55 of 55 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great book to learn about Kundalini or the "Energy of Awakening"
Although you may have heard about Kundalini in yogic texts or even other books on spirituality it still remains shrouded in mystery, not understood and often feared like any other powerful unknown phenomena. Many books address the topic of awakening the Kundalini and steps to follow, but this book addresses the basic question - What is Kundalini? Do we really need to...
Published on August 28, 2009 by AmazonDiva
101 of 122 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Disappointing and Contains Much False Teaching
As a person who has suffered "Kundalini" awakening over a period of 12 years now, I found this book to be disappointing and to contain typical mis-understandings and mis-interpretations of the process of awakening. These mis-interpretations are due to people's attachment to a particular religion or spiritual tradition through which they filter their perception. Ken Wilber...
Published on January 21, 2011 by Mage1111
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55 of 55 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great book to learn about Kundalini or the "Energy of Awakening",
Although you may have heard about Kundalini in yogic texts or even other books on spirituality it still remains shrouded in mystery, not understood and often feared like any other powerful unknown phenomena. Many books address the topic of awakening the Kundalini and steps to follow, but this book addresses the basic question - What is Kundalini? Do we really need to awaken it? And how would I benefit?
As we go through life, we often wonder - Is there something better out there that can lift us above our mundane everyday existence? Some of us have heard about the "kundalini" experiences of other people that led them more fulfilled lives, but we remain skeptical about these methods and our ability to achieve this state of awakening. This book makes Kundalini very accessible and if like me you're the type who likes to know what they might be stepping into - even if you're told you will experience pure ecstasy - this is a great book to explore.
The book has 24 essays about the various aspects of the Kundalini experience and is divided into 4 broader sections -
Part 1: The Experience - Personal experiences of people who have experienced Kundalini. It has powerful and moving stories about this energy awakening which can occur spontaneously for some people. These personal experiences draw you into the book and leave you wanting to learn more about this awakening that has brought peace and happiness for those who have experienced it. The contributors to this section are authors/PhDs and make their experiences much more accessible to us.
Part 2: Kundalini and Your Health: This section has account from Doctors and other PhDs who give us more understanding of what is Kundalini energy and what are the benefits of awakening it.
Part 3: Kundalini at Large: This section talks about how Kundalini has been discussed in articles delving into psychology and has popped up in cultures over the world. It also goes into a deeper understanding of how Kundalini has evolved in history.
Part 4: Kundalini in Motion: Kundalini yogis answer some common questions about Kundalini in this section. I particularly liked the explanation that body and mind being are very closely linked- that they form a seamless matrix and kundalini yoga being a way to increase your physical and mental well being.
Personally, I think as new technologies lead us to progress and physical well being we're increasingly aware that our mental and spiritual growth must also happen for us to evolve fully. This is evident from the increased interest in yogic techniques all over the world. This book leads us further down the path to explore the process of becoming more attuned with our real self.
This book needed to be written, I can't think of another book that had such lucid explanations in one volume. It made me want to now take the next step and experience this awakening. Once you've read it you will want to pass it down to someone who wants to learn more.
31 of 33 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Readable, but could have been better....,
This is a highly readable book. Some books on yoga and meditation use so many Eastern terms I can't keep up with what they are talking about, even though I've meditated myself for 20 years or so now.
When it does use terminology, it explains it well, although I felt like it could have benefited from a few graphics, for instance when talking about energy pathways and the chakras. I think most readers would be aware of these things, but that would be helpful especially when the Eastern terms are used.
I appreciated the section on Kundalini pathology, but was sad that it did not delve deeply into Kundalini rashes. In fact, the pathologies discussed were so severe that it almost made me think "OMG, why meditate if it can cause such as THIS?" I felt the book was very cautionary that opening this much energy can be dangerous. Take it from me, it can be! There are excellent, excellent sections on psychological manifestations and disturbances that can come with it.
I was surprised that it only touched upon the rashes. There's maybe 3 sentences in there, with no real tips for resolving this problem.
There's a great meditation discussed in the book - quite effective. (The ball of light from the lotus one.) I would have liked a few MORE examples of good guided meditations, and some information on effective grounding when one has excess of energy.
I also liked that the book gives caution to the seeker who focuses on the psychic manifestations. They really can be a stumbling block, in my experience.
It is WELL worth the read. I'd just have liked it better if it had covered these things better and given me a few visuals, even just black and white plates of energy pathways would have been nice.
