Our karma-- cultural, personal and ancestral-- is held within our nervous system and other bodily tissues and imprinted into our bodies’ energetic channels (called nadis in sanskrit). When unexamined and unhealed, the nadis bind up and create karmic knots (known as granthis in sanskrit). The knots bind us into re-experiencing and replaying the stories, myths and patterns held within. They are like a computer program etched into our organs and nervous system, dictating the way we interact with ourselves and the world.
In life, we play out the karma that’s held in these knots through our interactions with others. Our knots are constantly sending out cords of information that connect to other people’s cords so that we can play out our interlocking karma. The cords are like magnets, and they attract the people and situations that reveal the story or pattern held within. Many people see how they are still playing out the stories and patterns from childhood in their adult relationships. Our attraction to people arises from the interlocking dance of our karmic cords.
For most people, this is a painful process. As long as we externalize this process and fail to examine our own part in creating these relationship bonds, we will be in an antagonistic relationship with others and ultimately ourselves. It’s easy to see how our problems and our suffering arise from others. And to a certain extent its true. But inside every trauma we experience at the hands of someone else is our own wounded self drawing our attention inside. But most of us are not taught to process these things internally. Our culture teaches us to externalize our suffering and wall of our emotions and trauma. When we do not process our wounding, we wall it off in an attempt to dissociate or disconnect from it. But because we can never truly disconnect from our wounding, the wounds themselves send out karmic cords to others in an attempt to draw our attention to it. It can feel like we are trying to punish ourselves, recreating the same wounded patterns with different people. But this process is about bringing our awareness and healing inside. If we can’t embody this internal process, we then create more and more karma by playing our games with others, trying to change everything but our own self.
How does the kundalini fit into all this? The kundalini sages of long ago described the process of spiritual awakening as a time when a human decided that they had had enough of the games and drama. When this happens, the seed of remembering awakens. We start to remember that everything outside is really just a manifestation of an internal process— this is the kundalini starting to awaken. But this is not an instantaneous process! We can’t decide to awaken and clear all our karma is then become enlightened! In fact, the idea of enlightenment (or transcendence of suffering) can be just an attempt to avoid the pain that comes with being human. It really can be just a defense mechanism that gets in the way of true spiritual work.
The knowledge and experience of the kundalini energy is everyone’s birthright as a human, but there’s a catch! We’ve hidden this knowledge and connection to our inherent spiritual power from ourselves. As children, we create walls around our unpleasant feelings and traumatic events. This dissociation creates a wall around not just those feelings but from the kundalini itself. In the short term, the dissociation allows us to go through life without having to experience the suffering hidden inside. But in the long term, this walling off process starts forming the karmic knots that bind us down. These karmic knots eventually bring the demons that haunt us, because our internal cords also send out external cords to attract the people that will trigger them. Paradoxically, whatever we’ve tried to wall off will come back to get us. People usually respond to this triggering in one of two ways-- they try to suppress those uncomfortable feelings through more dissociation or numbing out, or they try to fight whatever external force appears to be responsible for their pain. Eventually people usually come to the realization that it doesn’t matter how much they fight those external forces-- there’s always another demon waiting for them.
But there is a third way-- when we can recognize that getting triggered is our spirit’s way of calling attention to our wounds then we can take whatever energy we normally use to numb out or fight and bring it inside to wake up the kundalini. This process involves changing our relationship to our demons. Instead of fighting them, we work with them to access our wounds, because hidden inside our wounds is our divine spirit. This process is the heart of kundalini mediumship-- this recognition of our own internal self creating or manifesting every external process. But it is not easy. It takes a lot of discipline, courage and compassion to make that internal commitment when so many internal processes and external systems are set up to sabotage this process.
There are two types of cords, internal and external. Working on the internal cords requires breath and bandha work. Working on the external cords requires tracking. While I call them external, they are really just outward extensions of our internal wounds.
Breath and Bandhas
Breath control (known as pranayama in sanskrit) along with bandha work is the key to accessing the kundalini.
During healing sessions, Kundalini Mediumship practitioners open up the abdomen by mimicking uddiyana bandha contractions. The uddiyana bandha, along with mula bandha, are the keys to accessing the kundalini.
Deep within the abdomen, the kundalini is bound up in karmic knots called granthi. The granthi are a physical manifestation of our emotional/spiritual/karmic wounding. When you start to open up the kundalini and access the granthi, you may experience a dark pit deep in your stomach. As you continue working with the kundalini, you may also experience the knotted, twisted roots and vines extending out from the granthi to the rest of your body. These roots travel along our nadis (energy channels) and bind them up, blocking our energetic flow.
During healing sessions, practitioners press on your abdomen, mimicking the uddiyana bandha to access the kundalini. To continue your self-work, you need to learn how to work with the bandhas yourself.
