There are a handful of methods that have been used down through time to liberate the mind from the shackles of its previous life, leading it to a new dawn of self realization. The methods are all very similar and they involve looking within. So we have meditation and there are visualization exercises, too, designed to bring about a condition that happens once this inner switch is flipped.

I hear those who say “you cannot induce awakening intentionally…” but you can. My old friend Jensen, who I spoke to not long ago after not being in touch for close to a decade described his experience for me when he went to a recreation department class on kundalini meditation….and awakened kundalini. I have a close family friend who went to a Vipissana retreat, the method that Guatama Buddha recommended, and it was there that something shifted and her life was forever altered. I had gotten the sense that this old friend had become awakened but wasn’t using terms that described it directly, so I asked her if she had had any remarkable experiences in the last few years. Vipissana is a retreat where one is silent for about ten days and meditates the whole time. Gopi Krishna sat in the early morning hours bidding an energy rise up his spine and it did, forever changing his life from then onward. I was given a meditation technique whose central method was to quiet the mind. I had meditated up to that time for years and no awakening. Once I was given this technique, I had results immediately. Within a week I found myself suffused in a brilliant white light, and wondering what had just happened was enough to cause the brilliance to vanish. I had managed to begin using a part of my mind that was usually shut down so much that I didn’t fully know that it even existed in me. I thought that it existed in other people, that it was something that people developed over lifetimes. While I think there is some truth to this, call it a gradual ripening into a place that is suitable for awakening, I also observe that there is something much like a switch, and one of the ways to it is through meditation. I know that my meditation got me there, because it was only after meditation and the use of hemisync discs that induced a deep theta state, that I entered into a period of high strangeness that culminated in a full rising event of kundalini.

Was I intentionally seeking to awaken kundalini? No. Was I seeking to wake up somehow? Yes. It had been part of my life for many decades before this. I was a seeker after all.

That said, there are people who haven’t used meditative practice to awaken. There are people who woke up in nature, walking down the street, and one case describes being scared to death nearly as the “jolt” that brought on awakening. I wasn’t meditating when kundalini rose, it just happened as an outcome of a process that began much like an automated system produces an end result. All of the changes that took place over the course of five months were autonomous in nature. I was little more than an observer watching and wondering what these sensations were about.

To be clear, not everyone does this. Awakening processes are all very individual and each are unique. Looking back on it the process I was going through was being driven by something inside of me, but I was clueless as to what all of the symptoms meant over those five months. Clearly, I was hallucinating some things…like the voices I heard and the Native American drumming and singing, all may have been psychic energy expressing itself. The dreams, which were like a giant inventory punctuated with brilliant and vivid imagery of water and light and a mysterious language embedded in water and light, made me wonder just what was up.

Some people I have known awakened when they met someone. That in itself was enough to trigger them. In one case, with someone I have interviewed for the site, the person had known the other in another life and they shared a karmic thread, one which they didn’t see for what it was, and was taken by the power of the draw. Ultimately they didn’t resolve their karma together, they each resolved it individually.

Buddha said it right when essentially he said no one makes you feel a certain way or makes you react a certain way. You do. At the root of karma are our honest reactions and feelings. Some feelings are based in beliefs and thinking that are not aligned to our truer higher selves. Is it something that the cosmic judge will put us away for forever? There appears to be no such judge, save for our own inner compass. In NDE’s the only person judging the person was themselves, and no one, not a one, being sent to hell. Yes, there are accounts of people going to a dark place they thought was hell, but pay attention to the account of the NDE closely: in every case the person winds up in the light.

In my research it appears that awakening is essentially like a near death experience in that there is a communion with the energy that represents “the light.” Not all awakenings involve a white light like mine did. Some involve vibration, heat, sound, or other representations of energy. At the end of the day, this is what out minds and bodies are trying to explain to ourselves or to interpret, which is that awakening is at its core an energetic event. Along with these events can come karmic relationships, and they wind up being powerful movers sometimes. But for as powerful as they are for inspiring change, often the change is limited in all truth. It is, though, enough for most people. It “gets your attention” as one person once explained it to me. It certainly does. But beyond that, what does it materially do? I myself really thought I had to work something out with this person who I had karma with. I even knew what the karma was, as I have seen most of the karmas from others who I have known who were like this.

We think that it is something we create together, but in truth, we don’t. All of the karma that I ever worked through was always something that I worked out on my own. It is rare to find someone who is as engaged as you are in wanting to work through the same set of issues as yourself. My “twin” often went into meltdowns when I tried to push the energy to begin clearing our karma. Something inside of her simply resisted it. She wasn’t ready. No harm no foul. And sitting alone, a number of years later, I thought that I had to work it out with her, and in so doing, or trying to do it, I asked her what it was she needed from me. Her response surprised me. “This awakening helped me so much. It changed my life and kept it from being ordinary…and I am a better person for it. What do I need from you? I don’t need anything from you: I am happy!”

