The following text is an excerpt from my book Enlightenment Through the Path of Kundalini. It describes all the positive blessings we will be able to experience as our kundalini process unfolds:
Among the most tangible and most easily obtained benefits of awakened kundalini are states of bliss, ecstasy and rapture. The easiest way to imagine the bliss of awakened kundalini is to think of the ecstatic sensation of an orgasm. Imagine that this most pleasurable feeling spreads out and penetrates every part of your body and mind – that is bliss. My teacher Garchen Rinpoche used to say, ‘the bliss will become so strong that someone could stick 600 needles into you and you would not notice it’.
There are different facets or nuances of bliss in the different chakras in our body. It is difficult to describe these different qualities of bliss because they are so unusual that our language does not have many apt words for them. However, I will try to describe them and please bear with me if these descriptions do not mean that much to you. As your own kundalini process deepens, you may come up with your own and possibly better descriptions:
The bliss in our head feels like heavenly pleasure – just like being in paradise or heaven.
The bliss in our throat feels more joyful – as if you have the most amusing banter with someone you love.
The bliss of the heart feels like deepest love – like the moment of the deepest care that you ever felt with a pet, your children or your partner.
The bliss of the solar plexus fills us with a sensation of deepest peace – like sitting next to a still lake in perfect tranquillity.
The bliss at the navel feels like the overflowing joy you would feel if all your dreams were suddenly fulfilled.
The hallmark of all these different forms of bliss is that they feel complete. There is no such thing as half an orgasm, similarly the bliss of kundalini feels total and complete. White Tara says:
The bliss of kundalini is something out of the ordinary. It is exactly this extraordinary quality of the bliss that makes it so special. You feel removed from the mixed experience of earth and you are plunged into an exalted state that you would call paradise. It is different from any earthly joy.
Through the rise of kundalini our creative forces are strongly stimulated. I once read about a man who was struck by lightning and survived (a rather forceful kundalini awakening). In the weeks that followed this incident, he noticed some strange changes in himself. The most remarkable change was that he started to hear the most beautiful symphonies in his mind. They were so beautiful that he felt compelled to write them down. But this man had no previous knowledge or interest in music and he actually had to learn how to write music before he was able to transcribe what he perceived through his inner ear. Once he had gained a basic knowledge of music he recorded very complex and long pieces of music.
I myself have noticed the creative force of kundalini many times and I believe that the development of my psychotherapeutic method, higher-consciousness healing, is a direct result of my kundalini awakening. Higher-consciousness healing is a new form of psychotherapy and it is so effective that it can heal depression, anxiety and relationship problems within weeks. I have written proof of this rather exaggerated sounding claim from hundreds of my clients.
I also went through a phase where I felt inspired to create beautiful Buddha images (tankhas), which I embroidered for hundreds and thousands of hours.
During another phase, I started to write poems to give expression to the beautiful energy that I felt within me. But due to my main interest of helping others, my creative juices always flowed mostly into writing books and trying to find ways to help my clients more effectively.
In some cases, our creativity may appear as a sudden gift, enabling us to become a successful artist very quickly. But in most cases, the development will take a lot of hard work and it may take many years until we can speak of some level of success. The gift of kundalini is to make this work more successful compared to the average person.
Better health, longevity and beauty
The power of the kundalini can also be used for spiritual healing and enhanced resistance to disease. As with all the other special powers that arise with a kundalini awakening, these gifts do not come fully formed. Usually, it is necessary to develop the gift for healing through many hours of dedicated practice of a system like reiki or faith healing. You may even be able to create your own healing modality, as I did, but I would assume that it will take many hours of work until it is fully developed.
Kundalini also makes people more beautiful and sexually attractive. Furthermore, you will have more energy and a more youthful appearance than other people of your age. This is due to the fact that kundalini constitutes the life force, the very force that gives us life and is so much more plentiful in younger people. All this is of course a rather nice by-product of this awesome power but obviously we should not strive for a kundalini awakening for these more worldly reasons alone.
