Glossary of Spiritual Wisdom
Excerpts about Kundalini
Kundalini Can Lead to the Experience of Boundless Space
It should be noted here that the experience of the column of space and of the mind as boundless space is usually the crown of the process of development of what some systems call the Kundalini. In this process, energy ascends up the spine into the head, causing all kinds of unusual experiences. However, when the process is successful, it culminates in the experience of boundless space. This experience is sometimes called the void, or "akash", a Sanskrit term. We'll see later that this realization is not really the apex of human development. The void is the emptiness which in time will allow the unfolding of the fullness and richness of Being. Just as the void is the combination of the process of the ascent of energy, it will become the beginning point of a process of the descent that will bring the fullness of Being.
The Void, pg. 58
Kundalini is an Aspect of Essence in a Very Specific Way
We have just said that Kundalini is an aspect of Essence. This is true, but in a very specific way -- in the sense that Kundalini is a true energy, the energy of Essence. However, Kundalini is usually not seen as an aspect of Essence because it is energy. Essence, in the strict sense of the word, is our being. It is the very substance of existence. The essential aspects exist on the being level and not on the energy level.
Only in the Right Context Can the Kundalini Energy Lead to Wisdom
It is a specific characteristic of Kundalini that it gives the individual an amazing amount of energy, without giving any understanding or wisdom. In the right context, it can lead to wisdom, but on its own does not impart understanding. It does not resolve the individual's personal issues and conflicts. Its manifestation can lead to ego-death and cosmic consciousness, and then the Essence can descend. But if we were to depend on Kundalini, the human dilemma would stay the same, and this does not offer much hope for many people.
The Energy Body
We are not referring here to physical energy, which is part of the physical world. Rather, we mean the vital energy necessary for living forms, referred to in Sanskrit as prana or shakti. This differentiation is important because we can think of the human organism as the confluence of a physical body, an energy body (referred to sometimes as the astral body), and the soul, which includes her essence. The energy body is the dimension of vital energy necessary for life; we can access it through the activation of the chakra system. This system of energetic centers uses the vital energy—prana or shakti—for its functioning, an energy that the organism partly acquires through the breath. It is this energy that yogic systems utilizing kundalini for their practices try to cultivate and direct. Kundalini is the name given to a reservoir of dormant energy, visualized as a serpent coiled in the first chakra at the perineum. By awakening the kundalini, the shakti is activated, which then rises up the spine activating and energizing the chakra centers. The chakra centers become doorways to deeper spiritual experiences and dimensions.
In the Diamond Approach we activate this vital energy not through the familiar yogic practices of kundalini but through inquiry and understanding. Our perception is that shakti energy is a dimension that is patterned according to essential aspects, a dimension that has its particular psychodynamic and structural issues. In other words, it is a dimension of presence; but this presence is the presence of energy, like light but not exactly.