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Kundalini
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11/5/19 10:06 AM
This is my account of my Kundalini Awakening:

The morning of March 14, 2013, I could tell something was off. I felt like I was full of energy, but it was irritating, like a sickness, rather than powerful, like I could go for a run.  The first major sign was that my coffee was extremely bitter. I had been making coffee the same way for days and it always tasted normal, but that day it was bitter. I went to the dining room and began editing a novel I had been writing for some weeks, but I was having a hard time focusing. It seemed like I was only making the writing worse, so I became very frustrated. I prayed to my "Genius" (refer to Elizabeth Gilbert's TEDtalk "Your Elusive Creative Genius") to help me edit the book. As soon as I finished my prayer, I became the most dizzy and the most nauseous I had ever been in my life.

Now, I hate vomiting, so I got up immediately and went to sit down in a reclining chair in the living room with the intention of focusing all my energy on stillness to keep from vomiting. Before I sat down, I decided to play some music to help calm me and put on Beethoven's 9th Symphony.  After a while of sitting, I began to feel an energy at the base of my spine. I had been reading Gopi Krisna's "Kundalini: The Evolutionary Energy in Man" so, I thought to myself "Am I having an Awakening?" I have been chronically depressed since the second grade, so when I felt this mystical energy in my body, I welcomed it because a magical life sounded better than a life without it. So, I began to notice what was happening.

I noticed the energy at the base of my spine was spinning. I thought, "It should start moving up my spine" and then it did. The energy began to spiral up my spine, but I cannot remember which direction. I do think it was only in one direction, which is why I think I experienced Pranotthana and not a Kundalini Awakening, suspecting that a KA will have the feeling of a double helix, that of both the active Ida and Pingala Nadis before the final pull up Sushumna.  The energy was moving slowly so I had time to think. I thought, "Isn't this Life Force sometimes equated with Sexual Energy? Should I be feeling anything in my genitals?" Then I began to feel a pumping sensation in my groin. I know this can't physically happen, but it felt as if my prostate was pumping semen from my testicles into the base of and up my spine. The sensation was highly pleasurable yet dissimilar to sexual arousal, so I became distracted.

When I next noticed the energy in my spine it had reached my throat. I thought, "Shouldn't I be having visions or something?" It was then a point of blue light appeared in the vision of my closed eyes that slowly expanded until it filled the whole field and enveloped my body. This was the color Blue that one would associate with the Vishuddha Chakra. Then the energy moved up to the base of my skull and seemed to stall.  I wondered why it did not continue into my brain and then I remembered the Third Eye. I wondered if now the energy was supposed to move forward between my eyes and then it did. As it did, another point of light, this time the Indigo color of the Ajna Chakra, began to expand to the point of enveloping my whole body. I was getting excited.

I began to notice that as this was happening my sickness, the dizziness and nausea I had felt was dissipating rapidly. I thought to myself, "I think I am about to achieve Enlightenment!" and I remembering deciding to see this through to the end.
  
Whatever this was, I wanted it. Then the energy filled my brain and I saw a pin of light expand over my body the violet color of the Sahasrara Chakra. Then, as Beethoven's 9th Symphony reached the climax of The Ode To Joy, my left brain filled with an amazing white light and I experienced Bliss and began to cry tears of Joy. I was sure I was in the presence of God.

Immediately, my right brain filled with what I can only describe as a "lesser" light that was fractal like a sea of diamonds and it felt as if I was possessed by the greatest evil. The fractal nature made me think of the Thousand-Petaled Lotus. I was not expecting this turn toward terror and became very afraid.  Before I knew it I entered into what I have named "The Void." It was blue, but a different shade than I had seen before. It was pervasive and I felt myself slipping into it like drifting into Deep Space. It was freezing and I began to feel a profound and terrifying sense of solitude. As all this Void was happening, I began to think, "Don't lose yourself! You are in a chair at your Dad's house. Don't get lost out there." I was so scared that whatever "door" I had come through was going to close behind me and I would be alone in this freezing blue Void for eternity. So, I said, "NO!" and with that, I snapped out of the experience and felt myself back in the chair.

I could not open my eyes as they were all crusted over with rheum. I rubbed them clear and stood up. I felt Superhuman, the strongest I ever felt in my life. I felt none of the sickness I had felt before and it was as though I had never been sick. My vision was supernatural and I could smell everything in the room. I remember particularly being able to pick out the smell of a pillow from the material around it. My mouth felt strange so I went to a mirror to investigate. My tongue was covered in a thick grey film.  I could not believe what just happened and yet it was the most "real" thing I had ever experienced. I don't remember what I did after... I think I sat down again asking for more like Neo from The Matrix after he learned Kung Fu. Anyway, the next day I could feel the Prana in my body and the Kriyas began. There is more to say about what took place before but this is the summation of the experience itself.

More important than this initial experience is the subsequent psychosis I experience in days following.  I was interned in a psych ward to be released on medication.  Eventually I stopped taking the meds and had another episode of psychosis some months later.  I was medicated.  I quit the meds again.  More psychosis.  I was interned in a psych ward four times, hospitalized twice, and eventually diagnosed schizophrenic.  I have been on medication for close to 4 years.