And just like that, it was done. Poof. The karmic threads fell away. But what was it that did it? What was holding up the train? My feelings were holding up the train, that’s what. I thought there was something I needed to do. There was nothing I needed to do. It could have been over years earlier, but I labored under the false assumption that we had to do this together. It’s a good thing that I reached back to her all those years later (seven years later in fact), because if I hadn’t, I might still be feeling this draw created by the charge of feeling like I owed someone something or that something wasn’t finished right or done. Except that it was in everyone’s mind but mine.

You might be like this somewhere and you don’t even know it. You might be taken in by the love that you feel. It’s good to feel it, but I can tell you it wont take you anywhere significant because the force is for your change, not anyone else. In order to go anywhere significant with another in such a rarefied environment, you need to be exactly the same and respond and want in exactly the same way. This experience makes you think that you are one, that you are twins. Yes, we are ALL ONE, we are, but goodness sakes, we also have free will and individuality and for as much as the Advaita people want to say it, self is real and ego serves an important purpose in learning while here. That means that individuality is the real wild card.

I have tried to help so many people over the years and what I have found is that the bulk of the advice was unheeded or not acted on. And you know what, it’s perfect because at the end of the day a person has to be ready to see their lessons in front of them. In fact they have to own them before they see them.

A teacher once told me to be careful about telling someone something they weren’t ready to hear because most often people will reject perfectly good advice because it comes from the outside. Not all information from the outside is bad. In fact, we each have blinders about our issues in life. A close friend can see our junk so much easier for the simple reason that it isn’t theirs and that they don’t have the same blinders. But after that, as for what to do or how to do it, fagetaboutit! It really has to be an inside job from there on out. But listen to your friends when they are trying to waive you off the runway when you are trying to take your jet full-throttle across the runway. They might just be seeing the tire that is flat that you doggedly are refusing to look at. And yes, that is a metaphor… But even more importantly are the people who think they have insight into your life when they don’t, when their insight is little more than their own beliefs wrapped up in such a way that they are fooled into thinking what they have created is genuine. Already two such people have described events they knew to be real when there was nothing to them…at all. They convince themselves they are psychic and so they are…no matter what. They may have been at some point, but somewhere something happened. It’s a bit like the Hollywood psychic saying, “I see a woman in your life right now…” with the respondent saying, “Yeah, no woman in my life, nope…” Only to be followed with, “I see you received a promotion!”

“I’m self employed, so no promotions really…” Humility and self honesty are critical components to this. Mercy…where was I?

The most successful methods shut down thought and keep you present and aware. You aren’t shutting down, you are shutting down the monkey mind. When that happens, you are that much closer to the recognition that takes place that everyone experiences, which is nonduality, the awareness and experience that everything is One and everything is connected. Kundalini, is one step further than that where the portion of consciousness that is able to understand what nonduality feels like then takes it one step further and beings a process of churning consciousness in the hopes that something breaks free. While the Hindu systems of yoga and meditative practices all say do this work before you awaken Westerners simply do not do this work. the good news is that kundalini itself will cleanse the system the Hindu call nadi, and much of the fireworks you read about as it relates to awakening in the West is attributed to clearing that kundalini can do. Nadi are seen as channels in the body that carry prana. The meridian system in Chinese medicine maps out the same energy even though it is called chi (qi). Going back lifetimes, the idea of union within was learned through the systems alive in various cultures I have lived in that have ritual forms of union like hieros gamos in its many different incarnations. In this there is implicit an understanding of awakening since they involve elements that are identical to one another.

After attempting to awaken and not succeeding, what is missing may be your being ripe for the experience. When someone I know attempted to force an awakening years ago, I was witness to someone who was off her rocker for most of the time. It sounds harsh, but it was true. Was this person always this way, I wondered? Maybe. Or maybe what kundalini did was to drive the shadow out into the light….with the exception that this person wasn’t letting go. She just wasn’t ready. Friends questioned whether she had actually had a real awakening. It was real, even if she forced it by utilizing my energy in the etheric. And on the flip side you can have someone who wants to awaken and despite all efforts, they just don’t or can’t. Any number of hurdles stand before them. You can lead a horse to water, but we all must learn to drink ourselves. The woman I knew in 500 B.C. had in her an inability to be happy where she was. Other than that, she was an incredible person. That pattern is still playing out today and there is nothing that I can do to change it, and now I am at peace with it being that way. She will change once she knows that it is an issue for her and can really see it for herself. Telling her it is an issue would likely cause her to get upset and angry, even go into denial. She has to figure it out on her own. She has to get to that place where she really think that she was the one who had it all figured out (even though people may have been trying to tell her this for years…who knows really if that is so, but these things have a way of happening like this) And really, that is good because waking up is about growing up spiritually. It will only ever work when we take those steps to the water ourselves.

Awakening isn’t a mystery though…not as deep a mystery as we would like it to be. We may not always understand it, but it is a phenomenon tied closely to our consciousness (because it is a function of it) and as such it is not some exotic phenomenon. It isn’t for the lucky few, the elite or chosen. It is a state that everyone can experience when they are ready. I once tried to explain this to a friend and I said to her that awakening is like a second puberty, a growth into a new state of being. You are still you but this energy has helped to divest you of a lot of the programming that was cast into you since infancy. And to what end? To know more of the truth both of reality and of ourselves.