Mudrashram Institute of Spiritual Studies
A Kundalini Arousal Scale
©2006 by George A. Boyd
In our ongoing study of normal kundalini activity and abnormal states such as kundalini emergency syndrome, we have observed that kundalini exhibits four modes of functioning:
In dormant functioning, you can move attention into a vehicle of consciousness, but there is no energetic activation by the kundalini. In this state, only the functions of the Conscious mind and memory are active.
In background functioning, the higher faculties of the Subconscious, Metaconscious and the Lower Subtle Band of the Superconscious mind operate and are activated by the kundalini, but you are not aware of their functioning unless your attention is focused upon them.
In focal functioning, you are aware of the functioning of the vehicles of consciousness even while your attention is in the waking state. You spontaneously experience an inflow of knowledge and inspiration from these vehicles; you become aware of the content of these vehicles. For example, if your intellect were energized by the kundalini, you would become aware of your reflection and critical thinking on a project you are working on or topic you are studying.
In intensified functioning, the kundalini is fully awakened and rises like a stream of light and fire into the higher vehicles. Your attention is passively absorbed into this stream and rises with it.
Once kundalini is awakened, it permits you to utilize the faculties beyond the Conscious mind during background activation and to receive the inflow of intuition from your higher vehicles of consciousness during focal activation. Intensified activation induces profound states of meditation through absorption of your attention and concomitantly purifies, awakens and activates the abilities within the vehicles through which the kundalini passes.
Intensified activation can be augmented when certain factors facilitate the likelihood that the kundalini will become concentrated to the point where it will powerfully rise upwards as current of light and fire. Factors that augment the likelihood that the kundalini will reach the stage of intensification include:
(1) Observance of celibacy
(2) Body purification, fasting, cleansing the body through hatha yogic kriyas
(3) Breathing exercises (pranayama) that do not directly stimulate the kundalini, but that clear the etheric meridians and nadis
(4) Concentration of attention on chakras of inner vehicles
(5) Careful control of diet, eating only pure sattwic foods
(6) Practice of sustained, non-moving coitus (maithuna, karezza) by those who do not observe celibacy
(7) Performing selfless service for a Kundalini Master, who grants Shaktipat; or hearing the discourses and sitting in the presence of a Kundalini Master
(8) Powerful longing to achieve God Realization and great love for the spiritual Master (bhakti)
Intensified activation can be produced by discrete methods that stimulate the seat of the kundalini in the Subconscious mind (kanda), the kundalini center in the Anandamayakosa, or the vortex of cosmic kundalini in the Temple of the Divine Mother in the Lower Subtle realm. The intentional concentrating of the kundalini energy through an attunement, called Shaktipat, can also produce it. Factors that produce intensified activation include:
(1) Hyperventilative breathing (breath of fire, rebirthing, holodynamic breathing)
(2) Concentration on inner chakras coupled with anatomical squeezing or striking of these centers (bandhas), or powerful breathing into that center
(3) Use of mantras that open the channels of the kundalini or clear blockages in the chakras
(4) Use of breathing up and down the cerebrospinal axis
(5) Using the kundalini mantra on the breath
(6) Receiving a charged object from a Kundalini Master
(7) Receiving the touch of a Kundalini Master
(8) Receiving Light Immersion or an attunement from a Kundalini Master
Provided that your vehicles are properly balanced, periodic intensification of the kundalini energy permits you to bring awareness into their higher vehicles. This gently rising current of energy activates, purifies and empowers these vehicles of consciousness, and ultimately awakens awareness up to the presence of the Soul. When the kundalini energy reaches the presence of the Soul, it confers enlightenment.
Certain meditation practices, particularly transformational methods that operate outside the cutting edge of spirituality such as bija mantra, Kriya Yoga, and Nadamic practice in the Transcendental Sphere, may misalign the vehicles of consciousness. In some cases, this may create an energetic short circuit that (a) maintains the kundalini energy in an intensified state and (b) fixes or locks it in a higher center.