101 of 122 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Disappointing and Contains Much False Teaching,
This review is from: Kundalini Rising (Kindle Edition)
As a person who has suffered "Kundalini" awakening over a period of 12 years now, I found this book to be disappointing and to contain typical mis-understandings and mis-interpretations of the process of awakening. These mis-interpretations are due to people's attachment to a particular religion or spiritual tradition through which they filter their perception. Ken Wilber is especially guilty of this. Nearly all of Ken's writings are filtered through and distorted by his belief and commitment to Buddhism. Ken's section on the chakras in this book is incorrect and is based in ignorance and will lead many astray. It is obvious that Ken Wilber and most of the other contributors to this volume have not experienced kundalini first hand and are simply regurgitating second hand beliefs. After all, there is big $$ to be made in writing pop "spiritual" books. Wilber is always quoting someone else like Freud and rarely speaks from direct experience and perception. Wilber claims that the chakras are not real...that they are only real to one with the "separate self sense." This is completely false. I know first hand that the chakras are real. They are clearly visible to clairvoyant vision. Also, a person authentically experiencing the awakening process experiences the chakras directly. The knots and grandthis are not equivalent to the Chakras. Wilber disappoints for a guy with such a seemingly high IQ. It seems that Wilber is himself deluded by samsara and maya and is coming from his ego only. The so called "separate self sense" is not some anomaly of existence and our lives are not a mistake. To read Wilber's second hand Buddhist beliefs, this world is "samsara" or an illusion. This false belief leads many astray. For this life is very real and is meant to be. In fact, every single thing in our lives is meant to be and is there on purpose. The "delusion" or the "samsara" is that our Being and Value is based on our socio-economic status and on outer things...the things that humans usually base their identities and self sense on. In our culture, a person is assigned worth (Value) and status (Being) based upon how much money he or she has, what kind of car they drive, socio economic status, etc. This is the "Outside/In" delusion and causes deep wounds and alienation in us, for we are brought up in and brainwashed with this false hierarchy of being and value based on possession and objects. This is the meaning of Maya and Samsara. To be severed from the Higher Self center and to be outwardly identified is maya and samsara. These delusions come not because we are somehow falsely interpreting ourselves as individuals and as persons....autonomous, distinct, and seperate people. No. Our individuality is a given...a basic obvious fact of our existence. The "sin" or the "samsara" that causes us to feel like isolated, condemned entities, is that because of our wounds and blocks, we are closed in our hearts and our connection to our own Higher Self, which is located behind the heart chakra. The Higher Self is and always has been directly immersed in and fully integrated with the One. The Higher Self is Light and is Divine...it is a "spark" or portion of the One Source and the ALL THAT IS. Made of the same stuff. The Higher Self never fully incarnates in 3 dimensional space time, yet it is always present right here right now because all the other dimensions that are invisible to our senses are also right here, right now. The heart chakra directly connects to the crown chakra, which is connected to the causal body which is and always has been immersed in the Higher Dimensional Reality. Seem weird? It is at first. This is because the Universe and humans are multi dimensional in nature. Our individuality and personhood is absolutely meant to be folks. The goal is to become fully Self Realized as an Individual, to be fully in community with others, and to be consciously reconnected to the ONE and ALL. There is no such thing as "Kundalini". Kundalini is just a word. Kundalini energy is nothing but your own Higher Energy or Spirit erupting through lifetimes of defensive self encapsulation, wounds, complexes, and blocks. (what Wilber wrongly calls the chakras) Life as a human is traumatic and we are continually wounded as we experience life in a spiritually hostile and ignorant world. Our instinctive reaction is to block the experience of trauma in the physical body. This creates blocks in the subtle body and the subtle energy system. This causes us to be partially severed from our own Higher Self. The wrong teachings and interpretations in this book are related to the relationship between the One and the Many. Traditions that emphasize the One tend to obliterate and degrade the individuating many the countless Individuating Beings throughout the Cosmos). Kundalini does not destroy the ego. No. That is a wrong teaching. Kundalini seeks to break the ego's false identification with Outer things. From the time we are born, especially in the West, we are brainwashed with false self concepts. We are conditioned to believe that our sense of Being and Value and Self hood come from our job, how much money we have, what family we are born into, what we own, what sort of car we drive...etc. We develop an adapted "self" that many in recovery circles call the "false self". Jung called this the persona or mask. It is the self that we present to the world. The problem is...that this adapted self has an identity problem and has forgotten who and what it is and where it came from. We truly and actually came to this world from another dimension. Reincarnation is True. Our egos are sacred and the first half of life is dedicated to developing our egos and to developing a sense of individuality. This is one of the sole reasons why we choose to incarnate in duality on the physical