Deeper insight, intuition and intelligence
As we have already learnt, kundalini is essentially awareness and due to this awareness our mental faculties, like logical thinking, reasoning, the ability to make moral judgements, foresight, intuition and psychic ability will all improve as well. We may also become able to see connections and patterns in our field of interest that noone has seen before, possibly enabling us to make amazing discoveries.
You will also become more adept in exploring your unconscious mind. Instead of fearfully shrinking away from your own inner darkness, you will be able to go on a deep ‘inner journey’ and come back with an understanding about human nature that may be highly inspiring for others.
Kundalini will also enable you to better understand religious scriptures that may have appeared incomprehensible to you before. You may even become able to read spiritual books by enlightened masters and fully empathise with what they are saying.
Finally, kundalini will enable you to develop the highest wisdom about the deeper nature of the universe, God and the human mind. Only kundalini allows us to penetrate deeply into these mysteries that have puzzled humankind from beginningless time.
Liberation from our ego
In the experience of rapture and bliss something remarkable happens: our usual sense of self fades and is replaced with a sense of openness, freedom and joy that is experienced as a great sense of liberation.
There is no feeling anymore of having a personal core or of having a limited sense of self that starts and ends where our body starts and ends. Instead, we experience ourselves as an endless, glittering space brimming with the most joyful, loving and exhilarating potential.
This experience is the most enthralling state of mind that one can possibly imagine. It is so free, so loving and so satisfying that it cannot be compared to any other pleasure that we might experience through our senses. In the Buddhist literature, this experience is referred to as emptiness or ‘non-self’. This is not yet enlightenment but rather an important preliminary step towards it.
Before we experience the state of non-self, we do not realise just how much we are weighed down by having to protect our personal sense of ego and how much suffering we experience through being ‘shackled’ to our personal history. Only when these constrictions fall away and we taste the freedom of emptiness do we understand why it is said in Tibetan Buddhism that ‘the attachment to the ego is the source of all suffering’.
I should make it clear at this point that the experience of non-self is not something that arrives suddenly and then stays stable throughout the remainder of our life. All the positive changes described in this chapter are gradual; they come and go and they slowly change the sense of who and what we think we are. I personally would be very suspicious of any spiritual teacher who claims to have had a few experiences of non-self and then gives the impression that they remained in that state from that point on.
The humble and honest truth is that we will be ricocheting between our old sense of self and our new sense of liberation for a very long time and that the stabilisation of our new state of mind will only happen slowly and will probably never be entirely complete within this life-time.
I can also attest to the fact that under stress our old sense of ego, with all its pain-inflicting ‘stories’, can and will come back with a vengeance. Our development can be gauged by the time it takes to return to our new sense of ‘non-self’. Here is a list of signs that we are coming nearer to the state of non-self.
Freedom from our personal past: Everybody identifies with their personal history, their childhood upbringing and the positive and negative experiences that have shaped their character. When we evolve through kundalini, all our past experiences can still be remembered but they do not feel like ‘me’ or ‘mine’ anymore and they do not carry any special emotional charge beyond the fact that they may have been generally sad or happy. For people who were weighed down by a traumatic or disadvantaged childhood, this is an unbelievably wonderful liberation.
Freedom from the need to protect our ego: The average person feels a great need to protect their personal ego from the threat of being criticised or ridiculed. People usually have an arsenal of ego-defences that allow them to see everything that goes wrong as other people’s fault, while maintaining a positive and faultless idea of themselves. But doing this comes at a heavy cost as these strategies can make us very anxious, depressed and angry. Once the kundalini process has enabled us to let go of this limiting way of life, we will be able to take criticism more impersonally, using what is useful and disregarding the rest without getting upset in the process. All social inhibitions and anxieties fall away and we are able to laugh at our faults and have unshakeable confidence in the core of our inner goodness.