This fixation of the kundalini is usually targeted for a selected ensouling entity or nucleus of identity. In some cases, however, seed atoms of vehicles of consciousness are also used as fixation points for the kundalini energy. [While theoretically the seed atom of any vehicle of consciousness could be selected as a fixation point for kundalini energy, in actual practice an ensouling entity or a nucleus of identity is chosen because of their integrative functions.]
Some of the major kundalini fixation points are shown below. [In the table, we will use the abbreviations for the identity states: EE for ensouling entity, NOI for Nucleus of Identity, and VOC for a seed atom of a vehicle of consciousness.]
We have elsewhere discussed problems arising from remaining in altered states of awareness as are practiced in religious cults. We therefore also do not recommend fixing the kundalini energy in higher vehicles for sustained periods.
We believe that this fixation of kundalini energy should be reserved for purification and activation of a vehicle prior to performing spiritual work (sadhana) in that band of the Continuum.
Short-term immersion in these higher octaves, for example, introducing chelas to higher octaves of bring as we do in the Mudrashram® Advanced Course in Meditation and the Satsang Program Home Study Course, appears to be benign.
But sustained spiritual work with unfoldment of the ensouling entities and nuclei of identity at these higher octaves of being does produce a number of problems [see The Cutting Edge of Spirituality.]
Kundalini syndromes are a common undesirable result of these practices, particularly when a seed atom of a vehicle of consciousness, a nucleus of identity, or ensouling entity is moved out of alignment with the native axis of the cutting edge of spirituality.
Kundalini syndromes appear to arise from two distinct sources. The first type derives from the sustained withdrawal of energy from the centers of the Conscious mind. The second type arises from material entering consciousness from the unconscious bands of the mind in an uncontrolled manner. We will discuss each to clarify these mysterious effects.
Kundalini Energy Withdrawal – When kundalini energy is shunted upward and fixed at a higher center, one of the common results is that one or more of the five currents that connect the centers of the Conscious mind with the kundalini begin to withdraw. This kundalini energy withdrawal disrupts different aspects of Conscious mind functioning, affecting perception, physiological functioning, mood, cognition, and the sense of identity and memory. These withdrawal effects are summarized below.
When the kundalini enters intensified activity and becomes fixed in higher centers, the withdrawal of energy from the functional centers of the Conscious mind appears to play a role in many of its mysterious incapacitating symptoms seen in kundalini syndromes. But other symptoms appear to be manifestations of emergence phenomena.
Emergence Phenomena – This type of kundalini syndrome arises when material from the unconscious zone of the mind begins to pour over the threshold of awareness and influences movement, perception, speech, mood, and thinking. Examples of the some of the wide variety of reported symptoms are tabulated below.
Meditators focusing their attention and crossing the threshold into the unconscious zone of the mind may encounter varied phenomena, and may be able to demonstrate several different types of these emergence phenomena voluntarily. For example, they can train themselves to see auras around objects and people. They can turn glossolalia on and off at will. Thy may be able to make postures that capture a mood, or dramatize one of their issues buried in the unconscious.
This ability to voluntarily enter the unconscious mind and interact with its contents has been used by hypnotherapists and psychotherapists to change behavior and treat anxiety and other affective disorders. In those who have not perturbed the sensitive balance of their vehicles of consciousness, the unconscious mind stays on its side and does not trespass over the boundaries of consciousness.
In states of vehicular imbalance, however, the material of unconscious mind floods conscious awareness and cannot be voluntarily turned off. While this material may seen to ebb and flow, passing through episodes of greater and lesser intensity; for periods of short and sustained duration, it never goes away fully.
We suggest that this variation in content and duration may parallel the opening of bands of the unconsciousness as an aspect of consciousness—a seed atom of a vehicle of consciousness, a nucleus of identity, or an ensouling entity—is moved out of synchrony with the cutting edge of spirituality. This splitting off of an aspect of consciousness dredges materials out of successive hands of the unconscious mind behind the cutting edge of spirituality. This is graphically shown in the figure below.
When this occurs, the volitional functions embedded in the Conscious mind (ego), Metaconscious mind (Self) and Superconscious mind (cutting edge ensouling entity) cannot control this material as it arises outside its sphere of influence. These contents of the unconsciousness pour into conscious awareness uncontrolled, moving the individual from a state of order and stability to a state of continual encounter and process.