plane. Being forced to make choices and take responsibility for our lives and selves provides countless opportunities to learn, grow, and evolve from experience. Authentic egoic development gets "added onto the Soul" or what some call the Higher Self, the Buddha nature, the Christ Self, etc. The kundalini process first overwhelms and crushes and importunes us and forces us to withdraw from the world and to break our outer identity. The process breaks us of the "Outside/In" syndrome. This is extremely painful and is called ego death. Yet, it doesn't stop there...there is much more to us. The process then forces all our karma, repressed emotions, problems, blocks, anger, shame, guilt, fear, and other "energies" and emotions to the surface for purgation and cleansing.This is agonizing and causes the ego to feel as though the whole weight of the world is on our shoulders. This also causes deep depression and frustration. Whatever comes up to consciousness must be cleared, worked through, and integrated. What is happening? The ego is being stripped of its false identification with outer things and is being healed so that it can re-integrate with the Higher Self. Sri Aurobindo calls this Center the Psychic Being. This is our eternal Individuality and Self hood...our Soul...our True Self. When the Soul or Center "comes to the front" and dominates the Being...this is Self Realization. There is more. Next....if a person works hard for many many years on the process, a person will also achieve conscious Oneness with the Source. This is called "God Realization" or "non dual" etc. We are already One with Source but are not aware of it and we do not experience it often due to the fact that most of us are severed from a direct connection with our Higher Self center. We knew it as children. We lost it as we were brainwashed and conditioned by the belief systems and memes of this planet. The process does not eliminate the ego. That is psychosis. The process does not obliterate the Individual...the Individual has been evolving over many many lifetimes and is eternal. This teaching of ego annihilation is the MAJOR FALSE TEACHING IN THIS BOOK. The ego annihilation part is only temporary. Our very makeup is designed to protect the ego at all costs. The ego is the important executor of consciousness and needs to be strengthened, made authentic, and integrated with the Higher Self. A person actually needs a very strong ego to weather the tremendous trials and suffering of the process. People and "traditions" that teach ego annihilation are doing souls a disservice and are teaching falsehood which discourages and frightens people. The process is actually trying to heal people and bring them to the next level of evolution. Otherwise...this book does have some very good writings, particularly the pieces by Wilber and Whitfield. The best book on the subject of Awakening is "The Ego and the Dynamic Ground by Michael Washburn. Washburn "gets it" because he himself experienced the process. Washburn also explains the process in terms that modern Western people can understand. People who have not gone through this process typically cannot be trusted to teach Truth because they themselves do not know it. Most so called "spiritual teachers" are simply regurgitating teachings that have been inherited or passed down. They are teaching ideas and beliefs that may or may not correlate with actual reality. More than anything else, never buy into any belief in a "no self" or "getting rid of the ego" and all that nonsense. The Buddha never taught a doctrine of "No Self." That is an ignorant human interpolation based in shame. The ego is a rather recent evolutionary development in humans and needs to be nurtured and made stronger and more authentic in most people before they are ready for Awakening to the next level of their development, which is the Soul level.
7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Superb Contribution to the Literature on Kundalini,
I have read a great many books on kundalini and sadly many are not the easiest read. I was delighted to see this book, which is the clearest and most comprehensive on the topic that I have ever seen.
The term "Kundalini" comes originally from some of the Tantric forms of Yoga, and is believed to be a cosmic energy that lies within everyone, and is typically depicted as a coiled serpent lying at the base of the spine. Kundalini can be activated by specific practices and techniques combining purification, postures, meditation and breathing exercises or it may emerge spontaneously, particularly - but not only - in meditators. One of the reasons for my own research on the topic is that people experiencing spontaneous awakening are sometimes misdiagnosed as being mentally ill.
Although the term comes from India, and we always need to examine both the from and the content of experiences, there are good reasons for believing that the kundalini experience corresponds to many associated with the Holy Spirit.
In her introduction to the book Tami Simon - the publisher of Sounds True - reveals her own experience of kundalini after returning from a series of intensive meditation retreats in South Asia. At the time she had little idea what was going on, and there were few teachers or books to guide her. She also says something that I am certain is true: the kundalini experience is becoming more common. I have seen ever more people going through the experience in recent years, and many were neither meditators, or people from Hindu or Buddhist traditions.
The book consists of twenty-four chapters dealing with different aspects of the kundalini experience from the subjective to the philosophical and even the neurological. Despite the number of authors there is little overlap in the chapters and a remarkable similarity in the style of the chapters, despite one of them being a reprint of a thirty-year-old interview with Gopi Krishna, the famous write on kundalini and mystical experience.