Freedom from restrictions imposed by our cultural and religious background or by gender, class, race and sexual orientation: Everybody feels either disadvantaged or privileged due to their cultural and religious background or due to their gender, social class, race and sexual orientation. These are deep-seated prejudices that we all suffer from, which can never be fully overcome unless kundalini sets us free. But once kundalini is present, it allows us to overcome these limitations. As an example, I would like to cite Saint Catherine of Siena who was the daughter of a humble cloth dyer in medieval Italy. After experiencing an intense spiritual transformation, she went on to be highly influential in the politics of her times – a feat that should have been impossible given her gender and social class.
Freedom to be whatever and whoever you want to be: Once we are free of our personal past and the limitations of our culture and society, we can go on to be whatever and whoever we want to be. We can achieve great feats and eventually identify with a deity, assume a divine body and reach full enlightenment.
Power and supernatural power
With kundalini comes power. Diving deep into our unconscious mind can be difficult at first but if we do not resist this process, it can also unleash a lot of personal power. Simply speaking, we have a lot more energy at our disposal that is normally lost in numerous ego defences designed to repress our negative emotions and unacceptable desires. Once we have learnt not to fear our deeper impulses we can use this surplus energy for any goal or project we desire.
There are many spiritual teachings that advocate the use of the power of our mind to manifest our dreams. I myself have outlined this process in my book ‘Advanced Manifesting – Tibetan Buddhist teachings to manifest your dreams’. You may have had stab at manifesting yourself and wondered why it seems to work sometimes better and sometimes worse. The answer to this question lies, of course, in the amount of kundalini that flows into your desire. The more kundalini you have at your disposal, the more successful you will be at manifesting your heart’s desire. White Tara says:
The more heat there is in your experience of kundalini, the more power you have. All your thoughts and emotions become extremely powerful and you can command your reality through visualising and enveloping people with bubbles of love and kundalini. Finally, you can simply command reality with the power of thought.
I think it is obvious that what White Tara describes here is a very advanced state that can only take place once we have developed supernatural powers or siddhis. The key to developing these powers lies within the concentration on certain chakras, filling them with the power of kundalini and passionately wishing for the siddhi to occur for the best of all beings. This needs to be practised with complete concentration over an extended period of time and of course with the purest motivation to benefit everybody, as impure desires can otherwise lead to masses of bad karma for life-times to come. Here is a list of supernatural powers that can be activated through the development of kundalini:
Clairvoyance (knowing what other people are thinking and feeling)
Clairsentience (feeling other people’s feelings)
Channelling the words of a higher being
Communicating with spirits
Influencing other people with the power of thought
Accurately foretelling the future
Power to seduce and fascinate others (charisma)
Bi-location (being at two place at the same time)
Telekinesis (moving objects with the power of mind)
Ability to run very fast (this was very useful in Tibet before cars and aeroplanes were introduced)
Levitation (lifting one’s body into the air)
Influencing the weather
Materialisation of objects
Waking the dead
Naturally, our siddhis will first materialise in the area of our most passionate interest. For someone in the medical profession, for instance, this desire may be geared towards healing and so this person may develop the supernatural power of spiritual healing. My own deepest desire was to get answers to the many metaphysical questions I had, which is why I developed the ability to channel White Tara’s words. It took me several years to develop this gift and to really trust that I had this ability. The same can be said about all supernatural powers. It often takes years of concentrated work in order for these gifts to blossom.
Wim Hof is a Dutchman who learnt the tummo exercise, which is the Tibetan Buddhist practice for awakening of kundalini. He used it for the rather frivolous purpose of becoming resistant to cold and created many media stunts like running a marathon barefoot in the snow, which would be highly dangerous for ordinary mortals. In his book ‘Becoming the Iceman’ Wim describes how it took him many years of dedicated training before his ability to resist the cold became somewhat ‘supernatural’.
Many people dabble in supernatural powers like fortune telling or using the pendulum, with very unreliable results. This is because they lack the amount of kundalini that makes these feats possible in the first place. Other people seem to be born with the gift of sight and other special abilities. From a Buddhist perspective, this happens because these people developed a certain amount of kundalini during past lives, which they can tap into in the present.
