Has anyone been through Kundalini awakening? What does the integral lens has to say about it?

Hey everyone,

So I’ve had what I think is a Kundalini awakening during a deep meditation three weeks ago. Since then, I have an awareness of energy within my body, have spontaneous kryias and so on. This all happened on a day when I wasn’t feeling well and I asked for help, like I can’t do it on my own. Essentially calling to god (though I’m more on the agnostic side I guess). At some point, my head started moving and I bolted upright, for a huge breath and energy rising from the spine up.

At first this was mind blowing and I was probably barely sane, now my mind is on tracks again but I’m less in touch With the energy, it’s calmed down, I have less psychic intuition (like synchronicities, healing movements for others, guided movements in relation with thoughts / inquiry…).

There are a few questions that I have:

  • what is the border between mental disease and psychic phenomena. Is that related to my capacity of holding it and being at ease with it? It certainly seems so. And I was pretty anxious at first.
  • how can I cultivate it, exploring the deeper states to transform myself and the world around me while respecting this border
  • what is an integral interpretation of it? Is there a meaning correlate? How can it help navigate the two questions above? (Maybe focus on that question)

I guess in the end it is about what It means for me, but is there research about: is that significant in the body-mind integration? Is my experience of it conditioned by my enneagram type? Is that somatic line on steroids?

Thanks everyone for your curiosity reading me :slight_smile: and eager to hear from you!


I have not had the full experience you describe, but some of my experiences made the article linked below relevant. Check this out and various other works on “spiritual emergency”.


I prefer not to try to define the mystical according by analytic means. The first problem is just like researching health or psychology online - there is more misinformation than there is accurate info and it’s easily confused and conflated by people who only know a little.
In the West - everyone only knows a little. The only people I’d really trust with expertise to handle a Kundalini Awakening in another person all live in India. All these practitioners in e West selling their New Age products are about as skilled as you I practicing medicine with a degree in Google searching. Most so-called kundalini practitioners are well beyond their depth.

Me, being from the West and not a Guru nor anywhere close - am completely unqualified to give you any guidance on Kundalini Awakening. Did you have it
With that said - the “insanity” issue. We live in an insane society where norms are backwards to forwards and upside down. Psychologists are probably the least qualified to deal with spiritual awakenings because their perspectives are based in an upside down world. This world will medicate you and sedate you out of any transformational experiences if you give them authority to do so or give them reason to take the freedom of those decisions from you.
There are three basic options a person going through transformation has: Hold, reverse course or go forward.

The first option is to move boldly forward with transformation. People rarely understand what “transformation” means when they begin. Transformation means that by definition you cannot comprehend what the end will be before you begin. When caterpillar weaves its cocoon it cannot possibly comprehend what it means to be a butterfly. It cannot ask the worm nor the grub for advice, either. To move towards transformation means to move towards an unknown. If you are married to a worm or grub, they probably won’t be able to follow. Unfortunately we never know who is a caterpillar until they actually start to weave their cocoon. With the option of moving forward you have to understand that you won’t be able to keep your life as it is now and your current social and professional groups.
The second option is to “hold:” This is what 99% of people do when they attend a workshop or retreat. They experience something cool but inevitably go back to their same lifestyle, remembering something cool they did that one time. They can tell their social group at the BBQ how awesome their Ayahuasca and how it made them aware of things or over a cup of tea and scones at the country club describe that Tantra weekend they went on to bring them closer together. Or whatever. Holding means you have memories but decide not to transform.
Then, you can also of course go backwards. But up a metal and emotional block and try to analyze everything, define it and put it onto some kind of chart.

Note that if you do one, that does not automatically cut off the others. If you hold, you can transform or reverse later. During the transformation process you can take the wrong path and experience medical problems if you don’t have an actual expert guiding you. If you reverse, things might build up in your subconscious until you hit that “dark night of the soul”, risk loosing everything to vices and have no choice but to choose transformation.

The link by robert about “spiritual emergencies” generally happens when people move forward too quickly under the care of an unskilled practitioner or fake guru without realizing that when they “transform” they cannot continue in the same life path they were on before. Transformation actually means transformation. Transformation does not mean “you can still do everything the same way”. It’s this lack of this basic reality that most people have problems with. Transformation is embarking on a journey that you have no concept of how it will end and can never return “home” to how it was.

I would just add to that that sometimes spiritual emergencies just happen. It is not something a person needs to go looking for. The more unexpected, the more the “emergency” label can pertain.


I feel for you. We don’t have great cultural supports for such experiences. Something potentially beautiful can simply become harrowing.

I spent a year alone in a log cabin on a mountain top sorting through a similar experience. Initially, I had never heard of Kundalini Rising, but I did find it to be the most helpful term. I have seen people reject the experience as psychosis. If you aren’t careful your behavior could resemble a psychotic break. I tend to believe that the way out is through, but you I also believed that slow, measured, supported growth is the safest.

Having tools to ground your energy is crucial. Some things I’ve come across that seem to help:

•Bare hands/feet in dirt (gardening, walks in the woods etc)
•Eating meat and root vegetables
•Ceasing meditation
•Cutting out psychoactive ‘supplements’ & caffeine etc
•Vigorous Physical Exercise

Some books that really helped:

Wheels of Life - Anodea Judith
Living with Kundalini - Gopi Krishna
The Awakening of Kundalini - Gopi Krishna
Kundalini Rising - many authors including Wilber
Spiritual Emergency: When Personal Transformation Becomes a Crisis - Stanislav Grof

I actually just put up a blog post which touches on my experiences: https://www.lifestyleintegrity.com/blog/psychedelics-will-show-you-the-work


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