I hope that this book is very widely read, not only by meditators, but also by health care professionals and anyone interested in the fruits of spiritual development and the expansion of consciousness.
Very highly recommended.
Richard G. Petty, MD, author of Healing, Meaning and Purpose: The Magical Power of the Emerging Laws of Life
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Kundalini from many points of view, from personal to scientific to woo-woo,
From the introduction "Kundalini Rising comprises twenty-four essays on different aspects of the kundalini experience, including what transpersonal psychologists have to say about kundalini; understanding the yogic brain from a scientific perspective; the relationship between near-death experiences and kundalini awakening; understanding the relationships between kundalini energy and sexual energy; yogic exercises to catalyze the kundalini process; the role that kundalini awakening plays in the unfolding of our highest human potential; and more."
The book opens with personal accounts of kundalini rising experiences. If you, like me, have only the vaguest ideas of what kundalini is and what kundalini rising means, definitely start here.
Each essay stands alone and the points of view do not always agree, adding at least an air of objectivity to the book despite lots of flowery and mystical writing. Many of these essays were commissioned specifically for this book and there is something here to interest most anyone with even a vague curiosity about kundalini. For those who want to go deeper there are extensive notes and references to primary materials but this seems to be a good place to start.
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Reads more like a textbook,
I'm a big fan of Gurmukh Kaur Khalsa, and like Kundalini Yoga in general. The thing about this book that makes it different, is that it's a collection of essays from many different Kundalini Yoga figures. Gurmukh Kaur Khalsa just writes one of the many essays in this book. The other striking feature, is that it is written and presented more like a text book than your typical book on yoga. For some that might not be what they are looking for. However, if you would like to learn more about the science and hard facts behind the Kundalini Shakti, this book might be just what you're looking for!
It's very comprehensive, and covers everything from personal perspective to very in depth sciene. The history, cultural and health implications and more of Kundalini yoga.
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars So What the Heck is Kundalini?,
Kundalini Rising is a comprehensive collection of 24 essays by learned individuals that will leave no doubt about what it is and why it is important.
Simply stated it is a powerful energy that the Eastern world has known about for centuries. It was with us at conception, orchestrates our growth, lays dormant somewhere in the base of our spine until awaken and leaves our physical bodies from whence it came upon our death; however, it has been a well-guarded secret and completely unknown to the West until the 1930's. At that time, science scoffed at the reality of Kundalini; however, a growing number of reputable scholars and member of the medical community have bought into this.
The human brain has not yet evolved to its capacity; however, some Yoga's and others have learned to tap into Kundalini, experiencing its unharnessed power and knowledge of vastness beyond time and space. There are claims that those untrained, unprepared or unsolicited recipients of the rising of Kundalini up the spine can be a shocked and damaged by its vast raw energy. Some essayist claimed many have been diagnosed with and are being treated for resulting mental illnesses.
Kundalini Rising is an interesting read. Parts are captivating. Some of essayists are more believable and have greater writing skills than others. Nevertheless, overall I doubt that there is one book that is more comprehensive than Kundalini Rising in introducing common people to where we are evolutionally headed.
I hope you find this book as fascinating as I did. Buy it today. You will be glad you did.
7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars "The kundalini is a force, a deep urge, within each of us...",
This impressive anthology, Kundalini Rising: Exploring the Energy of Awakening, reveals many facets of this mystical, creative energy that some people have encountered and which has inducted them into enlightenment states. The discussions are organized into four parts covering personal experiences with the kundalini force; information from various experts including therapists, clinical researchers, and doctors; several philosophical, historical, and cultural articles; and the writings of Yogis.
Among the most interesting pieces to this reader were:
-- Dorothy Walters' "Kundalini and the Mystic Path," which discussed her awakening at the age of 53 and explains, "Kundalini is the goddess force, the ultimate creative energy, the dynamism that keeps the world alive."
-- "Deep Light and the Great Retruthing," by Whitehawk, an American woman who gives perhaps the most lyrical insights into living with kundalini
-- David Lukoff's "Kundalini Awakening" which succinctly maps the typical (if such a word can be used) kundalini progression
-- Lawrence Edwards' "Kundalini: Her Symbols of Transformation and Freedom who who begins, "Kundalini provides one of the most extraordinary maps of the inexhaustible energies within the body and in the higher consciousness."