When the kundalini begins to awaken, she will usually move you into spontaneous yogic positions (called kriyas) that are unique expressions of the unwinding of your karmic knots. What is happening is the kundalini itself begins pulling out the roots and vines of our karmic baggage. In its place you may see vibrant colors or feel a rush of energy where there used to be a dark stagnation. This is not an overnight process, and each person’s process is unique based on their samskaras (karmically inherited patterns of thought and behavior).
Even though each person’s process is unique, there are some fundamental structural tools that can be used by everyone. The technique we use to examine our external cords is tracking.
Through tracking, we get triggered and then use the emotions of the triggering to access our internal landscape. The main tool we use to track is our awareness. The obstacle to awareness is our wall. The wall is the first thing we encounter when we get triggered. It is the structure we create to dissociate from our wound. When we have trouble accessing our feelings, when we resort to substances or other processes to numb out or check out, we are in the realm of the wall. It is a structure we have created in order to not feel the thing inside of us that feels too painful, too big or too intense. Everyone’s wall is a unique, mulit-layered structure that is really an example of our own ingenious power of creation. But it is built and maintained on the illusion of separateness. We try to wall off our painful karma or trauma but we can never truly escape those things. When we get triggered, we usually end up creating more and more walls and then spend much of our time on wall maintenance. It takes a lot of mental, emotional and spiritual energy trying to fix and repair a system who’s goal is to keep us from being triggered.
Some people’s wall does allow for deep emotions, but only when they are projected outward. Anger, hurt, resentment and fear of “the other” are a deeper level of our wall’s structure. If we can tap into those feelings and go inward with them, we can encounter the wound.
The wound is the part of ourselves that contains an emotion, memory or trauma so painful, so uncomfortable, so deep that it feels like it will destroy us. It tells us that we are incapable of truly processing it. It usually tells us we are worthless or that we are not allowed to experience love. It is a hole so deep that it seems like there is no end, so in order to not have to face it we create our wall. We make a bargain of separation with ourselves.
Each person’s wall is unique, but they all share similar characteristics. The sole purpose of the wall is to prevent us from accessing the wound. There are usually many layers. Some common ones are:
Externalization-- identifying the source of my problem or suffering as someone or something else. On one level, this is true. Other people can cause us pain. Other people can hurt us and treat us poorly. But we can use that pain to take us inside and work with our internal wound. If not, we’ll just be caught in the cycle of blaming others for our internal state and then attracting people who hurt us
Lashing out-- men are more prone to using this technique. When getting close to the wound, a righteous anger can be triggered. This looks and feels like the wound, and it can have a very deceptive mask. But under this anger is generally a frightened boy, the source of the real wound. The angry mask does not like us to see that little boy.
Retreating-- some people learn to retreat when the wound is triggered. This is a place of cold numbness
When we are really in the wound, it feels raw and vulnerable. There may be images or memories that arise. When we are truly here, we will be able to renegotiate the contract.
Contracts are agreements we’ve made with other people or spiritual forces. Like any physical contract, we get something from them but we also give something. In the case of our emotional wall, our contract with it prevents us from accessing our wound, at least on a daily conscious level. In return the wall demands that we renounce our inner awareness. What we give and what we get are actually 2 sides of the same coin. The wall hides our wounded self, giving us at least a momentary reprieve from our suffering. In return we give up the knowledge and empowerment that comes from actually understanding ourselves and our hidden motivations.
But our “wall contracts” involve much more than this-- our wall becomes enmeshed with our psychological drives and daily motivations. So learning about and understanding our walls are generally the first steps to emotional and spiritual healing. When we really encounter our walls, we will come face to face with our obstacles and the journey that lies ahead will reveal itself. When we start breaking through the wall, we encounter the kundalini, the force that has been using our triggers and wounds to guide us to connect with her. But when we start working through the walls, some serious questions arise.
The wall, while based in suffering and artificial disconnection, gives us very real benefits. The first being a sense of identity. So much of ourselves that we know is based on our wall-- our sense of right and wrong, of justice, of our relationships to others.
Who am I really without this wound and wall that form so much of my personality?
Deeper still, when we feel into our karmic knots, we may experience the suffering of generations of our ancestors held in our bodies. Do we really want to go into those places? It’s not an easy decision to make.
In reality, our walls and our wounds are a multi-faceted structure containing trillions of pieces of information. The process of uncovering these issues is not linear-- it’s not about revealing each piece of information. It’s about revealing the pattern that the issues show. When we understand how a wall works within us, we can use that information to understand how other walls we’ve created fit that pattern. When we come to understand the patterns of our wounding and the patterns of our walls, the patterns of our divine connection will also reveal themselves. Those divine connections are at the heart of Kundalini Mediumship. We all have a spiritual self, we all have gods and goddesses that are waiting to connect with us. But to connect with them, we have to work through the layers of baggage we’ve built around them.