It is important to understand that the possession of supernatural powers, developed in a past life or in this one, is not a sign of spiritual advancement. These gifts can actually be used for frivolous or even evil aims. My teacher, Garchen Rinpoche, always emphasises that spiritual realisation is measured by one sign alone, and that is how much love we have for others.
Both Hindu and Buddhist teachers warn us not to get attached to our budding supernatural powers and to use our kundalini for enlightenment, instead. Enlightenment means clearing out our mind of every trace of egotism and dedicating ourselves fully and completely to loving and helping others. For that reason, supernatural powers do not need to be rejected but, instead, should be used solely for loving purposes.
Unfortunately, many well-known kundalini teachers were unable to heed this all-important advice and used their amazing powers to seduce the prettiest of their students or lure money from the wealthiest. It is, sadly, not always easy to resist these temptations and therefore we should keep the warnings about supernatural powers firmly in mind. White Tara warns us with these words:
Unfortunately, kundalini can be divorced from the love and bliss of your divine essence to a large degree and then it becomes extremely destructive. This is what people do who use black magic.
Transformation of ordinary reality into paradise
In Tibetan Buddhism there is a teaching that has always deeply fascinated me. It says that once we reach higher states of awakening, our ordinary reality transforms into nirvana (loosely translated as paradise). This is described in the words, ‘every sound is experienced as mantra and every person appears as a Buddha’.
It is important to understand that the experience of the world as paradise can happen anywhere – in a crowded city or in a deep, silent forest. Our perception of our surroundings changes so radically that we see only beauty where before we may have seen mundane reality or even ugliness. White Tara explained this dynamic to me like this:
When the blissful kundalini goes into your environment, it ‘changes’ it into the experience of a paradise. Everything pulsates in the same blissful rhythm. Every sense contact becomes an experience of ecstasy. You – including all of your perceptions – are all-pervading, blissful love. This process is accompanied by a perception of extreme beauty. This experience cannot be manufactured but happens on its own accord. It is called the ‘pure view’ or ‘seeing the world as a paradise’.
When kundalini is present we find that spiritual practices like prayer and meditation become deeply enjoyable thanks to the bliss we experience. We are able to dive more deeply into these practices and experience them as profoundly transformative and ultimately enlightening.
Tibetan Buddhism teaches that there are six higher practices which are necessary in order to reach enlightenment, called ‘The Six Yogas of Naropa’. The first of these six practices is tummo, which is seen as the foundation of the five higher practices. In other words, kundalini is the most important prerequisite for achieving enlightenment.
According to these teachings, enlightenment can only be reached by uniting with a fully enlightened being – the deity. In the experience of this union our old sense of self is completely abandoned in favour of the divine sense of self of the deity. This practice is called deity-yoga. The Dalai Lama explains, ‘In brief, the body of the Buddha is attained through meditating on it.’ This is how White Tara describes the deity-state:
The deity-state is the full awareness of both of the two aspects of our divine essence – the sea of love and the life energy. You experience everything within your own heart because it expands infinitely. Other beings are simultaneously ‘other’ but they are also part of you. In practice, this means you ‘are’ a universe of love, and you invite other beings in, even if they suffer.
In the deity-state there is no ego but only love. A sense of ego only exists to make a distinction from others. When there is only love, there is no ego. However, in the deity-state you still feel like an individual and you never dissolve into nothingness or non-duality – or at least not for any length of time.
It is possible to experience first glimpses of enlightenment or deity-state relatively early in our meditation practice. But in order to stabilise this exalted state of mind we need to have the necessary energy, which is of course our kundalini energy. White Tara explained it to me like this:
If you can combine the deity-experience with kundalini in the abdomen, you manifest as the deity ‘in the flesh’ and only then can you also be recognised by others as the deity. We call this the ‘manifested deity’. Without kundalini, the deity-state remains an internal meditation experience.