Kundalini Shakti’s efforts to improve her status can affect the subtle body (mind and energy), causing a variety of experiences, including subtle body activities that feel physical. People can have a Kundalini release at some point in their lives, or they can begin this lifetime born with an active Kundalini process. They may be aware of something special going on, or they may not realize it until the process ripens later in life. Kundalini process can be experienced as pleasant and gentle or as dramatic and uncomfortable. One need not be having a “spiritual emergency” to be having a deep Kundalini process.
Although there are clearly discernable patterns to Kundalini process, Kundalini risings offer a limitless array of possibilities, and each is unique. A Kundalini rising does not necessarily result in automatic holiness, virtue, genius, special abilities, extraordinary experiences, or peculiar discomforts. Many people have risings that produce few remarkable manifest characteristics other than some form of sensitivity and yearning and a talent or quality that stands out to some degree. Such an individual is more aware of the subtle aspects of life and is unsatisfied enough to seek more from life. This may develop into an intense longing that urges the individual to find purpose, meaning, and spiritual life, if they are not unduly distracted into less satisfying temporary substitutes in the mean time.
With correct guidance, an experiencer can properly support Kundalini Shakti’s efforts for spiritual advancement, and progress can be safely improved, yielding personal transformation and spiritual growth. If a person does not know how to correctly support their process and if they engage in unhealthy and unspiritual lifestyle behaviors, their vital energy may become dissipated or misdirected. This can stress the subtle body, possibly yield eventual uncomfortable consequences and postpone spiritual progress.
Not all Kundalini risings manifest phenomena that can be called spiritual experiences. In fact, some incomplete risings can be quite difficult because Kundalini Shakti’s efforts to improve her status can affect subtle body dynamics, causing a variety of experiences, including subtle body activities that feel physical and may be uncomfortable. Blocked risings or risings through cul-de-sac routes may yield some distressing and non-ordinary symptoms and will thwart further spiritual development until the block or misdirection is corrected. The strain on the subtle body may render the experiencer ultra sensitive and urgently distressed, especially if they do not know how to properly support their rising.
Individuals might also use or misuse any special abilities provided by their risings for their own worldly purposes, and this might eventuate in some discomforting side effects. If the gifts provided by an arisen Kundalini Shakti are harnessed for non-spiritual purposes, the resulting dissipation or misdirection of vital energy and likely ego inflation can postpone further spiritual progress until the diffusion is contained and the inauspicious focus corrected. Other factors are sometimes present that complicate a rising.
An uncomfortable rising can result when Kundalini Shakti emerges spontaneously by means of non-spiritual catalysts (such as life shock or incorrect intervention) in an unprepared individual whose subtle body is weak, toxified, or unbalanced and who may have no frame of reference for interpreting and responding to the experience as potentially spiritual. An emotional reaction to the rising itself can further disturb the subtle body. Kundalini Shakti will work to resolve limitations in the individual’s system, and the experiences produced by her effort may be felt as uncomfortable and thus be considered problematic by the experiencer. It may even be labeled a “spiritual emergency” or “kundalini syndrome.” It may be wrongly pathologized by others who do not understand spiritual experiences because the process may meet enough criteria to be deemed a diagnosable disorder or syndrome. Kundalini process is not a pathology, however, and it is considered a blessing to be sought after by spiritual aspirants.
A blocked rising may eventuate in distressing discomforts, and the purification and restoration that follows an improvement in a rising may also involve some discomfort. But eventually, these difficulties can be improved A healthy, spiritual lifestyle supports a positive Kundalini process. With the spiritual understanding and dedicated correct effort of the seeker to cooperate with Kundalini Shakti’s purpose, grace is bestowed by the divine correct to advance the person’s spiritual progress. Practicing appropriate spiritual methods allows Kundalini Shakti to correct (divert, unblock, elevate) a stuck rising so difficulties with risings can be improved over time. Unimpeded risings through a direct route can eventually impart a gentle process culminating in full spiritual attainment.
Many modern books define “kundalini” as mere energy, but Traditional Kundalini Science defines it as Shakti, the divine source of all energy. In the Vedic and Yogic texts, the various kinds of energy in the human subtle system are referred to as the pranas or vayus. Shakti, however, is the Holy Spirit within. In addition, the popular term “kundalini awakening” may be used to refer to an initial release, arousal, or stirring of Kundalini Shakti in a person with a new rising. But it is also used to describe something different: a new awareness of an already existent rising that a person was born with, unbeknownst to them. Such showings of an unknown rising are often mistaken for an initial release. An individual’s rising can become apparent at a karmically ripe time when the process makes some attempt to improve its status or is stimulated or strained by some other factor. According to this model, these individuals experience a spontaneous “ripening” of their rising, sometimes following some inner or outer circumstance, but possibly with few apparent external catalysts to explain the change.