I have researched many things, mostly Kundalini, but have found no help for getting beyond psychosis.  A friend recently sent me a podcast interviewing Daniel Ingram to which I listened and is the reason I am on this forum.  I don't know Buddhist language but from what I gathered from that interview is that a Kundalini Awakening is likely the first stage of something or another called Arising and Passing and that perhaps my psychosis could be the second stage poeticaly described as the Dark Night of the Soul...

What I am asking is how do I get beyond all this suffering, misery, psychosis, fear, depression, etc.?  I imagine many of you will tell me to meditate in some capacity.  I try meditating from time to time but nothing seems to happen.  So, I imagine many of you will tell me to keep trying, to keep practicing but I am exhausted and I mean that in a profound sense.  I am on social security disability because I am too exhausted (and schizophrenic) to participate in normal life.  I am also single with no kids or any normal obligations so you may be thinking, "Great! You don't have to work or do anything so you have time to dedicate to meditation!" or healing or whatever we want to call what I need to do to be either "normal" again (not that you can go back) or "superhuman" (or whatever we want to call seeing this path trhough to the end).  Please help me get beyond this psychosis.

RE: Kundalini
Answer
11/5/19 1:33 PM as a reply to Andrew Joseph Miller.
Andrew Joseph Miller:
This is my account of my Kundalini Awakening:

The morning of March 14, 2013, I could tell something was off. I felt like I was full of energy, but it was irritating, like a sickness, rather than powerful, like I could go for a run.  The first major sign was that my coffee was extremely bitter. I had been making coffee the same way for days and it always tasted normal, but that day it was bitter. I went to the dining room and began editing a novel I had been writing for some weeks, but I was having a hard time focusing. It seemed like I was only making the writing worse, so I became very frustrated. I prayed to my "Genius" (refer to Elizabeth Gilbert's TEDtalk "Your Elusive Creative Genius") to help me edit the book. As soon as I finished my prayer, I became the most dizzy and the most nauseous I had ever been in my life...

Hello Andrew. Thank you for sharing this. It's a very colourful experience but seems to have landed you with some woes. I've been having kundalini symptoms every day for about 16 months. It's not like how you described. It is an energy that throbs up my back, into my neck and through into my head. Sometimes it becomes very forceful and this can affect my feelings, thoughts and perceptions and has rarely produced some very mild psychosis which passes fairly quickly. In your case, though, it seems that these psychotic events are much more extreme.

I would say you have made some good moves by educating yourself about the process. You've also made some correlations with your experience to the progress of insight stages. This is a good start. This kind of awareness can serve you well so keep with your research but always cross-reference what you read with your own experience.

As for the psychosis, you may have to let these events move through you in some way. I understand that they may be inconvenient and distressing. When they arrive get the help you need to get over them and during the gaps in-between continue to educate yourself about your awakening process. Some people find meditating allows them to move through the insight stages and, as such, the psychosis stops, however, for some, meditation can kickstart another psychotic episode. I think you'll have to feel your own way with that but since meditation isn't of any interest to you then perhaps you could try light awareness practice. This involves mindful walking, being careful to notice how the body moves, the pressure of the feet as they press on the ground, the feel of clothes hanging from the body, breath awareness - even around the home you can do this; when running water feel its temperature, when moving from room to room notice the difference in lighting and the general atmosphere. You can get creative once you begin. You can also do the Just Sitting practice where you sit in a quiet place and observe the sense organs - sounds, touch, smell, sight, and so on including how feelings form and move through the body and, of course, what thoughts are up to.

RE: Kundalini
Answer
11/5/19 9:17 PM as a reply to Andrew Joseph Miller.
Hi Andrew,

I am very sorry to hear about your difficult experience with kundalini. In the late 90's, I had a severe case coming out of a retreat at IMS. It lasted about 4 years, and I believe it was prolonged by the fact that at the time, I was a practicing Zen priest and had to do periodic meditation retreats. And by the fact that I felt the kundalini was something special (and therefore made me special), that I could use it for something, and therefore more or less tried to cultivate it instead of simply ignoring it. Eventually, it settled down, but I had a return of psychotic symptoms, specifically after another concentration retreat, when I was on an antipsychotic for around 4 months.  So unlike Bardo Cruiser (whose opinion I otherwise respect and posts I enjoy) I would not recommend meditation at this time.

Did you have any issues with mental health prior to the initial kundalini experience? If so, that might be something to take into consideration. You might consider working with a therapist, though if your mental state is good on the antipsychotic but deteriorates when you are off it, it might have to do with a chemical imbalance.

If you have a lot of time because you don't have to work, you might consider volunteering or otherwise getting involved with people in some helping fashion. I find a lot of times when I'm having a difficult time, working together with other people on simple tasks helps to pull me out of myself. Spending time with friends, keeping your nutrition and physical condition good, and getting out into nature (if you don't live in a big city) are all things that helped me when I was having difficulty.

I'm sorry I can't offer a magic bullet. For myself, I still get prana flows now and then, especially when I do concentration meditation, and at other times, like when I am having a discussion at work and I feel especially passonate about the topic. But, by and large, they tend to settle down after a while.

I hope this helps and good luck!