by Joan Shivarpita Harrigan

Seekers, mystics, sages and saints—they all tell tales of exceptional human experience. From the first stirrings of energy flowing or tingling within to the presence of special intuitive or sensory abilities to profound aware stillness or elevated states of spiritual rapture, individuals of all cultures, eras, and religious affiliations (or none) have reported non-ordinary inner phenomena of the wondrous kind.

These varied wonders, subtle though they may sometimes be, are signs that a person is actively engaged in a journey of spiritual unfoldment. Going through uncommon experiences such as these is a natural and holy occurrence in the evolution of a soul, indicating that the deep quest for spiritual fulfillment is well underway. However, in a scientifically oriented culture, unusual experiences do not easily fit into the reigning paradigm of material reality, so they are often hidden or repressed by the alarmed seeker, who may fear being ridiculed or even pathologized.

Ancient spiritual texts from throughout the world differentiate these sacred signs from symptoms that indicate actual mental illness, and they offer reassurance and guidance to the beleaguered seeker, confirming that these are not indicators of maladjustment but gifts of the spirit. Such gifts set a person upon a path less taken, namely, the path of the seeker who yearns for the Truth. Urging and guiding them on this journey inward is their own inner spiritual guide, known in Indian philosophy as Kundalini Shakti and otherwise called the Holy Spirit, Mother Divine, or many other sacred names.

With the exception of those who know kundalini as a particular style of yoga or a kind of subtle energy work, the topic of kundalini in the popular media, if it is found at all, is rife with misconceptions. This results in it usually being defined as a wild or exotic energy that can suddenly come forth at any moment. Seekers are warned to avoid anything that might awaken the sleeping dragon that could unleash the intense and debilitating problems of a spiritual emergency. On the opposite side of the interpretive field are those who hail the awakening of this latent energy by the mere touch of a skilled initiator, thereby instantly releasing wellness, talent, bliss, and enlightenment. Still others think that kundalini has something to do with sex or the devil. Others yet see it is as an exclusive path for a special kind of skilled yogi. All of these misconceptions share a dramatic bent, and, as usual, the truth is much less spectacular—but exquisitely beautiful.

According to the study of this profound topic in the Vedic teachings of India, Kundalini Shakti is not just energy, its experience can be quite subtle, and everybody has it (active or contained). It is the grand potential and transformative helpmate at the heart of every human soul. When active, it leads the seeker through their inner tangled maze of accumulated karmic blocks and entrenched predilections to the sacred Source itself, liberating them from limited identification with the lower constructs of body, energy, and mind to direct experience of their true essential nature, the One and All. This journey is seldom a quick one, and it requires the combined skilled effort of both seeker and Shakti, the Devine.

The ancient spiritual science of Kundalini Vidya describes the intricacies of this blessed arduous journey inward with all its specific, varied patterns, revealing criteria for understanding the individual’s unique route and providing informed assistance every step of the way.

 Used with author’s permission. For more information, see

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