healing. If they don’t accept the healing, as they may not (it’s their choice, after all), then they can and probably should be banished. This is simple, but the person saying GO AWAY! has to really mean it, and that is harder. So here we can see why therapists find some of the “voices” intractable, resistant to therapy, and why mediums and ministers bent on “casting out devils” find that it doesn’t work on some of them. One has to be prepared to work in both worlds in order to be effective in these situations.
In most cases, the arousal of kundalini does not produce such severe psychological/psychic problems. However, occasionally, especially in the case of a “spontaneous” arousal of the energy where the person had not been doing the spiritual/psychological and energetic/physical groundwork, they may occur. For someone who hasn’t done the groundwork, as this client hadn’t, the psychic and psychiatric problems are much larger. I’d say that he became wide open on a psychic level, and a pretty low one at that, able to hear and communicate with whatever was around. Like attracts like, and he was fearful, bullying, and obsessional when we began working together — not very nice energies/entities to attract and live with. By the time he had worked on himself for quite a while he was attracting an altogether different kind of being and getting some valuable teaching.
If a person has done the groundwork — the personal growth, the strengthening of subtle and physical bodies — the more psychotic episodes are very unusual and the emotional disturbances are much easier to deal with just by earthing oneself. Also a person who has that kind of background is not going to rush off to an allopathic doctor for either emotional or energy symptoms. They are much more likely to go to their teacher and/or spiritual peers, who will probably recognize what is going on.
Some people seem to think that doctors “should” understand and properly treat such psychic disturbances. I think this is asking a bit much of them. MDs usually do what they are trained to do reasonably well — sometimes extremely well. The big mistake in what we expect of them is ours — as a society we make them into little gods, and if they assume the mantle, believing the propaganda, and then we are stuck with only their limited knowledge when we really need something altogether outside of their field. However, it really is important to not expect more of them than they are actually trained to deliver. I would want an MD to treat my broken leg; I would want a healer to reduce the trauma and to help speed the healing of that leg; and I would want a suitable person (probably a spiritual consultant rather than a conventional therapist) to help me look at what may have led me to break my leg in the first place.
All of these people are specialists, and it would be very difficult for any one person to skillfully combine all of these aspects – there is just too much to learn. I’ve been studying and practicing healing for almost 60 years now, and I don’t begin to know the half of it. I know some things about psychotherapy and am reasonably competent in dealing with some things and at recognizing others that should be referred to other therapists. I certainly would never have had the time to learn medicine as well. People (including doctors) need to be educated to the alternatives so that they can refer appropriately — and that education, I feel, is best done by the people experienced in the alternatives, if only doctors would listen. Some do.
Perhaps the most important thing to remember is that the kundalini rising experience is a good thing. Yogis work for years to achieve it. It is the energy that carries us through to the next natural phase of human evolution. It is there to clear and strengthen our systems – physical, subtle energy, and psychological. Handled well it makes us both both stronger and wiser.
This article originally appeared in Otherworld Arts, 1997, a small bimonthly magazine published by Jessica Macbeth.
Copyright © 1997 by Jessica Macbeth. All rights reserved.
Your comments will be read with interest.