This work is called Kundalini Mediumship for a couple of reasons. One is to honor the tradition of my first teacher Baba Muktananda, whose tradition was the direct transmission of kundalini from guru to disciple. That transmission happened to me when I was a kid.
I added the word “mediumship” because I at a certain point I realized that working with spirits and energies was also something that happened at the same time that the kundalini started opening. Working with spirits and energies was not really a part of his tradition, and I had to learn about that aspect from other teachers.
Some Hindu teachers talk about the difference between God with form and the formless God. The formless God is pure infinite energy and consciousness. It is beyond any of our understanding and incorporates past, present and future all at once. The God with form is all the spirits, gods and goddesses that are energy but also have characteristics, emotions, and personalities. The story is that because the formless God is so hard to relate to as a human, God has also chosen to appear to us in forms that we can relate to. These are the beings at the basis of many religions— the Hindu gods and goddesses, even Jesus. These gods and goddesses occupy a middle ground between our limited human self and the infinite God that exists beyond everything. They are like a bridge that help us to remember that we are connected to and a part of the infinite.
Mediumship allows us to embody the gods and goddesses. To work with them, we have to begin working through our personal, family and cultural traumas and repressed emotions. What started happening to me as a teenager was that the kundalini started clearing out some of my personal and family karma and allowed me to connect to theses higher vibrational energies. It was never a one shot deal though— it’s not like I had a couple of spiritual experiences and then all my work was done. Far from it. The process of clearing out the debris and then connecting to these gods and goddesses is a pattern that continues to this day.
Another part of my process was that I recognized that my personal healing was connected to others’ healing. I started getting the message that if I was going to grow and heal, I had to do healing work on other people. Kundalini Mediumship was born from that message.
The word kundalini can be uncomfortable for people. There are many misconceptions and issues around kundalini work and they fall into two distinct categories.
First, there is the fact that kundalini transmission comes out of the guru/disciple relationship. Within that relationship (especially here in America) there has been a tremendous power imbalance and a lot of abuse from that imbalance. This happened with my guru Muktananda, but it happened with a lot of other gurus as well. The guru is someone you obey without question. He (or she) is God incarnate. How are you going to say no to a guru’s demand? How are you going to call out a guru who abuses his power? If you look at what happened within Muktananda's tradition (called Siddha Yoga) it took some really courageous people to speak out. His institution responded in the same way as the Catholic church and other powerful institutions that protected abusers— deny, cover it up and intimidate those speaking out.
When I started doing healing work on people and could feel the kundalini moving through me and into other people I went through a crisis. I didn't know how to handle it because the only template I had for kundalini transmission was the guru/disciple relationship and I knew I wasn't a guru or perfect being. But there was something else I relied on for guidance— what Muktananda called the guru principle. The guru principle is the force inside of us that guides the process of the kundalini awakening. It’s our own internal compass and our guide.
It’s taken me many years of self work and inquiry to get to this point. When I really started diving into Siddha Yoga, I thought I had found the answer, the TRUTH. Then when I heard about Siddha Yoga’s dark side I thought I had to throw everything out. But what I really discovered was that there were certain elements of the Siddha Yoga philosophy that resonated with me and some that didn’t. My job was to take what I needed and throw out the rest.
I believe that the guru worship in Siddha Yoga was in many ways a test— a test from God to see if I would really devote myself to finding my own internal guru or if I would give away my power and self knowledge to someone else. It can be really hard sometimes to really trust myself, especially when my ideas go against culturally accepted norms. But that trust is what allowed me to work with this energy on other people. Instead of a guru, I view myself as a facilitator. I share my journey and struggle and I want to help people connect with their own guru principle. There is a tremendous empowerment that happens when we connect to our own internal guidance— when we recognize that there is no authority outside of ourselves that we have to obey. But to do that we really have to examine our own wounds and shadow— all the places we’ve hidden and suppressed inside of us.
The second issue around the kundalini is the warning that the energy is inherently destabilizing and can cause all sorts of problems like demonic possession, mental illness and things like that. While I agree that the kundalini is a tremendously powerful force I don't think its accurate to say that it causes any of that. Mental/emotional/spiritual issues are caused by our own karma-- the kundalini may accelerate things that are already there but it won't cause them to arise from nowhere. It will definitely find and open up the darkness we have inside of us, but as long as we are prepared to face our own demons and we’re really willing to heal then we have nothing to worry about. That's a big commitment though. For most people it takes something like a healing crisis or spiritual emergency to really force them on this path. But of course these kinds of crises are exactly what the spirit uses to bring us back into alignment. Sickness is really just a message from our spirit that we need to address our emotional, energetic and physical issues. Eventually whatever demons we are trying to avoid will come after us anyway. So my philosophy is to confront them now rather than later.