-- "Kundalini Yoga and Meditation as Taught by Yogi Bhajan," by Gurucharan Singh Khalsa which notes and seeks to dispel twelve myths and who offers this beautiful definition: "The kundalini is a force, a deep urge, within each of us to unfold: to express and act in our originality and uniqueness....It flows in each of us and is in each particle of existence. It is as gentle as the fragrant blooming of each petal of a spring rose. It is as inexpressible as true love...."
Sometimes called the psycho-spiritual energy, kundalini is said to move through various centers (called chakras) in the body when someone is "awakened" by the practice of spiritual discipline or simply spontaneously. The word "kundalini" means snake in Sanskrit, and when it proceeds from the base of the spine to the crown of the head, enlightenment fills the one experiencing this energy. Often kundalini energy and kundalini yoga are almost inextricably associated, but yoga can be practiced without intending to draw out the energy.
In keeping with individual experience, some of the contributors contradict others on aspects of kundalini. For instance, some warn that without proper initiation and practice a person can harm themselves if they attempt to induce the rising of the kundalini energy, while one of the yogis insists that it isn't dangerous and that no teacher or unduly rigorous spiritual practice is necessary.
KUNDALINI RISING is a valuable and fascinating reference for both the curious who know little or nothing and those who are acquainted with and may even have first-hand experience with this this spiritual/physical phenomenon. 4.5 stars.
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An Outstanding Reference for the Study of Kundalini,
A Kid's Review
This is a wonderful source book for anyone practicing yoga, anyone interested in human evolution, and certainly anyone practicing Kundalini Yoga. No, you won't find instructions on how to practice Kundalini Yoga because that is best learned from a competent teacher who understands the practice and can guide you through the potential dangers of incorrect practice.
The essays in this book are divided into 4 sections that are called parts. Part one is titled THE EXPERIENCE and it contains several personal accounts people who describe their experience of Kundalini awakening. The section part is titled KUNDALINI AND YOUR HEALTH and it's an exploration of the relationship of kundalini awakening to body, brain, and psychological health. The fourth part, titled KUNDALINI AT LARGE, is a collection of essays that explore Kundalini awakening in a historical, philosophical, and cultural context. The final part, titled KUNDALINI IN MOTION contains 4 essays, or musings and the book describes, by practicing yogis.
I can only summarize this review by saying that I believe this book belongs in the reference library of anyone involved in any sort of yogic or meditative practice from any tradition. The Kundalini Awakening can, and does, happen to anyone regardless of their spiritual or yogic tradition. In addition to simply having an understanding of this phenomenon, I believe it's wise to have information like this handy when, and if, this awakening happens to you.
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Overly Repetitive,
I bought this book as I am an avid meditator and was interested in learning more about the creative force of the universe known as kundalini. As I started reading this book I was able to quickly understand what kundalini is and what a kundalini awakening entails. However, the more I read of this collection of essays, the more repetitive it became. Some of the authors, I believe, had genuine kundalini experiences while most clearly did not. Some of the authors would contradict what they were saying even within their own essay. For example, how can one experience "oneness" with kundalini, yet at the same time speak of how they pray for this or that? If you are a part of this oneness, if you are everything, then who would hear the prayers?
Some authors, i.e Ken Wilber, were so painful to read that I had to skip over most of their essays entirely. Read Ken Wilber's contribution, it stinks of someone trying too hard to sound intelligent.
Kundalini is the creative sexual energy that rests "coiled up" at the base of the spine. With spiritual practices, yoga/meditation/tantra, one can "awaken" this energy to rise up the spine which will lead to total enlightenment. Thats pretty much the repeated explanation in every essay. Because the chakras are associated with different aspects of being human, I dont believe that they are real. Most of eastern philosophy, where many of these teachings come from, are loaded with myths and fairy tails. In other words, as you progress in your spiritual practice and gain awareness, you become aware of different aspects of yourself that make up what being human is and these aspects mature. These aspects include power, love, sexuality, intuition, etc., until one reaches total enlightenment.
All of these authors that talk about their kundalini awakening, fail to talk about what enlightenment is. Its the ultimate shift in perspective. So why some of them would say that the awakening they had was "temporary" is unknown to me. Once your awakened in this way how could one possibly lose it? Even though I have spilled the beans on what its all about, having these practices is still worth it because if one doesn't go through it and experientially gets it, then you will have to take what enlightenment is solely on faith.
Overall, I was expecting at least one author in this collection to provide a more realistic and practical understanding on Kundalini and practices. I did not find that in this book.
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Kundalini Rising: Exploring the Energy of Awakening by Gurucharan Singh Khalsa (Paperback - Sept. 2009)
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