We have seen that kundalini syndromes can be produced as the direct result of withdrawal of the kundalinic energy from the Conscious mind with sustained fixation in a higher octave of awareness, or from uncontrolled emergence phenomena. We therefore urge seekers to proceed with great caution when adopting spiritual practices that can
(1) Move seed atoms of vehicles of consciousness, nuclei of identity, or ensouling entities of other octaves of being out of alignment with the cutting edge of spirituality
(2) Fix or lock the kundalini in its intensified activity mode in higher centers for sustained periods of time
We believe it is important for aspirants and disciples to have a clear understanding of the different states of potential arousal of the Kundalini Shakti. We also hold that they should be clear about the abnormal states that can occur when the kundalini attempts to compensate for vehicular imbalances or sustained fixation in a higher center with energetic intensification. We offer this Kundalini Arousal Scale and discussion about factors that may contribute to kundalini syndromes as a heuristic tool to promote study, further inquiry and candid self-examination.
For those who may already be in the throes of kundalini syndromes, we do offer a consultation and attunement that may assist some individuals to return to more normalized functioning. For more information about this service, click here.
(2) The energy of the Kundalini Shakti connects with the five centers of the Conscious mind: waking state of awareness, the physical seed atom, the emotional seed atom, the mental seed atom, and the egoic seed atom.
(4) The hormonal axis influences the seven endocrine glands: the gonads or ovaries, the adrenals, the pancreas, the thymus, the thyroid, the pituitary, and the pineal. Effects of kundalini syndromes vary with different individuals, and appear to be related to hypo- or hyper-secretion of glandular substances. With the gonads, there may be intensification of sexual drive or loss of desire and impotence. Influences on the ovaries may bring irregularities of the menstrual cycle, with similar changes in sexual desire as seen in the male. Adrenal change ranges from highly energized states where the individual may experience rage and extreme irritability to fatigue states, where there in no energy to function. Modification of the functioning of the pancreas' endocrine functions may give rise to problems with blood sugar regulation. Interference with thymus operation may lead to lowered immunity or autoimmune conditions. Thyroid conditions vary from torpid states, where it is difficult to think or move, to highly anxious and nervous states. Disruption of pituitary functioning may lead to systemic effects such as sustained high cortisol levels. Variations in pineal function may disrupt the sleep cycle, leading to insomnia.
(5) The autonomic nervous system innervates the twelve organs: bladder, colon, small intestine, stomach, gall bladder, liver, spleen, heart, lungs, salivary and lachrymal glands, kidneys and reproductive organs. There are a wide variety of possible symptoms deriving from kundalini syndromes. For example, hyper-secretory or hypo-secretory conditions of the digestive organs that interfere with the ability to properly digest food. Influences on assimilative functions may make it difficult to absorb nutrients. Alternations in colon function may lead to constipation or diarrhea. The heart may experience changes in rhythm. There may be interference with the ability to breathe if the lungs are affected.
(6) The central nervous system consists of the brain, spinal cord, and the peripheral afferent and efferent nerves that meditate sensation and movement. Symptoms that arise from kundalini syndromes can affect sensation, movement, perception, mood and thinking. Disruption of sensation can lead to numbness and tingling, or pain in different parts of the body. The individual may experience temporary paralysis of limbs (conversion). Perception of objects in the environment may be altered. There may be mood swings or highly anxious, panic states. Changes to cognition include thought stopping or racing of thoughts, and disorganization of thinking.
(7) Etheric energetic coordination and integration ties the functioning of the glands, autonomic nervous system and central nervous system together. This system of larger energy channels or meridians circulates life force throughout the body; the nadis or fine tubules in the "etheric brain" appear to play a role in mental functioning. When kundalini syndromes interfere with etheric regulation, there may be effects on any of the other three quadrants—indeed, those who practice oriental medicine suggest that any physiological effects of kundalini syndromes primarily result from its influence on this quadrant. Symptoms that may arise that appear to derive from this quadrant are sensations of heat and cold, especially in the spinal area; swooning, fainting or dizziness; spatial disorientation; difficulties in making coordinated movement or speech, or disruption of learned behavioral sequences.